Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes for April 23, 2010   2:00 pm

Quorum was established. 

Minutes from last meeting were not read because there was not a quorum at that meeting.  Minutes from the February meeting minutes were accepted as amended.

Sub-Council Report not presented because Bruce Fisher not there.

First order of business was the elections for next year’s officers.

Saeed nominated Bill Schramn for President.

David Rath nominated for Vice President.

Pat Wurth nominated Kris Tobin for Secretary.

David Rath nominated Bruce Fisher for Sub-Council.

These individuals were elected by acclamation.  Parliamentarian will be appointed in the Fall.


President’s Report:

There is $1.3 million cut in budget.  TBR said we could use a 5% increase in tuition for planning purposes. Such a tuition increase would result in a shortfall of 850,000.  RSCC has a rainy day fund of $750,000 – we may take out $200-250,000 from the rainy day fund and apply it to the shortfall.  It is possible that TBR may allow an 8% increase in tuition – will have to wait and see.  To assist with lowering the shortfall, divisions gave up needed improvements that had been requested in the budget.  RSCC has also closed a number of open positions.  Additional measures that RSCC is taking include operating the satellite campuses in Scott, Fentress, Campbell, Morgan, and Lenior City with only 2 people (Director and Secretary) and going to a 4 day week.  The buildings will be closed on the weekends and some staff are being transferred.

Question from a senator:  Had Faculty asked how individuals affected got the notice on the reduction in staff.  Why did Jeff Snell give the news? 

Answer:    President indicated that he was unaware of Jeff Snell’s role.  However, as the individuals affected were not faculty, he was unsure whether it was appropriate for faculty senate to address the issue.  One member of Senate recommended that senate officers suggest to representatives of the  Support Staff Council that the council look into the matter.

Question:  Are sports on the table for cuts? 

Answer:  Everything is being considered.


Question:  When will an announcement regarding all cuts be made? 

Answer:  Administration is hopeful that TBR will permit an 8% tuition rate increase.  TBR is expected to finalize the percentage tuition rate increases permitted in May.  Information regarding the cuts that may be required cannot be finalized until this information is available.




Question:  What about Faculty cuts?

Answer:  At his time, no cuts in the number of full-time faculty are planned for the 2010-2011 school year. 


Question:  Will post-retirement position still be awarded?

Answer:  Most of the community colleges in Tennessee do not have post-retirement.   The purpose of post-retirement has always been framed in terms of the benefit it offers to the school.   After some discussion, the bottom line appears to be that whereas it has previously been assumed that all requests for post-retirement benefited the school, we may at some point move toward decisions on post-retirement where approval may require evidence that post-retirement  benefits the school.


Question:  What about the 3% bonus?

Answer:  The money to fund this was to come from the stimulus.  This won’t be allowed.


Presented information on the new Health Care plan.  We won’t have any of the plans that we have this year.  There will be two types of plans offered.  One is the partnered and the other is the standard plan.  The partnered is designed so that you take an active role in your health care, i.e. if you smoke you will join a smoking cession class or if you are overweight you exercise or diet.  The standard plan is more expensive.  If you join the partnered plan and do not work towards healthier activities you can be transferred to the standard plan.


The issue of the Office Hours is still being reviewed by Chris Whaley.  Danny Gibbs is looking at the definition of exactly what is meant by “official station”.



Moving from FTE to outcome basis to determine funding.  Don’t know if it is based on number graduated or grades?  The Idea Room is trying to establish larger number of points awarded for students who participate in the Idea Room classes from their entrance through graduation.  Also the idea has not taken into account program variables (more difficult classes, etc.)  Dr. Goff requested lots of feedback from Faculty.


Building Access – Keys/Building access is moving to swipe keys – beginning in Harriman.  One major concern with the swipe keys is about access to Oak Ridge building when the building is not open.

Old Business:

-          Benroth Award – Sammartano reported that there were 11 candidates.  Lauri gave information on the selection process and everything ran smoothly.  The winner will be presented at both Friday and Saturday graduation.

-          Sick Leave Bank – It is possible to set it up.  Need 20 people to sign petition and submit to faculty senate.  Discussed how support staff works.  Laura brought up the current process of absences that are more than 3 days long you have to fill out FLMA forms.  Concerned that you may only request FLMA for a certain number of times.

-          House Bill 3542 - Political appointee’s bill was withdrawn.

-          Establishing a firm end date for adding classes Recommended further investigation because exception were not allowed in the proposal; also did not take into account the 5 week courses (TTU classes).  The issue of having a firm cutoff date to add classes is going back to Administrative Council.

-          Making end-of-semester student IDEA evaluation mandatory - Presentation by Saeed on Evaluation.  Ratio for students online is very low.  Discussion on how to force students to do the evaluations on line.  There is a program offered by the IDEA company but it costs more to do it online than by paper.  Some faculty like online; others like paper.

-          Drop the animal sale issues.  A senator recommended that support staff council should handle.

-          Proposed catalog change for Academic Misconduct presented by Dave Rath.  Faculty compared the current policy with the proposed policy then voted.  The proposed catalog information and contract votes were positive.  Discussion: The contract will be presented at the new student orientation; however, faculty can have students sign the contract on the first day of class also.  Resolution was to send the two proposed documents to Administrative Council after the “font” was amended.  


New Business:

-          A senator  asked the question “Do we need a stated policy to speak to parents?”  Discussion addressed the idea that we currently have FERPA that provides guidelines for parental involvement. 

-          Saeed Rahmanian presented the Paul Goldberg Leadership Class Project Proposal of an online employee pictorial directory.  Discussion:  Most faculty positive to this idea.

-          New Employee ID Badge program.  Discussion.

Final Question regarding how the re-organization committee was selected.  Discussion.  As far as the faculty present knew the Deans chose committee members.


Respectfully submitted:

Pat Wurth, Past President