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Faculty Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

President Ivory Nelson called the meeting to order at 4:10 PM in Ware Center Theater.

Report from the Student Government Association:  No report.

President’s Report:  Dr. Ivory C. Nelson

The President reported that we are still working on our plan for the academic year 2009/2010.  We are 2/3 way in preparing a draft document (issues and guidelines) and we will hopefully present the document to the faculty at the March faculty meeting. The Governor will present his state budget tomorrow and we will look at how he will address higher education in the budget.

There is still lot to be done regarding the stimulus bill in Washington, D.C.  The bill passed the House of Representatives with all the Republicans and 11 Democrats opposed. There is considerable funding for higher education in the House bill which will go to the governors of each state.  There is lot of concern whether the bill is actually a stimulus package.  Many believe that some of the programs in the stimulus package are not really stimulus.  The Senate is now working on its bill.  There are still lots of negotiations ahead in the Senate to reshape and reform the bill to gain bipartisan support, and once passed, the Senate it will go to conference.  If the money for higher education remains it will be up to the governors of each state to designate those state agencies that will get the money.  This could help us regarding higher education in Pennsylvania.

The State of Pennsylvania has a 2 billion dollar deficit this year.  It is not as bad as California which has no state budget and is not paying its bills or issuing income tax refunds.

The Sunday newspapers reported that Governor Rendell threw a time bomb for state-related colleges.  He will give money to FEA that will give need-based financial assistance that will lower the tuition of incoming freshmen students going to 14 state-owed colleges and/or community colleges from $7,000 to $10,000.  If this passes, it could affect the recruitment of students by Lincoln.

The University will honor all financial commitments and we will not do anything that will harm the academic environment that attracts students. 

We have already survived this year and did all the necessary cuts we could do.

Dr. Safford asked why there has not been any faculty participation in the plan for the year ahead.  We have not finalized anything and that will be presented to the faculty in March. We do not have a state budget yet.  Faculty will be given a change to participate in this plan.  There will be no University budget by March. We don’t know which road to travel.  The plan presented will not be written in stone. These are just ideas and we want feedback from the faculty.

Action items:

A.) Minutes of the January 14, 2009 meeting were approved as submitted.

B.) Report from the Nominations Committee: Dr. Susan Safford

Nominations Committee report will be presented in 2 parts:

Dr. Safford reported that there is an appeal pending before the Judicial Review Committee and that the committee is composed of three faculty members who have tenure.  2 of the 3 members have recused themselves from this case: Dr. William Dadson and Dr. James Van Dover.  The Nominations Committee is nominating, to hear this case only: Dr. Penelope Kinsey and Dr. Alvin Amos.

Dr. Siddique reported that the Nominations Committee is recommending Dr. Ebony Roper from Chemistry Dept. as the representative of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for a three-year term to replace Dr. Safford who is rotating off the Nominations Committee.  Dr. Dade will be the new chair of the Nominations Committee.

The nominations were approved by the faculty.

C.)  Approval of the 3-Year Calendar: Mr. Stephens Roberts, Registrar.

Mr. Roberts distributed the proposed 3-year calendar to the faculty. Issues and concerns brought by Dr. Williams were addressed.  Some faculty pointed out that the Mandatory Registration period for the Fall and Spring Semesters each academic year only have the beginning date.  There were no ending dates for the mandatory registration periods.  The faculty Honors Convocation should be Faculty/Student Honors Convocation. It was also pointed that the final exam period for the 2012 Spring Semester should be a week later that listed.  There is sufficient time between it and Commencement to place exams one week later. The dates will subject to change without notification.  The faculty will revisit the finals week for the 2012 Spring Semester later.  Commencement for 2012 is schedule May 6, 2012.  We will also revisit the graduate school schedule later.  There is are 2 typos: (1) Dates or subject to change without notification should be Dates are subject to change without notification and  (2) summer 20010 should be summer 2010.

The basic schedule was approved with the corrections of the typos and that there will be other changes coming before the faculty later.

Discussion Items:  

A.) Report from the Educational Policies Committee: Dr. James DeBoy

Dr. James DeBoy presented a report to the faculty from the Educational Policies Committee:

The Registrar, Stephen Roberts, provided the committee with a breakdown of the current students cumulative GPA by credits earned.  The report took into consideration a total of 1828 undergraduate students. All students with 60 plus hours are required to have a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Some tentative conclusions are:
• Current practice coincides with Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy shows that only 28 students of 627 students do not have the minimum of 2.0 cumulative GPA.  Therefore we have 96% compliance for upper class students.
• 73% of first year students have a cumulative GPA above 2.0.
• 85% of all students have a cumulative GPA above 2.0
• 30% of all students have a cumulative GPA above 3.0.
• 38% of the senior class (90+ credits; N=342) have a GPA above 3.0.  Be reminded that the original cohort for the fall 2005 was about 550 students.  We had an attrition loss of some 200.

The Academic major “templates” and listing of all course prerequisites should have been sent to the deans from all 15 academic departments by February 1, 2009  as per last month’s Faculty motion. Each department that has not done so should get it to your Dean ASAP. All information will go to the Registrar and IT to put on the computer system so we can eventually implement online registration.  African American Experience (SOS) should be included on the template as a part of the core curriculum.

Concern was raised regarding Class of 2010 prospects in graduation (in 8 semesters) with the 2006 policy of prohibiting all developmental classes from counting towards the 120-124 credits limit for graduation.  Mr. Roberts, the Registrar, will attempt to track this class’s progress towards graduation to see where they are without the developmental courses. We may need to make some transitional adjustments.  Apparently the implementation of this policy concerning this class was somewhat mismanaged.  The University Bulletin on the web still listed, as of August 2008, that some of the developmental courses could count towards graduation.  We will need to address this.  Most of the freshmen students in 2006 were not told that some of the developmental courses do not count towards graduation requirement. (EDU 100, ENG100, 101, MAT 103, MAT104).  It was not indicated in the Freshman Guide in 2006/2007 and Faculty Advisors were not advised to make this change.  The issue should be how we address this without putting the students at a disadvantage. The Educational Policies Committee will come back with a recommendation once we run the numbers regarding the class of 2010.  

The committee will have on its agenda the implementation of the Portfolio requirement (Mr. Esters) and Mathematics update (Mr. Haimbodi).

B.)  Class Etiquette: Dr. Safro Kwame

Dr. Kwame made a slide presentation concerning classroom etiquette and also distributed a paper concerning guidelines for classroom etiquette.

Suggestions for Classroom Etiquette:

1. Please erase the (chalk, white/smart) board when you are done.
2.  If you rearrange the furniture in the classroom, please return chairs and table to their standard or usual positions.  Do not remove the faculty person’s chair from the classroom.
3.  Observe University policy concerning no food and drink in the classroom.
4.  Please ask your students to properly dispose of trash and make sure that they do not leave trash on the floor, tables, or chairs.
5.   Make sure projectors are turned off at the end of the last class each day.
6.   Make sure that you log off or log in as guest when you finish using computers and smart boards in classrooms.
7.  Do not lock computers and smart boards.
8.  Keep to your class time.  Do not overstay or extend your allotted class time; so others can setup their equipment and students can get a break or get to their next class.
9.  No cell phones or texting in the classroom. 

Dr. Nelson advised faculty to try to enforce the guidelines.  This is common classroom etiquette. This is proper behavior and common courtesy.

C.) Middle States Report: Dr. Safro Kwame.

Dr. Kwame reported that the administration and the Assessment Committee have been working on the Middle States Report concerning assessment of student outcomes learning.  All faculty members should be involved with this.  He showed the Middle States Accreditation Visiting Team report concerning this particular standard.  He also distributed to the faculty a document to guide our discussions on this now and in the future.

We need to submit our monitoring report to the Middle States Commission by April 1, 2010 concerning the assessment function concerning student learning outcomes.  We are now in the process of hiring a Director of Academic Assessment and Learning.  We have already done some work concerning assessment of student learning outcomes: core curriculum, FYE courses, developmental courses, and one capstone course. The system is functioning and evaluating data.

The Middle States Commission Action: To reaffirm accreditation and to request a monitoring report due by April 1, 2010 documenting (1) the implementation of an organized, sustained assessment process to evaluate and improve student learning, including assessment of the attainment of learning goals at the course and program level and providing evidence that student learning assessment information is used to improve teaching and learning and (2) evidence of institutional support for assessment activities.   
 
D.) Culture and Offering of Liberal Arts Related Curriculum: Dr. Emmanuel Babatunde.

This discussion item was postponed till the next meeting.

 Announcements:

A.)  Dr. Bhat reported that the Faculty Development Committee will be sending out an invitation this week requesting applications for proposals for Faculty Development grants which will be due March 15, 2009 at 5 PM.  Dr. Nelson encouraged faculty to take advantage of this opportunity on helping to implement and improve the assessment of student learning outcomes process.  

B.)  Dr. Stine requested and encourage faculty to take advantage of opportunities with the Faculty Resource Network program at New York University (NYU).

C.)  Dr. Nelson reported that we received funding for the Lindbach Awards.

D.)  Dr. Joanne DeBoy announced that a consultant will be here on campus on February 9, 2009 to assist faculty with NCATE accreditation.

Respectful submitted,

 
Albert M. Bryson
Faculty Secretary


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