Advisory Council of Faculty Report

December 12, 2001

Several members of the ACF met at the Embassy Suites in Charleston Wednesday, December 12, prior to the HEPC meeting, to discuss some of the issues that would likely come up. The following was discussed informally:

1) Chancellor's Recommendations Responding to Fiscal Year 2003 General Revenue Budget Reduction Request: Connie Moore, ACF Chair, was concerned that Chancellor Mullen's specific cost cutting recommendations--which would impact programs, faculty lines, and classified employee staffing--made no comparable recommendations from the administrative area. Moore resolved to bring up the issue in the HEPC meeting later in the day.

2) ACF Letter to Chancellor Mullen (hardcopy available): ACF Chair Moore shared hardcopies of the letter sent from ACF to Dr. Mullen, which included two requests: a) a policy for the evaluation of all campus administrators which included faculty, student and staff input and managed by each college's BOG; b) specific information and data to assess outcomes from SB 547.

3) ACF Ten Commitments and February Presentation to HEPC: Shurbutt shared some of the Shepherd faculty concerns and recommendations for the Commitments. Some of these included the following: a) Careful consideration about #5 (peer institutions) so that our recommendation would not favor a particular institutions. (Moore agreed that many of the state colleges were content with their outside peer institutions, unlike WVU who seemed to be driving this "commitment");
b) Living wage for adjunct staff as an additional "commitment";
c) Equalization of funding to all comparable institutions within the system.

One Shepherd faculty member also observed that the commitments appear self-serving and did not reflect ACF concern about "enhancing the quality of the academic experiences" of students across the State. Moore agreed and noted that we have a good deal of refining still to do with the commitments before the February presentation.

4) Chancellor's Compact Principles: Moore shared that she had again emailed Dr. Mullen ACF recommendations for rewording the principles for the State Compact (see September 20 ACF report). Some of us suggested that a more formal hardcopy letter might be more appropriate as a more serious mode of communication (with copies to all HEPC members). Persistence seems warranted on this issue since the compact principles will serve as guiding principles for higher education policy in the coming years.

HEPC December 12 Meeting
Highlights for Faculty

1) Tuition and Fees: A new system of determining tuition and fees will be phased in over a six year period. The system will tie together the 2-year and 4-year institutions. Some generalized guiding principles were presented in a draft, along with data and numbers (available upon request).

2) Summary of October 1, 2001 Salary Increases in WV Higher Education: Policy Commission guidelines for Non-classified, Classified, and Faculty were shared. For faculty, the recommendation for salary increases will be based on "a mix of merit and catch-up funding until the salary goal has been achieved. Once the goal has been achieved, but not later than FY2005, all or a substantial part of salary increases shall be based on merit." Salary Increase Data comparing institutions across the state (October 1, 2001) was attached to the policy recommendation (available upon request).

3) Response to Fiscal Year 2003 General Revenue Budget Reduction Request: Connie Moore questioned the Chancellor about the omission of any cuts in administrative areas, since all other areas were open to cuts. Dr. Mullen responded that suggestions of administrative cuts had come to his office, but his list was only a sample representation for this hypothetical discussion.

4) Series 7, Promise Scholarship Program: Fifty-four percent of WV public school graduates go on to higher education. (The "Promise" Scholarship program has been conceived to provide "incentive for all West Virginia students to perform at a high academic level"; to "increase the college-going rate in West Virginia"; and to "develop an educated work force." The scholarship will be funded from lottery, video lottery, and other funding sources. A Promise Scholarship Board will administer the proposed program. The student criteria will includes "a GPA of 3.0 in the core courses and a 3.0 overall. The amount of award will be "based on the actual tuition and fee charges" of institutions and "also may include an allowance for books and supplies if approved by the Boards." A working draft of the proposal is available upon request.)

5) Chancellor's Report:

Performance of High School Students Enrolled in Public Colleges and Universities, Fall 2000: "Only 43 % of recent high school graduates complete college preparatory core courses in high schools. The lack of adequate preparation is reflected in the high proportion of West Virginia students who require developmental course work in their first semester of college. Thirty percent of recent high school graduates require developmental math courses and 18% require developmental English, reading, or writing course work. Overall, about 36% of these students take at least one developmental course." The Chancellor's Office supplied four tables of data detailing public school student performance, noting rate of college attendance, numbers of students enrolled in higher education institutions, average ACT scores, percentage of developmental courses taken, etc. (available upon request). It is clear that the Chancellor will attempt to improve WV higher education (and indirectly, public school education) by tightening admission standards: 4 English credits, 3 Social Studies credits, 4 mathematics credits, 3 science credits, 1 Arts/Communications/Computer Applications credits, and 2 Foreign Language credits. It is also clear that 4-year institutions will be impacted, as the plan is to have developmental education relegated to 2-year institutions only.

Undergraduate Transfers (Fall 2000): Some interesting statistics on transfer students (out-of-state, in-state private, in-state public) are available upon request. As we might expect, Shepherd is second only to WVU and Marshall in the numbers of out-of-state transfers.

The next HEPC meeting will be held in Charleston, January 18, 2002.

S. Bailey Shurbutt
Shepherd ACF Representative


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