Council Minutes 03-16-2018 | Kent State Stark | Kent State University

Kent State Stark Faculty Council Minutes
March 16, 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: Matt Lehnert, Oliver Ruff, Greg Smith. IV: Jayne Moneysmith, Paula Sato. V: Lucas Engelhardt, Deepraj Mukherjee. VI: Greg Blundell, Chrissy Kauth, Eric Taylor.

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

Excused: Stephen Neaderhiser, Haithem Zourrig.

Guests: Cindy Barb, Julie Cremeans-Smith, Rob Kairis, Jim Seelye.

III.  Approval of Agenda

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

IV.  Approval of Minutes for the February 16, 2018 meeting

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

V.  Chair's Report 

A.  Review Committees. Chair Warren reported that the ad hoc FTNTT review committee has completed its work. Ballots for full performance reviews were submitted on Tuesday February 20, and her letters were submitted Friday February 23rd. The ad hoc merit review committee met on Friday, March 9 and discussed the applications of 42 of our colleagues. Once merit scoring was closed, she and Secretary Moneysmith calculated medians for all applicants in their relevant areas of submission and sent that information to Dean Seachrist. As a reminder, next week the dean will “distribute the ‘preliminary determinations’ to the Faculty members who applied for a Merit Award” (holding back 10% in case there are any appeals). If any faculty member requests reconsideration of those preliminary determinations, the ad hoc merit review committee will meet to hear those requests during the week of April 2nd. Chair Warren thanked everyone who has been involved in faculty reviews this AY. It has been a busy year for that, with RTP, FTNTT reviews, president’s excellence awards, and merit. 

B.  RCFAC and PAC. The March RCFAC meeting was cancelled, as was the February PAC meeting. PAC met this month, but she was unable to attend due to a conflict with her teaching schedule.

C. Spring Faculty Meeting. Chair Warren said that she will be sending out an email reminding faculty that our spring all-faculty meeting is 2:00 PM on Friday, April 6. The entire meeting will be focused on the state of the campus.   

VI.  Dean's Report

A.  Campus Vision Statement. The administrative cabinet and the faculty cabinet, along with Councilor Starkey (Chair of Committee II) and Lisa Hart (Chair of the staff committee) met at 1:00 today to discuss and finalize the campus vision statement. Dean Seachrist thanked everyone involved for their hard work on the vision statement and suggested that we find ways to post the vision statement around campus.

B.  Meetings with Faculty. Since the last Faculty Council meeting, Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith held two meetings with faculty. He has written up the highlights of the meetings and shared them with Dean Seachrist and Chair Warren. Dean Seachrist would like to find time to meet with every full-time employee on campus, which is over 500 people. She has already had conversations with several faculty. These individual meetings are quite helpful because people can ask questions and provide feedback, which provides valuable input for her.  As Chair Warren mentioned, at the spring all-faculty meeting next month we will talk about the state of the campus, giving faculty the opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns they may have. Members of the leadership team will attend as well, so they are available to answer questions.

C.  Campus Garden. Dean Seachrist gave a quick update on Aramark and the campus garden situation. We have been able to give our garden produce away, but part of our original intent was to grow vegetables that could be used on our campus, for example, by the Conference Center chef. Signs could be displayed indicating the source of the produce. Arranging this has proven to be more complicated than anticipated. Aramark wanted to do a licensing agreement, but that doesn’t work for us. We are now in the process of working out a viable arrangement.
D.  Belden Village Mall and Flash's Professional Closet. The manager of the mall contacted External Affairs about ways we could partner with them. It was determined that in a prominent place in the mall, with no charge, the mall will give us space and advertising for Flash’s Professional Closet. Anyone in the community can bring donations for Flash’s Professional Closet to this space. Activities are being planned such as having students compete in putting together the best outfit, with the winner being awarded a scholarship.

E.  Campus Budget. As a follow-up to last month’s discussion of the budget, Dean Seachrist displayed budget information and charts to give faculty more specific information about expenditures. She noted that personnel costs—salary and benefits—comprise 67% of our expenditures, leaving 33% to cover all other expenditures, including our service fee to the Kent Campus and to the Regional Campus office. After some questions and discussion, Dean Seachrist invited faculty to contact her individually if they have questions and indicated that she would present even more information at the all-faculty meeting on April 6.

VII.  Assistant Dean's Report

A.  Registration and Scheduling. Registration for Fall 2018 semester begins next week. The Spring 2019 schedule was sent out to coordinators this week. To ensure that scheduling is done as efficiently as possible, Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith is meeting with all the coordinators. 

B.  Meetings with Faculty. As Dean Seachrist mentioned, he has held two meetings with faculty to discuss questions they have about budgeting, scheduling, or any other issue of concern. The meetings were held on Tuesday, February 27 at 3:30 PM, and Friday, March 2 at 1:00 PM. He has shared a summary of these discussions with the dean and Council chair..

C.  Searches. Two faculty searches are under way. The committee for the TT position in computer science has submitted its final report. The TT sociology search committee is at the telephone interview stage. We are also looking at a potential interim theatre director.

D.  Zoom Room. Some discussion about guidelines for use of the Zoom Room has taken place. Training for those faculty who wish to teach using this technology will be offered in April.

E.  Encompass. Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith put together some criteria for faculty accomplishments that are appropriate for inclusion in Encompass, but Tina Biasella, Director of External Affairs and Community Relations, wanted some changes. He now hopes to be able wrap this up by the time of the next Council meeting.

VIII.  Committee Reports

A.  PAAC. Councilor Hollenbaugh reported that PAAC is currently reviewing requests that came in by yesterday. (They are reviewing requests during a 5-day window after each month’s submission deadline.) She mentioned that if faculty already know about summer travel requests, it would be great to have those by April 15.

B.  Committee II. As Dean Seachrist announced in her report, the campus administrative cabinet, the faculty cabinet, and Councilor Starkey and Lisa Hart attended a meeting just prior to today’s Council meeting and revised the Stark Campus Vision Statement to the satisfaction of all those present. The vision statement now reads as follows:

"We will educate lifelong learners, pursue academic excellence, foster a civic mindset, and cultivate an inclusive environment, aspiring to transform and uplift individuals, our community, and the world.” 

Councilor Starkey then moved that Faculty Council approve this version of the vision statement, and Councilor Garchar seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.

Councilor Starkey also reported that the committee is working on its second charge, to create a draft of the next strategic plan. The committee has had two meetings to work on the draft and anticipates two more meetings to complete it.  

In the meantime, Committee II would like to share the general principles that are guiding its work on the strategic plan, working from the previous strategic plan: 

  • Make the plan shorter.
  • Create more measurable outcomes.
  • Be mindful that many staff jobs are tied to the strategic plan.
  • Represent the faculty viewpoint.

The committee plans to share its completed draft of the strategic plan at the April 20 Faculty Council meeting. 
C.  Social Committee. Councilor Sato reported that the social committee was in the process of selecting the menu for the spring dinner, which will be held on Friday, May 4. A social hour will begin at 5:00 PM, with the dinner starting at 6:00 PM. Stephanie Monastra has said that the cost will be $18 per person.

D.  Colloquium Committee. Councilor Moneysmith read the report that Dr. Martinez sent in on behalf of the committee. The last Faculty Colloquium for the spring was held yesterday, March 15, 2018, from 5:00 PM to 6:45 PM. The presenters were Drs. Chih-Ling Liou and Amy Damrow. As mentioned at the last Faculty Council meeting, the committee is moving ahead with updating the Stark Faculty Publications exhibit case on the 2nd floor of Main Hall in the month of April. We will be showcasing work of everyone who presented in this year’s colloquia.

The committee plans to meet in the next few weeks to discuss recommendations to make for next year’s committee. 

E.  Technology Committee. No report.

F.  Handbook Committee. No report.

VIII.  Old Business: None

IX.  New Business

A.  Endorsement of Proposed AAS in Criminology and Justice Studies. Chair Warren reminded Council of the context for this proposal: The campus has been offering an Associates of Arts in Criminology and Justice Studies for years, but it turns out that the campus had never actually obtained permission from the state. University guidelines prevent a program from offering an AA degree when there is a major for it. However, an AAS degree is possible. Chair Warren was asked to be the lead faculty member to shepherd the proposal through the approval process. The original intent was to take what we are already doing, and get it approved; however, a problem arose because the Trumbull campus has a police academy, and they wanted to get academic credit for their cadets. What have now is an AAS in Criminology and Justice Studies, with the Kent core and two concentrations, a concentration that articulates with the BA (18 credit hours), and the police officer curriculum (22 hours). Only the Trumbull campus will be offering the police academy. Now it is time to ask for the Council’s support, so the full proposal can move forward and be submitted to the regional campus curriculum committee.  Councilor Ruff moved that Faculty Council support the proposal moving forward, and Councilor Lehnert seconded. The motion was unanimously approved. 

B.  Possible New Faculty Budget Committee. Dean Seachrist explained that she thought it would be helpful to have a faculty committee on the budget, or perhaps a joint committee with faculty representatives. The committee could take different forms, and she wanted the Council’s input on how it might be structured. After discussion, Councilor Garchar moved that an ad hoc faculty budget committee be formed, with the understanding that part of its charge would be to work with the dean to determine whether the committee should be continued long term. Councilor Mukherjee seconded. The motion was unanimously approved. It was agreed that Chair Warren would send out an email asking for faculty interested in serving on the committee. The dean will then make the final determination for who the members will be.

C.  Policy for Faculty Absences during Summer Sessions. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, TT faculty from other campuses can ask to teach summer-session courses on any campus. In the process of fielding an inquiry from a faculty member who wants to teach for us this summer but who will be away part of the time for a conference, Interim Assistant Dean Norton-Smith realized that there is no written policy about faculty absences during summer sessions. He noted that there were two relevant questions: how much can one miss in the summer, and can that information be put in the handbook? After discussion, Councilor Garchar moved that the Handbook Committee be charged to look into this issue and to craft appropriate language for the handbook. Councilor Mukherjee seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

D.  Discussion of Posting Faculty Council Minutes Internally. Secretary Moneysmith reported that she learned from Julie Spotts that recent guidelines for Kent webmasters discourage the posting of meeting minutes and agendas because “the website is for information that is visible to the public, not as a place to organize and store internal documents.” Discussion ensued about possible methods to distribute and store the minutes internally, such as using google drive, emailing them to all faculty, password protecting faculty web pages, and creating a network faculty drive for all faculty (for example, the College of Nursing has an “S” drive that all faculty can access). Secretary Moneysmith moved that the Faculty Council minutes be posted internally from now on, and Councilor Garchar seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Secretary Moneysmith was directed to gather more information about our options and to report her findings at our next meeting. In the meantime, Secretary Moneysmith was asked to email the February minutes to all faculty.

E. Charge for Handbook Committee to Investigate Merit Issues. Chair Warren explained that every time we go through the merit process, we think of things that could be done better. She would like to charge the Handbook Committee with gathering suggestions for ways to improve the guidelines, and writing language for any changes proposed. Councilor Hollenbaugh moved that the committee be given this change, and Councilor Birch seconded. The motion unanimously passed. 
XI.  Announcements

A.  In his role as a Faculty Senate representatives, Dr. Seelye announced that the language for the tolling policy has been updated. He also asked that faculty let him know their preference for the calendar changes that have been proposed to accommodate the fall break that will be effective with the Fall 2018 semester.

B.  Councilor Birch announced that the Beatles “Abbey Road” Student Ensemble will perform on April 12 at 7:00 PM.

XII.  Adjournment

Chair Warren adjourned the meeting at 4:24 PM.