RSCC Faculty Senate Meeting

Friday, November 20, 2009, 2:10p

Room H-236, Oak Ridge Branch Campus


I.    Attendance

President:  Bill Schramm

Vice-President:  Lauri Sammartano

Past President:  Pat Wurth

Allied Health:  Teri Gergen

Humanities:  Curtis Currie, Ralph Monday, Sarah Thomason

Library:  Ollie Nolan

Mathematics and Sciences:   Jill Denton, Saeed Rahmanian, Steve Ward

Nursing:  Pat Jenkins, Marcia Shloush

Social Sciences, Business  and Education:  Casey Cobb, Don Lanza, Diane Ward

II.     Faculty Senate President’s Report:

A.  The Vice President for Student Learning Search

      Three candidates were brought to campus to complete the interview process for the Vice President for Student Learning position.  Dr. Goff has taken input from the faculty forum comments and hopes to make his final decision before the Thanksgiving break.  Dr Goff wants to have the new Vice President for Student Learning in place by Spring In-service.

B.  Dr. Goff’s response to Faculty Senate’s Concerns on College Restructuring

Dr. Goff replied to Bill Schramm’s e-mail that addressed faculty’s concerns about the current model for a proposed restructuring/reorganization plan for the college.  Dr. Goff does not want to begin working on models until the new Vice President for Student Learning is in place and has had time to gain an understanding of academic operations from the VP standpoint.  However, Dr. Goff sent his assurance that he is open to more models and plans than have been put forward to date.  He wants faculty to develop additional approaches and make recommendations.  Dr. Goff wants the faculty to take a look at cost efficiency while maintaining academic rigor.  Dr. Goff hopes to decrease the administration load in an effort to "flatten the organization.”

C.  The TBR Faculty Senate Presidents at Community Colleges submitted a letter regarding system reorganization that was well-received.  As a continuation of the process this group would like to open a discussion about dual enrollment courses in community colleges across TN.  The hope is that a policy regarding dual enrollment courses could be developed and implemented.

D. Items from Meeting between Dr. Goff and Senate Officers

      1.   Budget Issues

a.   The State may require a return of previously allocated funds once again during Spring 2010 potentially by another 6 – 9%.  TBR institutions may be exempt because of rules that govern the State's acceptance of stimulus funds.  However, it is not known what will happen once the stimulus funds are no longer available.  Dr. Goff discussed budget issues with the Faculty Senate officers at a lunch meeting in Harriman.

b.   Dr. Goff assured officers that there are no hiring freezes and as an example reported two new hires in financial aid to handle the increased student load.

c.   When asked about the salary equity plan, Dr. Goff said that phase 1 was implemented to bring nine people up to a minimum living wage level.  In addition he reported that he increased the wage of nursing faculty in order to increase faculty retention rates.  He does not have enough information to address questions on the possibility of pay raises or bonuses for faculty.  However, Dr. Goff did indicate that the current salary equity plan is adjusted each year to reflect inflation and, thus, changes in the cost of living.

      2.   Governor’s Panel of Higher Education in Tennessee

a.   A report from a meeting of the Governor’s Panel of Higher Education indicates that there will be a push to increase dual enrollment courses to reach a broader population.  The prerequisite of a GED or High school diploma may be removed as a prerequisite to enter a TBR institution.

b.   The Governor’s Panel of Higher Education is no longer considering the merger of the University of Tennessee system with the TBR colleges and universities.

      3.   Miscellaneous Issues

a.   Some community colleges may be building residential housing on their campuses.  RSCC is not considering this option.

b.   Dr. Goff does not want class size to be greater than 30 students per class.

c.   RSCC's request for a new building on the Oak Ridge Campus was not considered in the current TBR capital budgeting plan.

d.   The lack of food service on the ORBC has not been resolved.  


III.    Sub-Council Report

Bill Schramm reported (for Bruce Fisher) that at the last TBR sub-council meeting a letter regarding the reorganization of higher education institutions in Tennessee [that was prepared by Community College Faculty Senate Presidents and unanimously adopted by the Faculty Senates of the 13 Community Colleges in Tennessee] was voted on by the sub-council.  With unanimous agreement, the sub-council voted to send the letter on.


IV.   Minutes of the October 2009, Faculty Senate Meeting

The minutes from the last meeting were approved as written with one change that would correct the spelling of Ollie Nolan’s last name (from North to Nolan).


 V.          Old Business

A.   Report from Faculty Office Hours Committee

A great deal of time was spent discussing a document submitted by the Faculty Office Hours sub-committee (Senators S. Ward, Monday, Cobb).  A formal motion was made, seconded, and approved to accept the revised faculty office hour policy with language modification:


      “The Faculty Senate of Roane State move to include revised language in the proposed policy to redefine faculty office hours” as discussed.” 


      The revised language will be sent out for consideration by the Faculty Senate and a vote by email.  The Faculty Senate officers will work to find out what the proper procedure to pass the document forward should be.

B.   Identity Theft

There is no new information about the theft of a flash drive containing financial information of students and faculty at this time.

C.   Report from Interactive Room sub-committee

Jill Denton reported that the sub-committee to investigate Interactive Room issues has polled faculty and are in the process of collating and processing the information.  Senator Denton will present the sub committee’s findings at the December meeting.


VI.          New Business

               A.     Academic Dishonesty policy

Senators discussed issue of blatant plagiarism or cheating in which the involved faculty gave the students an F for the course, as per the RSCC handbook.  However, if the cheating/plagiarism event happens before the drop date some students have had the option of withdrawing from the course rather than having an F appear on the transcripts.  The faculty want the Faculty Senate to look into removing the withdrawal option so that the faculty can make the F grade stay on the student’s transcripts.  Bill Schramm will look into the current TBR and RSCC withdrawal policies to see what direction needs to be taken.


               B.     Dual Enrollment

                        Previously discussed.


               C.     Administrative attention on the ORBC

                        The ORBC site coordinator has been out for a long period of time with an illness. 


VII.         Adjournment:  the meeting was adjourned at 3:36pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Lauri J. Sammartano

Vice President of Faculty Senate