Others present: O. Ocampo, J. Schonsheck, M. Goodisman, M. DiTullio, E. Ryan, M. Ruwe, C. Wolford, D. Donn, M. Giegengack, C. Kelly.
I. Minutes of October 22, 1997
The secretary pointed out that the vote tallies are inaccurate. She failed to reflect that the President chooses not to vote and that two voting members were absent. The vote tallies were as follows. In IV.A. the vote was 14-0-1. On page 2 in V.A., the vote was 15 - 0 - 0.
II. Opening comments
M. Collins distributed an updated list of faculty appointments to senate committees. She announced that next spring, the Executive Board will meet on Wednesdays at 4:30 PM. Kathleen Nash will chair the new programs subcommittee of the College Planning Committee. Barbara Blaszak is also on it. The officers of the senate will begin meeting with AVP Geisinger regarding the equity vetoes.
AVP Geisinger remarked that in his first five months at Le Moyne he is impressed with the institution, its faculty, and the environment of open dialogue.
Prof. Arnault is not impressed with what she perceives as the failure of the President of the Senate to report to the Executive Board what is happening on such issues as the status of minority recruitment, the faculty/student ratio issue, AACSB, the Middle States report that was due November 1, and the evaluations of administrators. She registered her concern that there is not enough information flow, that changes in governance seem to be taking place, and that the role of the senate is called into question. Prof. Collins responded that she is working within the committee structure and is asking committees to bring issues to the Executive Board and for the College Planning Committee to distribute its minutes. The one change in governance is that the subcommittee on new programs is now linked with curriculum committee.
A lengthy discussion affirmed that communication channels need to be sharpened college-wide, including those of faculty that serve on college committees. The College Planning Committee is viewed as central to developments at the College. The MAAC/Division I matter raised much concern that decisions will be made without faculty input. Faculty on the Athletic Advisory Committee (AAC) were presented a proposal and were caught off-guard since they never expected that it would move so quickly. The issue did come before the College Planning Committee (CPC) twice, but not before October 1996 when the AAC received it.
III. Questions for Committee Reports (ATTACHMENT A)
Finance Chair J. Glancy reported that the Budget Committee has begun discussion of the five-year budget. Admissions is planning on 460 freshmen next year. $93,000 was set aside for faculty travel for 1997/98 and was based on input Dean Ruwe received on projected amounts submitted to her. Faculty will be fully funded for one trip. At one juncture $108,000 was planned, but discrepancies were found. Dean Ruwe pledges to look at this again depending on need to cover first trips. Second trips are on hold for funding. How faculty travel is funded is a policy matter for Professional Rights & Welfare Committee and the AVP and not for the College Budget Committee. Professional Rights & Welfare submitted a draft revision of Section VI of the Faculty Handbook (that includes travel) to the AVP.
IV. Old Business
A. Proposal on stipends for adjunct faculty (ATTACHMENT B)
Prof. Shefrin moved to take this proposal off the table and I. Barnello seconded the motion. J. Glancy, chair of the ad hoc committee to look at this matter described the proposal as one designed to raise the base pay of adjuncts without offering them an inflationary component. Last spring the administration announced that, because of legal counsel, it will no longer grant any COLA-like raises to adjunct. So the group sought another way to recognize these faculty members that was not built on COLA.
The history of the treatment of adjunct faculty was reviewed. An ad hoc committee of the Senate in the mid-1980s advocated four benefits for adjunct faculty. Two were accepted by Dean Finlay, one of which was the granting of COLA.
M. Goodisman argued that this ruling is still valid since it has not been rejected by the Senate and since inflationary increases were granted in August 1997. She suggested that the attorney revisit this.
C. Donn further argued that this is a change in official college policy. Back in the 1980s, after Dean Finlay made his ruling approving two of the four benefits for adjuncts, the issue came back to the Senate and the Executive Board accepted it and asked that the College put into place the policy on those issues that he hadn’t vetoed. This is different than an agreement between the AVP and the faculty. To simply make an administrative reversal on this is improper in the absence of some compelling reason like a court ruling.
AVP Geisinger reminded the group that the term to use is inflationary increase and not COLA. There are implications for other employees and benefits we currently don’t provide adjuncts. He does not believe this effort to enhance adjunct salaries by $88,000 should be categorized as a negative social justice issue. It is a well-intentioned effort.
It was clarified that the inflationary increases were given in August because Dean Ruwe, in the absence of a new plan, followed the existing plan. M. Collins asked that if we ignore this new proposal in front of us or vote it down, would inflationary increases continue to be granted? The Dean indicated that they would in the absence of any new policy. The AVP responded that the adjuncts’ starting salaries would be much lower without this proposed plan and declined to indicate what would happen to inflationary raises without a new plan. When asked why inflationary raises were given in August when it went against the advice of counsel, the AVP responded that he believed it was a mistake
M. Goodisman distributed a chart (ATTACHMENT C) indicating what would happen to adjunct salaries under the current plan with inflationary increases and under the new plan. Less money would be spent under the existing situation and more assurances would be granted to this group of professionals. The new plan, in her view, is a violation of policy and contains too much uncertainty regarding future raises for adjuncts.
C. Donn urged that the standard for starting salaries for adjuncts be raised and pointed out that the real issue involves COLA or whatever you want to call it. There is nothing illegal or ill advised or unusual about paying an inflationary adjustment to some employees and not to others that he or his colleagues can uncover. He added that there is a big difference between a discretionary increase and an automatic one. Adjuncts’ contracts run from semester to semester; they do not have to be rehired if they do not do a good job. If they are good, all we are asking for is that they automatically have their purchasing power preserved. Strategically, he can see why an attorney would advocate against such raises, but he sees no legal impediment. He suggests we vote down this proposal, vote in an alternative one, and let the administration come to the Senate to articulate a clear and elaborated legal objection. If adjuncts lose an inflationary adjustment, others may as well.
J. Consler, a member of the ad hoc committee working on the proposal, spoke of his understanding from the beginning that the effort to make adjunct salaries more equitable would have a cost associated with it and that the administration wanted something back for its $88,000 in the form of the elimination of the inflationary component. The committee worked with the premise that COLA was illegal for adjuncts. Although his group came up with the best package possible, he will vote against this proposal because he agrees that it is a political issue and a strategic maneuver, not a legal decision. The faculty salary plan has been abrogated in the past. There are implications when the administration threatens the salary plan, even indirectly.
The measure was defeated. The vote was 1 in favor, 12 opposed, and 3 abstained.
An alternative proposal (ATTACHMENT ) was made by B. Shefrin and seconded by A. Fischler that would raise the starting salaries of adjuncts and preserve the COLA granted to adjuncts by Dean Finlay over ten years ago.
M. Goodisman, referred to her chart to dispel notions that COLA (at a rate of 2.5%) would be too costly. She called for the defeat of this amended proposal because of the unknown raises to be granted.
C. Donn warned of following overly conservative legal advice. He suggested that we pass this amended proposal, refer it back to the committee, and examine the legal problems. If there are substantive legal problems, then we can re-do it. In the meantime we should stand by our adjunct colleagues.
The motion passed by a vote of 12 - 0 with 2 abstentions.
V. New Business
A. Physical Education requirement
Prof. Fischler moved the following resolution and it was seconded by I. Barnello
Resolved, that the Physical Education requirement for all Le Moynestudents be eliminated immediately, but that the Athletic Department mustoffer, for interested students, at least two non-credit optionalmini-courses on different recreational activities each semester in orderto foster the notion of lifelong participation in physical activity.
With two members anxious to leave the meeting at this juncture, concern was expressed for the need for a quorum of 14 and for the need to deliberate, rather than have a hasty vote. Dean Ruwe reviewed its history with ARPP and the committee’s grappling with the decision of whether to eliminate this requirement for all classes or just for 2001 onward. She has not waived this requirement for anyone. She has made substitutions of many sorts. She would like to be equitable with this and to waive it now for all would be inequitable.
It was clarified that although the courses have disappeared this semester, the requirement still exists. This resolution will eliminate the requirement for all and put the Dean in an uneasy situation with some students.
Although a vote was taken (6-4-4) that defeated the resolution for lack of a required majority vote in favor, the vote was declared null and void since the written votes taken by the secretary from two members who left the meeting were found to be improper according to Robert’s Rules of Order. This attempt to preserve the quorum failed. The meeting concluded without resolving the issue of the physical education requirement. The meeting was adjourned.
Inga H. Barnello
December 8, 1997
Attachments A - D [only A available in html version--IHB]
The report for the Committee on Academic Relations, Policies, andProcedures is tantamount to what appears in the approved minutesof its meetings of September 24th and October 8th. Copies of these minuteshave been posted in the Faculty Senate bulletin folder, on the web page forthe Faculty Senate being maintained by Inga Barnello, and on the Senate'sbulletin board in the mailroom.
At its meeting of October 22nd, the Committee approved a resolution callingfor the immediate elimination of the Physical Education requirement forall Le Moyne students with the stipulation that the Athletic Departmentmust offer, for interested students, at least two non-credit optionalmini-courses on different recreational activities each semester in order tofoster the notion of lifelong participation in physical activity. Thisresolution appears under "New Business" on the agenda for the Nov. 12thmeeting of the Executive Board.
As the Committee's next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 12th,at 2:30 p.m., the proposed minutes of its October 22nd meeting have not yetbeen corrected, discussed, and approved.
Charles J. Kelly
PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS & WELFARE COMMITTEE REPORT
by Thomas Clifton
The committee has sent a revised benefits section to the AVP Kurt Geisinger for his comments. We are waiting to hear from him before we submit the revisions to the faculty senate. A proposal concerning the implementation of shared positions was also sent to the AVP for his comments, especially the section that covers benefits. As soon as the AVP has had a chance to look over the documents and respond, the committee will submit our proposals to the faculty senate. We hope to meet with the AVP before Thanksgiving Break.
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