February 11, 2015
The Senate heard from the leaders of Public Safety, Dan Nichols and Phillip Morse. They discussed the recent assessment and improvements concerning safety issues related to the “Man with a Gun” incident last fall. It was the first time in AU’s history that there was a lockdown. They noted that Public Safety worked with the FBI, Metro police, and Homeland Security on a thorough walkthrough and 3D high tech scan of campus for training purposes. Any person, department or school that wants Public Safety to meet with them are invited to contact Dan or Phillip to set up a meeting. They also recommended that we use an app called Rave Guardian (http://www.ravemobilesafety.com/rave-guardian/) to track public safety at AU during a crisis.
After they left, the minutes were approved for the January meeting. Elections are coming up very soon and the Chair encouraged all senators to work with their units to enlist candidates.
The Provost reported that the budget cycle is moving very quickly and that we are facing revenue challenges, again, because of graduate enrollments not meeting expectations. However, with new application and recruitment tools being used in CAS and SOC, there are signs that enrollment may start improving. The Provost also reiterated that the revisions to the SETs must be concluded by the Senate before the end of this academic year so that IT can have it in place for the fall semester. For undergraduate applications, he noted that there will likely be nearly 600 early admits next year. The Provost also mentioned that the Mellon Foundation is very supportive of our efforts to investigate and improve the transition from high school to college for the changing demographics of college students nationwide and at AU.
Faculty manual and academic regulations were passed by the Senate. The reporting form for Conflict of Time Commitment was passed with several friendly amendments. The Honors in the Major or Field proposal was also passed with several friendly amendments.
January 14, 2015 Meeting Summary
The December minutes were approved. The Provost noted that SET revisions and recommendations are of critical importance for the senate this semester. Implementation, especially moving to a digital reporting system, will take time. We need to make sure that we’re hearing from various stakeholders including term faculty, tenure-line faculty and students.
The Provost also suggested that work on social media guidelines that include recommendations for language in syllabi that protects intellectual property and the use of social media in the classroom is important, but focus should be on the SETs.
Graduate enrollment did not meet budget target for the term and year. CAS implemented a new management system that seems to create a better flow and increased enrollment. Others have not made their numbers and the budget expectations will be adjusted.
The Provost also spoke of the continuing tension on the campus concerning gender, race, and violence. Campus Life is working hard on creating a series of events and programs. The DAA noted that she is working closely on this and has begun attending council meetings with Fanta AW in the schools.
The Provost then talked about challenging issues for the budget: low tuition compared to our peer institutions, not meeting graduate growth goals, and reducing the freshman population by 178 next fall (we were over-enrolled this year).
The university faces challenges with mental health, drinking, and striking out as the student population changes. It is a volatile situation that we’re working hard on; it is important for retention.
There was discussion about how the university is responding across units and concern was expressed about violence against women. There is a task force being developed to address these issues and the Provost noted that there was a good meeting with the Mellon Foundation about our students' success and our nimble and innovative teaching and learning environments. They are interested in a proposal from us.
The Senate continued the discussion of the implementation of Conflict of Time Commitment procedures, and approved a number of minor changes to the Faculty Manual.