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Case Western Reserve University

Faculty Senate Newsletter

Synopsis of the March 20, 2013 Faculty Senate meeting

This newsletter will be sent out monthly and will provide you with a snapshot of what took place at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting. To learn more about any issue, click on the item and it will take you to more information further down the page; the numbers below correspond with the numbers above. If you have any questions, please contact one of the senators for your school or college. The list of senators can be found on the Faculty Senate website.

President's and Provost's Announcements

  1. President Barbara Snyder reported that the Board of Trustees meeting in late February included a lively discussion of the strategic plan. Faculty involvement in the process is essential.
  2. Provost Bud Baeslack reported that the strategic planning groups met on Monday, March 18 for a half-day retreat. Working groups presented their findings and it is anticipated that the first draft of the strategic plan will be ready in April. The campus forums did not attract as many people as expected, so it is particularly important for campus groups to provide input on the draft plan.

Chair's Announcements

  1. Prof. Robin Dubin, chair, Faculty Senate, announced that CWRU’s Relay for Life fundraiser is being held on April 21-22. The organizers would like to see faculty involvement.
  2. A special Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 10 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is for faculty to provide feedback on the strategic plan. All are encouraged to attend. Electronic access will be provided.
  3. Several standing committees have made requests for additional funding. Rather than considering these requests individually, they should be aligned with and integrated into the strategic plan. Senators should consult with their colleagues regarding the draft strategic plan and bring their comments and suggestions to the May 10 special Faculty Senate meeting.
  4. Prof. Dubin introduced Professor Patricia Higgins, SON, who spoke on behalf of Professor Elizabeth Click regarding the American Cancer Society's Epidemiology Research Program Cancer Study. The Cancer Society is seeking 300,000 participants between the ages of 30-65 for a research study. Prof. Higgins encouraged all senators to enroll either online, or in person at the Thwing Student Center on April 19 or the North Residential Village on April 20.

Report from the Secretary of the Corporation

  1. Ms. Libby Keefer, secretary of the corporation and general counsel, gave a brief summary of the February CWRU Board meeting. She reported that the Board approved 5 endowments totaling approximately $750,000. They approved 6 junior and senior faculty appointments, 1 new appointment and 3 faculty reappointments to named professorships.
  2. The Board approved three candidates for the Award of Honorary Degree: Mohamed Ibn Chambas; Geoffrey Duyk; and Elon Musk.
  3. Trustees appointed new trustee Colleen Batcheler (alum of the Law School) and acknowledged service of trustee Dr. Ronald Dozoretz.

Agenda Items

  1. Approval of 5-Year Academic Calendar
  2. Revisions to CAS By-Laws
  3. Revisions to MSASS By-Laws
  4. Revisions to the Faculty Senate By-Laws Amendment Provision
  5. Online LLM Program


  1. Report from the President's Commission on Child Care Options
  2. Report on International Rankings
  3. Report from the ad hoc Committee on Appointments

More Information

  1. Amy Hammett, the university registrar, presented the 5-year academic calendar (2013-2018). The calendar was approved by the Faculty Senate.

  2. Professor David Singer presented revisions to the CAS by-laws. Changes include the requirement that the CAS representative to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee serve on the Executive Committee of the CAS; clarification of promotion policies for instructors; revisions to the Dean's review process so that it conforms with the Provost's requirements; and language reflecting the merger of the departments of Mathematics and Statistics. The Faculty Senate voted to approve the revisions to the CAS by-laws.

  3. Professor David Crampton presented revisions to the MSASS by-laws. Changes include the creation of a new standing committee on Information Technology and clarification that doctoral education falls within the purview of the Doctoral Program Faculty, not the school's Curriculum Committee. The Faculty Senate voted to approve the revisions to the MSASS by-laws.

  4. Prof. Singer reported on proposed revisions to the amendment provision of the Faculty Senate by-laws. The current provision states that the Senate must forward a proposed amendment to an ad hoc committee. Prof. Singer said that before the By-Laws Committee became an official standing committee of the Faculty Senate, it had existed as an ad hoc committee and that is probably the genesis of the language in the current amendment provision. The proposed revisions state that the amendment shall be sent to the FS By-Laws Committee instead. The By-Laws Committee would report to the Executive Committee which in turn would report to the Faculty Senate at its next regular meeting. Adoption of the proposed amendment by the Faculty Senate would require a two-thirds vote as stated in Robert's Rules of Order. The Faculty Senate voted to approve the revisions to the amendment provision of the Faculty Senate By-Laws.

  5. Professor Dale Nance presented the online LLM program in International Business Law from the School of Law. This would be the first online LLM program in the country focused on international business law. The residential LLM program at the School of Law is directed towards international students. This would be true for the online program also. The duration of the new program would be two years instead of one year for residential students since it is anticipated that the majority of online matriculants would be employed while they are in the program and would need additional time to complete the work. The Faculty Senate voted to approve the online LLM program.

  6. Professor Eileen Anderson-Fye, co-chair of the President's Committee on Child Care Options, gave background information on child care initiatives at CWRU. In 2008, a partnership with the Music Settlement had been considered but did not go forward. However, interest in a child care center on or near campus remains very strong. The goal is to provide a high quality center for faculty, staff and students. The focus would be on providing care for children ages 0-3 years of age. The committee researched other institutions and learned that 90% of AUU schools have one or more centers on or near their campuses. A child care center is viewed as a benefit for recruitment, productivity and retention of faculty, staff and students, and is most successful when integrated into the campus community as a home for research, training and education. The committee identified 6 nonprofit and private providers, and is in the process of developing a Request for Information (RFI) to send to these groups. The level of investment required from the university won't be known until after the RFIs have been returned. Prof. Anderson-Fye thanked the Senate for continuing to make child care a top budget priority.

  7. Jean Gubbins, Director of Institutional Research, provided information on three of the most visible international rankings. The rankings are Shanghai, Times Higher Education and QS World International Rankings. Critics of international rankings cite the fact that there is an overreliance on bibliometrics, too much of a focus on science, reputational surveys are used, there is little consideration of teaching, and there is a bias towards Western and English-language publications and literature. The Shanghai rankings are well-regarded as they rank over 1,000 institutions and do not include reputational surveys. CWRU's overall and U.S. rankings under Shanghai have fallen from 2011 to 2012. CWRU's rankings have also fallen under the Times Higher Education system. However, this system changed its methodology in 2010 so the rankings are difficult to compare. Times Higher Education uses reputational surveys, and respondents are asked to compare the institution being ranked with 15 other institutions of their choosing. Ms. Gubbins said that the QS ranking system split off from Times Higher Education and that it is heavily subjective and not well-regarded. However, their rankings are reprinted in U.S. News & World Report as the "World's Best Universities". CWRU's overall ranking under QS declined from 2011-2012, but remained the same under rankings of U.S. institutions. In conclusion, Ms. Gubbins pointed out that it is more difficult for smaller institutions to do well in international rankings because they are less visible. Many international students look only at U.S. News & World Report. New international rankings appear regularly and are quite variable based on the criteria used. Faculty should respond if contacted by one of the international ranking organizations.

  8. Professor Alan Levine, chair of the ad hoc committee, provided background on the formation of the committee. In 2011-12 the Faculty Senate voted to approve an ROTC program at CWRU. ROTC instructors were given temporary appointments through the Provost's office with the understanding that permanent appointments would be made by the spring of 2014. The ad hoc committee was convened to consider whether appointments made outside the eight constituent faculties (such as those made in ROTC and Physical Education and Athletics (PHED), as well as SAGES instructors) are appropriate, and if so, the policies that should govern them. The committee decided to consider each group separately and made several recommendations. With respect to PHED, the committee recommended that faculty be included within the University Faculty as defined by the Faculty Handbook (FH) and therefore governed by the policies that relate to the University Faculty. The committee rejected the idea that PHED be considered a ninth Constituent Faculty as defined by the FH. The Faculty Senate By-Laws Committee would be responsible for determining where within the FH to use the term University Faculty and where to use the term Constituent Faculty. The committee discussed whether to make a recommendation that PHED create its own By-Laws but decided to leave the decision up to PHED faculty. PHED does not intend to hire tenure-track faculty.

    The committee recommended that ROTC instructors be appointed through PHED. This recommendation was well-received by the Office of Student Affairs, ROTC leadership, and PHED and approved by the Office of General Counsel.

    With respect to SAGES instructors, the committee focused on Presidential Fellows who have appointments through the Provost's office, and those SAGES Fellows without regular faculty appointments. The committee recommended that the FH be amended to state that all faculty appointments outside the University Faculty should be prohibited, and that all instructors of record teaching CWRU courses should be members of the University Faculty. The recommendations of the ad hoc committee were unanimously approved by the Faculty Senate. The language of the recommendations will now be reviewed by the Senate By-Laws Committee. Prof. Dubin thanked the committee for their excellent and speedy work.

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