The meeting of the Academic Board was held at 1515 hours on January 20, 1998 in Bond Hall, Room 333. MGEN R. Clifton Poole, Vice President for Academic Affairs, opened the meeting and presided.
MGEN Poole offered an update on performance funding. The Commission on Higher Education performance funding standards are based on growth and improvement. There is no reward for a school that has been doing well in an area and continues to do well. As a result, The Citadel does not have very high marks in certain areas. For instance, we have the best graduation rates in the state. It is unlikely we will be able to show dramatic improvement and, therefore, our ratings will not be especially high even though we excel in that regard. Likewise, in some areas in which we are not doing as well as we would like, such as minority enrollment, it remains unlikely that we will see substantial increases anytime soon. To make matters worse, our unique status as a military college used to entitle us to additional funding, but with performance funding, it will not. The good news is that all the standards The Citadel submitted to CHE staff were accepted and forwarded to the next level.
MGEN Poole expressed appreciation to COL Barrett for his letter to the newspaper in response to Representative Stille's allegations that college faculty have a light workload. He reported that Representative Stille was invited to the campus once before and given facts and figures on faculty workload and salaries, but he has ignored these. He has been invited back but has not yet responded to the invitation.
MGEN Poole informed the Board that he has met with the seniors in the Corps of Cadets to review requirements for participation in graduation exercises.
AGENDA ITEM 1: APPROVAL OF MINUTES
COL Askins moved and COL Bebensee seconded the approval of the minutes of the November 18th Board meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
LTC Finch moved and COL Baldwin seconded the approval of the minutes of the December 16th meeting. LTC Staley offered one correction, that his recommendation about program expansion be worded as applying to "study abroad" rather than to "international studies." LTC Ozment mentioned that BGEN Mace, the guest speaker at the December meeting, had received a copy of the minutes to review and had suggested several clarifications of his remarks. Those minor revisions have also been made. The Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes as revised.
AGENDA ITEM 2: TEACHING OVERLOADS/ DEPARTMENT HEAD STIPENDS
MGEN Poole stated that he is fundamentally opposed to course overloads, though he understands that an overload may occasionally be justified. The intent of the new policy is to prevent habitual overloads or reduced loads and to keep the designated deans informed of faculty teaching assignments. One department's decision has an impact on other departments.
MGEN Poole also commented on course reductions and reminded department heads that the current budgetary limitations require the administration to scrutinize all adjunct positions and appointments.
To COL Comer's question about a reduced load for those teaching freshman honors courses, MGEN Poole replied that the College is prepared to continue offering a reduced load, but the department head will still need to present a formal request.
COL White asked if the overload policy would apply to professional development courses. COL Reilly responded that professional development courses are treated like consultation work rather than like overload teaching.
LTC Wilson asked whether we have a published policy on course reductions and was told that there are general guidelines. Beyond that, it depends on the number of requests in a given academic year. When LTC Staley asked for examples of situations that might warrant a course reduction, the ones that were given were heading an accreditation effort or finishing a book for which a formal contract has been signed.
To LTC Staley's question about whether an adjunct could teach an overload, MGEN Poole stated that normally a full-time adjunct would be treated in the same way as a full-time permanent employee.
MGEN Poole indicated that the new policy will go into effect for the fall 1998 semester. Department heads were asked to submit requests for overloads or reduced loads as far in advance as possible; the deans will try to respond quickly.
AGENDA ITEM # 3: COEDUCATION COUNCIL
LTC Ozment announced that a Coeducation Council, with representatives from all campus constituencies, has been formed to offer advice to the President on policies and procedures related to coeducation. She indicated that the Council met for the first time earlier in the day and had a very productive discussion with considerable input from the student members. LTC Wilson suggested that Leonard Anderson, the Director of Club Sports, be added to the roster of Council members. LTC Ozment agreed that Mr. Anderson would be a valuable addition and promised to consult the President's office.
AGENDA ITEM # 4: SUMMER PAY
COL Comer presented a proposal on summer pay that he believes would prevent courses from being canceled and would help bring stability to the summer schedule, making it easier for both faculty and students to plan. According to his proposal, faculty would receive 7 1/2% of their salary for a course in which 12 or more students were enrolled. If the enrollment were below 12, the faculty member's salary would be prorated.
COL Reilly stated that he has no objections but pointed out that the faculty member's salary is not the only cost that has to be covered by tuition; there are administrative costs as well. The breakeven point is actually closer to 15 students. To complicate matters further, the breakeven point varies from one class to another since it is based on the individual faculty member's salary. In other words, a senior faculty member whose salary is comparatively high would have to have more students enrolled than a junior faculty member in order to reach the breakeven point.
COL Rembiesa pointed out that another problem with changing the system is that the summer pay rate is printed in a number of faculty members' employment contracts. MGEN Poole indicated that the rate could still be changed if a formal vote of the faculty were taken.
COL White suggested that if enrollment drops below 10, the professor could negotiate salary with the appropriate designated dean. Other Board members expressed some interest in flat rates based on faculty rank. COL Reilly spoke in favor of faculty/dean negotiation and said that there is no consistency at other state institutions, no one rate schedule. CPT Boykin argued that for the system to be fair the deans would need to be consistent across the board. COL Barrett asked whether those teaching large classes could negotiate for a higher salary. COL Bebensee recommended that the deans develop a strategy to determine how a course can be offered without the College losing money. COL Reilly commented on the need for faculty to help recruit students and noted the steps the College is taking to increase enrollment. He said that the College will be advertising this year beyond the Lowcountry. Also, this summer, for the first time, we will have air-conditioned, coed barracks space available for housing.
MGEN Poole announced that the deans will study the summer pay issue further and present a proposal at the next Academic Board meeting. COL Barrett asked that Jim Hutchisson, who has chaired the Faculty Council committee examining this issue, be involved.
AGENDA ITEM # 5: FINE ARTS CREDIT FOR BAND MEMBERS
AGENDA ITEM # 6: CHAIN OF COMMAND
LTC Finch moved and COL White seconded that requests for approval of academic field trips be submitted to designated deans who will notify the Commandant's office when trips are approved. COL Fallon spoke in support of the motion but indicated that he did believe it was reasonable for department heads to be expected to provide formal justification of the field trip. The motion passed unanimously.
AGENDA ITEM # 7: COLLEGE-WIDE HIRING GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES
MGEN Poole urged departments that are presently hiring new faculty to take all steps necessary to recruit women and minorities.
AGENDA ITEM # 8: MISCELLANEOUS
MGEN Poole commented on the number of incomplete grades. Incompletes should be assigned very rarely. We are making some progress in reducing the number of incompletes given, but we still have a way to go. Grade changes also continue to be more common than they should; MGEN Poole urged faculty to adhere to high standards. In closing, MGEN Poole asked department heads to send him any issues they wished him to address.
The meeting adjourned at 1700 hours.
Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Women