University Senate Links
Date: March 20, 2002
The sixth regular meeting of the University Senate met on March 4, 2002 in Rooms 314-316 of the University Union. Chairperson Holter called the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m.
Student member Stuckey was absent.
Chairperson Holter introduced President Mark L. Perkins, who had asked to address the Senate.
He distributed a copy of the testimony he has recently made before the Subcommittee on Education, Business and Administration of the Senate in Annapolis regarding Towson's contribution to higher education in Maryland and its ranking in terms of state funding per FTE student in comparison with our current peer institutions.
He stressed that this represents the beginning of a process that will continue to increase the political base of Towson University. Towson ranks No. 2 in enrollment and No. 9 in funding per FTE student in the University System of Maryland. When compared with all the public institutions in the state, our enrollment rank is still No. 2, but our funding ranking goes from 9th to 11th. This information will be shared broadly.
The following is a summary of the remainder of President Perkins' comments:
We have absorbed some of the reduction in funds. The Governor supports a budget without further cuts for higher education. The Senate just recommended a zero increase for higher education. If we can get the governor's budget supported, it will be the best for the USM. A zero increment increase at this point would be disastrous for us. This is a very difficult political year. The tax cut is on the table. It is still too early to draft any kind of budget for Towson.
President Perkins invited questions or comments.
Professor Vatz noted that there is a long tradition of Towson getting disproportionate funding cuts. If this could be turned around, it would be a major change.
Provost Jones stated that we have a stronger argument for funding this year.
Professor Stevens-Ratchford asked where we are on the journey.
Answer: We are at the beginning of the journey; we will continue as long as it takes. It won't happen just because of the President, but the Towson community needs to show that we are behind this.
President Perkins then introduced the new Vice-President for University Advancement, Dr. Gary N. Rubin. Dr. Rubin graduated from Towson University in 1969 with a B.A. in public address. Chairperson Holter welcomed Dr. Rubin to the Senate.
The Senate then returned to the agenda for the meeting. The secretary distributed a revised copy of the agenda.
The Minutes of the February meeting were approved as distributed.
Provost Jones had no announcements, though he did mention that two faculty have received Regents awards. He couldn't identify them because the awards have not been made public yet.
Vice President Harnage had no announcements.
Assistant Vice President Clay announced that Vice President Parker is coming along well and sends his regards.
Professor Sullivan (AAUP-Faculty Association) announced that the tentative date for the Spring meeting of the AAUP-Faculty Association will be Thursday, May 2 at 3:30 p.m. He also continued to invite faculty to send in their dues. As an economist he noted that it appears the economy may be improving!
Professor Siegel (CUSF) announced that CUSF met on February 19.
Several bills are under consideration by the General Assembly:
Bill to extend the approval procedures for new programs by two years. Bill for collective bargaining for faculty (H.B. 604): probably will not pass.
Concerns for funding for libraries; this is a major concern at all campuses. CUSF unanimously approved full benefits for domestic partners. They are also looking at grievance procedures regarding retaliation against people making political stance. Schools will probably be asked to submit policies on this issue.
Mr. Crusante (SGA) announced that members of SGA recently met with Chief of Campus Police to plan a safety rally. This Friday is Tiger Pride Day in Annapolis. Students and others will meet with legislators. Next week SGA will be participating in the Inauguration of President Perkins. He thanked Chairperson Holter for visiting the SGA.
Chairperson Holter announced that the Senate Constitution Rewrite subcommittee met. A member of this subcommittee will visit each Senate Committee to explain what it would like them to do in terms of re-considering their makeup, responsibilities, and procedures. They will be asked to make a report to the subcommittee by May 1. Then the subcommittee will meet during the summer and prepare to present its recommendations to the Senate at the September meeting.
Ms. Berlanstein said that the information on the Senate Committees will be put on the Senate Web Page at the link to committees.
Professor Vocke moved, Professor Stein seconded a motion: To receive the annual report of the Teacher Education Executive Board (Motion 01 / 02-12).
Dean Hinkle spoke to the motion. Professor Gallagher asked if perhaps we should consider standardizing the form for the annual reports.
The question was called. The motion passed 19-0-0.
Professor Gissendanner moved, Professor Siegel seconded a motion: To approve the establishment of a Department of Women Studies from the current Women's Studies program. (Motion 01 / 02-13).
Dean Leetch and Professor Jo-Ann Pilardi answered questions.
Mr. Crusante asked how many majors are in the program. Answer: ten undergraduates and ten graduates.
Professor Zimmerman asked about sharing of faculty. Answer: There are two full-time and one shared faculty member.
Provost Jones noted that this is a proposal we have considered for years. This is a real landmark for Towson.
The question was called and the motion passed 21-0-0.
Professor Nelson moved, Professor Stevens-Ratchford seconded a motion: To approve the use of the USM classification for clinical faculty at Towson University. (Motion 01 / 02-14).
Dean Exner spoke to the motion and provided some background. She stated that this helps the university acquire clinical faculty. These positions are used at the UM Baltimore. They are not tenure track. They can be appointed at any rank.
Professor Zimmerman asked what departments would be using these appointments. Answer: Perhaps Nursing, P.A. masters program, O.T. and Occupational Science, Hearing and Audiology, Athletic Training. Provost Jones added perhaps interdisciplinary programs.
Professor Siegel asked about the field of Education and how does this relate to PINs. Answer: These individuals hold a PIN. Some long-term visiting positions could potentially be placed in these positions.
Professor Sullivan asked whether these persons would be eligible for merit. Currently, lecturers are not eligible for merit. Answer: They will be in the same pool mix for merit.
Professor Gallagher noted that this is a proposal for the university; such appointments could also be made in other departments.
Professor Davani asked about the requirement of doctorate for appointment for full professor.
Professor Siegel asked whether these individuals would be in the faculty electorate. Answer: yes - they are non-tenure track, full-time faculty. They would not sit on Tenure Committees. In place of a research expectation, they would have performance expectations. They would be required to maintain a high level of clinical expertise.
Professor Sullivan noted that our constitution doesn't differentiate between tenure/tenure track faculty and other full-time faculty in defining the faculty electorate. Provost Jones said that lecturers are not part of the faculty electorate.
Professor Christian asked why not make them tenure track. Answer: these people do not have research expectations, so could not be evaluated in the same way towards tenure.
Professor Gissendanner asked if we are voting to approve this type of appointment in all colleges. Provost Jones answered: it could be anywhere in the university. It would be the option of the department where these appointments would be appropriate.
Professor Stevens-Ratchford asked how they would be integrated into departmental evaluative processes. Answer: Annual workload agreement; they would be evaluated annually (as are all visiting faculty); and they would be evaluated for merit. Professor Stevens-Ratchford asked if new criteria would need to be drawn up for evaluation. Answer: specific standards would have to be written.
Professor Siegel expressed reluctance to vote for the motion without feedback from all the college councils and the faculty in other colleges.
Professor Siegel moved, Professor Zimmerman seconded a substitute motion: To approve limiting the proposal to the College of Health Professions and to refer the question to the College Councils for their evaluation.
Dean Exner noted that the College of Health Professions has about 80 full-time faculty: 5 lecturers, 21 visiting faculty. She foresees about 12-15 clinical faculty.
Professor Nelson asked if there would be an impact on our ratings if this motion were passed.
Provost Jones answered that many schools have such appointments. Dean Exner noted that this plan has the potential for providing a more stable faculty. There is a shortage of faculty in these areas.
Professor Vatz asked if there would be competition for PINs. Answer: Dean Exner does not see any impact.
Professor Sullivan asked how would re-appointment be made if conditions change or if a person lost his/her clinical license for example. Answer: Since there is no tenure involved, the appointments could be terminated.
The question was called. The substitute motion passed 17-1-0.
Discussion Item: Presentation of preliminary discussions of changing our focus to a learning centered university.
Dean Hinkle made a presentation coming from the Council of Deans regarding proposals to make Towson University a more "Learner Centered" rather than merely a "Learning Centered" University.
There was considerable discussion about how to engage the campus in discussion; what do we need to bring distinction to the campus; what basic values do we all hold.
It was noted that students need to be involved in these discussions. Student members of the Senate agreed that things need to be focused on students as learners.
Provost Jones noted that these suggestions offer huge faculty development possibilities: how do you get students into the subject matter; it requires great challenge to professors to give more personal attention to the students.
Dean Hinkle outlined 3 questions involved:
How do they learn?
Provost Jones asked how is this approach different from what many of us have always done?
Professor Stein said that we need to look at what we are already doing. He mentioned the College of Fine Arts and Communication in this regard.
Dean Loeschke stated that for the first time we are engaging in conversation about our focus. We spend so much time trying to be all things to all people.
Provost Jones noted that there are many different offices on campus struggling with these questions, but many don't know about the existence of others.
It was noted that the proposals would be presented to the College Councils and the faculty for discussion.
Discussion Item: University Parking Fees.
Vice President Harnage stated that this regards the rate structure for next year. Parking facilities must be self-supporting. The new parking rate structure has been necessitated because of construction of the garage behind 7800 York Rd. He has asked for parking and planning data for parking; there is no evidence that we have engaged in any parking and transportation study. At this point he has asked that any increases in parking fees be limited to no more than $25 for the academic year 2002-2003.
Professor Siegel noted that this issue points up the role of the Senate Committee structure to discuss decisions and policies of this sort.
Vice-President Harnage said that this was a victim of timing. The administration will involve the constituents in the future.
A comment was made that parking problems have become exacerbated by the current class schedule matrix.
Provost Jones asked that we propose a change in the schedule matrix.
Professor Siegel moved and Professor Stevens-Ratchford seconded a motion to adjourn.
The Senate adjourned until April 1, 2002.
James Anthony, Secretary
The University Senate usually meets the first Monday of each month during the fall and spring semesters. The Executive Committee of the University Senate invites all interested parties to attend the meetings in the University Union.
Copies of documents relevant to agenda items are available at the Faculty Reserve Desk in Cook Library. Recordings of meetings are located in the Cook Library in the Media Resource Services area on the second floor.