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Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (11-4-08)

Meeting of the Faculty Affairs Committee

4 November 2008, 9:00am, Sci 2555


Present: Argie Manolis, Leslie Meek, Pam Solvie, Timna Wyckoff

Absent: Tom Mahoney, Eli Mayfield, James Wojtaszek


I. minutes

The minutes from the 23 September and 7 October meetings were approved.


II. old business

A. spousal hiring – Dean Contant asked FAC to discuss spousal hiring. Wyckoff passed out copies of an article from Contant. After brief discussion, we decided to ask Contant next time she visits for more direction regarding this issue, i.e. what outcome is she looking for from this committee?

B. non-tenure track issues – Manolis shared that two meetings of non-tenure track faculty have occurred this semester. She will present the outcomes of those meetings next week. We anticipate that these issues will be an agenda item when Dean Contant visits on November 18 th .

C. workload – We discussed strategies for obtaining workload documents from other campuses as a starting point for this discussion. We decided that Wyckoff will contact Sarah Mattson and ask if she has, or knows how to obtain, such documents.


II. new business

A. faculty salaries – Dean Contant contacted Wyckoff after our meeting with her and asked if FAC would discuss faculty salaries. Wyckoff shared that tables of UMM faculty salary averages by rank, UMM faculty compensation averages by rank and comparisons with the Morris 14 group are available in the 2008 University of Minnesota Accountability Report. We decided to point this out to Dean Contant and ask what further analysis she has in mind for our committee.

B. committee roster - Wyckoff received a committee roster from Carrie Grussing with several errors. We spent some time making corrections. Wyckoff will send the corrections on to Executive Committee.

C. academic calendar – Nancy Carpenter contacted Wyckoff about the new academic calendars in which we start on a Wednesday. She thinks this new schedule is “not great for teaching and learning”. We discussed this at some length and found that every division has problems with the new schedule.

In Science and Math and in Social Science, the new schedule is particularly disruptive to courses with Monday labs. Monday labs are cancelled for Labor Day and during Fall Break already, so adding another week in which Monday labs cannot be held is problematic. If one lab is canceled during a week, faculty can either cancel all labs for the week or deal with an offset schedule (different lab exercises on different days during the same week). Both options are disruptive to teaching and learning.

There are some Education and Honors courses that meet only on Monday, so the new schedule is problematic there as well. If the new schedule holds, these courses should be moved.

Finally, Humanities and Science and Math have several courses that meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, so the new schedule makes it so that these courses only meet once a week for the first two weeks of school. This makes it hard to get teaching and learning going at the beginning of the semester.

Wyckoff will communicate this discussion to Dean Contant.

D. faculty lounge – Meek brought for our discussion the idea of establishing a faculty lounge. We discussed pros and cons of several options (an open classroom in Science and Mathematics, the Prairie Lounge, the Faculty Center). Solvie will contact Engin Sungur of the Faculty Center to ask what discussions have taken place there.


Minutes submitted by Timna Wyckoff, 9 November 2008