Meeting Minutes - February 14, 2007
President Gilmartin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. Minutes from January meeting were approved.
Elections: Ben Taylor
Bylaws state that an election committee consisting of at least three Senate members will be elected by Senate each year in February. Each member will not be eligible for officers; they do need to be members of the Senate during the nominating process. Susan Dooley volunteered, as did Ben Taylor and Jay Spaulding. Duties, per Ben, include planning the timetable for election (must be done by the last three weeks of term two), work cooperatively with the Senate president, etc.
Peoplesoft update from Barbara Entwistle
There have been complaints about Peoplesoft in the past, but here are some benefits that have resulted from Peoplesoft. We now have an online catalog that pulls from one source; we have more online registration and concurrent access. The old system crashed with 250 people using it at the same time. With Peoplesoft we've had as many as 4,500 users concurrently without a problem. Now students can accept their financial aid and fee deferments online, and they can also view their biographical data and change it as necessary. Some benefits to faculty and staff include that we have the same user ID now throughout the system. You can change your password but your user ID is the same. You can view your user information and demographics, post grades, get class rosters online. This has been a big benefit for adjunct instructors. You can do online requisitions and approvals so you don't have to walk the paperwork around, and we have online payroll approval as well. Your budget manager and assistant can run a budget status report right at their own desks now. In the new upgrade it will be even easier. And there is integration with TIM. I don't know if you have done room reservations with TIM, but it is excellent in that regard. Collegewide benefits include better data integration with financials, student registration and HR. With CSRS, the database, HR and student admin. were separate, so there were more chances for inaccuracy in load, classes, schedules, etc. In the past, we had to guess at numbers for reporting - now they are accurate.
Issue resolution: In the past 12 months we have resolved 421 issues, which are major issues, not just calls to say that we are having problems. The old CSRS system had almost 400,000 errors in classes, transcripts, etc. All of those had to be cleaned up; it took almost 15 months to do it but it is done now.
Regarding the upgrade, how many of you were on DOS? And then Windows 2.0, Windows 3.1, now XP and Vista is coming. The upgrade version of Peoplesoft is 8.9, and the upgrade is being done in two stages. Financials is being done in March 2007, from 8.7 to 8.9. In March 2008, HR and Student Admin. are being upgraded from 8.0 to 8.9. This is being done because Peoplesoft support ends at those times, and without Peoplesoft support we can't get updates for Financial Aid, etc. Barbara distributed a page with training information regarding the upgrade.
A faculty member asked about the grade change option in Peoplesoft. Barbara said there is a whole section called Gradebook that allows grade keeping, etc. We haven't gone to that yet because it requires everyone to go to it, so in March 2008 we plan to not go live with that - unless it turns out to be an easy feature to train on. The plan for the HR/Student Admin. training is to go with the same functionality we have now and not add much. However, there are different Centers: Faculty, Student and Admin. Faculty get access to all three. Admins and Faculty have to have Student access because everybody can take classes.
At any rate, before we go live with Gradebook, we will have a pilot group of faculty that will evaluate its usefulness. No one will dictate to us what needs to be done with Peoplesoft.
Faculty Compensation Committee
Dan said that Joe Sarnovsky's presentation to the committee was that we are going to achieve our $1,300 adjustment. This is the second year of the adjustment, which started with $1,200, then $1,300, then $1,400, applied to the midrange to help the bottom get a little closer to the top. In addition, the percentage raise - Joe said it will probably be 2 percent, no higher than 3 percent, and 3 percent will be doing well. Dan said that that is borne out by the discussions in the newspaper regarding this legislative year. The $1,300 amount is adjusted according to contract length and degree, with the 196-day master's degree being the standard. The step increases will continue as well.
There was no discussion on contract lengths at Compensation Practices, but Dan said he can share that the Leadership Committee meeting (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday) is now talking about contract lengths. But they have talked about contract lengths every year. Last year, of course, the big issue was critical jobs. There is no resolution, I can tell you that. Tomorrow it could change. Actually, if there is any major change, I will e-mail the entire Faculty Senate immediately. I see a lot of talk but no motion, a lot of studying of things but no conclusions. I guess a lot of you talked to the consultants regarding that today.
Staff Benefits Committee: Greg Garrison and Mike Artiaga
Executive Staff approved committee makeups, said Greg, and one of our changes was having the Senate president be a member of the Staff Benefits committee, and he is now. Dan had been attending as a guest, but he is now a voting member.
A faculty member asked about the committee membership announcement: Greg said that he was talking about the President's approval of Dan to the Benefits committee - not new committee appointments. Those are coming.
Dan said that the health plans that we are looking at will be very much like we have now. Six companies or so will answer the bid request by February 20. The consultants will then review the RFPs and then report back within a week or two to the committee.
I'm feeling very good about the process and committee, Dan said. There are people on the committee who work and who are quick studies. I am very happy with the consultants; they are right to the point, and they get us what we need regarding information. Kendra Kokoska from HR has also been a great help.
Greg said that 17 different insurance companies were solicited. United, Cigna, Florida Hospital has its own program, Blue Cross were among those who were asked to submit RFPs.
Dan said that one of the primary things that the committee found in its research was that people really wanted Florida Hospital and its network of providers - by far the most important thing to our constituency at Seminole State. The consortium is not among the RFP providers because it chose not to bid against the RFP. So the committee will interview all of the applicants. Dan said that the bottom line is that the consortium wanted its ball - it's their game, we have been a consortium member in benefits for many years; they wanted it their way. So they are hoping that we will go through the RFP process and not like what is being offered and fall back to the consortium. They didn't want to disclose anything, so they are hoping to be the fall back. Blue Cross did not bid, so they too are hoping to be the fall back. However, if the Consortium really wanted our business, all they would have to do is extend their own 180-day notice deadline. The consortium requires that period of time for colleges leaving. This means that for us to move to a new company in January, we would have to give notice in July, but Blue Cross and the Consortium don't give their cost information to the College until August. The 180-day problem is why we are even calling for RFPs. The RFP was based on what we already have, so no matter what, we will get what we want.
At the Board of Trustees meeting in January, for which it was important for faculty to show regarding benefits, about seven faculty showed, including those on the committee. It was revealed to the public through "The Joe Show" that the board did not understand the present funding of the insurance. Basically information was provided to the board. They did not even realize how our insurance worked, and these are the people who vote on it and make the ultimate decision on what we have. They were unaware of how we bought insurance. Joe had to explain stuff to them that was being explained to the Benefits Committee as long as a year ago. They will have a very tough decision between now and then if they are not better educated.
Greg said that he thinks it is incumbent upon the faculty to let the Board know how important the benefits process is to us; that we want the Board to take the RFP process seriously.
Dan said that it was clear to him that the Consortium's presentation to the Benefits Committee was not a presentation but rather, "we're here, pay us." Other companies brought their actuaries, their salespeople, their slick presentation material. The Consortium has never had to go out and make a sale - doesn't look at itself as an insurance company, though it is one in effect - so it was ill prepared for this process.
A faculty member asked whether other colleges in the Consortium had done this. Dan said "we are the lab rat, and there are already four other colleges watching us. The Consortium is freaking out in a blustery sort of way."
Open Forums with Strategic Horizons Consultants
Discussion ensued regarding the Open Forums today held by the Strategic Horizon consultants. Problems cited by faculty included the apparent proliferation of vice presidents and associate vice presidents after the reorganization, lack of communication, and top-heavy management, Other problems included perceived lack of respect, lack of communication, doing things without reasoning why that would explain to us why, favoritism, lack of commitment to diversity. It was also stated that the College has lost its focus of student centeredness.
A faculty member quoted Dick Loper, former dean of arts and sciences, who had taught for 30 years before he became dean. One day, Dean Loper said he was walking through the halls after the winter break ended when he said to his secretary, where is everyone? She said, Dick, the faculty are off contract now - classes ended. He said that even though he had taught for 30 years, he forgot within a year!
A faculty member said, I think that administrators need to sit in the classroom once a month like former Governor Bob Graham did with his "workdays," so that they would have a clue what we do. They are over there in the offices and have no idea. Another faculty member suggested that they need to teach classes. A faculty member asked about how faculty would feel about having their department chairs actually be directors - not faculty. This is what Career and Technical Programs may be doing. Members of the Senate felt that would make things much worse for faculty.
Another faculty member said that we don't really know how administrators feel ... maybe that would open up our eyes a little. Another faculty member agreed; she said that she had worked in management for 20 years and coming back to teaching was a joy compared to managing. She said, "I totally forgot what it was like to teach. Now I'm beginning to forget what it's like to be a manager." They have to bring the money in, come up with ideas to bring more money in, decrease expenses.
Dan said that the state legislature imposes so much measurement that it creates an enormous amount of work - every other thing that Carol Hawkins seems to say is "we need a task force because the state wants it by" (usually yesterday) - we have to prove our existence and worth to the state constantly. Accountability to governmental agencies is a big job.
One of the things said at one of the Strategic Horizon sessions was that we don't play well with each other - we (faculty) don't trust them and they don't trust us. A faculty member said he understood that executive team has the big picture, and his own little world is very small, but he would like them to impart that big picture to him. What will we use these two campuses for, how will we pay for them, why do we have them? If they could explain to me the reasons, I could accept it. In the meantime I'm on this campus having to deal with equipment issues, and I would like to know why we are getting new campuses.
Other New Business
SPD Committee Report
SPD will be doing call for projects very soon; expect that late this month or in early March. The deadline to get the projects in will be the beginning of April; decisions will be made by the end of term 2.
New Faculty Positions
A faculty member asked about advertised positions for faculty: Will money be there to hire the people we've advertised for? Dan said there are 16 positions. Seven are replacement and are fully funded. Nine are hypothetically funded. Committees should continue to interview. Offers will be made by the end of June. The faculty members said that this will be too late for many applicants. Dan said that the legislature controls this; we won't know our funding until then. However, we have had an 11 percent increase in arts and sciences enrollments this year, which is fee-paying.
Common Course Numbering System
Faculty mentioned the common course numbering system, and said that such things as Seminole State's anatomy were not being accepted by UCF. Dan said he would check into this with the Registrar. Another faculty member said that if you try to transfer to the Seminole State UCF campus it seems to be a more liberal transfer policy than if you transfer to the UCF Orlando campus. Another faculty member said that this has happened a lot on the A.S. side, and it is distressing to see that it is happening on the A.A. side now too.
Gwavix Spam Filter
A faculty member asked about Gwavix: she said that she had to go through 400 emails to get to 3 emails from students. Another faculty member said that was the reason for the Official College Electronic Communication Policy, which was discussed at the last Senate meeting. If you make students use MySCC, the e-mail will get through to you without Gwavix spam filter intervention. Another faculty member said that she found that for outside communication with non-college personnel such as her program's advisory committee, she was able to have Michael Holmes put them on the Whitelist. However, this must not be used for students.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.