SFSU Academic Senate

Minutes of September 12, 2000

The Academic Senate was called to order by Chair Vaughn at 2:10 p.m.

Senate Members Present:

Aaron, Eunice; Alvarez, Alvin; Avila, Guadalupe; Bartscher, Patricia; Bernstein, Marian; Blomberg, Judith; Boyle, Andrea; Cancino, Herlinda; Chan, Jeffery; Cherny, Robert; Colvin, Caran; Concolino, Christopher; Consoli, Andres; Contreras, Rey; Corrigan, Robert; Cullers, Susan; de Vries, Brian; Duke, Jerry; Edwards, James; Elia, John; Ferretti, Charlotte; Flowers, Will; Garcia, Oswaldo; Gillotte, Helen; Goldsmith, Helen; Harnly, Caroline; Hu, Sung; Hubler, Barbara; Jerris, Scott; Johnson, Dane; Johnson, Sharon; La Belle, Thomas; Langbort, Carol; Loomis, Barbara; McKeon, Midori; Nichols, Amy; Pasaporte, Erin; Raggio, Marcia; Sagisi, Jaymee; Sayeed, Lutfus; Scoble, Don; Shrivastava, Vinay; Smith, Miriam; Turitz, Mitch; Vaughn, Pamela; Warren, Mary Anne; Warren, Penelope; Wong, Alfred; Yip, Yewmun.

Senate Members Absent: Strong, Rob; Garcia, Velia; Gregory, Jan(exc.); Kelley, James(exc); Collier, James.

Guests: R. Houlberg, M. Verhey, P. Barnes, G. Whitaker, L. Zoloth, E. McQuown, V. Casella, J. Kassiola, M. Adler, J. Bebee, S. Baltazar, R. Newt.

Announcements and Report

  • Vaughn welcomed new and returning Senators of the Academic Senate: Will Flowers (Student Programs), Mary Anne Warren (Philosophy), Penelope Warren (Counseling and Psychological Services), Caran Colvin (Psychology), Judith Blomberg (Secondary Education), Velia Garcia (La Raza Studies), Jeffery Chan (Asian American Studies), Oswaldo Garcia (Geosciences), Barbara Loomis (History), Yewmun Yip (Finance), Lutfus Sayeed (BACS), and Erin Pasaporte (Associated Students). Returning to the Senate are Vinay Shrivastava (BECA), Robert Cherny (History), and Jaymee Sagisi (Associated Students President).
  • The Summer Senate 2000 took action on the following

    items: minor revisions

    to the Principles for Year-Round, Off-Campus, and Weekend Operations (YOWO),

    and a slight change to the Academic Calendar for 2000-2001.

  • The Asilomar Planning Committee is seeking ideas and interest for the January 2001 retreat at Asilomar.
  • The Senate extends condolences to Mrs. Corrigan on the loss of her mother.
  • The Senate acknowledges the contributions of the following people to the university: Donna Schafer, Associate Dean of Graduate Division, who has moved to Humboldt State, Nuria Cuevas of the Assessment Office has moved to Norfolk State, Michael Penders has retired, and Robert Quinn will be moving from his position as Vice President of Physical Planning and Development.

Agenda Item #1 - Approval of Agenda for September 12, 2000

The agenda was approved as printed.

Agenda Item #2 - Approval of Minutes for May 9, 2000

Two sets of minutes were considered (one for the "old" Senate and one for the "new" Senate) and the minutes were approved as printed.

Agenda Item #3 - Report from Vice President La Belle

Vice President La Belle shared the proposal for a university-wide instrument for student evaluations of teaching effectiveness, which includes seven common items that would be incorporated into the College evaluation forms and an additional Faculty Information Sheet that he hopes all faculty would file with each section that they teach.

La Belle offered some historical perspective, noting that in fall 1996, there were 84 different instruments for the evaluation of teaching. Today, there are eight college evaluation instruments, but six of the eight instruments have six common elements. We did content, item, and regression analysis, we looked at the research literature, and we took the draft to the deans before coming up with the most recent draft.

La Belle then described how the process would work with this new common form. Each college would take the first seven items; the college would then add additional items as they choose; departments would be free to add items if they believed that college and university-wide items are not sufficient. Faculty also would be free to put in additional items. Tabulation would follow the same process, but there would not be a summary mean for the first seven but rather a mean for each of the first seven items and each of the subsequent items.

La Belle discussed the Faculty Information Sheet, which comes out of our belief that the faculty member should have an opportunity to contribute to the evaluation process by indicating the nature of the course, changes in the course, and who the students are in the course. This form also provides faculty an opportunity to provide his/her perspective on this class.

La Belle concluded by inviting direct contact for feedback. He thinks it is extremely important that we put accountability and assessment behind what we announce to the world as a teaching institution. He added that at some point, we will want to discuss the administration of the instruments.

Marcia Raggio suggested an additional possible question: what grade do you expect to get in this course? La Belle replied that they had looked at that question, and it certainly can be added, but the relationships are not as firm as one would like.

Robert Cherny raised a concern about standardized evaluation instruments where it then becomes very tempting to compare people to an overall mean of all faculty members and all classes. He asked if this instrument will be used to draw those sorts of comparisons across the university. La Belle answered that the intent is not to have a single yardstick and that nothing that is going on now really avoids the kind of thing you're suggesting. We as individuals will have to contextualize every single faculty member, but we are trying to make it a more scientific process. He added that we should all be somewhat skeptical about using student evaluations as the basis of making judgment abut teaching performance; we should broaden that base by looking at syllabi, peer review, and faculty statements.

Vinay Shrivastava asked about dropping the mean of mean. La Belle explained that the logic that the different questions address different component parts; number seven will do some of what the old mean of means did, but having a mean on individual items will give more feedback to faculty members. Faculty members or departments can still do the summing if they want.

Agenda Item #4 - Report from A.S. Senator Erin Pasaporte

Associated Students Academic Senator Erin Pasaporte provided a brief report on student involvement with the Academic Senate. She introduced Sarah Baltazar and Ronda Newt who will sit on the Student Affairs Committee. She referred to the materials in the Senate agenda and offered strong encouragement for senators and students to work together. She also encouraged faculty to please bring up the issue of student involvement in academic governance in their classes.

Agenda Item #5 - Report from Vicki Casella, Director for the Enhancement of Teaching

Vicki Casella, Director for the Center for Enhancement of Teaching provided a brief report on new faculty orientation, noting that further information is available on the web under new faculty support.

There was a four day orientation for the 33 new hires with 22 in attendance. The agenda, available on the website, is reviewed each year based on participant feedback. There was also an orientation for lecturers with 68 registered and with an interactive website for lecturers now being set up. There is also a new faculty support liaison, Frank Scott from Public Administration, who will have assigned time with CET to do faculty support.

Vaughn thanked Casella for organizing the lecturer orientation, helping to bring into reality a small part of the lecturers' principles that were passed last spring.

Agenda Item #6 - Report from the University Promotions Committee

Immediate past University Promotions Committee (UPC) chair Rick Houlberg presented a brief oral report on the deliberations during the past promotion cycle (with a handout on the 1999-2000 process) of the committee "you do not see." He opened the floor to questions, adding that changes in the teaching evaluation would be helpful to UPC. Numbers by themselves are meaningless. We have to have a context, and this provides more of a context.

Sung Hu commented on the valuable information in the report and asked about proper channels for passing on this information to departments and committees. Houlberg replied that UPC should identify potential policy changes along with the Faculty Affairs Committee. He added that training in the fall of everyone who is involved in the process is the answer to most problems.

Vinay Shrivastava asked about the data on individuals eligible for promotion who did not apply. Houlberg replied generally that the sheet shows the numbers UPC received, and, more specifically that the "missing" ones are in the category of being eligible to move apply for promotion to professor. Some of those can be explained as faculty who will never put themselves forth. Houlberg ended by noting that Larry Medcalf is chairing UPC this year; he also commented on the luxurious surroundings enjoyed by the current senate.

Agenda Item #7 - Report from the Committee on Committees

The chair of the Committee on Committees (COC) Dane Johnson presented the COC annual report for acceptance by the Senate. Johnson summarized the work of the COC, which reads, summarizes, and evaluates the work of committees that are charged to report to the Academic Senate. He praised the hard work of faculty on the many university committees, stressing its importance for the development of good university policy. He also thanked the COC members for their hard work this summer: Guadalupe Avila, Robert Cherny, Helen Goldsmith, Jan Gregory, Pamela Vaughn.

M/S/P (Duke, Gillotte) to accept the COC report.

The vote was taken and the report was accepted.

Agenda Item #8 - Proposed Resolution Supporting Voter Registration Campaign at SFSU

Helen Goldsmith introduced the proposed Resolution Supporting the Voter Registration Campaign at SFSU. Given the importance of voting in the democratic process and the declining voting rate among 18-24 year olds, the Senate Executive Committee submits this resolution.

M/S/P (Duke, Turitz) to second reading.

There was no discussion, and Vaughn called for the vote.

The vote was taken and the resolution was approved

unanimously. (To view the resolution, click here.)

Vaughn added that there is an additional initiative on campus coordinated by Marsha Adler to carry out voter registration and getting out the vote. Take to heart the resolves that we will carry forward and do our part.

Agenda Item #9 - Proposed Resolution on Shared Governance

Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) chair Penelope Warren introduced the proposed Resolution on Shared Governance. She recalled Chair Vaughn's compelling argument for the importance of participation in shared governance at the opening faculty meeting, echoed by the COC chair's words today, and she stated that the FAC unanimously recommends the passage of this resolution, which has been taken largely from a resolution passed by the CSU Academic Senate. FAC asks your recommitment to shared governance in the form of passing this resolution.

M/S/P (Blomberg, M.A. Warren) to approve the resolution.

M/S/P (Cherny, Gillotte) to second reading.

The vote was taken and the resolution was approved.

(To view the resolution, click here.)

Agenda Item #10 - The Academic Senate - Orientation and Review

Vaughn convened the orientation and "renewal" session for the 2000-2001 Academic Senate, invoking our recommitment to the principles of shared governance, collegiality, and the authority that rests in faculty oversight of issues as outlined in HEERA.

Academic Secretary Dane Johnson described the work of the Executive Committee, summarizing its processes and emphasizing its multifarious but sometimes mysterious roles: gatekeeper, editor, traffic cop, schoolmarm and school bully all rolled up into one. He also emphasized the committee's role as sounding board and support for the chair of the Academic Senate.

Statewide Senator Robert Cherny summarized the makeup, work, and processes of the CSU Statewide Senate. He emphasized the crucial role of the faculty in making recommendations for action on academic policy. Jan Gregory and Eunice Aaron are the other statewide senators from SFSU. He also discussed some items up this year: review of the master plan; internationalizing the curriculum; addressing policy impacted by the contract negotiations. Cherny added that statewide senators will make reports to the SFSU Academic Senate after statewide plenary sessions.

Vaughn addressed communicating with constituencies. She first made it clear that she is completely open to hearing from all parts of the university. She reminded Senators to know who you represent and to take the initiative in reaching the various constituencies. She also commented on the success of increasing awareness of lecturer issues, as well as two forms of communication developed last year: the Senate News and Senate forums. There will also be a Senate listserve.

The Senate standing committee chairs provided updates of their work and agendas. Chair Sung Hu reported on the Academic Policies Committee (APC), summarizing its charge and projecting some possible items for this year: articulation with community colleges, religious observance, intellectual property, and many others.

Jerry Duke, chair of the Academic Program Review Committee (APRC), outlined the work of reviewing each department every five to ten years.

Helen Gillotte, chair of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), reviewed the makeup of this committee and summarized its work on issues related to student life at SFSU. The master calendar is the first of several issues already on the agenda for this year.

Alfred Wong, chair of the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee (CRAC), summarized their primary responsibility as ensuring that university programs follow the criteria and procedures developed by APC. They review proposals for new minors, majors, and concentrations.

Penelope Warren, chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC), summarized the core of their charge as studying and evaluating existing policies and initiating recommendations for change in or more successful implementation of policies with the following specific concerns: hiring, retention, tenure and promotion, faculty evaluation, faculty professional development, faculty ethics, consultative practices and policies concerning administrative appointments, and selection of department chairs, affirmative action, and academic freedom. The agenda for the coming year includes the following items: review and make minor editorial changes in the language of the policies for promotion and tenure; address teaching evaluation. Warren

thanked COC for presenting its recommendations at this early point in time. COC has asked FAC to monitor closely the policies developed or modified last year, to look at the role of outside evaluators in the promotion process, to consult with APC on intellectual property. Warren also listed a number of additional possible items and urged faculty to put forth items that they want to see addressed.

Helen Goldsmith, Vice Chair of the Senate, talked broadly about being a good committee member, first stating the most obvious edicts: show up and participate. She added some of the other things that should go on outside of the meeting: communication with constituents, reading the agenda ahead of time, writing up minutes quickly, participating in sub-committees, asking lots and lots of questions.

Vaughn pointed Senators to handouts on "How the Senate Works" and other helpful aids.

Cherny commented broadly on the Senate process, based on his 14 years of SFSU senate experience. He first read from a Statewide Senate document speaking to the faculty responsibility to define and offer a curriculum of the highest academic quality, a professional responsibility that cannot be delegated. Cherny suggested that our work in the Senate addresses that responsibility. He summarized that the protection of quality is the basis of academic governance. He then went on to differentiate two procedures used on the senate floor: "consent items" and discussion of other items. All things to be passed must go through first and second readings, ideally in two consecutive senate meetings.

Vaughn concluded by thanking all senators for their participation, urging them to be vigilant.

The Senate was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Dane Johnson

Secretary to the Faculty