Skip Navigation

1999-2000 - September 22, 1999

Faculty Senate Minutes

Wells Commons

September 22, 1999

Present: Bruce Barber, Paul Bauschatz, Phyl Brazee, Tom Byther, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Steve Cohn, Ted Coladarci, Richard Cook, Chris Cronan, Lee Davis, Rebecca Eilers, George Elliott, Ed Ferguson, Marc Girard, Timothy Griffin, Michael Grillo, Theresa Grove, Duane Hanselman, Diane Haslett, Knud Hermansen, Jim Horan, Keith Hutchison, Harvey Kail, Leonard Kass, Justin Kelleher, Roger King, Irv Kornfield, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, John Maddaus, Cynthia Mahmood, Ivan Manev, Kathleen March, Kyriacos Markides, Jim McClymer, Harlan Onsrud, Eric Peterson, Paula Petrik, Robert Rice, Andrew Reeve, Donijo Robbins, Alan Rosenwasser, Steve Sader, Thomas Sandford, Jane Smith, Owen Smith, Gloria Vollmers, Ione Hunt von Herbing, James Wilson, Don Zillman, Melvin Johnson, Richard Brucher

Absent: Daniel Dwyer, Bill Farthing, Ray Fort, Michael Greenwood, Richard Jagels, Richard Judd, Jim McConnon, Bruce Nicholson, Wesley Petteway, Judy Walker, Anatole Wieck

I. Welcome

The meeting was called to order at 3:15 by President Vollmers. She provided a brief explanation of the organization and jurisdiction of the faculty senate and referred to the faculty senate web-site. Members were encouraged to contribute to the discussion, to bring in issues originating in their units and to take information back to their units.

II. Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded that the minutes from the last meeting be approved. The motion passed by clear majority.

III. Election of Secretary

Darlene Bay was elected as the new secretary.

IV. Announcements

Introduction of New Members
b. Overview of how Senate Business Will be Conducted

The organization will operate according to Roberts Rules of Order, a very brief summary of which was passed out to those present. Motions must be given to Vollmers or another member of the executive committee at least one week before they are to be presented. Motions should contain two sections; a background section and a section specifying the action(s) requested.

c. Speakers

Vollmers stated that the number of speakers before the full senate will be reduced this year. Those wishing to address an issue will be encouraged to speak to the appropriate committee.

d. Other Announcement

There will be two campus forums held to address the issue of allocation of the Coca-

Cola funds. Attendance at those forums was encouraged to present a strong voice in

favor of using those funds for the library.

V. Questions of Administrators

There were no questions.

VI. Committee Reports

Most committees reported that they had been formed but had not yet met. J. Smith announced that the committee on committees has several vacancies—2 on the Barrier Free Access Committee, 2 on the Athletic Advisory Board, 1 on the Memorial Union Council, 1 on the Student Employment Advisory Council.

VII. New Business

A. 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

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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.

f. 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.

g. 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.

h. 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

i. 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.

j. 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

k. 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.

l. 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

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00.

 


Back to 1999-2000

Faculty Senate
Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
205 East Annex, Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640
E-mail: kimberly.junkins@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1865