SFSU Academic Senate

Minutes of October 5, 1999

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

Senate Members Present:

Aaron, Eunice; Alvarez, Alvin; Boyle, Andrea; Cancino, Herlinda; Concolino,

Christopher; Consoli, Andres; Corrigan, Robert; Craig, JoAnn; Cullers, Susan;

Duke, Jerry; Edwards, James; Eisman, Gerald; Elia, John; Fehrman, Ken; Ferretti,

Charlotte; Fox-Wolfgramm, Susan; Ganji, Vijay; Gillotte, Helen; Goldsmith, Helen;

Gonzales, Angela; Graham, Michael; Gregory, Jan; Hom, Marlon; Hu, Sung; Hubler,

Barbara; Jerris, Scott; Johnson, Dane; Johnson, Sharon; Kelley, James; Langbort,

Carol; McKeon, Midori; Oñate, Abdiel; Shapiro, Jerald; Smith, Miriam;

Strong, Rob; Swanson, Deborah; Tarakji, Ghassan; Terrell, M. Dawn; Turitz, Mitch;

Vaughn, Pamela; Wolfe, Bruce; Wong, Alfred; Yee, Darlene; Zoloth, Laurie.

Senate Members Absent: Wick, Jeanne(exc.); Raggio, Marcia(exc.);

Moallem, Minoo(exc.); Bernstein, Marian(exc.); Harnly, Caroline(exc.); Avila,

Guadalupe(exc.); La Belle, Thomas(exc.); Bartscher, Patricia(exc.); Scoble,

Don(exc.); Collier, James(exc.).

Senate Interns Present: (none)

Guests: R. Maghroori, G. West, M. Phillips, M. Rivas, H. Matson,

K. Monteiro, J. Kassiola, G. Silveira.

Announcements and Report

Chair's Report

  • Terrell updated the Senate on FMI issues, mentioning the September 29, 1999,

    Senate forum, and describing the current status of the FMI appeals committees.

  • Terrell also reported on the most recent meeting of the Statewide Senate

    Chairs. The main topics on the agenda were as follows: FMI, with a surprising

    lack of clarity on how to proceed across the system; a talk with Jackie McClain,

    the new Vice-Chancellor for Human Resources at CSU; year-round-operations;

    a conversation with Executive Vice-Chancellor David Spence on several issues,

    including accountability. Issues brought up from other campuses included intellectual

    property rights and concerns about not being able to hire as many tenured

    and tenure-track faculty as they would like.

Agenda Item #1 -- Approval of the Agenda for October 5, 1999

Agenda Item #8 was changed to reflect UPC chair Jonathan Middlebrook's absence.

The agenda was approved as changed.

Agenda Item #2 - Approval of Minutes for September 7, 1999

The minutes were approved as printed.

Agenda Item #3 -- Report from Statewide Senators

Statewide Senators Eunice Aaron, Jan Gregory, and Darlene Yee summarized

the most important actions and discussions from the most recent Statewide Academic

Senate meetings.

Aaron pointed to the attached minutes from the plenary sessions and encouraged

Senators to access them electronically. She also reported briefly on the Fiscal

and Government Affairs committee. They approved a resolution on lottery dollars,

making a recommendation that money previously used for administrative support

be sent to the campuses. The committee also asked that summer arts funding be

moved to the general support budget. Other items included discussion of legislative

days, a visit with Richard West, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Budget, and

an update on YRO.

Gregory summarized the work of the Faculty Affairs Committee, which identified

four areas of review with the intent of bringing resolutions to the Statewide

Senate floor later this year: 1) studying workload in an era when the work of

the professoriate is changing; 2) campus policies on centers, institutes, and

other similar entities; 3) addressing the fact that not all campuses have policies

that comply with CAL/OSHA requirements; 4) intellectual property issues, especially

on "cybernotes." The committee also discussed FMI policies on different campuses,

including the following issues: whether deans might or might not shift funds

among departments; whether departments can require tenured/tenure-track faculty

to file in all three categories; the role of temporary faculty at various stages.

Yee summarized the work of the Academic Affairs Committee, noting three key

areas of business: 1) the Sonoma State admissions experiment, which has been

terminated; 2) a resolution passed on the governor's proposed community service

graduation requirement, which asked all campuses to consider the governor's

request; 3) a resolution was passed calling for campus responses to the draft

accountability document. The committee also discussed transfer issues, year-round-operations

issues, and the collaborative management system.

Agenda Item #4 -- Report from Committee on Committees

Dane Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Committees (COC), described

the work of the committee and asked for acceptance of its 1998-99 report. He

also introduced the other members of the committee: Guadalupe Avila, Jan Gregory,

M. Dawn Terrell, Pamela Vaughn, and Darlene Yee. The COC accepts, reads, summarizes,

and comments on the annual reports from each of the committees that has the

charge to respond to the Academic Senate. It also makes recommendations for

future work based in part on being able to observe how the work of many committees

fits together.

The report was accepted unanimously.

Chair Terrell noted that the report had been ready for submission on the history-making

early date of September 21, 1999.

Agenda Item #5 -- Proposed Revision to the Bachelor of Arts Degree in International

Relations

Alfred Wong, Chair of the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee,

introduced this consent item that would increase the minimum total units for

the BA in International Relations from 42 to 45. Dean Joel Kassiola of the

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and JoAnn Craig (International

Relations) were available for questions.

Craig summarized the rationale for the increase, explaining how it was tied

generally to goals in Cornerstones and career-planning, and tied specifically

to two new required courses.

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

Yee asked for further information on the 6 unit course. Craig detailed some

of the assignments that make it a very demanding, wonderful course.

Helen Gillotte raised a question about additional staff and costs. Craig

answered that this revision has been done very cheaply. Kassiola added that

with regard to teaching resources, the BSS council passed the proposal, and

the college can provide the additional resources.

Yee asked about IR 300 and IR 600 starting Fall 1999. Craig answered that they

have started and that IR 300 is now required for incoming students, and IR 600

is being piloted this semester.

Goldsmith raised a concern that it sounds like a program has already

been implemented that the Senate is now being asked to approve. Kassiola responded

that the course was approved as an individual course. This body has the right

to approve or disapprove the program as a whole.

Gerald Eisman asked about requiring an international experience as part

of the program. Craig answered that we strongly suggest that every student take

two internships in the career choice of their dream, but we have not yet found

out if this can be required or not.

Bruce Wolfe raised a concern about student involvement in the revision

process. Kassiola answered that there is an International Relations student

association, and they were involved. Craig added that IR 300 has been going

on for a number of years, so students know about it.

Mario Rivas spoke to the relationship between majors and general education,

addressing specifically the hope to reduce petitions and urging that a reminder

be added to include information saying that only two courses from the GE segment

III cluster can also be counted for the major.

M/S/P (Gillotte, Fehrman) to close debate.

The vote was taken and the proposal was passed.

Agenda Item #6 -- Proposed Revision to the Academic Calendar

Helen Goldsmith, Chair of the Academic Policies Committee (APC), introduced

this discussion item. She first summarized the APC responsibility to review

and present to the Senate for approval the academic calendar. She then explained

the genesis of a possible change in the timing of spring break.

The question of why spring break was tied to the Easter holiday was raised

last year, and Goldsmith began to gather information on policies at local school

districts, community colleges, and other CSU campuses. She found that policy

varied widely at each level, which raises the following question: what do we

as a campus want to do? Goldsmith framed this broad question with more specific

ones: Do we want to continue to have spring break the week before Easter, no

matter when in the calendar it falls? do we want to modify it slightly as Sonoma

State does and tie it to Easter, except on rare occasions when it falls too

late in the calendar? Create a specified mid-semester break in the 7th, 8th,

9th, or 10th week? What is the purpose of spring break? (a true break? a time

to catch up? time to give students extra work?)

Goldsmith also summarized polling that APC has already done, finding that opinions

are either very strongly in favor of leaving things the way they are, very strongly

in favor of creating a sort of mid-semester break (with about equal numbers

in each camp), or of no opinion at all. She concluded by asking for Senate input.

Alvin Alvarez wondered if those who see something broken, could explain

what is it that we are trying to fix. Goldsmith explained that some don't like

tying it to a religious holiday; many think that it makes better pedagogical

sense to have a break at a specific time in the middle of the semester.

James Kelley commented that spring break is used for field work in science

and engineering, so they would like to keep it one way or the other.

Pamela Vaughn spoke in favor of having spring break at the same time

in the semester each year. She has noted a distinct waning of energy in the

students around mid term and added that when spring break has fallen very late

in the semester, it has been very hard to get revved up again and is, in fact,

counter-productive pedagogically.

Jan Gregory talked about exams and spring break, suggesting that a consistent

mid-term break midway through the semester might also revive the custom of having

midterms during a specific time, rationalizing the teaching and learning lives

of both faculty and students.

Goldsmith encouraged Senators to contact her and other APC members with any

further feedback.

Agenda Item #7 -- Draft Accountability Process Document

Terrell introduced this discussion item from the Senate Executive Committee.

This comes to us via David Spence and the Statewide Senate, and our goal is

to gather input for a Senate response.

Spence's way of introducing this draft is to say that accountability is one

of the Cornerstones principles, and should be seen as a process by which the

CSU can explain what it does to the legislature and the state because what we

do is not being clearly documented. He sees this as a positive possibility and

not something onerous, but questions have already been raised in the Executive

Committee and elsewhere about appropriate performance indicators.

Yee commented that the document it calls for has a November 1 deadline. She

added that on p. 5 there are certain measures that already exist, items 2-9,

and there are other items, especially 1 and 10-12 that will require a lot of

extra work. Terrell added that Spence indicated that what he really wants is

feedback on indicators for items 1-9. There will be later opportunities for

campuses to do the work of coming up with indicators for 10-12.

Eisman focused on the principles on p. 2, especially the 4th bullet, which

addresses the inappropriateness of comparing campuses by these measures. While

praising this principle, he asked if anyone really believed that it would be

followed.

Aaron recounted that in discussions in Long Beach on accountability we did

not see any language that spoke to administrative accountability and that this

was out of bounds. She asked the Senate to consider such a perspective and added

that we still have not received unambiguous responses as regards to resource

support for these efforts.

Laurie Zoloth praised the beginning of the report in that it promises

to be a discussion on the moral meaning of education; however, the body only

talks about the procedural goals and not the substantive goals of what we do.

It never answers the question, "What is the meaning, goal, and purpose of teaching

in the university?" We have documentation of process: getting in, swiftness

getting through, and getting out. Furthermore, the two main substantive goals

are citizenship goals, which are good goals, but not necessarily the main purposes

of a university. Why have universities? What are their goals? There is nothing

about the development of an on-going scholarly community, there is nothing about

the commitment to transmit values of western civilization or some other civilization,

there is nothing about the virtues of these and other possible scholarly contributions.

It is an unfinished document until we can say something about such issues, about

our philosophical commitments.

Abdiel Oñate seconded Zoloth's remarks and raised questions about

the general time frame, various reporting times, and to what extent these items

were open to debate.

Jerry Duke questioned the statement that continuing progress is fundamental

to accountability.

Terrell responded to various comments, remarking, first, that this document

is not the last iteration and that, based on past experience, there is opportunity

for feedback, even if there is a short turnaround time.

Andres Consoli spoke in support of the document because we are in an

age of accountability, but the need for resources to respond to many items,

like #10, is glaring.

Vaughn suggested that if senators or their constituents have suggestions on

specific language for the document, they should forward that to the Senate.

Jerald Shapiro addressed the disturbing suggestion of symmetry in the

document, looking at p. 3 in particular. The challenge to adaptation and accountability

that we face in the classroom dealing with students is very different than that

at higher levels. If we go along with characterization that we are working together

from comparable positions, we generate much more accountability for us than

it does for those at higher levels. There needs to be some note of accountability

at different spheres--the Board of Trustees, who may have multiple constituencies,

versus faculty who have more compelling face to face constituencies.

Aaron commented on accountability at higher levels, where things are easily

answered by saying, "the governor didn't give us the money," but we want some

specificity on what the campuses can expect from the Chancellor's Office vis

a vis meeting some of the goals that we have agreed to in the Statewide Senate.

If this is going to be a real partnership, it should be a real partnership.

Wolfe wondering about what group would be making sure that all these measures

are being properly reported. Terrell answered that each campus through the Provost

will be collecting the data and reporting it to the CSU.

Eisman returned to his original question and added a proposal, based on looking

at questions #4 and #8 from the Statewide Senate: can the individual campuses

reasonably be expected to have consensus on this document in this short time

period and, is the campus satisfied that the document protects against inappropriate

comparisons among campuses. Eisman suggested that the answer is "no" to both

questions. He suggested that we include language that the individual campuses

be allowed to amend the indicators to suggest individual missions and goals

of campuses and how they are being attained.

Rivas addressed p. 6, indicator #4, on graduation statistics by sub-population.

He found those listed to leave out some student populations about which we should

really have indicators, such as ethnically diverse groups. Commenting on the

time line, he added that it's very short and this document really requires a

lot of attention.

Aaron asked if the Senate Executive Committee had made a recommendation on

how to proceed.

Terrell restated that it is a very short time frame, and the Executive Committee

has raised a lot of issues as well. The list of concerns from the Executive

Committee, other committees, and the Senate will be brought together and presented

to the Provost. She added that the time line is set by the goal of having a

finished document to the Board of Trustees by March and that we might miss our

opportunity to respond if we say that we do not have enough time to respond

with thoughtful feedback.

Aaron suggested that it is appropriate to make a comment about the seriousness

of the endeavor and the pressure of the time constraint, and then we go forward

and do our usual superior job in responding to the sometimes frivolous questions

from Long Beach, weighing in in such a way that our concerns are addressed.

Terrell stated that there will be a draft of what we will be sending forward

available next week.

Agenda Item #8 -- Report from the University Promotions Committee

Immediate past UPC Chair Jonathan Middlebrook could not be present for

an oral report on the deliberations during the past promotion cycle. He submitted

the written 1998-99 annual report to the Senate.

The Senate was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Dane Johnson

Secretary to the Faculty