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University Senate Meeting Minutes


Volume 22                  April 23, 2012                  Number 8

1. Call to Order:  

The April 23, 2012 meeting of the University Senate was called to order at 4:03 p.m. in the Ropp Center, Room 105, by President David Szymanski.

2.  Roll Call:  Sandi Richardson

Senators absent from the meeting and without proxy: Kim Barlow, Brad Benson, Brian Camp, Alan Chiu, Adam Collins, Selwyn Ellis, Mary Margaret Livingston, John Martin, Kate Perot, Tom Roberts, and Sarah Vance.

3.  Adoption of Agenda:

A motion to accept the agenda was made by Jeff Yule and seconded by Tammy Schilling; the agenda was approved without change.

4.  Adoption of Minutes:  March 2012

A motion to accept the March 2012 minutes was made by J Bennett and seconded by Kathleen Johnston; the minutes were approved without change.

5. New Business/Announcements:  

  • Board of Supervisor's Meeting - David Szymanski
    • Next meeting is April 24, 2012
    • Resolution against Retirement Changes sent to Legislative body.
  • Faculty Advisory Council - David Szymanski
    • Next meeting is April 24, 2012
  • Administrative and Planning Council - David Szymanski
    • Meetings held on March 27 and April 17
    • Budget cuts can be anticipated for May 2012; amounts are unknown at this time.
    • Retirement legislation generally discussed
    • LSUS/Tech merger generally discussed; consensus was supportive of the action
    • LSU system has formally invited Louisiana Tech to join the LSU system; Louisiana Tech has declined.
    • Mountain West and Conference USA merger is still pending; hopefully if this happens Louisiana Tech will receive an invitation to join.
    • Department of University Communications has been established as a new unit through a consolidation of the Department of Marketing and Public Relations, University News Bureau, and Athletics Media Relations. University Communications will operate under the leadership of Dr. Dave Guerin and report to the Office of the President. 
  • Conference of Louisiana Colleges and Universities  - David Szymanski 
    • Held on March 15, 2012; Larry Jarrell attended as representative for Louisiana Tech.
    • Various legislators held a forum led by Kevin Cope, president of the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates, and answered questions about what they perceive to be the greatest legislative urgency for spring 2012. The immediate focus appears to be upon the revitalization of foundational education in Louisiana (K-12) with little attention to spare for higher education issues. Within the realm of higher education, the impact of steadily rising tuition upon the TOPS scholarship program seems to be foremost as it has the greatest influence upon budget calculation.
    • A study about the success of remediation courses was discussed. In summary, taking remediation classes does not appear to have a positive impact upon student success. Enrolling in the actual class (i.e. English or Math) augmented with additional study helps (i.e. ALEX or tutors)  produces a more successful outcome. As of fall 2012, remediation classes will no longer be offered.
  • Communication Committee - David Szymanski
    • Next meeting in June 2012

7. Treasurer Report: Kathleen Johnston

See March 2012 Treasurer's report. Dr. Johnston has proposed a new budget for 2012-13 session. It was proposed that $30,000 be deposited in a CD drawing the highest interest possible (~1.25%). The motion to accept this proposal was made by Jeff Yule and seconded by Mike Swanbom. Motion to adopt was made by Tammy Schilling and seconded by Jeff Yule, and the vote was unanimous. 

8. Temporary Committee Results:

  • Technology Committee: Larry Jarrell (Liaison)
    • Electronic Conversion of 9th day rolls: Faculty expressed great support in getting the 9th day rolls into electronic format. After lively discussion, it was decided that David Szymanski and Larry Jarrell will visit Mr. Vento and convey the faculty sentiments. Dr. Szymanski will pass this idea along to Dr. Reneau as a "budgetary savings" idea.
    • Online Evaluations: Much discussion ensued about the possibility of having all class evaluations in an on-line format. Ways to stimulate greater participation were proposed in an effort to have statistically significant results. Most faculty seem to want the convenience of on-line evaluation, but only if dropped students are purged from the system prior to evaluation, and students taking the class must complete the evaluation before a grade can be given for the class. More debate is necessary before moving this forward as a resolution. Dr. Szymanski will pass this idea along to Dr. Reneau as a "budgetary savings" idea.
  • Benefits/Perks Committee: J Bennett (Liaison).
    • The committee proposed to table discussion about the Tuition Exchange benefit until September 2012. This would enable Mr. Bennett to explore options and solutions over the summer 2012 sessions.
  • Campus Committee: Heath Tims (Liaison).
    • The "Future of Ruston: The Progress and Development in Ruston and How it Will Impact the University," forum was a successful event. The response from the community and university was acceptable, the speakers engaging, and the topics relevant. The question and answer process was very organized and because it was anonymous, very successful. 
    • Senate in agreement that periodically holding forums is something the Senate should continue.
  • Policies and Procedures Committee: Marilyn Robinson (Liaison)
    • Nothing additional

9. Unfinished Business:

  • F J Taylor Undergraduate Teaching Award  
    • Voting was conducted, and Dr. Szymanski will announce the winner at spring commencement.
  • University Senate and Virgil Orr awards were opened for nomination today. The process will conclude with voting in the May 14, 2012 meeting.
  • Classroom behavior policy was approved by the Council of Academic Deans with no changes. The new policy will be published in the student handbook and also on the Internet beginning fall 2012.
  • It was proposed that the University Senate Constitution Article III, Section 1 and 2 entitled Officers of the Senate and Duties be amended to add the outgoing president as a non-voting member of the University Senate Executive Committee.  A motion to adopt was made by Heath Tims and seconded by Marilyn Robinson. The vote was unanimous (above the 2/3 requirement); the motion was approved.
10. Voluntary Remarks:
  • None

11. Adjournment:  A motion to adjourn was made by Tammy Schilling and seconded by Julie Holmes. The meeting adjourned at 4:58 p.m.

Sandi Richardson, Recording Secretary


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