Sacramento State interim-Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee raised concerns about the conduct of some faculty members during the first Faculty Senate meeting of the semester.
(Photo by Joseph Daniels)
Sacramento State interim-Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee raised concerns about the conduct of some faculty members during the first Faculty Senate meeting of the semester. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)
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Faculty performance critiqued in first Faculty Senate meeting

Faculty job performance, graduation rates, a potential satellite campus and a blended degree program policy were the main topics of the first faculty senate meeting of the semester on Sept. 8.

Sacramento State interim-Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee raised concerns about the conduct of some faculty members.

“Why do we have some faculty members cancelling classes when they’re not supposed to?,” Lee said. “Why do they believe that between two holidays, they can just not deliver a class? Why, when we say again and again that the week before finals you are not supposed to give finals, they still do it?”

“It is our peers and our colleagues that are doing that,” Lee said. “To me, if we don’t enforce it, it is an insult to all of you. As long as I am in this office, we will enforce it, and we need [faculty] help.”

Lee also requested faculty feedback concerning the possibility of an extension of Sac State or a new satellite campus in Placer County.

“What are we going to do with that 300 acres? What kind of academic program should we establish there?” Lee said. “When it comes to actual academic planning, what kind of setup we should have in that particular location — it has to involve all of you, the faculty.”

The “Finish in Four” campaign, which encourages students to take an average of 15 units per semester to graduate in four years, was one of the first topics university President Robert Nelsen addressed during the meeting, as he related it to the recent increase in campus activity.

“If you don’t believe parking is more crowded, it is more crowded…but why? Because students have gone from averaging 12 units to averaging 15 units. That means they’re on campus longer…it means they’re taking one extra class,” Nelsen said.

Sixty-two percent of incoming freshmen signed the “Finish in Four” contract, and contracts for transfer students will also be out shortly, according to Nelsen.

A proposal for a blended bachelor’s degree and master’s degree program was also discussed. Dimitri Bogazianos, who proposed the idea to the faculty senate along with faculty senate chair Julian Heather, said it would offer undergraduate students the opportunity to take graduate classes. The blended units would only count towards the required 120 units for undergraduates but cover course requirements for graduate classes.

“To give an example, you have a very high unit graduate program. So you could say anybody who comes from outside has to do a 36-unit graduate program, but somebody who’s doing a blended program can take six of the units that anybody else has to do as a graduate student, and they can be done while they have undergraduate status,” Heather said.

The mechanical engineering major already offers a blended bachelor’s and master’s program. Other departments would decide whether or not to offer the blended program.

Further debate and revision of a blended program policy will occur in the next faculty senate meeting, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15 in the University Union’s Foothill Suite.

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