2013-14 Committee Objectives

Radford University Faculty Senate
Committee Objectives
Academic Year 2013-2014


The following committee objectives provide a foundation for the Faculty Senate’s work in 2013-2014. Each committee should attempt to accomplish all objectives. These objectives are not intended to be all-inclusive—any committee member, other Senators, and the Faculty Senate Executive Council (FSEC) may refer other issues to the committee for consideration and action. Feel free to form subcommittees as needed to address specific objectives more expeditiously. Additional items will be referred to committees as new recommendations are made by members of our faculty.


All committees should record minutes of their meetings. Minutes and other committee documents (e.g., reports) should be forwarded to the Senate secretary (kgainer@radford.edu) for posting on the Senate webpage.


Campus Environment Committee Objectives

1.     Make a recommendation regarding the possible elimination of the Faculty Morale Survey given RU’s planned participation in the COACHE survey on the recommended three-year cycle.

2.     Organize and work collaboratively with Zach McCoy (SGA President), Kara Hall (Staff Senate President), and Ashlee Claud (AP Senate President) to review last year’s SGA proposal for a university-wide smoking ban. Consider whether to make a recommendation to Faculty Senate to support such a ban.

3.     Analyze the COACHE survey and discuss plans for addressing any of the negative attitudes related to campus environment.  A possible example of an issue studied might be more family friendly policies such as how the university schedules events and meetings and how that mixes with the schedule of parents with school age children.

4.     Investigate faculty/staff access to wellness facilities both during the semester and during break time.

5.     Continue to listen to and examine parking issues and where possible promote viable solutions.

6.     Conduct a study of unpaid but expected weekend and summer time commitments for nine month faculty.

7.     Review whether there is faculty/student interest in getting the tartan colors back as official school colors of RU. Liase with SGA (Zachary McCoy, President).


Curriculum Committee Objectives

1.     Make a recommendation on the Honors Academy Task Force Implementation Plan.

2.     Review the Core Curriculum goals and outcomes so as to reduce them significantly in number and to improve the delivery of the remaining ones. Meet with the Assistant VP for Academic Assessment, Dr. Ebenezer Kolajo, to discuss this from a SACS accreditation perspective. And collaborate with CCAC as necessary.

3.     Review the university’s B.A. requirements and any proposals for revising these requirements, including considering whether or not to make a recommendation to include American Sign Language as a foreign language for the B.A. requirements.

4.     Communicate faculty concerns about online courses, including issues involved with proctoring online exams, with the ad hoc task force on online teaching

5.     Assess in spring semester whether there are any adjustments needed to the +/- grading policy, such as related to inconsistencies in its application.

6.     Participate in conversations regarding the balance between undergraduate and graduate education at the university in preparation for considering any proposals for new graduate programs.


Faculty Issues Committee Objectives

1.     Investigate possible approaches to Faculty Retirement Transition Leave and make a recommendation, if appropriate.

2.     Invite Dr. Tod Burke to meet with the committee regarding possible concerns with the Grade Appeals document.

3.     Review how other universities assist with spousal/partner hires and make a recommendation for how RU might address this.

4.     Review legal issues for universities in Virginia associated with domestic partner benefits and make a recommendation addressing this issue, if possible.

5.     Review and make a recommendation for a faculty leave policy for parental leave.

6.     Examine the format and use of evaluations in online teaching and the possibility of moving toward the use of student online evaluations in all courses. Coordinate with the Student Evaluation of Teaching IG and the Online Teaching Task Force.

7.     Investigate the feasibility and desirability of initiating a fall break.

8.     Make recommendations to the chairs’ council and Academic Affairs Leadership Team for training that addresses issues such as leave policies and other policies that are not uniformly known by all faculty and chairs. Also consider training that addresses issues such as those at http://faculty.washington.edu/olmstd/research/Mentoring.html for mentoring new faculty.

9.     Assess faculty satisfaction with the reliability and usability of D2L, such as with respect to D2L down time. Read online reviews and comparisons with other learning management systems to determine whether D2L is our best option at RU.


Governance Committee Objectives

1.     Collect and report data pertaining to the annual evaluation of Deans, adhering to personnel timetables.

2.     Consider whether to make a recommendation regarding chairs/directors term limits.

3.     Collaborate with Provost Minner and/or Vice Provost Bill Kennan to follow up on last year’s passed motion regarding recommended creation of the new rank for senior instructor for special purpose faculty. What concerns, if any, exist? Are modifications needed to the proposal? Are there ways to make the proposal a reality?

4.     Discuss if Library staff should be included in the Library Dean’s evaluation. The handbook says only T&R and A/P faculty evaluate the Dean; however, the library staff have had the opportunity to evaluate the dean at points in the past. Consider also whether handbook revisions are needed.

5.     Review and provide feedback on any drafts of internal governance documents that come forward from the FSEC and/or the Internal Governance Reform Task Force. Ensure that revised documents clarify responsibilities, address redundancies, reduce number of committees, and simplify the decision process.

6.     Make a recommendation to revise the Faculty Handbook and faculty evaluation process to allow more flexibility in percentages among the categories of teaching, research, and service. Adjust Handbook language to more appropriately reflect the number of courses taught, professional contributions, and service. Consider whether to make a recommendation that student evaluation scores represent no more than ___ % of the teaching evaluation.

7.     Revise the Faculty Handbook to align with AAUP recommendations that faculty teaching graduate courses teach no more than 9 credit hours per semester. Consider whether to make any additional recommendations regarding teaching workload.

8.     Review tenure policies in departments and in the Faculty Handbook and consider appropriateness and statistical possibility of wording, which in some cases states that anyone seeking tenure must be “above average”

9.     Review the standards and evaluation process with respect to teaching when it comes to tenure and promotion and make recommendations for revisions needed in the Faculty Handbook.

10.  Follow up to see that the Faculty Handbook language concerning the Appeals and Grievance processes is updated to correspond to the new website language.


Resource Allocation Committee Objectives

1.     Generate ideas to enhance cost efficiency of the undergraduate degree at Radford University. Review relevant literature in this area and think creatively about what approaches we could take as an institution to stay ahead of the competition. How can we create value while reducing costs? Related to this, identify critical stakeholders RU is trying to satisfy (e.g., students, faculty, employers, the state, the region and community, society in general), identify the values of each of those stakeholder groups (e.g., what students are we trying to attract and what do they value?  We are looking for the most important values of each group, hopefully no more than three or four values per group), and generate dashboard measures for each. The measures need to allow the formation of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time specific) goals for each dashboard indicator.  We can then use the dashboard to measure performance against the SMART goals systematically overtime.  For example, of COACHE was used as a dashboard value for faculty some target levels would be determined and the COACHE results would then be tracked against the goals overtime using a dashboard approach.

2.     Investigate the financial impact of increasing raises associated with promotions and make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate as to whether this option for increasing salaries should be pursued.  This would include an examination of the financial impact of the increased raises for future promotions, as well as the impact of increasing raises retroactively.

3.     Discuss and investigate the other mechanisms through which faculty salaries may be increased.  Make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate regarding the mechanisms that should be used in the future to determine faculty salary increases.  This recommendation would include factors that may be considered in determining raise amounts, such as salary compression and inversion, and the role of merit in determining raises.

4.     Investigate the financial costs associated with the establishment of Distinguished Professor positions, and make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate as to whether Radford University should establish Distinguished Professor positions.

5.     Liase with the Faculty Issues Committee to discuss the possibility of charging half tuition for children of faculty members and staff at Radford University.  The issue has been discussed previously as a cross-institutional possibility, but has not been discussed at a specific institutional level.

6.     Investigate the cost of administrivia; specifically, the costs associated with requiring faculty to complete administrative paperwork.  This investigation would include calculating estimates of how much time faculty spend on the completion of paperwork, the types of administrative paperwork that faculty are required to complete, as well as calculating an estimate of the total cost to the University for faculty time associated with the completion of administrative paperwork.  

7.     Investigate the financial costs associated with increasing the travel allowance for faculty members.


Faculty Senate Executive Council Objectives

1.     Roll out the results of the COACHE survey as well as the institutional response plans. Organize the COACHE Forum on Thursday, August 29 at 3:30 p.m.

2.     Work with administration to help support faculty salary adjustments as well as faculty workload adjustments.

3.     Revise internal governance document and review draft(s) with Faculty Senate.

4.     Organize the process of Core Curriculum reform, in collaboration with the Curriculum Committee.

5.     Recommend reinstating the faculty dinner at the beginning of each academic year and having lunchroom space in a prominent location for the Faculty Club.

6.     Set up small team to meet with the Attorney General’s office regarding our intellectual property proposal from last year: Laura Jacobsen, Ian Barland, Matt Dunleavy, and Sam Minner. (Anyone else?) Are there any legal issues with the Intellectual Property Committee’s proposal? If not, then send this to Governance Committee for a recommendation to the Senate. If so, then ask the Intellectual Property Committee to revise the document based on the feedback from the Attorney General’s office.

7.     Work with administrators to discuss where the institution is going over the next 5, 10, or 20 years and what the strategic priorities are.

8.     Propose a summer school model for administrative consideration.