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Faculty Senate plans special meetings on academic action plan

Oct. 16, 2007
By Anita Martin

Faculty Senate plans two additional meetings to hear first and second readings of resolutions related to the university's Five-Year Academic Action Plan, which is due to the executive vice president and provost in mid-November.

Senate President Sergio Lopez-Permouth announced at Monday night's senate meeting that special sessions are planned Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. The resolutions, to be drafted by Faculty Senate committees, will attempt to summarize Faculty Senate feedback on the Academic Action Plan.

College of Fine Arts Dean Chuck McWeeny, chair of the Five-Year Action Plan Committee, addressed the senate to share the committee's process for gathering recommendations on the plan. The group has visited a universitywide chairs and directors meeting, hosted two of four scheduled open forums and developed an interactive Web site offering information about the plan and featuring a live discussion board that will become available soon.

After the meeting, Lopez-Permouth said the Educational Policy and Student Affairs Committee and/or the Finance and Facilities Committee will most likely draft the resolutions. Members of those committees will seek input from colleagues across the university and draft proposed resolutions for distribution to all faculty members prior to the Oct. 29 meeting.

Senator Phyllis Bernt questioned the period of time that Faculty Senate and other university constituents have to develop feedback. "If (the committee is) going to present this on Nov. 15, will that give them enough time to look at what we've passed and incorporate it into the plan?"

Lopez-Permouth said the mission of the Five-Year Academic Action Plan Committee is not to revise the plan, but rather to collect, summarize and share constituency feedback with Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl. She, in collaboration with the Budget Planning Council, will revise the document for presentation to President Roderick McDavis.

"Our position hopefully will be already concise enough that it will be easy to see what the faculty had to say," Lopez-Permouth said.

Throughout the meeting, faculty priorities related to the plan emerged, including:

  • Hiring more faculty to address current and projected workload issues

  • Clearly outlining budget reallocations that will be necessary to support new investments

  • Assessing the proportion of spending in academic support units compared to academic units

Krendl highlighted developments related to the Vision OHIO Academic Plan and the University System of Ohio. She unveiled a three-page "strategic dashboard" document that, through graphs and figures, illustrates progress made toward Vision OHIO goals, such as participation in learning communities and increased multicultural enrollment and faculty retention. (The dashboard can be found in Krendl's Faculty Senate report.)

Related to the University System of Ohio, Krendl distributed the first draft of a one-page Ohio University defining statement, produced by the Vision OHIO Executive Steering Committee for submission to Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut. The document is designed to present "a clear sense of Ohio University's most central characteristics," Krendl said.

Senate Secretary Tim Anderson urged senators to review the document and offer suggestions for revisions to him or Senator Valerie Conley prior to the Vision OHIO Executive Steering Committee's Oct. 31 due date to the provost.

In other news, the senate held first reading of a revised resolution to form a university standing committee on benefits. In June, the senate passed a similar version of the resolution, which was not signed by Krendl because the committee appointment, as outlined in the original draft, did not follow the normal procedure described in the faculty handbook for the appointment of university standing committees. The language was changed to comply with that procedure.

Following a brief debate about faculty representation on the committee, Phyllis Bernt suggested that language be added specifying that a faculty member chair the committee. Duane McDiarmid said the resolution should address the ratio of faculty representation. "If we use language like that, then we don't lose our voice if the committee gets bigger," he said.

In other meeting  highlights:

  • Lopez-Permouth reported on his annual presentation at the Board of Trustees meeting, where he spoke about workload policy and shared governance. Regarding workload, the senate will produce comparative data from peer institutions by mid-February to present to the trustees. In terms of shared governance, he requested that a nonvoting faculty member join the board, which the board will consider.

  • Charles Smith, chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, spoke about a revised workload policy, which Faculty Senate has passed twice. Krendl has not yet signed the policy, noting apparent contradictions between the Faculty Senate version and one proposed by deans. Smith also noted that the office of Associate Provost for Academic Affairs is working to set up college-specific tenure and promotion review processes.

  • Krendl announced progress on searches: In the library dean search, three candidates will visit campus in late October and early November for interviews. In the search for vice provost for diversity, equity and access, two finalists will return to campus for additional discussions. The vice provost for enrollment management search committee will seek to expand the applicant pool. Searches for vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the graduate College; dean of students; and director of alumni relations are in initial stages.

  • Sherrie Gradin, chair of the Professional Relations Committee, announced that the committee is following up on a request last year regarding paid maternal leave. The group is collecting data on the number of children 1-year-old or younger to assess the financial implications.

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Published: Jul 20, 2006 3:50:00 PM
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