1 Academic Senate
2 Meeting of January 17, 2007
3 4 MINUTES
5 6 Present: E. Accampo, M. Apostolos, M. Bolas, J. Brecher, S. Carnicke, R. Coffey, P. Conti,
7 A. Crigler, D. Endres, J. Gates, L. Golubchik, H. Greenwald, N. Hanel, J. Holtzman, K. Howell,
8 M. Jorgensen, A. Kezar, B. Kosko (alternate for E. Chew), V. Longo, C. Malone, M. Matarić,
9 S. Montgomery, J. Moore, S. Murphy, A. Neville-Jan, M. Nichol, J. Nyquist, D. Shook, A. Showrai,
10 D. Stram, R. Walker, W. Wolf (alternate for S. Louie), D. Yett
12 Absent: M. Aranda, D. Ghirardo, N. Hollyn, G. Keating, D. Larsen, P. Lightfoot, P. Norindr,
13 S. Oglesby, M. Omar
15 Guests: R. Labaree, M. Levine, C.L. Max Nikias, M Philadelphia
18 The meeting was called to order by President Maja Matarić at 2:50 p.m. 19
20 1. Approval of December, 2006 Senate minutes – Yes – 15; No – 0; Abstain – 0 M. Jorgensen
22 2. Announcements/Reminders M. Matarić
24 Professor Apostolos reported that the last Senate Newsletter (Fall 2006) had a Meet the
25 Executive Board section; the next issue (Spring 2007) will have Meet the Senate section – be
26 advised that photos will be taken at the February Senate meeting.
28 Discussion is continuing on the matter of medical benefits for retired faculty.
30 A Department of Contracts and Grants memo from Todd Dickey has been distributed – please
31 review and provide input to the Research Administration Task Force.
33 The new Center for Excellence in Research (CER) fellow program has been announced – details
34 were distributed; additional information has been emailed to all faculty. Applications are
37 The Salon Series is a part of CER, consisting of lunches every other week for groups of up to 15
38 faculty. Discussion leaders need to be identified; please send names to Professors Matarić or
39 Narayanan or to Connie Roque. These gatherings are intended to be informal intellectual
40 discussions, and will be publicized in next issue of the Chronicle.
42 Highlights of the most recent Provost’s Council Meeting were presented:
44 ? New Deans for the schools of Architecture and Gerontology were introduced.
45 ? A Dean search for the Keck School of Medicine was announced.
46 ? A significant increase in the PhD fellowship pool will be forthcoming.
47 ? A task force has been established to evaluate plans to include an Acute Care clinic
48 for faculty and staff in the new UPC Student Health Center. This task force is in
49 addition to and separate from the group evaluating plans for the new Student
50 Health Center.
51 ? Additional hiring continues at the Washington, D.C. Center for Research
53 ? The University’s goal is to conduct six UCAR’s per year (currently three are
55 ? Agendas of the Provost’s Council meetings are on file in the Senate office.
57 Update from the Senate Nominating Committee A. Crigler
58 The Committee has been meeting and is proceeding to establish an excellent slate of
59 candidates for the Spring election of Executive Board Officers and Members at Large.
61 Vice Provost Levine explained that there are concerns that some part-time faculty are also
62 teaching at other institutions in the L.A. area. This may detract from USC’s reputation, and it is
63 also not fair to faculty who need a full time salary and benefits. Ideally, all faculty would be full
64 time and tenured. Selected cases of individuals with unique expertise teaching part time may be
68 3. Dialogue with the Provost C. L. Max Nikias
69 st70 The newly appointed CIO, Ilee Rhimes, will be starting February 1. 71 The PhD Fellowship Program was established 3 years ago; money is allocated to schools to
72 recruit the very best PhD students (currently $4M/yr); this has had a very positive effect on PhD
73 programs, and is consistent with the fact that Undergraduate success has also been enhanced with
74 financial aid. The PhD Fellowship Fund will be increased this summer to $11M/yr; this increase
75 may allow for approximately an additional 100 PhD candidates.
77 Question – Considering historical information on tuition remission for TA’s and RA’s, is the
78 new Keck policy requiring PI’s to subsidize grad students tuition wise? Response – Grants are
79 for research, faculty and students working together, thereby training future researchers and
80 PhD’s in academia and industry.
82 Question - At Keck, 25% of tuition is charged to the grant, as it has been at Viterbi for the past
83 several years. Is it likely that this rate will increase? Response – There are no current plans to 84 increase the rate – the intent is not to increase the rate – if an increase ever is necessary, notice 85 will be given far in advance.
87 Question – Currently proposed Faculty Handbook revisions have frequent references to the
88 Provost – do you have any strong feelings on tenure, sick leave, etc? Response – I have not
89 studied the proposed revisions; I will review them for discussion at a later date.
91 Discussion took place regarding the Graduate School PhD pool and the hiring of one staff vs two
92 grad student RA’s to accomplish the same amount of work. 93
94 Question – Regarding USC Stevens (an expansion on the Office of Technology and Licensing) –
95 a recent survey generated some concerns – applied research is more difficult in the arts and 96 humanities – does USC Stevens represent a shift in emphasis toward applied research? Response
97 – Not at all; there is no increased emphasis on applied research; in fact USC Stevens represents
98 an expansion with more inclusion of arts and humanities.
100 Comment – Regarding the conflict of ‘rush to patent’ vs ‘benefit to humanity’ – suggest USC 101 does not overemphasize commercialization of research. Response – The driving force is students st102 priority is not patenting and making money. and learning; the 1
104 Provost Nikias was asked what his major concerns are. Response – conducting 6 national Dean 105 searches simultaneously – so far all searches are going well, with excellent candidate pools; it is
106 hoped that the searches will be finalized by this summer.
108 Thoughts on the Keck School of Medicine Dean search – Brian Henderson is interim Dean for 3 109 years. Qualities mentioned in the Provost’s memo announcing the search were reviewed. The
110 firm working on the search recently completed a search at Michigan (Ann Arbor) and has
111 promised an excellent candidate pool in 60 days. The goal is to move Keck to the top 20 in 5-7
114 4. Discussion on the Faculty Handbook issues M. Nichol
116 Efforts are being made to provide documents to Senators earlier to allow more time for review
117 prior to discussion and or voting. Input for proactive changes is encouraged. Sec 4 will be
118 discussed at next month’s meeting.
119 Proposed revisions to section 3 were discussed:
120 Disambiguation – instances of the term ‘generally’ have largely been removed. 121 Notification of Absences guidelines have been modified following last month’s discussion.
122 NTT policies at school levels vs in the handbook; NTT policies may not be consistent among
123 schools; suggest all schools post their policies on the web – some already do. 124 Communication with faculty regarding handbook revisions – improvements are ongoing; how do 125 faculty councils communicate with all of their faculty? Input is encouraged regarding additional
126 improvements in disseminating information to faculty – this will be relayed to the 127 Communication Pathways Task Force.
128 Suggestions – there is a need for specific rationale for all handbook modifications; suggest using
129 a California labor attorney to review revisions.
130 Question – Why are the guidelines for granting sabbaticals being altered? Response – The 131 proposed revision would allow sabbatical leave denials based on merit (i.e. lack of) – also, when 132 warranted, sabbaticals could be granted more often or for more than 50% salary – this change is 133 intended to make sabbaticals more flexible in order to grant more worthy proposals and deny
134 unworthy ones.
135 Comment - If sabbaticals are more flexible to coincide with Guggenheim grants, faculty should
136 get time off for the Guggenheim grant in addition to their regular sabbatical.
137 Extensive discussion of sabbaticals ensued.
138 Comment - Requirements for reporting absences seems excessive.
139 Question - can voting be done on each proposed change? Response - Input will be returned to
140 the Handbook Committee and revisions will be made prior to voting.
141 A suggestion was made to focus on one area at a time vs diverse revisions.
142 Question – Must the Senate vote on these revisions? Response - The Senate will decide when to
143 make decisions and recommendations.
144 Question – Why was the sick leave section modified? Response – The reason for clarifying sick 145 leave/absence issues is to facilitate the use of disability funds.
146 A motion was made to divide handbook revisions into small related groups for discussion and/or 147 voting, and to disclose where each change initiated. After discussion, the motion was brought to 148 a vote:
150 The Motion to review handbook changes in small related groups passed unanimously (yes – 19,
151 no – 0, abstain – 0. 152
153 Please send Faculty Handbook comments and input to the Committee Chair, Professor Nichol - 154 email@example.com
156 5. New business – Kenneth Servis, Dean of Academic Records and Registrar informed the Senate
157 of an issue about the Fall 2007 calendar. Final exams are scheduled to finish on Wednesday, 158 December 19, 2007. The University is open only two more days before closing for the winter 159 recess. Normally faculty members are given four working days after the final to turn in grades. 160 Since the University is closed from December 22 through January 1 this year, the four working 161 days would be December 20 and 21 and January 2 and January 3. If this schedule were followed, 162 Fall 2007 grades would not be available on students’ records until January 6, 2008.
163 Several possible adjustments have been suggested:
164 a) Reduce the deadline to three days after the final for grade submission; 165 b) Allow grades to be submitted on Saturday December 22; 166 c) Reduce the number of study days by 1 and have final exams T-T December 11-18; 167 d) Include Saturday December 15 as an exam day and have finals W-T December 12-18 168 including December 15;
169 A combination of these would be necessary if grades are to be submitted prior to the holiday 170 break.
172 Comments included concerns that even if faculty worked into the recess, staff support at their 173 schools would likely not be available. A suggestion was made to avoid scheduling finals with 174 large numbers of students on the last day of finals week. 175
176 Senators are encouraged to provide additional comments and suggestions by January 25 to: 177 <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com
179 The meeting adjourned at 4:40 pm.
182 Respectfully Submitted,
185 Michael Jorgensen, DDS
186 Secretary General of the Academic Senate