Academic Senate Executive Board
December 11, 2000
Present: Jacob Coughlin, Elaine Daniels, Richard Davenport, Robert Lee, John Robertson, Mary Senter, presiding
Guests: John Dinse
Senter began by suggesting that time be provided for a forum to discuss capital projects on campus. It was suggested
that a good time for this might be at an upcoming academic senate meeting, perhaps early in the spring semester.
Senter announced that a joint letter from Senter and Davenport was sent out to department chairs regarding the
updating of master syllabi and the need for an updated copy of the master syllabus to be in the offices of
departments, colleges, and Academic Senate. She stressed that updated master syllabi are necessary for the
upcoming NCA accreditation visit and for the proper functioning of the curricular process.
2. Provost’s Report
Davenport announced that he is working with Gary Peer on the position announcement for the search for the dean of
the College of Extended Learning and that he is obtaining input from various groups in developing the
Davenport announced that a five-member administrative team from CMU has been invited to participate in an
Executive Education for Higher Education Leadership workshop sponsored by the Wharton School (University of
Pennsylvania). The CMU team will develop a plan for raising academic standards at the institution. Once the team
returns to campus there will be a university-wide discussion on raising academic standards.
Davenport suggested that during the next semester the report on the self-study of the Academic Senate be finalized.
He said that all pieces of the report have been prepared, and they just need to be assembled and edited.
3. Update on Annual Reports
Senter led in a discussion reviewing a document summarizing general suggestions and concerns/unfinished business
from annual reports for Academic Senate committees. The first four pages of this document were discussed.
Discussion of the remaining pages will resume at the next meeting of the executive board.
Senter mentioned that she will write a letter to the different committee chairs thanking them for their reports and
briefly commenting on their activities.
4. Proposed Ad Hoc Committee on Governance for Teacher Education
Nominations for this committee were briefly discussed. Additional nominations will be made from the floor during
the next academic senate meeting. Senter suggested that John Dinan serve on this committee as the Executive Board
5. Task Force on the Effects of Academic Reorganization: John Dinse
Davenport thanked Dinse and the committee for their hard work on the report. Davenport commented on some of
his concerns with the report. One, in particular, was that it was based on “perceptions” rather than hard data and that
it seemed that the recommendations are “all across the board.”
Dinse commented that he recognized that the report has limitations but that this is essentially due to the limitations of
the data that were collected. Senter pointed out that despite the fact that the report is based on “perceptions,”
perceptions are intrinsically valuable and represent what people think, feel, and act upon.
Davenport mentioned that he had recently met with the Council of Deans, that this body discussed the report, and
that there was concern expressed about assuming that the report supports the idea that faculty feel they are being
“micro-managed by deans.” Davenport also commented that there was unanimous objection by the deans to use of
the term “micro-managed” in the minutes of the November 27 senate executive board.
Dinse pointed out that on page 13 of the Task Force Report opportunity was given for faculty respondents to provide
written, open-ended comments and that on question 6A there were 15 comments on academic reorganization
resulting in deans being “more intrusive” and comments regarding “top down decision-making” and “micro-
management.” He pointed out that page 12 of the report indicates that “...two-thirds of faculty respondents perceive
more management of departments by dean’s offices. Slightly over one-half rate this as a negative consequence of
There was considerable discussion of this point with a majority of Executive Board members in support of the idea
that faculty perceive that they are “micro-managed” and that the report does support this perception. Senter
commented that regardless of the “reality” there is a “perception” that, in a number of instances, considerable tension
exists between faculty and deans and that the “reality” is that many faculty feel “micro-managed.” Citing a
paragraph in the middle of page 16 of the report, Dinse pointed out that the report indicates that two-thirds of faculty
and chairs “perceived deans as engaging in more management of departments. A majority of faculty respondents and
almost a majority of responding chairs perceive this increased management as a negative. On the other hand, it could
be viewed as a positive if it were the case that, prior to reorganization, the university was undermanaged due to
departments having too little supervision from deans’ offices. Despite the ambiguity of this issue, the shift in the role
of deans’ offices has generated an atmosphere that is, for many, the most overall negative effect of reorganization.”
There was consensus among the Executive Board that the Task Force Report be presented at the next senate meeting
and that there be a motion to accept the report after Dinse’s overview presentation. The four recommendations that
Senter developed were discussed as were ways the Provost can facilitate open communication with chairs and deans.
The four recommendations were endorsed by the Executive Board. They will be moved by an Executive Board
member after the report has been accepted (assuming that it will be accepted).
6. Selection of Formal Hearing Committee
Senter announced that a grievance had been forwarded (stage two of the senate’s grievance process) from the
University Grievance Review Committee and that a Formal Hearing Committee (stage three) needed to be selected.
Senter briefly reviewed the procedure for selecting the eight members of the Formal Hearing Committee. Then,
using a random number table, the members of this committee were selected. Senter will contact the faculty selected.
7. Calendar Committee Recommendations
There was discussion on how to proceed with the calendar committee recommendations. It was decided that
Davenport should ask Ray Christie and Karen Hutslar to develop a schedule that would include 15-minute breaks
between classes. In addition, they should study “whether the day and evening class scheduling could be separate”
and whether the “student populations for day and evening classes are relatively different.”
Meeting adjourned at approximately 11:00 a.m.
Robert D. Lee, Secretary