Council Minutes 09-15-2017 | Kent State Stark | Kent State University

Kent State Stark Faculty Council Minutes
September 15, 2017
2 p.m.

I.  Chair Warren called the meeting to order at 2:01 PM. 

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

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

Ex-officio: Dean Denise Seachrist, Associate Dean Bathi Kasturiarachi.

Excused: Bei Cai, Greg Blundell, Eric Taylor.

Guests: Rob Kairis.

III.  Approval of Agenda

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

IV.  Approval of Minutes for the May 5, 2017 Meeting

Motion to approve: Councilor Mukherjee
Second: Councilor Starkey
Discussion: Councilor Sato indicated that she would like to add information to her Treasurer’s report that was inadvertently omitted. 
The minutes were unanimously approved with this change.

V.  Chair’s Report 

A.  Appreciation for Service. Chair Warren began by thanking councilors for serving on Faculty Council this AY and indicated that she looks forward to serving with them.  Secondly, she thanked the officers of Council for their work on drafting a proposed committee composition list. Erin Hollenbaugh, Jayne Moneysmith, and Paula Sato met with her at her house last Friday, and they worked for about three hours to put the list together. She thanked Faculty Cabinet and the deans for their input on committee composition in the Cabinet meeting on Monday. Their input was valuable and resulted in what we will be presenting later in this meeting. Finally, she thanked the RTP committee for their upcoming work in the reappointment, tenure and promotion process. We will have a total of 20 RTP actions this AY. The committee will be convening next Friday to deliberate on the candidates for 2nd through 5th year reappointment, as well as candidates for tenure and promotion to associate professor. Kim Finer will be convening the full professors to deliberate on two candidates for full professor.  We will also be convening in December to deliberate on our one candidate for 1st year reappointment. Chair Warren acknowledged that it is a time-intensive task, but it is also arguably one of the most important duties of this body for the overall health of the campus. 

B.  RCFAC. Chair Warren announced that over the summer she was elected chair of RCFAC.  She met with Nate Ritchey last Wednesday in advance of the first RCFAC meeting, which was held last Friday. Dr. Ritchey’s continuing focus is enrollment and retention issues across the regional campus system. He emphasized that his goal for this year is to focus on results, particularly in the areas of enrollment and development of new programs/offerings system wide. Chair Warren and Dr. Ritchey came up with three questions to pose to the members of RCFAC to guide their discussions and activities for this year: (1) How can we help further Dr. Ritchey’s efforts; (2) How can he help us in our distinct and collective goals system wide; and (3) How can we share best practices in areas such as recruiting, student services, academic planning, faculty professional development, etc. in order to make the system more successful. Dr. Ritchey further stressed that we need to work together as a system, not against each other.

On Friday in the RCFAC meeting, Dr. Ritchey began with a report on the budget. He stated that the Kent campus was down between 1,000 and 1,200 students, about 700 of which were international students. As a result, the Kent campus was down $14 million just from enrollment. Some of that money has been recovered through open lines as a result of the early separation program and the remainder was to be recovered through cutting budgets throughout the University. He also stated that the regional campus enrollment was down 377 students system-wide, resulting in a shortfall of $2 million. Dr. Ritchey reiterated his focus on results in the areas of enrollment and academic programs, and to that end, he and President Warren met with representatives from Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) about the possibility of putting Kent programs there.  He suggested that we might be able to come to similar agreements with other community colleges around NE Ohio.  Finally, during the campus reports a common theme was concerns surrounding enrollment, retention, faculty strength and resources. Again, this will be an ongoing theme throughout this AY in RCFAC.

VI.  Dean’s Report

A.  Possible Tri-C Initiative. Following up on Chair Warren’s remarks on Tri-C, Dean Seachrist said that a Tri-C initiative has been kicked around in the past, for example, with our music tech program. Tri-C has a strong professional music program, and they are close to the Rock Hall of Fame. If we do offer some of our courses on a Tri-C campus, it will be done in a targeted way, focusing on specific courses.

B.  Board of Trustees Meeting. The board met on Wednesday, and Dean Seachrist was invited to speak about the Stark Campus. The big news from the meeting is that a career services fee has been approved, which will be $6.00 per credit hour for Kent and $3.60 for regional campuses. Money generated by the fee will be funneled into internships, career services, and related endeavors.

C.  Enrollment. Our fifteenth-day enrollment is 5,010, bringing us two years of achieving an enrollment of slightly over 5,000 students. We have 670 College Credit Plus students from 17 schools. The population in Stark County is expected to shrink in the coming years, which may mean that we need to be creative in our approach to recruitment.

D.  Aramark. Dean Seachrist spent this morning at a stake-holder meeting with Aramark. The transition to Aramark has been challenging, and needs are not being met. Conversations on improving the situation are ongoing. Fortunately, we are still getting good reviews about food from people attending events at the Conference Center. 

E.  Facilities Issues. We have signed off on elevator repairs, which will take place over next summer. Cabling is now in place for external security cameras. Furniture for redesigned space in the library (for example, the Writing Center and the new LGBTQ Resource Center) should be delivered by September 25. An Open House will be held in October. The Fine Arts expansion should be completed by April 19, 2018. Then we will be able to start the renovation part of the project. Finally, we are using two classrooms at Stark State, and we probably will be next semester as well.

F.  Update on Strategic Plan. Lisa Hart will be chairing the group of staff and administrators who will be working on the Strategic Plan in parallel with the faculty committee (Committee II). Dean Seachrist met with the committee and has asked Councilor Starkey to send the latest strategy map over to Lisa.

G.  Campus Pond. Dr. Hamilton has approached Dean Seachrist about creating a pond management plan to ensure that the pond is sustained in good condition. The Bio club is going to do a pond cleanup.

H.  Celebrity Spelling Bee. Flash distinguished himself as a contestant at the Canton Repository’s Celebrity Spelling Bee. A total of $12,000 was raised to benefit the Akron-Canton Food Bank. 

VII.  Associate Dean’s Report

A.  Enrollment.  Associate Dean Kasturiarachi said that the enrollment increase to over 5,000 students was a true team effort, and he thanked all faculty and staff who made it possible. 

B.  Searches. We are hoping to do several faculty searches this year, but hiring is subject to the budget.

C.  Department Meetings. Associate Dean Kasturiarachi indicated that he would like to meet with each department to learn what issues they may have and what help they need. So far he has met with faculty in four departments and will be meeting with more in the coming days. 

D.  National Survey of Student Engagement. The survey results suggest that we are not doing as well as we could in diversity and retention. For retention, he would like to bridge the gap between the professional advising staff and the faculty advisors. Students seem happy with the information they get from professional advisors at the beginning of their career, but as they get into majors, the professional advisors do not necessarily have enough specific knowledge. Our current retention rate is 61%; he would like to see that rate increase to at least 70% and higher if possible.

E.  College Credit Plus. Everything is going well with CCP. We are planning to look for additional partnerships, perhaps in the Wooster area.

F.  Global Initiatives. We have over 30 ESL students here from China, and we are hoping to promote our campus internationally through other means as well. We now have a four-page document that we created in-house with the Office of Global Education that gives the Stark campus as an option and shows the differential in costs. Students could choose any major, but we are promoting five degrees: biology, marketing, business, communication studies, and English.

G.  Walsh Students in Language Courses. We have a memorandum of understanding with Walsh University to allow their students to take our foreign language courses, especially ASL. They will attend classes on our campus but still be considered Walsh students. We will save some slots for them. He will be consulting language coordinators as the details are finalized. 

H.  Bookstore. The link for adopting textbooks for next semester is still not open. The issue should be resolved shortly.

VIII.  Committee Reports

A.    PAAC. Councilor Hollenbaugh indicated that next week the new committee (membership to be approved later in this meeting) will review the September travel requests. Today she sent out a reminder that to travel in October, the request must be in by midnight tonight. She also reminded councilors that a request should be submitted even if funding is not needed; there is a separate form for that situation. She also suggested that mentors might want to help their mentees with their travel requests.

B.  Committee II. Councilor Starkey reported that in AY 2016-2017, Committee II was asked to re-organize the current Stark Campus Strategy Map for 2015-2017 and to spearhead the creation of the next campus Strategy Map for 2017-2018 from the faculty perspective. Building on this work, Committee II was asked to help begin the process of gathering information for the development of the Campus Vision Statement for 2018-2022 from the faculty viewpoint during the Fall Faculty Workshop on August 24, 2017. Committee II did so in the following three ways.

1.  Used Siftly software during the workshop to ask the faculty present at the workshop to answer the following five questions. 

A.    What makes you proud to be at the Stark Campus?
B.    What frustrates you about the Stark Campus?
C.    Imagine our campus in five years. What is different then?
D.    What might stand in the way of the Stark Campus’s development?
E.    What do we as faculty need to be successful?

2.  Facilitated (along with members of Cabinet) breakout sessions during the workshop, focused on the following three questions. 

A.    What is the Stark Campus? (Who we are now.)
B.    What should the Stark Campus be? (Who we would like to be.)
C.    What are the limits or constraints in which our campus must develop?

3.  Circulated a form via email from August 28, 2017-September 1, 2017 to provide further opportunities both for those faculty unable to attend the workshop and for those faculty who had more information they would like to add to the three questions discussed in the breakout sessions. The committee received ten responses to this form. 

All of the feedback Committee II collected will be shared with the entire faculty as soon as we have the information about how the feedback will be used in the next step of the Campus Vision Statement development process. 

On behalf of the committee, Councilor Starkey thanked Katie Baer for running the Siftly software, Dean Seachrist for facilitating the discussion of the Siftly questions and results, and FC Cabinet for helping moderate breakout sessions during the workshop. She also thanked all faculty for their participation. 

C.  Colloquium Committee. No report.

D.  Treasurer/Social Committee. Councilor Sato reported that she sent out a memo about contributing to the coffee fund and the faculty fund, as well as the raffle for the Council Chair’s parking spot. The drawing will be on September 27. She will be meeting with Stephanie Monastra on Monday to discuss the holiday dinner. On May 31, she purchased coffee for the summer, but it will probably last much of this semester.

E.  Technology Committee. Councilor Neaderhiser indicated that the committee is just getting started but already has a list of projects to focus on in the coming year.

F.  Handbook Committee. No report. 

G.  Ad hoc Compensation Committee. No report.

IX.  Old Business: None

X.  New Business

A.  Committee Assignments. Chair Warren called Council’s attention to the committee assignments proposed by Cabinet, which were noted in a document she distributed. She explained that Cabinet had taken into account each faculty member’s preferences while still maintaining balance among constituencies. She also reminded councilors that the Council approves the composition of its six committees and the ad hoc Committee on Faculty Compensation. All other standing committees are campus committees for which Council’s role is to recommend membership to the dean. Councilor Garchar moved to approve membership of the Faculty Council committees plus the ad hoc Committee on Faculty Compensation. Councilor Blundell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Councilor Birch then moved that Faculty Council recommend to Dean Seachrist that membership of all other committees be accepted, and Councilor Garchar seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

B.  Charge for Committee II. Chair Warren noted that Committee II had been asked to build on its work from last year by working on the next strategic plan. Councilor Mukherjee moved that Committee II be charged with spearheading the creation of the Campus Vision Statement for 2018-2022 from the faculty viewpoint. They are also charged with spearheading the creation of the Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 from the faculty viewpoint, after vision statement task is completed. Councilor Hollenbaugh seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

XI.  Announcements

A.  Councilor Garchar announced that the Department of Philosophy is holding a free conference on Husserl this weekend at the Kent Conference Center.

B.  Councilor Birch indicated that there are many musical events scheduled for this semester, with the first one taking place on Monday, September 25.

XII.  Adjournment

Chair Warren adjourned the meeting at 3:32 p.m.