Indiana University Northwest Text

FACULTY ORGANIZATION MINUTES

October 17, 2008
Indiana University Logo

 

 

 

 

Hawthorn 107 

 1:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

 58 Present

 

1.         Call to Order. 

 2.         Approval of the minutes of the October 3rd, 2008 meeting.   Approved with amendment.

 3.         President’s Announcements

             a.                   First Tier Salary Committee and Faculty Review Committee members need to be chosen in the upcoming weeks.

b.                  UFC co-chair has reported that the Provost and President made appointments in a manner similar to those made on the IUN campus.  A committee is being formed to review the procedures that were followed in these instances.

c.                   On October 29, 2008 the Memorial Tribute will be held.

d.                  The order of the Agenda will be changed in order to address the issue of Vice Chancellor K. Aggrey’s resignation.

e.                   President’s Comments were given.  Prof. George Bodmer moves to have comments added to the minutes verbatim.  Motion approved.

President's Comments

While watching the baseball playoffs I was reminded of the great philosopher, Yogi Berra, who once said, “It feels like déjà vu all over again.”  It is almost as if he was talking about IU Northwest, as we once again begin our never ending eternal quest  to hire a Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.   I know that many of you are disturbed by this recent revelation.  That you are frustrated and angry.  You have the right to be so.  I too am angry and frustrated, and I have a confession to make.  I have been aware of this troubling eventuality for a number of weeks now.  After the UFC meeting  in September I approached President McRobbie and told him that along with the challenges of losing three of our colleagues and feeling the wrath of Hurricane Ike, that another crisis was looming just over the horizon.  I told him we are likely to lose our Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  I pointed out that this continues a pattern that has gone on for nine long years, where we have not been able to hire a VCAA or haven’t been able to keep one when we have done so.  I did my very best to dissuade him from the notion that I believe has been promulgated for far too long.  That our difficulties in hiring a VCAA stem from a bellicose, uncooperative, disgruntled, mediocre, lazy, and whining bunch of faculty who are out of control.  I told him that has not been my experience and that the colleagues I know are hardworking committed professionals who care about this institution and have done their very best to work with the administration to make IU Northwest the very best place it can be for our colleagues and our students. 

I also believe that the fault does not lie with the three permanent VCAAs we did manage to hire.  The one we had for three months.  The one we had for a nano-second.  Or the one we still have for just a few more months.  I believe, and you have every right to disagree with me, that the fault lies at the top.  If we intend to assign blame then that is where the arrow should be pointed.  After all, on the very same day that the Executive Committee met in an Executive Session with VCAA Aggrey and Chancellor Bergland I, like many of you here, received a very precise and carefully scripted message, delivered in the way the caller was required to deliver it, informing me that the Strategic Planning Team would no longer exist and the outcomes so many of us labored over were now defunct.   That we are finally and mercifully ending a process that lasted many years and cost literally thousands of dollars, $500.000 alone to the consultant who served as the facilitator.  One could say that the SPT was IU Northwest’s very own “bridge to nowhere.”

            Now we are being asked to take a ride on a new bridge, something called the IUN Council.  We really have no idea what the hell that is or where it is supposed to take us.                       

 Before we agree to embark on this new journey we have the right and the obligation to ask some tough questions and demand some real answers.  We need to say that enough is enough and this nonsensical style of leadership is just not acceptable anymore.  We must ask how this so called council is going to solve our problem of hiring and keeping a VCAA, help us avoid another budget crisis, increase and retain our enrollments, replace the void left by the loss of Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Hass Birky, create new faculty positions to replace our colleagues who have retired, hire a Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a new Chancellor.  Before we cross this bridge we need to be against it before we are for it.

            We need to ask ourselves and Chancellor Bergland if we are any better off than we were nine years ago.  We need to ask what has really been accomplished by creating the three areas of foci.  Do we still need to follow this plan when it seems to create division, promote conflict, and benefit the few while depriving the many.  I mean, don’t we all deserve a damn billboard?

    We must ask the Chancellor what he plans to do in his remaining 18 months to solve these very real problems.  If we don’t ask these questions, if we don’t hold our leaders accountable, then and only then will I believe that we as faculty are  culpable for the mess that we are in.  After all, Chancellor Bergland will be gone in 18 months and many of us will be here long after he has departed.  We deserve much better than this.  Now is the time to come together, work together, stop fighting amongst ourselves and take our university back.    

4.         Chancellor’s Report

 The Chancellor was not able to attend due to a prior commitment – Valparaiso University inaugural ceremony.

 5.         Vice Chancellors’ Reports                  

            V.C. for Administration J. Pellicciotti           

a.                   Many of us are aware of the IU Notify system but another system is also being tested.   The new system is Group Page.   It has site specific capability and can broadcast to particular buildings.  It will broadcast emergency messages through the IU Police Department.   Dr. C. Wood then demonstrated the system to the faculty organization. 

o       Questions:  Prof. G. Bodmer: will there be an assessment of the system during the    flood?   V. C. J. Pellicciotti indicates that data is available.   Prof. G. Bodmer indicates that he would like to see faculty/teachers to provide feedback as to the effectiveness of the system. 

6.         United Way - Don Parker – Office of Development 

a.                   From 2006-07 United Way donor numbers were down by 50% but the amount donated doubled.   The IU Foundation donor numbers also decreased but the total amount donated increased by 10 times.

b.                  Form is provided to faculty for the IU Foundation and United Way commitments.  The foundation has 109 accounts for IUN. Last year $25 million was collected statewide and $.5 million went to IUN.  IUN has 79 scholarships available and a new scholarship, the Robin Hass Birky scholarship will be available in the future.

c.                   The Gala will be on November 6, 2008 and a portion of the proceeds goes to the IU Foundation.

d.                  Warren Blackman – United Way

o       Welcome and explanation of the services that are provided including the safety net that was available during the last flood.  Gave an example of the services provided via a demonstration.  Indicates that he would like 100% participation.  Lilly will match any increase in the endowment with monies.

e.                   Please be reminded that the process is one of continuous giving.  Unless you change your election from last year then the same amount of money will be withdrawn from your check.   You can modify the amount donated. 

f.                    In response to a question by Prof. L. Delunas Mr.  Parker indicates that if an organization that you donated to previously is not on the list of recipients then the United Way can still direct the donation to that organization.

g.                   T-shirts are available for department heads to distribute to those who are supporting United Way. 

7.         Chancellor’s Enrollment Task Force Reports: by Vice Chancellor D. Hodges, V.C. J. Pellicciotti, Director L. Templeton and V.C. K. Aggrey 

a.                   Enrollment Task Force has completed its draft reports.

b.                  Prof. L. Delunas asks what comes next.  The task force will now incorporate feedback.  Faculty can send additional comments to the task force via email.

c.                   Dean and Director P. Bankston noted that the task force did a great job but that the next step would be to translate the recommendations into concrete activity and to designate how faculty can participate.  Recommends that as a group the faculty should decide to participate.  Prof. L. Delunas asks for clarification regarding the expectations for faculty participation. The task force indicates that they expect faculty to be at the events and that communication will take place among the divisions.

o       V.C. K. Aggrey responds that the next important question to ask is, “are we ready to fund the recommendations?” He indicates that this question needs to be asked particularly given the roles that retention and marketing will play in the plan.  After the plan goes to the Chancellor we will have more information.

o       Prof. L. Delunas indicates that it doesn’t cost anything to define the expectations of faculty with respect to the initiative. Director and Dean P. Bankson indicates that faculty have participated in the past, but we must recognize that the payoff is down the line.

o       V.C. K. Aggrey indicates that lists of things that need to be done have been made and that people will need to sign-up to participate.  Director L. Templeton indicates that IUN has gone on the road and that recruitment is the entire university’s responsibility and not just that of Admissions. It is important to communicate to make this a success and one example of a failure is the presence of buses on the campus today, and the fact that no one notified admissions.

o       Prof. R. Needleman asks if there is a plan for outreach and recruitment for the non-traditional student.  She indicates that the university never goes to the steel workers, but that she has gone.  V.C. J. Pellicciotti notes that there will be a scholarship available for non-traditional students in the future. 

8.  Voting on Resolutions           

a.         History of the resolutions is presented by Prof. V. Kilibarda.  She indicates that GEA Committee website can be found at www.iun.edu/~genednw/   Faculty has reviewed and voted on #2 and on #3.  Principle #1 needs outcomes to be defined before proceeding.  Principles #4 and #5 are up for today’s discussion and voting

d.                  Principle 4 Discussion:  In this discussion the faculty asked why the specific word “racial” was chosen and why all minorities are not the focus.   Prof. J. Bloom indicated that race has been a crucial element and that because of our unique history and ongoing issues, students will need knowledge on this issue.  Concern was expressed that taking this approach is hegemonic and that it under represents other minorities and isolates other groups including women.   Suggestions are made regarding the wording on this issue.  Director D. Thomas points out that the ideals of general education actually go beyond knowledge to include synthesis, analysis, critical thinking etc.  She suggests we are relegating our goal to “acquisition” but need to work at critical thinking skills and that we want to develop more than knowledge.  Prof. R. Needleman agrees that we need more than to accumulate knowledge.  The discussion continues and modifications are made.

e.                   Vote is called on the following: 

Principle 4: Diversity Student Learning Outcomes

Definition: Valuing the diversity of human experience, as exemplified in race, color, ethnicity, social class, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disabilities; understanding how these categories are often used to create injustice; recognizing our common human heritage and the interconnectedness of communities in the region, the nation, and the world. 

IUN students will: 

·        Demonstrate understanding of cultural diversity in a variety of contexts.

·        Demonstrate understanding of the relationships between social structures, social justice, and human rights.

·        Demonstrate understanding of racial minority experiences and diverse worldviews and the manner in which they shape U.S. culture and the world.

f.                    Principle 4 is passed unanimously.

g.                   Principle 5 is discussed and suggestions are made including changing the word “develop” to “demonstrate” in the first point.   Other  editorial  comments are made by Prof. L. Delunas, Director P. Bankston and others.

h.                   Vote is called on the following:

                         Principle 5:  Ethics and Citizenship Student Learning Outcomes

Definition: The application of the principles of ethics and governance to the larger society, to one’s immediate community, and to individual conduct on campus and in society.  

IU Northwest students will: 

·        Demonstrate the ability to reason ethically and apply ethical principles when making decisions.

·        Demonstrate an awareness of the responsibilities and roles of being a citizen and strategies for being involved in a democratic society. 

i.                     Principle 5 is passed unanimously.

9.         Classroom Initiative Update; Network Upgrade Initiative; IU Northwest Website Prototypes – Dr. Carol Wood, Director of IT Services 

a.                   Classroom Initiative Update

o       26 classrooms have been upgraded over the past summer in several phases.  There is a list of small items that still have to be completed such as concealing wiring etc.

o       Prof. J. Bloom commends Dr. Wood for a system that is consistent and that works.   Dr. Wood commends all those who worked on this issue including Beth Van Gorden and Paul Sharpe.  Prof. S. Shanks-Meile indicates there are still some problems with software on hard drives

o       Dr. Wood indicates that over Christmas the computer classrooms will be upgraded and that next summer the remaining 17 classrooms, with the possible exception of 2 or 3 will be done

b.                  Network Upgrade

o       The network upgrade (internal wiring) will also be completed in the future.  The university is in the process of hiring a contractor and contractors should be on campus by December.  This work will be disruptive but faculty will be given alternative work spaces.  In response to a question by Prof. J. Bloom, Dr. Wood indicates that the benefit is higher speeds and pervasive wireless.

c.                   Website Prototypes

o       The Web Content Management System is now delayed for one year and the “New Look” will go forward.  Dr. Wood shows the faculty the two new websites and demonstrates their features with particular emphasis on the second prototype. 

10.         Report by Prof. L. Delunas 

a.                   Notes that the Health Care Reform debate will take place on October 23rd at 7:00 in the Savannah Center.

b.                  AQIP:  you can go to the site to see the updates and current action projects; we are still in reaffirmation

c.                   Human Subjects: Kim Rutherford can be consulted if you are getting ready with your applications.   A new checklist is available on the web.  It can be useful in preventing delay.  There are new rules that will limit delays. 

11.  Resolution from the Executive Committee 

a.                  Resolution as proposed:  

IU Northwest Executive Committee resolves that the Faculty strongly disapproves of the hiring of two new administrative positions without searches and strongly recommends that hiring for positions in the future will follow firmly established Affirmative Action rules and procedures. 

o       Prof. G. Bodmer indicates that the resolution was in response to the sentiments of a significant number of faculty.  The resolution does not express an opinion regarding the people who were hired but rather refers to the Chancellor’s note sent via email and the procedures that were taken.  Prof. J. Tollhuizen indicates that there is a problem with the wording of the first line and asks that the “executive committee” wording should be replaced with “Faculty Organization”.  The discussion continues with Prof. J. Bloom, Prof. J. Tollhuizen, and Prof. R. Needleman adding concerns.   

b.                  Final Resolution: 

IU Northwest faculty strongly disapprove of the process used to hire the two new administrative positions without searches and strongly recommends that hiring for positions follows firmly established Affirmative Action rules and procedures. 

c.                   Call for a vote.  Resolution approved. 

12.       New Business 

V. C. Kwesi Aggrey:  Indicates he would like to give a statement that provides some understanding of the events.  It is a summary of events that are factual.  He notes that he has not taken the support and collegiality of the faculty for granted and that there have been some differences but this is part of university life.  Good people are caught in a web of confusion.  The following are examples of the events that have occurred:  

a.       First, he notes that it was not a matter of conflict between himself and Prof. M. Vasquez but rather a result of a structure that does not work.  There is an underlying structural defect that was used in a negative way.

1.      To terminate Prof. M. Vasquez and to keep V. C. Aggrey only says that the campus does not really think there is a problem and this makes life impossible.

2.      The Chancellor invited a mediator even after V. C. Aggrey indicated that it was not a matter of personality differences.

3.      In May the Chancellor sent an email to V. C. Aggrey (in China at the time) that indicated he accepted Prof. M. Vasquez’s resignation and in less than 30 minutes provided an announcement to the campus of the same. V. C. Aggrey did not have an opportunity to respond prior to the notice being sent to the campus because of the time differences. Later that day the Chancellor had a meeting with the Deans, unbeknownst to V. C. Aggrey. V. C. Aggrey learned later that the Chancellor stated he did not expect things to change but that now V. C. Aggrey would not have someone to blame.

4.      Upon V.C. Aggrey’s return he inquired of the Chancellor the reason for Prof. Vasquez’s leaving if she was doing the right thing.  The Chancellor did not inform V. C. Aggrey at this time that the Chancellor had meet with the Deans. 

b.      V. C. Aggrey provides an example of the damage that has occurred and continues with his explanation.  He indicates that after his return, and on May 23rd he was approached by the Business and Economics Department regarding the possible hiring of a retired faculty member as a Visiting Professor at a rate of $60,000/semester.  He noted that there are full professors that receive $61,000 for an academic year.  There was continued discussion by the Dean of business that believed the salary was justified given the individual’s experience etc.  The Chancellor was notified of this request but had no comment.  The Deans were encouraged to go behind the V.C.’s back.

c.       August 2008 was full of difficult moments.  There are no words to explain the absence of the Chancellor during this time.  

1.      When the Chancellor returned he called V.C. Aggrey into his office and notified him that the degree proposals were pulled from the Trustee’s agenda.  He also expressed sorrow over the death of V. C. Robin Hass-Birky.

2.      V. C. Aggrey notes the hard work that many performed to prepare these proposals including Prof. Mark Hoyert’s work directly following the visit to the cemetery, and the V.C.s’ work over the weekend to review the proposals so they would be ready by the following Monday.

3.      V.C. Aggrey notes there was no discussion by the Chancellor of pulling the items off the agenda and that the required procedures (taking the matter to the cabinet) had been followed.

d.      In the next weeks, V.C. Aggrey was the subject of discussion at a regional chancellors’ meeting.  His unsatisfactory performance was discussed.  V.C. Aggrey indicated he felt this was humiliating and inappropriate.

e.       As another example of the lack of respect, V. C. Aggrey notes that despite the fact he has been present on campus for more than 2 years he only received keys to the building recently and thanks V.C. J. Pellicciotti for his recent effort to obtain the keys. 

Faculty then responds:

         1.      Prof. R. Needleman indicates that she is horrified and that the problems have been longstanding; under the Chancellor the campus        has suffered academically, including loss of faculty lines, replacement of lines by interims, lack of support for non-traditional students, movement toward a profit-oriented enterprise and the loss of some of the campus’ important characteristics.  She thanks V.C. Aggrey for staying as long as he did and she asks faculty to step forward.

a.       V.C. Aggrey responds that he believed we were making progress during the first 6-8 months.  He also indicates that he has visited other schools to interview.

2.      Charlotte Reed indicates that relationships are poor but that under V.C. Aggrey there has been leadership.  She indicates her disappointment that it took the death of colleagues to bring us together.  She also indicates that the budget is currently balanced on the backs of 2 people and mentions her continuing disappointment with the campus.

3.      Prof. C. Gallmeier asks if there is a motion to extend time.  Motion made and approved.

4.       Prof. S. Shanks-Meile indicates that the campus was a different place when she first came and that it doesn’t have to stay this way.

5.      Dir. D. Thomas indicates her frustration with the recent pay reduction she received and notes that Dir. Charlotte Read’s salary was also reduced by 25%.  It is placing a financial hardship on Dr. Thomas’ family.

6.      Prof. J. Bloom indicates the real question is what are we going to do about this.  He moves for a vote of no confidence.

a.       Prof. J.Tollhuezin indicates the motion should go to the entire faculty in a mail ballot. 

b.      V. C. Aggrey indicates that he has major concerns regarding the choices of the faculty. He states that whatever we do we have to think about it carefully as we do not want to drive potential chancellor candidates away.  He says he has discussed this concern with C. Gallmeier as well.

c.       Prof. S. Shanks-Meile indicates we need a statement to Bloomington regarding the kind of future Chancellor we want. 

d.      Discussion continues on the efficacy of the motion and Prof. C. Gallmeier acknowledges that VCAA Aggrey and him have discussed their concerns on whether such an action is the best measured response and that it could lead to difficulties in recruiting a new chancellor.  He also indicates that he is also trying to invite our trustee to meet with the faculty to discuss the current status of the campus.

7.      Prof. J. Bloom asks that the motion be discussed at the next faculty meeting and that a ballot be implemented.  At the next meeting there would be an opportunity to hear from the other side.  He also suggests we could solicit written positions from the faculty.  He also moves that the presentation of V.C. Aggrey be available in written form, in which case Chancellor Bergland could then respond and we could have an informed discussion.  He clarifies that his motion stands and now he is offering a procedure. 

8.      Prof. G. Assibey Mensah asks how this will look to outside candidates and indicates that he is not sure that a vote of no confidence will make a difference.  The word is already out: “be careful about that campus.”

9.      V. C. Aggrey confirms that it is said the faculty on the IUN campus are the most difficult and noted that when he was hired the chancellor indicated he wanted someone to work with the faculty but the expectation was really more like getting the faculty in line.

10.  Prof. D. Coffin indicates the vote would send a message that we care about the campus. Prof. L. Delunas indicates we need to act like a faculty and provide synergistic ideas for how to move forward.  Prof. C. Gallmeier indicates we have made progress under V. C. Aggrey and the V.C. agrees giving the example of the 3 priorities.  Prof. R. Needleman asks if special funding was obtained for CHHS and V. C. Aggrey answers that it was brought to the table.  Dir. D. Thomas indicates there is a sense in the community that IUN is physically here but doesn’t care.  She also believes that she was denied due process in the decision making process. She was informed of the change in her salary in the same way the rest of the campus received the news – via the campus announcement.

a.       V. C. Aggrey responds to Dir. D. Thomas:  He believes it’s important to note that the Center is a good idea but that the real problem here lies in implementation of procedures.  There was a resolution of the faculty that proposed elimination of the center and in fact the Chancellor indicated to V. C. Aggrey that he should think carefully before dismantling the Center.  The salary reduction was part of a package that was negotiated given the current budget crisis.  The best recommendation was that the two center positions be reduced to 10- month appointments and that efforts be made to secure summer teaching monies to supplement salaries.  V. C. Aggrey also indicated that the Chancellor was to notify the two directors once this issue was worked out.  Dirs. Thomas and Reed indicated they asked for a letter from the Chancellor but that as of now it was not received.

b.      The discussion was tabled.

11.  Prof. J. Bloom proposes a three part motion:

a.       Motion for no confidence be discussed at the November meeting.

b.      Solicitation of written positions to be distributed to the faculty.

c.       Mail ballot after the November meeting.

12.  Discussion on the three-part motion ensued.   Prof. J. Bloom retracts parts b and c.  Motion for no confidence discussion at the November meeting is made by Prof. J. Bloom and seconded by Prof. J. Tollhuizen   Motion approved unanimously.   

           

Meeting Adjourned – 3:45       

 

 

 

 

 

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