Faculty Senate holds annual vote, discusses efforts on campus

Sydney Purtee

The Faculty Senate held elections and discussed efforts to raise retention rates at the main campus Monday.

The meeting kicked off with the Faculty Senate Chair Pamela Grimm’s usual remarks, but this speech pertained to her personal struggles as a woman in the workforce.

She spoke on how people should not be put into “buckets,” or categories, and instead should be recognized for their hard work.

Eboni Pringle, the dean of University College, followed Grimm with a presentation about her efforts to raise Kent State’s retention rates. Over the last five years, the retention rate is above 80% and there has been nearly a 10% increase in the last few years.

Pringle reviewed some of Kent State’s efforts over the last few years regarding retention, touching on the “Got 15?” campaign. The campaign was implemented in 2011 to encourage students to enroll in 15 or more credit hours.

“Since [Got15?’s] implementation, the campaign has resulted in an 11% increase in first year students being enrolled in 15 or more credit hours,” Pringle said. “It’s important because it helps students graduate in a timely manner and it increases the likelihood that they will return their second year.”

Pringle also talked about her plans for the future and how she hopes to continue increasing the retention rate for Kent State’s campus.

Deborah Smith, a member of the Professional Standards Committee, presented a new business item.

The proposal regarded a change in university policy on instructors in courses carrying academic credit. The Professional Standards Committee revised much of the language in the policy.

Part of the policy states “qualified instructors are identified primarily by academic credentials, but other factors, including but not limited to equivalent, tested experience, are considered in determining whether a faculty member is qualified.”

The proposed changes could affect graduate teaching assistants’ assignments and their ability to teach classes unless they’ve earned 18 hours of graduate credit.

The policy will most likely be voted on at the next Faculty Senate meeting in May.

Finally, the Faculty Senate held its annual elections. All four candidates were re-elected. Grimm will continue to serve as chair, Robin Vande Zande as vice  chair, Ed Dauterich as secretary and Tracy Laux as the at-large candidate.

Sydney Purtee covers Academic Affairs. Contact her at [email protected].