Senate to elect new executive committee Monday

Carrie Blazina

Faculty Senate will vote on its executive committee’s new officers at its Monday meeting, meaning there could be a new chair, vice chair, secretary and at-large members in place by the end of that day.

Senate Chair Paul Farrell, a computer science professor, is unopposed for re-election, but said that will change at the meeting because there must be two candidates for each position. A senator can nominate himself, or be nominated by another senator, up until the time of the election.

Farrell also said holding the chair for more than one year is not uncommon.

“It’s not too unusual for someone to be chair for two years, [but] no one’s ever been chair for three years,” he said.

In addition to elections, the senate is voting on some changes to the policy on faculty reappointment.

“Basically the changes are to bring it in line with the promotion policy and the tenure policy,” Farrell said. The policy would put a greater emphasis on traditional research as a factor in reappointment.

The item was discussed but not voted on at last month’s meeting, and at the time there was some heated talk among the senators about the changes.

“There’s always a lot of concern on the faculty’s part that changing the wording may actually lead to a diminution of the rights of Faculty Senate or the Faculty Advisory Committee,” he said.

The issue, Farrell said, is that the way the changes were written, it made it sound like the policy would become a practice by only the administration rather than the current collaboration between senate and the administration.

“I don’t think that was the intention, but I think that was a concern that the phrasing was not sufficient to guarantee that wouldn’t happen,” he said.

The policy has not been changed to reflect that concern, but Farrell said the senators can vote to make amendments to the policy if desired and then vote on it as amended.

Also on the agenda is a discussion about raising the minimum GPA needed to graduate from the university with honors, such as cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude. According to materials distributed with the senate’s agenda, 41.7 percent of Kent State’s 3999 graduates in 2011 had earned honors, which the proposal says is too high a percentage.

“It appears that we haven’t revised our GPA numbers to be in line with a number of other Ohio universities,” Farrell said.

Farrell said there is no word yet as to what the minimum GPAs could be changed, but that is part of what Monday’s discussion will be.

Faculty Senate meets Monday in the Student Center Governance Chambers.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].