March 3, 2011 Faculty Council Minutes
Faculty Council Meeting
March 3, 2011
165 Thompson Library
Gordon Aubrecht, Scribe
1. Announcements (Myroslava M. Mudrak, Chair) — (3:30-3:40)
2. Phased Retirement and Separation Incentives (Larry Lewellen, Kim Shumate, Julie Snyder, Margie Hamlett) — 3:40-3:55
3. Ohio Faculty Council STRS Resolution (Tim Gerber, Government Affairs; Colleen O’Brien) — 3:55-4:00
4. Provost Joe Alutto — 4-4:20 (http://oaa.osu.edu/775.html)
5. Report on semester workload from Regional Campus Faculty Council (Gordon Aubrecht) — 4:20-4:30
6. Semester Rule Changes (Jim Cogdell, Dave Stetson) 4:30-4:45
7. Report from the Ad Hoc Arts and Sciences Consolidation Oversight Committee (Jim Cogdell, Chair)—4:45-4:50
8. Preferred Pathway Program (Wayne Carlson, Dolan Evanovich)
9. Update on GI Promise and the OSU Response (Wayne Carlson) 4:50-5:00
The provost spoke about the university’s future; the Regional Campus Faculty Council (RCFC) made a presentation; Larry Lewellen and Julie Snyder discussed separation and phased retirement; Tim Gerber and Colleen O’Brien spoke about the Ohio Faculty Council (OFC) and their resolution on STRS; Jim Cogdale introduced proposed semester conversion rules on behalf of T. K. Daniel, chair of Rules; Wayne Carlson explained the Preferred Pathway Program, the GI Promise, and OSU’s response to the Board of Regents; Carlson also discussed the joint resolution between OSU and Columbus State Community College (CSCC). Finally, the discussion returned to the Regional Campus situation.
Faculty Council chair Myroslava Mudrak introduced Provost Alutto.
Provost Alutto noted that the situation in Ohio had changed with the new governor’sadministration. He was confident that OSU would weather the situation. We will do what is needed to make things work.
There are some possibilities on the horizon. The provost mentioned two possibilities: a change to a charter university or formation of tiers of universities in Ohio. He deemed the charter idea university unlikely; he is betting on a tiered system. That raises the question: Will OSU be alone on the top tier? If so, the University could be attacked, but would have undiluted impact. If not alone on the top tier, who would be there with OSU? Cincinnati might be the logical candidate.
At the top tier, we can expect some state regulations to be waived. The cost will be lowered state support. As the tiers are worked down in the system, the requirements would stiffen, and support would be greater.
The Provost was asked about the effect on admissions. He replied that we already have complete control, and he expects that that would continue. If OSU were in the bottom tier, that would likely not be the case.
The Provost was asked about the Regional Campuses. He replied that the campuses are OSU, and as a part of OSU would be with the rest.
Regional Campus Faculty Council presentation
Gordon Aubrecht, chair of the RCFC, introduced Dawn Kitchen, an anthropologist who is a senator from Mansfield. Kitchen used PowerPoint slides to explain the request of the RCFC. The RCFC is a body composed of an elected representative from each of the Marion, Lima, Mansfield, and Newark Campuses, along with the respective University Senators and Faculty Assembly chairs.
Faculty Council was reminded that it had voted for a neutral workload in the Senate Resolution to Convert from Quarters (Gerber Report, Appendix B, #1). The Council of Regional Campus Deans decided that 2-2-2 in quarters should translate to 3-3 in semesters. The RCFC decided to survey faculty members’ opinion. Regional Campus faculty members do not see this as a neutral conversion: 84% of faculty members disagree with their deans’ assertion that proposed semester teaching load of 18-21 contact hours (an average 3-3 load in arts & sciences) is equivalent.
The deans’ proposal relies on only one mathematical factor (contact hours) to evaluate workload, but other factors not considered include the number of classes and students taught at any one time; the typical workload of institutions with similar curricula and research expectations; the growing disparity between the Regional Campus load and that of individuals’ Columbus departments; and loss of concentrated periods of research time.
Faculty Council and the Senate voted for adequate budget support for semester conversion (Gerber Report, Appendix B, #3), but the Council of Regional Campus Deans argues that because of budget repercussions of conversions on the Regional Campuses, nothing less than 3-3 is viable. However, budgets are out of sync: Tuition at the Regional Campuses at one time was equivalent to that of Columbus, but now it’s 65% that of Columbus—$6102 vs. $9420; Tuition and fees on the Regional Campuses has been a bargaining chip in Columbus increases; and approximately 40% of Regional budgets come from state subsidies, making upcoming budgets even more unstable.
Faculty Council and the Senate voted for inclusive decision-making (Gerber Report, Appendix B, #2), but the Council of Regional Campus Deans “decided” on the workload prior to meeting with faculty or faculty leadership. Although Regional Campus faculty and deans sit on Semester Conversion Executive Coordinating Committee, workload decisions are made by the Regional deans in direct consultation with OAA, and the deans have informed us that a 3-3 workload is not negotiable.
The OAA response to the RCFC survey excluded faculty, Kitchen said.
The Regional Campus faculty members surveyed said that the deans’ proposal would drive away our best professors (74%); frighten off new hires (83%), erode research time (90%), and ignores Regional faculty productivity: over the past 4 and a half years, at least $25 million in external funding, 65 books and edited collections, 165 book chapters, 429 peer-reviewed articles, and over a thousand professional presentations. Further, it’s not compatible with a research agenda. In the survey, when asked what the general perception of jobs that are advertised with a 3-3 semester teaching load would be, 82% of respondents said, “Jobs with this teaching load are generally expected to attract strong teachers with limited interest in research.”
There have been rumors that standards for promotion and tenure might be reduced for Regional Campus faculty members, and two-thirds of faculty objected to lowered research expectations as “solutions” (most of the rest said they would reluctantly accept it to achieve tenure if they absolutely had to).
The RCFC met with Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) Vice Provost Mike Boehm and the deans on 28 February 2011 to propose workloads that reflect TIU workload, a continuation of SRAs/FPLs, and a commitment from each dean & OAA to engage in a more flexible decision-making process that occurs in concert with faculty and unit coordinators after sufficient data have been gathered and made transparent. The meeting was productive: faculty members spoke strongly of the need to uphold the “OSU brand” as Ohio State promises the citizens of our state that they can receive an OSU-quality education from OSU-caliber faculty, regardless of campus. The deans affirmed their desire for a more collaborative and transparent process and Boehm pledged OAA to greater partnership with Regional Campuses and their faculty members.
We ask the Faculty Council to continue its commitment to the One University model and to hold the administration accountable and support Regional colleagues in their efforts for inclusion and a sustainable workload, and to carry forward the “regularization” of the Regional Campus Faculty Council.
In a brief response, the Provost said that, while we are one university, the mission of the Regional Campuses was different despite what this group said.
Mudrak announced that, although Larry Lewellen had changed jobs and was now part of the Medical Center, he has promised to keep watch over health and retirement issues for an extended period.
Lewellen reiterated that he would keep watch over healthcare and pension issues.
He then turned to the incentive plan that recently was adopted by the Board of Trustees. He said that not everything had been decided and advice and counsel were appreciated. He introduced Snyder, who said that the separation agreements would be voluntary and college by college. This was to be done in the context of workforce planning. The colleges could assess what talent was needed in view of changes in direction.
This voluntary approach applies to “groups” rather than individuals. The colleges would identify the group targeted and the proposed incentives. The groups would be, for example, people with like positions or having like responsibility, or people with similarities in the number of years of service. The incentive would be a lump sum of up to $75,000 and might include health insurance sweeteners, as set by the college.
Phased retirement is also possible, which would allow a faculty member to work 25% less time with full salary and benefits the first year and 50% less work for 75% of salary the second year.
Snyder emphasized that this would be flexible and optional for faculty. Faculty members would receive a communication saying “you’re eligible,” and faculty members would have four to eight weeks to decide whether to accept or reject the offer. The criteria will all be known in advance.
Separation could occur rapidly, while phased retirement would take one to two years. Snyder emphasized that the money would come from unit funds, not central funds. The proposed offering plan would have to be approved by OAA, Human Relations, and Legal Affairs.
Snyder was asked how this was connected to STRS changes. She responded that they were not at all connected. However, were she a dean, she would also consider the pension reform.
Snyder was asked about an earlier version that had rehire limitations. She acknowledged that this issue was discussed and potentially the faculty separated under the incentive plan would not be eligible for rehire.
The Ohio Faculty Council consists of the representatives of state-supported universities. OSU’s representatives are Tim Gerber, chair of Government Affairs, and Myroslava Mudrak. Colleen O’Brien supports Government Affairs through the Office of the President as Assistant Vice President for Government Relations.
Gerber referred to the nature of the legislation being heard in the General Assembly. As STRS is underfunded, it worked on a plan to maintain solvency. Originally, both employee and employer contributions would rise, from, respectively, the current levels of 10% and 14% of salary. Governor Kasich said that there was no way he would accept an increased contribution from the employer. In a modified solution, adopted by the STRS Board on 27 January 2011, that was changed to take the increase from the employee and to reduce the benefit offered to retirees in coming years.
Given the mood in the statehouse, it is imperative that that the resolution be quick and pass unscathed despite the fact that “it will gore our ox.” The OFC was asked for support with the idea that it would be to the advantage of faculty to retain a defined benefit package. After 2012, the final average salary will be based on five years and there will be a five-year COLA freeze. Gerber said that while these by themselves did not seem so difficult, he was told by an accountant that they would constitute a 28% decrease in benefits over a lifetime.
Gerber said he was skeptical that the five collective bargaining schools on OFC would be persuaded, as they were determined that the employee portion remain at 10%, but after looking at the alternatives, everyone signed the resolution. Gerber pointed to carefully chosen adjectives in the text of the resolution: “stringent adjustments,” “detrimental” changes, “painful yet reasonable set of recommendations.”
Gerber said that he expected STRS to be as permissive as possible should the economy turn better on the COLA and contribution issues. He emphasized that STRS was forced to use the preceding fiscal year’s poor economic results as the basis for the plan. He recommended that faculty members visit the STRS website for current factual information and said that On Campus will carry a detailed article by Larry Lewellen in the 17 March issue.
On a personal note, Gerber said that he had sought professional planning help and recognized that his retirement plans had changed. He is currently in his 27th year and had planned to retire at 88.5% after his 35th year. That will now be 77%, and 11% is a substantial amount.
Lewellen added that the proposals from STRS are those he had discussed in his Senate presentation. He also suggested that some of the foregone dollars from employers would have gone to support healthcare coverage. HR will sponsor retirement workshops in the near future.
Semester rule changes
Mudrak introduced Jim Cogdell. He is cochair of the Council on Academic Affairs, and was taking the place of Daniel, who had to attend an Ohio Board of Education meeting.
Cogdell said that there were five substantive resolutions and a potpourri of routine changes (such as quarter being changed to semester). There would be six votes.
The first proposal was to change Rule 3335-3-34 to strike the requirement that units teach a minimum of 1000 credit hours per quarter. The professional schools have been creating smaller units whose faculties could not possibly achieve this. There was no discussion, and the vote in support was unanimous.
The second proposal was to change Rule 3335-5-07 to alter the definition of “on duty” from three quarters to Autumn and Spring semesters and Maymester, and to change the rule for auxiliary faculty members to parallel that for regular faculty members.
Cogdell was asked why Maymester is summer for students while it is Spring for faculty. He replied that because two 14-week semesters is only eight months, to retain nine months Maymester was added. The student situation is different because it was discovered after the vote that the federal government full-time student enrollment requirements would preclude financial aid unless Maymester was attached to Summer. A faculty member stated that it seemed obvious that this was a political necessity. While faculty members would teach substantially the same number of hours under semesters as quarters, the time was compressed. As a state-supported institution, OSU would be imprudent to have it look to the legislature downtown like faculty members would be paid for less work.
Cogdell was asked whether faculty members needed to be on campus during Maymester. No one knew the answer for certain.
Cogdell was asked whether tuition would be free for Spring students. Yes.
A faculty member claimed that conditions were getting worse for all faculty members, not just those on Regional Campuses. She moved that the rule include just Autumn and Spring Semesters, striking Maymester. This was seconded. The vote count was 11 in favor, 9 opposed, and 8 abstentions.
Mudrak announced that this proposal would be sent back to Rules.
The third proposal would remove the minimum requirement of 15 credit hours of free electives for students from Rule 3335-8-06. Cogdell stated that in many lockstep programs, tagged degree programs, and accreditation requirements, the goal was unattainable. The vote showed all attendees in favor but for one opposed.
The fourth proposal would define the calendar in Rule 3335-8-35 as Autumn and Spring semesters of sixteen weeks and a Summer Semester of thirteen weeks including a four-week Maymester. Also, the semesters could be divided into two seven-week half semesters. The vote was taken; all but one vote approved, and there was one abstention.
The fifth proposal was to change Rule 3335-9-02 to allow admission for all students at any time. The previous rule set different times because of the former open admissions policy. The vote was taken; all approved, except for one vote opposed.
The potpourri proposal was voted on without discussion. All approved with one vote opposed.
Update on GI Promise and the OSU Response
Mudrak introduced Wayne Carlson. Carlson said that the Board of Regents issued two directives for public comment. One would require acceptance of the College‐Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the second would involve alignment of military experience. The Ohio GI Promise allows veterans and their children Ohio tuition, whether or not they are Ohio residents. It is connected to but separate from the two directives.
Carlson said he had consulted extensively with faculty bodies and drafted a response letter capturing the comments.
Faculty members expressed significant concern about military experiences because they are often mission-directed and not in agreement with the alignment.
Faculty members were concerned about the expanded list of CLEP courses. OSU currently allows fourteen examinations for credit. The list could be expanded to three dozen, and many of these OSU would exclude.
Faculty members were also concerned about the decrease in the acceptable score from 58 to 60 down to 50 (50 is roughly equivalent to a C).
In the response letter, the GI Promise was dissociated from the directives, OSU expressed approval of the GI Promise, and, while life experiences are valuable in some cases, an exam is appropriate. OSU acknowledged that the required data collection (an unfunded mandate) will be important and OSU will collect these data. The letter also encouraged the Board of Regents to pay attention to the transfer module and TAG, not simply to rely on the American Council on Education to determine them.
So far, the Regents have not responded to OSU’s letter. Carlson noted that we were the only university to write a complete assessment. There were a number of individual responses to the Regents.
Carlson was asked how many CLEP credits we allow yearly. He responded that last year, 118 CLEP tests were submitted to OSU, and 47 were turned down. He was asked whether OSU followed those students to assess success, and he said that we had not but we will in the future. Carlson said that OSU will examine all CLEP and AP score 3 students.
Joint resolution of OSU and Columbus State Community College (Preferred Pathway)
The Preferred Pathways program is about transfers from CSCC. The new CSCC president initiated discussions with President Gee. President Harrison was formerly at the University of Central Florida, where he established the CSF Connection program to Florida Community Colleges. He was very interested in restoring cooperation. OSU closed OSU Marion’s Delaware Center and is sending some students to CSCC, while offering a few upper-division courses at CSCC’s Delaware Center. There is ongoing discussion on course alignment and 2 + 2 programs with CSCC.
The two Boards of Trustees will issue a joint resolution, which largely commits OSU and CSCC to a continuation of programs already in place: (1) guaranteed admission for AA or AS recipients at CSCC, (2) curricular realignment at CSCC to assure preparedness, so that CSCC have the same goals, objectives, and outcomes, (3) shared advising, (4) new student services for CSCCs students, (5) data sharing of the fate of CSCC transferees, and (6) stewardship of joint resources. The meeting at which this is to be announced will occur 5 August 2011.
In reference to item 2, CSCC staff sits on conversion subcommittees as we are realigning curricula. In reference to item 3, OSU advisors from Exploration and Arts and Sciences will assure consistent advice on the first two years. In reference to item 4, CSCC students identified as expectant transferees will be able to attend first year experience programs, non-revenue sports events, etc., as OSU community partners.
A faculty member stated that OSU Regional Campus transferees did better than students admitted to Columbus at graduating in four years. Carlson was asked how the CSCC transferees did. He replied that on the whole transfer students do okay, but there are no data on CSCC students. OSU will begin tracking such students.
Carlson added that only 18% of those who say they intend to get an associate degree actually do so, so not a great number will actually transfer. He estimated that about 1500 CSCC students intend to transfer. Some of those leaving may transfer to other four-year institutions.
Carlson was asked whether most CSCC students were placebound, or whether they use CSCC as a back door to OSU. He indicated that most were placebound.
Carlson was asked why OSU was putting great effort into community college students when we have our own students on the Regional Campuses. Carlson said that not many resources are involved in this agreement. We get campus change students and students from the Cleveland and Dayton area community colleges as well as CSCC. The questioner followed up and asked why students were being sent to CSCC instead of Regional Campuses. Carlson replied that the campus cluster deans were involved and support this effort.
More Regional Campus discussion
Gordon Aubrecht stated that he took issue with the provost’s assessment that the Regional Campus mission was different. He said that universities create knowledge and transmit knowledge, and both Regional Campus and Columbus faculty members are teachers, researchers, and do service. Aubrecht stated that he might not have as much grant support as a colleague in Columbus and might not publish as many papers because he has a greater teaching component to his job,but he was nevertheless a Research One university faculty member and so was every faculty member on the Regional Campuses. They are judged on the same qualities that faculty members are on Columbus, and Regional Faculty members want it that way even though it is somewhat more difficult for them because of greater teaching loads.
Kitchen said that the Provost’s characterization was incorrect. She advises graduate students, she teaches, she gets grants to support her research, and she wants this even though she has more difficulty freeing time for her research trips abroad. She stated that Regional faculty are OSU faculty members and they behave as OSU faculty members, so they are impacted when someone tries to reclassify them as less than they are.
A faculty member asked what Faculty Council could do. Kitchen and several other faculty members answered that they wanted Columbus colleagues to support our effort to prevent a change in mission, that “this group,” the RCFC, be regularized, and that faculty members reject “contact minutes” as a sole measure of workload.
A faculty member from Columbus agreed that contact minutes ignores important parts of our jobs, and flies in the face of everything we know about teaching and research. She stated that it is “a really disingenuous metric to use.”
Another faculty member noted that this was being pushed by the state, but agreed that it is “inappropriate for faculty workload.”
A faculty member pointed out the Regional Campus deans and Vice ProvostBoehm said that maybe the RCFC would be involved in further discussions, casting doubt on the representative nature of the group. Regularization would help.
A faculty member moved and another faculty member seconded a resolution that Steering and Rules revisit regularization to determine how it fits into the University’s governance structure. The vote was unanimous.
Several faculty members stated that it was important for the University to model what course-taking patterns might be expected in fall of 2012.
Mudrak eneded the meeting by announcing that Chris Zacher, Secretary of the Senate, had decided not to accept reappointment when his term ends in June. Faculty leadership is asking for nominations of faculty interested in the position by 11 March 2011, with interviews envisioned for 14 and 15 March.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:50 PM.