Minutes of the Campus Faculty Meeting
April 16, 2014
3:30 p.m. - Giffels Auditorium
John Rupe, Chair
Linda Jones, Secretary (minutes by J. Parry)
Minutes Status: Approved
Call to Order – John Rupe, Campus Faculty Chair
John Rupe called the meeting to order at 3:30
Approval of the Agenda
Without objection, the agenda was approved.
Minutes of the Meeting
Minutes from Fall 2013 were approved
Shane Broadway, Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, addressed the Campus Faculty on the subject of “Higher Education in Arkansas.”
Mr. Broadway opened with an expression of gratitude for the invitation, and not inconsiderable envy of those who get to work on such a beautiful campus, doing meaningful and rewarding work. He extended his thanks for faculty efforts here.
ADHE serves as a coordinator of 33 public and 11 private institutions in the state, as well as the chief processor of about $170 million in financial aid. Mr. Broadway spends considerable time at the State Capitol meeting: few have “more bosses” than the director of ADHE (e.g., governor, 135 legislators, the Board of Higher Education, etc.).
The connection with K-12 is an especially important one, and – apparently – an unusually tight one. The directors of both units in Arkansas have a good working relationship (example: annual co-meeting with the ACT people).
Considering creating (or linking to) a list of faculty experts at all institutions, a resource inventory. Media, policymakers, citizens, etc. call ADHD quite a lot. Most of those questions are answered better by people out on the campuses.
Certainly a major challenge in higher education everywhere is stagnant (or even declining) state support. In Arkansas, in 1999, it was $6500/FTE, in 2012 it was about $100 lower (not adjusted for inflation). The Lake View series of state supreme court decisions of the 2000s presents a real challenge for state budgetmakers: K-12 must be first to achieve judicially-directed adequacy requirements. The elderly and disabled, plus prisons, follow as state priorities, for various reasons. Higher education gets in line behind those needs. Consequently, many policy debates seemingly unrelated to higher education affect it directly, at least in terms of dollars available (e.g., private option debate of the recent fiscal session and ongoing effort to restructure K-12 teacher insurance program).
Capital funding also inadequate, pales in comparison to facilities money for K-12.
Encourages all of UA campus to maintain contact with local legislators, especially when they do the right things or we appreciate their broader efforts. We need a bigger pool of people talking about the importance, and needs, of higher education.
What about those folks with “some college” but not degree (350,000 people). How do we serve them?
Remediation rates are slowly improving (currently 74% at 2-year colleges, 33% at f-year colleges, and 48% overall). That’s a good sign, but still too high. Mr. Broadway’s perspective is that it’s not an academic skill gap, but a workload gap, one we need to close. The idea of preschool through “20” task forces across the state might be helpful in addressing this problem, in addition to others. Similarly, ADHE is developing “transitional courses” to help them understand the college context and curricular expectations.
Then opened up for questions: what can we be doing on a state level to help you meet your goals of retention and graduation? Other matters?
Questions and comments related to: how to hang on to a respectable portion of state funding for higher education (relative to steep decline in other states), meeting differentiated needs of Fayetteville versus other campuses, role of ADHE in gatekeeping duplicative programs (including logistics for UA-system eVersity initiative), and the future of state’s SURF (undergraduate research) grants (hoping for more investment soon).
Mr. Broadway closed with a call to contact him anytime, and encouragement to engage with policymakers, as members of the flagship institution.
The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.