Faculty Senate met on Nov. 8 to discuss the report from meeting with the university system office, CAD update and new ideas for future senate meetings.
A report from the meeting with the university system office was delivered by David Nolan, senator from the college of journalism and mass communication, who was sent as a representative for the senate.
The meeting consisted of discussing the start of a department chair leadership academy. This academy would involve taking unprepared department chairs and building their leadership skills in a group setting. It could be structured for future chairs or anyone interested in the position.
The meeting also spoke about the Christmas Mountains property. This property was a donation given to the university system from the state. There is talk of building a research facility on this piece of land.
Speech on campus was also brought up to the meeting. It was decided that if someone wants to speak on campus, their first amendment right allows them to do just that, regardless of the topic of their speech.
Next, Nolan reported that the faculty fellowship program has an application for nomination due Dec. 4.
Personal concerns were voiced by each senate member as possible topics to be brought up at future meetings. Among these new ideas was the possibility to discuss the lack of compensation for independent studies and revisal of the official policies for how free speech may be conducted on campus.
Staff Council has a desire to enhance the formal relationship with Faculty Senate. The purpose of this would be to provide support for initiatives of similar interest between the two groups. All senators were open to the idea, including Vince Luizzi, senator for the college of philosophy.
“We welcome the opportunity to engage in collaborative efforts and look forward to it,” Luizzi said.
Faculty Senate discussed the council of academic dean’s (CAD) update. Most of the points in the CAD update were only discussion topics for the senate; there was no need for a motion of action.
Included in the update was a proposal from the Writing Center to extend its mission statement. This would allow the writing center to conduct workshops on teaching writing, allowing them to work with faculty. Though this was not an issue that needed a motion from Alex White, the head of Faculty Senate and senator for the college of mathematics, who said, “if you want it to happen you should tell your deans or tell your faculty to push for it.”
The senate moved onto targets for the next year that were created by the CAD. The school aims to increase its freshman class size from 5,875 to 6,200 students. This would create an overall enrollment increase of .8 percent.
The proposed tax reform plan from the federal government will remove the tuition waiver on tax deduction. If this proposal is passed, then the tuition that students receive in the form of grants and federal aid, would be taxed. Some senators noted that this would be a terrible thing for students because the school has been encouraged to develop graduate programs for international students whom many of these tuition grants have been awarded to.
The Honors College does not have a representative to report to. White will investigate this issue and find some way of appointing this college a representative.