Faculty Senate Minutes
Monday, April 2, 2012, 3:10 p.m., Cumberland Room
Kurtis Adams (MUSC) X
Rosalie Barretta (HPERS) X
Roland Bergman (SOC/GEOG) X
Jason Best (IEPS) X
Heidi Dobish (PSY) X
Sonya Evanisko (ART) X
Caroline Glackin (BADM) X
Max Guirguis (PSCI) X
Heidi Hanrahan (ENG/LANG) X
Ann Henriksson (LIB) X
Douglas Horner (SCWK) X
Clarise Ottley (NURS) X
Robert Parkinson (HIST) X
John Schultz (ECON) X
Sylvia Shurbutt (ACF)
J. W. Thatcher (ACCT)
J. B. Tuttle (EDUC) X
Eugene Volker (CHEM) X
Qing Wang (CME) X
Joyce Webb (COMM) X
David Wing (BIOL) X
Guests present: VPEM Scranage, Dean Benedict, Dean Hicks, Dean Legreid, Dean Nolan, Dean Watson, Bookstore manager
Miller, Retention Specialist Cole.
I. Approval of March 19, 2012 Senate Minutes: m/s/p u
A. Spring Assembly meeting April 9, 2012, 4:10 pm, EO Byrd Hall Auditorium
B. Chronicle Great Colleges to Work For 2012 Survey due Friday April 13, 2012
C. Humans vs. Zombies: war is being waged on campus currently. Senate President Best has
asked VP Segar for this to be addressed ASAP.
III. Guests/Unfinished/New Business:
A. Bookstore Information Request Follow-up (Book Division Manager Miller)
In response to the February text buyback issue, Ms. Miller is in attendance today,
following up on her email to the campus community. Ms. Miller encouraged all faculty
to get their text orders for fall to her ASAP, so the bookstore can react accordingly. Ms.
Miller also pointed out that the bookstore online ordering process is not mandatory, but
optional, and that this tool does not show historical adoptions in a given course. The
bookstore and campus Banner system are not connected. The bookstore is currently
studying acquiring a new, more user-friendly tool for online adoptions. Senator
Parkinson noted that the pushback of the text adoption date made it concurrent with
advising. Ms. Miller encouraged all faculty to get their known desires for course texts as
soon as possible, in order to facilitate text acquisition. In response to a question from
Senator Guirguis, Ms. Miller confirmed that older editions of texts may be used, which
may result in savings for students in these cases. Ms. Miller noted that she orders texts
B. Retention Update (Retention Specialist Cole)
Ms. Cole presented to the Senate earlier in the year, and returns today to catch the Senate
up on the latest in Retention. Ms. Cole presented today on results of the withdrawing
student survey, completion of the 2010-2012 Retention office Assessment Plan,
implementing strategies set forth in the Student Success Plan, and continuation of data
analysis. Also faculty provided seven areas for more information.
1. Broad reasons for withdrawing: Retention is now trying to redesign the form to focus
that information and get it from more students, and to centralize information.
2. Retention Assessment plan: is available on the WEAVE site, and assessed ILOs,
undecided student attrition, and reasons for student withdrawal. Several new items
will be assessed in the 2012-14 cycle, including TRIO and collaborative efforts.
3. Common factors that impact attrition/retention: Ms. Cole continues to pursue this
issue, and noted that this information changes based on place and time. One known
factor is high school GPA, which had the highest correlation with attrition. Shepherd
tends to lose its students from both ends of the gpa range. Data indicate that it is
what happens after students arrive at Shepherd that has the highest impact on
4. Retention plan of specific departments: the office of Retention would be happy to
meet with any or all departments to study department-specific patterns.
5. Effect of student academic readiness: no significant correlation to attrition,
coursework for students who may be at risk, use of the SRI, now in year four,
targeted interventions for at risk students.
6. Are we trying to make good students out of bad students? Shepherd is one of few
schools in WV that is allowed to accept students under contract, and that our
standards for admission are high. SU focuses on student success as well as retention.
Ms. Cole noted the difference between ability and motivation to succeed, choice of
study may be a factor, age may be a factor, and Retention works with students and
families for whom a “withdraw” would be beneficial. SU is “intrusive, not invasive”
in its retention efforts.
7. Plans for disseminating findings: presentation to Senate twice yearly, willingness to
come to departments, open to determining the best way for faculty to receive
In response to a question about diversity as a factor on retention from Senator Ottley,
Ms. Cole noted that “race and ethnicity” are used, but this is self-reported
information. Ms. Cole noted that her office is studying also the TRIO program for
emerging patterns. Senator noted the potential use of exit surveys: Ms. Cole noted
that these have been tried, with a less-than-ten percent response/return rate. Senator
Ottley noted that she would coordinate with Ms. Cole to provide this information
concerning nursing program students. Senator Dobish inquired as to what patterns
may have emerged concerning the Psychology department’s loss of majors to other
majors on campus. Ms. Cole suggested a survey question set be developed to probe
this issue. Senator Wang asked about students leaving IES; Ms. Cole responded that
the Retention Office is trying to find the balance between brevity and including all
important information areas, and is seeking ways to coordinate with academic
advisors, to whom exiting students may share this information. Senator Wang asked
a follow-up question about the relationship between attrition patterns at Shepherd and
at other universities: Ms. Cole noted that this information is not typically available
from other universities. Senator Evanisko noted that the Art department keeps
records of complete withdrawals, and noted the extreme range of responses students
provide, much of the info personal. Ms. Cole suggested that perhaps this info could
be funneled to Retention; Senator Evanisko noted that it is time-consuming to report
data to each administrative office (Admissions, CTL, Registrar, Enrolment
Management). Ms. Cole responded that her office is seeking ways not to burden
faculty, but to acquire the information. Senator Webb relayed information from
faculty she has heard, including faculty reluctance to supply certain information the
student should be supplying. Ms. Cole noted that she would return to those
documents and proofread for clarity that students are being sent to faculty as needed.
Senator Parkinson noted that many of these retention efforts constitute in loco
parentis, that students should carry the responsibility for their actions, and that
retention efforts may have the effect of infantilizing students. It was suggested that
some faculty do not respond to some retention emails for this reason. Ms. Cole
concluded by noting that if SU can better understand why students are leaving, the
university may be able to help some of these students in ways that keep them from
leaving the university. The Retention office will present to the Senate each
November and April.
C. Other business:
1. Need for December graduation: as of late March, there are ~640 students
walking at commencement in May. Of these, ~60 would have been August
graduates, and ~215 would have been December graduates. The VPAA
asked Senator Best to relay to the Senate that President Shipley is moving
toward including a December graduation. Departments need to begin
dialogue on this issue. In response to question from Senator Wing, Senator
Best replied that this would be a certified graduation, a tradition at Shepherd.
The registrar’s office indicated that they would need about a week to certify
the graduates. There are a number of discussions currently ongoing, but this
is a likely direction in the near future.
2. Elections: Senator Best distributed a handout detailing the Senate offices that
are re-elected. Senator Best read to the Senators the day/time each
Administrative Council Committee meets. Senator Best noted that the IRB is
being moved from the Senate to the Assembly, and asked President Shipley
about the gap. Resolution: the Senate will hold the IRB through the end of
the academic year. When the new president is elected, s/he will chair the
IRB until the Assembly takes it over, which should be a period of a few
weeks. Dean Nolan noted that she has done the IRB training in about 4-5
hours, and that participants (school reps) could go online and complete
3. The new Senate will be seated as the last item on the agenda for the April 16
IV. Committee Reports:
A. Admissions & Credits (Senator Webb):
1. Course substitution language changes: Senator Webb distributed a handout: the A and C
committee voted to keep the proposed language concerning appeal of course substitution
decisions the same. “An Admissions and Credits subcommittee constituting one member from
each School and the Chair of A and C (as a non-voting member except in the case of a tie vote)
will process the appeal. The vote will be held by secret ballot. The A and C committee
recommends honoring the signatory policy in place currently on the form. If the student or the
faculty is not satisfied with the decision of the A and C subcommittee, a final appeal can be made
to the VPAA of Shepherd University.” She noted that due process is guaranteed by final appeal to
the VPAA. Senators Parkinson and Best were concerned that such a process could put non-
content experts in the position of making appeal decisions. In response to questions, Senator
Webb said that this policy keeps the ownership of the decision in the department, but provides for
cases where the department instructor and chair are one and the same person. Questions were
asked concerning the need for the process to be put on A and C, instead of keeping the decision in
the department. The issue also arose that it would be wrong to put untenured department
members in conflict with Chairs. The process issue appears clearly handled by the proposed CS
language, but it is a concern that sometimes these decisions would include content decisions best
made by the department. Senator Evanisko suggested that the CS form could be amended to
include what happens in cases where the instructor and chair are one and the same, and what
happens in cases where the course is needed for a minor. In this case, disputes would be referred
to A and C, providing the due process/appeal element required and noted by the VPAA. Senator
Wing suggested a second change to the current GS form. Senator Best reported that University
Counsel believes that A and C already has jurisdiction over this process, and suggested that A
and C take up this issue in its next meeting (Wednesday), with the goal that the Senate not enact a
policy that would make this process worse rather than better.
2. Academic suspension: Senator Webb distributed a handout concerning proposed revised
language to the academic suspension process. This is to be taken back to departments for
feedback. Senator Evanisko asked for statistics: what percentage of SU students receive a third
suspension? Senator Webb noted that the Registrar’s office does encounter this issue; Senator
Wing noted that the phenomenon is very rare, like once every several years. Senator Ottley asked
for clarification of “admission” in “third suspension” language. Senator Dobish noted she works
with a student in this situation, and that some students may have medical contexts that may
warrant a dispensation other than dismissal for five years minimum. Senator Wing noted that
another issue is that students who have been suspended three times have very low GPAs, which
would take many years to bring back up to a 2.0. Senator Evanisko noted that A and C could
currently hear appeals on the 5-year period. Senator Webb responded that that appeal is true, and
that the proposed language just makes explicit that the policy is a 5 year suspension for students
suspended 3 times. Senator Best noted that this issue will come up again at the Senate’s April 16
meeting, and asked Senators to get feedback from their departments.
3. A and C voted to reject the Senate Bylaws changes.
B. Curriculum & Instruction (Senator Shurbutt): The last meeting of the year is next Monday as
the committee wraps up curricular proposals.
C. General Studies (Senator Dobish): GSC met March 21 (minutes distributed), and voted 12-4 to
reject Senate Bylaws changes. Second and first readings were also presented.
D. Honors Committee (Senator Parkinson): NR
E. Institutional Review Board (Senator Volker): doing brisk business
F. Library Committee (Senator Guirguis): NR
G. Professional Development (Senator Horner): Create the Future award given to Dr. Berenschot.
H. Scholarship & Awards (Senator Ottley): meeting again this coming Wednesday.
I. Senate Bylaws (Senator Shurbutt): Assembly vote on the Constitution change necessitated by
Senate Bylaws revision will occur next Monday; senators are asked to attend and join in the
discussion and debate as the proposal is introduced.
J. Washington Gateway (Senator Webb) NR
K. Calendar Committee (Senator Schultz) NR
L. Diversity & Equity Committee (Senator Hanrahan): NR
M. Enrollment Management Committee (Senator Wang) NR
N. Graduate Council (Senator Shurbutt): NR
O. Technology Oversight Committee (Senator Evanisko) has a meeting this Friday
P. Assessment Task Force (Senator Wing) NR; next meeting this Thursday.
Q. Budget Advisory Committee (Senator Adams) NR; has not met yet.
R. Internationalization Committee (Senator Bergman) NR
S. Student Success Committee (Senator Glackin) NR
T. Advisory Council of Faculty (Senator Shurbutt): NR