University Faculty Senate

Administrative Affairs Committee
2007- 2008 Minutes

Administrative Affairs Committee
November 16, 2007

AAC #4
November 16, 2007, Minutes

Indiana State University
Faculty Senate 2007-08

Time: 10:00 am
Place: College of Technology, E101

Present: B. Evans, T. Harris, M. Lewandowski, R. Lotspeich, G. Minty
Absent: S. Frey, R. Ivaturi, S. Pontius (Exec. Comm. Liaison), K. Wilkinson
Ex-officio: E. Kinley (Academic Affairs) and D. McKee
Guest: Catherine Baker - Director, Student Academic Services Center

  1. Minutes approved from meeting of October 19, 2007, (5-0-0)
    R. Lotspeich moved to amend the agenda to discuss the matter of future academic calendars first and the committee on budget recommendations second. Approved by acclamation.
  2. Future academic calendars:
    1. Winter Intersession
    2. Changes to Study Week

      1. Winter Intersession

        C. Baker made a brief presentation on earlier work in which she had been engaged that examined the feasibility and desirability of establishing a three week winter intersession that would replace the current practice of an intersession in May. Key benefits of this are:

        1. Better access to special opportunities for students with regard to study abroad and field trips for study and research;
        2. Offerings of basic courses for students who fail to perform adequately in such courses in the fall semester.
        3. It has the potential to attract non-traditional students.

        C. Baker provided several examples of colleges and universities that follow calendars with a winter intersession (many private liberal arts colleges, e.g. DePauw University, and Wright State University (since 2005-06), University of Kentucky (since 2006-07) and University of Wisconsin-Osh Kosh (established several years ago)) and said she has heard positive responses to this feature of their calendars. She also indicated that a winter intersession would likely be better utilized by students than the May intersession (which is poorly attended) and that Janis Halpern said that a winter intersession would be better for study abroad experiences. M. Lewandowski pointed out that travel costs would be lower in winter than in May.

        Several issues were raised that might present practical problems that would have to be addressed. D. McKee Noted that closing of dormitories in the winter might create a housing problem for students who choose to take courses on campus during a winter intersession. Registration for winter courses would have to be completed during the fall semester. The spring semester would have to begin two weeks later and thus extend farther into May by two weeks. G. Minty wondered whether this would adversely affect student search for summer employment, but viewpoints expressed by others suggested this would not likely be a serious problem.

        Another issue requiring attention is the financial arrangements. C. Baker suggested that tuition for fall semester could allow full-time students to take courses in the winter session. But since faculty would be paid extra to teach in this session, as they are in the current summer sessions, additional funds would have to be allocated from elsewhere in the ISU budget. M. Lewandowski reported that faculty at Depauw University are required to teach a course in their winter session once every three years. Dr. Baker said the view of the group that studied this issue earlier was that the session could eventually be self-funding, but would need extra funds to begin with.

        E. Kinley indicated that Provost Maynard is interested in exploring this schedule change. He also expressed the view that it contained much merit, particularly from the perspective of facilitating student retention.

        A further question raised was whether this proposed schedule change had been discussed with Deans of the various colleges. C. Baker said it had not been discussed with them.

        There is enough interest and positive potential in this calendar change that it should move forward toward implementation in a few years. The committee will send forward a positive recommendation, but also note that several logistical issues need to be studied and appropriate plans formulated. Most important are the budgetary implications.

      3. Changes to Study Week
      4. There was general discussion of the current policy of “dead week” or “study week” and the historical evolution of this aspect of the ISU calendar. There was also discussion on options for changing this policy.

        The current policy is seen by some as awkward and in need of revision. One possibility suggested is to have the Wednesday of exam week free of exams to provide students with a study day, while eliminating the restrictions on the final week of classes that are currently in place. There are no administrative implications of such a change, but there may be some academic issues.

        There was no conclusion reached from this discussion.

  3. Establishing a committee on budget recommendations
  4. G. Minty said he had asked Virgil Sheets (Chairperson of Faculty Senate) for clarification on the purpose of such a committee, and received the reply that its function should be to inform the faculty broadly about budgetary matters.

    Discussion then turned to whether PPARC could be a vehicle for addressing this purpose. D. McKee explained the history and function of PPARC. She then went on to discuss in cursory fashion the university budget, with reference to its macro structure and to the budgeting process. She described a two-level budget structure: Institutional level and academic level. PPARC addresses budgetary matters at the institutional level; the academic level is addressed by the Office of the Provost and then by the Deans of the various colleges. The budget office has minimal involvement with the academic level.

    Regarding faculty involvement in and knowledge of the budget, D. McKee said her office provides information in a transparent manner to the Provost and Deans and that faculty should first approach the Deans to become more informed and involved in budgetary matters. She suggested also that faculty could obtain much information from the website of the Budget Office. (Office of Business Affairs and Finance).

    M. Lewandowski asked about the fungibility of ISU funds. E. Kinley pointed out that many accounts are restricted in their use; D. McKee also replied, noting that many ISU funds are dedicated to continuing necessary expenses, such as physical plant, and could not easily be transferred to other purposes.

    R. Lotspeich distributed copies of pages from the handbook of Illinois State University that describe their faculty committees that are involved in budgetary matters.

    No particular conclusions were reached, and this discussion will be taken up at the next meeting of the Committee.

  5. New business:
    There was no new business.
  7. The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.
  8. Respectfully submitted,
    R. Lotspeich, Secretary of the Day

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