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2000-2001 - March 28, 2001

Faculty Senate Minutes

28 March, 2001

Present: David Batuski, Paul Bauschatz, Eric Brucker, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Steve Cohn, Richard Cook, Chris Cronan, Shirley Lee Davis, George Elliott, Ed Ferguson, Marc Girard, Michael Grillo, Jenson for Diane Haslett, Peter Hoff, J.J. for Jim Horan, Keith Hutchison, M? for Richard Jagels, John Jemison, Mel Kelley, Robert Kennedy, Carol Kim, Dennis King, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Daniel Lux, John Maddaus, Ivan Manev, Kathleen March, Kyriacos Markides, Jim McClymer, Jim McConnon, Mohamad Musavi, Raymond O’Connor, Fred Odera, Ali Ozluk, Howard Patterson, Eric Peterson, Jane Smith, Owen Smith, Roy Turner, Gloria Vollmers, Ione Hunt von herbing, James Wilson

Absent: Mark Anderson, Bruce Barber, Willem Brusaert, Daniel Dwyer, Bill Farthing, Ray Fort, Dana Humphrey, Edward Jadallah, Melvin Johnson, Richard Judd, Harvey Kail, Leonard Kass, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Jan Kristo, Phil Locke, Chuck Maguire, Cynthia Mahmood, Bruce Nicholson, Harlan Onsrud, Paula Petrik, Glenn Reif, Robert Rice, Kamal Shannak (excused), Judy Walker, Anatole Wieck

I. Welcome and Signing in

The meeting was called to order at 3:19 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes from 28 February Meeting

The minutes were approved.

III. Announcements

A.) Administrator Evaluations Update: The Executive Committee met with President Hoff to discuss faculty evaluations of administrators. M. Grillo asks for patience as we feel our way through this process for the first time. President Hoff says things are going smoothly and that the input from the evaluations is valuable. He pointed out that he has conducted annual evaluations of those who report directly to him in the three years since his arrival at UMaine. The information from these evaluations will be incorporated into that review process this year.

B.) Strategic Plan Update: Provost Kennedy has put faculty representation on the editorial committee at 10 out of 12 members, well beyond the 50% level requested by the Faculty Senate. M. Grillo thanked him for taking the faculty into consideration in the process. The group has met to decide what the general tenor of comments is and has begun earnestly rewriting the key goals. The principle issues include defining the university in terms of itself but also in relation to other campuses in the University of Maine System, and focusing the document further while at the same time working toward making it more comprehensive. Provost Kennedy said that the two non faculty members are Robert Dana and Trish Riley, though Riley is unable to attend meetings and will be replaced by someone else from the Board of Visitors. The other members are Gloria Vollmers, John Maddaus, Keith Hutchison, Bill Livingston, Deirdre Mageean, Bill Richardson, Doug Allen, George Jacobson, Michael Grillo and Dana Humphrey.

C.) United Way Letter: M. Grillo read an excerpt from a letter received from the United Way, addressing concerns about the Boy Scouts and the fact they do not meet university standards on non-discrimination, yet they’re part of the charitable appeal on campus. The portion of that letter addressing this concern was read as follows:

The United Way of Eastern Maine’s stance with the Boy Scouts is quite different from most United Ways in the state and across the country. For us, the Boy Scouts are what we call a “designation agency.” They only receive monetary support if the donor designates his or her gift, in writing, to them. We use a similar policy with the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center and the AAA Pregnancy Center, two agencies on opposite sides of the abortion issue. We closely monitor these agencies and their practices, and at the local level we are confident that there has not been a single case of discrimination by the Katahdin Area Boy Scout Council.

D.) Faculty Senate Elections: M. Grillo made a call for candidates for the 25 April meeting for vice president-elect and secretary. Volunteers to serve on the Committee on Committees for 2001-02 are encouraged to contact Jan Kristo. There should be at least one representative from each college, with a total of ten members.

IV. Questions to Administrators

G.Vollmers inquired about the status of the repairs to the Hudson Museum and the Maine Center for the Arts. She understands that funding is not going well and asked if there are ideas for bringing it to the public. R. Duringer responded, indicating that fund raising is not going all that badly, considering the length of time John Patches has been working on it. A status meeting that will include Elaine Albright, John Patches, Facilities, and R. Duringer is scheduled for next week. R. Kennedy added that there is no news yet on an alternative site for the collection, though there are two or three options, including one in Bangor and the return of the collection to its original display location in Stevens Hall. In response to P. Hoff’s statement that he was not aware of what the options are, R. Kennedy said that he will be sure to get the list to him.

J. McClymer asked R. Duringer about incentivized budgeting, and he replied, stating that problems with energy costs have precluded this at the present time. R. Kennedy reiterated his position that this budgeting is a priority.

O. Smith asked if this might be something for which the System might dip into its rainy day fund, to which R. Duringer responded that this would be the rational approach. He’s had four conversations with Mr. Smith about this. He added that this would be a short-term solution and that in the long term, we need to be able to rightsize ourselves and incorporate it into our budget. With increased enrollments and its numerous facilities, our campus has the greatest consumption. When asked how much do we trade off our regular budget, R. Duringer replied that the amount is about $1.5 million. Heating degree days have increased about 7% this year, and the Standard Offer is going to go up again. He normally buys fuel for the steam plant once a year, though last year he had to delay the purchase by four months. It’s electricity that is the stumbling block.

O. Smith then inquired about Part I of the budget for the next biennium. P. Hoff answered, saying that the legislature is closing in on that part: It would give the university a 4.25% increase and 2.5% in the second year of the biennium. Part 2 of the budget is where R&D will come up. There is little left in Part 1 to do much in Part 2, which might be an indication that it would be good to go for a bond in November that would provide for the library and art museum.

J. Kuhns-Hastings brought up the concern about encapsulated mercury under the field house floor and asked whether there are plans to remove and replace that floor. P. Hoff clarified the issue, stating that there is mercury in the running track and that it poses no threat unless and until we try to replace it, which is what makes it so expensive. The cost of redoing the floor has been estimated at between $500,000 and $1 million, which makes it pie in the sky right now. We are marking time on that expense in favor of higher priorities.

V. Committee Reports

A.) J. McClymer for R. Rice, Financial and Institutional Planning: R. Duringer will provide a short form of the draft budget in about three weeks.

B.) J. Maddaus, Constitution and Bylaws: A copy of a forthcoming motion to amend the Senate constitution has been distributed.

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

D.) J. Kuhns-Hastings, University Environment: The committee will be bringing forward a motion under Old Business.

E.) J. Kristo, Committee on Committees: No report other than to reiterate the request for volunteers to serve on next year’s Committee on Committees.

F.) P. Bauschatz, Academic Affairs: Two motions will be presented later in the meeting.

G.) D. Humphrey, Board of Trustees Representative: The B.O.T. approved the names of faculty that had been put forward to receive tenure, and it approved the cold water aquaculture research facility. The Board is currently discussing a 4.22% increase in the Legislature. While not ideal, this is better than six weeks ago. Increased healthcare costs have prompted a study to consider changing System coverage to the overall State healthcare plan.

VI. Special Committee Reports

A.) K. March, Faculty Handbook: Corrections and updates are welcome at any time. This is a living document. The committee is virtually discussing Sect. 7 and should have both it and Sect. 8 ready for the April meeting and the last section, No. 9, ready for May. These last three sections in draft/working form are posted on the Faculty Senate conference on First Class.

B.) R. O’Connor, Interdisciplinary Committee: Interviews of those involved in this should be wrapped up next week. At one point several years ago, the U.S. Congress addressed interdisciplinary studies and issued a report that former President Libby once had a copy of . If anyone has a copy of it, please send it to R. O’Connor.

C.) H. Patterson, Library Committee: The committee will ask faculty members to send letters to the legislature in support of the library.

VII. Old Business

A.) Domestic Partner Employment Facilitation: J. Kuhns-Hastings brought forward this motion from the University Environment Committee

Preamble: The Faculty Senate recognizes the importance of facilitating dual-career campus community couples. Increasingly, such facilitation is necessary in order for departments and schools to be successful in their recruitment and retention efforts. We, the Faculty Senate, note that dual career couples will enrich the campus milieu. While we recognize the Opportunity Hire Program, we also recognize that it is not adequately publicized for the university community.

Because dual-career partnerships typically involve employment needs and/or opportunities across units, university-level policy is required.

Motion: The Faculty Senate requests that the President of the University of Maine appoint a committee whose membership is comprised of at least half faculty members, to develop and make public a policy relating to the facilitation of employment of dual-career couples in matters of faculty retention and recruitment, and that University resources related to that policy be made equally available to all units on campus.

Discussion:

Please remove the word “draft” from the motion.

The motion was passed unanimously.

B.) Proposed Amendment to the Constitution

Section 9. Evaluation of UMaine administrators. The Faculty Senate, acting through the Executive Committee chaired by the President of the Faculty Senate, shall conduct faculty evaluations of UMaine administrators, in consultation with the President of the University.

J. Maddaus made the above motion, pointing out that it requires a 2/3 vote of approval from the Faculty Senate and must then be submitted to the faculty at large, which also requires a 2/3 vote for approval in order for it to be adopted.

The amendment was approved, with 47 votes in favor, zero against, and two abstentions.

C.) Proposed Calendar Change: This motion was put forward by P. Bauschatz, chair of the Academic Affairs committee.

It is MOVED that the Academic Calendar be changed to eliminate the two-day break in October and to extend the break at Thanksgiving to a full week. The change becomes effective in Fall Semester 2002.

Discussion:

K. March asked if there has been any contact with student government. Not to this point, according to P. Bauschatz. It came up last semester with regard to Veterans’ Day, and there was a strong feeling that there was little support for Veteran’s Day as a holiday. This change was made based solely on questions of pedagogy and what amounts to the full two weeks’ being lost in the current Fall and Thanksgiving breaks. The committee did not revisit the two-week spring break at all.

Mel Kelley said that this issue has not come up at the graduate level, but for travel plans one break in the fall seems better. Fred Odera also indicated that this particular question has not been raised, only the Veteran’s Day issue has been discussed. P. Bauschatz reiterated the advantages for laboratory work for having only one break. M. Musavi opposes the motion because students don’t gear up after a long break. O. Smith understands the labs’ needs, but fall break has been in existence for 15 or 20 years, and he wonders how they’ve managed in the past. He feels that such a long break just three weeks before the end of the semester would break the flow of his and his colleagues’ classes. In response to his question about labs, the response was that they are usually canceled during both weeks.

I. Manev conducted a poll in his college and the results were almost evenly divided among those who are for, against, and undecided. K. March finds the classes of Thanksgiving week are already decimated, so why not give students the full week to recharge? Other faculty members feel that it’s not clear that it’s truly disruptive nor a time to recharge. M. Girard agrees with K. March: The stall is already there in that week, because students are either skipping classes or figuring out how to get home. When he talked to his students, they favored having the whole week, because airfare is costly or they take the bus, which is lengthy. Even student fares sky rocket at Thanksgiving.

C. Jensen asked if there is some reason to believe, or not, that mental health is affected. A. Cox stated that the break was implemented years ago for mental health, especially for first-year students who might be homesick. D. Cook pointed out that fall break is Thanksgiving in the reverse and a lot of students leave early or come back late. Mel Kelley asked if it’s traditional to have a break at other institutions. She thinks not, and those students don’t seem to suffer.

H. Patterson expressed concern about student retention in the sciences. The break allows them to talk with advisors and parents and recharge, otherwise, they might give up.

Fred Odera suggested tabling the motion until it can be presented to the General Student Senate. S. Cohn moved that the motion be tabled, and it was approved.

D. Cook asked if parents have ever complained about having to pay for kids to come home twice. P. Hoff said that no one has ever complained about two breaks.

D.) Definitions of Faculty, Units, Programs of Study

P. Bauschatz went over wording changes from the draft motion discussed at the elected members meeting. The motion now reads as follows.

Motion: In order to clarify policies for hiring and evaluating faculty, it is MOVED that the University of Maine adopt the following definitions and procedures:

1.) All courses taught at the University of Maine are taught by faculty (or by Teaching Assistants enrolled in advanced degree programs and directly supervised by faculty.)

2.) All faculty teaching courses, full time or part-time, are appointed according to criteria established in the department, division, or appropriate unit in which the faculty member teaches and in which the courses are taught.

3.) An appropriate unit at the University of Maine is a department, division, school, institute, or college, maintaining for the purpose of evaluation, reappointment, and promotion, regular approved procedures for forming peer committees. The unit offers an approved program of study leading to an academic degree or, in the case of support programs or institutes, a program of study leading to matriculation in a degree-granting program.

4.) A peer, as here defined, has full-time faculty status (a unit member according to the AFUM contract) and is tenured or is on a tenure track.

5.) Requests to hire faculty are initiated by the appropriate department, division, or other appropriate unity (as described above) and are approved through regular academic channels, culminating with approval from the Provost. Members of search committees named by the department, division, or other appropriate unit are faculty members as defined in items 2-4, above. Additional members of search committees may be non-faculty members, if such members are approved by the peer committee of the unit.

6.) In some cases, faculty teach courses in more than one program of study and are appointed in more than one department, division, or appropriate unit. Such appointments are approved by all of the interested units and the subsequent academic channels, culminating with approval from the Provost. Such faculty are evaluated by a peer committee whose makeup is determined by the standing peer committees of the interested academic units.

7.) Some faculty have adjunct or cooperating status: that is, they hold non-academic appointments inside or outside the university but have expertise making them qualified to teach. Such faculty are also appointed and evaluated according to the procedures outlined above.

8.) When time constrains the implementation of the hiring procedures outlined in 5.), above, emergency appointments may be made administratively (according to Article 7.3 of the AFUM contract). Such appointments do not normally extend beyond one academic year. Faculty so appointed are evaluated by procedures adopted by the relevant unit’s peer committee.

9.) Appointment of faculty with joint research/teaching status are approved by both the Vice President for Research and the Provost. Such faculty are subject to the procedures outlined in 2.) 5.), above, and they are evaluated by procedures adopted by the relevant unit’s peer committee.

Discussion:

M. Musavi asked why the change to “procedures adopted by the relevant unit’s peer committee” from “peer committee” was made, given that the original statement is clearer. P. Bauschatz remarked that this came from the College of Education and that, because of the number of adjuncts, review by the peer committee would be impossible. A discussion of what those procedures might be ensued. According to J. Maddaus, adjunct faculty are reviewed by administrators using guidelines originating from the peer committee.

G. Elliott asked what the need was to evaluate someone who was hired for only one year. P. Bauschatz pointed out that this is an emergency basis hire, but emergencies tend to recur year after year, and the people are rehired without any review. This ensures that the performance of emergency hires would be reviewed so that there would be some basis for making a second appointment.

The motion was approved.

These definitions should be incorporated into Sect. 9 of the faculty handbook.

VIII. Adjournment

O. Smith moved to adjourn, and the meeting was adjourned at 4:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jane S. Smith
Secretary.

 


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