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Motions Passed - 1999-2000 Motions

September 22, 1999 Motions

Motion to Charge Academic Affairs Committee Academic Standards (Jane Smith)

Preamble

Education is not a spectator sport. No one can sit in a classroom watching the faculty at work and expect to go away with anything more than an impression of learning unless the student is engaged in the learning process. Courses at the University of Maine address a wide variety of topics and employ many different instructional techniques, but often have a few fundamental characteristics in common to engage students. The common techniques employed in most University of Maine courses include – attendance, writing, library use, reading, and homework.

The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education is considering the placement of an open letter to students. The letter will emphasize certain academic standards and expectations at the University of Maine. The letter would help prevent the disengagement of students from their studies and help build a better intellectual climate at the University. For example, students could be provided minimum engagement expectations in an open letter similar to the following.

Attendance. Attending classes is not optional; it is expected. No educational benefit can be derived from non-participation. Students with unexcused absences may fail or receive a reduced course grade.
Writing. Expect at least one substantial writing assignment in every course. Clear, concise, forceful writing is one of the most powerful attributes of an educated person. Like most other skills, good writing is perfected through practice, criticism, and more practice.
Library. Plan to spend several hours each week completing library assignments. No textbook or other single source contains all you need to know about anything. But a library such as the Fogler, with millions of documents and books and extensive electronic resources, can meet most information needs. Learning to search out information is an essential skill for everyone who wants knowledge that is more than superficial.
Reading. Be prepared to spend a lot of time reading. Reading remains the means by which we learn most of what we know. You will be expected to read textbooks, other books, manuals, articles, and a variety of other print materials.
Homework. Most courses will include assigned homework. The real work of learning takes place mainly outside the classroom, during the hours you spend completing study assignments. The world of work for which you are preparing gives few rewards just for showing up. The meetings, conferences, interviews, and briefings that form the work of the educated professional are backed up by hours of preparation. The reading, research, and writing that you will do to be a success in your professional life have their origins in the writing, research, and other homework that you will do at Maine. The habits of the successful graduate start with the first day of your freshman year.
Motion

Therefore, the motion is made to charge the Academic Affairs Committee to examine and publish minimum expectations for engaging the undergraduate student in those cases where specific expectations are not otherwise set forth by the faculty to the students. In particular the Committee shall examine, report, and make recommendations regarding minimum expectations in:

Attendance
Writing
Library Use
Reading
Homework
Field/Practice Experience
Cooperative Learning
Other areas of similar or pertinent application
The committee shall examine and report back to the senate with recommendations:

Stating if published expectations are/are not necessary
If published expectations are necessary, what areas should have published expectations;
What levels of performance should be expected from students, as a minimum, for each area; and
What consequences should be expected by students where minimum expectations are not met.
Other recommendations reasonably related to this topic.
The committee shall report back to the full senate with recommendation(s) at the November meeting.

Discussion

Doug Gelinas explained that the administration is proposing the letter in response to disappointing results from the recent survey that indicated students spend very little time studying. There is a perceived need to make expectations explicit. Members expressed concern that the letter should be appropriate for students across campus, and a corresponding concern that explicit mention of some expected activities may lead students to value those to the exclusion of other, equally important activities. It was suggested that a make-up policy could be included.

The motion passed with a clear majority

 

Motion to Charge Committee on Finance and Institutional Planning Identify Needs and Recommend Funding to the Hudson Museum (Bob Rice)

Preamble

The Senate Constitution under article III, Section 2 states: “The Senate shall have the authority to review and make recommendations regarding … institutional plans and priorities, the allocation of the University’s financial resources….” Under the By-Laws, Article IV, section 4, the Committee on Finance and Institutional Planning can deal with “budgetary issues affecting university priorities and allocation.”

The Hudson Museum within the Maine Center for the Arts (MCA) is now a landmark of this University, attracting large crowds to view the historical exhibits and attend cultural affairs that high-light the arts and science at the University of Maine. It provides an attractive and spacious area for inter-college events such as high school recruiting, college fairs, and student/faculty social events. Classes in Anthropology, Art History and History use the Hudson Museum’s collection. The University of Maine is honor-bound to protect and preserve these historical collections. However, the care and maintenance of the area is expensive. Historical exhibits require special care and extra expenses. Donors expect that their donations be maintained. It behooves the senate to investigate special needs of the Hudson Museum and make recommendations for purchases and funding of the Hudson Museum.

Motion

Therefore, the motion is made to charge the Committee on Finance and Institutional Planning to make recommendation(s) to identify special needs and seek or entice funding to provide for the care, maintenance, and preservation of the Hudson Museum, Maine Center for the Arts. In particular the Committee shall examine, report, and make recommendations regarding:

Special needs of the Hudson Museum
Costly maintenance needs of the Hudson Museum
Need and priority of funding for the Hudson Museum
Methods and procedures for funding, including alumni requests.
The committee shall have such power as necessary to investigate and make recommendations regarding the Hudson Museum and its financial needs.

The committee shall report back to the full senate with recommendation(s) at the November meeting.

Discussion

Steve Whittington, the Director of the Museum spoke. The museum attracts national and even international attention and visitors. Currently, the roof leaks, the air-conditioning malfunctions creating flaking plaster, and model, and the carpet is infested with carpet beetles. Some of the artifacts have been removed and the museum has been forced to decline the opportunity for some traveling exhibits. Asked why this state of affairs has occurred, he stated that he has been pushing for funding for more than a year, with little response. One problem is the high price tag for the necessary repairs. Cynthia Mahmood stated that the loss of even one artifact from the museum would reflect shamefully on the entire campus.

The motion passed by general consent.

 

Motion to Charge Constitution and Bylaws Committee Monitor and Encourage Attendance at Senate Meetings (Michael Grillo)

Preamble

The Senate is a body authorized to carry out actions and take on certain responsibilities necessary for the orderly and reasonable function of the academic environment at the University of Maine. Senators are apportioned to various colleges, student groups, and administrators. Responsive, timely, and comprehensive actions require the participation of all representatives.

It has been apparent in the past that duly elected or appointed members of the senate have failed to attend and failed to appoint substitutes in their place as allowed by the Constitution, Section 6. Accordingly, those senators who attend senate meetings and its committees have been deprived of the wisdom of those absent, colleges and other groups have not been fully represented, and those attending have had to shoulder a larger burden of the responsibilities of the senate and its committees. To provide for equitable senate work loads, prevent abusive reporting (e.g., absentee faculty claiming senate service on promotion requests), and insure adequate college representation on the senate and its committees, the constitution and/or by-laws should be amended to provide for sanctions and/or removal of senators who fail to meet reasonable expectations of senate membership.

Motion

Therefore, the motion is made to charge the Constitution and By-Laws Committee to:

1. report on means, methods, or procedures to:

monitor absences of senate members or their substitute;
determine what constitutes excessive absences; and
determine what constitutes unexcused absences.
2. make a recommendation(s) with wording necessary to amend the Constitution or By-laws to encourage or compel attendance by senators or their substitute.

The committee shall report back to the full senate with recommendation(s) at the December meeting.

Discussion

Vollmers stated that last year, there were at least 25 absences each meeting

The motion passed by general consent.

 

Motion to Charge Library Committee Funding from Windfalls (Michael Grillo)

NOTE: the committee charged in this motion was changed to the Finance and Institutional Planning Committee

Preamble

A library is a knowledge repository for a University. It provides services and resources for students in all colleges. The library provides an environment conducive to learning and studying. The maintenance and upkeep of a library is expensive. Consequently, the library should be a lead candidate in obtaining funds from windfalls such as the money Coca-Cola® has paid and will pay in the future to the University for the transfer of the sole marketing rights to soft beverage vending on the campus.

Motion

The motion is made for the Library Committee to investigate how to effectively petition, steer, or otherwise negotiate with the Administration to garner money for the Library from income windfalls.

The committee shall report back to the full senate with recommendation(s) by the December meeting.

Discussion

Several members expressed concern that this recommendation not obscure the pressing need for long-term on-going funding for the library. Alan Rosenwasser asked if there were any constraints on how the Coca-Cola funds were to be used. There are not. Bob Rice proposed a friendly amendment to change the wording to investigating a procedure for faculty input into the use of windfall funds. Michael Grillo (as the author) did not find the amendment friendly. He stated the wording does not preclude pursuit of other sources of funding for the library.

The motion passed with 21 in favor and 14 opposed.

 

Motion to Charge Committee on the University Environment Review of Administrative Reports on the Activity Hour (Bob Rice)

Preamble

By majority vote, the senate during its previous term restricted the MWF 2-3 p.m. activity hour (initiated by the administration) to the Fall Semester pending further review. The senate requested the administration monitor, evaluate, and report to the senate regarding the value and use of the activity period during the Fall Semester. In order to provide timely response to the expected administration’s fact-finding, the Committee on the University Environment of the faculty senate will accept, study, and make recommendations based on the information.

Motion

The motion is made for the Committee on the University Environment be charged as follows:

The committee is charged with receiving, examining, reading, reviewing, and analyzing administration information on the feasibility and value of a fixed activity period.
The objectives of the committee will be to present one or more recommendations in the form of motion(s) for discussion and formal vote before the faculty senate.
The recommendations will be to keep, modify, or eliminate the existing activity periods, its length, or the days and periods it occurs on.
The Committee on the University Environment shall report back to the faculty senate with its recommendation(s) at the December Senate meeting.
The committee shall have the authority of the senate to request, demand, evaluate, monitor, and further study the feasibility of the activity period.

Discussion

Members were concerned that information could not be gathered quickly enough to assess the effect of the change by December. However, a decision must be made in order to schedule classes for next fall. Michael Grillo stated that while benefits can be assessed, there is no way to assess the damage done by the Maine Hour. President Hoff stated that he believes the information can be given to the committee by November in time for the committee report in December.

The motion was passed by a clear majority.

 

Motion to Charge The Academic Affairs Committee Review of Academic Appeal Procedure (Judy Kuhns-Hastings)

Preamble

Students have the right to appeal academic decisions by faculty and the appeal may reverse or modify a faculty member’s decision. Equity and fairness to the faculty ought to require the faculty member be given timely feedback on the appeal process. Under the present procedure for academic appeals, there is no component for feedback to the faculty member or allowance for faculty rebuttal. The academic appeal procedure should require that each party be informed of decisions and allowable time periods for each level of a decision.

Motion

Therefore, the motion is made to charge the Academic Affairs Committee of faculty senate as follows:

The committee will be charged with reviewing and making recommendations for modification of the academic appeal procedure to provide for feedback to the faculty member whose decision is being appealed and allowance for faculty rebuttal.
The objectives of the committee will be to present one or more recommendations in the form of motion(s) for discussion and formal vote before the faculty senate.
The recommendations will be to either reject changing the academic appeal procedure or provide specific language that changes the academic appeal procedure to provide for feedback to the faculty member and allow for faculty rebuttal of any claims.
The Academic Affairs Committee shall report back to the faculty senate with recommendations at the next faculty senate meeting.

Discussion

Doug Gelinas wished to make two points: 1) no one can change a grade except the professor involved and 2) students could appeal academic dismissal and faculty would not necessarily be kept informed every step of the way. Cohen stated that he is aware of at least when a grade was changed without the faculty member’s knowledge. Alan stated that changing an E to a withdrawal seems to constitute a change of grade. The associate deans have looked at the policy recently.

The motion was passed by a clear majority.

 

Motion to Charge Academic Affairs Committee – Evaluation of Administrators (Owen Smith)

Preamble

The evaluation of administrators by faculty is necessary to provide guidance for improved performance of administration and create responsiveness to faculty needs.

Motion

Move that the Academic Affairs Committee examine the necessity, existing mechanism, and protocols for evaluation of administrators by faculty. In particular the committee will report to the senate recommendations addressing the following:

protocols already in place for the evaluation of administrators by faculty; and
modifications to existing procedures; or
creation of new protocols for the evaluation of administrators by faculty.
The committee will report their recommendations to the November senate meeting as one or more motions.

It was almost immediately moved to question and the motion passed by a clear majority.

 

Motion to Charge Constitution & By Laws Committee Procedures for Selecting Members of the Committee on Committees (Michael Grillo)

Preamble

Article VII, Section 2, The Committee on Committees defines the membership to the Committee on Committees. The section does not prescribe a process for their selection. Currently we elect members from a list of all senate members, except those who just before the election ask from the floor to have their names removed. Last year, several senators complained that this system rankled them. Working in reverse from what one would normally expect — that one receives nominations or self-nominates.

Motion

Therefore, the motion is made that The Constitution and By Laws Committee address:

1) How the senate makes nominations to the Committee on Committees.

2) Whether to make a recommendation for changing the Constitution or By Laws.

The committee shall report back to the full senate with recommendation(s) by the December meeting.

There was no discussion and the motion passed on a clear majority

 

Motion to Charge the University Environment Committee Study Corporate Sponsorship and Advertising (Paul Bauschatz)

Preamble

The University of Maine has impliedly or expressly endorsed corporations, corporate products, and services. This has resulted in advertisements and commercials on University property and at University events. The University has established no known published guidelines or reasonable limits to corporate advertising. The predictable result is that such advertising is becoming ever more intrusive and offensive to the academic environment. Some faculty and visitors to the University find this advertising offensive, intrusive, and inappropriate to an academic institution.

Motion

Therefore, the motion is made to charge the University Environment Committee to gather information, study, analyze, and make recommendation(s) to the senate on the following:

The need and extent of advertising and corporate sponsorship
Guidelines or limits to advertisement
The amount and use of the revenues generated by advertising

The committee shall report back to the full senate with recommendation(s) at the January meeting.

Discussion

Kuhn-Hastings asked if the resolution falls within the jurisdiction of the faculty senate. Vollmers ruled the motion improper as not being with the jurisdiction. Grillo appealed this ruling, citing the provision relating to free speech. Alan Rosenwasser cited the bylaws that give a committee charge over the facilities. However, the bylaws are not the source of power, the consitituion is. Knud Hermanson stressed that the jurisdiction of the faculty senate relates to the academic environment. Jim Horan stated that the senate is ultimately responsible for interpretation of its own rules. President Hoff was asked if the administration would welcome input on the issue and he stated he welcome input on any issue. The appeal passed by a vote of 22 to 15 and Vollmers ruling was overruled.

Kathleen March stated that the senate had nothing to lose by learning about the issues, but some members were concerned that the process would be a waste of time and energy. Ivan Manev moved to table the motion until it could be rewritten to reflect a more neutral stance. The motion died for lack of a second. Further discussion of the amount of time versus the benefit to be attained took place. It was moved to question.

The motion passed.

 

Resolution of the University of Maine Faculty Senate (Knud Hermanson)

The University is composed of distinct units, each adding their efforts to a collective whole that produces a greater good. One unit, Onward, affects each and every academic unit, helping students from all majors that are the least prepared to nurture their inner potentials — and often does such an exemplary job that at graduation these students often exceed our most gifted students. Onward has a staff of so few, with a budget so small, yet helps so many. Such a unit deserves our highest respect and admiration.

Accordingly, we, members of the Faculty Senate, acting on behalf of University of Maine faculty, resolve to thank the staff and members of the Onward Program for their hard work and exemplary service to this University. Each and every department on this campus has benefited from students who, through the Onward program, have been encouraged and given the means to achieve goals and aspirations that were out-of-reach without Onward’s aid. Through Onward’s advice we, as faculty, have been enlightened, through their help, we, as mentors, have been blessed with better students, and through their example, we, as members of a community, are a better place to live and work.

Resolve that the faculty senate, representing the faculty of the University Of Maine, extend to the staff and members of the Onward program its most sincere appreciation and thanks for its hard work and commitment to the students, faculty, and University.

The resolution passed unanimously

 

Motion for Carrying Into Effect the Resolution (Knud Hermanson)

Move that the Senate President present this resolution to Onward at a time, date, and place convenient to the President and Onward Staff and that the President attest to this resolution by affixing this date and her signature as President of the Senate for and on behalf of the faculty of the University of Maine.

The motion passed.

 

Motion to Expand the Charge of the Special Committee for Further Development of a Faculty Evaluation Form (Onsrud)

Preamble

Recognition of superior teaching is encouraged and recognized at this campus. Faculty evaluation should not only help faculty improve their teaching, it should be a means to recognize faculty that achieve meritorious teaching. Consequently, where students have indicated meritorious teaching by both qualitative remarks and quantitative scores, those faculty should be recognized.

Motion

Therefore, the motion is made to expand the charge of the ad hoc committee known as “Special Committee on the Development and Implementation of a Faculty Evaluation Form” to include use of the form for recognition of meritorious teaching, if feasible. Therefore the special committee’s charge shall be expanded to include such power as necessary to make recommendations to the full faculty regarding the proposed evaluation forms and use of evaluation forms in improving or recognizing meritorious faculty teaching.

Discussion

Jim Horan wished to clarify that the action contemplated did not involve compensation as covered by the collective bargaining agreement. It does not.

The motion passed by clear majority

 

November 17, 1999 Motions

Motion to Provide Funding to Remediate Certain Problems Associated with the Hudson Museum and the Bodwell Lounge – Bob Rice

Preamble

Since its opening in 1986 more than 164,000 people have visited the Hudson Museum. Of those, approximately 10,000 have participated in programs offered by and through the Museum and nearly 43,000 have visited during school field trips. Dozens of scholars have traveled to the museum to study collection pieces and to work with museum personnel. Furthermore, the faculties of several disciplines routinely use the Museum’s collection for teaching purposes. The collection is considered one of the best of its type in the United States and is clearly an asset to the University.

Both chronic and acute problems plague the Museum space and extend to some of the collection. Also affected are the entrance corridors of the Maine Center for the Arts and the Bodwell Lounge/Dining area. The chronic problems result from mold and fungal growth near exterior walls and on the carpet. The carpet, which underlies both the collection spaces and the Bodwell Lounge, has also become infested with carpet beetles. Both the mold and the carpet beetles could destroy the collection or require it to be removed from public display. In view of the Museum’s value as a teaching and research asset, the Finance and Institutional Planning Committee considers removing the collection from public display untenable.

Water vapor related problems rise and fall with both rainfall and humidity conditions. Of immediate concern is the gradual movement of water vapor through the improperly finished brick and masonry block walls. The condition has resulted in the development of mold and fungal growth in certain areas that house the collection and in the Bodwell Lounge, an area totaling approximately 14,000 square feet.

Remediation efforts for the museum collection have been aided by the recent purchase of a large freezer in which collection pieces can be frozen. The freezing acts to cleanse the objects of carpet beetles. However, measurements indicate that the infestation of carpet beetles and other insects injurious to the collection continues to grow exponentially in some areas of the Museum.

The Committee has consulted with Museum personnel, engineers, pest management specialists and administrators regarding possible remediation efforts for the Hudson. In view of limited funds, we believe that the most reasonable approach is the immediate expenditure of $150,000 to replace the carpet in the collection spaces and in the Bodwell Lounge and to seal the bricks on the exterior of the building. Also mandatory is an ongoing treatment program by pest management specialists and the continued monitoring and treatment of sensitive collection objects.

Motion: The Administration of the University will dedicate a minimum of $150,000 to remedy the acute problems of the Hudson Museum within 1.5 years from the date of adoption of this motion. In the first instance, the monies will be used to remediate the wall related moisture problems near the collection areas by sealing the bricks and masonry. Funds will also be dedicated to mitigate problems associated with the carpet in the collection areas and in the Bodwell Lounge by replacement with a more suitable material. It is also suggested that a long term strategy be developed in consultation with the affected parties and campus expertise to address the chronic building related problems with both the Maine Center for the Arts and the Hudson Museum.

Discussion: Bob Rice spoke about the investigation conducted by the committee. The museum could be closed; some parts of the exhibits have already been removed to storage. The mold in the Bodwell Lounge is permanent, it cannot be removed. The potential waste of valuable resources is unconscionable. Immediate action can keep the facility viable and available to students, faculty, and the community. Certainly there are other pressing needs on this campus that require funding. However, we must all recognize the value and important of MCA.

Harlan Onsrud asked if the requested $150,000 will be enough. Bob Rice replied that with constant monitoring, it would CONTROL the damage. Paula Petrik asked which office would provide the funding. President Hoff stated that the administration is not turning a blind eye to the problem. CFO Duringer stated that a bond issue to be conducted in the fall could be used as a source of funding. Owen Smith asked if the system does not have emergency funding that could be used. President Hoff replied that such a resource is available, and that active conversations are being conducted in that vein. Money can be found, but it must be recognized that means a reduction in funding somewhere else.

The motion was put to a vote. 39 voted for and 1 opposed. A letter will be sent to President Hoff, and he will have one month in which to respond.

[Hudson Museum]

 

Motion Regarding the Equitable Distribution of Fees Derived from the Sale of Pouring Rights to the Coca Cola Company – Bob Rice

Preamble

The University of Maine has entered into an alliance that allows exclusive rights for the sale of soft drinks on campus to the Coca Cola Company. The ten-year agreement returns approximately $2,675,000 in cash to the University that will be metered through annual payments. An additional $525,000 in non-cash royalties will also be provided by Coke during the life of the contract. The total contract value is approximately 3.2 million dollars of which $600,000 will be paid as an initial payment.

In response to a request for input, the President has received organized petitions and collective responses in support of funding for the Fogler Library (Graduate Board, Provost’s Office, Graduate Student Senate, Undergraduate Student Government) and for classroom refurbishment and technology enhancement (Academic Deans Council, Provost’s Office). Responses from the President’s electronic mail survey have been tallied and are categorized as parking (154), classrooms (124), scholarships (94), a recreation center (79), Fogler Library (57), instructional technology (45) and “other” (82). Support has also been voiced in support of Maine Bound, a fitness center, a recreation center and other uses.

The Finance and Institutional Planning committee believes that these funds should be used for the benefit of the students. The recommendation embodied in this motion is derived from a synthesis of student, administrative and faculty input and the Committee’s collective assessment about where the many needs of the campus can be best served.

By reasoned argument, the Committee has been persuaded that use of “windfall” monies are not appropriate for stipend or scholarship increases. Rather, strategies should be developed that will increase the funding for these important areas using nonvolatile funds. The Committee also believes that issues related to campus parking cannot be solved using these funds and that the parochial interests of Colleges, faculty, administrators and non-representative student groups should be funded from other sources.

Since these funds are offered based on the soft drink purchasing habits of students, the monies should be allocated, primarily, for their benefit. We believe that this allocation should, in the first instance, enhance the academic environment of the University and be followed by the consideration of social needs and issues.

Motion:

The funds received from the beverage alliance with the Coca Cola company should be spent to enhance the student experience, first academically and then socially at the University of Maine. To this end, 80 percent of the incoming cash disbursement should be spent for collection development in the Fogler Library and for classroom refurbishment and technology enhancement. The allocation for each initiative should be half of the 80 percent. The remaining 20 percent of the incoming funds should be placed in escrow and apportioned among projects as student needs arise.

Further, the use of funds for both library and classrooms should be evident and demonstrable in the short term, here defined as two years from the date of adoption of this motion. Existing and future allocations for the Fogler Library and for planned classroom refurbishment should not now, nor in the future, be diminished by the allotment of this funding.

Discussion:

Parking and scholarships were ruled out as uses for the money. These two issues cannot be addressed with one-time windfall monies. Eilers asked if additional library funding was not the way, meaning that more money could be allocated to classrooms. Rice replied that the new funding was considered by the committee, and that even with that, the library is in serious need of funding. Jagels suggested that it is easier to secure funding for the library than for classrooms, and that, therefore, these monies would be better applied to classrooms. Rice replied that the library’s needs have been pushed aside for 10 years. Other sources of funding for classrooms are also being pursued.

Nicolson asked how the library would use the money. Rice replied for collection growth. The issue of the need for new journals as opposed to new books was discussed by many.

Justin Kelleher stated that the student government felt that the money should be used for students (since it proceeds from the results of sales to students), and that use for social activities for students was more reflective of the spirit of the agreement. However, the student government, recognizing the critical state of the library, had recommend use of the money for that institution.

Jagels suggested that the impact of purchasing more books might be relatively small, and that a more creative use could be found for the money, such as covering the cost of Interlibrary Loan.

Owen Smith stated that perhaps the coke money could be used for the MCA. This was not offered as a motion or an amendment to any action item, and was not voted on by the faculty.

The motion passed by clear majority.

[Coco-Cola Rights]

 

Motion on the Nature and Procedures of the Academic Appeal of Work and Grades

Preamble: Upon review of the existing procedures for the academic appeal by a student of the evaluation of work and grades the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate Finds that the Motion on the Nature and Procedures of the Academic Appeal of Work and Grades procedures are fair and reasonable. They are clearly laid out so as to allow for appropriate appeals by the student of a dispute over a grade or evaluation and are further worded so as to protect and balance both the rights of the student and the ultimate responsibility of the faculty member in the determination of the final grade. The Specific procedures are as follows:

Evaluation of Work and Grades

1. If a dispute arises over a grade or evaluation of a paper or

work, the student should discuss the concern with the appropriate faculty member.

2. If the concern persists, the student may consult with the chairperson of the department (or the dean of the college if there are no departments) who attempts to resolve the complaint.

3. Failing this, the student may request the use of a departmental ad hoc committee composed of three members: (1) faculty member chosen by student; (2) faculty member chosen by the involved faculty member; (3) faculty member chosen by the department chairperson with the agreement of student and involved faculty member. Both the student and faculty member will prepare a written brief and appear before the committee. Any witnesses desired by either person may be called. The student and/or the faculty member may be represented by a person of their own choosing, such person being acceptable to the committee.

4.If the student is not satisfied with the committee decision, he or she may write to the dean of the college where the course is

offered requesting a review of the situation.

5.Following this, and if there is lingering dissatisfaction on the part of the student, the student may make a final appeal in writing to the vice president for academic affairs. However, the faculty member has the ultimate responsibility for determination of grades.

The foregoing steps must be made in order of progression and all information, recommendations, and decisions made available to the next level of appeal. Maximum efforts and attempts should be exerted toward resolution of concerns without the necessity of appeal.

Given the reasonableness of these procedures and that they clearly state “… the faculty member has the ultimate responsibility for determination of grades,” we the members of the Academic Affairs Committee feel that there is no need to alter the stated policy.

Motion: The Academic Affairs Committee moves that the current policy for academic appeal of work and grades be reaffirmed as it states that “the faculty member has the ultimate responsibility for determination of grades” and thus no grade may be changed except by the specific faculty member in question.

Discussion:

Owen Smith stated that the main reason for the motion relates to a concern that faculty be kept apprised during any appeals process. This motion reaffirms that faculty have the final authority with any grade, so no grade can be changed without first informing the faculty member involved.

The motion was seconded by Knud Hermansen and passed by a clear majority.

[Work and Grades]

 

Motion to charge the Academic Affairs Committee to review the 30 credit hour residency requirement – Michael Grillo

Preamble: The current residency requirement at the University of Maine is 30 credit hours in the senior year. There are two exceptions to this (approved by the Trustees in 1978) but they refer to people who have already taken three years of courses at the University of Maine (see Student Handbook, pg 58 or Undergraduate Bulletin, pg 497). One request for an exception has been received by the vice provost and rejected. This was a request to take some of the final 30 hours via distance education courses originating from other UMS institutions. In view of the increased interest in distance education, and the likelihood that more requests of this nature will occur, it may be time to review this policy.

Motion: The Academic Affairs Committee will review the 30 credit hour residency requirement and either reaffirm the current policy or recommend modifications.

[30 Credit Hour Residency]

Discussion
Horan stated that more distance education and thus more requests to waive the residency requirement is clearly a trend.

The motion passed by a clear majority.

 

December 15, 1999 Motions

Motion to Monitor and Encourage Faculty Senator Attendance
Motion presented by Michael Grillo

The Faculty Senate can only represent its diverse constituencies in all of the colleges if their elected members attend, or appoint subsitutes to attend the meetings so that we may act in a responsive, timely, and comprehensive manner in the interests of the University of Maine.

Motion:

To insure adequate college representation on the Senate and its committees, provide for equitable Senate work loads, and also prevent abusive reporting (e.g., absentee faculty claiming Senate service on promotion requests), the Constitution and By-Laws Committee recommends that the Senate limit each senator to three unexcused absences per year from the Elected Members and the Full Senate meetings. Should a senator miss more than that without sending a substitute, the President of the Senate will ask the College represented by the member to hold new elections to replace that senator.

The motion was seconded by Jim Horan.

Discussion:

Kass asked what would happen if the member appointed a substitute, but the substitute failed to attend. We should give the senator a chance to address that circumstance before action is taken. Grillo replied that communication should always be open. Patterson moved that a friendly ammendment be added: “Should a senator miss more than that without sending a substitute, the President of the Senate will send a letter to the member. Should the member fail to respond credibly, the President will send a letter to the Dean of the College represented by the member.”

Kass seconded the friendly ammendment.

March asked about the case of members on sabbatical. This situation is already covered by the constitution. The member must get a long-term substitute. James Wilson stated that many faculty have obligations off-campus. Under these circumstances they will not run for Faculty Senate. This creates a bias in the membership. Horan replied that whenever a member can’t come, they must arrange for a substitute. Grillo stressed the frustration experienced by members when discussions must be repeated. Hermansen stated that we would never accept such absenteeism from our students. We cannot represent our colleges if we are not here. Nicholson believes that the elected members meeting is different, and should not be included in the motion with the full meeting. Grillo replied that the Senate needs to take itself seriously. The elected members meetings are productive and important. March stated that she believes the motion is a good idea. When people are not at the elected members meetings, it is difficult to get things done. The motion would make the Senate stronger.

Dana Humphrey stated that a specific procedure is needed. Onsrud asked for specifics about what is considered an excused absense. Grillo replied that some wiggle room is needed. Owen Smith again compared the matter to student absenses. Just like our students, senators should show commitment, and need to make choices in their obligations. Mary Ellen Symanski noted that the President already has the power to remove members from the Senate. Kass stated that the motion is too vague, it needs to be defined.

Horan stated that the Senate has survived so far with the existing By-Laws.

Jagels moved to table the motion. 26 members voted for this motion and 16 against. The motion is tabled.

 

Motion to Change the Procedure for Selecting Members of the Committee on Committees:

Motion presented by Michael Grillo

While Article VII, Section 2, of the Constitution defines the membership of the Committee on Committees, it does not prescribe a process for their selection. Currently, we elect members from a list of all Senate members, except those who, just before the election, ask from the floor to have their names removed. Last year, several senators complained that this system rankled them, in working in reverse from what one would normally expect, naturally, that one receives nominations or self-nominates.

Motion:

The Constitution and By-Laws Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate select members to the Committee on Committees as follows: By the end of the Spring semester, the Faculty Senate shall hold elections for the Committee on Committees, by calling for nominations or self-nominations from the floor. Once each college has at least one candidate listed, the President will ask the whole Senate to vote on Committee’s membership, college by college, to ensure the prescribed representation.

Discussion:

Jagels asked what the Committee does. Jane Smith replied that it finds faculty to serve on administrative committees and controls the election of the President of the Faculty Senate.

The motion passed by a clear majority.

The person who was to have done the Update on concerns about the Academic Computing Advisory Committee was not in attendance.

Michael Grillo moved to add the report on Maine Hour to the Agenda. Bob Rice seconded.

Report on Maine Hour – Ed Ferguson

Background:

The committee met on 6 December with Scott Anchors and student intern Molly Putnam (Judy Kuhns-Hastings absent). Our charge is to prepare a recommendation to the Faculty Senate regarding the continuance of the Maine Hour. Following is an attempt to both summarize the meeting and form a report for the Senate.

The Maine Hour as an institution was recommended by the Blue Ribbon Panel to give a convenient time which most faculty and students would have unencumbered by classes for conferences, meetings, speakers, etc. It was implemented this Fall on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:10 to 3:00 PM. To evaluate its success, Scott Anchors put together two surveys, one for faculty and the other for students.

150 surveys were sent to department chairs and Senate members. Responses were received from 56 of them. Of these roughly a third reported using the Maine Hour for department meetings; approximately the same number reported the Maine Hour limited the number of sections or classes their departments offered. There was no increase in student contact reported by

86% of the responders; 61% would not endorse continuing the experiment (23% would).

76 surveys (paper) were sent to the putative leaders of student organizations. One was returned. There may have been problems in the mailing: the listed leader may no longer be in charge, the address on record may be out of date, etc. The survey was posted in a folder on First Class. Several hundred students looked at it; 24 filled out a response. Exactly half reported attending something which took place during the Maine Hour. 9 said their club or organization had used the time. 8 reported an increase in attendance at meetings while 2 reported a problem in their scheduling. 20 would support continuing the Maine Hour.

Our view of these results is that there is a large amount of indifference toward the Maine Hour. This is possibly due to many people not knowing of its existence.

An attempt was made to minimize the number of students and faculty in classes at this hour. The effect of this was less than might have been hoped. Comparing class activity at the 2:10 hour in Fall, 1998, and Fall, 1999, we have:

1998 1999
Section Students Section Students
Monday 69 1117 42 675
Wednesday 76 1231 59 859
Friday 59 916 37 494

The reduction is significant, but there are still many students and faculty who are unable to take advantage of the Maine Hour.

Given all the above, the committee does not find the Maine Hour to have been of great value. However, the Blue Ribbon Panel put much thought into this and had certain expectations for it. We are unwilling to discard the idea on the basis of what may have been a poorly organized test. We submit the following

MOVED:

It is the recommendation of the Faculty Senate that if the goals of the Blue Ribbon Panel still seem viable to the President, that the Maine Hour be reinstituted in Fall, 2000. If this is done, the time should be given a specific focus, for example:

the time is for faculty – student meetings the time is for seminars, colloquia, visiting speakers, etc.

the time is for meetings of campus organizations

The time of the Maine Hour should be chosen with its purpose in mind and a concerted effort made to eliminate classes at that hour. A specific exception procedure should be instituted and a record of exceptions kept.

The time and philosophy of the hour should be widely publicized. The groups which are specifically targeted as the focus should also be targeted for specific publicity on its existence and encouraged to use it.

An evaluation procedure should be decided on before Fall, 2000.

The motion was seconded by Eilers.

Discussion:

Hermansen stated that apparently most people don’t care about Maine Hour. Why give a bad idea another year when valuable class time is needed? Cook said that in his department, club attendance is up. Use of Maine Hour must vary by unit, and it was aggressively advertised in his unit.

Farthing moved that the motion be amended to call for discontinuance of Maine Hour. Hermansen seconded.

Nicholson noted that since many classes were still held during Maine Hour, the time was not really available. Hoff stated, that although the burden of proof is on the proponents of the initiative, Maine Hour has only been in place for 10 weeks and was evaluated when it had only been in place for 5-6 weeks. Petteway stated that the idea has really not been generally supported. Classes are still being held. Also, the survey did not always reach the intended respondents, since he did not get one. Kass stated that Maine Hour needs to be made more public—the idea has never really been tried or treated seriously.

Eilers stated that students do perceive a need for a greater sense of community, and that the idea does have potential for building community. It needs to be tried for at least 2, maybe as many as 4 years. Grillo does not agree that this is the way to build community. The important intangibles (the Maine Hours effect on programs) cannot be measured. The Maine Hour is too destructive to the academic day. Bob Rice noted that we currently have no time to come together across campus.

Jagels stated that the initiative treats units with a subtantial number of lab courses as second class citizens. It divides the University. Perhaps one hour a week would be more reasonable. Jim McConnon asked if other institutions had instituted a similar idea. Donijo Robbins replied that at Rutgers there was a 1 ½ hour time period every day and that it was an effective measure there. She also noted that, to date, there has been no real reduction in the amount of classes held during Maine Hour.

Owen Smith said that he had initially opposed the idea, but had served on a committee over the summer and had come to understand its worth. Perhaps the Maine Hour could be constituted differently, such as being held for 2-3 hours once a week. March stressed the need to consider other scheduling issues, such as childcare, work hour, etc., that would be impacted by Maine Hour.

Hoff noted that the numbers show that no real change took place, but only a very minor shift. He recommended working with the idea more. Petteway said that the students are in favor of the idea—those who know about it, use it.

The vote on the substitute motion was 10 in favor. It failed.

The vote on the original motion was 32 in favor, 12 opposed. It passes.

 
Resolution in Favor of Increasing Graduate Student Stipends—Teresa Groves

Preamble

Graduate Students make significant contributions to the teaching and research mission of the University of Maine. They offer critical instruction in many of the core undergraduate courses, facilitate hands-on experiences in laboratory settings, and provide the drive that fuels many of the more innovative research projects on this campus. A high quality graduate student can enrich the undergraduate experience as well as increase the productivity of faculty members in their research endeavors.

Providing an attractive stipend is one of the best ways of attracting the best graduate students to this campus. Yet the University of Maine continues to lag behind in meeting this challenge, both with its primary competitors as well as on a national scale. For example, the minimum UMaine teaching assistant stipend of $7,236 falls well below that of other northeastern land grant institutions (UNH: $10,400, UVM: $10,225, University of Rhode Island: $9,555, UConn: $14,155). Other institutions across the country often offer other benefits as well, such as health insurance, twelve-month appointments and pay raises based on time of service.

The recent support from the state legislature for R&D and the university as a whole offers an unprecedented opportunity for progress on this issue. The Association of Graduate Students and the Graduate Board have made the raising of stipend levels a priority for the coming year in order to maintain the excellence of our graduate programs.

Motion

The Faculty Senate supports the raising of graduate student stipends on campus and encourages the provost to work with college deans and other University of Maine administrators to develop plans to address this issue within the context of the individual colleges. Furthermore, the Faculty Senate would request that the president and his administration make these plans a priority item for discussion during the upcoming budget development process.

Roger King seconded the motion

Discussion:

Onsrud proposed the motion be ammended to read “and/or health insurance.” Groves noted that would not help all graduate students since some already have health insurance. Eilers noted that the Deans have asked that this issue be given priority. Cook stated that we need to maintain the current number of graduate assistants, not have fewer, more highly paid students. Richard Brucher stated that clerical and professional employees are also being paid less than national norms.

Owen Smith asked why the language read “with the context of the individual colleges”? Sean replied that each college apparently has different idea about how to implement the raise, and flexibility was desired. Jim McConnon asked if the minimum would be raised, or all stipends. Groves replied that the minimum would be raised. Jim McClymer stated that graduate students raises are supposed to be tied to faculty raises. Sean stated that has not happened.

The motion passed by a clear majority.

 

March 29, 2000 Motions

 

 

April 19, 2000 Motions

 

 

May 17, 2000 Motions

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Faculty Senate
Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
205 East Annex, Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640E-mail: kimberly.junkins@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
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