SSU Academic Senate Meeting of 21 October 2021

Chair Morimoto reported on the public forum held on Monday 11 October to talk about allegations of mismanagement of IRA (Instructionally Related Activities) funds, which was attended by 84 people. She noted with frustration that obfuscation abounded and little was accomplished. It was agreed to establish an IRA Oversight Committee.

On Tuesday 26 October, there will be another Chat with the Chair by zoom at 2:00 pm. We will return to the issue of shared governance at this Chat.

She reminded Senators that there will be a campus-wide budget forum on Monday 15 November beginning at 10 am.

The Center for Community Engagement has been moved from Academic Affairs to the President’s Office, without consultation with either faculty governance nor the broader campus community. There is some unhappiness both with the move and with the lack of consultation.

The Bookstore needs to be reminded that it is unhelpful to address faculty in a scolding tone about meeting deadlines for ordering books, without recognizing that there may be extenuating circumstances, particularly in the case of lecturers, who often do not know until “the last minute” which courses (if any) they will be teaching.

A vaccination requirement is still fully in effect, and faculty are reminded to ask students to show their “green” on their cell phones in order to remain in class. The “green” indicates that they have been certifiably vaccinated or have a certifiable exemption. At this point the number of student exemptions is 463, 55% of which are due to remote-learning-only status, 32% for religious reasons, and 13% for medical reasons. Employee exemptions stand at about 5%.

President Sakaki’s report was not memorable.

Provost Moranski reported that a malfunctioning transformer had caused a fire in Nichols Hall as well as interrupted electrical service to both it and Carson, and that Nichols and Carson Hall are now closed to all entry until a new transformer arrives. [Added later: the transformer arrived the following day, and both halls are now open for all normal activities.]

The search for a candidate for interim AVP for Faculty Success has moved quickly, and because of the pressure of time and the fact that the position is interim she has decided to forgo a public forum. The search for a new permanent CFO to replace interim Stan Nosek has been narrowed to a pool of 10 candidates.

The Provost also reported progress on the Graduation Initiative 2025. She noted great progress in closing the Equity Gap, putting SSU among only 3 CSU campuses that are “in the green”. We are #1 campus in the CSU on 2-year transfers, but are doing poorly on our 6-year graduation rate. Our Pell eligibility gap has been reduced from 10% to 3.5%.

Saturday is “Preview Day”, when the campus will host many prospective students looking to see how they would fit in on the campus. She hopes to have at least 20,000 applicants for the next academic year.

The AS representative reported on a survey in progress about student preferences regarding on-line vs in-person classes, a matter which continues to be in some chaos. The AS is also concerned about affordability of course materials, and making course materials available in various more accessible formats.

-- Submitted by Rick Luttmann