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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I. 3:30 Department Chair and Provost Curtis Discussions
A. Cell phone plans - Jim Graham
Finance and Administration are reviewing the reimbursement policy for personal cell phones used for University business purposes. Less than 20 individuals currently being reimbursed. Not cost effective for the university and generates taxable income for individuals that could cause IRS complications.
Budget managers will still be able to designate those who need cell phones, but will now use a university phone. There is the ability to forward a university phone to a personal phone to alleviate the need to carry multiple devices. Personal numbers being used on marketing materials cause different challenges. If it is used in marketing materials, then technically considered a university number. IRS has directed us to isolate these numbers. Of course cell numbers can be used for student contact, but should be university phones.
Currently have 225 devices supplied by UCM. The 20 individual phones are being transferred. Early termination fees caused by this move will be addressed by the university. For some the use of a cell phone is intended to replace a desk phone. Desk phones are provided at no cost to departments. Add, moves and changes were Telecom chargeable items in the past, but no longer. FPO may charge for remodel issues (physically putting in or relocating wiring).
Personal calls -University cell phones from 7:00-9:00 are charged minutes according to the plan the budget manager chose. Anytime after 9:00 and weekends these phones can be used however necessary. 7:00-7:00 are university minutes. Three plans available: 300, 600, and 900 minutes. If major overages are incurred, the plan will be revisited but the department is not charged for the extra minutes. If you go over your plan, it is applied to the overall university pool of minutes. There is no one monitoring what numbers are being called. From an IRS standpoint any personal calls must be reimbursed by the employee. Our standpoint is if you are required to have a cell phone and need to make a personal phone here and there we are not going to waste the manpower to track, nor is it a problem. Shouldn’t make it a habit where it will become an issue. Details on what is the requirement to have a phone is being reviewed by Administration and we will see more on that after the first of the year.
Who is discussing these policies? Office of Finance and administration. Based on what came from SLT. They are looking at the existing policy to see if it needs revised. Faculty/Chair input may be needed in the future. The current policy is being looked at to strip away the reimbursement/stipend.
Policy change taking place at the end of the year is taking away the reimbursement/stipend. The definition of who needs a cell is still under review.
There is no reason not to have an office phone. It is centrally funded and they supply a phone. A cell phone may be necessary if you are out of the office a great deal, or travel a great deal. The other side to that is you have two numbers, a desk phone and a cell phone. More and more are moving away from a traditional land line. We are not ready to advocate this yet. From a cost standpoint, if you don’t need a cell phone use a landline since there is no additional cost. Cost ranges from $30 for basic voice plan upto $75 for data/smartphone plan. There is not a central funding of cell phones at this point.
Students are use to texting and emailing. We like to be responsive to our students. Being available by text or email would be very helpful to our students. Reimbursing faculty who want to be responsive to their students through text $30 a month would be much more cost effective than $75 a pop for each faculty. TSC is not appropriated at this time to just issue cell phones. We examples of those issued phones who use them during the day, put them on their charger and leave them overnight. Reimbursement can be a benefit if you have a shared phone, it can be more cost effective.
Discussion - $75 phone for all faculty would be half a base budget. We have faculty that do have duties off campus.
When the PBX hits it’s end of life (within 3 years) comes we may just switch to cells.
Policy will be enforced, we will no longer reimburse or provide a stipend. If we stop reimbursing our engineer who is on a two year contract, he will face a $200 cancellation fee. The university understands and will be covered when the Adm and Fin comes out with their decision.
B. Early alert
Changes went into effect late this semester. Many did not use it. Those that did have major concerns. Submitted someone for absences through early alert. An email from early alert office was sent out to the student. The problem is that email looked like it was coming from the faculty, from her account. Written in first person. The faculty member felt her account had been hacked, making it sound like it was coming from her. English does not approve of this, it is academic dishonesty. Unsure of the legality of all this. If this persists, English will advise their faculty not to use it. When it comes from them it should be identified as Early Alert. If Streck knew about concerns, he would make adjustments. He was called immediately and it was not addressed in a fashion that would stop this type of reply. (November 1 incident) Depends on what level of alert. Level 4 - referrals will be sent directly to Corey Bowman.
May be more effective to invite Streck here for the discussion. Provost Curtis, when she inquired, was told faculty were notified that this is what happened. We may shift them to identify they are coming from Early Alert. The last thing we want is for faculty to not use this system. Understandable reaction to use of their signature and seems crafted by the faculty person. Changing the identifiers would solve the problem. Early Alert is suppose to be a level above faculty intervention. So if it looks like it’s coming from faculty, then it isn’t really demonstrating the urgency. If faculty have already emailed, another email may not do anything. Another form of contact may be more effective (phone call).
“A change in the early alert system was put into place early in the semester. Emails will contain faculty names and contact information. In order to increase student...”
This information was not widely disseminated and therefore faculty were not readily informed. They said they told us, but what they told us is not what happened. Why would early alert send a message in the name of the faculty? The faculty has the ability to communicate with the student directly.
No faculty were included on the committee that made these changes. It was just Patrick Streck and Corey Bowman. They stated in a partial response to an inquiry that they would not recommend sending a student to referral after the withdraw date if there is no chance of the student passing the course. In interest of increasing our retention rate, wouldn’t it make more sense to try and get the student back on track for the next semester than ignoring it altogether.
Someone had to authorize Streck and Bowman to implement sending email in someone elses name and show them how.
Student Success committee is reviewing the name of early alert system and removing the early. There are many reasons someone would alert. Early does not refer to the part of the semester, but early enough to get the student to be successful.
Do we need to meet with Patrick, or is it enough to get the practice to stop and identify the proper sender? Discussion
Student Success is a group that is a support system for students. Joseph Lebowski is forming a total group comprised completely of faculty that will be putting in their input.
Discussion on having Patrick come address the counsel.
C. Course schedules
Redoing the summer schedule, fewer blocks. What do you do with those minority courses that run on an off schedule? The process for course approval is not in place. How do we get those approved? First line of approval is the chair. Then they go to the Dean. From there they are shared with the Provost. Do not contact Laura Miller directly as has been the procedure in the past.
II. Approval of Minutes from 11/13/2012
Approved as submitted
III. Questions on Written Reports
For any reports that are submitted
IV. Information Items
Please do your best to have faculty enter their grades by noon on Tuesday. They have to be in on time. Bb is going down for 48 hours Tuesday afternoon.
Can pull a missing grade report to see who has not entered grades through Argos. U grades have to be saved twice, and it does not tell you if it doesn’t take. It is not real intuitive. Same thing for F grades if you do not enter the last date attended. Contact Barb Hicks if you need help accessing this report. She will be happy to send step-by-step directions. Processing grades take 3 full days. The registrar’s office will have 2 1/2 days with the added day of holiday vacation.
V. Discussion Items
VI. Other Items As May Arise