Senate elects vice chair, discusses Honors College governance and faculty trustee

March 28, 2012

The University Senate at its March 19 meeting elected a vice chair for 2012-13 and discussed proposals regarding a new Honors College faculty governance committee and a faculty seat on the Board of Trustees.

Vice chair election
The Senate elected David Williams, professor of medical illustration, as its vice chair for 2012-13. Williams will become chair of the Senate in 2013-14. Current vice chair Paul Robinson, the SVM Professor of Cytomics in the School of Veterinary Medicine and a professor of biomedical engineering in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, will be chair for 2012-13.

Honors College
The University Resource Policy Committee presented a resolution to endorse the creation of an Honors College. The Senate will vote on the endorsement in April. The resolution may be viewed here.

In addition, senators discussed an Educational Policy Committee proposal to create a faculty governance committee for the Honors College. The proposed governance body would include:

* One faculty member from each college, Krannert School of Management and Purdue Libraries. Members would serve three-year, rotating terms, allowing for one-third turnover each year. Members would serve no more than two consecutive terms.
* A maximum of six at-large faculty members to be nominated by the Honors College and approved by the EPC.
* Ex officio student members appointed or elected by the Honors College.

The Honors College Faculty Governance Committee would advise the dean, act as a curriculum committee and assist with communication between the Honors College, Senate and academic units. The committee also would approve Honors College curricula.

The EPC also recommended that all tenured, tenure-track, clinical and research faculty at Purdue should be eligible to teach in the Honors College.

The proposal, which is scheduled for Senate action in April, is available here.

Faculty member on Board of Trustees
The Senate discussed a resolution requesting that Purdue trustees advocate to the governor for a faculty seat on the board. The resolution states that a faculty member could "provide a perspective to the Board of Trustees on academic issues that have not historically or currently been part of the Board's expertise; that such a member would expand the Board's perspective and deliberative effort in a manner parallel to that provided by the mandated student Trustee." Faculty groups at Purdue North Central and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne as well as Purdue Graduate Student Government have voted in favor of a faculty seat on the board. Faculty at Purdue Calumet soon will vote on a resolution.

The Senate resolution, which will be voted on in April, is available here.

In other business
* The Student Affairs Committee presented revisions to Purdue's grief absence policy for students, which was approved in March 2011. The original policy applies to the entire Purdue system, and the revised version would limit its scope to the West Lafayette campus. Under the policy, full- and part-time students are excused for funeral leave, and given the opportunity to earn equivalent credit and demonstrate evidence of meeting the learning outcomes for missed assignments or assessments. The revisions will be voted on in April.

* The University Resources Policy Committee recommended that the Senate establish a new committee for sustainability planning and assessment. The committee would set five-year goals to advance theUniversity's sustainability efforts. The committee would have a maximum of 20 members, which would include at least five students and two faculty members from URPC. The resolution, which goes to Senate for action in April, is available here.

* Senators discussed two bylaw changes proposed by an ad hoc committee charged with evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of Senate operations. The committee proposed that senators be limited to serving no more than two consecutive terms. The second change would allow for the appointment of ex officio members to Senate committees. The bylaw changes, which can be viewed here, will be voted on in April.

* Rebecca Logsdon, president of Purdue Graduate Student Government, presented a resolution to designate April 2-6 as Graduate Student Appreciation Week. The Senate suspended the rules in order to vote on the resolution, which was approved.

* Philip O'Keeffe, director of procurement services, presented a report on procurement strategic planning. The report is available here.

* Summer salary calculation for academic-year employees was the topic of a draft proposal presented for discussion by James Lehnert of the University Senate Steering Committee. The request for "a consistent monthly pay rate" when such employees work in the summer calls for revisions to Executive Memorandum C-26, specifically to change the monthly pay rate to one-ninth of the academic year salary. The current method results in a 10 percent reduction in the effective pay rate in the summer months relative to academic-year months, and the new language would make the rate equal for all months. Implementation for this summer is being sought.