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March 1, 2011

                                           FACULTY SENATE MINUTES #10

                                                       March 1, 2011

The tenth meeting of the Faculty Senate 2010-2011 was called to order by Chair David Miller on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM in the Hall of Fame Room, Park Center.

SENATORS AND MEMBERS PRESENT:  D. Miller, T. Phillips, T. Vigars, R. Grantham, D. West, W. Miller, D. Berger, R. Kendrick, J. Ouellette, J. Alemzadeh, O. White, R. Borden, J. Peluso, D. Harrington, E. McCabe, T. Slack, J. Walkuski, J. Campanaro,  A. M. Rossi, W. Michael, E. Bitterbaum, M. Prus, R. Spitzer, A. Fitz-Gibbon, G. Clarke, S. Anderson

SENATORS AND MEMBERS ABSENT:  D. Driscoll, I. Vincent, S. Rayl, S. Wilson, B. Buxton, K. Hempson, M. Chandler, K. Pristash, J. Hendrick, E. Owens, P. Schroeder, R. Franco, G. Sharer, W. Shaut, A. Thomas, M. Connell


I.  APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES:  There was a motion for approval of the minutes from February 15, 2011. (Approved)


There was a vote to approve the Faculty Senate to be included in the search committee for the Director of Field Placement and the search for Director for the Clark Center for International Education (Approved)

III. VICE CHAIR:  T. Phillips – No report.

IV. TREASURER’S REPORT  R. Grantham – The Treasurer thanked everyone who had paid their dues and encouraged those who have not to keep sending them in. 

V. SECRETARY’S REPORT:  T. Vigars –  No report.

VI.  PRESIDENT’S REPORT:   The President gave a brief report.

Provost Prus asked the Senate to be included in the consultative search for the Director of Field Placement and the search for the Director of the Clark Center for International Education.


Student Affairs Committee  - M. Connell, Chair – No report (absent)

Academic Faculty Affairs Committee  – A. Fitz-Gibbon, Chair – No report.

Long-Range Planning Committee – No report

Educational Policy Committee –  R. Spitzer, Chair – The Chair reported on a recent charge from the Faculty Senate Steering Committee on January 25, 2011 to examine the possibility of a change of time between classes from 20 to 15 minutes.  The committee discussed the issue during several meetings and made a recommendation

of no change.  Dr. Spitzer discussed the issues involved: 1) D. Margine, Registrar, indicated there is no real existing problem necessitating change; 2) Chair Miller undertook a study with a Geography class utilizing GPS devices during a timed walk/bus process and found a range including 5-7 minutes to spare and an interval of 17 minutes total travel time, depending on the weather.  He also reported that the School of Professional Studies is concerned about a proposed change.  It was also discovered that the buses came when classes were getting out which was found inefficient.

Professional Affairs Committee  – G. Clarke, Chair –  No report.


O. White gave a presentation on the upcoming NCATE visit and distributed a handout on the visitation schedule.

Committee on Committees –There was no report from the Committee on Committees.

College Research Committee  – P. Ducey, Chair – No report.

General Education Committee – A. Thomas, Chair – No report.

IX. AREA SENATOR’S REPORTS:  There were no Area Senator’s reports.

X. SUNY SENATOR’S REPORT – J. Hendrick – No report.

XII. STUDENT SENATOR’S REPORTS:  The students gave a brief report.

XIII. OLD BUSINESS:  Recommendations from the Academic Faculty Affairs Committee regarding CTE’s; Academic Faculty Affairs Committee was discussed. Due to a lack of time the CTE discussion and response

to the English Department regarding Personnel Committee Members and use of Robert’s Rules/Abstentions

was postponed until the next Senate meeting on March 22, 2011.


There was no new business.

 Respectfully Submitted,

 Barbara Kissel

Recording Secretary

 The following reports are appended to the minutes in the order they were submitted:

 (1)   Recommendations from the Academic Faculty Affairs Committee regarding CTE’s; Academic Faculty Affairs Committee response to the English Department regarding Personnel Committee Members and use of Robert’s Rules/Abstentions

                                                 APPENDIX 1

          Recommendation from the Academic Faculty Affairs Committee

                                         Regarding the use of CTE’s

                                     submitted by A. Fitzgibbon, Chair

  III. CTE Component of the Teaching Evaluation System

 I. General Recommendations

1.1 All faculty and administrators should be evaluated on a regular basis. Part of the evaluation of faculty should be the regular systematic collection of information from colleagues and students as the basis for judgments about their teaching effectiveness. …

1.2 The teaching evaluation system will consist of two components: (a) the administration of a Course Teacher Evaluation (CTE) form, and (b) materials and information submitted by the teacher. Note: If a teacher does not wish to use a CTE form, an alternate procedure of visitation is possible.

1.3 Teachers will be evaluated, at a minimum, at least once every third time they teach a particular course. Departments will be responsible for establishing a time schedule for evaluating teaching. (Under exceptional circumstances, the recommended time schedule may be inappropriate. In such cases the department in question should submit to the Teaching Effectiveness Committee for approval an alternative in keeping with the principle of regular, systematic, longitudinal evaluation of faculty.)

3.4 The detailed procedures for collection of CTE data will be determined by each department, approved by the "Committee on Teaching Effectiveness,"…

The AFAC was asked to look at the issue of whether CTEs should be used for evaluative purposes or are rather for the use only of the instructor.

We discussed this at length and talked to a variety of people on campus. Among faculty of long-standing there was no consensus or clarity about the “original intent” of CTEs. In any event, to establish “original intent” is problematic as institutional cultures evolve. Newer faculty members seem to assume that CTEs are required and that they are used for evaluative purposes.

Paragraph 3.4 from the Handbook suggests that it is the prerogative of each department to establish the use of CTEs. We assume that “procedures” includes both the way data is collected and the purpose and uses of the data so collected. In other words, in a department personnel policy it can say how often CTEs should be administered (in compliance with the Handbook) and whether CTEs will be used to assess faculty teaching effectiveness.

CTEs remain the property of the faculty member. As only the faculty member concerned may place information in a portfolio, she/he could choose to omit CTEs, though this may be problematic. A department PC, chair or sub-school PC in the event of omission of CTEs could conclude that there was insufficient data to evaluate a candidate’s teaching ability. Presumably, this would be inadvisable for someone seeking renewal of contract or promotion. However, a candidate may elect to include evidence of teaching ability other than, or in the absence of, CTEs, though this is rarely seen in personnel matters.

Recommendation: That each department be explicitly clear in its personnel policies how often CTEs should be administered and whether or not and in what ways they will be used evaluatively to consider personnel matters.

                                                 APPENDIX 1A

                              Academic Faculty Affairs Committee

                                Response to the English Department

                               Regarding Personnel Committee Members

                                 and use of Robert’s Rules/Abstentions

                                     submitted by A. Fitzgibbon, Chair


From: Dr. Andy Fitz-Gibbon, Chair, Academic Faculty Affairs Committee

To: Dr. Matt Lessig, Chair English Department

The AFAC was asked to look at a memo by the English Department regarding Personnel Committee members retaining the right to abstain in personnel actions. Provost Mark Prus had said in an open meeting that Personnel Committee members could not abstain.

The issue is complex, but the AFAC makes the following observations:

a)     The AFAC approved English Department personnel Policies in 2004 that included the English Department’s desire to operate according to Robert’s Rules.

b)     Robert’s Rule’s allows for abstentions, although abstentions are not counted for determining a majority or a two-thirds majority vote (Doris P. Zimmerman, Robert’s Rules, 205, p 103).

c)     In the absence of any mention in the College Handbook of abstentions or of Robert’s Rules, this does not preclude the English Department from adopting Robert’s Rules, under the faculty autonomy clause 220.06. This would suggest that the English Department is correct in wishing to retain the right of abstention in personnel decisions.

d)     However, section 220.06 A of the handbook suggests “The success of any system of evaluation depends upon the willingness of both faculty and administrators to be candid, objective, and fair in the performance of their responsibilities. Only if this occurs can the best interest of the University be served.” The AFAC found it difficult to find a situation where a faculty member who had not recused her/himself  before discussion would later abstain in a vote.

Note: the English Department memo says that it is the purview of the AFAC to change personnel policies and procedures. The AFAC acts only in an advisory capacity