December 12, 2002
The Advisory Council of Faculty (ACF) met at the HEPC Building in Charleston on Thursday, December 12, to discuss a variety of issues and prepare for the Higher Education Policy Commission meeting (HEPC) Friday
The following details the Thursday ACF meeting and the Friday HEPC meeting:
Thursday ACF Meeting
Endorsements of 2003 Faculty Legislative Concerns
The following campus senates have thus far approved the four 2003 Faculty Legislative Concerns: Shepherd, Northern WVCTC, WVUŠParkersburg, WV State, WV Tech, Fairmont State, WVSOM, and Concord. The remaining campus senates were asked to endorse the legislative agenda prior to the January visit with legislators.
Faculty Legislative Plan of Action
Chair Moore (Fairmont) obtained clarification from the Chancellor concerning the ethical procedure for ACF members to proceed with legislative contacts. The Chancellor determined that if the ACF travels to Charleston for any regularly scheduled meeting, it is permissible to go as a group as well to visit legislators. A January 23 ACF meeting in Charleston will be followed by January 24 visit to the capitol for a number of face-to-face contacts with key legislators (i.e., chair and members of Education Committee, as well as other legislators identified from the survey feedback.
It was suggested that legislative responses be tabulated and charted as they are received so that a record could be shared with all ACF constituents. Legislators must respond prior to December deadline. The ACF will study and discuss the results of the survey at the January 23 ACF meeting.
ACF Endorsement of the Tobacco Tax Increase:
Vice-chair Jim Nemitz (WVSOM), conducting the ACF meeting in the absence of Chair Moore, explained that passage of the .55 tobacco tax increase was imperative for the financial health of the State. The tax increase will be used to support Medicaid costs for the State. If the tax increase is not passed (and there is a possibility that it will not be passed), then the cost of Medicaid will come from those funds earmarked for other expenditures, including higher education.
A motion was made that the ACF strongly endorse a Tobacco Tax Increase (MVP Shurbutt suggested that when we discuss our legislative concerns at the capitol on January 24, we begin with our endorsement of this important piece of legislation. The consensus was that it was an important health issue for the State as well as an economic issue. ACF faculty constituents are asked to call or email state representatives and urge passage of the Tobacco Tax Increase.
Final Draft of Administrative Evaluation: The final draft of the Evaluation of Institutional Administrators, charged to the ACF to write, was approved
Evaluation of Institutional
The Higher Education Policy Commission has set guidelines that require faculty and non-classified staff to have salary increases based substantially on merit. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that each institution has on place a policy for the evaluation of all major administrators as defined by the institution (such as President, vice-presidents, deans, and other designated administrators). This evaluation of administrators should be multidimensional including input from students, staff, and faculty. The inclusion of more voices and points of view in the evaluation process increases the accountability of the evaluation process, as well as the entire higher education system:
All administrators shall receive a yearly evaluation of performance directly related to responsibilities defined by the institution. Evaluation procedures shall be developed by the institutional Board of Governors, and a copy sent to the Policy Commission and filed in the HEPC Central Office. Such procedures must be multidimensional and include criteria such as peer evaluations, student, faculty and staff evaluations, and evaluations by immediate supervisors. Boards of Governors of institutions that have regional campuses must also approve the evaluation procedure developed by regional campuses of all major administrators. Institutions that have regional campuses must include in their criteria procedures and evaluations from the applicable regional campus constituencies of the main campus administrators.
ACF Presentation to HEPC
Several options were discussed for the spring HEPC presentation, including focusing on a specific issue, such as "faculty productivity" (i.e., week in the life of a professor) or faculty recommendations concerning budget cuts. After some discussion it was determined that the faculty might be better served by our simply updating the HEPC about what the ACF has attempted to accomplish in the past few months. The image of a more proŠactive Advisory Council of Faculty would be useful.
Request from President Beasley concerning Higher Education Awareness Committee
Amy Pitzer, ACCE Chair, asked Connie Moore to have the ACF discuss a proposal put forth by President Beasley of Concord that the Higher Education Awareness Committee be expanded to include three presidents and thee students, in addition to three ACCE and three ACF members. Jim Nemitz asked Sylvia Shurbutt to bring up the topic with ACCE Higher Education Awareness Committee members when they meet later in the evening. (Tim Haines is also a member of this joint ACCE/ACF Committee.)
Report from Bruce Flack Dr. Flack noted that there were several issues in the pipeline that would become new policies in the future. Among these is the topic of Teacher Certification A study for LOCEA that will make recommendations concerning Praxis scores and whether cut-off scores are appropriate will be forth coming. Flack mentioned other studies that have already been prepared for LOCEA (see November ACF report). There was some general discussion among ACF members and Dr. Flack, with Flack noting there were some exceptions to budget cuts, including research activities and some of the grant programs. Flack also noted that in all the years that he had worked in the system, the current "crisis" had "ominous overtones for the State." There will be some extraordinary belt-tightening in the system, including some personnel cuts, Flack said. It is clear, Flack noted, that the economic crisis will continue for several years. Dr. Flack will try to arrange for the Chancellor and ACF members to meet in the future to discuss various concerns of faculty.
Some Observations on the Friday HEPC Meeting
Report on Determining Salary Levels for Non-Classified Employees: This report was deferred.
Budget Reductions for 2003:
A 3.4% budget reduction will go into effect on January 3, (2.8 million dollar total reduction). Local BOG's will implement reductions on each campus. (Guidelines for implementing 2003 budget reductions are available in hardcopy.)
Tuition and Fee Policy
The proposal was delayed for more revision by the Chancellor (available).
Other proposals, policies, and HEPC information available in hardcopy include:
Revision of Retirement Plan Recommendations, 2) Shepherd Capital Financing Plan, 3) Proposed WV Center for Nursing, 4) 2002 WV Rural Health Education Partnerships and State Recruitment and Retention
(a power point presentation with a good deal of useful data and information is included).
Note: As the weather was becoming progressively gloomier and IŠ68 was looming large in my imagination, I left the meeting earlier than I'd planned. However, Patty Shafer (WV State) stayed until he end and reported the following:
Joe Wyatt from Marshall University asked for and received a short time to make a presentation to the Policy Commission today. It was the very last item on the agenda. He gave a very reasoned and respectful presentation urging HEPC support of a bill the AFT will introduce at the next Legislative Session to increase the size of the HEPC from 9 to 12 members to add a faculty, a student, and a staff member. He asked that if they could not support this measure, that they please not oppose it. He referred to the fact that John Hoblitzell had served as the first student representative on the Board of Regents. Mr. Hoblitzell asked him what was his understanding of the reason faculty, staff, and the students do not serve. Joe responded he understood it was because all they ever contributed was whining about their salaries being so low. . . . Tom Jones called for questions from the Commissioners but not from the audience so I made no comment on behalf of the ACF."
The next meeting of the ACF will be January 23, at which time members will prepare for meetings with State Legislators. Send your comments and ideas to Sylvia.
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