Council Minutes 01-19-2018 | Kent State Stark | Kent State University

Kent State Stark Faculty Council Minutes
January 19, 2018
2 p.m.

I.  Chair Warren called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM. 

II.  Secretary Moneysmith called the roll and determined a quorum was present.

Attendance by Constituency:  I: Sebastian Birch, Kim Garchar, Lindsay Starkey. II: Bei Cai, Erin Hollenbaugh, Dee Warren. III: Oliver Ruff, Greg Smith. IV: Jayne Moneysmith, Stephen Neaderhiser, Paula Sato. V: Lucas Engelhardt, Deepraj Mukherjee, Haithem Zourrig. VI: Greg Blundell, Chrissy Kauth, Eric Taylor.

Ex-officio: Dean Denise Seachrist, Interim Assistant Dean Thomas Norton-Smith.

Excused: Matt Lehnert.

Guests: Rob Kairis, Leslie Heaphy, Ann Martinez, Jim Seelye.

III.  Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve: Councilor Garchar
Second: Councilor Ruff
The agenda was unanimously approved.

IV.  Approval of Minutes for the November 17, 2017 Meeting

Motion to approve: Councilor Blundell
Second: Councilor Mukherjee
The minutes were unanimously approved without changes.

V.  Chair's Report 

A.  Thanks to Review Committees. Chair Warren began by thanking the ad hoc FTNTT review committee. The committee met today to review the five candidates submitting simplified files for renewal of appointment. The committee will be meeting next month, prior to the February Faculty Council meeting, to review five candidates submitting full files for renewal of appointment. She also thanked the tenure-track members of Faculty Council in advance for their upcoming work on merit. The timeline for merit will be discussed later in this meeting, but we will be meeting as a body on Friday March 9th to review merit applications.

B.  RCFAC. RCFAC met December 1, 2017. Dr. Ritchey's report was fairly brief. He reported that he had met with the Provost to discuss the regional campus deans' faculty hire requests and that the Provost seemed supportive of the requests, as well as stating his support for TT hires on the regional campuses. Dr. Ritchey also gave that week's enrollment numbers, which showed regional campus enrollment to be down 9.7% from the previous year. Finally, he gave an update on Zoom, admitting that they should have considered some of the "small details." Three courses are piloting this spring.  

Steven Toepher (Salem campus) gave a presentation on e-sports at KSU. Apparently there are two teams active at Salem and one at Ashtabula. KSU considers this a possible means to assist in increasing enrollment and retention.

RCFAC vice chair Mariann Harding (Tusc campus) attended the Provost Advisory Council meeting on November 25, 2017.  Among other items (tuition guarantee model and early separation, on which we have already been briefed), the Provost advised that KSU has entered into an 18-24 month program called the ACE Internationalization Laboratory. We are part of a cohort of colleges who are being intentional about globalization efforts. Kent State is in the process of developing our pillars or priorities: curriculum internationalization, education abroad, partnerships with universities outside the U.S., faculty engagement, and attracting international students. Students who meet certain requirements will be able to get a global designation on their transcripts that represents international experience.

Chair Warren attended the January 17, 2018 Provost Advisory Council meeting. On the agenda were a summary of UESP outcomes, textbook affordability, four-year degrees at community colleges, and a consensual relationship policy. The Provost did not have the exact number in front of him but stated that between 100-120 faculty took advantage of early separation. The intent was that any money freed would go towards TT lines and that originally it was hoped that for every two faculty that took the early separation, three faculty could be hired. However, now it is estimated at 2.25-2.5 for every 2, mainly due to the number of FTNTT faculty who took the early separation. College deans were asked to put together five-year strategic hiring plans, as was Dr. Ritchey for the regional campuses, which the Provost has received.

The Provost discussed a pilot program that will begin in Fall 2018 related to textbook affordability. The idea is that large enrollment classes that assign the same readings would attach a course fee that would pay for the course materials, which would be available to the student the first day of class. The biggest benefit of this would be discounts from publishers (for example a text that normally costs $180 might be available for $75). The Provost said that OSU and UC already do this, with some success. The state allows students to opt out of course fees for textbooks, so that option would be available to students.

The Provost discussed two aspects of HB 49.  First, the state now allows for a process through which community colleges can offer four-year degrees. There are parameters: they must be applied degrees (although there are questions about what exactly constitutes applied) and they cannot compete with degrees offered by universities within 30 miles. Apparently there have been several proposals for degrees by CCC and Lorain for instance, which KSU and other universities have opposed (he gave an example of one that looked a lot like digital studies that Kent offers). There is a public hearing this Friday in Columbus in which Mandy Munroe-Stasik will be testifying on behalf of KSU. Chair Warren asked the Provost if Stark State had made any contentious proposals, and he said he did not recall any. Another provision in HB 49 the Provost discussed was a mandate that two- and four-year schools within a defined region form consortia in order to reduce costs by sharing services. He said that presidents and provosts from KSU, Youngstown, Cleveland State, and Akron met to discuss how this might look. (This was before they realized it included two-year colleges and there has not been another meeting.) KSU's perspective is that it would make more sense to share services (he gave examples of medical insurance or purchasing police cars) than to share academic faculty and programs. He also stated he is not sure at this point what the timeline is in which this must happen.

Finally, the Provost and Sue Averill wanted to make us aware that conversations are being had about developing some form of consensual relationship policy, and that apparently Faculty Senate is looking into this from a faculty perspective. They don't know at this point what form it should take (faculty/student only, or a broader policy) or who should be the keeper of the policy, etc. They simply wanted us to be aware and for us to take it back to our respective committees for possible discussion. They were unaware where Senate is in the process regarding this issue, although Sue said she was told they were leaning toward a disclosure policy. Apparently there are three types: aspirational (you probably shouldn't and this is why), disclosure, and prohibition.  

Lastly, the Provost said they are working on FlashFolio and hope that by Fall 2018, there will be a mechanism in which faculty can make their file viewable (they would check a box and it would be viewable to anyone logging in to FlashFolio).

Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith indicated that a disclosure policy has already been crafted, and that he and Councilor Garchar were on the professional standards committee when this was done. It is a thorough policy that was written because the former policy was inadequate. Councilor Garchar said the policy has been bouncing around for awhile but has not yet been approved.

VI.  Dean's Report

A.  President's Excellence Awards. Dean Seachrist indicated that she has just sent out a reminder about the President's Excellence awards. The guidelines allow for self-nomination as well as nominations from another person. This will be the last year for these awards. 

B.  Commencement. President Warren would like to see at least 100 regional campus students attend the One University Commencement, which will take place on Saturday, May 12, at Dix Stadium. Students from all campuses will be recognized as they cross the stage. During a meeting with Lashonda Taylor, Dean Seachrist and Assistant Dean Mary Southards were able to suggest ways for making the event more welcoming for regional campus students.

C.  Jackson Police Officer. Beginning next week, we will have a Jackson police offer on campus for extra security. They will come at different times of day, so they are not on a predictable schedule.
D.  Fall Break. Beginning this fall, we will have a fall break, which will be around week 8 of the semester, on a Thursday and Friday. To compensate for the loss of a Thursday and Friday class day, especially because we will also miss Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving break, the academic year will start on a Thursday (the Thursday prior to the usual start date). Faculty are on contract as of August 19, so we are covered for this early start. Councilors raised several questions, including how we will accommodate Smart Start Saturday, music auditions, and the traditional fall faculty workshop. Dean Seachrist acknowledged the problems and assured everyone that all these issues will be sorted out in due course. The decision for the early start date has just recently been confirmed.

E.  Staffing Changes. Dean Seachrist announced that we will soon be welcoming two new hires, Kelsey Kalgreen, our new Counseling Specialist, and Darcy McBride, our new Academic Services Coordinator. As announced earlier this month, Michelle Reid, our Human Resources Generalist, has resigned. That position will be somewhat reconfigured. We will have one Human Resources Generalist who will oversee all hiring on campus. That person will also oversee initiatives such as United Way. Ellen Reber will be assuming the faculty secretary position in Main Hall. In addition, we received approval for the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs position, which is now posted. Both the faculty and the administrative cabinets have made recommendations for members of the search committee. The recommendations will be compiled, and the committee will be formed and charged. We plan to have someone in place by July 1. With the recent passing of our former colleague Phil Robb, Dean Seachrist believes it is time to revisit what we are doing with the Memorial Garden.

At the end of her report, Dean Seachrist asked if anyone had any questions for her. Dr. Heaphy asked if an announcement would be sent out to the whole campus about the status of the assistant dean's search. Dean Seachrist promised to send such an announcement.

Councilor Taylor asked if we have surveyed our students to determine if they want to attend two commencements.  Dean Seachrist indicated that we haven't, but she also thinks that part of the problem was that the effort to attract regional campus students to a ceremony at Kent was not well-organized last year. She and Assistant Dean Southards have indicated in meetings at Kent that our students are wedded to our campus.  Councilor Starkey said that she asked students this question last year, and they said that they didn't even know that they were invited. They get all kinds of emails from Kent that are actually directed to Kent students, so they don't read email. Councilor Blundell asked if our students need tickets to attend the Kent ceremony, and if so, would our campus be responsible for distributing the tickets. Dean Seachrist indicated that we would serve as the liaison for the students. 

Councilor Taylor asked if we currently have any shared services with Stark State, and Dean Seachrist noted that we share the library, and their faculty and staff can use our fitness center. There are reciprocal agreements in place for taking courses at each other's institution. We are balancing being a good neighbor with keeping the lines of demarcation between the institutions clear.

Counselor Engelhardt noted that two years ago we had a committee look into establishing a Memorial Garden and asked what happened with that effort. Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith replied that he was on that committee, and starting the garden was something he really wanted to do. The committee met with Brian Gardner and had fruitful conversations. Brian brought in a proposed contract for an outside consultant, but when they saw the price, they tabled the idea. 

VII.  Assistant Dean's Report

A.  Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Phil Robb. Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith reported that friends and colleagues who wish to donate something in memory of one-time Stark Campus Theatre Director Phil Robb are encouraged to contribute to his endowed scholarship: The Phil Robb Endowed Scholarship for Theatre at Kent State University at Stark Campus. The Dean's Office has the Robb family address should you wish to send a personal note to Denise, Phil's widow. While he has no details about final remembrances, he understands that Phil Robb will receive full military honors for his service-and two Purple Hearts-in Vietnam.  

B.  Scheduling. We have a Spring 2018 schedule-which was to be Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith's principal responsibility at the time of his hire-and for the most part it has been a soft landing. Summer 2018 is scheduled to be published in FlashFAST on Monday, January 22nd.  Fall 2018 is scheduled to be published in FlashFAST on Monday, February 28th. (We're going to pay special attention to the issue of overloads.) Many thanks, again, to Rae Ann Franks.

C.  New Faculty Orientation. We held a successful New Faculty Orientation on Tuesday, January 9th.  Many thanks to the presenters, including Dean Seachrist and Jayne Moneysmith, and especially to Rae Ann Franks, Shanna Kuikahi, and Ellen Reber. Special recognition goes to Kim Finer, who has taken on the onerous responsibility of pairing new faculty colleagues and CCP instructors with mentors. (The event was put together in the Deans' Office instead of being handled in the 4th floor secretary's office, due to Barb Elsass' resignation.)

D.  New Secretary. Speaking of Barb Elsass' retirement, Ellen Reber has been moved to the 4th floor office, with hopes that the temporary assignment will become permanent.

E.  Searches. There are three searches now in various stages. Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith met with chair Angela Guercio last Tuesday for an update on the tenure-track Computer Science search, which closed on the Kent/jobs website on January 3rd. He notified the members of the tenure-track Sociology search committee this morning. It closes on March 31st. The composition of the Assistant Dean's search committee is being finalized. That position closes February 28th.

F.  Faculty Professional Activities for Encompass. Tina Biasella has raised concerns about the kinds of faculty professional activities that are reported-or not reported-for inclusion in Encompass. There are worthy activities that are not reported; moreover, there are some "professional" activities reported that are inappropriate for inclusion. Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith thought that criteria for the inclusion of professional activities in Encompass could be developed by the faculty, since they make this kind of judgment all the time. After discussion in the Cabinet, it was decided that he would consult with a group of faculty members, create criteria, and present it to the Council for consideration. 

G.  Further Reflections on Scheduling. We would not have a Spring schedule without the help of Mary Southards and Diane Walker, to whom Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith extends his sincere thanks. They met on a pair of occasions to consider and cancel sections with insufficient enrollment. A few questions about scheduling arose from those meetings.

Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith has already done some finger-wagging to coordinators about standard scheduling blocks, two-day teaching schedules, and evening classes. Other problems have cropped up, such as an adjunct scheduled to teach a pair of fully enrolled classes who never intended to teach them and never showed up. We scrambled and covered the classes. All of this taken together, however, leads him to believe that it's time to have something like a scheduling summit, workshop, or some such thing so that we can remind ourselves of some of the more important aspects of scheduling and promote consistency across the curriculum. This is a recommendation he will make to his successor.

VIII.  Committee Reports

A.  PAAC. Councilor Hollenbaugh reported that PAAC reviewed two travel requests in December and five earlier in January. PAAC has decided to review the website materials related to travel to update them and to see if additional information would be helpful for faculty. The committee members are Jim Seelye, Mary Gallagher, Lori Wilfong, and Cindy Barb. Councilor Hollenbaugh said that faculty should feel free to consult her or another member of the committee if they have questions about their travel before they submit their request.  

B.  Committee II. Councilor Starkey reported that Committee II has continued to work on the creation of a draft of the Campus Vision Statement (2018-2022) from the faculty viewpoint. The committee met with the Staff Campus Vision Committee on November 21, 2017 to put together a joint draft. They submitted the draft that Faculty Council had amended on November 17, 2017 for this meeting. As a joint group, the fourteen members came up with something quite different from what Committee II with Faculty Council's amendments had initially proposed. They concluded that the November 17 draft reads as more like a description of who our campus is now, rather than who we aspire to be, as a Vision Statement traditionally does. 

Councilor Starkey distributed the joint draft and asked for feedback. She explained that there was some disagreement among the joint committee members about the final clause, "setting an example for regional campuses everywhere." Some people felt that the phrase describes what we already do at least in the state of Ohio, judging by comments they have heard while working with AURCO. It was also pointed out that our current mission statement states that the Stark Campus "combines the best of a major university and a liberal arts college," and so the connotations surrounding the "regional campus" phrase do not accurately portray what we do here. In consultation with Lisa Hart, the chair of the Staff Campus Vision Committee, Councilor Starkey left the phrase in the draft we are discussing today because it represents the views of some of the committee members. It may be easier to cut it out after feedback, if that is what the university community wants, rather than add it in later. 

After discussing the draft vision statement, it was revised to reflect Council's feedback as follows:

The Stark Campus's Vision Is…

We will harness the power of Kent State University to educate lifelong learners, to impart a civic-service mindset, and to foster an inclusive environment that drives a sustainable transformation of individual lives, our community, and our world, setting the benchmark for all regional campuses.  

Committee II will send this version of the Vision Statement out to the full faculty for their comments via a Qualtrics form. The revised draft will be brought to February's Council meeting for approval. 

Last semester, Committee II also asked faculty colleagues to collect feedback from students for both the Campus Vision Statement and the Strategic Plan. The deadline for this feedback was December 1, 2017. The typed-up version of the feedback was previously emailed to Council by the secretary. Many students participated, and the committee would like to thank our faculty colleagues for all of their help.  Committee II plans to circulate this feedback to the entire faculty, and it will also used as the committee begins to draft the Strategic Plan for AY 2018-2022. A summary of the common themes in students' comments is appended to these minutes.
C.  Colloquium Committee. Dr. Martinez reported that two colloquia were held in the fall, one in October and one in November. The first was held after the all-faculty meeting, and the second was held after a Faculty Council meeting. Attendance was low (nine and eight attendees, respectively). Because of that, for the Spring the committee is rotating Faculty Colloquium to take place on other days of the week to ascertain if that will help improve attendance. A description of the Spring colloquia follows:

February 21, 2018 (5:30 pm) - Wednesday
For the first Faculty Colloquium of the Spring, the presenters will be Chris Post, Geography, and Paul Sommers, Communications. A brief description of their presentations will be going out to the list-serve next week, but the connecting theme will be experiential learning.

March 15, 2018 (5:00pm) - Thursday (tentative date)
For the second Faculty Colloquium of the Spring, the presenters will be Ling Liou, HDFS, and Amy Damrow, Education. There will be an open theme for this colloquium. 

The committee is also moving ahead with updating the glass exhibit case on the 2nd floor of Main Hall. They will be showcasing work of everyone who presented in this year's colloquia. Dr. Heaphy has volunteered her Public History students to help with the design and set up of the display-something that will give them a great opportunity to practice the skills that they are learning. An easy and consistent way to keep the exhibit updated would be for the Faculty Colloquium Committee to update the exhibit case every April. They will recommend this procedure in their end-of-the-year report.

D.  Treasurer/Social Committee. Councilor Sato reported that forty people attended the holiday dinner in December, which went well. A total of $450 was raised through the silent auction. A little over $500 was spent for gift cards for the faculty secretaries. The raffle to use Chair Warren's parking space will be held at the end of this month. 

E.  Technology Committee. Councilor Neaderhiser reported that the committee had received no new requests. He distributed copies of the Technology Committee's protocols that identified changes that need to be made to update the documents and to correct some redundancy and vagueness. Councilor Moneysmith made a motion to approve the changes, and Councilor Hollenbaugh seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

F.  Handbook Committee. The committee does not have a charge at this time. 

VIII.  Old Business: None

IX.  New Business

A.  Merit Timeline: Chair Warren explained that the officers of Council put together a draft of a suggested timeline for merit (the date merit files will be due, etc.), which the deans then tweaked. That timeline is appended to these minutes. 

Discussion then moved to the forms that we have been using for merit, with a Part A that identifies the process and guidelines, and a Part B that contains a series of tables in which faculty type information, plus spaces for a short statement about each category of merit. Councilor Moneysmith explained the updates needed for the form and asked if Council wanted any other changes. Discussion ensued about whether the statements on Teaching, Research and Service should have a length limit, as they have in the past. Opinion was divided, with some recommending that there not be a limit, to give candidates the opportunity to take as much space as they need to best make their case, and others thinking that a limit be useful so that candidates have the same amount of space and file readers will be able to read concise statements. Whether there should be a penalty for going over a limit and what the limit should be were debated. 

Councilor Neaderhiser said that he could create a PDF with preset fillable fields that could include character limits for the fields for the teaching, research and service statements. Faculty who feel they need additional statements to make their case for merit can submit a supplementary document in accordance with the instructions on the form. Council Garchar moved that we create a fillable PDF with character limits specifically pointing to the instructions for supplementary documents. Council Moneysmith seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved. It was decided that Councilor Moneysmith would send updated forms in Word to Councilor Neaderhiser, who will then prepare the PDF version.
X.  Announcements

A.  Councilor Taylor reminded Council that AURCO will be hosting its annual conference in Mansfield, OH in early April. This year the theme of the conference is "Regional Campuses Building Bridges." The deadline for submitting an abstract for a presentation is February 11. The conference provides a good opportunity for faculty and students to present their scholarly work.

B.  Rob Kairis announced that the cost of poster printing in the library has been increased to $4.00 per linear foot.

C.  Councilor Neaderhiser announced that there are continuing issues with accessing Kaltura. A resolution is being actively pursued.

XI.  Adjournment

Chair Warren adjourned the meeting at 4:16 PM.



2018 Merit Timeline

January 19, 2018        
"…regional campus deans convene the appropriate ad hoc Faculty advisory body for the purpose of reviewing the unit criteria and procedures for the distribution of Merit Awards as included in the academic unit or regional campus section of the Faculty Handbook."

January 22, 2018        
"Chairs and Directors, Deans and Regional Campus Deans distribute all criteria, procedures and a copy of these guidelines to all eligible Faculty members."

February 12, 2018        
Merit applications to be submitted via a Blackboard page that will be created for that purpose.

March 9, 2018        
The ad hoc Faculty advisory committee (comprised of all tenured and tenure-track members of faculty council) meets to review merit applications and makes recommendations to the dean.

Week of March 19, 2018    
"Chairs/Directors, Deans, or Regional Campus Deans, as applicable, review these recommendations; make 'preliminary determinations;' and, distribute the 'preliminary determinations' to the Faculty members who applied for a Merit Award.  Faculty members have the opportunity to request reconsideration of the 'preliminary determinations.'"

Week of April 2, 2018    
Any requests for reconsideration are reviewed by the ad hoc Faculty advisory committee.



Common Themes in Student Feedback 
Addendum to Committee II Report

A.  The common themes for what makes the students, who participated, proud to be at Kent State Stark are the following: its convenience to home, its comparatively cheaper price, its size and the close relationships they can have with the faculty, the friendliness of campus staff, and Kent State University's reputation as a "good school."   

B.  The common themes for what frustrates the student participants are the following: 

Parking: Too far from the buildings and not enough spaces at Fine Arts.

The Emporium Grille: Too expensive, not enough variety, expired food, lack of healthy options, and limited hours.

Advising: Some dislike that they have to do it at all, others mentioned that they do not like that they have to make an appointment to see an advisor and wish advising would have Walk-in hours every day, and some mentioned that the advisors they had seen do not know the GPS for their particular degree programs well enough and so they have been given incorrect information or had to figure out what they needed to do by themselves

Problems with faculty: unavailable for consultation and too many "bad professors," though there was no indication in any survey what it means to be a "bad professor" for these respondents.

C.  The common themes for what students need to be successful are the following: many mentioned they have everything they need to be successful, whereas others want cheaper tuition. Others stated that they would like more online classes and more night classes so that they could finish their degrees more quickly. Others wanted more quiet study areas on campus and stressed that there are not enough places where students can go on campus when they are not in class, and others mentioned that they would like a campus coffee shop.