Faculty Meeting Minutes
Tuesday October 6, 2009
President Ivory Nelson called the meeting to order at 4:10 PM in the Student Union
Building Cinema Theater, Room 212.
Dr. Dade wanted to add an action item: Community & Police. Under Robert’s rules of Order the faculty parliamentarian ruled that it should be a discussion item.
President’s Report: Dr. Ivory V. Nelson
The President distributed the following handouts:
A. The president’s report to the Lincoln University Board of Trustees, September 19, 2009 (Orange handout). This report is also available on the University website.
B. Lincoln University retention and graduation rate, 1988-2009 (Light blue handout).
C. The Campaign for Lincoln University progress report, 01/01/01 through 6/30/09 (Pink handout).
D. Lincoln University facts (Light brown handout) giving statistics for the past ten years.
E. Status update regarding the Langston Hughes Memorial Library and proposed new 600-bed residence hall and the renovation status of the Langston Hughes Memorial Library (Yellow handout).
F. Lincoln University major renovation and construction projects, 2000 to Present (Green handout).
President Nelson then elaborated on each one to the faculty. He emphasized the goals of 85% retention rate and 48% graduation rate in 6 years by 2012; to recruit a 2010 freshman class 35% with SAT scores 900 or better (math and verbal); to be ranked among the top 10 HBCU’s by 2012; and to submit the Middle States Monitoring Report April 2010 regarding the assessment standards. We will be working on our niche programs which we have focused on as our Centers of Excellence. There was considerable discussion with the faculty on how to achieve Academic Excellence. The goals are attainable. Lincoln is now 27th in national ranking among the HBCU’s. We spend 4.8 million on scholarships of which 3 million is tuition discounts. We need the faculty to help with recruitment of new students.
He also reported that the budget situation has not been settled yet because the failure of the legislature to pass a state capital and operational budgets. It is likely that the state budget will soon pass. The University would receive between 13.4 and 13.7 million. This is still $800,000.00 less than 08/09. We have sufficient credit to stay in operation but we will need to be careful with the money borrowed. Delay of the budget has an impact on the construction projects on campus such as the renovations of the library and Wright and Grim halls, whose funding depends on the state selling bonds to raise the funds to proceed on these projects.
Accountability measures among higher education institutions are now being emphasized both by the federal and state governments. This is the first time that Commonwealth is requesting retention and graduation rates. Everything is being measured against those two things. The Obama administration’s goal is to get more young people graduated from colleges and universities by 2020. We are performing according to the standards. We are working on our goals and objectives. Assessment is key.
We are going to expand our summer school, because financial aid is now available for summer school, and we will build a summer bridge program for the entering freshman both at the main and urban campuses.
We are asking all programs for additions, modifications and deletion, using strict accountability standards to determine where we should put our priorities in the future.
Major issue on campus now is the Library. The University has been working on the renovation of library for eight years. In 2001 we submitted a request to the legislature for renovating the building. We received the initial six million dollars for the library in 2004. When we discovered that it would take more to renovate the building we got approval for an additional seven million for the library along with four million dollars for furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the library in 2007. The legislature has not given the governor the authority to issue bonds in the capital budget for this fiscal year to continue with the renovation of the library. By the time the library renovations are complete, we will have spent a total of $17 million on the Library.
The Library staff has been working hard to provide services, despite the fact that library building is leased to the Commonwealth of PA for the duration of the construction project and we are not supposed even enter the building until all the renovations are complete, except as permitted by the State’s supervisor for the project.
Tracey Hunter-Hayes, Library Director reported that 46 students a week were using the library prior to the installation of the information commons in 2006, and that the library building did not have ADA bathroom on the main (second) floor. We are now serving 400 students a week and doing 18 interlibrary requests a week. We had four student workers in 2006 and now have 50 student workers. Students must wait for a state of art facility. The library staff is providing services and access to information. The faculty librarians are now “burning the midnight oil” and are working evenings until 10 PM. We will be sending a notice regarding extended hours for mid-term and additional services for the faculty research.
Dr. Nelson mentioned that during the year we will be also be renovating Grim and Wright Hall in addition to the library. We will be doing landscaping and building new athletic facilities as well. We might also start building a new Health and Wellness Center.
Dr. Nelson then articulated his personal concept of Academic Excellence, something that has been discussed among the faculty since the last meeting of April, 2009. In Dr. Nelson’s view, when thinking of academic excellence we should think about what own children want and need, what we would want for our children if they were students here. As professional educators, we have chosen a career where you are helping serve others as valued human being. We need to be available for help here at Lincoln by providing office hours, tutorial services, etc. We must be extra-caring for our students.
A student brought up a concern about the lack of student access to computer labs in the new science building and dorms. SGA President reported that the students are also concerned about the lack of availability of faculty to serve and meet the student’s needs. When faculty members questioned the number of complaints about faculty, Dr. Nelson reported that each school is sponsoring tutoring hours and we ask the faculty to participate in tutoring services. Student tutors are also being hired.
A.) Minutes of the September 8 meeting were approved as submitted with one correction: Page 3, section D regarding class attendance policy. In the original minutes: the line read: Under this policy four absences will be an automatic F in the course. This language actually violated the actual language of the bulletin. Dr. Jim DeBoy pointed out that in the Bulletin 2007-08, p. 67 stated: Faculty have the right to fail students in the course after four absences for a 3-credit class meeting three times a week.
A.) Assessment: Dr. Harold Aubrey reported on what is currently available on the assessment website on Academic Affairs website and that he has met or in progress of meeting with all the departmental chairs to discuss how the various academic departments can do assessment planning and proper assessment. Our Middle States Monitoring report regarding assessment is nearly complete. He reported that he has been constantly updating the website, and with the help of Nancy Evans (Academic Technology), he showed the faculty how much information is available on the academic assessment website.
B.) TLE Blog: Dr. Linda Stine and Ms. Nancy Evans demonstrated how to comment on the Teaching Matters Blog on the TLE site on the University website. We will be having weekly guest bloggers and everyone should look at and comment on that issue. We can log on each week to see the topic of week. This is collegial discussion, and people are encouraged to identify themselves, rather than post anonymously.
C.) Community and Police: Dr. Lennell Dade. She reported a recent incident concerning a student and the university police, regarding distribution of a flyer on the campus. There was a student meeting on campus last week. There was extensive discussion on the floor regarding this particular incident. Dr. Dade wanted the Student Health Welfare Committee to look into this situation with the student. There is a recurring problem with the enforcement issues regarding the University Police and how they behave on the campus. We need to create a special Ad Hoc committee regarding the Police. Dr. Millette requested that we put this as an action item next meeting.
Dr. Louden brought up a concern about speeding on the road between Dickey Hall and the new Science Building. Dr. Denise Gaither-Hardy brought up the immediate need for a sidewalk, because of all the pedestrian traffic. Dr. Nelson commented that there are more students walking on Mondays and Wednesday between 10 AM and 1 PM than on Fridays between Dickey and the Science Building. Dr. Safford commented that there are classes and labs going on Fridays, even in the late afternoon.
1. A History of Education Society Program: Ms. Susan Pevar. Ms. Pevar announced a program sponsored by History of Education Society in Philadelphia on Thursday October 22, 2009 at the Doubletree Hotel. In a session co-sponsored by Lincoln and Cheyney, called “Lincoln, Cheyney, Fisk, Howard: new studies of the HBCU’s, Ms. Pevar and Keith Bingham of Cheyney are presenting a paper on the history of the relationship between Lincoln and Cheyney Universities. The normal conference registration fee has been waived for anyone from Lincoln University who attends, and instead a voluntary donation of $25.00 is requested.
2. Dr. John Chikwem announced that on Saturday October 24, 2009 there will be a Science Fair and Research Symposium featuring poster presentations by students from all three schools. There will be prizes awarded to the top winners.
Albert M. Bryson