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Minutes: Faculty Advisory Committee


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Faculty Governance Meeting
October 21, 2016 2:30 pm
Foy Conference Room, Third Floor

Attending:Ty W Boyer, Psychology, Laura Valeri, Writing & Linguistics, Jason Slone, CLASS Dean’s Office, Cary Christian, Public and Nonprofit Studies, Marc Cyr, Lit and Philosophy, Rob Dunham, Music, Josh Kennedy, Political Science/INTS, Marc Moulton, Art Dept. Barbara Hendry, Sociology and Anthropology, Chris Ludowise, CLASS Dean, Sarah McCarroll, Comm Arts, Curtis Ricker, CLASS Dean

1. Agenda was approved
2. Minutes from September meeting approved
3. Dean’s Update:
a. Regarding the new academic building (interdisciplinary): the Dean saw the 80% completion plans and it’s moving right along. Groundbreaking anticipated in early Jan with completion in Fall 18. Current configuration: 3 story building covering former ROTC and metal buildings space across from Newton. On 1st floor there are large 150 people lecture hall, one sloped, one flat with removable variable seating possibilities. It will have surround monitors. It will have a digital humanities makers space and a gallery, a pre-function area for receptions of readings, events. etc. The advisement center will be there and one or two classrooms, a conference room adjoining the maker space (with 3D printers, welding, etc). History will be one of the occupants and they requested a history library space and an oral history interviewing space. The third floor is health and human sciences, food labs, nutrition labs and some office space. Foreign language will probably be on that floor because there is a large multi person TA room. Second floor has 3 large 80-% classrooms and 5 or 6 35% and 50% classroom. There is a suite of offices for interdisciplinary minors and programs all in the same location. There is a vacant part time secretary position for the interdisciplinary programs. The building will have no solar panels but will be easily addable later.Forrest Drive will go away as part of the contract. No plans for replacement.Presently, art studios are moving into Forrest Drive (critique evaluation space for art work). The nonacademic international studies program will move to the suite of offices in Carrol.

b. Regarding new Provost: what would the FG want from a new Provost? We no longer have a vp of Information Technology, no longer have vp of Research and no longer have a vp of advancement. Provost will have more authority. Graduate studies is no longer going to have a Dean, a director but not a Dean. Soon coming to the Senate: as soon as faculty is granted tenure, they will automatically be approved for graduate studies. For lecturers it will depend on need.

Georgia Southern will be a comprehensive doctoral University, not an R1. The new president wants to review the Strategic Planning which hasn’t been revised in ten years. We do not want to abandon excellence in research but we do not want it to come at the expense in excellence in teaching.

Someone asked if there are Departments that give clear division of time supposed to be spent on teaching, service and research which in turn would drive/ inform the evaluation. Dean explained that faculty are on .75 EFT (FT is 15 credits). Lecturers are on a 12 credit plus 3 in service then faculty have 3/3 loads with off for service and for scholarship. Some departments have more specific definitions but most of CLASS is on a 3/3 for tenured and tenured track faculty although some departments are still on heavier loads.

4. Substantive Scholarship
The dean’s office wants a sense of what sustained scholarship is. Faculty Governance members from several departments brought in typed notes of feedback from the faculty about what it should mean. Then they may revise policy to be more explanatory. There is a disconnect between a group if whether there is a life event that disrupted scholarship should they be considered for promotion? While many agreed that yes, concessions should be made for difficulties or special circumstances there are difficulties in determining how long is understandable a time to be less productive. The committee and the Dean agreed that there is a difference between departments that are article based and those that are book based or symphony long work based which creates challenges trying to find a broad but specific definition. A policy has to be phrased so that it is neither too vague nor too specific as in either case problems will arise to try and determine what works.There seemed to be an agreement that substantive or significant scholarship may be a better definition than sustained as it would point to the quality of production but make allowance for longer periods of lesser productivity which may be the case for people who are engaged in long-term research or projects that may require years of research before they are ready for publication. Another suggestion was that chairs may be in a better position to come to a consensus about what constitutes substantive or sustained scholarship, particularly when there seems to be disagreement between department as to what that might mean.
4. Mentoring: It was suggested that the Dean’s office pass out a detailed questionnaire to faculty regarding expectations and ideas about mentoring. Also one member suggested that people should be asked what they want from a mentor. While it is important that Departments should be providing important information and expectations to their Jr Faculty there should be nonetheless an add on to that, more mentoring to help faculty especially in their first years. Senior faculty may be making some assumptions about Jr Faculty and what they may get from their graduate programs that are not necessarily what they come in with. Another member of the committee confirmed that new faculty feel overwhelmed with new amount of information.
It was suggested that people who enter into a mentoring program should ask for the specific type of mentoring they want, but someone else also pointed out that people who start out may not necessarily know what kind of mentoring to ask for. Another suggestion was that when people have been successfully tenured and received promotion that they can be asked to make folders available to probationary faculty, but there should be more than that.
One type of feedback received from one department’s faculty was that mentoring should really come from within the discipline, however several FG members and the Dean pointed out that If you only have mentorship from within the discipline as a mentee you may find questions you do not ask because that person would not vote on the T&P.
Some faculty liked the idea of academic support groups, coming together as a small groups, like lecturers, or folks with young kids, or women…
Faculty in one Department specified that they wanted to be sure that they wouldn’t be required to participate but do so only on a voluntary basis, and they wanted the ability to select a mentor from a pool, not be assigned.
Some FG members suggested that there should not be forced meeting schedules but to make the process more organic. Maybe mentor and mentee can decide how much to meet for the need.
Teaching mentoring is important because most come without substantial knowledge on how to teach or manage a class.
Learning to say “no” to service expectations is another important lesson to impart to new faculty.
Someone suggested making a guide book of things to ask your mentors to be given to new faculty. The Dean reminded us that things that you bring up for tenure or promotion get read from someone outside of the department, so it’s important to have a mentor outside of the department.
Plan to develop some screening of mentors and some pool of mentors from people who want them.
There was a suggestion for a system to facilitate collaborations for teaching and scholarship and service across departments. The FG thought the next steps should be: screening mentors; setting expectations for mentors, making a guidebook, and creating academic support groups. The first step will be to make a survey to send out then bring to group.
5. On External Reviews: The question was brought up of whether the reviewers should also receive the narrative along with the CV and samples. Should it be part of required package? Should reviewers make their best guess on teaching and service based on the material or should they be sent additional materials? Would the narrative not be the best place for the candidate to defend teaching and service? The FG is asked to reflect on this for future meetings. Questions for the Senate: what material is sent out for teaching review and how much weight should review letters be given?
6. Students working on multiple locations on campus: students seemed to be confused about a policy regarding their not being able to work on multiple employment facilities on campus, however H.R. Says it’s not impossible that students work on multiple places on campus. If the employer is not their primary employer they simply have a different set of procedures.
7. Meeting adjourned at 4:10 p

Last updated: 11/29/2016