Assanis speaks to student success and university progress at October Faculty Senate meeting
The Faculty Senate reconvened on Monday, Oct. 8, for its monthly general meeting. President Assanis kicked off the meeting with a presentation that included several announcements and expansions on institutional priorities for students and faculty.
An overview of general student success led to a comment on how state-supplied financial aid for Delawareans has been at a stagnant $10.4 million over the past four years, but university-supplied financial aid has been steadily increasing — from $11.4 million in 2016 to $17.1 million for 2019.
This was asserted due to the university’s goal that no student will have loans in excess of 25 percent of the cost of a four-year education.
Assanis also expressed how the university is an “engine for economic development”: for every $1 invested by the state, the university generates $23 in Delaware’s economy.
He proceeded to rehash some upcoming projects mentioned in the last Senate meeting, including the Spectrum Scholars program and new faculty hires.
Continuing on the point of student excellence, he announced that for the second time, the university had received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, for enhancing diversity and inclusion throughout the campus community.
Assanis also spoke of “building the campus of tomorrow,” beginning with a revamping of the McKinly Laboratory, the first step of the campus master plan, which promotes a connected, amplified and translational campus.
As for the question of funding, the university’s state supported operating budget is $120 million for the fiscal year 2019-2020.
After Assanis’ presentation, the Faculty Senate began discussion on six proposed resolutions: five centered around changes to the faculty handbook and one on a change to the Senate’s constitution.
Then, the Senate voted to pass a resolution on the issue of better recordkeeping for student attendance so that “financial aid is given to people that are actually here.” The new amendment also read that “If a student is responsible for committing an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty may impose a grade penalty,” a proposed change from the original automatic “F” issued by the Student Judicial System.
This was in conjunction with the second resolution passed, regarding student class attendance and excused absences.
“In order to be in compliance with federal financial aid regulations, the university requests that the instructor for each course identify to the registrar’s office students who have never attended class or participated in any class activities by the last day of add/drop.”
The following three resolutions passed were all in regard to faculty-related issues, including the change of the numbering of the promotion and tenure section regarding workload, the promotion process schedule and the foreword to the actual handbook.
The final resolution passed centered around the constitution of the faculty, wherein the senate debated who could participate in its proceedings. The proposed changes included an addition of up to three other administrators holding a full-time faculty appointment and four elected student senators — two graduate and two undergraduate students.
Lastly, Professor Tammy L. Anderson from the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice gave a brief presentation on the role of the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) and Faculty Board on Athletics (FBA), wrapping up the Senate meeting until next month.