Faculty-Administration Liaison Committee
Annual Report, 2003-2004
The Faculty-Administration Liaison Committee (FALC) met five times during the 2003-2004 academic year. One additional meeting is planned for May 11 to set the preliminary agenda for 2004-2005.
The main business of the committee was as follows:
Early in the year, a suggestion was made to the FALC that a web photo directory of new faculty members would be a useful utility to develop. After discussion, the committee agreed that an even more comprehensive utility should be developed, permitting easy searches for information on all faculty members, and possibly staff and students eventually as well. Ryan Fisher was contacted with this suggestion, and such a utility is indeed under development. A current roadblock is implementing the security necessary to allow all faculty members to individually edit their online profiles (for both internal and external viewing). Ryan is also working on ways to populate the database initially with data from Datatel. He expects the utility to be available in the summer.
Faculty governance has been an important topic of discussion this academic year. The FALC participated by presenting two proposals – one involving a new definition of quorum and the other suggesting that the FALC serve as a “clearinghouse” for motions, resolutions, announcements and other proposals before going directly to the faculty – at the open forum following the October 13 faculty meeting.
Historically, the FALC has periodically reviewed the university’s list of “reference institutions”, used for benchmark (or “dashboard”) comparisons of critical statistics including endowment, faculty salaries, etc. The committee requested that Bill Berg share the history of this list along with its rationale, and asked for a recommendation regarding any potential additions or deletions. Bill’s recommendation was that no changes are currently necessary, as Furman falls roughly in the middle of the reference list for most of the dashboard categories. The committee agreed with this recommendation.
The FALC discussed the issue of committee appointments, and whether there is a tendency for them to be unbalanced – with some faculty members serving on several faculty/administrative/special/ad hoc committees while others serve on very few. As a concrete step towards answering this question, the committee initiated a new project to create a database that will store information about committee assignments and service. When completed, this is expected to be useful even beyond the question that prompted its creation. This project is currently ongoing.
During winter term the FALC again had Bill Berg as a guest, to hear the faculty salary report prior to its presentation to the full faculty. The committee made a few minor editing/organizational suggestions that appeared in the final report.
Also during winter term, the FALC was asked to consider the issue of Furman-supported child care, specifically the idea of year-round infant care at the CDC. During the committee’s discussion, it was noted that this specific topic has been considered by the Board of Trustees and a decision not to pursue such an expansion of the CDC has been made. The committee then decided that it was very important that this decision be conveyed to the faculty. A recent memo from Hazel Harris to the faculty was the end result of this decision.
The FALC had several discussions about the issue of how the rise in enrollments has (or has not) impacted the availability of GER courses. The committee was informed by Dean Kazee that Brad Barron, Si Pearman, Linda Bartlett and the dean’s office were collaboratively gathering data and looking into the issue. The committee indicated to all of these individuals its willingness to serve as a resource in this study. This will be a FALC agenda item for 2004-2005.
In a similar vein, the FALC expressed to Linda Bartlett an interest in assisting in any way possible with university efforts regarding academic integrity policy and procedures.
The FALC thanks Tom Kazee, David Shi, Bill Berg, Linda Bartlett, Si Pearman, Hazel Harris and Ryan Fisher for their guidance and work on behalf of the committee. The chair extends thanks to committee members Kailash Khandke, Gary Malvern, David Rutledge, Mark Stone, David Turner and Diane Vecchio for their support and work this year.
Kevin Treu. Chair