Indiana University Northwest Text

FACULTY ORGANIZATION MINUTES

March 26, 2010
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Time:  10:00-12:00

 Location:  HH 107

 

1.   Call to Order

Dr. Gallmeier called the meeting to order at 10:03a.

 

2.  Approval of the minutes of the February 19, 2010 meeting.

The minutes were approved by unanimous voice vote.

 

3.   President’s Report

Dr. Gallmeier reported that Dr. Lowe has accepted the position of IUN Chancellor.  He thanked the committee for their service in the search and the faculty for providing feedback on the candidates based on the candidates visits to campus.

We have candidates for all the Faculty Organization positions in the March election, except for secretary.  Please consider running for this position so that the elections can happen next week.

The next Faculty Organization meeting will not happen on April 16th, due to a conflict between a teaching award ceremony and the Faculty Organization meeting.  The next Faculty Organization meeting will happen April 23rd, 1 – 3p.

Dr. Bergland decided not to give his report so that VP Applegate can make his presentation and answer faculty questions.  Dr. Applegate will be taking over a position where he can act as an advocate for regional campuses.  This could allow for increased attention to the needs of regional campuses.    This change could also lead to difficulties, so Dr. Applegate agreed to visit and present on his position while answering any faculty questions.

 

4.  Chancellor’s Report – John Applegate, Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning and Policy.

Dr. Applegate greeted everyone and commented on how much he respected the members of the recent Chancellor’s Search Committee.  He looks forward to working with Dr. Lowe. 

Dr. Bruin, a member of Dr. Applegate’s team, will work on safety and security assurance needs of regional campuses.  He will also help hire someone to help with direction of emergency management activities. 

Dr. Bickelmeier, another member of Dr. Applegate’s team, will work on university academic planning, including university-wide academic issues. 

The goal of Dr. Applegate’s new position is to focus more on regional campuses so that the regional campuses have better ways of working with central administration. This will also, it is hoped, improved the voice of regional campuses in central administration. 

The new structure/position was created for two reasons.  First, this is to respond to the current environment of the regional campuses.  Specifically, the legislature does not know what to *do* with the regional campuses and they have concerns about graduation rates and costs per student.  The legislature does not understand the role of the regional campuses.  Many legislators see the regional campuses as the equivalent of community colleges.  There is also some movement to try to expand dual credit and AP exams in order to try to decrease the cost of college credits and degrees.  The thought here is to decrease the cost by decreasing the amount of time that students spend on four-year, regional campuses. 

Second, the Indiana Commission on Higher Education has called for a number of changes in how the state conducts higher education.  The “Policy on Indiana Regional Campuses” was prepared by the commission as a way of identifying mission statements for each campus.  The early mission statements emphasized efficiency and affordability.  But, this ignores linkages between campuses and ignores other, previous guidance on what the campuses are supposed to accomplish.  Nonetheless, this still means that the Commission is considering regional campuses as a group and is encouraging more focus on regional campuses.  The policy document, from the beginning, lacked an affirmative vision of the purpose of regional campuses. 

The IU system used to have a VP for regional campuses.  However, the shift of regional campuses from outreach/extension services to freestanding institutions essentially made this position obsolete for several decades.  Nonetheless, there is still a need for the regional campuses to have a voice.  Dr. Applegate’s current position is designed, from his point of view, to serve as this voice.  (For the information below, sections in bold came from IUN faculty members; Dr. Applegate’s responses appear in normal font.)

How do we create both a distinct and collective mission?  What is shared academic planning?

This means that campuses will share programs, on-line education will have a more centralized mission to avoid duplication and encourage collaboration across campuses, and the system as a whole will need to examine how  distance education influence the idea of a regional campus.

Will degrees be shared by campuses?

Yes, if it makes sense for multiple campuses to collaborate on different types of programs/degrees.  This could allow merging of resources so that different campuses can offer more than they could individually.

How does degree completion become an objective without considering academic quality in Commission documents?  How can we require research only on teaching and regional needs?

Academic quality is assumed in all activities of higher education, according to the Commission.  However, the problem becomes how to measure academic quality and, to a large extent, this has not been addressed.  We must avoid simply giving degrees and credits without ensuring the classes and degrees mean something once people leave the institutions. 

In terms of research, the goal is to encourage teaching-related and regional-related research, rather than restricting areas of research.  Most people will conduct research that is, in some way, related to their teaching.  Research reflects expertise in one’s field.  This means that the regional campuses need to focus on primarily teaching, rather than primarily research, institutions.  This means that the regional campuses will be rewarded for teaching, rather than research, excellence. 

Does the emphasis on regional research undercut the ability of regional campuses to best serve its students by also addressing state-wide and national issues?

The Commission is trying to structure a system where different institutions serve different purposes.  They want to say how each piece is different from each other one.  They want the regional campuses to focus on teaching students and student success.  Everything else is, in Dr. Applegate’s opinion, an attempt to emphasize this role.

But, does this imply that the regional campuses should not be teaching students to think nationally and globally?

No, but it does mean that the goals of regional campuses in these areas need to be clarified.

Dr. Caucci indicated that there is not representative power for regional campuses.  It is less than clear that Bloomington can take any steps to actually support and represent regional campuses.  It is not clear that having a more centralized relationship between Bloomington and the Regional Campuses would help if Regional Campuses start to merge.

The universities as a whole and the Bloomington campus have slightly different goals.  The purpose of Dr. Applegate’s position is to give more representation to Regional Campuses.  However, there appears to be no access by regional campuses to many resources provided to the Bloomington campus.

If the regional campuses are teaching institutions, what does that do to research requirements for various IU system campuses?  The focus on degree completion does not necessarily allow us to educate people who we have been told to educate, but who have lower skills coming into our campus.

Promotion and Tenure starts at the campus level.  The Commissions report indicates how the campuses will be assessed.  P&T expectations, in general, are determined by the system as a whole and implemented by individual campuses. 

The diversity of student graduation rate is quite strongly impacted by when people come into the campus.  The goal of any campus is to find a balance between graduation rates and the broad range of students educated at the Regional Campuses. 

If this is a teaching university, how does this impact our moves to standardize P&T processes, somewhat, across campuses?  If we are labeled as teaching universities, then this could undercut current approaches to tenure.

Dr. Applegate indicated that IUN should not modify P&T standards based on documents from the Commission on Higher Education.

How do we also emphasize research?  How do we show that research is related to a campuses’ function?

All regional campuses have emphasized undergraduate research.  Inclusion of undergraduates could allow campuses to emphasize research and explain to external audiences how this benefits students on campuses and the state in general. 

 

If the document does not reflect understanding of how faculty members function, does this not mean that we need to better educate the Commission?

Yes.

Research allows faculty the chance to gain new knowledge and perspectives on knowledge.  Our students need to understand research in order to succeed in graduate school and students, with an interest in graduate school, will choose schools based on training in research.

This is true.  We need to ensure that the degree means something when it is earned.  Simply assuming that earning enough degrees makes a difference, will make a huge and negative difference for future students.

Since we have been labeled as a teaching university, will we receive the resources to improve teaching and learning on campus?  Will CETL centers be strengthened and funded across the regional campuses?

The University President has called for more focus on teaching and learning, but has not put any resources on this purpose yet.  In the current environment, we will need to focus on matching accomplishments with various sources of funding wherever possible.

The Regional Deans of Schools of Education regularly meet and attempt to improve the processes of education at all the schools.  IUPUI and Bloomington have not joined the role of sharing best practices.  If we are to combine resources, we must have access to the materials available (e.g., databases) at the larger campuses. 

Dr. Applegate sees this as a good way to proceed in improving education across all the regional campuses.  This gives a good way of developing both individual and group identities.  We do need to work to improve sharing of resources.

People in are now making decisions about education that can undercut education because people who do not understand education are trying to make the decisions.  These same people have undercut K – 12 education by making decisions based on a lack of data and education about what happens in educational institutions.  

True, but that means that the campuses must educate people so that legislators can make better decisions.

We need to know where the state is going with the current drive to modify education.  The current drive is about economics, not about ways to improve education.  The universities must direct the changes rather than sitting still and letting it happen.  We must be involved in state-level politics.

Yes, we must understand and shape the environment.  We must explain what we do and why in order to make a difference.  We need to create a core story/narrative in order to explain what we do and why we do it.  Giving the framework of the Commission’s report, we should try to identify our purpose within their framework and make it clear what we do.  We have not historically, done a good job of articulating what we do and why.  In terms of politics, many people are interested in what goes on in higher education but they also have very tight resources and they are tying to understand how to work through the current fiscal challenges.  The lack of resources is shaping how people view all activities of state government. 

The School of Nursing shares Dr. VanGordon with other campuses.  Will we start sharing administration departments with other campuses?

The goal is to ensure that we function very efficiently and that we cut money in ways that will limit the impact of funding cuts on academic activities.  The Expenditure Review Committee will be convened to try to ensure efficiency of spending, especially in non-academic spending.  In part, this will be an attempt to reduce some duplication of expenditures across campuses, such as purchasing departments.

Given the remarks of the Commission on research, what does this mean for graduate degrees on regional campuses?

The graduate degrees should not be in any danger.  The regional campuses are expected to award MA, but not PhD, degrees.  MA/MS degrees at regional schools are driven, largely, by local needs so they should remain relatively safe from future cuts.     

 

5.  Vice Chancellors’ Reports

Dr. Malick reported that he will continue to support scholarship and research in current and future committees.  We should ensure that we do educate the Commission so that we can ensure that high academic quality standards continue.

Five new faculty members have been hired, and five faculty searches continue. 

The MS in Clinical Counseling has gone through several stages of approval and will shortly go to the Trustees for the next step of approval.

Undergraduate programs need to award 15 degrees every five years to remain intact.  Graduate degrees will need to be awarded to 10 students in every five year period.

The budgetary hearings have now ended.  The report from the Budgetary Affairs committee has been received and its recommendations have played a role in ongoing budgetary decisions.

 

6.  UFC P&T Principles Document – Alan Barr, Chair - Faculty Affairs Committee

The Faculty Affairs Committee had to respond to the P&T principles document; the committee report passed by a unanimous voice vote.

Despite the rumors, there are no major changes in P&T guidelines based on the UFC P&T Principles Document.  The goal is to clarify the general guidelines, but individual units will have to have clear guidelines for evidence of productivity in each area. 

 

7.  Policy on Final Examinations – Executive Committee

There was an urban legend that final examinations should not be administered during the final week of classes.  However, there is not current policy.  The suggested policy would call for final examinations to be given only during final exam periods. 

The policy passed by unanimous voice vote.

 

8.  Recommended Changes to the Faculty Organization Constitution – Ken Schoon, Chair, Constitution Committee

Dr. Schoon presented several proposed changes to the Faculty Organization Constitution. 

This will be debated at the next meeting.

 

9.   Bob Mucci Chair, Calendar Committee

Dr. Mucci asked to defer until next month.

 

10. Celebration of IU Northwest – Bill Neil and James Lane, IU Northwest Professor Emeritus of History

Dr. Neil graduated from IUN predecessor institutions and served on several such campuses over the past 70 years.  He ran the current IUN campus and has stayed involved since then to the extent possible.

He is the last living member of the first five faculty hired to teach in downtown Gary.  The faculty has grown substantially in number and qualifications. 

 

 

11. IT Tech Tips – Jackie Coven

Asked to defer until next month.

 

12. New Business

No new business.

 

13. Old Business

No old business.

 

Meeting adjourned at 12:12p.

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

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