February 27, 2004

Members Present: P. Anderson, G. Avent, P. Bagley, E. Bateman, J. Baumann, P. Cortez, J. Cox, T. Crum, F. Daniels, X. Du, C. Eikenberry, J. Emerson, H. Estes, P. Fox, G. Goicoechea, E. Henderson, C. Hyslop, L. Hyslop, P. Josey, R. Kampf, J. King, P. Klem, J. Larson, M. LaSalle, J. Licht, K. Martin, M. McFarlane, C. McMullen, D. Moore, K. Mowrey, S. Neilsen, P. O'Hanahan, L. Owens, J. Rice, S. Ridley-Stevens, B. Robertson, L. Sanchez-Saenz, K. Schwandt, J. Shaw, R. Siler, Ja. Smith, P. Smith, G. Sundseth, G. Tenny, L. Uhlenkott, P. Warren, J. Williams

Others Present: Vice President for Academic Affairs Betty Elliott, SGA President Steven Houk, SGA Representative Michelle Urain

  1. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 1:35 p.m. Chair Daniels declared a quorum present. Four proxy votes were noted. The meeting was held by interactive video due to weather which prevented Chair Daniels from traveling to Elko.
  2. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS: Chair Daniels welcomed everyone to Senate.
  3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of the January 15, 2004 meeting were unanimously approved with the following correction. Professor Patty Fox was present at the meeting; the omission will be corrected.
    1. Board of Regents – Once again Dr. Daniels entertained the Senate with highlights of the meetings. The Regents took caution with their proceedings to ensure legality. One persistent comment called for the firing of System Attorney Tom Ray.
      1. The new name for the system will be the Nevada System of Higher Education. The estimated cost to implement the change will be in excess of $40,000. There was strong objection to the cost. The Regents will keep costs to a minimum.
    2. Accommodation of Learning Disabilities – Disability accommodations will be handled by the newly formed GBC Accommodations Committee whose goal is to increase the likelihood of success for students with disabilities. The committee will deal with the issues pertaining to learning limitations among students and discuss resources, modifications, and develop strong working relationships between departments and private or community-based disability organizations. The committee welcomes faculty volunteers. Those interested in participating should contact Vice President for Student Services Lynn Mahlberg.
    3. Proposed Salary Schedule – The system senates have looked at COLA adjustments which will not affect the proposed plan. This system-wide change will affect the faculty salary schedule. A WICHE study as well as a Nevada study indicated that Nevada's higher education faculty is slightly below the median salary level. Raising Nevada's higher education faculty to just above median would require approximately a $1,000 (2.5%) increase. The Chancellor's office concluded that this broad increase was not feasible instead proposing an increase of $400 to the bottom-level with a $1,000 increase to the top-level (overall 1.6%). System Presidents indicated that the $400 increase is burdensome. The proposed increase is now set at $200 a year (0.8%). The system senates are discussing possible alternatives.
      1. Salaries of lower-level system administrators are below median; however, certain top-level system administrators produce salaries within the 75% range. A proposal was made to cut these top-level salaries to pay for the faculty increases, as well as increases for adjunct faculty. This proposal failed.
    1. Budget and Facilities – Vice President for Administrative Services Diekhans has approved $275,000 for equipment expenditures. It is stipulated that the money must be used to benefit students. The due date for requests is March 10. There is an additional $7,500 not allocated last year which will be redistributed. VP Diekhans will try to find $15,000-$20,000 for personal office equipment use.
      1. The Senate requested knowledge of the number of new faculty positions that will be funded this year. The committee will seek information from VP Diekhans and distribute the information to Senate.
    2. Compensation and Benefits – Written report; information only.
      1. Funds – The committee reports an uncommitted balance of $215.29 remaining. The uncommitted balance of the Professional Development Account is approximately $15,000. Sean Thompson's request for participation at security training was tabled. Mardell Wilkins' request to attend the Leadership Academy was approved. Professor Marilee Kuhl's request for reimbursement for two graduate courses was approved.
      2. Merit Pay – A proposal was brought forward to Senate authored in conjunction with VP Diekhans and VP Elliott to provide additional compensation for those faculty members who have reached the top of the pay scale. This issue was designated to the committee at the last full senate meeting. The proposal calls for a formula based partially on student enrollment (a rating of exceptional in three of the five overall areas will produce an overall rating of exceptional). The scale was in reaction to an administrative request to quantify ability. A policy must be in place by April 10 in order for the four faculty members which this affects to realize a merit increase next year. The proposed taxonomy was not unanimously approved by the affected faculty. Two more faculty members will be affected in the next five years. The report was brought as information only to the meeting. A policy needs to be brought to Senate for vote at the April 2 full Senate meeting.
        1. There are objections to enrollment being a determinant factor in performance evaluation. Numbers of students will not determine whether or not a faculty member is doing the job necessary to benefit the student. There is the threat that this type of matrix would be implemented for the entire faculty. The non-teaching faculty is also paid off the same schedule for which course load is not a requirement of employment. The faculty views the policy as punitive and a push toward early retirement. Concerns should be brought to the committee. The committee will continue to work with VP Diekhans. Other system institutions' policies will be referenced, in particular that of TMCC.
        2. Between 1994-1996 an edict was pronounced by then System Chancellor Jarvis that the faculty member requesting merit pay must perform exceptionally to qualify. System institutions formed their policies around this edict, each given the opportunity to define ‘exceptional' according to institutional standards. The GBC faculty which is affected by the current policy has been justifying the merit received through use of a portfolio.
        3. Workload – The committee recommended that a representative from the Delaware Study be invited to address the committee. The study strongly recommended the maximum workload credits be reduced from 15 to 12 with no more than 6 preps in one year for full-time faculty.
        4. Occupational/Vocational Faculty Merit Awards – The committee is reviewing policies for measurement and award of occupational and/or vocational faculty for certifications, work experience, CEU's and industry recognition.
    3. Curriculum and Articulation – Written report; unanimously approved. The committee recommended ENG 100, ENG 250, ENG 299, ENG 429, BIOL 496, and MATH 331 for approval. ANS 205 and ANS 215 were tabled by the committee for clarification.
    4. Distance Education – Written report; information only.
      1. The committee brought forward recommended changes to the distance education evaluation. The changes suggest incorporation of questions pertaining to technological use and the instructional forums therein. The report provided several example questions. This updated evaluation is part of the five-year distance education plan. A small group of faculty will volunteer to use the updated form in order to assist in the formulation of the evaluation. The final evaluation form will be brought to the Faculty and Administrative and Evaluations Committee for recommended Senate action.
      2. The committee is pleased with the progress in the use of the extended-syllabi. The committee requests that Budget and Facilities ask Vice President Diekhans to consider replacement of personal office computers through the equipment monies for faculty who are utilizing the extended-syllabus which directly impacts instruction thus benefiting students. Several faculty members are using computers which are barely capable of running the WebCT technology causing glitches and slowness when performing required instructional functions. Similar problems with outdated equipment occur in areas that directly service students such as the Library.
      3. Weekly workshops will begin addressing such issues as accessibility. Ideas for workshops are welcome.
      4. Faculty are requested to bring forth any WebCT coursework for the Fall 2004 semester since the office of WebCT will not be operational during the months of June and July. Lisa Frazier is scheduled to return to campus in August.
    5. Library – Oral report; information only. The committee met last month to begin development of a 3-5 year plan. The plan is being completed in cooperation with Cliff Ferry and with results from the institutional self-study.
    6. Personnel – Oral report; information only. The item relating to first-year sackings was dismissed from the agenda since the issues have reached resolution.
      1. Faculty is reminded that discretion regarding personnel issues comes under System regulation. Procedures in all cases of personnel actions should be followed at all levels. Discretion in such instances prevents legal recourse and embarrassment to the affected individual(s).
      2. The committee shows concern about top-down influence on policies pertaining to the duties of faculty and instruction. Chair Smith is particularly distressed at the lack of collegiality which has been evident.
      3. The committee has currently 13 positions in the initial stages of the hiring process but as yet has no indication on the number of new faculty hires which will be allowed. Technical problems have hampered endeavors to a certain extent; an administrative decision to not collect letters of reference had slowed the information gathering process. The evident lack of communication needs to be rectified with regards to policy and budgetary influences. The delay in the hiring process is having a serious impact on attraction towards a pool of qualified candidates.
    1. BAS – Written report; information only.
      1. Eighteen students were admitted to the program; three of these were conditionally admitted.
      2. Two students are currently on probation.
      3. Two students graduated in December; ten students are scheduled to graduate in May. There is a concern that a number of students may not be able to walk through graduation because they lack 3 credits. The students were misinformed and the situation will be rectified.
      4. The committee wishes to pursue application with IACBE which utilizes outcome assessment and program expectations.
    2. BAIPS – Oral report; information only. The Arts and Humanities Administration emphasis will be brought forward at the next full senate meeting. It is modeled after similar programs which deal with the business aspect of non-profit organizations. It is scheduled to be heard at System Academic Affairs Committee by June with presentation to the Regents in August. The program will not show in the catalogue, but the program will be online for the fall semester.
  7. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: No unfinished business was brought forward.
    1. New Hire Prioritized Position List – The Department Chairs met prior to Senate. It was agreed that the positions would remain as advertised with a process of natural selection determining the positions hired. Some advertised positions have not produced completed applications or positions had been withdrawn from the process, etc. It is still unclear exactly how many new hires will be allowed. The Chairs want support for the five positions and are requesting from VP Diekhans the number of new positions which will be funded. The Chairs are also seeking clarification from Administration on the vision and mission for GBC which will assist departments when setting future priorities. Dr. Paul Killpatrick will be asked to address Senate in April.
    1. Developmental Task Force – Professor Jan Kempster was unable to be present to report on the business of the task force at large. Chair Daniels commented that the remedial math emphasis is looking at the college developmental math programs and how the various topics link with high school topics and student performance.
    2. Foundation Dinner Dance – The annual fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, February 28. Foundation representatives to Senate were unavailable due to ongoing set up for the function. A challenge was issued by the Student Government Association to raise $250 toward the Foundation general fund. The challenge was met by faculty.
    3. Community College Conference – The conference is scheduled for April 16-17. Faculty is asked to consider attendance either as a spectator or as a presenter. Only one teaching faculty member has registered thus far. Contact Dorinda Friez if interested. The committee is looking for a faculty member to receive the Outstanding Academic Faculty Award and the Outstanding Non-Teaching Professional Award. The awards will be received during the conference. The nomination deadline is March 5; the vote will take place via e-mail.
    4. One Book, One Community – Karen Dannehl was unable to be present at the meeting. Information regarding the project is forthcoming.
    5. Food for April – Dr. Jay Larson will provide the refreshments for the April 2 full Senate meeting.
    6. Vice Chancellor Retiring – Chancellor Nichols informed systems senates today that Vice Chancellor Curry is retiring effective July 16, 2004. A search committee will be formed to find a replacement.
    7. New Employee –- Tawny Crum was introduced as a new employee to Student Financial Services. Tawny was unable to be at last month's meeting. Tawny came to the college in January.
  10. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 3:04 p.m. Senate will convene on Friday, April 2, at 1:15 p.m.