Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
Attendance: Not available.
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at by Senate Chair Formanowicz.
Approval of Meeting Minutes:
The minutes from the meeting on
Remarks by the Chair:
Senate Chair Formanowicz:
I want to welcome everyone who is new to the Senate this year and welcome back everyone who is returning. We have some things that are very important to do today.
One of the important things we are doing is reestablishing and setting up the committees. The only committee that is really active right now is Special Projects and that’s chaired by Senator Nestell. They are working on the emeritus nominations. They currently have three or four nominations. If there are any additional nominations, give them to Merlynd before spring break
The past chair Dennis Reinhartz and I attended the FAC
Executive Committee meeting in
As you are all aware, we are in the midst of SACS reaffirmation and Victoria Farrar-Myers will talk to us and give us an update on the progress toward the QEP.
Remarks by the President:
Many of you are aware that today was our Brand Launch. We had the event in this building and thought we had a room large enough to hold everybody. Obviously, we underestimated that. We were in the Bluebonnet Ballroom and there were thousands of people who just couldn’t get in. We are going to send out a note to people who want to see the event. It’s going to be on the web. It will also be broadcast on Comcast, the university’s channel. It was just a huge turnout. Some people told me that they had never in 20 years or more on campus seen that many students in one place at one time.
I’ve asked someone to bring over, for those of you who were not there, the new logo. Actually, we have two people who can model clothing that has the new logo. Josh Sawyer, our Student Congress President, and I both have shirts with the new logo. I want to encourage students, faculty and staff to wear UT Arlington clothing. Fridays are becoming a day to wear informal clothing with some type of UT Arlington logo.
The reaction we have received has been quite positive. It’s really an attempt to be clear and more distinctive in the way we talk about UT Arlington to the external community. We’re going to stop talking about being the best kept secret because we’re not going to be the best kept secret. We’re going to do everything humanly possible to make sure that all people know who we are, what we stand for, and what we do.
We’ve got some compelling initial ads that are going to be
in print and also on the radio. Those
ads feature undergraduate students who are working with faculty members in
hands-on research. If they’re doing this as undergraduates, think what they
will do as graduates. The emphasis is
very much on the partnership between students and faculty. We will kick this off in Texas Monthly with a
couple of full page ads. There will also
be billboards, internet, and radio ads.
We will start here in the Fort Worth/Dallas area. We will also take these messages to
We need to be aggressive and straight forward because we have great stories to tell about this university. Part of this is also to rally people, students, faculty and staff on campus, to recognize what a great university this is. All of you know it because you’ve been part of it and you’re a key ingredient to making it what it is. But not everybody else knows that. There is an internal purpose as well an external purpose.
Last week was the Board of Regents meeting. The Regents approved a very strong resolution on approving graduation rates. It asked each of the UT institutions to develop targets for improving graduation rates over the next several years. I want to involve the entire campus in talking about what role each of us will play in helping improve graduation rates. Last year, Dana initiated a task force to look at factors that contribute to low graduation rates and strategies for making improvements. The Regents have identified improving graduation rates as one of the top educational priorities for the next ten years.
Lynn Handley, Vice President for Communications: Pass these ads around. We have advertising in Texas Monthly which hit the newsstands at the end of February. One of the things I’d like you to notice in the advertising, is that we’re focusing on undergraduate achievement. The next phase will be graduate achievement. We’re also featuring the faculty reflected in the mechanism that enables the student to work. For example, in this one Bart Weiss is reflected in the camera lens. In this one, Carl Lovely is reflected in the lab glasses.
Remarks by the Provost:
I was asked to give a report on the outcome of the Tenure and Promotion cycle this year. Let me start by thanking Dan Formanowicz for his participation in the second cycle of the process. This year he had available to him the dossiers of the 23 faculty members going up for tenure and/or promotion. We appreciate his involvement in the process.
We had 12 faculty this year up for promotion and tenure. All were promoted. We had 10 additional faculty up for promotion from associate to full. Nine were promoted; one was not. We had one additional associate professor who did not have tenure who was granted tenure.
We are pleased to announce that, for the second year in a row, we have been able to set aside a million dollars from research excellence funding to provide research awards and professional development to our faculty. You may recall that this was done for the first time last year. We allocate funds to colleges and schools on the basis of external research funding and, a smaller portion of the funds, on the basis of the number of tenured and tenure earning lines. Faculty who engage in funded research will be eligible for research awards and faculty who engage in scholarly activity, not necessarily funded activity, will be eligible for professional development bonuses. The process will be very similar to that which unfolded last year. Your deans have recently been notified to work with the mechanisms in your units to begin the process for making decisions about who is to receive the awards. You should be hearing more about this as the process moves forward in the next few weeks.
I would also like to give an update on the status of the university’s strategic plan. Monday, you will be receiving an announcement from President Spaniolo and I that will include the final version of the Planning Priorities, Goals and Objectives. These have been revised many times with much input from various campus constituencies as well as the campus community as a whole. You will also see that the next step involves unit, colleges and schools working to develop their own strategies for implementing the plan. I just wanted to give you advance notice that that will be coming your way Monday. I would like to thank, not just Dan, but the Faculty Senate representatives who participated on a number of occasions in the process of reviewing those materials.
Many of you have expressed an interest in the preview of the new student information system, the My Mav System. We will be turning that on very soon for registration for the upcoming fall semester but, in advance of that, we have designed a preview session that will last one hour. It is scheduled for Wednesday, the 22nd, at , College Hall 101. If you’re interested in seeing a preview that will showcase the information available to faculty as well as the information available to students, we urge you to attend that session.
Questions for the President and Provost:
Past Chair Reinhartz: In addition to the strategic plan we have Campus Compact coming up too, right?
Provost Dunn: Yes, we do. In fact I got a communication today from Geri Malandra, Associate Vice Chancellor at System. They will visit us in late March and there will be a very short cycle for revision to the Campus Compact. This year that revision will not be a substantive revision in terms of content, but more of update on the progress we have made toward what was previously included. In the last cycle, what we included in our revised Compact were simply update paragraphs on what had been done up to that point in time. We’ll be receiving concrete instructions for the format of the Compact update in late March when they arrive.
Unknown Senator: I just want to compliment you and your staff on the magazine you did last fall highlighting the research and the faculty efforts that are going on. It was incredibly impressive.
Provost Dunn: I would like to remind everyone that we have a call out now for new materials that might be included in the second edition. We will be meeting shortly to start reviewing materials. We want an equally strong second edition which will come out next fall.
Establishment of Committee Membership:
Chair Formanowicz: The next order of business has to do with reestablishing the committees. We have four statutory committees and seven standing committees. One of the things the executive committee has been talking about is streamlining committee structure. Some of the committees never have anything to do. We’re talking about streamlining the standing committees. That takes a change in the bylaws which takes two meetings to do. We won’t be doing it now. We will establish the committees as we always have. What I will do is charge the Operating Procedures Committee with looking at that.
The statutory committees are the Executive Committee, which is composed of all the officers; the President’s Advisory Committee, which consists of all the officers and one representative from each of the college and one representative from the schools collectively. A couple of years ago we started the practice of having the committee chairs also serve on that committee. The third statutory committee is the Committee on Equity. Equity deals with grievances other than tenure and promotion grievances. It’s a committee that’s not active every year but it’s an extremely important committee. The fourth one is Tenure and Academic Freedom.
The standing committees are the Operating Procedures Committee, which deals the internal operating procedures of the Faculty Senate and deals primarily with revising and keeping track of the bylaws and the Handbook of Operating Procedures; the Research and Development Committee, which handles research and does various studies; the Academic Liaison Committee, which deals with broad policies and acts as a liaison between the Senate and the Graduate and Undergraduate Assemblies; the Special Projects Committee, which deals with things that don’t go anywhere else, primarily deals with Emeritus nominations; the Budget Liaison Committee, which involves itself with any action concerning the budget; the Student Services Liaison Committee; and the Ethics Committee.
We would like at least one individual from each college or school to sign up for each of these committees so that we have representation from across the board on each of the committees. Once we have that set up, I will contact folks about chairing the committees. Merlynd will continue to chair the Special Projects Committee. Chris Kribs-Zaleta will continue to chair Academic Liaison. There are sign up sheets in the back. I think the best way to do this would be to break out into colleges and schools and get the committees set up. We will take about 15 minutes to that and then we will reconvene.
QEP Progress Report:
Chair Reinhartz: I asked Victoria Farrar-Myers, the QEP Coordinator and chair of the QEP Steering Committee, to come and give us an update.
Victoria Farrar-Myers: I have passed out four handouts. The first one is a Status Report which tells what transpired last fall, where we are, what we’re doing and the next steps. I also passed out an overview. The third one is the standard within the SACS guidelines which covers the QEP. The last handout is dealing with the actual sections.
The QEP Steering Committee is quite large because we do have
a representative for every academic voice on campus. The nine academic units plus
I want to give you an idea of what the working groups are doing. The Research Group is working on the justification of why active learning is appropriate for UTA in terms of justification with the mission statement as well as the strategic plans, goals and initiatives. The Process Group is working on streamlining our total assessment package. It will eventually do the management plan and then the process of implementation, the budget and the ten-year plan. The Assessment is looking at best practices to identify pilot projects or exemplars.
The decision was made by the QEP steering committee to make it a pre-proposal process on a particular initiative. The initiative can be new or can be ongoing. The five-page pre-proposal should articulate the standards that we are looking for. We are looking for the justification, what the proposal will look like, how many students it will touch, budget, what will you will be doing immediately and if there is an aspect that will be phased in over a period of time. The call for pre-proposals can be found at http://sacs.uta.edu. More specifics about what the steering committee will be looking for is in that call. Also included is a set of standards that the QEP steering committee, which be serving as the selection committee, will be looking for.
We have never done a QEP on this campus before. QEPs have only been in existence for four years which means that we are forging in a new territory. We really don’t have a clear sense of what this is going to cost us. There is no magic bullet number that I can say each proposal will get. Craft a budget that is narrowly tailored to the successful implementation of your initiative or project. The steering committee will look to see if the budget makes sense, given what you’re proposing. If you think release time for a faculty member or equipment in the lab is integral to the success of the initiative, then put it in your budget. There is no budget category that is off limits. We are looking for new initiatives as well as ongoing initiatives. The Provost has indicated that new money will be put toward these proposals. She has also indicated that whichever pilot projects are chosen will be fully funded.
Several people have asked me about the pre-proposal. Does that mean there will be another proposal, a call for actual proposals? Specifically the committee decided to use the wording pre-proposal because the idea is that we will do the first round of selection, then we will work individually with the authors of those proposals to refine them to the point that is necessary for the QEP plan. By April, the QEP Steering Committee needs to produce an outline of the QEP plan to send it back out to you for feedback prior to doing the full draft of the plan this summer. It’s a tight deadline. We want to make sure we facilitate the generation of ideas and the ability to work out the necessary details on the ones that are chosen.
How many pilot projects will be chosen? There is no magic number. I think all of us hope that will we at least have one pilot project from each of the colleges and schools. That would be an ideal.
The assessment strategy cannot be merely outcome assessment, meaning grades, retention, who completes the course. It must be value added assessment. You must be able to show that a student who comes into a course, for example, leaves your course with those outcomes. Using a course as an example, you will need to designate actual exam questions or actual assignments. You will need to show that there has been documented evidence of development in that student learning outcome. That’s what SACS will look for when they come in the Spring 2007 to analyze our QEP plan. They will want us to be that detailed. Other universities have gotten into trouble when they did not clearly specify learning outcomes to the detail that I just mentioned.
The faculty agreed last fall that our focus would be primarily on the undergraduate experience in the beginning. That does not mean that in year six, seven, and eight of a ten-year plan, that we would not use those pilot initiatives to also move out into the university into the graduate experience. I have gotten a couple of questions about putting forth a proposal on the graduate level experience. At this point it does not hurt to identify those initiatives. However, priority for the first five years of the plan will be on the undergraduate experience.
Chair Formanowicz: The committee really wants people to take the initiative and be creative. This is an opportunity for us to do something to push our students forward and to help our students along. It is something we have to do but we can take advantage of it and use this process to increase the experience of our students. Each of you has a representative from your unit on this committee who you can contact if you have questions about it. I, in particular, am working on the assessment aspect and reading a lot about ways we can measure how students learn. If you have questions about assessment, you can contact me directly. We have given you as defined a set of parameters as we can give you.
Nursing Senator: I was under the impression that it was not for faculty salaries.
Farrar-Myers: Let me clarify that. I asked the Provost specifically if release time for faculty would be an appropriate expenditure. She said if it’s narrowly tailored to the success of the initiative that’s being proposed, then it’s acceptable to put into the budget at this point. That is something we will have to consider because an FTE is pretty costly in some cases. She said let’s consider it, let’s put it in there, propose it and see. I would caution you, in talking to your units, that it must be to create this course, to actually design this course. It can’t be merely time off to do other things. It must be narrowly tailored to the development and implementation of that initiative.
Chair Formanowicz: Putting it in terms of release time as opposed to salary is an important part of it.
Nursing Senator: Release time as opposed to just FTE?
Chair Formanowicz: Yes. Rather than just asking for salary money put it in terms of release time.
Unknown Senator: Are you saying they would okay release time versus salary FTE?
Farrar-Myers: We need to look at all the proposals. We’re going to look at how narrowly tailored what you’re asking for is to the success of your initiative. If the only way this is going to be successful is that this professor needs release time in order to develop the tools necessary to do it, then that seems applicable and should be included. Whether it’s funded or not, that is the nebulous part that we need top look at and see how we can manage this.
Senator Porter: I
would like to see the Senate pass a resolution to reestablish a center for
teaching excellence. We used to have
center on this campus started by Mary Lynn Crow. We were the first public university in
Chair Formanowicz: I will assign that to a committee.
Chair Formanowicz: There are some new governance issues that came up in the Faculty Advisory Council that need to be added Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP).
Past Chair Reinhartz: The Regents Rules have been completely rewritten. The faculty governance parts have been completely rewritten and there is now, effectively, a partnership between administration and faculty governance. We have to make sure that this is now transferred into our Handbook that we can reference anytime we want rather than going to the Regents Rules themselves. Basically, what we are going to do is incorporate the Regents Rules to fit our local situation.
Chair Formanowicz: If you haven’t looked at the newer version of the Regents Rules, it’s worth reading. It’s much easier to understand and much more straight forward than it used to be. Much of the governance aspect will be incorporated into our HOP. It’s much easier to find things in it.
The meeting adjourned at
QEP STATUS REPORT
February 15, 2006
Process to Date:
conversations that occurred in fall, 2004, with the President and the Provost,
led to the identification of seven potential themes for the QEP. These themes were presented to the faculty
for ranking via an on-line survey during the fall 2005 semester. Approximately 10% of the faculty participated
in the on-line survey with four of the seven topics receiving significant
support. Further, during the fall of
2005, the QEP coordinator met with the Faculty Senate, Undergraduate Assembly,
Deans Council, and Student Congress. In
addition, she met with faculty in the Schools of Nursing, Architecture, and
Social Work, and the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Education, as well as the
The four topics that emerged from the survey (Communication Skills, Applied Learning, Student Engagement, and Undergraduate Research) were brought to two open faculty focus groups for commentary and refinement. Information culled from these sessions was then brought to a third faculty focus group specifically for Faculty Senate members. During this session, specific recommendations regarding the QEP theme and approach were developed. These recommendations were then presented to the Reaffirmation Leadership Team. Out of this full process, “Active Learning” was identified as the theme for the QEP. The following serves as the basis for the charge given to the QEP Steering Committee.
The QEP Theme: Active Learning
Active learning is a process that employs a variety of pedagogical approaches to place the primary responsibility for creating and/or applying knowledge on the students themselves. It puts the student at the center of the learning process, making him/her a partner in discovery, not a passive receiver of information. Active learning requires students to interact with and integrate course material by reading, writing, discussing, problem-solving, investigating, reflecting, and engaging in such higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and critical thinking. An active learning approach draws upon such teaching and learning strategies as question-and-answer sessions, short in-class writing exercises, student research, internships and community service, team learning, and problem-based learning.
1. Allow for innovation across schools and colleges.
2. Identify exemplars through an RFP process.
3. Focus on the undergraduate experience (although exemplars from programs serving the graduate level also may be identified in the initial RFP process).
4. Develop a plan that (1) focuses on these exemplars, including providing detailed assessment strategies to measure student learning achievement outcomes, and (2) demonstrate how lessons from these exemplars might be the basis for further integration across campus.
The QEP Steering Committee was given the charge to craft an RFP that was sent to the colleges, schools and non-academic units to solicit submissions for initiatives to be incorporated into the QEP. The Steering Committee will develop an outline for the QEP based upon exemplar initiatives taken from the RFPs submitted, and submit the outline to the academic community in April of 2006. Based upon feedback received, the Committee will then be charged with drafting the QEP over the summer to be submitted to the academic community in mid-to-late September, 2006. After feedback is received, the QEP Steering Committee will complete the final QEP for SACS submission in early January, 2007; six weeks prior to the on-site visit (February 26, 2007 – March 2, 2007).
Dr. Victoria A. Farrar-Myers
Reaffirmation and the Quality Enhancement Plan
What is a Quality Enhancement Plan?
The QEP is an ongoing strategic planning initiative that requires the University to develop specific educational programs based upon a central theme designed to enhance the value our students receive from their UTA experience.
What Steps Has the University Taken So Far in Developing the QEP?
The QEP itself must be developed in consultation with the academic community. To that end, we have obtained input through a series of strategic conversations with the President and Provost, an online faculty survey, a set of focus groups with faculty members, and discussions between the QEP Coordinator and various constituencies in the academic community. From this input, the central theme for the QEP – active learning – has emerged.
What is Active Learning?
Active learning is a process that places the primary responsibility for creating and/or applying knowledge on the students themselves. It puts the student at the center of the learning process, making him/her a partner in discovery, not a passive receiver of information. Active learners are “hands-on” learners. Active learning seeks to develop communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills through various in-class teaching and learning strategies, as well as outside experiences such as student research, internships, clinical placements, and service learning opportunities.
What are the Next Steps in Developing the QEP?
Using an RFP process geared to promote innovation, the QEP Coordinator and Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from the academic community, will identify exemplar programs that employ active learning. From there, the Committee, with feedback from the academic community, will develop a plan that focuses on these exemplars and how they can serve as models for other programs across campus. The QEP will be submitted to SACS in early 2007.
Why is the QEP Important to UTA and to the Community?
The QEP provides the University with an opportunity to define the type of student learning we wish to foster at UTA. The QEP will help us better identify and develop the core skills that our students should have. Upon each student’s graduation, employers will be able to know what skills they can expect a UTA graduate to possess. The skills developed through focused active learning enable graduates to “hit the ground running” in their post-graduation jobs.
How Can I Find Out More About UTA’s Quality Enhancement Plan?
For further information, you may visit the QEP website at http://sacs.uta.edu.
2.12 The institution has developed an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan
and demonstrates that the plan is part of an ongoing planning and evaluation process.
Rationale and Notes:
The Principles of Accreditation attests to the commitment of the Commission on Colleges to the enhancement of the quality of higher education and to the proposition that student learning is at the heart of the mission of all institutions of higher learning. The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a component of the accreditation process that reflects and affirms both of these commitments. Developing a QEP as part of the reaffirmation process is an opportunity and an impetus for an institution to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue or issues the institution considers important to improving student learning.
The QEP describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) directly related to enhancing student learning. Student learning is defined broadly in the context of the QEP and may address a wide range of topics or issues but, in all cases, the goals and evaluation strategies need to be clearly and directly linked to improving the quality of student learning. In order to ensure that the QEP is implemented, the institution integrates it into its ongoing planning and evaluation process.
Note: The QEP is a course of action that is specific to an institution and its mission. It is intended to be customized and designed to meet the needs of the particular institution. It is an opportunity for an institution to be creative in an area related to compliance with the Principles. Therefore, although an institution may want to study QEPs completed by other institutions, an institution’s QEP should reflect the needs of the institution and be customized to accomplish its goals.
At the time of the on-site review, the Commission expects an institution to have in place all components that are characteristic to any workable plan: (1) a focused topic (directly related to student learning), (2) clear goals, (3) adequate resources in place to implement the plan, (4) evaluation strategies for determining the achievement of goals, and (5) evidence of community development and support of the plan.
Relevant Questions for Consideration:
• Has the institution identified and provided a clear and concise description of a significant issue(s) directly related to student learning?
• What are the goals of the QEP and how do they relate to student learning?
• What are the intended benefits of the QEP to the institution and to the student?
• What resources (personnel, financial, physical, academic, etc.) are necessary for the successful implementation of the QEP?
• How will the progress of the QEP be monitored? (timelines, administration and oversight of its implementation by qualified individuals, etc.)
• What are the evaluation strategies identified by the institution that will determine the success of the institution's QEP? How will the evaluation findings be used to improve student learning?
• How has the QEP been integrated into the institution's ongoing planning and evaluation processes?
• How has the institution demonstrated that a cross section of its community has been involved in the development of the QEP?
Quality Enhancement Plan – SACS Guidelines
“The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), submitted six weeks in advance of the on-site review by the Commission, describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined issue or issues directly related to improving student learning. The development of the QEP involves significant participation by the institution’s academic community. The plan should be focused and succinct (no more than seventy-five pages of narrative text and no more than twenty-five pages of support documentation or charts, graphs, and tables).”
ELEMENTS OF QEP:
■ A brief descriptive title. [*Research]
■ A topic that is creative and vital to the long-term improvement of student learning. [*Research]
■ A definition of student learning appropriate to the focus of the QEP. [*Research]
■ Evidence that developing the QEP has engaged all appropriate campus constituencies. [*Process]
■ A description of the importance of the QEP that will help others understand its value and appropriateness to the institution. [*Research]
■ Specific, well-defined goals related to an issue of substance and depth, expected to lead to observable results. [*Process; *Assessment]
■ Evidence of careful analysis of the institutional context in which the goals will be implemented and of consideration of best practices related to the QEP’s topic or issues. [*Research; *Assessment]
■ A viable implementation plan that includes necessary resources and a framework that details matters such as:
Resource allocation and
Assessment schedule. [*Process; *Assessment]
■ A comprehensive evaluation plan clearly related to the QEP goals, with the latitude and flexibility to make adjustments to achieve the desired student learning outcomes. [*Assessment]
■ Appendices, if applicable. [*Research; *Process; *Assessment]
Institutional Capability and the Initiation/Continuation of the Plan
Assessment of the Plan
Broad-based involvement of the Community