Faculty Senate Meeting
April 11, 2018
Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library
Senate Meeting Agenda (and actions taken)
I. Call to Order
A. Plenary meeting to approve May 2018 degrees
B. Update from Working Group on Advising
C. Update from Working Group on Athletics
D. Announcements from the floor
III. Reports from Officers and Standing Committees
A. University Committee for Research
B. Nominations and Elections Committee
IV. New Business
A. Motion to approve proposed Graduate Major Concentrations and CIP codes for doctoral programs in the Department of Psychology (approved)
B. Motion to approve new Guidelines for Creating Undergraduate Major Concentrations (approved as amended)
C. Motion to approve two proposed amendments to the existing Guidelines for Creating, Administering, and Eliminating Majors and Minors (approved as amended)
Senators present: Graham Bader, Gwen Bradford, Nate Citino, Erik Dane, Michael Diehl, Julie Fette, Jeffrey Fleisher, Patrick Hartigan, Steve Klineberg, Balaji Koka, David Leebron, Angel Marti-Arbona, Susan McIntosh, David Messmer, Marie Lynn Miranda, Emilia Morosan, Nancy Niedzielski, Ed Nikonowicz, Rob Raphael, Doug Schuler, Laura Segatori, Scott Solomon, Michael Wolf, Pablo Yepes, and Colin Zelt.
Senators absent: Lisa Balabanlilar, Martin Blumenthal-Barby, Keith Cooper, Scott Cutler, Charles Geyer, Christopher Hight, Christopher Johns-Krull, Marek Kimmel, and Kerry Ward.
(To listen to an audio tape of this meeting, email email@example.com .)
I. Call to Order
Speaker Jeffrey Fleisher called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.
A. Speaker Jeff Fleisher reminded the Senate of the May 10 plenary meeting to approve May 2018 degrees.
B. Leslie Schwindt-Bayer, chair, gave the Senate an update from the Working Group on Advising. She said the working group’s goal is to document the goals and processes of advising on campus right now. They sent questionnaires to and interviewed advisors across campus. They are sifting through the information they received and examining the practices of peer institutions. She advised that the group would not have the final report ready by the end of this academic year, but will in the fall. A senator recommended the group talk to Student Success Initiatives and commented on the lack of an advising question on the senior exit survey. Schwindt-Bayer responded that they do have two students on the working group and they are convening a student focus group. Another senator expressed that it is important to distinguish between advising and mentoring and wondered if the university has lost focus on the mentoring aspects. Schwindt-Bayer answered that it was not in the charge of the working group, and the provost responded they have been receiving feedback about mentoring in the survey results.
C. Doug Schuler, chair, presented an update from the Working Group on Athletics. He listed the members of the group, reviewed their charge, and explained that they have met a half dozen times in addition to many electronic conversations. Schuler reported that he presented the group’s recommendation to the Senate Executive Committee (EC) and the EC asked them to continue working on the recommendation and then present an updated document in the fall.
D. President David Leebron expanded on two emails that have been sent to the faculty. The first was about the V2C2 plans. He said that the Board of Trustees has expressed enthusiasm and is ready to make investments in the plans. The focus is currently on the research and faculty investments and the choices that need to be made about allocations. They will talk more in the fall about further plans. The second email was about international structures at the university. Some universities have a separate vice-president for international responsibilities, but it was decided that Rice could save money by consolidating and coordinating among positions and departments that already exist. They do plan to create a website and introduce faculty initiative grants. He acknowledged a need to be clear about the transition and stated that opportunities at Rice should be available to everyone, regardless of financial situation.
E. Provost Marie Lynn Miranda reminded everyone of the University Awards Ceremony on April 24 in the McMurtry auditorium and encouraged faculty to show support for their colleagues. She stated that the family of Marjorie Corcoran would be present for the first presentation of the new annual Corcoran award.
F. Fleisher took a moment to thank Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson who is stepping down from his position and said that Hutchinson has been a “remarkable member of shared governance.”
G. Deputy Speaker Julie Fette announced that the Senate will have an end-of-year party on May 1 and will be honoring Sharon Mathews who is retiring.
III. Reports from Officers and Standing Committees
A. Report from University Committee on Research
James McNew, chair, gave a report from the University Committee for Research. McNew reported that the committee met over the last academic year to review the charge and consider policy revisions. They recommended revisions to the Human Research Project Program, University Policy 326. He said that there was a request from the library to join the Texas Data Repository, but they chose not to do that because there was weak faculty support. McNew said the charge of the committee is to engage with the Office of Research, which is a complicated office. Many people engage with the office throughout the year. They invited Crystal Toups to speak with them about the Spark program. He said other faculty committees came and spoke with the research committee as well. McNew explained that the other committees might make reports to the Office of Research but not officially to their committee. He said they would like to make the other committee chairs ex-officio members of the research committee so that there is a direct conduit of information. The committee also hopes to offer insight into implementing V2C2 initiatives. A senator asked if changes in federal support in the next two years could change the role of the University Committee for Research. McNew said that yes, broader incentives would help and new sources of funding will be needed, but he also pointed out that only half of the research money is federal. Slides used in the Research Working Group Report, April 2018.
B. Report from Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)
Julie Fette, chair of the NEC, began her report by thanking departing senators for their service and welcoming new senators who were in attendance. She also thanked outgoing committee chairs and said the NEC was working to fill chair seats and committees, especially the chair of Examinations and Standings committee.
Fleisher opened up nominations for Speaker of the Faculty Senate for 2018-2019. Fette nominated Edward Nikonowicz. Doug Schuler seconded. Nikonowicz was elected with unanimous approval. Nikonowicz thanked Fleisher and Fette for their service, and then handed the floor back to Fleisher. Fette then nominated Christopher Johns-Krull as Deputy Speaker. Schuler seconded. Johns-Krull was elected with unanimous support.
Fette then proposed a slate for the Executive Committee, 2018-2019, as follows:
Edward Nikonowicz (Natural Sciences), Speaker
Christopher Johns-Krull (Natural Sciences), Deputy Speaker
Gwen Bradford (Humanities)
Sergio Chavez (Social Sciences)
Erik Dane (Jones Graduate School of Business)
Charlie Geyer (Shepherd School of Music)
Dave Messmer (Non-tenure-track Teaching)
Laura Segatori (Engineering)
The Executive Committee will be elected at the first meeting of the fall semester 2018, and alternate slates may be presented at that time.
IV. New Business
A. Motion to approve proposed Graduate Major Concentrations and CIP codes for doctoral programs in the Department of Psychology
David Tenney (Registrar), April DeConick (Graduate Council chair), and Fred Oswald (Psychology) introduced a proposal to create new concentrations in psychology graduate programs. They explained that psychology is the first proposal of this kind but there could be a need in other departments as well. The concentrations make a difference in how they handle international students because the concentrations allow for certain kinds of CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) codes. The concentrations are already in place subject-wise, but will become “official” with the codes. A senator asked for clarification on the CIP abbreviation. Tenney answered that CIP is a curriculum classification code for different majors, and in recent years, the classifications are being used in new ways. Another senator asked if students would be able to change concentrations during their program. Oswald replied that they would be able to and that the codes do not stifle flexibility. He closed by thanking the Graduate Council for all of their work on the proposal. Fleisher moved to approve the proposal and Fette seconded the motion. Brief conversation followed regarding the procedure for other departments to create the same codes. DeConick and Fleisher explained that for some departments it will be important, but those departments will need to work with the Graduate Council because the structures may not be in place as they were in the Department of Psychology. The motion was approved unanimously.
B. Motion to approve new Guidelines for Creating Undergraduate Major Concentrations
Susan McIntosh, chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC), started conversation by explaining that the proposal standardizes a practice the CUC has been following. It defines what constitutes a major concentration is and stipulates what should appear in a proposal creating a concentration. The Senate would delegate authority to the CUC for these decisions, in the interest of expediting the decisions. A motion was made to approve and Klineberg seconded. Gwen Bradford asked how having a concentration on a transcript is an advantage. Several others answered with examples of how departments can have very different programs within them that need to be distinguished for employers. Tenney and Fleisher explained that this streamlines the process and thus does not create extra work. One senator asked what would happen when a concentration becomes archaic. Fleisher responded that departments would need to address that. Pat Hartigan suggested that the proposal was about clarity and the point of discussion should be about whether or not to give the CUC authority. Wolf asked if there were other examples of transferring authority from the Senate to the CUC and suggested the perhaps instead concentration proposals could be put on a Senate consent agenda. Fleisher said that there was not currently a structure in place for that. Lora Wildenthal expressed that she liked there being a public permanent record of what is approved and Provost Miranda said that she appreciated that 30 university leaders are alerted when proposals move through the Senate. McIntosh said the third sentence could be struck from the new guidelines and proposals would still go through the Senate. The motion passed unanimously. The voting record can be viewed HERE. The proposal, approved as amended, Guidelines for creating undergrad major concentrations 4/2018.
C. Motion to approve two amendments to the existing Guidelines for Creating, Administering, and Eliminating Majors and Minors
1. An amendment to section C regarding departmental minors
McIntosh began the discussion by providing context for the amendments. She reported that there is student concern that Rice has an insufficient number of minors. A recent Thresher article revealed that faculty have a lack of knowledge about the process for proposing minors. In the original 2004 proposal guidelines, language about the brevity and pro forma process of departmental minors got lost. These amendments will update the existing guidelines for proposing minors within an existing major and expedite the CUC proposal process. There was a motion to approve and second. Pat Hartigan reported that trying to create a minor in astrophysics is impossible because of the prerequisite requirements. Fleisher answered that the CUC should be able to help address that. Wolf then objected to the amendments for two reasons. He said that there should be some version of Senate approval of minors, and that the CUC has no charge to consider the coherent curriculum and instead looks at things individually. He believes the charge should include looking at the coherence of the curriculum. McIntosh responded that this request was beyond the scope of the immediate discussion regarding repair of what was created in 2006. Wolf moved to amend the amendment. Bradford seconded. Hartigan opposed the amendment and all other senators approved by a show of hands.
2. An amendment to section E, Substantial Changes to Existing Majors or Minors, to reference new guidelines for creating major concentrations
Fleisher motioned to approve the amendments. Fette seconded. The motion passed with 95% approval and 5% abstentions. The voting record can be viewed HERE. The approved as amended “Guidelines for Creating, Administering, and Eliminating Majors and Minors” can be found HERE.
3. Before adjournment, President Leebron thanked Speaker Fleisher and Deputy Speaker Fette for their work on the Senate. He said they demonstrated it is possible to be “fierce advocates” for faculty and work with administrators.
Fleisher adjourned the meeting at 1:40.