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2000-2001 - April 25, 2001

Faculty Senate Minutes

April 25, 2001

Present: Mark Anderson, Bruce Barber, David Batuski, Paul Bauschatz, Willem Brusaert, Steve Cohn, Richard Cook, Chris Cronan, Shirley Lee Davis, George Elliott, Bill Farthing, Ed Ferguson, Marc Girard, Michael Grillo, Peter Hoff, Jim Horan, Dana Humphrey, Keith Hutchison, Edward Jadallah, Mike Greenwood for Richard Jagels, Richard Judd, Mel Kelley, Robert Kennedy, Carol Kim, Dennis King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Jan Kristo, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, John Maddaus, Chuck Maguire, Ivan Manev, Kathleen March, Jim McClymer, Mohamad Musavi, Raymond O’Connor, Fred Odera, Harlan Onsrud, Ali Ozluk, Howard Patterson, Eric Peterson, Robert Rice, Jane Smith, Owen Smith, Gloria Vollmers, Ione Hunt von herbing, Anatole Wieck

Absent: Eric Brucker, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Daniel Dwyer, Ray Fort, Diane Haslett, John Jemison, Melvin Johnson, Harvey Kail, Leonard Kass, Phil Locke, Daniel Lux, Kyriacos Markides, Jim McConnon, Bruce Nicholson, Glenn Reif, Kamal Shannak, Roy Turner, Judy Walker, James Wilson

I. Welcome and Signing in

The meeting was called to order at 3:15 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

J. Horan moved that the minutes from the March 28 meeting be approved, which was seconded by R. Rice. The minutes were approved.

III. Announcements

A.) Board of Visitors Update: Faculty Senate president M. Grillo will attend the upcoming meeting. His discussion with them will center on how to build a permanent relationship between the Faculty Senate and the B.O.V.

B.) Administrator Evaluations Update: The Executive Committee has been reassured by upper administration that evaluations will be playing out in the next few weeks in evaluations of certain administrators, and the Faculty Senate evaluations will become a part of future rolling evaluations conducted by upper administration. Next year the Faculty Senate will discuss the frequency of the evaluation process and how best to mesh it with the existing process.

C.) Strategic Plan Update: All the key goals have been updated and sent out for review. An implementation statement should be coming out within a few days and posted on the University and Faculty Senate web pages, as well as on college and department pages as possible. M. Grillo encouraged senators to review the document and be sure it’s available to constituents in time for discussion at the May 2 meeting and the vote at the May 9 meeting. The key goals have to be useable over the summer, and thus the urgency to approve them in May, but the committee will be working on the introductory statement over the month of May and the full document will be voted upon in the fall.

R. Kennedy pointed out that the key goals can already be found in several different folders on First Class, and the publicity people and Joe Carr will get them on the web.

D.) Domestic Partner Employment Facilitation: P. Hoff has formed a committee of three administrators and three faculty members and is to be headed by a faculty member. The Faculty Senate has submitted four names of faculty members from among whom President Hoff will choose three. Please contact J. Kuhns-Hastings if you have any questions about this committee.

E.) The senate meetings tentatively scheduled for May have been confirmed. At the elected-members meeting on May 2, discussion will focus on the Strategic Plan key goals. The May 9 meeting will include a vote on the key goals and portions of the faculty handbook, and O. Smith will be presenting issues on the Gen. Ed. proposal.

IV. Questions to administrators

O. Smith asked for an update on budgetary discussions down in Augusta. P. Hoff replied that the Legislature has not yet been able to come up with a Part 1 budget, and only $7 million are available for the Part 2 budget, which, when spread statewide, does not go very far. Increases of 4.22% and 2.5% are projected in the first and second years of the biennium for Part 1. Although we cannot be certain these figures will stick, at present, no one has proposed changing them. Part 2 of the budget will include $2 to 2.5 million for R & D in the budget for the biennium coming for debt service on a bond or base budget, and the amount of $2 million intended for the library is still alive but not necessarily kicking.

P. Hoff is optimistic about the issue of a bond referendum. He prefers the one authored by Mary Cathcart for $60-63 million system wide that would provide for the library and the art building. The Governor’s proposed bond has much, much less for the entire University of Maine System. The final bond proposal will probably be less than, but close to, the Cathcart bond figure.

In response to R. Rice’s request for a copy of the budget to be presented to the Faculty Senate in time for the May 2 meeting, R. Duringer indicated that it would be impossible to offer a firm budget, given the current demands regarding health care and energy costs that are wreaking havoc with the current planning process, but he agreed to issue a tentative budget.

In answer to another question from a senator, R. Duringer indicated that the fact that the University might get a 4 ½ % increase in the budget does not make the budgetary picture look much rosier.

General Student Senate representative F. Odera brought to the attention of administrators an article in the Maine Campus indicating that there is currently a bill before the State legislature that would prevent students from voting in the municipality of the college they attend. He wonders what can be done to prevent such a bill from being passed. P. Hoff recommended sending a student delegation to fight it and thinks it could easily be defeated, but not if the issue is ignored.

O. Smith asked for clarification of a report on Maine Public Radio according to which there has been a 50% increase in University of Maine enrollment since 1997. P. Hoff said the report actually refers to enrolling class figures, which do reflect a 47% increase over the entering class in 1997. It should translate eventually into that many more students overall, but it means sustaining that growth rate. The increase overall thus far has been about 15%. J. Beacon added that there is an increase of around 500 students in the freshman class projected for next year.

M. Musavi inquired about the return of indirect costs to colleges. P. Hoff answered, saying that the increased return that was projected for this year will have to be put off until next year.

V. Elections

J. Smith nominated R. Rice for the position of Vice-President/President-Elect for the year 2001-2002. The Senate voted unanimously in favor of his nomination.

There were no candidates for the position of Secretary, and that election will be delayed until the May 9 meeting.

Election of members of the Committee on Committees:

Slate of faculty for next year’s Committee on Committees:

-Education and Human Development–Dennis King

-Business, Public Health and Policy–Ivan Manev

-Engineeing–Chuck Maguire

-Liberal Arts and Sciences–Howard Patterson

-Natural Resources, Forestry, and Agriculture–Carol Kim

All nominations for the Committee on Committees were approved.

VI. Committee Reports

A.) J. Kuhns-Hastings, University Environment: There will be a motion coming from the committee presented under New Business.

B.) R. Rice, Financial and Institutional Planning: A report on the budget will come before the end of the semester.

C.) P. Bauschatz, Academic Affairs: No report.

D.) H. Onsrud, Research and Public Service: No report.

E.) J. Kristo, Committee on Committees: Post-Tenure Awards Committee–Each college and cooperative extension has a representative to the committee with the exception of Engineering and Liberal Arts and Sciences. We’re working on filling these two slots as soon as possible.

F.) J. Maddaus, Constitution and By-laws: The proposed constitutional amendment went out almost two weeks ago with a deadline for return of April 26. Ballots received so far number 182 and will be counted on Monday.

G.) D. Humphrey, Board of Trustees Representative: The report today comes from the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees and entails an outline of needs at the system level vs funds available. The following figures are tentative.

Needs: Health care cost increase of $16 million; compensation increase of $8-12 million; energy cost increase of $4 million.

Funds available: Approximately $11 million would be generated by the funding increases outlined above in the figures from the State legislature provided by President Hoff. Funding reallocation and growth (increased enrollment) will be in the range of $5-9 million ($9 million would be extremely challenging); tuition would be $4-6 million. There is also the possibility of a $2 per credit increase for energy costs, which would provide only half the amount required to cover them. Renegotiations of employee contribution to health care is a possibility. This puts the total funds available in the range of $27-33 million, which is in the right area.

D. Humphrey went on to point out a fundamental unfairness in the way the legislature treats the University of Maine System as compared to the technical college system: Their healthcare costs come straight out of the state budget. We are being shortchanged and the public is being deceived into thinking that we get a big increase, because the public is unaware that University healthcare and compensation costs must be covered by the University, thus leaving little else for other needs. The Legislature is not putting forward the money it takes to run an organization that is largely based on human resources, which is what a university is.

J. Horan pointed out that the chancellor has put forward a bill to put the university employees in the State package.

H. Patterson asked how this can be resolved. D. Humphrey suggested negotiating with the legislature. There are two possible solutions: 1) They increase our budget so we can cover the costs or; 2) they include these costs as part of the State budget.

J. Maddaus asked if there is any news on the UMPSA contract. D. Humphrey replied that the meetings he is allowed to attend are open to the public, and anything regarding contract talks is not public.

VII. Special Committees

A.) R. O’Connor, Interdisciplinary Committee: No report.

B.) H. Patterson, Library Committee: A letter will be sent to faculty members requesting input on what faculty needs are for the next several years. This input will help to make a stronger case for increased funding before the legislature.

C.) O. Smith, General Education Proposal: The sub-committee will be presenting in draft form five new areas for the general education requirements. The draft document is currently available online in the Faculty Senate folder or in electronic format from O. Smith. The committee seeks feedback to the specifics of the document. It is a conceptual framework only, not an implementation document, and provides a short definition, rationale and series of goals. The intent is to begin to talk about the ideas.

By way of background information, O. Smith informed the senate that the committee surveyed students, largely seniors, about what worked and what did not and students’ understanding of the purpose of general education requirements. Close to 400 responses to the survey were received. Most dominantly evident was that they did not know what Gen. Ed. was and why they were asked to do it. The common basis for an educational experience was seen as a valid idea but was unclear and problematic under the current system. The sub-committee would like to bring the document forward at the May 9 meeting and seeks an official response from the Faculty Senate.

VIII. Old Business

P. Bauschatz made a motion to untable the tabled Academic Affairs calendar motion. The motion was overwhelmingly approved.

Discussion:

F. Odera indicated that he had presented the motion to the students, asking student senators to talk to constituents via e-mails and personal communication. The GSS did not approve the schedule change.

Like the faculty, graduate students were split on this issue: To keep the calendar as is (12); to combine the fall and Thanksgiving break into one (11); and those who don’t care (8).

S. Cohn pointed out that when the fall break was instituted, it was seen as sorely needed by students, and J. Horan added that there had been suicides before the fall break was instituted.

P. Bauschatz did not have the text of the motion before him, but the main point of the motion was to combine the fall and Thanksgiving breaks into one full week at Thanksgiving, effective Fall 2002. The motion failed overwhelmingly, with 7 abstentions.

IX. New Business

A.) J. Kuhns-Hastings brought forward the following motion from the University Environment Committee to deactivate the Athletic Oversight Committee.

Motion to Deactivate the Athletic Oversight Committee

Background: The Athletic Oversight Committee was formed in the late 1980s by the Faculty Senate for the purpose of providing faculty intervention in cases where events surrounding the Athletics Department adversely affected the University as a whole. The committee was chaired by a faculty member from the Faculty Senate, and its membership was comprised of faculty designated by the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs committee, all of the faculty members serving on the Athletic Advisory Board (4-5), and administrative representatives. The Committee served a vital oversight function during years of administrative flux and at times when events warranted involvement of the faculty community. The committee reported directly to the President, although this was a function sometimes delegated to the Executive Assistant to the President.

The committee was re-authorized by a motion of the Faculty Senate in Spring 1998. In this motion, there was a direction to reevaluate the need for the committee in 2000.

Whereas there is a charge from an earlier Senate motion to review the mission of the Athletic Oversight Committee in 2000

Whereas the committee has not met for at least two years and there has been a period of stability and lack of adverse events in the Athletics Department

Motion: To formally de-activate the Athletic Oversight Committee, while preserving the authority of the Faculty Senate to re-constitute and activate a new committee of the same or similar structure should the need arise.

Discussion: None.

Vote: The motion was approved with three abstentions and no votes opposed.

B.) Faculty handbook VII-IX: Due to technical difficulties, presentation of these sections has been postponed until May 9.

C.) K. March made the following motion.

Motion on the Faculty Handbook from the Faculty Handbook Committee

WHEREAS questions, observations, and any changes, including updates, shall continue to be referred to the Faculty Handbook Committee through the end of the current semester of Spring 2001; and

WHEREAS the Faculty Handbook shall continue to be a living document to which appropriate changes will be made as necessary to keep it current and accurate;

BE IT RESOLVED that the ongoing maintenance of the faculty handbook shall, after the current semester, be the responsibility of the standing committee on Constitution and By-Laws. This committee shall determine the procedure to follow and shall provide an annual report to Faculty Senate of all changes in said handbook.

The motion was unanimously approved.

X. Adjournment

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made and unanimously approved. The meeting was adjourned at 4:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jane S. Smith, Secretary

 


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