34th Faculty Senate

Vol. 34, No. 7

November 18, 1999

I. Roll Call.

Present: Bange, Barmore, Duquette, Grant, Heim, Hench, S. Kelly, Kraemer, R. LeDocq, Majak, Monte, L. Nelson, Nyatepe-Coo, Prucha, D. Riley, R. Sullivan, P. Taylor, Voiku, Wingate

Excused: VanVoorhis, Vogt

II. Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the November 11, 1999 meeting of were approved as distributed.

III. Reports.

A.  Chancellor’s Report:  There was no Chancellor's report.

B.  Provost/Vice Chancellor’s Report: There was no P/VC's report.

C.  Chair/Faculty Representative's Report: Chair Bange told the Senate that he had attended one of the brainstorming sessions on diversity issues discussed by Tom Harris at a previous Senate meeting. He indicated that he was the only faculty member there, and that it was an hour well spent. He mentioned that he feels it is good for faculty to show up to these types of meetings occasionally.

IV. Nominations to the Search-and-Screen committee for the Dean of Student Development and Academic Services.

Chair Bange announced that only two people have indicated an interest in serving on this search and screen committee: Peg Maher (Biology) and Rafique Ahmed (Geography & Earth Science). There are supposed to be three faculty members on the committee. Chair Bange asked whether any senators might be willing to add their name to the list. Senator Kraemer indicated that he was willing to serve.

M/S/P (by voice vote) to approve the nominations of Peg Maher (Biology), Rafique Ahmed (Geography & Earth Science) and Eric Kraemer (Philosophy) to the Search-and-Screen Committee for the Dean of Student Development and Academic Services.

V. The Academic Calendar for 2001-02.

The Senate was then asked to approve the academic calendar for 2001-02.

M/S/P (by voice vote) to approve the academic calendar for 2001-02.

VI. Planning and Budgeting Initiatives: Academic initiatives.

Discussion began with consideration of proposal 36-01-01 UW-L Undergraduate Research Program. Several senators felt that this proposal should be strongly supported by the Senate or some very specific reasons should be given as to why it would not be supported. It was stated that all faculty and staff should be involving students in research rather than just a select few. It was felt that we should be opposed to a proposal that creates an elitist program. In addition, it was stated that we should not pay faculty and students to do research. The faculty already get paid, and research is part of their job. It was pointed out that faculty do not receive payment in this particular proposal, but students do receive stipends.

It was then mentioned that in graduate school, student fee dollars are used to pay for graduate student travel to conferences, etc. This proposal should be supported by the student fee dollars on this campus, rather than being funded from the university's base budget. A related concern was then voiced that currently the College of Science and Allied Health is looking at possibly cutting eight positions and cutting certain summer school courses. We would be funding the Undergraduate Research program at the expense of these other items.

A question was then raised concerning to what extent this program accommodates students from outside the College of Science and Allied Health. Several senators would like to see the program attract more students from across the university.  It was pointed out that the Committee on Undergraduate Research at UW-L is only three years old. They perceive the main problem to be communication. People simply don't know that the funds are available. The committee has always been open to proposals from all areas and is open to ideas for other ways of providing funding that might encourage this. It was then pointed out that the UW-Eau Claire model is 15 years old and is better able to attract a wide range of students.

It was then pointed out that UW-Eau Claire receives approximately $300,000 a year ($100 per student) from differential tuition (rather than student fee dollars). This money is then under the control of faculty rather than the student association. However, the students agreed to this additional tuition to help fund five different initiatives, one of which was undergraduate research.

Dean Nelson (SAH) informed the Senate that he is currently creating a proposal which will be sent to the Undergraduate Research Committee to try to address this problem of attracting students from all over the university. In the proposal, he suggests a name change for the Undergraduate Research Day in the spring. He would like to see it called something like Celebration of Student Creativity. The spring event would be a weeklong event to allow for art shows, one act plays, musical ensemble performances, etc.

It was then mentioned that although we should perhaps support the concept, certain parts of the proposal do not reach very many students.  Some of the dollars go to a small number of students. This is similar to the summer Faculty Research Grants, but it is understood that these dollars are usually for newer faculty for seed money to get their research started. It is expected that they will then look for outside funding in the future. This is not likely to be the case for the undergraduate research grants. Other parts of the proposal, such as the conference presentation fund and symposium fund do not fall into this category.

Members of the Undergraduate Research Committee then indicated that they see institutional support of the first four items in the proposal as essential. The other items are goals that they would like to eventually go after.

Senator Monte was then asked whether the committee has discussed with the students their willingness to support this initiative. It was stated that this initiative would not be successful without this student support. Senator Monte indicated that the committee has just begun this process.

It was then brought up that in the humanities, it takes a student with a very broad background to do research. It is not as simple as just setting up an experiment to run. How does this proposal affect the humanities? Committee members indicated that they have never excluded the humanities. The grants are for scholarship as it is defined in each discipline. Concerns were then expressed about how research is perceived and supported on this campus. There is a climate and atmosphere on this campus that defines research based on the scientific model. This same model seems to be applied to undergraduate research.  Senator Monte indicated that there is a document from CLS on the Undergraduate Research web page that defines undergraduate research.

A question was then asked whether the committee would be willing to change the title of the program to Undergraduate Scholarship. It was noted that there is a national program in Undergraduate Research and various organizations using the name. A name change would be possible and may have a remarkable effect.

It was then noted that seeds have been sown in departments outside the natural sciences. Faculty in other areas are getting interested in the program. Faculty need to expand the definition of scholarship and bring projects to the committee to see how the committee responds. It was pointed out that the Faculty Research and Grants Committee has seen a shift in the definition of research over the past few years. They have seen that the number of grants outside the natural sciences has increased. This is bound to extend to undergraduate research. At the System Symposium on Undergraduate Research, approximately half of the students involved were from areas outside the natural sciences.

A question was then asked concerning the connection between the $40,000 grants fund and the summer fellowship fund. Students receiving grants were allowed to request a total of $1000, of which up to $500 could be in stipend. This has now been changed to allowing a $250 stipend.  Eventually the committee would like to view this as a supply fund and reserve the stipends for the summer fellowships.

Dean Nelson (SAH) informed the Senate that the College of Science and Allied Health funded some of these summer fellowships internally this past summer. Students were required to commit to 10 weeks, and met once a week over lunch. At these meetings, the students presented their problems at the beginning of the summer, and then their results at the end. The group will meet again in December and once in the spring to complete the bonding process. He suggests that the committee might like to have the summer fellowship recipients meet periodically in the future.

A final comment was made that this proposal needs to be presented to the Student Senate. If they aren't involved, the initiative will not survive.

Discussion then turned to various proposals requesting unclassified staff positions. A question was asked as to whether these various positions were instructional positions. The proposals in question are:

08-01-03 Health Care Administration. Dean Fuller(CBA) indicated that this was indeed a faculty position.

20-01-01 Nutrition Specialist, Registered Dietician, Ph.D. It was indicated that this is also a faculty position.

20-01-02 Research Center for CDCR. Although there was no one present from the College of HPERTE to answer this question, Provost Hastad indicated that although he was not sure, he believed this was a non-instructional academic staff position.

28-01-04 Center for Death Education and Bioethics. Dean Magerus (CLS) indicated that this request is for graduate assistants only.

The next proposals up for discussion were 08-01-02 International Business and 08-01-03 Health Care Administration. A question was asked concerning the numbers of students that are expected in these programs. Dean Fuller (CBA) indicated that they anticipate 50 majors in International Business by the end of the five-year review. There are currently 40 minors in the program. Currently there is no program in Health Care Administration, but they do have a certificate program. There are some faculty with expertise in the area and they see this as a growing area.

Another question concerning the International Business proposal was whether they indicated a need for additional faculty when they sent the proposal for the major to System. Dean Fuller (CBA) indicated that they stated that they could begin the program without additional faculty. However, once the program was up and running, they would need additional faculty.

A couple of concerns were voiced concerning proposal 36-01-02 Academically Talented High School Students. If these students end up coming on campus, they are in the same courses with students needing remedial courses. This creates a difficulty in the classroom. It was then pointed out that this proposal involves a very small number of students. In addition, we can't have them sign a letter of intent, so there is no guarantee that they will end up on campus. We should deal with our own students first.

Chair Bange then invited Ken Winter, Chair of the Joint Budget Committee, to let the Senate know where they are in the budget process. Ken indicated that the Budget Committee is focusing on what money we have, where it comes from and any alternative sources of funding. The committee members received a document listing the salary savings for the current year. Although the total is $1.2 million, many of these positions remain to be filled and the dollars will be used for these hires. It is important to ask the various colleges how they are using these funds. It is important to consider what they choose to fund using salary savings versus what they request from the central budget. Just how important are the items requested if they were not funded using salary savings? It is also important to ask if their requests are important, what are they willing to give up in order to fund them?

It was then pointed out that the Undergraduate Research Program has been partially funded by the four academic colleges. If we were to fund the program centrally, this would free up funds in the college. Where would that money go?

Ken Winter made a final comment that on many of the ongoing requests, we can recommend a sunset on the funding and then review the proposal again at a later date.

VII. Old Business.   There was no old business.

VIII. New Business.   There was no new business.

IX. Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Rebecca Lewin LeDocq, Secretary