Faculty Senate Chair Announcements
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Greetings fellow faculty members,
The Faculty Senate met on Monday, Feb. 25th. Dr. Howard Grimes, VP for Research and Economic Development, was invited to speak to the Senate about Research at ISU, as well as his plans for increasing research support on campus. Dr. Grimes indicated that he welcomes faculty to seek him out to discuss their research interests, possibilities, and to explore funding options. He also said that interdisciplinary research is one way that ISU can expand funding opportunities. Dr. Grimes reported that the Office of Research would like to be involved in offer letters to new faculty so that research expectations are clearly delineated. He reminded Senators that although much of the current discussion about faculty workload is centered around teaching and the financial aspects of research, that discussion is in response to certain concerns expressed by the State, but does not diminish the importance of engaging in other aspects of scholarly creativity and activity. Different disciplines have different requirements for researchers to excel in their fields.
The process for addressing the faculty constitution has begun. The Deans were provided the most recent preliminary drafts of the constitution and were directed to use college and division executive committees in conjunction with Senators to work toward creating a constitution that is acceptable to both faculty and administration, and that complies with current SBOE policy. When completed, the final draft constitution will be submitted for vote by the faculty in each college/division for eventual ratification at the college/division level. Please provide your input to the committee established within your unit as they begin this task. Think of your Senators as a conduit for communication. The Faculty Senate as a body will not be editing the draft, but will assist in communications between units while this important work is being done.
Linwood and Sarah
Faculty Senate Co-Chairs
In the Faculty Senate meeting on 2/11/13, Senators were asked to bring information from their constituents regarding items that Faculty Senate should address. In no particular order, the following topics were brought to the Senate:
- the faculty constitution,
- issues surrounding the adequacy of the testing center for online classes,
- workload (research/teaching)
- university infrastructure (charges for maintenance, electrical, tech, etc. being shifted to departments),
- emeritus status,
- grievance board,
- honorary degrees,
- sustainability issues (conservation, energy, water, stewardship),
- late enrollees,
- wait list problems in Banner,
- Monday holidays in spring semester,
- student retention,
- low salaries for instructors and lecturers,
- performance-based budgeting and zero-based budgeting
The Senators were charged with prioritizing the concerns, and determining which were within the purview of Senate, and which items that the Senate might be able to communicate to the appropriate people/groups on campus, such as the Registrar's office. The Senate identified a handul of personnel to be invited to upcoming Senate meetings to answer questions, so that we are all operating from the same base knowledge.
As you can see, there are a variety of issues on which the Senate could begin work. The faculty constitution and workload issues were deemed among the highest priorities. In the next meeting, we expect to begin tackling these issues, with the understanding that these will be ongoing projects this semester. Additionally, in the reorganization of faculty governance, committees no longer report to the Senate. Many of these committees exist in some form, and you can peruse them here, http://www.isu.edu/fsen/councils.shtml. The Senate will also be working on a mechanism to improve communication to the various committees to ensure faculty voice is present in discussion.
Linwood & Sarah
Greetings fellow faculty members,
In order to foster more direct communication with you as our constituents, the Faculty Senate will be providing a short summary of Senate meetings to you via the fsannounce mailing list, following each Faculty Senate meeting. In addition, you will be able to view the full minutes from meetings on the Faculty Senate homepage, www.isu.edu/fsen/. Meetings occur on alternate Mondays, from 4-6 PM, and faculty are always welcome to attend. Each meeting opens with a 5-minute Open Forum in which any faculty member may address the Senate.
The Faculty Senate’s primary purpose is to foster communication among the faculty. Over the next couple of weeks, your Senators will be reaching out to find out what is important to you and how we can best serve as your representatives. The Faculty Senate views its mission to disseminate information and to collect feedback about academic policies and procedures as critical to the function of the university. As it always has, the Faculty Senate serves as an advisory body to the administration. If we don’t hear directly from you, we can’t represent your interests.
As Faculty Senate co-chairs, Linwood and Sarah will be available to communicate directly with you as well. In Pocatello, Sarah will be holding office hours in the Faculty Senate office on Thursdays, from 9-11 AM. Arrangements can be made for distant site faculty to meet with her via videoconferencing. In addition, Linwood regularly travels to Meridian, and will be available there on Wednesday afternoons, by appointment. It is our hope that the Senate will continue to be a viable, forward moving voice for the faculty. We need your help in order to make that a reality.
In the meeting on 1/28/13, the Senate approved a draft policy for Tuition Benefits for Dependents. This policy was sent to Academic Affairs earlier this week. Approximately two weeks after reaching Academic Affairs, the draft policy will be disseminated to all faculty and staff for the 30 day commenting period. After the 30 day period, it is our hope that this policy might make it to the State Board of Education in time for the April meeting. We are excited about this policy, and view it as a long-awaited and long-desired benefit to existing faculty and staff, as well as a tool for recruiting. In addition to approving this draft policy, the Senate spent some time discussing how to best work with our constituents, and how we might prioritize the tasks that are ahead of us.
We hope that you will find a way to engage with your Senators and help to return the faculty voice to the discussion.
Sarah Knudson & Linwood Vereen
Interim Faculty Senate Co-Chairs
Last updated: 02/28/2013 17:08