|Minutes of the faculty
senate meeting Feb. 16, 2000, at 3:15 p.m. in Jonas 110.
present: Tim Steckline, Barb Chrisman, Curtis Card,
Randalei Ellis, John Glover, Margaret Lewis, Rob
Schurrer, Abdollah Farrokhi (for Steve Babbitt), and
Larry Tentinger (for Rena Faye Norby). Student: Scott
Move to approve agenda by John Glover and Margaret
Lewis with additions on BHSU web page and retirement
Approval of minutes of Feb. 2nd with
correction on closing of parenthesis, Rob Schurrer and
Steve Ochsner came to the senate with a request to
change the 150-minute rule on addition of classes with
faculty signatures. He told us that the board census date
will be changed to seven days after classes begin instead
of the current ten days. He asked that we consider a
change to five days after the beginning of classes as a
clearer rule to administer. Those who need to have
exceptions could be dealt with on an individual faculty
basis. After discussion the following motion was made by
John Glover: Standard classes which meet two or three
times a week shall have a five-day deadline for
enrollment without faculty signature. All other classes
will be limited at the discretion of the faculty member
involved. Seconded by Rob Schurrer. Motion carried.
The new BHSU web page was discussed. Students have
gone to faculty with complaints about the access
headings. Some faculty felt that they need to be clearer.
A concern was expressed about the time it takes to load
the pictures on the web page. Tim Steckline will contact
Paulette Palladino about this issue. The senate members
indicated that they were certain that she would be open
Tim Steckline indicated that President Flickema was
seriously interested in having a faculty candidate for
the Retirement Board election. Steckline will check to
see if an emeritus faculty member might be eligible to
The issue related to double majors with no minor has
been dealt with and is stated as follows on page 39 of
the new catalog: "19. ...regular majors must
complete a minor or a second major."
Tim Steckline met with Verla Fish regarding pay
periods for faculty who are teaching classes at South
Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus or
distance education classes. Beginning with this semester
these faculty will have the same pay options as Ellsworth
Facultyone or three checks.
Dr. Cook indicated to Tim Steckline that the process
of telephone registration will not be completed by
telephone. Datatel does not have the capability of
checking for requirement for pre-requisites while the
student is on the telephone. This will have to be done in
a batch process overnight with notification of final
class enrollment being sent to the student. If the
pre-requisites have not been met the student will have to
go through the enrollment process again for change in
Dr. Cook has also indicated that the Black State
University catalog available online will be the catalog
of record. The Faculty Senate members were not in
agreement with this. The following motion was passed by
the Faculty Senate:
The faculty senate recommends that the students be
held to the official paper copy of the Black Hills State
Catalog which is in print at the time of their first
semester of continuous enrollment.
Dr. Cook has indicated that due to the work overload
in the enrollment center some responsibilities were
transferred to the extended services office. Dr. Cook
will be invited to March 15th meeting.
George Earley will be at the next faculty senate
meeting to talk about the assessment report.
The faculty responses to the student opinion survey
were discussed. There were a number of suggestions on the
content of the document. These are to be forwarded to Dr.
Downing's committee for review.
Meeting Adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Barbara Chrisman, recording
Back to Campus
|The following is the summary
provided by President Steckline (after the meeting):
by Faculty Senate Feb. 16, 2000
Regarding Proposed Revisions of the Student Opinion
Because the faculty senate cannot in any real sense
approve or reject Student Opinion Surveys, they have
taken as their objectives in this case, first, the
collecting of information about faculty attitudes to the
proposed version of the survey; and second, the
forwarding of the senate's own considered response to and
advice upon the proposal.
As a contribution to the first objective the senate
offers the collection of responses to a straw poll
conducted in early February 2000. Total responses to the
senate's appeals came from 45 faculty members. Asked
Would you prefer to see this proposed Student
Opinion Survey adopted? 22 faculty responded
yes; another 16 faculty responded Yes, but with
the following changes or qualifications; and 7
faculty said no, they did not prefer the proposed SOS.
Also attached you will find an assembly of comments
faculty offered along with the straw poll. (Most are from
the Yes, with changes/qualifications
respondents, but it should be noted that comments came
from across the range of approval to disapproval.)
After several months of information seeking on this
proposed instrument, the faculty senate has evolved its
own position on the matter. The senate thanks the ad hoc
committee developing the instrument and administration
for inviting the senate' s input on committee composition
and on the current draft.
The faculty senate cannot and does not endorse the
student opinion survey, whether in its recent or proposed
versions. The senate recognizes certain uses of this
instrument, but evaluation of faculty performance is not
a reliable application. Whether such an instrument is to
be applied to faculty, and how it will be used, is in the
end up to administrators.
If a student opinion survey must be administered, a
large number of respondents considered the proposed
version an improvement in certain respects. But the
comments of faculty and also the senate's own discussion
have brought us to a few issues that should be deemed
critical. These are as follows:
1. Return global questions to the survey. Though
broadly focused, such questions as This was a
worthwhile class or The instructor was worth
taking summarize several measures.
2. Give more emphasis to the open-ended questions.
Faculty agreed that these were the most useful questions
in the formative improvement of classes. Their position
at the tail of the survey may already devalue these
questions. How can we re-emphasize them instead?
3. Using responses of so unscientific an instrument to
produce aggregate scores is misleading and risky.
Averaging responses to individual questions should be
4. Though useful in a limited sense, student opinion
surveys should not be employed as the primary measure of
teaching. A deficiency in current means to evaluate
faculty is not a good reason for pressing an inadequate
means into service.