FAC Minutes 09-18-16

College of Natural Science
Faculty Advisory Council

Meeting Minutes
September 8, 2016

Present: S. Balasubramaniam, D. Bello, M. Comstock, D. DeWitt, F. Downes, G. Garrity, J. Hu, J. Kirkpatrick, D. Liu, K. Olson, K. Osteryoung, F. Peterson, C. Sisk, M. TerAvest

Approval of Minutes. The minutes from the May 12, 2016 meeting were approved as written.

Old Business


New Business

Elect Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary)

Officer positions were filled as indicated below.

Chair: Diana Bello

Vice Chair: George Garrity

Secretary: Kathy Osteryoung

Choose a liaison between the FAC and the University Council/Faculty Senate

As FAC chair, D. Bello will serve on the University Council/Faculty Senate.

Choose two FAC members to serve on the Student Advisory Council (SAC)

K. Olson and M. TerAvest agreed to serve on the SAC for the coming academic year.

Choose an Awards Coordinator

Dean Kirkpatrick stressed the importance of college and university awards. Anthony Cognato was not present, but it was agreed that he be contacted to see if he will serve as the awards coordinator again for the academic year.

Reminder to Review University Award Nomination Packets (Comments due 9/25/16)

Members were reminded that review of current award nomination packets are due to F. Peterson September 25, 2016. Nominators have one more opportunity to update awards packets.  Therefore, comments to make nomination packets stronger to non-NatSci faculty members are needed. It was noted that packets should reflect broad-based influence on society in some way (beyond scientific). It was decided that responsibility for award review would be divided among FAC members so that every member does not have to review nomination packets for all awards. D. Bello volunteered to work with F. Peterson to divide them up. More information forthcoming.

Alternative SIRS

There is concern that current student evaluations (SIRS) do not provide correct information about how faculty are teaching. The questions don’t get at issues. S. Chivukula, brought this concern to the college administration last year, and Dean Kirkpatrick asked the FAC to review the issue. There is now a fair amount of literature on student evaluations. He would like a subset of FAC and of SAC to look into alternative SIRS and provide an analysis of the pros and cons of current situation, literature findings, and recommendations on how to improve. He could imagine running pilots. D. Bello is interested in serving on a subcommittee. She will request additional information and contact FAC members via email about joining her.

Academic Program Review 2016-17: BMB/CEM

An Academic Program Review (APR) takes place for each unit every 5-7 years. The Academic Program Review process for BMB and CEM will take place during spring semester. D. Bello and Dean Kirkpatrick provided an overview of APR. It can be seen as an opportunity for units to get one-on-one time with the provost’s office.  The real value is internal within the unit. It’s a chance to look at itself, think about itself and define where to go. The FAC will give feedback on the APR documents before they are finalized. This committee has substantially improved most of them.

Review of Bylaws

Review of bylaws will take place in December and January.

Next Meeting: October 13, 2016