Welcome to the Premiere Issue of the
Faculty Senate Newsletter!
This newsletter will serve to update the
Faculty regarding the most recent and upcoming Faculty Senate Meetings and
provide direct links to important information. For more extensive
information, please go to the
Faculty Senate Home Page.
Minus Grades Motion Passed by Senate
At its Sept. 5th, 2003, meeting, the Faculty Senate approved the
introduction at Seton Hall of a Plus/Minus Grading system (without the
grades A+ and D-). Quality points will be assigned on the following scale:
A, 4.000; A-, 3.667; B+, 3.333; B, 3.000; B-, 2.667; C+, 2.333; C, 2.000;
C-1.667; D+, 1.333; D, 1.000; F, 0.000. The optimal date for the
introduction of the new system would be September 2004, which Enrollment
Services recommends. Please see the attachment for the full report of the
special Minus Grades Committee.
Senate Action Items for 2003-2004
In her Convocation Address on
Sept. 12th, Faculty Senate Chair Roseanne Mirabella outlined the following agenda
items for the 2003-2004 academic year:
|To continue to support Program Review and "to ensure that Senate
recommendations on individual programs will be completed within a
timeframe compatible with the university budget process and reflected in
|To continue to support the improvement of general education at Seton
Hall with the development of a new core curriculum.|
|To support external revue for promotion and tenure as long as it is
in conjunction with appropriate levels of support for faculty
|To continue to pursue faculty representation on the Board of
In her call to action, Dr. Mirabella also asked for the following:
|Greater academic rigor across the curriculum|
|The return of Enrollment Services to the Academic Affairs division|
|A Program Review process that leads to real, substantive change and
|That new programs only be approved if there are adequate university
resources available to support such a program|
|To avoid course duplication by placing the new course approval
process back into the hands of the college EPCs and Senate APCCC|
|A reduced course load for faculty in keeping with the Tier Two
status to which we aspire|
|Compensation for faculty matching that of our peer institutions|
see the link for the full-text of her convocation address.)
In his remarks, University Provost Mel Shay said that the
administration will continue to work with the faculty to provide a
supportive environment for faculty work life.
Core Curriculum Update
The Senate’s Core Curriculum Committee is developing a
revamped approached to general education at Seton Hall. A new emphasis will be
placed on making good on our institutional commitment to service. The core will
focus on skill development and skill application. The proposed model was
developed in response to specific ideas and concerns that the faculty shared
with the committee both at department meetings and through a faculty survey. The
plan to transform general education will result in a major departure from the
current model on campus, providing a coherent educational experience – a
signature experience for Seton Hall students. I believe that the Seton Hall
community is ready to engage in the hard work and sustained commitment that will
be necessary to transform general education at Seton Hall University (from
R. Mirabella's Convocation Address).
Reflecting on the Core Curriculum Committee's efforts in his address to the faculty
at Convocation, Msgr. Robert Sheeran stressed that this core should
"reflect our mission and the rich Catholic intellectual tradition."
He assured the faculty that he would ask the regents to provide generous
funding for a new core that brought national recognition to Seton Hall (as
did the IT initiative).
The Faculty Guide Committee has created draft language on
external review in the area of tenure and promotion. The Senate is especially
concerned that the guidelines establish fair and reasonable rules and procedures
for this process. As proposed, external review would be administered at the
departmental level, would provide a packet to reviewers outlining the
candidate’s scholarship, and would provide the external reviewer with
information on institutional support provided to the candidate during their time
here at Seton Hall. The draft language includes a timeline for phasing in the
process over several years. The Senate stands ready to forward this language to
the Provost once the appropriate levels of academic support for scholarship have
been adequately addressed
(from R. Mirabella's Convocation Address).
If you have comments, questions, or suggestions
regarding the material in this newsletter, please contact Mary Balkun,
Faculty Senate Executive Secretary, at email@example.com.
Executive Committee Report 9-05-03
Program Review Update
The Faculty Senate is seeking volunteers, preferably
tenured, to help review programs of study in our various colleges and
We are striving to increase meaningful faculty participation
in university governance, and one of the ways we as faculty members can do
this is by assuming greater responsibility for academic programs (which
should be our purview anyhow). Specifically, we should be the major
voice in deciding which programs are strong academically and are good
investments of our resources, versus which programs should be phased out.
The Senate is aware that in the past Program Review has
sometimes required a lot of work with very little result. The way to
improve this is to ask each volunteer to review only one large or two
smaller programs and to appoint reviewers who are able to give honest
opinions, including suggestions for improvement, criticisms and, where
necessary, recommendations for discontinuance. We believe that tenured
faculty members should be best able to offer such straightforward opinions.
Please contact either of the committee co-chairs, Mary
Balkun (English) or Bob Massey (Psychology and Family Therapy) to indicate
your willingness to serve in this important capacity.
[Developed for the Faculty Senate by the TLTC.]