Advisory Council of Faculty Report

January 17, 2002

Members of the Advisory Council of Faculty met on Thursday, January 17, in the Higher Education Policy Commission building on Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston. Bruce Flack attended the meeting as well. The discussion began with Dr. Flack's report and update to faculty and concluded with discussion of those issues likely to come up at the January 18 HEPC meeting. Chairperson Connie Moore shared a number of handouts, including sheets on "Legislative Tracking" of WV House and Senate (hard copies available or click on "Tracking" at HEPC webpage at or see Dr. Dunlop's December 5 email with attachments) and the October 1 "Summary of Salary Increases in WV Higher Education" (copies available).

I. Dr. Flack's Report:

A. New Transfer of Credits Policy: This proposed policy draft on transfer of credits will repeal and replace Series 17 (November 9, 1992). While there are few substantive changes in transfer policy, the new proposed policy will serve to streamline and liberalize transfer policy through out the state. Two significant changes are recommended: 1) the expectation that each institution be flexible with technology web-based transfer of course-work, 2) the elimination or curtailment of a residency requirement of all students (draft available).

B. Proposed Minimum Baccalaureate Admission Standards: Dr. Flack shared the revised draft which lists the following basic admission standards for entering freshmen at state four-year institutions: English (4 required units), Social Studies (3 required units), Mathematics (4 required units), Science (3 required units), Arts/Communications/ Computer Applications (1 required unit), Foreign Language (2 required units). Dr. Flack noted that these admission requirements will become effective at the same time the upgraded high school graduation requirements go into effect (2007). He also shared some important data (which suggests the impact these new admission standards will have on higher education--i.e. large numbers of students will begin their higher education at the community college level: Percentage of First-Time Freshman Students With Composite ACT Scores Less than 19 and SAT Scores Less than 910
Bluefield 41%
Concord 34%
Fairmont 38%
Glenville 41%
Shepherd 26%
West Liberty 43%
WVS College 55%
Marshall 17%
WVU 15%
Dr. Flack noted that while the national average ACT scores are 21, the WV average is 20. A comment that was used to describe the new admission standards was "a community college enhancement program."

C. Evaluation of Administrators: Connie Moore asked Dr. Flack if Dr. Mullen had discussed with him the ACF letter requesting the HEPC to set some principles or guidelines for evaluation of administrators. Thus far, the ACF has had no response from Dr. Mullen, not even acknowledgement of receiving the letter. Moore's argument is as follows: In light of the policy basing salary increase on merit and in light of the specified principles for faculty evaluation, some guiding principles appear necessary for administrators as well. The argument also is that faculty have benefited from evaluative input coming from above (supervisors) and from below (students); that same "above" and "below" input would be beneficial for all administrators, thus improving the whole higher education team. Dr. Flack responded that there was a policy bulletin on administrative evaluation (#36, "Evaluation of Deans, Vice-Presidents and Other Major Administrators," copies available). This policy bulletin on administrative evaluation, which leaves establishing guidelines to the institutions, also mandates that institutions file such policy with the HEPC (July 2000).

D. Principles of Higher Education in the State Compact: Connie Moore asked Dr. Flack if Dr. Mullen had discussed with him ACF suggested revisions of the guiding principles of the state compact (revisions that Dr. Mullen had asked the ACF to provide in September but to which he has not responded). Moore also noted that neither the HEPC suggestions for revision nor ACF suggestions had been added to the compact. As of this time, the Compact Principles remain as Dr. Mullen had originally written them (see HEPC website). Dr. Flack said he had not seen the ACF revisions but asked for a copy. Connie Moore asked Dr. Shurbutt to please draft a letter to the Chancellor, with copies to members of the HEPC and to Dr. Flack, repeating our suggestions for revising the compact principles, which were judged divisive.

E. Promise Scholarships: According to Dr. Flack the legislature has funded only 3000 Promise Scholarships, hardly sufficient for the number of students likely to take advantage of the new program.

The discussion with Dr. Flack closed with his reminding faculty that February 5, 2002, is "College Day at the Legislature."

II. Faculty Presentation to HEPC: This important presentation will take place in February. Moore reminded those ACF members who had not yet forwarded their institutional information to Dr. Nemitz to please do so asap. We'll preview the presentation at the February meeting, the day before the HEPC meeting. The rest of the ACF meeting centered on discussion of the Ten Commitments, which were trimmed to Six.

III. Six Commitments: Presentation of the Six Principles or "Commitments" will conclude the ACF presentation to the Policy Commission in February and will become ACF guiding principles as we deal with the Chancellor and the HEPC. Most ACF members agreed that the "commitments" we came up with in past meetings were too self-serving and not likely to make positive impressions on the Policy Commission. We also agreed that the "commitments" should have a close connection to points made in the ACF presentation that Dr. Nemitz is preparing. The ACF agreed to eliminate the commitments dealing with "input in choosing peer institutions," "catastrophic leave policy," and "faculty right to serve in state legislature." The current draft is as follows:

Six Commitments for WV Higher Education The following "commitments" reflect the consensus of ACF members, who have consulted with faculty and staff of their respective institutions and who represent their voice. The ACF believes that the dynamic force behind higher education in the State is a fully supported and empowered faculty, the "engine that runs the machine." The ACF requests that these Six Commitments be similarly embraced by the Higher Education Policy Commission and by the Chancellor:

  • To recognize the necessity of faculty as full partners in shaping and leading higher education in the State of WV, a "partnership" model consistent with good management practices in general.
  • To recognize the importance of a core of full-time teaching staff, which is central to the effective and efficient running of any viable institution of higher learning.
  • To recognize the importance of faculty involvement in the economic and cultural life of the community, as the programs and projects that faculty bring to the community serve to enhance the lives of all West Virginians.
  • To recognize the importance of scholarly research and grant moneys brought to the State by faculty.
  • To extend the principles of faculty evaluation to administrators.
  • To support the mandated merit evaluations with sufficient professional development funding.

    Some Highlights of January 18 HEPC Meeting

    I. Concurrent Academic Policy Committee and Finance Committee Meetings:

    The Academic Policy Committee addressed, among other items, the Criteria for University Status issue (draft available), while the Finance Committee dealt with a number of budget issues, including the controversial Tuition and Fee Policy (draft available). The Chancellor proposed a number of changes to the Tuition and Fee Policy draft after some institutions, including Shepherd, objected to the proposed policy. The HEPC Finance Committee suggested that the Chancellor allow more time for the college presidents to give their input to the changes in the draft before the vote for approval. A meeting in early February was suggested to bring closure to the issue.

    II. HEPC Committee of the Whole:

    A. Institutional Compacts: The Chancellor reported that all campuses responded well to requests for revisions in compacts. The goals set by each campus will be closely monitored and compared to data campuses generate.

    B. Chancellor's Report: The Chancellor noted that he appreciated the fact that there is some sentiment, both in public schools and higher education, that many of the new requirements and initiatives (i.e., 2007 New High School Graduation Requirements and New Baccalaureate Admissions Requirements) have been mandated without appropriate funding. (For example, the Modern Language requirement will necessitate the hiring of new middle school and secondary faculty and, in some cases, the addition of Language Education programs in institutions training public school teachers.) The Chancellor also addressed the 3% budget cut issue and noted the Governor's recommended budget cuts to higher education (hard copy available or see Dr. Dunlop's email last week).

    The next HEPC regular meeting will be held in Charleston, February 15, 2002.

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