34th Faculty Senate

Vol. 34, No. 6

November 11, 1999

I. Roll Call.

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

Excused: Duquette

Absent: Majak

II. Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the November 4, 1999, meeting were approved as distributed.

III. Reports.

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

B.  Provost’s Report:  There was no Provost's report.

C. Chair/Faculty Representative's Report:  Chair Bange announced that Dr. Barry Clark, chair of the Promotion, Tenure, & Salary Committee, will give the Senate a preliminary report from the committee at the December 2, meeting.  Dr. Ken Winter, chair of the Joint Budget Committee, will give a report from the committee at the November 18, meeting of the Senate.

IV. Update on the Revision of Audit-and-Review Process for Academic Programs.

Glenn Knowles, chair of the Academic Program Review Committee, gave the Senate a progress report from the committee. A written preliminary report was provided to the senators prior to the meeting.

In his initial remarks, Dr. Knowles informed the Senate that the committee had determined what the System has for guidelines concerning academic program review and also what other campuses are doing. The System guidelines are very specific when it comes to review of new programs, but leave the details of review of existing program to the individual institutions. The committee looked at the review process used at UW-Madison and UW-Oshkosh. The committee likes the approach taken by UW-Oshkosh, which is a Masters 1 institution like UW-La Crosse.

At UW-Oshkosh, academic programs are reviewed on a 7-year cycle. Currently at UW-La Crosse we use a 5-year cycle. All program reviews require an external consultant. The consultants are paid an honorarium, picked up by the Provost's office, and travel expenses are paid by the appropriate college. Feedback from a sampling of department chairs and program directors at UW-Oshkosh indicates that the faculty feel the program is more work, but it works. In the review process, the department/program first does a self-study. This self-study is forwarded to the consultant for external review. It then goes back to the chairs or program directors and then to a college academic program review committee. At that point the review is forwarded to the deans and finally an academic policies committee. In the UW-Oshkosh process, the review never goes to the Faculty Senate.

The floor was then opened up for questions/comments from the senators. The first question concerned who chooses the consultant. At UW-Oshkosh, the department gives the dean a list of names and the dean chooses from this list.

Several concerns were brought up by senators.

1)  It was noted that although this system may make the review process more efficient, there is still a question of whether it improves the quality and effectiveness of the reviews. It was stated that the committee believes the external consultant can improve the quality and effectiveness.
2)  The use of a college review committee, rather than a university wide committee, concerned some senators. It was noted that you need different perspectives in the review process. Knowles indicated that the committee is not considering moving to a college review committee.
3)  The assessment of student learning in the program being reviewed needs to be an explicit part of the review process. It was stated that we should include a question concerning the assessment of student learning in the self-study. It was noted that there is such a question in the self-study guidelines, but the committee rarely gets any meaningful answers to this question. In addition, the committee has no power to enforce the request. There is currently no uniform program of assessment on this campus. It was noted that the external reviewer may review assessment.
4)  There was a question concerning the cost of the external reviews. At UW-Oshkosh, consultants are paid an honorarium of  $750, and are on campus for a 1 1/2  - 3 day visit.  These consultants would only be required for programs that do not already have an external review process. Typically there are about 5 consultants needed in any one year. It was also asked whether the committee has done any systematic study of programs reviewed at Oshkosh to get more feedback concerning the process. The committee did contact department chairs in a cross section of the campus and received all positive feedback on the process. It was mentioned that the committee may want to get some comparative data (number of majors, scholarly activity, etc) with UW-La Crosse's sister institutions to see how departments are doing compared with their sister departments in the UW-System.

The Chair thanked Dr. Knowles for meeting with the Senate.

V. Planning and Budgeting Initiatives: Non-academic Initiatives.

Discussion began with consideration of proposal 04-01-03 Information Systems Manager for Records and Registration. It was asked whether this really required a new position, or if retraining of existing people would be a possible solution. Diane Schumacher, Registrar, indicated that there is some retraining being done, but the workload is such that there is not time to do complete retraining. They need someone with a detailed background in the new software.

It was asked how much we have available in the budget to fund these proposals. The Chair indicated that to the best of his knowledge, there is about $253,000 still available centrally in the budget. There may be some additional dollars available from the Library, Technology, and advising DINs, and the money earmarked for Plan 2008.

The Chair asked Anita Evans, Director of the Library, whether any of the funds from the Library DIN could be used to fund the requests from the Library. Anita indicated that the dollars in the Library DIN will provide improved document delivery, electronic databases at the System level and additional dollars for acquisitions. It doesn't cover equipment or positions, and hence cannot be used to fund either Library proposal.

Discussion then turned to proposal 01-01-01 Plan 2008 and Diversity Strategic Plan. Al Thompson, Affirmative Action Officer, informed the senate that the money earmarked in the budget for Plan 2008 will not cover this proposal. The Plan 2008 DIN focuses primarily on pre-college programs and minority/disadvantaged scholarships and grants. Training on diversity issues will need to be done whether we hire a campus trainer or not.  It was asked whether they could bring someone on campus to do the training rather than making it a permanent position. Al indicated that they need to have it centralized to keep consistency in the training.

The next proposal discussed was 06-01-04 Increase Student Help in IT.  Kathy Lang, CIO, was asked whether hiring additional student helpers was a better approach than making it a full-time position. The CIO indicated that the students come from various areas and a single person would not have this variety of background. The dollars requested are to simply keep support at the current level. The Technology DIN has dollars for student training, but not for student employees.

A question was then raised concerning proposal 06-01-05 Upgrade and Improve Network Connections.  It was noted that this is a very large request. Departments have been paying a per port fee which was supposed to help pay for this upgrading and improving of the connections. It is not clear that we need to move to 100-megabit connections on most desktops. Kathy Lang agreed. It was also noted that these upgrades can be done gradually. We don't need to do it all in one year. Kathy Lang agreed and indicated that the dollar figure in the proposal is what it would cost to upgrade all the buildings on campus that have been rewired at this point.

It was then asked whether the Advising DIN might help fund proposal 04-01-01 Career Advisor Position. Ann Korschgen indicated that they hope that this position will be covered by the DIN. It sounds like UW-La Crosse will get 1.5 FTE and $33,000 from that DIN.

Discussion then turned to proposal 04-01-02 Staffing for Computer Based Testing Program. The exams that are given include the GRE, PPST, GMAT and TOEFL exams. A question was asked concerning whether the people using the program are all UW-La Crosse students. The program opened one year ago and gave close to 500 exams last year. Of these, well over 95% were for UW-La Crosse students. It was then asked whether the students are charged for these services. The way the program works is that when students register for an exam, they pay the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the UW-La Crosse program gets a small honorarium from ETS. The agreement with ETS requires the UW-La Crosse to be open one evening each week and every Saturday in November through February. Currently UW-La Crosse is not in compliance with this agreement, but so far ETS has not enforced the requirement. They generated $6,000 last year and hope to generate $13,000 this year. If they do, they could fund most of the requested $15,000. Questions were then asked concerning whether there was any information on how much increased volume can be expected and how many students currently go elsewhere due to scheduling problems. It was noted that the numbers of students going on to graduate school has increased. Also, the PPST is required of all students applying to the Education Program (approximately 1500 students are education majors). Although they have no numbers on how many students have to drive to a different site due to scheduling problems, it was noted that, based on anecdotal evidence, it does happen frequently.

The next proposal to be discussed was 02-01-02 Active Learning Classroom. It was noted that the proposal indicated that there is currently one classroom used for this purpose, and it was asked whether both classrooms would be used regularly. Anita Evans and Chris Prucha both responded that they believed both rooms would be used. Currently the only room that they have control over scheduling does not have everything that they need.

It was remarked that of the 18 FTEs requested in the various proposals, only 4 are faculty positions. Also, a couple of the proposals - 02-01-01 Library Technician for Web/Public Computer Access and 04-01-03 Information Systems Manager for Records and Registrations - are heading toward a decentralized model to provide IT services. It was noted that if we start going this way, lots of people would like to have technicians in their college or building.

VI. Old Business.   There was no old business.

VII. New Business.   There was no new business.

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

Rebecca Lewin LeDocq, Secretary