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1998-1999 - December 9, 1998

Faculty Senate Minutes

December 9, 1998

Wells Commons, Mahogany Lounge

PRESENT: John Alexander, Francois Amar, Paul Bauschatz, Dan Belknap, Mary Ellen Camire, Robert Cobb, Steve Cohn, Chris Cronan, Lee Davis, Dan Dwyer, James Fastook, Ed Ferguson, Ivan Fernandez, Mac Gray, Michael Grenwood, Michael Grillo, Dan Harrison, Knud Hermansen, Peter Hoff, Jim Horan, Fred Irons, Mel Johnson, Richard Jud, Leonard Kass, Irv Kornfield, Janice Kristo, Phil Locke, Mary Malone, Kathleen March, Kyriacos Markides, Jim McClymer, James McConnon, Lyn McLaughlin, Henry Metcalf, Scott Morelli, Bruce Nicholson, Harlan Onsrud, Connie Perry, Eric Peterson, Alan Rosenwasser, Steve Sader, Thomas Sanford, Therese Shipps, Jane Smith, Owen Smith, Hayden Soule, Mary Ellen Symanski, Gloria Vollmers, Gail Werrbach, Anatole Wieck.

ABSENT: Bruce Barber, Tony Brinkley, Tai Cheng, Ted Coladarci, Steve Colburn, George Criner, Ray Fort, Tim Griffin, George Jacobson, Alan Kimball, Roger King, Cynthia Mahmood, Tina Passman, Hemant Pendse, Paula Petrik, Kristin Sobolik, Sydney Thomas, Ione Hunt Vonherbing, Judy Walker, Charles Watson.

I. Meeting was called to order at 3:15 pm.

Minutes of November 18 were amended with two corrections: Item V. GUEST
PRESENTATION. DELETE sentence four which reads: “The recent bond issue will help fund the construction of three new buildings and one addition:” ADD “The plan includes the Proposed Art Building, potential Visual Art Building, proposed Union addition, and the proposed south side addition of the library.”

PARAGRAPH 2 of item V – DELETE sentence three, which reads “Construction costs will go out to bid soon.”

Motion to approve was seconded and minutes as amended were approved with one abstention.

III. Announcements:

A Senate “priority survey” for topics to discuss at future senate meetings was distributed at the Elected Members meeting last week. All members of the senate, including administrators and students, were asked to complete the survey.

IV. Questions of administrators:

Owen Smith addressed a question to Provost Alexander or other administrator caring to respond: Question. In discussion of the bond issue, Governor King is often seen as believing this money is in addition to other initiatives for support. What other monies might come along in addition to the bond money? Provost Alexander: Results of a bond issue sent a signal to the governor. This should translate into good news for the future.

Smith: But is there more activity?

President Hoff: The legislature’s package now totals about $50 million/year, which includes UM people who will be lobbying to keep the R&D level up high. There is a good deal of activity, but we cannot predict what the results will be. Alexander added that today there is a long meeting of people interested in working with the legislators to approach them effectively. Twenty people will be doing that.

V. Guest Presentation: Phil Pratt, Senior Research Analyst, Institutional Studies & Cooperating Assistant Professor of Education, presented a report on the results of the Academic Climate Study, commissioned by the Faculty Senate last year. The topic of his report was, ‘How do undergraduate students view the academic climate at the University of Maine?’ Handouts of slides and the actual survey were provided. Dr. Pratt received a total response from 1127 students from classes of 50 people or more. Little correlation was found between hours employed, hours studied, and GPA. Problems: There was not a large difference between first year and senior students. There was a high level of student satisfaction, although UM was seen less as an intellectual institution. Women students as a whole seemed slightly more satisfied. The sample was of people who were actually attending classes and not skipping. The question was raised. “Have other universities done surveys of a comparable sort (for example, the number of hours studied and students’ perception of how much they study)?” The term “studying” might not be clear to students responding. There was a suggestion that the adjectives used to characterize UMaine might be given to guidance counselors to see how this group answers.

VI. Committee Reports:

Library Advisory (Grillo): The Committee met last week with Elaine Albright. During the last five years there has been an increase of the death spiral for funding. We want to work to make information public. There could be a possible resolution from senate for President Hoff. We are falling behind in library resources.

Research & Public Service (Belknap for Sobolik): The Committee met this week with Vice Provost for Research & Graduate Studies, Dan Dwyer. There is an interface between the senate Research & Public Service Committee and Dr. Dwyer’s ad hoc committee. The senate would like input into deliberations of the ad hoc committee. Perhaps we should do a survey of the barriers to research on campus. Beyond this, we could seek some proactive solutions to help lower some of those barriers.

Constitution & By-Laws (Vollmers): No report.

President Symanski noted that Gloria Vollmers is a representative of a group conducting a study of alcohol usage on campus.

Committee on Committees (Perry): There are a few vacancies, which will be posted on first-class.

Academic Affairs (Horan): No report.

Finance & Institutional Planning (Metcalf): The committee has held electronic discussion regarding the motion to be presented later in meeting.

University Environment (Rosenwasser): Resolution to be discussed under new business.

Board of Trustees (Fernandez): No meeting was held since the last senate meeting. The next meeting is at UMF in January. Handout: “Education for Life and Work in the 21st Century.” UM representatives are Chuck Russ and Christa Schwintzer.

VII. Old Business:

Motion from the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. Gloria Vollmers noted that “No vote will be taken on this motion today because according to the Bylaws, the proposed amendment needs to be presented to the senate at least 45 days prior to the vote.

An Amendment to Article IV of the Bylaws, adding the following:


Function. The Elected Members Committee is charged with exploring issues of interest to its members. The committee may take up issues and topics placed before it by majority vote of the committee or by agenda. This will not limit the committee from accepting commitments referred to the committee by the Faculty Senate. Although the membership of this committee comprises the majority of the Faculty Senate, this committee may not issue statements of any type in the name of the Faculty Senate of the University of Maine. Ordinarily, the committee shall not report to the Faculty Senate unless expressly listed on the agenda of the Faculty Senate.

Membership. The members of the Elected Members Committee include all members of the Faculty Senate who have been elected by their respective faculties. The Chair shall be the President of the Faculty Senate or his/her designate.

New Business: Motion to accept the following resolution from University Environment Committee (Rosenwasser): Resolution consisting of the faculty objection to single-sticker parking system.
Whereas the availability of convenient campus parking is perceived by many members of the University community to be limited or perhaps inadequate; and

Whereas the number of staff-designated parking spaces on campus is far fewer than the number of faculty and staff vehicles actually parking on campus each day, requiring many or most faculty and staff members to park in student-designated lots; and

Whereas even the large student-designated parking lots have been reported to be either full or near-full on several recent occasions; and

Whereas the President has requested that a thorough review of parking availability and parking policy be conducted by the Traffic and Safety Committee of the Administration;

The Faculty Senate applauds president Hoff’s decision to reexamine issues and policies related to campus parking. However, the Faculty Senate believes that maintenance of a designated Staff parking decal, and of staff-designated parking areas, is of both practical and symbolic importance to the faculty as well as the professional and classified staff. We believe further that such a system appropriately recognizes the role and responsibilities of the faculty and staff, and helps to ensure their safe and timely arrival at scheduled classes, job sites, and campus events. We hope, therefore, that concerns regarding the availability of adequate student parking can be resolved without elimination of the multi-tiered parking decal system. Further, we request that any plans to change substantially the current parking system that may arise from the Traffic and Safety Committee be circulated to all relevant campus interest groups, including the Faculty Senate, and that input from these interest groups be considered prior to implementation of any new policies or procedures related to parking.

The Committee decided to go through with the resolution at this time; a minority did prefer to wait until the report of the Traffic & Parking Committee is completed. Many questions and differing opinions on various aspects of the parking issue were offered. For example, senators suggested addressing safety issues and distinguishing between resident and commuter students. It was noted that the student government changed its original free-for-all proposal to six or seven solutions, including the free-for-all component. There was acknowledgement that the issue had elements of a “turf battle.”

Harlan Onsrud suggested that the “status quo” motion on the table was not constructive, and offered the following motion: Eliminate the sentence ” However the Faculty Senate believes that maintenance of a designated Staff parking decal, and of staff-designated parking areas, is of both practical and symbolic importance to the faculty as well as the professional and classified staff.” Question called: Opposed: 1. Abstentions: about 5.

In favor of amendment: 19. Opposed: 17. Abstentions: 6.

The majority did not vote in favor of the amendment, so there was discussion again of the original motion. Question called. The original motion was voted on: In favor: 32. Against: 6. Abstentions: 4. The original motion passed.

Motion on flat cap tuition (Metcalf presenting):

“The Faculty Senate supports Bearworks item 4-11 and asks that the administration pursue a change of policy through the Board of Trustees that would permit the following:

A student who has enrolled and paid for 15 credit hours in a semester may enroll in additional courses with the credit fee for the additional courses waived.”

There was a question regarding how much tuition money would have been lost this semester if there had been a cap.

Chief Financial Officer, Robert Duringer, said he was looking at a model all summer. He said there were different segments: in the 0 to 23 hours range. Somebody will pay the freight if there is a cap. Simulations have been run to see where people are impacted the least. The current proposal will affect 2600+ students. A different proposal will affect 5500 students. Chief Financial Officer Duringer does not have all the statistics run. He would prefer the 12-hour cap. Right now the person paying the freight is the 12-hour student.

Comment that the student reactions are not predictable at present. How many would opt to go to 15 hours in order to save? Duringer has been holding focus groups. The majority has said they would take 15 credits.

There was a question as to why we changed to the current system of paying per credit hours. J. Alexander recalled that there was some thought that there were people getting a free ride. That should not be the case; the original cap was 15 credits.

There was a student comment that the 15-credit requirement is elitist.

There was a question that if there were more students taking more courses, where would the resources come from?

Duringer: If we have 10% more students take more courses, how will this affect UM? This is revenue neutral.

Hoff mentioned the trustee allocation formula: the more credits we generate, the more state allocation we receive.

It was mentioned that there was the problem of students “shopping around” for courses by registering for a large number of classes and then dropping those they like the least.

Motion to table the above motion: In favor: 27. Opposed: 7. Abstentions: 2. Motion to table passed.

Meeting adjourned at 4:52 PM.

Minutes respectfully submitted by
Kathleen March, Secretary


Back to 1998-1999

Faculty Senate
Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
205 East Annex, Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469