Indiana University Northwest Text

FACULTY ORGANIZATION MINUTES

November 21, 2008
Indiana University Logo

 

 

 

 

Hawthorn 107 

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.         

 69 Present

1.         Call to Order

 2.         Approval of the Minutes of the October 17, 2008 meeting:  Minutes of October 17, 2008 were approved with corrections as noted by Prof. L. Delunas.

 3.         Presidentís Announcements

             A.  Prof. William Plater: The president would like to welcome Prof. William Plater to campus.  He will be assisting the campus in the VCAA transition and will be here only as long as is necessary.  VCAA Aggrey will be focused on P&T in the upcoming month.

             B.  VCAA Search and Screen: A search and screen committee has been formed.  To date there are three promising candidates including David Malik (Bloomington), Jay Howard (Columbus) and Sheying Chen (Southeast).  All three have impressive research and teaching records.  It is anticipated that the new VCAA will begin January 1, 2009

             C.  Don Coffin UFC report:  The Learning and Teaching Steering Committee will be created to address policy issues.  Membership is by appointment of the faculty organization.  If anyone is interested in being a member then please let the president or Prof. Coffin know as soon as possible.

 4.         Chancellorís Report

             A.  Gala:  It was attended by 315 people and was a success.

             B.  Campus concerns:  The Chancellor has a sense of the depth of feeling and the strength of the opinion of the faculty regarding issues raised at the last faculty organization meeting.  He reports that he does not take these issues lightly and believes that there are legitimate concerns. 

i.  He respects the fact that the concerns are expressed and believes this process is important.

                        ii.  He understands that the campus is his responsibility in the end

            iii.  He regrets the way things have proceeded with respect to the VCAA position.  He believed initially that it was best to understand the campus before appointing someone to the position of the VCAA but now in hindsight realizes this was one of the biggest mistakes made as it has hurt the campus.

iv.  He reports that VCAA Aggrey is very comfortable with the current relationship and his role at this time

v.  In sum, he reports that he knows he is responsible. He also hopes the faculty read the memo that was sent out regarding Asst. VCAA Hass-Birkyís death. 

            C.  Moving On:  As indicated in the letter sent by Pres. Gallmeier, VCAA Aggrey and the Chancellor, we need to move on and weíre going to be engaged in the process of choosing an interim VCAA.  The Chancellor states he will not attempt to influence the process as it is a faculty decision but he will serve as a resource.  With respect to the Chancellorís position, once the new VCAA is chosen, the Chancellor, VCAA and the president of the faculty organization will meet to decide how best to move the Chancellor search forward.

             D.  Chancellorís remaining time:  The Chancellor states he will help as needed to move the campus forward and that the new VCAA will experience significant autonomy and freedom.   He is going to spend his time working on the replacement building for Tamarack.  He will be working with the legislative delegation and the university on this issue.  In addition, he will continue to work with the IUNW council on various issues.  He will also be working to implement the recommendations of the Enrollment Task Force and the hospital is also still a viable issue. He believes these are all important issues that will occupy his time.  

The Chancellor offers to stay for the remaining portion of the meeting should faculty decide this is desirable.  A discussion ensues.   

i. Prof. Needleman states that she believes the Chancellor should remain and others agree.  

ii. Prof. Barr comments on a number of issues of concern including the Blog, VCAA searches, 4th course release procedures.  With regard to the Blog he indicates that the comments posted range from illiterate to sensible.  With regard to past searches for a VCAA he states that the searches were vigorous but that he was disappointed when a candidate head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates was dismissed as a poor fit.  He also indicates that the VCAA position is the most important person.  On a separate issue, Prof. Barr comments on the redundancy of the process used to obtain the 4th course reduction.   The Chancellor responds by stating that he understands Prof. Barrís positions.  

iv. Prof. Bodmer states that if the Chancellor would have attended the last meeting the outcome might have been different, so that might be a reason for the Chancellor to remain in this meeting. 

The president thanks the Chancellor for his comments and the Chancellor remains in the meeting.

 5.         Vice Chancellorís Reports: none

 6.         Assessment/General Education Committee Student Learning Outcomes of Principle 1;  Intensive Writing Requirement; Learning Technology Requirement; - Professor Vesna Kilibarda

            Prof. Kilbarda reports on the current status of the GEA and notes that Principles 2-5 were voted upon and approved.  We are undertaking the first reading of Student Learning Outcomes of Principle 1. The vote on outcomes will take place in January.  The committee is accepting comments on the guidelines. 

Prof. Rominger asks if there is a sense of who will be responsible for assessment?   Prof. Kilbarda responds that it is addressed in the guidelines and gives an example of W131 and other courses.  The assessment will take place within the coursework of the students at the level at which the class is offered.

Prof. Needleman indicates the wording is unclear in the first set of outcomes.  Prof. Kilbarda indicates that comments are welcomed and can be sent to her.  

7.         Motion Ė Discussion of Vote of No Confidence 

The President outlines rules for the discussion including no personal attacks or recriminations. Incivility will not be tolerated.  He then proceeds to clarify the motion on the floor.  The current motion is a motion to discuss a vote of no confidence and NOT a vote on a motion of no confidence.  He also indicates that time limits will be put in place and he hopes our discussion will be conducted in a manner that will make the faculty organization proud. 

            Prof. Coffin begins by stating that 10 Ĺ to 11 years ago we were in a similar situation and that as a result a task force was created to examine the decision making structure and process on the campus.  It was among the most productive initiatives on the campus.   He recommends forming a similar task force so issues are resolved prior to the search for a new Chancellor and suggests that careful examination might reveal problems and help prevent future problems.  This model could be used regardless of the result of our discussion regarding a no confidence vote today.  He also suggests that if the organization isnít clear on its purpose and its structure then the incoming Chancellor will not know how to operate. 

The President notes that Prof. Tolhuizen and Prof. Schoon are available as parliamentarians.

Prof. Bodmer states that without making this personal, the failure to keep a VCAA is a concern.  This has created a sense of lost hope.  When the announcement was made that the Chancellorís appointment was extended to 2010 faculty became further discouraged and moving up the timeline for replacing the Chancellor might be something to consider.  

Prof. Barr reports on the status of the past task force and indicates that the task force never issued a report because Pres. Brand stopped the report and announced that Chancellor Richards would be staying 18 months. 

Prof. Evans recounts the circumstances on campus when she first joined the faculty.  She indicates that while some of the responsibility for the current situation lies with management, faculty also bears responsibility.  She notes that faculty place pressures on management when they view themselves as independent contractors and see management as housekeeping.  She indicates that faculty needs to examine how we can contribute to the enterprise. 

Prof. Needleman states that the sources of demoralization come from leadership and management and provides an example in the effort to establish the Swingshift Program. She believes there is an arbitrary top-down process on the campus, which has resulted in faculty losses. 

The Chancellor responds and states that he views the situation differently and respects Prof. Needlemanís views, as well as those of Prof. Barr and others.  He takes responsibility and says that we now need to move our focus on the selection of a new Chancellor. 

Prof. Hug asks what useful purpose is served by a vote of no confidence after what has been said today.  He also asks what damage that would be done if a vote of no confidence were to take place. 

Prof. Needleman states that she would phrase the concern differently, specifically certain procedures are antithetical to the campus.  Therefore, she proposes we come to an agreement regarding what can occur and the procedures that have to be put in place to move forward.  If this is accomplished then the new VCAA will not be put in a position of no power. 

The Chancellor agrees with Prof. Needleman and states he has no interest in trying to do anything other than moving forward.

 Prof. Delunas notes that the CHHS does feel hopeful for the future and notes that a team of people from across the campus agreed that CHHS was of value. 

Prof Coffin notes that being a university administrator is difficult and that we must hold the administration accountable for what it does but also hold ourselves accountable for what we do.  He believes the faculty at IUN has done a nice job of both.  He indicates that while there is tremendous discontent over policies, procedures etc., we must be practical.  On the issue of the vote of no confidence he states that if a vote were to take place itís important that it not be 50 to 49, for example.  This type of vote would be a waste of time.   He also points out that a second point to consider is the relationship with the main campus.  If the vote would be a strong vote then this could be an incentive for other regional campuses to act.   It also looks bad to the public.  The perception will be that we cannot play well together and if the institution has a bad perception in the community this will create other problems. 

Prof. Delunas states that candidates will have to do their homework in applying for the position.  She states a no confidence would be a terrible move.  Any reputation for complaining would only be enhanced by a vote. 

Pres. Gallmeier states there might be a risk that we would not have control of the search or representation on the search committee.

 Prof. Rooda indicates we must think carefully.  The focus should be on the future leadership of the campus and that the leadership now is not part of the future.  A vote could be a black eye in the academic world and in the community.  We must think about the future because we are all part of the future.  In addition, we need to do many of the things that Prof. Needleman discussed including create a structure that will function effectively.  We also need to give people more than one chance to get it right.

 Prof. Blohm points to a decline in enrollment and states that there is no evidence that any action has been taken to solve the problem and this puts the future of the institution in question.  Perhaps the only way to survive is to merge.  He asks what will happen when the economic crisis goes away.  He also states there is an appearance that the administrative structure has increased in size and reduced the resources available for faculty.  He states we need to move forward.

 Dean Bankston states that the medical school is a little different.  He has listened to what is going on and indicates that practically no one knows what happening with respect to the progress being made.  There are solutions to this problem, but the VCAA job is almost impossible given the budget situation.  He states we need to create a situation where everyone is incentivized to pay attention to all concerns regarding budget, and administrative structure etc.  The budget situation must be corrected in order to move forward.

 Prof. Barr asks to return to the discussion of a possible no confidence vote.  He states we must be pragmatic.  He doesnít believe a vote would be a black eye but also doesnít think itís necessarily the best way to proceed.  He proposes a list of particulars regarding why we see the present situation as a problem.  The results could be used to create a discussion among faculty of faculty and administrative obligations.

 Prof. Coffin agrees and suggests we move forward.  The president of the University would want to see our view of the future of the campus.  We could prepare a blueprint for the future of the campus after we reflect on what went wrong.  This could be accomplished without a formal vote of no confidence.  We would then be looking back only to see how we move forward.

 Pres. Gallmeier notes that the Chancellor, Prof. Coffin, and Prof. Needleman are all on the same page to move the campus forward.

 Prof. Rominger states she has worked with the Chancellor effectively in the past as well as with other members of the administration and that we need to move forward.  Past Chancellors have all made contributions and they will all do some things well and other things less well.  Moving forward in a clear way regarding our expectations is desirable.

 Prof. Iverson indicates that he is not sure of the possible consequences of the vote of no confidence but notes that it canít help but be personalized.  He notes that what some dislike the most in the Chancellorís style may be less related to the individual but more related to the corporate model of education that we do not like.  Our major problems such as the budget, and institutional structure are more important to discuss.  He suggests that if we donít define what we want now then we may revisit the issue in the future.

 Prof. Poulard notes that he is aware of faculty dissatisfaction and also notes that he has not received any nominations for the Faculty Board of Review.

 Prof. Bloom states that the argument that a vote would reflect poorly on the campus is not a good argument against a vote.  He also doesnít think a vote of no confidence should occur because it wonít accomplish anything.  It should be noted that the faculty did engage in this discussion and our representatives should communicate this to the President of the University.  He states we need to specify the future of the institution and the administration.

 Pres. Gallmeier indicates that he is hearing a vote of no confidence should not be taken.

 Prof. Plater indicates that todayís vote would not be a vote of no confidence.

 Chancellor urges the faculty to do something that goes along with the suggestions made today including delineating the real problems and delivering to the President of the University a position on the problems.  He also states that he will consider moving up his retirement timeline.

 Prof. Coffin indicates he will be writing a resolution regarding the formation of task force to address the problems.

 Prof. Needleman indicates we should begin by drawing our concerns from the blog and that we should continue our blog discussion.

 Prof. Bloom states that while the blog is upsetting it was also useful to give the faculty an opportunity to speak and see what others have to say.  It may need an endpoint.  

 Prof Barr asks if the blog could be password protected. Prof. Hozo responds that in the past a password-protected blog was implemented but that participation was low because participation could be tracked.

 8.         Old Business

             Prof. Poulard asks for nominations for the Faculty Board of Review.  Pres. Gallmeier notes that First Tier Committee members are needed.

 9.         New Business

             Prof. Delunas: Lincoln Scholar, Prof. Holzer will be speaking at Convocation on December 5, 2008, 6:00.

             Prof. Brock: Media Stereotypes of Urban Kids Lecture will be held in LC 105 ABC, December 4th 5:00-7:00.

             Prof. Coffin indicates that comments should be submitted to Don Coffin on the Learning/Teaching draft technical plan. 

10.       Adjournment 

            Pres. Gallmeier thanks everyone for participating.  Prof. Coffin moves to adjourn, Prof. Poulard seconds; motion approved unanimously.

Meeting Adjourned:  12:00 Noon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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