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					 1                                             Academic Senate
 2                                        Meeting of January 17, 2007
 3
 4                                                  MINUTES
 5
 6   Present: E. Accampo, M. Apostolos, M. Bolas, J. Brecher, S. Carnicke, R. Coffey, P. Conti,
 7   A. Crigler, D. Endres, J. Gates, L. Golubchik, H. Greenwald, N. Hanel, J. Holtzman, K. Howell,
 8   M. Jorgensen, A. Kezar, B. Kosko (alternate for E. Chew), V. Longo, C. Malone, M. Matarić,
 9   S. Montgomery, J. Moore, S. Murphy, A. Neville-Jan, M. Nichol, J. Nyquist, D. Shook, A. Showrai,
10   D. Stram, R. Walker, W. Wolf (alternate for S. Louie), D. Yett
11
12   Absent: M. Aranda, D. Ghirardo, N. Hollyn, G. Keating, D. Larsen, P. Lightfoot, P. Norindr,
13   S. Oglesby, M. Omar
14
15   Guests: R. Labaree, M. Levine, C.L. Max Nikias, M Philadelphia
16
17
18   The meeting was called to order by President Maja Matarić at 2:50 p.m.
19
20      1. Approval of December, 2006 Senate minutes – Yes – 15; No – 0; Abstain – 0          M. Jorgensen
21
22      2. Announcements/Reminders                                                            M. Matarić
23
24          Professor Apostolos reported that the last Senate Newsletter (Fall 2006) had a Meet the
25          Executive Board section; the next issue (Spring 2007) will have Meet the Senate section – be
26          advised that photos will be taken at the February Senate meeting.
27
28          Discussion is continuing on the matter of medical benefits for retired faculty.
29
30          A Department of Contracts and Grants memo from Todd Dickey has been distributed – please
31          review and provide input to the Research Administration Task Force.
32
33          The new Center for Excellence in Research (CER) fellow program has been announced – details
34          were distributed; additional information has been emailed to all faculty. Applications are
35          encouraged.
36
37          The Salon Series is a part of CER, consisting of lunches every other week for groups of up to 15
38          faculty. Discussion leaders need to be identified; please send names to Professors Matarić or
39          Narayanan or to Connie Roque. These gatherings are intended to be informal intellectual
40          discussions, and will be publicized in next issue of the Chronicle.
41
42          Highlights of the most recent Provost’s Council Meeting were presented:
43
44                        New Deans for the schools of Architecture and Gerontology were introduced.
45                        A Dean search for the Keck School of Medicine was announced.
46                        A significant increase in the PhD fellowship pool will be forthcoming.
47                        A task force has been established to evaluate plans to include an Acute Care clinic
48                         for faculty and staff in the new UPC Student Health Center. This task force is in
49                      addition to and separate from the group evaluating plans for the new Student
50                      Health Center.
51                     Additional hiring continues at the Washington, D.C. Center for Research
52                      Development.
53                     The University’s goal is to conduct six UCAR’s per year (currently three are
54                      underway).
55                     Agendas of the Provost’s Council meetings are on file in the Senate office.
56
57      Update from the Senate Nominating Committee                               A. Crigler
58            The Committee has been meeting and is proceeding to establish an excellent slate of
59            candidates for the Spring election of Executive Board Officers and Members at Large.
60
61      Vice Provost Levine explained that there are concerns that some part-time faculty are also
62      teaching at other institutions in the L.A. area. This may detract from USC’s reputation, and it is
63      also not fair to faculty who need a full time salary and benefits. Ideally, all faculty would be full
64      time and tenured. Selected cases of individuals with unique expertise teaching part time may be
65      appropriate.
66
67
68   3. Dialogue with the Provost                                                         C. L. Max Nik ias
69
70      The newly appointed CIO, Ilee Rhimes, will be starting February 1 st.
71      The PhD Fellowship Program was established 3 years ago; money is allocated to schools to
72      recruit the very best PhD students (currently $4M/yr); this has had a very positive effect on PhD
73      programs, and is consistent with the fact that Undergraduate success has also been enhanced with
74      financial aid. The PhD Fellowship Fund will be increased this summer to $11M/yr; this increase
75      may allow for approximately an additional 100 PhD candidates.
76
77      Question – Considering historical information on tuition remission for TA’s and RA’s, is the
78      new Keck policy requiring PI’s to subsidize grad students tuition wise? Response – Grants are
79      for research, faculty and students working together, thereby training future researchers and
80      PhD’s in academia and industry.
81
82      Question - At Keck, 25% of tuition is charged to the grant, as it has been at Viterbi for the past
83      several years. Is it likely that this rate will increase? Response – There are no current plans to
84      increase the rate – the intent is not to increase the rate – if an increase ever is necessary, notice
85      will be given far in advance.
86
87      Question – Currently proposed Faculty Handbook revisions have frequent references to the
88      Provost – do you have any strong feelings on tenure, sick leave, etc? Response – I have not
89      studied the proposed revisions; I will review them for discussion at a later date.
90
91      Discussion took place regarding the Graduate School PhD pool and the hiring of one staff vs two
92      grad student RA’s to accomplish the same amount of work.
93
94      Question – Regarding USC Stevens (an expansion on the Office of Technology and Licensing) –
95      a recent survey generated some concerns – applied research is more difficult in the arts and
96      humanities – does USC Stevens represent a shift in emphasis toward applied research? Response
 97      – Not at all; there is no increased emphasis on applied research; in fact USC Stevens represents
 98      an expansion with more inclusion of arts and humanities.
 99
100      Comment – Regarding the conflict of ‘rush to patent’ vs ‘benefit to humanity’ – suggest USC
101      does not overemphasize commercialization of research. Response – The driving force is students
102      and learning; the 1st priority is not patenting and making money.
103
104      Provost Nikias was asked what his major concerns are. Response – conducting 6 national Dean
105      searches simultaneously – so far all searches are going well, with excellent candidate pools; it is
106      hoped that the searches will be finalized by this summer.
107
108      Thoughts on the Keck School of Medicine Dean search – Brian Henderson is interim Dean for 3
109      years. Qualities mentioned in the Provost’s memo announcing the search were reviewed. The
110      firm working on the search recently completed a search at Michigan (Ann Arbor) and has
111      promised an excellent candidate pool in 60 days. The goal is to move Keck to the top 20 in 5 -7
112      years.
113
114   4. Discussion on the Faculty Handbook issues                                             M. Nichol
115
116      Efforts are being made to provide documents to Senators earlier to allow more time for review
117      prior to discussion and or voting. Input for proactive changes is encouraged. Sec 4 will be
118      discussed at next month’s meeting.
119      Proposed revisions to section 3 were discussed:
120      Disambiguation – instances of the term ‘generally’ have largely been removed.
121      Notification of Absences guidelines have been modified following last month’s discussion.
122      NTT policies at school levels vs in the handbook; NTT policies may not be consistent among
123      schools; suggest all schools post their policies on the web – some already do.
124      Communication with faculty regarding handbook revisions – improvements are ongoing; how do
125      faculty councils communicate with all of their faculty? Input is encouraged regarding additional
126      improvements in disseminating information to faculty – this will be relayed to the
127      Communication Pathways Task Force.
128      Suggestions – there is a need for specific rationale for all handbook modifications; suggest using
129      a California labor attorney to review revisions.
130      Question – Why are the guidelines for granting sabbaticals being altered? Response – The
131      proposed revision would allow sabbatical leave denials based on merit (i.e. lack of) – also, when
132      warranted, sabbaticals could be granted more often or for more than 50% salary – this change is
133      intended to make sabbaticals more flexible in order to grant more worthy proposals and deny
134      unworthy ones.
135      Comment - If sabbaticals are more flexible to coincide with Guggenheim grants, faculty should
136      get time off for the Guggenheim grant in addition to their regular sabbatical.
137      Extensive discussion of sabbaticals ensued.
138      Comment - Requirements for reporting absences seems excessive.
139      Question - can voting be done on each proposed change? Response - Input will be returned to
140      the Handbook Committee and revisions will be made prior to voting.
141      A suggestion was made to focus on one area at a time vs diverse revisions.
142      Question – Must the Senate vote on these revisions? Response - The Senate will decide when to
143      make decisions and recommendations.
144      Question – Why was the sick leave section modified? Response – The reason for clarifying sick
145      leave/absence issues is to facilitate the use of disability funds.
146          A motion was made to divide handbook revisions into small related groups for discussion and/or
147          voting, and to disclose where each change initiated. After discussion, the motion was brought to
148          a vote:
149
150          The Motion to review handbook changes in small related groups passed unanimously (yes – 19,
151          no – 0, abstain – 0.
152
153          Please send Faculty Handbook comments and input to the Committee Chair, Professor Nichol -
154          mnichol@usc.edu
155
156      5. New business – Kenneth Servis, Dean of Academic Records and Registrar informed the Senate
157         of an issue about the Fall 2007 calendar. Final exams are scheduled to finish on Wednesday,
158         December 19, 2007. The University is open only two more days before closing for the winter
159         recess. Normally faculty members are given four working days after the final to turn in grades.
160         Since the University is closed from December 22 through January 1 this year, the four working
161         days would be December 20 and 21 and January 2 and January 3. If this schedule were followed,
162         Fall 2007 grades would not be available on students’ records until January 6, 2008.
163         Several possible adjustments have been suggested:
164         a)     Reduce the deadline to three days after the final for grade submission;
165         b)    Allow grades to be submitted on Saturday December 22;
166         c)    Reduce the number of study days by 1 and have final exams T-T December 11-18;
167         d)    Include Saturday December 15 as an exam day and have finals W-T December 12-18
168         including December 15;
169          A combination of these would be necessary if grades are to be submitted prior to the holiday
170         break.
171
172          Comments included concerns that even if faculty worked into the recess, staff support at their
173          schools would likely not be available. A suggestion was made to avoid scheduling finals with
174          large numbers of students on the last day of finals week.
175
176          Senators are encouraged to provide additional comments and suggestions by January 25 to:
177          <mailto:serviske@usc.edu>serviske@usc.edu
178
179   The meeting adjourned at 4:40 pm.
180
181
182   Respectfully Submitted,
183
184
185   Michael Jorgensen, DDS
186   Secretary General of the Academic Senate

				
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