April 21, 2011

Faculty Council Meeting Minutes – April 21, 2011

Members present:
Jana Allen, Carolyn Moore, Loretta Calvert, Joan Weaver, George Wilson, Bobbie Kilbane, Laura Black, Renee Eades, Daniel Kelley, David Johnson, Clay Scott, Jane Armour, Greg Burgess, Rufus Darden, Clark Cropper, Jamshed Ghouse, Rita Sowell, Peter Melvin, Kevin Cook.
Minutes for the April 7, 2011, meeting were approved.
Welcome to new council members for the 2011-12 academic year: Sue Mulcahy, Scott McMillan, Clay Scott, Pete Melvin, and Jeff Moore
The council reviewed a list of items that were handled in the 2010-2011 academic year.
Surveys:
The concerns about Class Climate are that not all the online evaluations were distributed, and some students received both fall and spring online evaluations. This means that faculty who are non-tenured are hurt by poor response rates which Class Climate was supposed to fix.
In discussing the CCESSE survey council members expressed concern that the time taken to complete the survey seems excessive and the form lacks space for written comments.
The number of questions in the on-line survey for Institutional Effectiveness seemed excessive. It was suggested that we need a discussion with Jane McGuire to point out that the data may not be very good. A question came up about whether we could double the number of surveys distributed and shorten the survey. That approach might generate the same amount of data.
Learning Support Director:
The position is waiting for budget approval from the TBR. The faculty council recommendation, developed by a sub-team of council members was received by the cabinet. A question arose about whether the TBR could also receive our statement. Clark can take the recommendation to the TBR subcouncil. Additionally, the question was raised that we might need a pre-requisite for a dean position. Clark could do an informal survey of other sub-council representatives, sponsored by the faculty council. The council asked if there is anything in the budget process that faculty can influence; the answer was that when the budget hearings happen, only the vice-presidents are asked to compile requests. So our requests are supposedly coming through Dr. Scism, but we know that Dr. Scism has some items on his list of top budget priorities that faculty don’t all agree with.

Faculty Morale:
The question raised by council members is whether teaching is actually valued. This is the underlying issue for real-life situations that seem to be at odds with policies. For example, activity hour was constructed without faculty input.
Loretta met with Dr. Scism to discuss decision-making, communication, and interaction with the faculty. Loretta’s suggestion is to invite Dr. Scism to the faculty council. The council reminded her that Dr. Scism has been invited before to no avail because he continues to ignore the faculty and their input. Non-tenured faculty members are reluctant to speak up against school policies. Faculty council represents many / most faculty members. Loretta emphasized that we cannot give up and need to continue engaging Dr. Scism in discussions.
It was pointed out that Volunteer State Community College has the highest turnover of any community college in the state of Tennessee in 2010 – 2011 without buy-outs. Last academic year, VolState had the second highest turnover rate in the state.
The Open Forum:
Questions have already been submitted and were grouped according to the area to which the question pertained. There was an extensive discussion about the Learning Support “Dean” position. The council mentioned that the following issues should be discussed at the forum:
• Communication Issues
• Governance Issues
• Selection of a Dean of Learning Support without a Search
2011-2012 Officers Elected:
The council elected the following officers for the academic year 2011-2012:
• Speaker: Loretta Calvert
• Vice-Speaker: Kevin Cook
• Secretary: George Wilson
Clark Cropper has volunteered to support Loretta in meetings.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 pm.

Faculty Council Secretary, Bobbie Kilbane

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