Faculty Meeting Minutes—REVISED
Friday December 4, 2009
President Ivory Nelson called the meeting to order at 4PM in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Student Union Building.
President’s Report: Dr. Ivory V. Nelson
Dr. Nelson reported that the state appropriation for the current fiscal year for Lincoln University has not yet passed the legislature. We are still in good shape financially and have not touched the credit line.
We have guests from CBS News who are filming our deliberations. It is not too often that a university gets into the national spotlight for an action we did in 2006. There is an issue on Lincoln University campus which we the faculty want to address. As a higher education institution we are designed to address issues that would create conflict and controversy. Your action in 2006 despite good intentions proves controversy does happen. Dr. James DeBoy has dealt well with the media on this issue.
Faculty Forum: Dr. Melvin Leaman. There was a faculty forum on Wednesday December 2, 2009 on the HPR 103 Fitness for Life course. It was a candid discussion on the issue which reflects the diversity of our faculty, however divisive, by sharing our ideas. There was shared confrontation and caring. There was a united sense that this course was very good in its intent.
Dr. James DeBoy was called upon to give us a history of the course and why we are now at this point. The following statement was read by Dr. DeBoy for the purpose of reminding faculty of the events leading up to this agenda item.
Fitness Class Placement Policy Revised but Goals Reaffirmed by Lincoln University Faculty
As President Nelson has observed on previous occasions the history of Lincoln University is filled with high points, some low points, and plateaus given its lifespan of some 160 years. He reminds us that all institutions with long histories experience occasional fluctuations. Clearly, these past 2 weeks will be recorded as a significant event – the nation, indeed the world, focuses its attention upon a historically Black college located in the rolling hills of Chester County, Pa. What remains to be written, however, is if historiographers deem this fluctuation a “peak” or an “abyss.” Fairly or unfairly, the faculty will play a large part in determining that rating.
Almost 5 years ago the Lincoln faculty adopted a revised core curriculum that included a fitness for life class. In March 2005 we approved a plan that would sort out students for HPR 103: Fitness for Life. The rationale for the class was to address the national epidemic of obesity and its myriad co-morbidities: heart disease, stroke, diabetes 2, selected cancers, and musculoskeletal disorders. Without question, the data collected from Healthy People 2000 and Healthy People 2010 underscored HPER faculty’s commitment to “narrowing the health disparity gap.” Those arguments delivered 5 years ago on the floor of this faculty justifying the HPER core classes are, in our opinion, even more compelling today.
Most colleges offer (and many require) courses on health education. Typical topics include: 7 dimensions of health wellness, decision-making processes, fitness, nutrition, stress management, alcohol, and other drugs, and human sexuality, including but not limited to sexually transmitted disease. Some colleges will provide opportunities for students to assess current health habits and practices that yield health profiles, e.g.., longevity predictions, diet analyses, and % body fat. Where Lincoln entered new territory (and why we are having this discussion today) is that we require a fitness class based upon a single health assessment measure (supplemented with the waist circumference measure).
You have heard some of the arguments pro and con on this matter in Dr. Leaman’s presentation where Faculty shared their opinions in a forum earlier this week. Not surprisingly, the perspectives are diverse. Lincoln’s faculty is truly diverse (and at times perhaps even divisive). Arguments span the entire spectrum of ideological thought; all have been delivered with candor, passion, and deep conviction. Despite the obvious differences of positions presented, one thing shines through the cacophony of dissent: faculty is genuinely concerned about the well-being of our students. Granted how that well-being should be enhanced is the core sticking point in this issue. As we continue that discussion, I urge you to keep in mind that all of us are here for our students. Our methods may vary, but our desired outcome is universally embraced: students’ best interest will be served.
Dr. Nelson then entertained a motion prepared by the faculty of the Department of Health Physical Education and Recreation. The motion was read in its entirety by Dr. DeBoy.
It is proposed that:
1. HPR 101: Dimension of Wellness be retained as a core requirement for all students seeking an undergraduate degree at Lincoln University. This 2-credit, 2 hours/week classroom course will address the topics of health fitness, nutrition, stress management, alcohol and other drugs, and human sexuality;
2. Within the context of HPR 101, students will participate in a battery of health risk appraisals (both qualitative and quantitative) designed to identify potential health risks for the purpose of maximizing quality and quantity of life;
3. At the conclusion of HPR 101 instructors will recommend HPR 103: Fitness for Life to those students whose health risk appraisals suggest that they may benefit from this HPR 103 learning experience. The likelihood of students honoring these recommendations rest largely upon trust levels established between student and instructor; relationship-building will be the more effective strategy than coercion;
4. Students will ultimately have the responsibility of following those recommendations to enroll in HPR 103: Fitness for Life or not. In effect, no single health measure places nor requires any student to complete HPR 103: Fitness for Life. Instructor recommendations for placement are based upon multiple assessment measures conducted over a period of 15 weeks in HPR 101; thus, enrollment on HPR 103 is dependent upon:
(a) HPR 101 faculty recommendation and
(b) Student acceptance of that recommendation.
5. HPR 103: Fitness for Life will generate 1 credit and shall meet 2 times a week for 2 hours.
6. HPER faculty will assess the effectiveness of this revised placement policy regarding HPR 103: Fitness for Life during the next two semesters and will make additional recommendations, if warranted, to the faculty in the 2011-12 academic year.
A handout entitled: Clarifying Lincoln University’s General Education requirement on health education was distributed to the faculty which briefly explained the motion in a nutshell. On the handout the motion was given in brief:
It is proposed that:
1) The BMI (Body Mass Index) assessment test will no longer be used to place students into the HPR 103 (Fitness for Life) course.
2) Based on a multiplicity of health risk appraisals conducted in HPR 101 (Dimensions of Wellness), which is required of all Lincoln University students, the professor will recommend HPR 103 (Fitness for Life) to those students with potential health risks for the purpose of maximizing their quality and quantity of life.
3) Students who are recommended may choose to enroll or not enroll in HPR 103 (Fitness for Life)
HPER faculty are committed to having those students who have health risks take advance the opportunity to take HPR 103 Fitness for Life course.
Dr. Dana Flint seconded the motion.
Dr. Poe asked if the information in this course could be folded into the current two hour Dimensions of Wellness course. Dr. DeBoy reported that HPR 101 covered those topics that were mentioned earlier in the meeting. HPR 103 was designed for a specialized homogeneous group which could benefit the most from this fitness course. Dr. Dade then suggested that this course should be made available for all our students. Dr. Leaman asked was it possible to give all this information in HPR 101 and then give the students the option of taking a fitness course. Dr. Mansell replied that when you have all the students together in the same class it did not help those who were obese or overweight. These students need a physical activity course that provides a healthy environment that will give them the proper exercises in a safe environment. Dr. Gaither-Hardy asked about what criteria will be used to determine the health appraisal measures to make these recommendations. Dr. DeBoy replied these assessment measures will be determined within the next month.
Dr. Royer asked how the current proposal affects the current students graduating in 2010. Dr. DeBoy replied that the proposal being discussed now does apply to the current graduating class. The motion will take effect immediately upon its adaptation.
Dr. Joseph asked how does the HPR 101 course address the following concerns: health care disparity, cultural sensitivity, and the history of obesity in the African American community. She also asked would it be possible to offer a physical fitness course for all of our students in the future. Dr. DeBoy pointed out that we would need additional faculty and the physical space to provide a physical fitness course for all our students. Even with the opening of a new facility soon we will be unable to do this. Lincoln University will never have the financial resources to provide a fitness course program for all our students.
Dr. Stine asked is the six point proposal basically the following: that the HPR 103 Fitness for Life course is optional and that multiple health appraisal measurements besides the BMI will be used. Dr. DeBoy replied: that is correct.
Dr. Wagner-Monsilovich reported that in her thirteen years of experience here she took various health appraisal measurements in the old Lifetime Sports course that prove that a specialized fitness course for those who are obese and overweight is more successful if given a safe atmosphere that is designed for them.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Babatunde drew attention to the callous and disrespectful statement of Dr. Wagner-Monsilovich that African Americans do not know the connection between obesity and wellness to confirm the views expressed strongly by Drs. Joseph and Dade that cultural sensitivity is lacking among mainstream paternalistic professors no matter their years of employment at Lincoln University.
The motion was approved by voice vote with several abstaining.
B. Approval of Faculty Minutes.
The revised and corrected minutes of the October 6, 2009 faculty meeting and the minutes of the November 3 faculty meeting were approved.
C. Recommendations from the Educational Policies Committee
1. Pre-Nursing Program: Dr. David Royer.
Dr. Royer presented the proposed Pre-Nursing program curriculum as the first piece in establishing a nursing program at Lincoln University. It is our desire to establish a full nursing program which will lead to B.S.N. We are now proposing a pre-nursing program for the first two years after which our students can transfer to a bachelors program at another college. We will need to approve in the future six new courses for this program: Chemistry for Health Sciences, Introductory Biology for Nurses, Elementary Bioorganic Chemistry, and Microbiology for Nurses, Pathophysiology, and Foundations of Nursing. The syllabi for three of the courses are on the Academic Affairs website: Elementary Bioorganic Chemistry, Microbiology for Nurses and Chemistry for Health Education.
The intent for this program is that we will have our own Nursing program eventually. This is a stand alone program. The program was approved.
2. Educational Leadership Program: Dr. Grant D. Venerable
Educational Policies have now approved the Educational Leadership Program which was presented last month by the Curriculum Committee.
Dr. Joanne DeBoy reported that we have updated these courses to meet the standard of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and to insure that all the necessary requirements are met including multiculturality for the Philadelphia Area.
There are adequate resources currently to support these two new programs.
Dr. Venerable reported that the Educational Policies Committee will need to have all the necessary resources to offer new programs in the future: faculty and cost estimates to support the program.
This program was approved with 2 abstaining.
D. Recommendations from the Curriculum Committee: Dr. Robert Langley.
Two new courses were presented for approval:
Art 420 Layout and Typography Graphic Arts III: 3 hr credit course (junior year);
MUS2W7 French Horn Lessons: 1 hour credit course
The courses were approved.
A. Report from the By-laws Committee: Dr. Willie Williams.
We are still working on the committee structure. We will contact all the standing committees concerning the roles and responsibilities of the committees and will present the proposals of the committees bit by bit as they are ready.
B. Announcements from the Vice President for Academic Affairs: Dr. Grant Venerable.
1. Early warning for students with Absences or performing poorly in class.
2. Textbook issues. We need to adhere the policy that students purchase their textbooks.
3. Attendance policy. We must take attendance according to the federal law. The Registrar will supply faculty with forms to take attendance.
4. Learning Communities in the Residence halls and the LLC Dining Hall. The faculty will be invited to participate.
Dr. Leaman reminded President Nelson to check into the legal issue whether students should be allowed to use their book vouchers at the bookstore to purchase items other than textbooks at the book store. This issue was brought up at the Faculty Forum on November 12, 2009 with Bishop Evans, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
United Way of Southern Chester County: Dr. Melvin Leaman & Ms. Carrie Freeman.
There was a brief presentation what you could do to help people in your community with your donation to the United Way. Dr. Nelson encouraged the faculty to support the United Way in their communities. You can get a pledge form from Dr. Leaman.
Dr. Nelson thanked the faculty for all their hard work for the past semester.
I want to thank you for the way you the faculty debated the issue concerning the HPER course. We have started a national debate on this issue. We have gotten emails concerning the process by which we were doing it. I would also like to thank the students for the way they discussed the issue with the media. The press team has been on the campus all day. The interviewer was surprised by how articulate our students were on the issue. We could have not paid anyone for publicity we got on this issue. We will be on the CBS News with Katie Courie.
Dr. Kinsey requested that we will need to improve our student health by improving the food choices by providing healthy food, and make effective use of the upcoming wellness center and start having intramural sports program. We may need a committee to develop a fitness program for all our students.
Albert M. Bryson