The Faculty Council charter requires the Chair of Faculty Council to submit a report to the faculty at the end of each semester, summarizing the activities of the council. FC met six times during the fall semester, on January 27, February 24, March 24, April 14, April 28, and May 5. The April 14 meeting was an extra meeting, added to allow a fuller discussion of faculty governance. The May 5 meeting was the first meeting of the 2011-2012 Faculty Council at which next year’s officers were elected.
The January 27 meeting featured President Rosa’s 2nd visit to Faculty Council, accompanied by Associate Provost Mark Bebensee. At this meeting he discussed the Strategic Plan, retention issues, the Corps’ improvement in GPAs, a rise in women’s applications for next year’s class, the decline in the number of Commandant’s Boards, and Governor Haley’s meeting with the presidents of the state colleges and universities. President Rosa was in most respects very optimistic about the state of the college, notwithstanding the continuing financial challenges resulting from state budget cuts. Much of the discussion following his remarks focused on maintaining the balance between preparing students for jobs and academic integrity.
The February meeting focused on several of the issues raised by the faculty in the fall, including end-of-term-rush (after learning that any additional time added to exam time would require starting the term earlier, since the Registrar requires a certain number of days to determine who is eligible to come back the following term and who is eligible for continuing financial aid, and various other very important matters, FC voted not to propose any change in the calendar) and revision of the Faculty Manual (which is due to happen in 2011-12).
The March meeting was devoted entirely to the suggestion that research and development funds might be allocated on the school level rather than the college level. Associate Provost Bebensee explained why there was interest in making this change and what the advantages might be (at the same time emphasizing that no change would be made without faculty approval). He then addressed various questions raised the Council members, including whether the change would result in reduced funding, how the money would be allocated to the schools, and what the role of the deans would be. Dr. Joelle Neulander, chair of the Research Committee, and Dr. Elise Wallace, chair of the Development Committee, then presented the perspective of their committees (both had voted to oppose the change). After more discussion, FC voted 13-1 to reject the change. The primary objections were that the system already worked satisfactorily and didn’t need changing, that the new system could introduce more bias into the process, and that the collegiality of the present system, which allowed faculty members to know what faculty from other schools were working on, would be diminished.
The two April meetings focused primarily on possibly restructuring of The Citadel’s system of faculty governance. At the April 14 meeting the various advantages of such a change were discussed. The following proposal was made at the April 28 meeting: “Faculty Council proposes that the Academic Board, the President of the College, and the Board of Visitors consider replacing the current system of a Faculty Council and an Academic Board with a single governing body that will have legislative authority over academic matters. We further propose that an ad hoc committee be formed by the Provost to define the mission, duties and makeup of a Faculty Senate.” This motion passed 12-2, with two abstentions.
The fact that the Chair of Faculty Council is not a voting member of the Academic Board was then discussed at the April 28 meeting. Academic Board has expanded its membership over the years to more than just Department Heads. The new members all have votes and so it seemed appropriate that the Chair of FC should as well. A second proposal was thus made, stating: “Faculty Council recommends that the Chair of Faculty Council be made a voting member of the Academic Board.” This resolution passed 12-1, with one abstention.
Finally, FC discussed Dr. Conway Saylor’s recommendation, made at the General Faculty meeting, that canvassing of faculty for donations to the Citadel Development Fund should be reinstated. It was agreed that the canvassing should be done by the faculty itself, leading to the following resolution: “Faculty Council recommends setting up a more structured system for canvassing the faculty to donate to the Citadel Development Fund.” This resolution passed 12-1, with one abstention.
All three resolutions were then presented to the Academic Board at its May meeting, for action at its August meeting.
FC also met with Dr. Tara McNealy, Associate Provost for Strategic Planning, who requested FC assistance in determining priorities as the latest cycle of planning begins.
At the May 5 meeting, the need to name three members to the Committee on Committees, one from the School of Business, one from the School of Math and Science, and one, as a one-year replacement, from the School of Education was discussed. Nominations will be sent to the outgoing Chair and a vote will be made electronically by mid-May. Election of Faculty Council officers was also conducted. Dr. George Rudolph of the Math Department was elected Chair, Dr. Wes Dudgeon of HESS was elected Vice-chair, and Dr. Steve Cotter of Math was elected Secretary.
As is usual, FC was represented throughout the semester by its chair at presidential staff meetings, Strategic Planning meetings, Academic Board meetings, and Graduate Council meetings. The chair also met regularly with the Provost to discuss various issues. Finally, the chair requested annual reports from all Committee chairs, as is required by their charters.
Among the issues carrying over to the August meeting are revision of the Faculty Manual and several Committee matters, including possible changes to the membership of the Awards Committee and clarification of the specific duties (so as to avoid overlap and duplication of effort) of the Core Curriculum Committee and the Curriculum Committee.
If there are any questions about FC activities, I will be glad to answer them. And I remind you that the minutes of all FC meetings are available to you on the FC homepage.
Outgoing Chair, Faculty Council