Faculty Senate hears talk of taxes, business
The Faculty Senate discussed tax diversions, the core curriculum and academic dishonesty at its March 15 meeting.
Chancellor Joel E. Anderson said House Bill 1418 by Rep. Jonathan Barnett (R-Siloam Springs) would divert approximately $2.3 billion in state general revenue to state highways during the next decade. Sales tax revenue generated by the sale of new and used cars, auto parts and services would go to the Highway and Transportation Department.
“Imagine a pie that represents 100 percent of the state revenue: 47 percent is going to K-12 [public education], and that is not changing,” Anderson said. Twenty-three percent is going to Health and Human Services, and now the state will be spending more money on Medicaid. Nine percent funds prisons and criminal justice.
“Now that leaves 21 percent of the state budget left. Our piece, Higher Education, of the pie is taken from that. If it is shrunken anymore, that will mean devastation for higher ed, especially in the long-term,” the chancellor said.
“We’ve been fighting House Bill 1418, and we’re cautiously optimistic that it won’t get out of committee,” Anderson said. “Our position is that [the highway department] needs the revenue, but they need to find a different source. Don’t take it away from us.”
Concerning the undergraduate curriculum that has been on the Faculty Senate’s agenda for almost two years, Provost Zulma Toro-Ramos spoke of progress.
“I recently spoke to the students of the Donaghey Scholars Program, and I asked them what they felt was the most important aspect of the program. Without exception, they said the team-taught courses were the most important part,” she said. Toro-Ramos stressed her adamant support behind integrating the Donaghey model of teaching into other courses across the curriculum.
Brad Patterson and Arrayon Furlough of Testing Services presented statistics in student cheating during online courses. Furlough cited various studies and surveys that found 42 percent of college students had admitted to working with others on individual assignments, 24 percent admitted to receiving unpermitted help from someone on a written assignment, and 72 percent admitted to cheating at least once while taking a virtual quiz, even after signing an honor code.
She told the Senators about a new service that would offer professors the option to proctor their online courses, and it would implement a new program which monitors the student computer activity. It would be capable of seeing their screen and taking screenshots, as well as blocking certain websites.