September 17, 2014 Meeting Summary
The Chair welcomed the senators to the first senate meeting and introduced new senators. She also noted that the senators represent the faculty at large and that it is important for senators to report back to their colleagues on senate business. The Provost reported that Phyllis Peres is recovering from surgery and is at home. Faculty are encouraged to reach out to her while she regains her health. Mary L. Clark has stepped in and is performing effectively. Provost Bass also noted that undergraduate applications went down last year but the yield was the highest in AU’s history. Convocation was a great success, with a high turnout and eager audience. Graduate enrollment missed its mark, although CAS saw a slight increase. Next, Jim Goldgeier reported on the upcoming faculty retreat. The main focus at the October faculty retreat will be on teaching and the challenges facing us in a changing student landscape and competition in higher education. This is an opportunity for faculty to step outside their fields, and for us to build a stronger sense of community. Then Karen Froslid-Jones discuss the Middle States report. The report was a positive one, but the university still has work to do to continue its evolution. The evaluation commended the university on its shared governance and innovations in teaching. Larry Engel reported on the new senate blog that is launching this week. Senate leadership feels that it may help improve dialogue among faculty concerning senate business and shared governance. It is informal and is not intended to replace the formal senate website. It will be password protected and will allow for anonymous posts. Several changes (mainly editorial, not substantive) to the by-laws were presented and passed, and several changes were to the Undergraduate Regulations were proposed and passed, while others were tabled for revision and clarity. Finally, Tony Ahrens, Chris Tudge, and Lenny Steinhorn discussed the work of the SET committee. The committee continues to review SETs and evaluation of teaching. It is eager to get feedback from the community, and is looking at online forms rather than paper.
May 7, 2014 Meeting Summary
The May Senate meeting began with good news about enrollments from Provost Scott Bass: We have the highest yield ever, at 1900 students, for this fall’s freshman class. And groups such as racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, and Pell-eligible students have all increased in number, too. This summer, the deans will meet to discuss ways to address the challenges that an unusually large freshman class will pose. The Senate also approved minor changes to the Senate Bylaws that clarify some election-eligibility and term-length issues, as well as revisions to the Undergraduate Academic Regulations concerning internship policies and hours, and Deans’ List and academic probation and dismissal policies. In addition, the Senate approved the merger of the library faculty manual and the main manual, with an appendix for the section on continuing-appointment lines. A faculty subcommittee presented a revised document outlining procedures for reporting conflict of time commitments; these new procedures draw directly on language from the Faculty Manual, and the Senate approved them. Finally, the Senate’s standing committees reported on their activities from this past academic year.