OREGON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Faculty Administrator Meeting
October 13, 2009
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Flu Update – Erin Foley
Erin Foley reported that there are several cases of H1N1 across campus; the exact number is not available at this time. Most students are notifying Student Services directly; Erin predicted that approximately 100 students are out sick with flu-like symptoms. The flu is on the upswing; it may be another week or more before the numbers peak. Erin asked the faculty members to continue to emphasize flu prevention in their classrooms. Students who are ill with the seasonal flu or H1N1 are likely to transmit at a rate of 5-15% or 22 – 33% respectively.
President Maples reminded faculty members that students are being encouraged to stay home if they are ill and to please keep that in mind when they address class attendance policies. Faculty members were also encouraged to contact their department if they are out ill so that a class cancellation sign is posted early in the day.
Faculty and staff members were appreciative of the new hand sanitation stations but commented that it is hard to encourage clean practices when the paper towel and soap dispensers are often empty. Mary Ann Zemke will contact facilities and request refilling of the dispensers in the restrooms and labs on a more frequent basis.
The second round of vaccinations should arrive between now and the end of the month; notice will be sent out with the protocol soon.
Erin indicated that she will continue to provide flu updates by email through the end of the term.
Haunted House – Erin Foley
The 17th Annual Haunted House is scheduled on Saturday, October 31. The residence hall is seeking candy, time, and monetary donations. Donation boxes will be placed in various locations across campus. Admittance into the haunted house is free; canned food items are requested but not required. The haunted house lineup will begin at the west entrance of the older residence hall.
Suicide Prevention – Erin Foley
Suicide Prevention training will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20 in Purvine Hall, Room 208.
Faculty Senate – Debbie Caldwell
Debbie provided a brief update on the charges for Faculty Senate.
The Academic Standards Committee is looking into providing a yearly core schedule as opposed to a term-by-term schedule. This committee is also considering a plus, minus, or numerical grading system.
The Welfare Committee is reviewing, and revising evaluations for the dean, library faculty, department chairs, adjuncts, and the provost. They are also looking into the pros and cons of placing the student evaluations online.
The Faculty Rank Promotion and Tenure Committee (RPT) is reviewing the library faculty instructor rank, and looking into professional development. There is a possibility that tenure will be separated from promotion and rank may be offered as a master instructor or senior instructor.
The Promotion Advisory Committee (PAC) is looking into previous denials and the tracking of those letters to determine if they should be included in faculty portfolios.
The Faculty Compensation Committee is charged with comparing the budget cuts of other institutions to Oregon Tech with regard to salaries.
Administrative Council – Tony Richey
Tony Richey reported that Administrative Council is preparing to review the gun, smoking, and state vehicle use policy.
Academic Council – Brad Burda
Brad Burda reported that Academic Council has not met this year; the first meeting is scheduled for October 27. The council agenda includes reviewing program director job descriptions.
Q&A WITH PRESIDENT MAPLES
President Maples reported that enrollment is up; the two week numbers are very promising. OIT’s numbers are looking good compared to the rest of the numbers across the Oregon University System (OUS).
OUS made two requests which are due within the next month. The first request is the fund balance for Oregon Tech. A fund balance is similar to a contingency fund where the funds are obligated. The fund balance is limited by the fiscal policy of the State Board of Higher Education to 5% of the overall budget; OIT’s current fund balance is approximately 8%.
The second OUS request is to provide 5% and 10% budget reduction scenarios. These scenarios are in addition to the budget reductions that Oregon Tech has already taken. The fund balance would be used to cover an additional 5% budget reduction scenario; further reductions will be addressed if required. President Maples stated that Oregon Tech is unable to take additional reductions; he prefers not to require additional salary reductions or affect programs.
The larger institutions are pushing the State Board of Higher Education to revisit the resource allocation model (RAM). If the RAM model is revisited in the way that it has been proposed, Oregon Tech would lose approximately $.5 million per year in the resource allocation from the state. Please stay tuned.
President Maples was appreciative of faculty and staff contributions that resulted in a successful OUS board meeting. He reported that the Board of Higher Education was amazed with the turn out for the faculty coffee it was the largest that board has ever seen; the board was incredibly impressed with their overall experience on the Oregon Tech campus.
Question: Will the PREC recommendations be used to address the 5% and 10% budget reduction scenarios?
Answer: The PREC Committee provided recommendations with budget justifications up through a 20% reduction scenario. The PREC members will be contacted to determine if they agree to proceed with the last set of recommendations. The list of recommendations is due to OUS by the end of October.
Q. Oregon Tech has a great reputation and the enrollment is credited to the reputation. Is there any other quantitative data showing what we did right?
A. There is data that shows our rate of retention but it would take an additional position to track the correlation between recruitment and retention.
Q. Are students queried to determine what we did right or wrong?
A. As far as I know we still do exit interviews with students; some students are not interested in providing their input.
Q. You have been here for 1-year; what is your view for the next two, three and five years for OIT?
A. In terms of the mission and vision for Oregon Tech, we need to focus on the types of things we’ve done well. What makes Oregon Tech distinctive and different from other institutions in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest is not only the small class sizes but the range of class offerings. We need to attract more students in that range of offerings and try to get those students through the system to the best of our ability. We are essentially cramming five years worth of learning into a four year curriculum and many of our students are taking seven years to complete it. That is one of our big challenges as we move forward. There may be an optimum size for Oregon Tech; if there is not an optimum size then there is an optimum class to faculty ratio that we may need to deal with. I do not see programs dropping off, but part of the evaluation includes dealing with student success. The Renewable Energy Program has gone from 10 students to 220 at this time. Are there going to be jobs or graduate opportunities for those students at the end of the day? If not we may need to consider capping the program so that there is an attainable goal that makes sense for the students. We are going to continue to balance allied health and engineering; we will expand in those areas as appropriate. The capital project should include expansion in Portland; a second phase of the student housing; a centralized building for student services, admissions, registrar’s office and financial aid; a student sporting complex; and upgrades to some of the existing buildings. Oregon Tech needs to be the school of choice for high tech applied education.
Q. Where is physical therapy? What are the plans for the Dow Center? It is a beautiful building but wing two is virtually empty, what are the plans over the next few years?
A. The building is not empty, the nursing programs have already moved in. The basement is unfinished, additional funding is needed to complete it. The funding for the entire building is approximately $3.5 million short. My job is to try to obtain additional funding and balance the funding.
Q. What are the plans for the development office?
A. I am working on a proposal to The Miller Foundation, if approved the salaries for the vice president of Development and additional staff would be covered for a three-year period.
Q. What is the total?
A. The request is approximately $360,000 for a three-year period to get the Development Office up and running.
Meeting adjourned: 2:51 p.m.