High Tech with a Human Touch
Quality of Life Committee Meeting
March 14, 2005
Meeting Start: 10:05 am
Professor John Windsor
Professor Carol Shehadeh
Martin Luther King Holiday – University Observance
Jim Gering’s proposals
Thursday March 17, 2005
Vice Presidents Duncan and Armul
Meeting opened at 3:35 at the Clemente Center. In the absences of Karen Rhine, secretary, Gordon Patterson served as secretary for the meeting.
President Catanese has approved the committee’s recommendation for a campus recycling program. He has directed Vice President Armul to meet with facilities management and initiate the recycling effort. President Catanese emphasized his concern that the recycling efforts not become a campus eyesore.
Introduction of Guests: Professors Carol Shehadeh and John Windsor
Topic: Ombudspersons at Florida Tech
Suzee Louche, campus ombudsperson for staff and students, was unable to attend the meeting. She sent the committee her regrets and indicated she would be available to meet with the committee in the future.
Professors Shehadeh and Windsor provided the committee with an overview of their work as campus ombudspersons. Professor Windsor has served in this post for twenty years. The ombudspersons are to serve as an alternative conduit for communications.
Windsor explained that even though the guidelines for ombudspersons at Florida Tech make clear that they are not to enter into discussions concerning termination of employment that this is the chief issue that comes before them. Typically, the high point of the year for complaints comes immediately after the issuance of annual contracts on 1 April.
Windsor and Shehadeh stated that the main problems they face include:
1. Lack of communications between faculty members and department heads and deans.
2. Ineffectiveness of the faculty review process.
3 Absence of feedback to faculty members.
Other complaints include: too much teaching, insufficient acknowledgement of accomplishments, promotion, and work off campus.
There is a misconception that the ombudspersons are advocates of the individual faculty members. Their function is to open a line of communication rather than defend or advance any specific cause.
Rhian Resnick suggested that the QOL webpage (idea came from Dee Dee Pannell) contain a link describing the ombudspersons activities. Gordon Patterson asked Professors Shehadeh and Windsor if they would provide a brief description of their activities. He will also ask Suzee Louche to provide a description for the webpage.
The committee thanked Professors Windsor and Shehadeh for attending.
University commemoration of Martin Luther King Day: Discussion of how the university might develop a program in conjunction with the local community. Doug Nolder noted that student activities have a number of programs around Martin Luther King Day. The committee will revisit this issue.
Communications on campus: Sara Parent raised the question of communications on campus and recommended that televisions be place in buildings with high traffic that would provide an overview of campus events such as the television in the student union. (After the meeting Professor Patterson requested Sara Parent to draw up a plan for four or five test sites to present to the committee.)
The committee would like to schedule a meeting with Jay Wilson, university public affairs director, in the future.
Patterson requested the committee members that are retiring consider remaining on the committee until November or December so as to allow an orderly transition between new and old members.
Patterson will arrange a meeting with President Catanese and the committee in April.
Next meeting: March 17 with Vice Presidents Armul and Duncan.
2:00 p.m. Clemente Center
Meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.