October 18, 2001
The Advisory Council of Faculty met at Concord College, welcomed by Dr Jerry Beasley, President of Concord. Dr. Beasley took the opportunity to express some of his thoughts about the new organization of the State higher education system, stressing some of the positives and negatives particularly associated with the new governing boards of each institution. Afterward, Bruce Flack spoke to the Council, sharing the following information:
1) Electronic Campus Course Listings for Spring 2002: Bluefield State, WV Northern Community College, Marshall, West Virginia U., and West Virginia Institute of Technology have electronic course offerings for spring 2002. Dr. Flack again stressed the Chancellor's commitment to electronic campus offerings, as an efficient way to address "client-based" delivery of programs in higher education. The "academic common market" made possible through the web will also allow WV students to enroll in programs across the country. (The course listings are available through Dr. Shurbutt.)
2) Public School Teacher Quality in West Virginia: Dr. Flack shared with the Council an HEPC report to the legislature on ensuring teaching quality in the public school system. Among those recommendations were "strengthening the academic content in teacher education programs" and funding professional development for public school teachers. The report will be delivered to the legislature November 1 (draft is available through Dr. Shurbutt).
3) Raising Baccalaureate Academic Admissions Standards: The HEPC is looking closely at the new proposed standards, noting that math appears the most troublesome focus point. Flack noted, however, that only 1/2 of 1% of teachers in the State are currently teaching without certification. He suggested that the problem with ill-prepared students in the State may lie with the Teacher Education Programs and certification standards, since teachers are being certified but poorly prepared to teach the demanding content necessary for national standards today.
4) Program Review: Dr. Flack believes that program reviews may suffer in the new organization under governing boards.
5) Early Estimates of Final Credit Headcount Enrollment, Fall 2001: Shepherd had the largest student percentage decline, with a loss of 447 students, -9.50%. Potomac State College had the largest percentage increase, with +14.94%.
6) HERF Assessment Budget Allocations: 10% of Higher Education Resources Fees (HERF fees paid by students as part of tuition and fee charges, in accordance with SB# 653) are retained by HEPC to meet general expenses; a $702.000.00 carryover of unspent HERF funds for 2001 is consistent with past years. Connie Moore asked about the $20,600 in the budget for Faculty Development, which Dr. Flack noted was set aside for the "Great Teachers Seminar." Moore suggested that if the HEPC is going to mandate merit pay, there should be some allocation of added funding for additional professional development siphoned back to institutions for that purpose.
7) Adjunct Question and "Term" Positions: The ACF discussed the questions of growing adjunct usage throughout the State and the problem of limited tenure-track positions, with some adjuncts serving in what amounted to "full-time" positions (though they are not listed as such). The "term positions" allocated to the Community and Technical colleges clearly would not be to the advantage for four-year institutions, as anything that might diminish tenure would be unwise. HEPC "Proposed Policy on Academic Freedom, Professional Responsibility, Promotion, and Tenure," Series 9, defines all positions; schools experiencing staffing problems, working within these parameters set by the HEPC, should ask Governing Boards to deal with the issue of adjunct staffing. (See HEPC figures on adjunct staffing in August ACF report.)
8) ACF Assessment of Results of SB547 and Establishment of Baseline for SB653: The ACF will request data in order to assess what actually happened as a result SB547 and to establish a baseline for SB653. The following will be obtained for fall 1994, 2000, and 2001:
1) fulltime faculty headcount
2) classified staff headcount
3) unclassified staff headcount
4) average salary of FT faculty
5) average salary of classified staff
6) average salary of unclassified staff
7) FTE count by institution
8) adjunct count and percentage by institution
9) ACF Presentation to HEPC: Jim Nimetz needs a variety campus and staff information from ACF members in order to finish the ACF presentation. Electronic photos of student /faculty/staff , professional accomplishments, grant money generated, degree, ethnic, sex, racial demographics, challenges and concerns. Much of this information from Shepherd can be gleaned from Shepherd's NCA report.
Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, Shepherd ACF Rep
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