Minutes of the Full Faculty Senate
October 7, 1997

President Mary K. Collins called the meeting to order at 3:40 PM. The single order of business was to have an open discussion with the Academic Vice President about the vetoes of four items on last year’s equity referendum. Under the Faculty Senate Constitution the Senate can either uphold the vetoes or conduct a balloting on whether to override the vetoes.

“Item A”
The teaching load for all full-time members of the faculty is 21 hours per academic year until the load is uniformly reduced to 18 hours per academic year for all full-time faculty.

Faculty comments
Administration's response
  • The veto of A violates contracts of untenured people who came here with understanding that as a condition of hire, they had a 3/4 or a 3/3.
  • AVP Carlson once told chairs at a chairs meeting that departments could change to a 3/3 load if they felt they could do so without adding faculty. Is this still policy?
  • The course load stipulated in the Faculty Handbook is a maximum. [“shall not exceed twelve lecture hours weekly each semester” -IHB]
  • The survey data from other institutions may represent the contractual obligation, but not the reality.
  • Hard feeling brought this to ARPP two years ago, but since the veto, faculty with a 3/4 load feel threatened by a 4/4 load and by the prospect for other impositions.
  • It was in the context of the Faculty Handbook that the veto was made. Until the Handbook is changed, no changes are practical.
  • Fr. Ryan had checked the practice here, not the documentary history.
  • Equitable does not always mean equal. There are different salaries for different disciplines.
  • We are for equity, witness the lowering of stipends for overloads in business disciplines, and witness the three-year salary adjustments of $100,000, $180,000, and $180,000. There is also an ad hoc group working on a policy for overload limits.
  • Fr. Ryan found differences among departments when he called other institutions.
  • A discussion of process brought out four options for the Senate: to send this back to the Committee on Academic Relations, Policies, and Procedures (ARPP), to uphold the vetoes, to vote to override them, or to negotiate changes in the Handbook on these issues right away. Some expressed concern that the faculty not ignore the voice of the faculty on these important issues that have been before us for two years and that there is value in sending this expression of dissatisfaction to the Trustees. Others felt it pointless to ask the Trustees to overrule the AVP on this. It was suggested that once they say no, the door will be closed.

    Motion: C. Donn moved that the officers of the senate enter into negotiations with the administration to come to a mutual resolution. B. Blaszak seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 26 - 3 - 7.

    “Item D”
    A member of the faculty shall be granted a one-course reduction from the teaching load described above, upon request, if the total enrollment in her/his courses during the previous academic year (exclusive of compensated overloads) exceeded 175 students.

    Item D was approved with reservations by AVP Ryan last year. With the change in AVPs and the failure of the College to put into practice this policy, it was asked if this does not make AVP Geisinger’s subsequent veto of Item D null and void. The procedural timeline came into question. It was recalled that Fr. Ryan was given further time to respond initially to the referendum and then asked for time to gather data. Regardless, “Item D” was approved by Fr. Ryan as AVP.

    AVP Geisinger responded that he vetoed Item D because the College is early in a process of looking at faculty/student ratio and course loads and that this is not the time to make changes on this issue of productivity. It remains unclear that we can get to 15 to 1 ratio with the 175 cap. When you look at the reverse of whether faculty would be willing to add to their load if they taught less than this number of students, it shows that Item D is flawed. The AVP would not speak to the issue of whether or not he was authorized to veto Item D. He made a decision when asked to do so.

    In response, the faculty pointed out that, indeed, D is flawed without the documentation and data on what the practice has been. Procedurally this entire matter is flawed.

    Motion: C. Donn moved and V. Hevern seconded the following resolution. The veto of Item D as expressed in the September 12, 1997 memo from the AVP should be considered null and void as a violation of the Faculty Senate Constitution. The motion passed with none opposed and one abstention.

    It was clarified at this point that C. Donn’s first motion on entering negotiations with the administration was not meant to be inclusive of all the other items.

    “Item B”
    The teaching load for chairs of departments is 12 hours per academic year.

    Faculty comments
    Administration's responses
  • Current practice is that all chairs have a 2/2 load.
  • It was once in the Statutes of the College that chairs receive a reduction in course load.
  • What is the current policy, now that this is vetoed?
  • In 1995, as part of Middle States, the Statutes were replaced.
  • Fr. Ryan vetoed B on the basis of justice and fairness, specifically that chairs do not all have the same size departments or number of majors.
  • Fr. Ryan responded that his veto was not a veto of current practice, but rather a refusal to make it official policy until such time as the duties of chairs and the means of selecting chairs are spelled out in the Faculty Handbook.
  • Motion: E. Hayes moved that the Senate authorize its officers and department chairs to enter into negotiations with the administration to come to a mutual resolution on Item B by March 1, 1998. A. Vetrano seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 30 - 1 - 3.

    “Item G”
    A member of the faculty may be granted reductions in her/his teaching load, upon request, in recognition of service such as Director of a Program, Chair of the Committee on Rank and Tenure, Chair of the Health Professions Advisory Committee, or other such activities in service to the College requiring similar effort, as agreed upon by the Academic Dean and the appropriate Department Chair. Such a reduction may be made in advance, if the activity can be predicted or in recognition of past service. All such reductions shall be publicly announced.

    Faculty comments
    Administration’s responses
  • Integral Honors has a document stipulating a 2/2 load for its director.
  • Faculty need leadership from the administration on how faculty service to this institution can be valued and encouraged.
  • In some colleges, chairs or deans are doing these administrative jobs.
  • ARPP was recognizing existing practice and left the policy open to approval of the AVP with use of the word “may.”
  • The rationale’s remark about faculty expecting to be paid for service is offensive in tone.
  • Remarks about teachers not teaching is not true.
  • Over the years the practice of granting course load reductions (clr) was based on personality, not need, and this should stop.
  • The nature of the veto is to discourage service.
  • The problems of the Handbook should not be hung over our heads.
  • A clr is favored by some faculty over a stipend because of reasons of time commitment and income tax.
  • What faculty really want is the public disclosure. The last statement in item G was what all the discussion was about two years ago in ARPP.
  • This was vetoed because trustees are worried about course loads and class size and moving to a 15:1 ratio. He didn’t want to do anything that would change the way that ratio could be interpreted. There is a concern that our best teachers are pulled from the classroom in place of adjuncts, especially in the core.
  • Support for public disclosure was expressed.
  • Fr. Ryan had no history; he looked to the trustees and their concerns.
  • We need a clear and accurate Faculty Handbook.
  • Wished “G” was more instructive in its call for public disclosure by saying that the administration shall publish a list of all those who receive clrs.
  • We need to look at the way we operate and organize ourselves to aid students in the best way. Secretarial support for faculty is a big concern. Faculty do too much secretarial work. Let’s keep faculty in the classroom and have administrative staff do these jobs.
  • Motion: I. Barnello moved that the Senate authorize the Senate officers and department chairs to enter into negotiations with the administration to come to a mutual resolution on Item G by March 1, 1998. R. Bucko seconded the motion. It passed 21 - 0 - 1.

    The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 PM.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Inga H. Barnello
    October 9, 1997


    Created: 10/9/97 by I.Barnello Updated: 10/9/97