Faculty Senate Meeting

June 30, 1998

(Which was cancelled because of lack of quorum.)

 

HENRY PRICE (Acting Chairman) - It is about 3:15 p.m. and we do not have a quorum. I'm going to ask Provost Odom to give his remarks in the hopes that when he finishes there will be a enough senators for a quorum.

PROVOST JEROME ODOM -

Thank you very much Henry. I first of all would like to express the regret of the President. Last year he did delay leaving on a European vacation to come to this meeting and as you know we did not have a quorum. This year he decided he would go ahead and that I could tell you most everything that we have done. What the good news is, what the not so good news is, and then I'd be happy to answer any questions.

Let me just briefly tell you that the Board has approved a budget. I think that most of you are aware of the budget ratifications. We would call this budget a sparse budget overall. We have to adapt to what we feel like we will receive from the State. At the same time we are trying to use what money we have as resourcefully as possible. I want to tell you that I appreciate everything that you have done this year. Clearly we know that we have a salary problem on this campus. When we were asking the deans to prepare their strategic plans for next year, that they presented this spring, I asked them to not ask for any increases. Most of them gritted their teeth and complied. For that I am very appreciative. Based on that I went to the President at my strategic plan hearing and told him that I would try to fund any new commitments that the Provost had to make in terms of academic programs from my existing budget if indeed the President and the Board would designate any new funds for faculty salaries. As a result of that, I hope that you do know, that we have been able to supply 2% merit increases above the 2.5% that the State will give us.

As you know, we had to increase our tuition and fees and those increases will enable us to basically pay a debt that the State passes on to us. This year a mandated cost of living and insurance increase, I think, was passed on to us totaling almost $1.7 million. So that is what we will have to pay. A 2% undergraduate in-state tuition increase plus eight-tenths of a percent in fees will be levied. The same will be true for the regional campuses. Out-of-state undergraduate tuition increase will be 3.75% and out-of-state graduate students will be 6.3%. In-state graduate students will pay the same increase as out-of-state undergraduates which is 3.75%. That is those students who are not, of course, on an assistantship. We were able to get some money from performance funding and we were able to save some money from recovery of credit card charges. As you know we are not going to accept credit cards for payment of tuition fees. That was costing the University about a half a million dollars a year. This year a student will be told that if they want to pay by credit card that there will be a service charge (I think the service charge if I remember correctly was 1.6%) added to the bill. We had begun some conversations with an outside firm that was willing to handle all of this for us. They were going to charge 3%. I think at the end of this year we will evaluate and see if very many people paid by credit cards and if the demand is there we will try and continue to do this on an in-house basis.

In addition to using funds for faculty salaries at 2% merit increase we will have to put some money into recruitment of deans. As you are all aware that money is not for the deans' salaries so much as it is being able to do some selected things for deans in terms of being able to recruit the right kind of people. In the next year we will be looking for a dean in Liberal Arts. I am sad to say that that search was suspended and we have decided to redo that search. I did not feel like I could ask Blease Graham to be the dean of two colleges another year so I have asked Gordon Smith (who was an Associate Dean) if he will act as Interim Dean for Liberal Arts. We will try to select that search committee and get the ads out before the first of September and we will try and speed that up as much as possible.

I would like to announce that effective tomorrow, Dr. Patricia Moody will be the Interim Dean of the College of Applied Professions. I will appoint a task force to look at the structure of that college and to look at other possibilities that might exist for programs in that college. That is a task force that I will appoint very quickly and Dr. Moody will help me do that. I hope within the next few days to be able to make an announcement of an Interim Dean in Education and an Interim Dean in the Division of Regional Campuses and Continuing Education.

We also will be placing some money in the South Carolina Honors College. I will give you some enrollment figures in a moment but one of the things we are having to do there, of course, is now accommodate an entirely new program of McNair Scholars in addition to our Carolina Scholars. If you remember, back in the fall, we decided to do a National Carolina Scholars program. We wanted to bring in five national scholars this year. We had a dinner/reception, had the students on campus, we invited students from around the country (I think we invited between 20 and 25) with their parents to come in. We made 10 offers, I think we made 12 offers actually, hoping to get 5 students. At that time they were not called McNair Scholars. We actually have 10 and perhaps 11 who are coming of those 12. So we have an incredible yield. We were expecting somewhere less than 50%, which is normal. Those students were very impressed. They wanted to come to campus. Next year we will rachet that program up so that we will be bringing in 20 McNair Scholars a year and in the end after 4 years we will have 80 McNair Scholars. Which will be, I think, a wonderful program. In fact this weekend some of you may have been involved, we tried to identify in a number of different ways about the top 50 high schools in the nation. We invited guidance counselors from those schools. We had 20 here this weekend to look at our campus, look at Columbia, to hear about undergraduate life at South Carolina, to hear about the Honors College, to hear about our Offices of Fellowships, Summer Programs, and Pre-Professional Advising. Those counselors that I talked to were very impressed with what they saw and I think that with the kind of publicity that we are getting we will get some excellent students in this program.

We also asked, if we got any new money, if there was any way that we could take a little more money and put it into classroom enhancement around the University. Whether we will be able to do that or not is not clear at this time but I would like to speed up that program if at all possible. In terms of next year, we are expecting a freshman class of about 2,850 students. Their average SAT scores will be just above 1,100. We have 76% White, 18% African-American, 55% female, and 76% of the students will be in-state students. Right now we are expecting 250 freshman in the Honors College and their average SAT score is 1,371. We are expecting about a 35% increase in the number of National Merit finalists this year. We should enroll about 60 of those.

We do have two new deans coming in. Harris Pastides from Massachusetts in Public Health and Gary Crawley from Michigan State in Science and Mathematics. Two of things that we will begin work on very seriously this coming year will have to do with our SACS accreditation and our bi-centennial commemoration and celebration, both which will occur in the year 2001.

Those are overall the comments that I wanted to make. Again I want to thank the faculty for what they have done over the past year and to thank you for your attendance here today. And, I will be happy to answer questions.

CHARLES MACK (ART) - The scandal involving graduate degrees awarded through the Lancaster campus.

PROVOST - Those were awarded through the Columbia campus. That is the GRS program.

MACK - Administered through the Lancaster program. That has been an embarrassment, I think, to all of us on the faculty, system wide. Will the President be addressing that issue before us in the Fall?

PROVOST - I would suspect so.

MACK - Do you feel comfortable answering any questions concerning it? I realize it did not happen on your watch.

PROVOST - I will answer what I can. That is still an on going investigation as you might know if you read Senator W. Greg Ryberg's op-ed piece in the Sunday newspaper. We are responding to a large number of FOI requests from Senator Ryberg.

MACK - Should I reserve questions until the President is with us in the Fall?

PROVOST - It is up to you.

 

MACK - There are two issues that were raised in the newspaper, so who knows how accurate that is, that attracted by attention. One concerned a report that a member of the Lancaster faculty reported his suspicions about this program and was, I quote him, "I was told very firmly to butt out." This was after he reported his suspicions to the campus here. Are we investigating what office told him to butt out or who told him to butt out?

PROVOST - We are. We have not been able to substantiate that.

MACK - But that is on going?

PROVOST - Yes it is.

MACK - The other involves a member of the President's staff who, in discussing with Senator Ryberg, said (and again I quote from the newspaper and not directly from this member of administration), "If Ryberg were a private citizen his interest and request for more information would be considered frivolous. Senator Ryberg addressed that in the letter to the newspaper, his op-ed in the newspaper, the other day. I find that if that statement is correct that use of the word 'frivolous' from a private citizen expressing interest about state monies in the awardings of degrees -- I find that if that is true at all, shocking and again an increased embarrassment. Do you have any response to that?

PROVOST - Randy, let me simply tell you that the last FOI which went to all of the deans asked for us to document all out-of-state or out-of-country programs in any college. There was a large amount of information that was asked for and I know department chairs that might be here and deans can attest to the fact that we do have a fairly large number of these. These in many cases are not part of the Graduate Regional Studies program at all. Thye have nothing to do with this particular investigation.

MACK - So the response about frivolousness was not directly in response to questions about this particular Lancaster situation?

PROVOST - Not at all.

MACK - Ok, fine. Thank you. I thought that must be an error.

PROVOST - When you look at the amount of time it has taken us to respond to that particular FOI and ask how we tied that FOI to this investigation, I think the link is tenuous and I think there were a lot of person hours used. I don't know what use it is going to be in the end.

MACK - Ok. Thank you.

PROVOST - If I could just make the point, this is a personal opinion. I think the use of the word "frivolous" was probably not proper.

MACK - I would agree.

PROVOST - Any other questions?

KIRK FIEDLER (BADM) - Just to focus in on the positive. It is my understanding basically that you said the deans will be working with a 4.5% salary pool for next year?

PROVOST - That is correct.

FIEDLER - Thank you sir.

PROVOST - You are welcome. The deans have in fact turned in salaries to me and I am currently looking through those. The President was very clear to the Board, and I want to make sure that we carry out those wishes, that those raises that are above and beyond what normally might occur should have been based on merit. Should have been based on a faculty member's accomplishments. Any other questions?

HENRY PRICE - Thank you, Mr. Provost. Are all the senators gathered here in the middle? Anybody on the wings over here that is a senator, please move to the middle if you will. We need to get a final count here. I know there were 21 over here. Folks, we do not have enough. We've got 52 here as I count it. Sarah, check me on that, would you please. And we have, Jeanna, what was it at the Regional Campuses? 13. We need a quorum of 65 even if they are all there. We, of course, assume they are. I had 21 on that side. That's 52; that is not a quorum. Folks, I hate to do this again; I promise you I won't try to run this thing next summer. As I said, I appreciate your coming to this meeting. Taking the time out of your schedules, and I know they are busy in the summer time, to do it. Yes, sir?

UNIDENTIFED SPEAKER - I just want to make the point there is one type of business that is imperative to take care of before our next meeting and that is grade changes. I hope there is some provision made for that.

PRICE - What we did this past summer is that I, acting on behalf of the Faculty and the Committee, worked it out with the Provost to consider the grade changes as submitted by the Committee approved. We can't take any official action here, but if I don't hear any screams to the contrary, we will do the same thing because it is imperative that those grades be handled. I am sorry we can't get to the curriculum matters that are on the schedule. The Steering Committee talked over the matter of the minus grade that was going to be presented. I was uncomfortable with a small Senate meeting handling that particular item. I believe that it is an item on which the entire faculty needs to have an opportunity to make itself heard. We talked it over with the Provost, and it is our intention to place that on the agenda for the Fall faculty meeting so it can be discussed by the entire faculty. It is a rather large change in the way things are being done.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER - Being there is no meeting is there going to be a roll call?

PRICE - I do want everyone, please, to sign in. I would very much appreciate it if you would do that for me. Sarah, if you can circulate the roll and make sure that everyone does get signed in. I apologize to our colleagues on the other campuses.

MACK - The Provost's Office will be checking the roll call against the submissions for merit increases?

PRICE - I saw him taking notes.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER - There were some essentially secretarial approval work on the list of new courses that were simply a part of a blanket list for the catalog of interdiscipline area programs. Women's Studies has their list in; Film Studies has its list in. It wasn't approving anything. They've got somebody new at the catalog who says you can't just be the director of the program and call and say these courses qualify for our program -- that it has to have Senate approval, and if they wait till Spring then the catalog is going to be out of date for an entire year. Is there any possibility of those sliding through?

PRICE - There is always a possibility. I will talk with the Provost; I will talk to John Winberry, and we will see what we can come up with on that.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER - They are not going to be substantive changes.

PRICE - I understand what you are saying. We will do everything we can, folks, to try to cover for not being able to take official action at this meeting. But we can only go so far. We will report back, I think, all the actions that are taken. So if you wish to undo them in September, you can certainly do so.

There was one comment for the Good of the Order.

RICHARD CONANT (MUSC) - I just want to ask a question. There seems to be some confusion about when committees shift over -- new members/old members. There seems to be some confusion as to when the new committee assignments start like July 1st or when the elections are held in the Spring or in the Fall. I always thought it was July 1st. Is there anything codified on that?

PRICE - No, as far as I know. I think most of the committees are working on the start of the new semester, which would be August 15th. Advisory is working on that schedule, if I am not mistaken. I see no reason why the new committee members couldn't attend any meetings that are held this summer. I intend to. But they would not be official members until the new academic year begins August 15th. (NOTE: According the the Faculty Manual, Appendix I under Article

VI - Committees, Section 3, pages 79-80: "Committee members elected in March will assume office with the beginning of the summer session. The term of outgoing members will end with the close of the summer session. There will thus be a larger than normal number of committee members available for service during the summer."

There was a comment for the Good of the Order over here. Please go ahead and make the comment.

MARTY DAVIS - I am the new catalog person you were warned about. John Winberry, if you could come up for just a moment please.

PRICE - Don't be so reluctant, John.

DAVIS - The catalogs, for those of you who don't work with them on a regular basis, have had to undergo a lot of revisions. This year was the first of what will probably be 2 to 3 more years of very intensive work. I have the bad job of calling you folks and telling you that we are having to change some things. John is the person who's had to do all the grunt work. I don't think anyone will ever understand or know just how many hours he has put into make this catalog usable both for the faculty and for the students. We at University Publications greatly appreciate your work John, and we wanted to take this opportunity to present you with this certificate and thank you very much for your hard work.

JOHN WINBERRY (GEOG) - There are a couple of individuals, previous chairs of this committee, that know how much hard work goes into it so thank you very much.

PRICE - Thank you, Marty. Is there anything else for the general good that we can just make a general announcement on? Nothing that would require action.

MACK - I would like to thank you for stepping back in even though it has been a brief step. Thank you so much and thank you for that memo. That should have gotten us all here.

PRICE - Well, we might need to do some thinking about things. But Don will be back soon. Anything else? Please be sure that you check yourself in on the list. We would like to know who is here and who isn't. There are Christmas stockings that are being thought of. Thank you very much, folks.