Representative Faculty Senate Minutes, November 7, 2013
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 1:47 PM
Approval of Minutes:
The minutes from the October 7th meeting were approved as distributed.
Professor Angel proposed a change in the September 2013 Minutes. She pointed to the sentence in which it was stated that acting CFO Kaiser said “there have been many times when the Dean of the Medical School and the CEO were the same person.” What he in fact said was that Doctor Malmud had been both Dean and CEO. The secretary confirmed that he had listened again to the recording of that meeting and agreed with Professor Angel. She moved to strike “historically there have been many times in which” and add “Dr. Malmud, many years ago, was Dean of the Medical School and CEO of the Hospital,” and strike “were the same person.”
Rahdert said that we would need a 2/3 majority to act on this during this meeting. The motion carried.
Angel then requested that if any action items are coming from the FSSC that they be sent out to the Senate several days prior to the meeting. Rahdert agreed.
Angel also suggested that the minutes of the FSSC should be sent to the Representative Senate on a weekly basis. Rahdert will take this up with the FSSC.
Rahdert thanked all who participated in the in President Theobald’s inauguration.
The FSSC held a retreat with all of the deans and representatives from the Provost’s office. The Provost moderated the retreat. We discussed the evolving implementation of the RCM process, the participation of the faculty in the new Academic Programs Review Committee, the need for collegial budget committees chosen by the various collegial assemblies to advise deans about budgetary matters, the development of new masters and non-credit programs, and about academic integrity and the possibility of developing a Temple University honor code.
FSSC also met with President Theobald. We discussed faculty involvement in the budget process at the level of the schools and colleges. He has agreed to encourage the deans to make sure that this occurs. We discussed the review of deans. He told us that the process is being finalized and that it will begin with some deans this spring. We talked about T&P procedures, raising some of the same issues that had been raised in the Senate about actions over the summer. We had a frank discussion, but the President feels that this matter, if it needs further addressing, should be taken up with the Provost. The President informed us that the portion of the campus plan dealing with main campus is nearing completion. The other campuses will take longer to put together plans for. We brought up the issue of diversity. The Committee on Faculty of Color has long sought information about diversity. The President indicated that the Provost has commissioned a study and that this study will be shared with us when it is completed.
We subsequently met with Diane Maleson, Zeb Kendrick, and Tilghman Moyer. We have several other guests scheduled.
We have on the agenda today, three proposed actions. One involves distance learning standards. The second is about the composition of the Academic Program Committee. Rahdert would like to ask us to put that motion on hold. The third addresses the standards and authority of the committee, and the amount of time we will have to review proposals to the committee.
Vice President’s Report:
We have had a tremendous response this fall to requests for serving on various committees. We are 2/3 of the way into the fall semester. Over 50 faculty have volunteered for new service. These come from nearly all schools and colleges. This adds to the more than 200 faculty members already serving. That means 250 faculty out of 1500 full time faculty. This does not count those who are serving at the college and department levels. However, we need more. We need to improve the networks operating between senate committees. We need to find better ways to use technology to communicate between our various committees and also between those committees and other interested parties at the university. Finally, we are trying to create more connections between the senate and the administration and staff. We will be soliciting your ideas.
There are still a few committees that need members. In particular we are looking for members for the Committee on Faculty of Color, and the Committee on the Status of Women.
Presentation by Peter Jones:
Jones first discussed the eSFF process. Student Government is anxious to be able to see some of the material from the eSFF’s. This material is now available to all newly matriculated students, and to other students who filled out SFF’s for all of their other courses in the previous semester. The site will be up permanently and will roll over the information each semester. Jones demonstrated the various pages and information that the students see when they use the system.
He next discussed the question of academic integrity. The tool available on Blackboard for detecting plagiarism, SafeAssign, is not as good as a competing tool named TurnItIn. Faculty have requested that we make TurnItIn available. Doing some research, they discovered that it is cost effective to buy it as part of a package which includes a product for detecting plagiarism in research called AuthentiKit. The decision was to buy the package. It will be available on Blackboard soon. That process led us into a discussion by the Council of Deans about educating faculty and students about academic honesty. HR is working with Teaching and Learning center to address plagiarism from both faculty and student perspectives. Students are anxious to hear clear definitions of plagiarism in the context of group work. One of the possibilities on the table is the development of a student honor code. There have also been discussions about whether we need courses in GenEd and in our major courses about ethics.
Finally he gave us some details about Semester Online. We were offered the chance to be an affiliate member, and we decided that we would go ahead with it. But we were not going to put up any of the Semester Online courses if they replicate Temple courses. EPPC would be the body which decides whether we want to add any Semester Online courses after consultation with the applicable department.
Professor Hochner (FSBM) commented that TAUP representatives, and representatives of the administration met last week to discuss the implications that release of eSFF information to students may have upon the union contract.
Professor Miller (FSBM): Is Semester Online the same organization mentioned at last month’s Senate meeting?
Brief Return to President’s Report:
Professor Hochner, FSBM, pointed out that it is not enough to have a faculty derived budget committee in each college to make recommendations about RCM . In FSBM the dean has announced that he has his own committee of faculty advisors, but the faculty do not know who they are. This is not a proper way to involve faculty in governance.
Rahdert is in entire agreement with that. The Senate needs to keep putting pressure on by reporting constantly back to the Provost and President as we find places where proper faculty engagement is falling short. It is also important that this happen at the college level. Rahdert encourages colleges to get in touch with him if your college is having problems.
Hochner reminded us of the situation in which all changes to bylaws have to be approved by the dean, which in some cases means that no changes will ever happen.
Resolution on Online and Distance Learning:
Professor Schifter, COE presented the resolution brought forth from the FSSC.
The motion was:
The Faculty Senate recommends that the university officially adopt the guidelines put forth by the Distance Learning Standards/Guidelines Committee. These guidelines can be found at
After reading the motion, Schifter reviewed the process by which the guidelines were developed and what they covered.
Professor Newman, CLA congratulated the committee for putting together such a fine report. This was a model of shared governance. We need to make sure that the colleges know about these guidelines.
The motion was passed.
Resolution concerning the Academic Program Advisory Committee:
Professor Newman, CLA, presented the following motion, brought forth from the FSSC:
While the Faculty Senate supports the formation of a committee charged with “encouraging innovation and promoting transparency while avoiding redundancy and inefficiency in the new budgeting model”, we also have some concerns about how this committee will operate in the scope of its charge. They include the following:
• While we understand the desire for efficiency, we believe the proposed ten day comment period on course and program proposals will not give academic units impacted by proposals enough time to respond in an effective way.
• As the University implements decentralized budgeting, it is likely to create incentives for schools and colleges to generate more credit hours at the potential expense of academic quality even if this is short sighted and ultimately self defeating. Ensuring academic quality does not seem to be part of the charge of this committee. While some proposals will be subject to review by the EPPC and the Graduate Board, it is our understanding that a proposal for an undergraduate course or program that will operate within a single school or college is not likely to be viewed by either body. While we believe curricular committees in the colleges and schools will faithfully discharge their duties, we think it is crucial to have a faculty based body at the university level that will review the academic integrity as well as the efficiency and lack of redundancy for proposed programs.
• We are also concerned about the possibility in cases where a new program and an existing program overlap with one another that those authorized to make the decision will favor the new program over the old, and take steps to phase the existing program out. While this may or may not be in the best interest of the University, we seek clarification as to whether APAC will possess such authority and, if so, what procedures are contemplated for involving the school or college responsible for the existing program in making this sort of decision.
For these reasons, the Faculty Senate therefore urges the Provost
1. Lengthen the commenting period to at least three weeks, and to task either the proposer of the program or the committee itself to actively engage in discussions with other schools or colleges whose existing programs may be affected.
2. Make maintaining academic quality a specific part of the committee’s charge, and
3. Clarify the committee’s policies and procedures with respect to the phasing out of existing programs deemed to be either inferior or less efficient than new proposals
The motion carried.
Professor Hochner, FSBM, asked for the rationale for not acting today on the second resolution. Rahdert responded that his conversations with the Provost indicated that the Provost will afford us some opportunity to discuss with us again the composition of the committee later on in this year. Rahdert thinks it is appropriate under these circumstances to hold the other resolution and wait to see how things develop before presenting it to the Senate.
Hochner responded that the resolution urges the provost to reconsider the faculty composition of APAC.
Rahdert responded that it is permissible for a motion to be made to overrule the chair and bring the other resolution to a vote.
Professor Conrad, FSBM, agreed that the motion should be discussed and voted on today. This is a core issue.
Hochner moved to overrule the chair. The motion was seconded, and carried.
The following resolution was presented by Professor Newman as brought forth from the FSSC:
Recently the Provost asked the FSSC to provide names for the Academic Program Advisory Committee. According to the administration, this committee will be charged with encouraging innovation and promoting transparency while avoiding redundancy and inefficiency in the new budgetary model. The current proposal calls for five faculty members on a committee of nine, with perhaps a sixth faculty member if member from the School of Medicine is not among the original five. Three of those faculty are to be selected by the Provost from a list furnished by the FSSC. The other two are to be directly selected by the Provost. When this committee structure was presented to the FSSC, its members requested that more faculty be included, and a greater proportion of those faculty be directly supplied by the Faculty Senate possibly by appointment but preferably by election. Additional faculty at the October Faculty Senate meeting expressed similar views. However, it is our understanding that the current proposal for the composition of the committee remains unchanged. The Faculty Senate believes that a stronger and more representative faculty voice is needed on this committee. The Senate therefore urges the Provost to reconsider the makeup of APAC to allow for more faculty representation and a greater role in the process of selection by the Faculty Senate and the FSSC.
After lively discussion, the motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:05 PM
Paul S. LaFollette, Jr.
Representative Faculty Senate Minutes, January 27, 2014
Representative senators and officers: 36
Faculty, administrators, and guests: 15
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 1:50 PM
Approval of Minutes:
(November 7, 2013 minutes to be presented at the February 18, 2014 meeting.)
President Rahdert welcomed us to the first meeting of the semester. The Vice President’s report will incorporated into his report. It consists of the three words “elections, elections, elections.”
We are already in the process to begin to structure the Senate elections in late March. We need to create a timeline and create a nominating committee. Rahdert asks all of us to consider what elected committees or officer positions we might want encourage our colleagues to run for. The Senate could use some new blood. We need to create a culture of university engagement among our colleagues.
The process for performance review of deans is underway. The first deans to be reviewed will be those from the Law School, the School of Dentistry, and TUJ. The committees are being formed. CATA submitted recommendations for faculty members of those committees.
Several items are up for engagement this semester:
• International education
• FSSC will be meeting with officers of Student Government
• Seeking ways of better coordination between the FSSC and the Board of Trustees. We have invited the chairman of the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee, Judge McKee, to meet with the FSSC later this term.
• We are about to start a campaign to improve attendance at the Representative Senate meetings.
• We expect further discussions of GenEd and undergraduate programs.
• We will pursue the question of the faculty’s role in institutional advancement
• We need to think about the relative roles played by TT, NTT, and Adjunct faculty
• Shared governance and the roles of the Senate and collegial assemblies will be reviewed.
Dialogue with Dai:
The Provost began by announcing that we are currently conducting many searches for TT faculty. One faculty member feared that the majority of these searches would be in the sciences. The President asked Provost Dai to let us know that, excluding the School of Medicine, we are doing 90 searches. Of those, the science lines account for 28. The rest are non-science areas.
The Provost outlined the Fly in Four program. This initiative is a response to the President’s first commitment from his inauguration. The goal is to increase our four year graduation rate and thus decrease student debt at graduation. The program is well described at
Q: What mechanism will be used to resolve disputes about who is at fault if a student requires more than four years to graduate?
A: The design is that we will catch these mistakes early and find ways to resolve it. In order to make this work faculty have to support this initiative and make our delivery of courses more efficient. We will need to simplify pre-requisites. In particular he wants to get rid of courses which demand more than a C- in prerequisite courses. Also we need to pay more attention to the matrix. Experience at other universities is that it is very rare to have to pay for a student’s tuition for a fifth year.
Q: STEM majors faced complexity in their first few semester required math and science courses. Typically, the first one of these courses that a student fails will make four year graduation impossible. We need to think about sequencing and offering courses more frequently even if this is discouraged by RCM. There is also a problem with the math department’s math placement exam. The SAT math test is a better predictor and should be used.
A: We will take these issues very seriously as we enter into this program.
Q: Agrees with difficulties identified in the biology major. What happens if a student chooses to switch majors?
A: If a student can still be on track to graduate in four years after a change of major, then a new plan for four year graduation will be worked out for them and they can continue to participate. It is generally easier to change major from STEM to liberal arts and stay on track than it is to go the other direction.
Q: Is there a way to use the summer to keep people on track?
A: Yes, summer does not enter into the initial pathway developed, but can be used to give time for repeating courses if necessary.
Q: Do we have statistics on what percentage of students take more than 4 years and students who failed a course in STEM and then changed majors?
Also, is renewal of grant aid dependant on making appropriate progress to graduation each year? And will this new grant aid be at the expense of other existing grant programs?
A: Students will be monitored for appropriate progress, and no existing grants will be affected.
Q: Will we need more advisors to make this plan work?
A: We have been increasing the number of advisors over the past few years, but yes we will need more.
President Rahdert next announced that the university has created a new procedure for schools, colleges, and non-academic units to create their budgets. This used to be an informal process. In light of the move to RCM, the CFO has decided to change this to a process in which each budget unit will make a presentation to a budget committee. This will be a larger committee which will include people from the Provost’s office, the budget unit’s office, and a faculty member. There will be many of these committees. One of the jobs of the committee will be to act on requests for discretionary funds from the central fund by evaluating that proposal. We will need faculty for this purpose. Please ask your colleagues to consider volunteering for this.
Presentation by the Athletics Department:
Eleanor Myers, LAW, thanked President Rahdert for continuing the tradition of inviting the Athletics Department to address the Senate. Various members of the Athletics Department then gave a presentation about what has been happening with our student athletes. These presentations are well summarized in the PowerPoint handouts provided.
Following the presentations, Professor Turner, SMC, asked that our guests talk about the process by which the decisions to cut certain athletic programs were made and then communicated to the students and other stake holders. This began a dialog between the representatives from the Athletics Department and various members of the Senate about how the balance for the need for confidentiality, the need for transparency in decision making, the need to include faculty advice when the university is making important decisions about matters that impact the academic mission of the university, and the need to take proper care of our students. No real consensus was reached.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 PM
Paul S. LaFollette, Jr.