MEETING DATE: September 28, 2006
PERSON PRESIDING: John Crammer
ATTENDEES: Jonathan Dembo, Shanan Gibson, Punam Madhok, Johna Faulconer, Donna Kain, John Crammer, Stephen Dock,
EX-OFFICIO: Austin Bunch, Michael Rastatter, Angela Anderson, Mary Farwell
VISITORS: Mark Taggart
The meeting was called to order at 11:00 am in Rawl 142 by John Crammer.
Angela Anderson asked if anyone knew of any reaction to having the make-up day on Reading Day. Mary Farwell and Shanan Gibson said they had pointed out to some faculty the optional methods for making up the lost time. Anderson said that some people reserve classrooms on Reading Day. It was agreed that she would notify secretaries with copies to department chairs of the situation with Reading Day this semester.
Mark Taggart, chair of the Faculty Senate, met with the committee (he had other commitments on the day of the first meeting). He said that he looked at the links that were sent to the committee. He appreciates the spirit the faculty brings to the committee. He understands the restrictions on the number of days and why some Fridays are Mondays. He saw that the committee is working on the 2008-2009 calendar this year; he asked whether we need to plan that far ahead. He pointed out that Reading Day is an important day. He noted the new policy for making up days. He also noted that this spring there will be two Reading Days. Anderson will send a copy of the email she is sending to department secretaries (asking whether they are going to have their classes meet on Reading Day) to Taggart so he can be aware of any issues with room scheduling on that day. Taggart said that the Provost was prompt in notifying the faculty about the make-up day. He said that a problem that affects him personally is that Music has difficulty finding rehearsal space. He appreciates Anderson’s help with incompletes. Mary Farwell is Taggart’s representative on the committee. Taggart then left the meeting.
The committee considered the minutes of the August 29 meeting. A sentence in the second paragraph was changed to read “ECU is closed a day or two before Christmas and also for most of the week between Christmas and New Years Day.” Farwell moved (Stephen Dock seconded) approval of the minutes as modified. Motion Passed. Punam Madhok asked about the meeting time. Crammer responded that the 11:00 am Thursday time is only for this semester and he will try to have meetings end by 11:50 am.
The committee next worked on the surveys about making Memorial Day a holiday. Dock asked why we were concerned about having a day between sessions when students are packed up on exam day. Farwell and Gibson said that Housing needs time to clean the rooms. Gibson suggested copying the information at the bottom of the student survey form to the bottom of the faculty survey form and rewording it. Donna Kain asked why we need a day for registration and orientation at the beginning of the first session. Anderson said that Orientation wants the available day more than Housing does. Dock asked why orientation could not be done earlier. Anderson replied that the students are not here yet. Crammer asked about visiting students. Anderson said that they have already registered. Gibson volunteered to do an online survey and will create it this weekend for the committee to try out next week. Anderson said that the Executive Council has not decided about Memorial Day yet. Farwell said that it would hurt the committee’s credibility if we survey faculty and students and the Executive Council decides to make Memorial Day a staff holiday. Gibson said that she thought Austin Bunch was noncommittal at the August meeting. Jonathan Dembo said that our survey may help the Executive Council make their decision. Dock said the students would take an extra day off. Gibson asked whether we can ask the Executive Council when they plan to decide about Memorial Day. Crammer said he thought that Bunch said it is important for ECU to recognize veterans. Dembo said he had been told that the Memorial Day (originally called “Decoration Day”) had never been celebrated at ECU because Southerners considered it a “Yankee” holiday until after World War I. Anderson said that veterans have asked about Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Gibson suggested that we check to see what other schools do. Anderson suggested that we let Gibson create a sample survey and the committee can decide on it at the next meeting. We all agreed with the suggestion.
The committee spent a few minutes considering the 2008-2009 calendar. Crammer suggested that the summer session calendar can wait until there is a firm decision on days off. Kain asked about the 48-hour requirement on grades in summer. Anderson replied that there is more flexibility than in fall and spring. Kain said that currently there are no classes on Memorial Day but the staff works on that day. We cannot give the staff a day off, but does staff want a day off on Memorial Day? Anderson said that Memorial Day is like Fridays in the summer. Kain asked whether staff get federal holidays off. Crammer said the State Personnel Act (SPA) allows educational institutions to take holidays differently than other state agencies (he passed a copy of the holiday information for state employees to Kain). Anderson said that because of administrative activities fall semester should end no later than December 15 and spring semester should begin no earlier than January 7. Kain and Farwell will find a contact person with the county schools.
The next meeting of the committee will be on Thursday, October 26, 2006 at 11:00 am. The committee will work on the surveys created by Shanan Gibson concerning Memorial Day and on the 2008-2009 calendar.
Meeting adjourned at 11:53 am.