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1998-1999 - January 27, 1999

Faculty Senate Minutes

January 27, 1999

Present: John Alexander, Francois Amar, Bruce Barber, Paul Bauschatz, Mary Ellen Camire, Tai Chen, Steve Cohn, Ted Coladarci, Lee Davis, James Fastook, Ed Ferguson, Ivan Fernandez, Mac Gray, Richard Brucher for Michael Grillo, Marc Girard for Knud Hermansen, Jim Horan, Roger King, Irv Kornfield, Janice Kristo, Phil Locke, Kathleen March, Kyriacos Markides, Jim McClymer, James McConnon, Lyn McLaughlin, Henry Metcalf, Scott Morelli, Bruce Nicholson, Harlan Onsrud, Hemant Pendse, Eric Peterson, Paula Petrik, Alan Rosenwasser, Steve Sader, Thomas Sandford, Therese Shipps, Jane Smith, Owen Smith, Kristin Sobolik, Mary Ellen Symanski, Gloria Vollmers.

Absent: Dan Belknap, Tony Brinkley, Robert Cobb, Steve Colburn, George Criner, Chris Cronan, Dan Dwyer, Ray Fort, Michael Greenwood, Tim Griffin, Dan Harrison, Fred Irons, Mel Johnson, Richard Judd, Leonard Kass, Alan Kimball, Cynthia Mahmood, Tina Passman, Connie Perry, Hayden Soule, Sydney Thomas, Ione Hunt Vonherbing, Judy Walker, Gail Werrbach, Anotole Wieck.

Welcome. Senators were asked to please sign the roll call.
Approval of minutes of December 9, 1998
Change noted: G. Jacobson should not be noted as absent as he is not a senate member.

Announcements: (President Symanski)
Gloria Vollmers will preside at the February meeting; President Symanski will be in Washington.

President Symanski announced two speakers for February 24th meeting. John Gregory will speak on Instructional Technology and CFO Robert Duringer on the Retirement Community.

Sherman Rosser was unable to present on recruitment and retention of minority faculty and students due to illness.

Richard Dawkins will lecture on February 25, 1999, at the MCA. More information will be forthcoming.

IV. Questions of Administrators:

Q. Smith: Could someone explain the increased expansion of athletics, especially the addition of women’s varsity volleyball?

Alexander: This is driven by our passionate love of volleyball and by Title IX. The option of reducing men’s athletics was not found in consonance with either Title IX or Maine constituencies. The former president noted he would not cut the men’s sports. March indicated the Athletic Advisory Board felt men’s sports elimination was not a desirable option.

V. Committee Reports:

Library (Dick Brucher for Michael): Substitute for Grillo is Brucher. The committee has not met.

Research & Public Service (Sobolik): The Committee will be meeting soon, perhaps in a week. They have a phone appointment with Dan Dwyer to discuss reallocation of indirect costs. Q: To reiterate, one of Dwyer’s research agendas is to reallocate the indirect resources. In December, he was in the process of doing that and Sobolik indicates that the senate might like to bring forth a resolution. The committee is in the process of writing such a resolution.

Constitution & By-Laws (Vollmers ): New item, coming from reaccredidation process, is how senate will assess how well it is doing. A forum to discuss evaluation of Faculty Senate is being planned on the last week of classes. Cohn mentioned that at one time senate was involved in evaluation of administrators, and how we might do so again? Metcalf answered, referring to a number of years ago, working with then-VP Hitt, on an evaluation scheme. The committee at the time did not reach a resolution. We could bring the issue back again, but it needs more guidelines. Metcalf noted also that in the past returns of evaluations were very poor. For 400 faculty, 25 evaluations were not meaningful.

Committee on Committees (Perry absent): The committee is working on staffing several committees: one of which is the Director of Marketing & Diversity committee. Nominations for this committee have already been sent in.

Academic Affairs (Horan): The committee will meet next week. Items: 1. Questionnaire on general education. 2. Evaluation forms proposed by Engineering. 3. Nominations for class book for the year 2000-2001. Nominations can be sent in starting today to Jim Horan.

Finance & Institutional Planning (Metcalf): Met with the committee on Institutional Facilities & Campus Planning. The carriage house is designed and still ongoing. The carriage house is desirable and if funds can be raised, will be constructed near the barn. It will simulate a similar type building in the19th century; it can house transportation equipment from former eras. 2. They agreed to a relocation plan for Maine Bound (rent out hiking, camping, recreational equipment). Maine Bound will go to the barn occupied by Bio-Resource & Engineering. 3. Montessori School proposed to lease 9.6 acres of the property located in Old Town on Stillwater Ave. to build a school. Many expressed concerns about a future school and how this would impact the University. The committee did not show a strong interest in the topic at this time. 4. The proposed retirement community will be located on the eastern side of campus off Park St. 5. A meeting is scheduled with CED program leadership regarding budget operations, among other topics.

University Environment (Rosenwasser): The committee has lost some momentum after parking issue. 1. The committee is planning to bring forth motion of support for diversity action plan in near future. Please read the Diversity Plan prior to voting. Copies are available at the senate office and on web.

Q: by Rosenwasser for Horan: What happened to proposal to waive AP credit for high schools? Horan: It is no longer under discussion.

The BOT (Fernandez): The Board of Trustees met at UMF last weekend. Highlights: The Chancellor requested $3 million dollars (3.4 percent) higher than the amount of university system funding the governor included in his budget for the next two years. He pledged that the system would increase tuition by no more than 2.5 percent a year. The BOT will have to leverage support for the university in legislature to avoid increase in tuition. Also, strategic planning for UMS: A. focus on quality of education, programs, and training citizens for 21st century. B. Continue with promoting entrepreneurial universities, i.e. continues enrollment growth. C. Continue to focus on research and development and its relation to economic growth in Maine. D. Emphasis was placed on community college partnership with the technical colleges; A community college system is evolving through the technical college system in Maine, and the UMS is developing a partnership with the Technical colleges. E. A public communication campaign to make the citizenry better aware of the importance of higher education, beyond just job training skills.

The Center for Agriculture, Center for Teaching Excellence, Flowing Water lab, BA & MA in Financial Economics and Ph.D. in Computer Science at UM were approved. Some concerns were raised from other campuses about our new programs, Otherwise, discussion was liveliest on the retirement community.

Fernandez mentioned responsibilities of being a BOT representative, since his term is up in May. A new appointee will be needed. Each campus has one faculty and one student representative. There is also one student trustee. It is good to have an idea of what is unique about this campus, that is the research mission.

Q: from Metcalf to Fernandez: Metcalf was concern about the community college item. UMA appears to be the leader, while others dropped the ball. Will people opt for 2 years at a more economical institution? What about transferability of courses, and instruction? Ivan agreed there are some concerns. There were many questions from Chancellor regarding quality control. Other institutions are far more vulnerable, such as UMPI having their own instructors hired for community college courses, then these are transferred to UMPI.

VI. Old Business:

1. Motion from Constitution & By-Laws to amend Article IV of Bylaws, adding the following: (because elected members meetings were beginning to look like regular senate meetings)


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.

Moved to approve. Discussion took place regarding the intention of the motion.

1 abstention. All others in favor.


2. Flat cap tuition. Motion on this topic was tabled at previous meeting. Motion by Onsrud to remove from the table was seconded and passed, with 9 voting against.


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.

Onsrud: What revenues would we lose with the cap? This is like most universities in the country and could attract students. He urged passing so we could get some response back from the administration and also get people talking about it. Also mentioned that there was a question as to what percentage of courses meet their enrollment caps.

Alexander noted that if we do this, it deserves more discussion.

Locke opposed to the motion because it encourages students to take too many hours. Rosenwasser asked for clarification about when the president would go ahead. Thought President Hoff was strongly planning to go ahead with some version of the plan, eventually. Alexander said Hoff is very much in favor of this. However, it was discussed briefly in some contexts and it is felt it would take another year to fully discuss, so that this would not be done in 1999; perhaps in 2000. In any event, the exact form has not been decided. Duringer has come up with a configuration to be revenue-neutral. It is admitted that some people would be paying more to support additional courses taken by others. Amar advised more discussion of details. O. Smith agreed on need for more information, fearing the majority of the students would pay for the increase.

Non-traditionals or part-timers would pay more for the ones who are able to take more hours. The poorer would thus be more taxed. Cohn thinks the administration already has a commitment to this, so we don’t need to support it in order to see something get done.

Horan suggested motion to be table again.

Sobolik suggests more than 15 hours is pushing students too much.

It was observed that students routinely are forced to take 15 or more. Rosenwasser said no. The average number of credits taken by students is about 13.8. Most people would pay more. Bruce Nicholson expressed favoring either vote against or table. Some programs are far above 120 hours. Thus their degree would cost them more and the students do not understand.

A student noted that at other institutions students take more credits than 15.

Onsrud repeated that the current tuition plan is a minority across the US. The economic projections are ultra-conservative. Why not experiment for a year? King expressed concern that people under 15 credits will subsidize the others. March mentioned the concern for the specific number of 15.

Petrik called the question: 2 opposed; remainder favored calling the question

Vote in favor of motion for flat cap tuition: 10

Opposed: 24

Abstentions: 2

Motion on flat cap tuition was defeated.

VII. New Business

Free activity period. Extensive discussion was held at the elected members’ meeting last week. President Symanski informed President Hoff of the reaction of the senators.

Petrik presented a motion: Copies of the motion were distributed at the meeting. A clean copy of the motion is in the Senate’s files. Anyone who wishes to obtain a clean copy may contact Rose Weller in the Senate office. (Hermansen, Petrik, Grillo committee members have developed this). The motion was seconded. People were given time to read a memo from President Hoff about the activity period and also the motion.

President Symanski gave a few items on senate perspective:

In fall, Alison Cox asked if senate would like to participate in selection of a free time period. This topic is not a new one; it came up last year to Academic Affairs Committee. It came up at other meetings, with Symanski and Horan and the Executive committee of the senate. There was not a great deal of enthusiasm for the free period idea, so it was decided not to participate in selecting the time. President Hoff met with the Executive Committee of the senate, and after views were expressed President Hoff made it clear it was going to be implemented. The committee acquiesced. We thought there would have been time to consider this as a proposal to vote on.

Rosenwasser asked if bullet 4 was actually the Academic Affairs committee of senate rather than senate executive committee. Symanski noted it was indeed as Rosenwasser thought. Also she noted that we need to be clearer with our feelings in speaking with the president.

Matt Moen representing the Blue Ribbon Panel provided explanation. He chaired Blue Ribbon Panel discussions around campus on the quality of student life outside classes. Then heard often from students about the inability to make certain functions because of class schedules. Thus, the BRP recommended a 12 – 1 free period on MWF. Subsequently, data were looked at and 2 – 3 were selected as a better alternative.

Bruce Nicholson stated that members of his department were against the free activity period idea for various reasons, but that it was most disruptive to laboratory schedules.

Provost Alexander stated that the labs would be able to be handled as an exception.

Cohn suggested as minimum, a trial basis of one semester. Moen thought one year made more sense. Alexander spoke in favor of one-year trial because it would take half a semester to get word out. People need the opportunity to take advantage of the period. Rosenwasser was interested in what the mechanism for evaluating the experiment would be like. Alexander noted there was time to put such a thing in place, and the senate could be part of the evaluation. Rosenwasser asked for the type of indicator that this plan works: Moen suggested a mostly qualitative assessment.

It was asked what particular student issue originated this. McLaughlin noted that professors often schedule office hours during her class times. This would enable faculty to schedule office hours at a time free for her. Also, she mentioned other uses of the time as lectures, guests and talking to administrators.

Petrik asked when was the authority passed to Alumni Hall for schedule decisions. Alexander: We should be willing to take a risk. We need to let students know we’re interested in some of their ideas. Alexander also explained that the BRP report contained 28 recommendations. Only two of these were directed at academics, and thus be felt that faculty should consider going along with the idea.

O. Smith referred to Hoff’s memo and BRP on student experience. Rebuilding community should not be done at the expense of academics. Perhaps the faculty and staff. He asked for a process to look at the other two portions of the institution. A Black Ribbon Panel could be established to look at how academics have been deprioritized. He noted that the activity slot was during prime teaching time.

Morelli stated the campus is becoming more a FirstClass campus. We don’t sit down and talk so much. We need a common time to interact with people in person versus on the computer. Amar says resolution has a lot of good points. It does represent a compromise – we have fiat, but let’s not do it all year. March mentioned a possible two p.m. traffic jam. Gelinas mentioned practical aspects of putting together the course schedule for spring 2000.

Metcalf called the question with no objection. In favor of the motion: 24. Opposed: 6. Abstentions: 3.

Motion passed.

No further business.

Meeting adjourned at 4:58 PM.

Minutes respectfully submitted by
Kathleen March, Secretary


Back to 1998-1999

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