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Faculty Meeting Minutes

School of Science and Engineering Tulane University

212 Lavin Bernick Center
May 7, 2009
4:00 PM – 5:20 PM


Attendance: Altiero, Anderson, Ashbaugh, Aung, Bart, Bishop, Boudaba, Burin, Byers, Can, Caruso, Christenson, Colombo, Corey, Dancisak, Daniel, Darwin, Dawers, Didier, Diebold, Dohanich, Dotson, Flowers, Gasparini, Gaver, Grayson, Godbey, Golob, Grisbaum, Ha, Hall, Heins, Herman, Hopkins, Inglis, Jacobsen, Jayawickramarajah, Johannesson, John, Kalka, Kaplan, Khismatullin, Koplitz, Kim, Lacey, Maclaren, Mao, McPherson, Mitchell, Moore, Moosavi, Mullin, Muneoka, Murfee, Nastasi, Oertling, O’Brien, O’Connor, Overstreet, Parsley, Pascal, Perdew, Pratt, Prindle, Reed, Rice, Rosenheim, Ruscher, Schmehl, Schrader, Shakov, Sherry, Shevkoplyas, Straub, Sulkes, Tasker, Thien, Varela, Vasudevan, Walker, Wee, Wilson, Wyland Guests: Kahn, Martinez

Approval of Minutes


The minutes of the meeting of 10 March 2009 were approved unanimously.

Updates


Dean Nick Altiero gave an update on projected SSE undergraduate and graduate enrollment for fall 2009 and projected research funding and restricted and unrestricted giving for fiscal year 2009. He also reported that the School has hired approximately 30 new tenure stream faculty members during its first three years of existence. The School has also hired 23 professors of practice and 12 research professors.

Certification of Degrees


Dean Altiero asked each of the Department Chairs and Program Directors to confirm that all degrees to be conferred in their programs at the 2009 Commencement have been certified by the faculty. He then called the following role of degree programs and received affirmative responses: Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Biology, Environmental Science, Geology, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology.    Note that the recently established Engineering Physics program does not yet have a graduating class.

2-4 Program with the School of Medicine


Marc Kahn, Senior Associate Dean of the School of Medicine, and Andrew Martinez, Associate Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, joined Dean James Maclaren in addressing questions and concerns about the proposed program. The motion presented at the meeting of 10 March 2009 was as follows: This proposal would allow a student to accelerate their progress through Tulane’s Undergraduate degree and Tulane’s School of Medicine in 6 years of formal study, with a gap year. The student would spend 2 years taking undergraduate course work, during which time they would complete the core curriculum and pre-med requirements, most of their major (CMB only at this time), and then would complete a year of service or research prior to entering medical school. Admission to the 2-4 program would include admission as an undergraduate to Tulane and Tulane’s medical school provided the required quality of work standards were maintained. This is proposed to be a 3.0 cumulative GPA – a standard expected of the Dean’s Honor Scholarship recipients. This would be limited to at most 10 students per year.

It was moved and seconded that the phrase “(CMB only at this time)” be removed. The motion passed by voice vote. It was moved and seconded that the minimum cumulative GPA be raised from 3.0 to 3.5. The motion passed by a vote of 41 – 24. It was moved and seconded that research be dropped as a substitute for the year of service. The motion passed by voice vote. The amended motion was then as follows:

This proposal would allow a student to accelerate their progress through Tulane’s Undergraduate degree and Tulane’s School of Medicine in 6 years of formal study, with a gap year. The student would spend 2 years taking undergraduate course work, during which time they would complete the core curriculum and pre-med requirements, most of their major, and then would complete a year of service prior to entering medical school. Admission to the 2-4 program would include admission as an undergraduate to Tulane and Tulane’s medical school provided the required quality of work standards were maintained. This is proposed to be a 3.5 cumulative GPA – a standard expected of the Dean’s Honor Scholarship recipients. This would be limited to at most 10 students per year.

The motion passed by a vote of 40 – 18.

Committee Reports


The following committee annual reports were presented: Executive Committee by Nick Altiero; Promotion and Tenure Committee by Vijay John; Graduate Studies Committee by Jeff Tasker; Undergraduate Studies Committee by Beth Wee; Grievance Committee by Hank Bart; Nominating Committee by Tom Sherry.

Tom Sherry reported that the SSE Nominating Committee has considered all of the committee positions that need to be filled for fall 2009 and, for those committees not requiring an election, has appointed faculty members to fill these positions. The committee also nominated the following to run for elected positions that need to be filled for fall 2009:

  • SSE Promotion and Tenure Committee – Anderson, Diebold, Heins, Fink, Rosensteel, Pascal.
  • University Senate – Colombo, Törnqvist
  • University Graduate Council – Daniel Johannesson
  • Center for Public Service Executive Committee – Ashbaugh

There were no additional nominations from the floor. It was agreed that paper ballots would be distributed to all voting faculty members and that the election would be completed by May 15. Note that all 2009-2010 representatives to University committees are posted at http://www.sse.tulane.edu/pages/universitycommittees.php.

Foreign Language Exemption for Engineering Majors


The faculty considered the motion that the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Engineering Physics be changed to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree. This would make it consistent with the fact that the BSE degree is awarded in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. It was noted that Newcomb-Tulane College has approved an exemption to the foreign language requirement for students pursuing the BSE degree. The motion passed without dissent.

Amendments to the Grievance Committee Section of the School Constitution


Hank Bart, Chair of the Grievance Committee, presented a modified version of the motion first discussed at the 10 March 2009 meeting. The modification was based on faculty input at that meeting and the new wording has been cleared with both University General Counsel and the FTFR. The motion was to replace section VII.F with the following wording:

F. The Grievance Committee

Composition

The Grievance Committee shall consist of nine faculty members, one being elected by each of the academic departments. A faculty member may not serve simultaneously on this committee and the Promotion and Tenure Committee. The committee shall elect annually one of its members as a voting chair, who will report to the faculty.

Duties and Procedures
a. It shall be the duty of the committee to receive grievances and complaints regarding conditions of employment; due process; violations of academic freedom or academic responsibility and similar grievances which cannot be settled informally. Informal resolution should first be sought by all parties or units involved.
b. Complaints may be originated by faculty members, other instructional and research personnel, or administrative officers. Complaints must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Grievance Committee, with details of the corroborating evidence that will be furnished, testimony that will be offered, facilitation needed from the administration, and all attempts at informal resolution. The committee shall also hear cases referred to it by the Senate Committee on Faculty Tenure, Freedom, and Responsibility, but all grievances arising from within the faculty shall be submitted in first instance to the Grievance Committee.
 c. In case of complaints or grievances, the committee may (1) decide to hold formal hearings, (2) decide that a case does not warrant a formal hearing and provide a statement of reasons, or (3) appoint an ad hoc committee of the committee to hold a preliminary hearing in order to determine whether a formal hearing should be held. If the ad hoc committee decides that the complaint should be heard, that decision shall be binding.
d. Should a person on a tenure-track appointment or multi-year contract be dismissed at the end of his or her first or second year, the person may appeal to the Grievance Committee for review of the departmental decision.
 e. Any member of the Grievance Committee who brings a grievance or against whom a grievance is brought shall be recused from all discussions and votes concerning that grievance. If grievances involve departmental decisions, members of that department shall recuse themselves. If there are any conflicts of interest involving members of the Grievance Committee, those members shall recuse themselves from the case.
f. The Chair of the Committee will provide parties complained against a copy of the complaint and a timeframe for receiving a response. The Committee will assume that the facts as alleged are not in dispute if the parties complained against do not dispute the allegations in writing to the Chair within the specified timeframe.
g. The Committee has the authority to investigate charges alleged in complaints, through hearings of the complainant and parties complained against, gathering evidence, and calling for testimony from witnesses and others involved in the complaints.
h. Hearings and deliberations will be held as soon as practicable. A quorum shall be five members. In cases when multiple recusals make a quorum impossible, the committee may request the Nominating Committee to provide alternates.
i. Testimony at hearings shall be recorded. The complainant may produce witnesses or other forms of corroborating evidence. An advisor may accompany the complainant to the hearing. However, the advisor does not have the right of the floor, and may not address any witnesses or the committee. The advisor may not be legal counsel, nor a member of
the grievance committee within the last two years.
j The deliberations of the committee are confidential.
k. The committee shall explain its findings in writing to the person or persons who brought the grievance and the person(s) against whom the grievance was brought, and shall report its decision to the Dean of the SSE and/or other appropriate administrative officers as soon as practicable. In the event that the Committee’s decision is not unanimous, a minority report may be submitted.
l. The person who brought the grievance and the person(s) against whom the grievance was brought shall both have the right of appeal to the Faculty Tenure, Freedom, and Responsibility (FTFR) Committee of the University Senate. After some discussion, the motion passed without dissent.

Old Business


There was no old business.

New Business


There was no new business.

Adjourned


The meeting adjourned at 5:20 PM.
Minutes by Wayne Reed.

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764 sse@tulane.edu