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UMM Home > Faculty Center > Development Committee > 07-08 FDC Minutes> 10/09/07

Minutes of October 9, 2007, 4:00 PM
The Faculty Center, East Annex


Present: Cyrus Bina (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Paul Grove, Jong-Min Kim, Engin Sungur (Ex-Officio), Sarah Mattison and Britney Appier (students)
Absent: None

Minutes taken by:

Linda Pederson

Bina called the meeting to order and greeted the Committee at 4:00 PM.

FDC Minutes of 04/30/07
Members reviewed the minutes; Bina reiterated that the SCEP Report (forwarded originally by Professor Peh Ng) is also appended to the minutes—as proposed by Chair and agreed by the full committee last April; the appended minutes in full should be sent to all faculty and posted on the Website for immediate critical examination. Bina asked for any correction, amendment, and/or approval of the FDC minutes dated 04/30/07. Motion: (Grove/Borchardt) to approve the Minutes carried unanimously.

UMM Distinguished Research Award for 2008
The committee reviewed the announcement for UMM Distinguished Research Award for 2008 and revised it as to deadlines, composition of the committee, and identity of the Convener. It was approved unanimously and due to be announced to faculty at large by the following week.

Updating Faculty Website
Sungur reported that faculty may contact Computing Services for updating their software, seeking assistance with this; but not for much needed updating of Faculty WebPages that is vigorously sought by chair of this committee (no action taken by the Dean or Director of Computing Services) for nearly three academic years now. Members discussed the need for updating faculty and departmental websites, and wondered about who is available to provide support for updating faculty websites. Sungur asked (given the extent of present faculty workload) who is to take this additional responsibility, the faculty member or someone else. Appier suggested, instead of going through the Dean or Computing Services, faculty may look for student help. Grove pointed out that this is a great idea but any systematic assistance needs money and work-study employment are limited and hard to come by. Bina—given committee's consensus—will contact the Interim Dean concerning this matter. The Committee is also planning to examine the extent, kind, and availability of needed services that are expected of Computing Services at UMM for faculty. Bina also asked for consensus on annual evaluation of UMM Computing Services—the consensus was full, without descent. Then, it was proposed (Borchardt/ Kim) that, given the lack of adequate response to this urgent and durable (for nearly three years) problem and absence of any sensible solution by the Administration at UMM, FDC proposes a user-satisfaction survey, to be conducted on an annual basis, in respect to Computing Services. Proposal was carried unanimously.

Student Evaluation of Teaching (SRT)
Sungur reported that the evaluation form was transmitted by Peh Ng—a member of all-university committee; she just reported to UMM faculty what is at steak. Bina echoed Sungur's concerns explicitly by announcing that this form neither encompasses an input from the faculty (at large) nor contains a shred of consultation with FDC at UMM. Sungur indicated that a single UMM faculty was utilized to test the survey questionnaire; this faculty had distributed a copy of the survey to his students and then filed results to an appointed ad hoc committee (?) for review. UMM then approved the form; Division Chairs are planning to use this form for tenure, promotion, etc. Bina pointed out that regardless of merit or demerit of the form itself the whole conduct is contrary to the principle of faculty governance here at UMM (and perhaps at the University at large). Bina despondently argued that, “from the standpoint of faculty development , FDC is one of the legitimate vehicles through which such a make-and-break change (particularly for evaluation of untenured faculty) must be initiated and subjected to scrutiny and careful examination, before any decision is made.” He continued: “Frankly, members of this committee have better things to do; with such an outrageous lip service to faculty governance here, we might as well close shop and disappear into the horizon.” While some members saw some positive points on this form, others where concerned about some of the question that exceeded the mere evaluation of faculty's teaching. In addition, it was indicated that effort must be made to identify what part of this new survey can or cannot be used the pertinent Administrative units for tenure, promotion, etc. In conjunction with this survey, it was noted that faculty's score in each course would be posted for public view on the Web. Other concern about this survey was the amalgamation of rating of the physical environment, classroom design, etc. that may have little or nothing to do with teaching performance by individual faculty. Sungur informed the committee that the plan will be implemented this fall electronically, and that the form is x500 password protected. Bina pointed out—notwithstanding the appended minutes of our last meeting, we need to invite the Interim Dean to the FDC's meeting for a hearty discussion over the SRT. The committee's consensus was expressed without descent. Bina will invite Professor Roland Guyotte, the Interim Dean and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, to the next meeting for both discussion over the SRT-Evaluation form and Computer Services faculty assistance. Further discussion was tabled until next meeting.

Office of Academic Enrichment
Paula O'Loughlin has been appointed as the newly devised Director of Academic Enrichment at UMM. Sungur remarked that the Office of Academic Enrichment is planning to do for students (including but not limited to document student success, grant awards, etc) exactly what the FCLT has been doing for faculty. Sungur believes, since the organizational objectives of both entities are similar, we need to know how the task of activities (including electronic sites, etc.) pertinent to these offices can be configured and coordinated. Sungur wishes that Professor O'Loughlin will contact the FCLT for an initial discussion. Discussion was tabled and deferred to next meeting.

The FDC will meet on November 6 at 4:00 PM in the Faculty Center .

Meeting adjourned at 5:10 PM.