College Senate Bulletin

 
Bulletin 15  
26 January 2001
  

 

  Upcoming Meetings


 

 

Date

 

Room

Time

30 January

Executive Committee

South 209

12:45 p.m.

30 January

UCC

South 209

4:00 p.m.

13 February

Executive Committee

South 209

12:45 p.m.

13 February

UCC

South 209

4:00 p.m.

20 February

College Senate

Newton 204

4:00 p.m.

13 March

College Senate

Newton 204

4:00 p.m.


 

__________________________________________________________________

Correspondence: Christopher C. Leary, Department of Mathematics, South 324D
E-mail: leary@geneseo.edu Phone: 245-5383
__________________________________________________________________

Contents

Comments from the Chair
Notification from the President
New Member
Calls for Nominations
Minutes

Faculty Affairs Committee--28 November 2000 175


Comments from the Chair

Notification from the President

I have received memoranda from Chris Dahl indicating his approval of Senate actions of 14 November and 5 December 2000.

New Member

The President has appointed Betty Fearn as an Administrative Senator from Academic Affairs, replacing Kathy Broikou.


Calls for Nominations

The Provost has extended the deadline for nominations for the 2001–2004 Lockhart and Alumni Supported Professorships, the President's Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, the President's Award for Excellence in Part-time Teaching, and the Harter Mentoring Award. Nominations are due in the Provost's Office no later than 1 February 2001. Descriptions of the awards and their criteria can be found on pages 136–138 of the Bulletin.


Minutes

Faculty Affairs Committee--28 November 2000


Present: J. Ballard, P. Case, K. Hahn, J. Koch, M. Lima [chair], J. McLean, S. Muench, P. Schacht, E. Spilman
 

Chair called the meeting to order at 4:03pm.
 

The minutes from the last meeting were approved unanimously as published.
 

M. Lima explained that the main purpose of this meeting was to prepare for the committee’s upcoming meeting with the Provost. That meeting will be held on Wed., Dec. 13 at 3:30pm (note time change).
 

Discussion first focused on defining how to describe our current actions. M. Lima asked particularly for guidance for her report to the Executive Committee. J. Ballard suggested that we are "working with the administration on the feasibility of hiring an outside consultant" who will help develop an improved system for comprehensive faculty evaluation and development. Part of this system will be improved student opinion forms. We are working to represent the faculty in a careful, conscientious, and complete manner; as a result, development of this system will likely require more than one year.

J. McLean asked if something had do be done about the SOFIs in the near term. M. Lima reported that there had been unfocused discussion at Executive Committee about possibly forming an ad hoc committee, which might be the appropriate body to address that question.
 

It was noted that in order to have broad support as we move forward with a consultant, we need to understand the feelings of the entire campus. This applies to changes in the SOFIs as well as to the broader issues. S. Muench noted that, in particular, there are some on campus who are happy with the current SOFI forms, as represented by a letter to the committee from T. Feeley. We should be clear that we intend to retain the best aspects of the current SOFIs. Simultaneously, we wish to support a change in the campus culture which will recognize the merit of a greater diversity of teaching methods and styles. M. Lima remembered that the history of the SOFIs makes clear the original intent of the form: it was to assess the students’ opinion of teaching for formative purposes only. They therefore need to be revised in order to be adequate to their current use in promotion decisions.
 

J. Ballard noted that Areola supports a full year for an information gathering stage in system development. If we follow Arreola’s model, that year will be precisely for gathering and organizing the type of information discussed above.
 

P. Schacht asked for clarification about the ad hoc committee. M. Lima explained that when she brought our previous motion (concerning hiring a consultant to work with FAC) to the Executive Committee, the suggestion arose that perhaps an ad hoc committee would be more appropriate. In particular, if the system development is anticipated to take several years, only an ad hoc committee or a task force could provide a constant membership throughout the process.
 

P. Schacht suggested that we ask the Provost to what degree the administration is committed to this process. Since the administration will be a prime user of the system (in making summative decisions), they are in a particularly good position to move the process forward. Could we ask the administration for a statement to the college supporting the development of a comprehensive faculty evaluation system? S. Muench agreed that this would have more impact than a statement issued from FAC. This plan seems to be in line with the Provost’s current thrust toward more uniformity and structure. Again, this applies to the full evaluation system: peer review as well as SOFIs.
 

Summarizing the discussion so far with regards to the meeting with the Provost, J. Ballard suggested that we must (1) make the case for pursuing a comprehensive faculty evaluation system paralleling the assessment system, and (2) make the case that outside help will be necessary to do this well. P. Schacht noted that we need to continue to link the development and evaluation aspects, and added that we should (3) request leadership from the administration, again similar to their support for the assessment system development.
 

Discussion turned to the various opinions that are likely to be encountered. J. Ballard, P. Case, and P. Schacht noted that we must expect student opinions to be a factor in faculty evaluation, although some may be altogether opposed to that. It was noted that clarity in the purpose of the SOFIs will likely give the students a sense of empowerment. K. Hahn added that this is likely to improve the accuracy of the results.
 

S. Muench noted that there are basically three constituencies that must be satisfied with any proposal: the students, the faculty, and the administration. Each may have different needs. J. Koch agreed, but asked for clarification on the differences between the faculty and administration, since the goal of both is quality education. S. Muench and P. Schacht suggested that there is a tension between simplicity of interpretation of results (valued especially by administration) and complexity to adequately represent the complex teaching process (valued especially by faculty). J. McLean also noted that administration is more interested in summative assessment and the faculty is more interested in formative assessment, although he agreed with J. Koch that the interests are overlap considerably. S. Muench reasserted her main point: that those three constituencies need to be satisfied, and that in any case the best option is to focus on their (often forgotten) similarities rather than on their differences.
 

M. Lima reported that H. Waddy has requested a memo from FAC to the Middle States Review committee in support of the establishment of a Teaching and Learning Center. This would, presumably, be included as part of the Middle States Report. There was unanimous agreement that this would be beneficial. M. Lima will compose a draft to be distributed for comments by email.
 

In summary, the committee concluded that, in the meeting with the Provost, we need to make cases for the following:
 

(1) A comprehensive faculty evaluation and development system that addresses the shared needs of the students, faculty, and administration;
(2) Development of such a system on the same footing as the current program for assessment;
(3) The formation of a task force to develop this proposal with the help of an external consultant. This task force should report to the president, thus providing the impetus of administrative support.
 

S. Muench stressed the importance of a diverse task force membership, both in terms of the three constituencies and in terms of length of service at the college. J. Ballard suggested that FAC could specify areas across which the task force membership would be distributed. J. Koch suggested that they all be from the Senate, but many worried about overloading. J. McLean suggested that FAC could be responsible for choosing the task force membership. Alternatively, FAC could choose the faculty component of the task force, and appropriate bodies of the other constituencies could choose other members.
 

P. Schacht suggested that decisions at this level of detail should be delayed until we get feedback from the administration. He also suggested that a charge for the task force should be drafted before issues of membership were worried about. J. Ballard noted that this is compatible with the fact that FAC has no direct power, but can only make recommendations. We can recommend that such a task force be formed, and include, as part of the recommendation, a suggested charge for the task force.
 

Meeting adjourned with a feeling of accomplishment at 5:10.
 

Respectfully submitted by James McLean.