of the Campus Faculty Meeting
Ro Di Brezzo, Chair
I. Call to Order - Ro Di Brezzo, Campus Faculty Chair
Ro Di Brezzo called the meeting to order at 3:30.
II. Approval of the Agenda
Without objection, the agenda was approved.
III. Minutes of the Fall 2009 Meeting
Without objection, the minutes of the Fall 2009 meeting were approved.
The Chair commented on the following:
- We need additional nominees for the APT committee and at-large senate seats.
- Dr. DiBrezzo expressed her appreciation for the current administration and the ability to feel well connected to the process with her co-leader, Neil Allison. She also encouraged folks to get more involved in campus governance and expressed further appreciation for the Executive Committee, Neil Allison and Inza Fort and their leadership for the last two years.
The Chancellor commented on the following:
- Financial situation is not as bad as some 90% of all other institutions across the country. Many are experiencing huge cuts. The Chancellor is hopeful for better days. They have proposed a tuition increase request of 4%.
- We are currently 26% ahead in our admissions for this fall. We could have an additional 800 students; this will not be budgeted until the following year to ensure that it will actually happen.
- The administration is trying once again for a salary increase and the hope is to fully implement the pay plan for classified staff, to increase tenure track lines but to continue to be involved in cost-containment to help us through tougher times as they arise.
- We may have a flat or lower budget next year but it is not anticipated to be drastic.
The Provost commented on the following:
- We are making progress in the six year graduation rate. Chairs Saxena and Hodges, whose committee is looking into this, should have a report soon.
- We are committed to diversity at the U of A. The diversity task force is considering having each department work up a diversity plan.
- We continue to increase in graduate student numbers and research funding. A search continues for the two replacements for Dean Geren.
- The University still seeks to have responsible enrollment growth. 17 new faculty positions on campus this fall and the plan is to add more as we continue to grow.
- The projected enrollment is 20,500 this fall; this could be on the low side.
- The APT committee is looking into electronic file submission to help with sustainability.
- We have narrowed the number of benchmark peer institutions. The 9 SEC schools are one segment of our benchmark list along with 6 additional schools: Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa State, Clemson, U of Oklahoma and U of Kansas. This is a more manageable list.
- A committee of faculty continues to examine our course evaluations and to explore ways to improve them, perhaps even to offer them online. Any changes will probably not be put in place this fall.
Questions focused on the following:
- Our aspirations for improvement - We are constantly looking for ways to improve.
- Overrides - need to find a better way, a better system than what is currently in place.
- Act 182 - The topic of 182 came up and the difficulty some programs are having with overrides as a result of new demands. There has been a lot of confusion; Colleges and, in particular, departments ought to be able to make the decisions about course requirements for their majors. The interpretation is believed to be a better, clearer interpretation.
- Faculty to student ratio - The plan is to continue to add tenure track faculty, in particular in those departments which are struggling the most. The administration is aware of the issue and is continuing to work to resolve it.
- Commission on Women - set up to look at salary and responsibility issues.
- Board of Trustees - very attentive to our Chancellor; they have great respect for him!
V. Old Business
VI. New Business
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm