Office of the Vice President
for Administration
 
Professional Advisory Council

Minutes July 6, 2005

Agenda items for the September 14, 2005 meeting need to be submitted to Theresa DeRose by September 2, 2005.

The meeting convened at 2:31p.m. by Bill Fitzpatrick, President, PAC.

PAC members present were:
Member District Member District
Paul Pusecker 1 Sue Groff 10
Trudy Riley2 Doris Miklitz 11
Gerald Hendricks 5 Mary Jo Mankin 12
Chris Murphy 6 Cindy Panchisin 13
Theresa DeRose 8 Melissa Scott 14
Burt Wilson 9

Members Excused: Patricia Grim #3, Kristine Ritz-Coll #4, Daniel Bailey #7.

Others Present: Thomas LaPenta, Richie Holland, Bill Fitzpatrick and Lynn Brock.


Minutes

The May minutes were approved as written.

Constituent Concerns

A constituent was concerned because, as a part time instructor, he was not always included in e-mail messages sent to faculty members. Richie Holland stated that this is a departmental issue, and that many areas on campus keep internal email lists. He recommended that the constituent contact the Department’s Program Director or Department Chair so that he can be added to the internal list for his area.

Another constituent was concerned because the Outdoor Pool has become very crowded over the past few years due to the perception of more non-University affiliated members being allowed to join. Richie Holland followed up with James Kaden, Facility Manager of the Ice Arena and Outdoor Pool. James’s response letter follows: Dear PAC Member: I’d like to thank you for taking the time to express your feelings on UD’s Outdoor Pool. The Outdoor Pool does have a membership cap, and I’m happy to say it is one we’ve reached the past three years. Meeting that cap ensures a successful pool season for everyone and allows us to plan for enhancements in the future. This year, our membership (over 65% of it returning from last year) sold out in record time, and we started a waiting list. As I said, our membership helps make possible continuing enhancements to the pool, which this year included new water slides, new pool heater and in previous years has included, new and additional furniture and an additional Funbrellas. It’s a nice cycle, really: Our happy members support our pool year after year and their memberships allow us to install upgrades each year, and those enhancements make our families happy. Contrary to your note, faculty /staff membership in the Outdoor Pool has been low for many, many years, despite our continuing efforts to encourage them to join. These efforts include publicity on UDaily and the general press, a payroll deduction option, discounted membership fees and the ability to pay a daily-use fee for occasional pool use. We are already planning for additional improvements in 2006, and I believe these will enhance even more our members’ experiences at the pool. If you would like to discuss your concerns further, feel free to contact me directly via e-mail at kaden@udel.edu or at 302-831-6038. Sincerely, Jim Kaden Facility Manager

A constituent was concerned because some parking curbs at the Morris Library gated lot and the Student Health Services south end gold lot were moved when snow plowing was completed this past winter. He requested that the curbs be repositioned and repaired.

A constituent wanted to know if there were University rules regarding flexible work schedules. Tom Lapenta responded that each department uses its own discretion as to how and whether they administer flexible work schedules.

Committee Reports

Faculty Senate Meeting 5/16/05. (Resumption of the May 2 meeting) submitted by Gerald Hendrick.

Grade Inflation
According to the report by the senate’s ad-hoc committee on grade inflation, the number of A’s awarded at the University has doubled from 1987-2002. 74 percent of students on campus get A’s and B’s, and that grade inflation has increased on all four levels of study—from freshman to senior classes.

Three open hearings on grade inflation were held during the year. The resolution noted that the most important mechanism identified for controlling grade inflation is faculty accountability. Grade distributions can be made public without violating students’ rights of privacy.

The Faculty Senate voted to make the distribution of grades across departments regularly available to the University community and to ask chairs and faculty to continue to discuss grade distribution on an annual basis.

Harassment Policy
President Boncelet gave an update of actions taken when the meeting adjourned on May 2. Over the two weeks since the last session, a small group met to revise the section to be included in the Faculty Handbook.

The following amended section was approved:

“Other unlawful harassment includes any verbal or physical conduct toward another that is based on the other’s race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law, and that (1) unlawfully creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning and/or working environment or (2) unlawfully interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance.

“Threatening, intimidating or engaging in acts that unlawfully create a hostile environment based on an individual’s race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law may constitute unlawful harassment, whether the harasser is a co-worker, supervisor, student or faculty member.”

Vote: In favor – 29 votes; opposed – 15 votes;

The Commission to Promote Racial and Cultural Diversity’s Meeting held on May 9, 2005 submitted by Trudy Riley

The guest speaker at the May 9th meeting was Provost Dan Rich. The Provost addressed six questions that had been sent to him by the Commission.

What are the prospects for a strong Black American Studies program?
Dr. Rich stated that the prospects for a strong Black American Studies Program are very good and are even better than they have been in the past. There are many reasons for the change. First, the Black American Studies Program has recently undergone an Academic Review (APR). The APR consisted of a self-study as well as an extensive review by the team of experts in the discipline. Provost Rich was very pleased to announce that Dr. James Jones, professor of Psychology has accepted the position as director of Black American Studies. Based upon conversations with Dr. Jones, the Provost indicated that the Black American Studies program would be re-constituted and re-invigorated.

What are the plans for increasing the number of minority faculty?
Dr. Rich reminded the Commission that at least 50% of the faculty will retire over the next two or three decades. He reiterated that diversity is a university priority and that it will be extremely important for us to recruit and to hire wisely in order to have a faculty that is diverse. Provost Rich stated that the Commission could be an effective change agent in the university’s efforts to hire an even more diverse faculty. For example, he indicated that Commission members who are faculty could serve on search committees in order to bring the Commission and University’s perspective to the search process. Provost Rich stated that there is a continued commitment to hire more underrepresented faculty at the University of Delaware.

What plans are there to promote minority faculty into mainstream senior level administrative positions?
Dr. Rich stated that promoting minority faculty into mainstream senior level positions is an expectation that he shares with the Commission but there are challenges in doing this. One challenge is the lack of frequent turnovers in these positions. A great number of university employees, including large faculty cohorts, come to the university and remain for their entire careers, some twenty to forty years. While this fact is admirable, it does not lead to frequent turnover. Another challenge is that at the University of Delaware, we have fewer upper-level administrators than many comparable universities. Dr. Rich offered that assistant and associate dean positions as well as center director positions are senior level positions and may prove viable means towards upward mobility.

What is the status of your initiative to increase minority graduate students?
Provost Rich indicated that graduate student enrollment is the second highest priority in addressing our diversity goals. He reminded the Commission that he had previously created a graduate council to begin to address the question of increased representation of minority graduate students. The council’s charge is to initiate university-wide efforts to increase minority graduate student representation in the departments. Some of the outcomes associated with this goal have been to provide departments with more assistance in their recruitment efforts. Graduate student stipends were increased in order to provide more funding to individual students.

Given recent reduced numbers of international students on campus, what are your plans to increase their representation?
Provost Rich clarified that at UD there has not been a reduction in the number of international graduate students. He stated that the decrease has been in the number of students from China and India. The Provost indicated that in the future, we may experience a decrease. On the other hand, representation of undergraduate international students is problematic because international students do not qualify for any federal or state financial aid nor may they apply for loans.

How can the Commission help you in addressing these concerns?
Provost Rich stated that concentrating on faculty hiring is the most significant goal that this time. He suggested that the Commission might consider being a partner with selected departments in order to sponsor a Visiting Scholars Program to attract underrepresented faculty who might be offered positions at UD.

Announcements:

Tom Lapenta informed us that an outside consulting company will be conducting a review of the classification system for salaried and professional staff positions. Theresa DeRose will serve on this committee as the PAC representative.

New Business

The Steering Committee members for the 2005-2006 Academic Year are as follows:

Paul Pusecker   President
Sue Groff      Vice President
Theresa DeRose   Secretary
Chris Murphy  At-Large
Mary Jo Mankin  At-Large
Melissa Scott At-Large


The PAC liaisons for the following committees for the 2005-2006 Academic Year are as follows:

Commission on the Status of Women Kristine Ritz-Coll
Commission to Promote Racial & Cultural Diversity Trudy Riley
Dining Services Committee Melissa Scott
Faculty Senate Observer Gerald Hendricks
Parking Advisory Committee Doris Miklitz
Transportation Services Committee Chris Murphy


The Grievance Advisory Body members for the 2005-2006 Academic Year are as follows:

Burt Wilson, Procurement Services, term expires 6/07
Gerald Hendricks, Plant & Soil Sciences, term expires 6/07
Sue Groff, Mary Jo Mankin and Chris Murphy will remain on the body.

President Roselle will address the September PAC meeting.

Grievance Hearing Board elections will be held at the September PAC meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Brock

Reviewed by Theresa DeRose, Secretary, PAC

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