The UW-Parkside Faculty held its fall meeting on Monday, October 15, 2012 in CART room 131.
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 12:05 p.m. by Chancellor Ford. Faculty members attending the meeting were Fay Akindes, Jeff Alexander, Lori Allen, Lisa Marie Barber, Rob Barber, Sylvia Beyer, Misti Bradford, Theresa Castor, Jamie Cheatham, Siegfried Christoph, Norm Cloutier, Linda Crafton, James Crowley, Kenny French, Alvaro Garcia, Michele Gee, Gail Gonzalez, Stu Hansen, David Higgs, Dennis Kaufman, Farida Khan, Laura Khoury, Shi Hae Kim, James Kinchen, Lenny Klaver, Lisa Kornetsky, Traci Lee, Mary Lenard, Susan Lincke, Matt Makarios, Greg Mayer, James McKeever, Jay McRoy, William Miller, Sandy Moats, Megan Mullen, Jonathan Olsen, Dana Oswald, Tara Pedersen, Daphne Pham, Derek Riley, David Rogers, Helen Rosenberg, Mary Kay Schleiter, Ed Schmitt, John Skalbeck, Jonathan Shailor, John Spartz, Suzanne Swiderski, Natalia Taft, Susan Takata, Adrienne Viramontes, Carole Vopat, Rich Walasek, John Ward, Carey Watters and Gary Wood.
Members of the administration with faculty rank included Interim Dean Dirk Baldwin, Interim Provost Fred Ebeid, Dean Emmanuel Otu, Associate Provost Dennis Rome, Carmel Ruffolo and Dean Dean Yohnk.
Other attendees included Karin Baskins, Trudy Biehn, Dave Buchanan, Karen Grabher, Rick Haskey, Claire Hicks, John Jaraczewski, Gwen Jones, Kim Kelley, Mel Klinkner, Don Lintner, Tammy McGuckin, Shannon McGuire, Heather Miles, Bonnie Peterson, DeAnn Possehl, Jane Schaefer, Ed Twyman, Kim White and Esther Wilson.
Chancellor Ford listed her goals for the academic year. These included completion of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaccreditation process, implementation of the academic plan, launch of the new Professional Educator Development Program, implementation of the integrated resource planning process, and achieving financial stability in the face of reduced state support. Other campus items of interest were an increase in the average ACT score of incoming students from 20.8 to 21.3, retention of minority students at higher than the UW System rate, and an increase in the number of graduate students. She also noted several items under discussion at the state and system level including the 2013-2015 budget proposal from the Board or Regents and the possibility of the Board being granted the authority to implement a pay plan.
The Chancellor addressed recent changes in senior leadership and the sudden resignation of Provost Terry Brown. She said that this type of change is not unusual and that it is occurring across the UW System. She recognized that anxiety can accompany change, but added that change also provides opportunities. She thanked Interim Provost Ebeid for taking on the role of interim provost, and introduced other new administrators.
A motion was on the floor to move to a committee of the whole to discuss matters of general interest according to UWPF 1.04(3).
The motion passed on a voice vote. University Committee Chair Jonathan Shailor chaired the committee of the whole discussion, and welcomed the new administrators on behalf of the University Committee.
Transitions in Senior Administration
A number of faculty members spoke of their disappointment, surprise, shock, confusion and anxiety over the unexpected and sudden departure of Provost Brown. Professors Kornetsky, Khan, Pham, Gonzalez, Moats, Schmitt, Crafton, Lenard and Kim all expressed similar concerns that the decision to have Provost Brown move to a UW System administration position was made suddenly and without any consultation with faculty. The extreme rate of turnover in the UW-Parkside administration is seen by the faculty as very negative. Faculty desire stability in the administration. There were questions about the administration’s commitment to pursuing initiatives begun by Provost Brown. Others noted the time and expense associated with searches for senior administrators, and the difficulty in getting faculty to commit to this process if they are not confident that the newly hired administrators will stay on. The overriding messages from the faculty who spoke to this issue were that the provost’s departure is yet another example of top-down decision making, and that they simply did not understand the reasons for it. They asked the chancellor why Provost Brown resigned, if anything was done to encourage her to stay in her position, and cited her successes while at UW-Parkside.
Chancellor Ford responded by saying that the decision was made and the timeline for Provost Brown’s departure was made in full consultation with the provost and with the UW System administration. Beyond that she declined to comment on specific details of her discussions with Provost Brown and asked faculty to focus on moving forward with important initiatives. In response to a specific question about the desired qualifications of a new provost, Chancellor Ford said she is focusing for now on this transitional period.
Professor Mayer said he shared the concerns of the other faculty about administrative turnover, but public discussion of the performance of individual administrators would be unproductive.
Professors Shailor, Lenard, Crafton and Kornetsky suggested that in the absence of detailed discussions of specific personnel decisions, we should still be able to discuss shifts in administrative priorities, the qualities of a provost who would be a good fit for this institution under the current administration and the administrative decision making process. One noted that faculty desire a workplace where they feel safe. Currently, there is not a sense of trust, and anxiety is not a good motivator or productivity. Chancellor Ford said she is open to discussing these issues.
In response to a specific question about enrollment, DeAnn Possehl said that the offices of admissions, advising, financial aid and the registrar are working on a comprehensive enrollment management plan, on improving our public image, and on recruitment. She talked about the need to target specific groups and programs and to diversify our student population. With the number of regional high school graduates decreasing, we cannot increase enrollment by relying only on traditional students.
The Chancellor also spoke directly to concerns about leadership in the reaccreditation process. She stated her confidence in the ability of herself, Interim Provost Ebeid, Kim Kelley and Rob Barber to lead this process.
In response to a question about Interim Provost Ebeid’s experience in leading a liberal arts institution, he stated his support for the liberal arts and his commitment to working for all of the colleges.
Update on HLC Accreditation
Kim Kelley and Rob Barber presented a timeline for completion of the HLC reaccreditation report. The next release is scheduled for November 15.
Academic Plan Implementation
Mary Kay Schleiter reported that the full UW-Parkside academic plan on the university website.
Legislative Relations and UW-Parkside Impact Report
John Jaraczewski described the UW System Knowledge Powers PR campaign designed to show the economic impact of the UW System on the state, and reported on the legislative breakfast and other activities to promote UW-Parkside.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:35 p.m.
Gary M. Wood,
Secretary of the Faculty