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2001-2002 - December 12, 2001

Faculty Senate Minutes

December 12, 2001

Present: David Batuski, Darlene Bay, Douglas Bousfield, Thomas Brann, Kathrine Carter, Steve Cohn, Eric Conrad, Richard Cook, Paul Creasman, Richard Eason, Ed Ferguson, Alla Gamarnik, Virginia Gibson, Pall Grosswiler, Don Hayes, Dianne Hoff, Peter Hoff, Mike Howard, Keith Hutchison, Edward Jadallah, Joseph Kelley, Robert Kennedy, Carol Kim, Dennis King, Roger King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Irv Kornfield, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Diana Lawson, Ngo Vinh Long, John Maddaus, Chuck Maguire, Ivan Manev, Kathleen March, Jim McClymer, Kim McKeage, Charles Moody, Suneeti Nathani, Ali Ozluk, Howard Patterson, Bryan Pearce, Glenn Reif, Robert Rice, Linda Rottmann, Douglas Ruthven, Dan Sandweiss, Christa Schwintzer, Bruce Segee, Phillip Silver, Owen Smith, Stylianos Tavantzis, Andrew Thomas, Roy Turner, Jim Warhola, Gregory White

Absent: Jim Acheson, Robin Arnold, Scott Dunning, Daniel Dwyer, Bill Farthing, Charles Forshee, Sandy Gardner, Dana Humphrey, Richard Jagels, John Jemison, Melvin Johnson, Harvey Kail, Phil Locke, Daniel Lux, Stephen Marks, Frederick Servello, Sarah Vidito, Dave Yarborough

I. Welcome and Signing in

The meeting was called to order at 3:16pm.

II. Approval of minutes from the October 24, 2001 meeting

Bob Rice moved that the minutes be accepted. Owen Smith seconded, and the motion passed.

III. Announcements
John Maddaus announced that there would be an Executive Committee meeting after the Senate meeting.

IV. Questions to the Administrators

Q: Christa Schwintzer asked Mark Anderson to fill the members in on the status of the budget and health care costs.

A: The letter from Pres. Hoff today captured where we are. The System is still evaluating responses from contractors. There is the prospect of a second deappropriation for this year. We expected a $7M increase this year and $4.2 for next year, but the current deappropriation has decreased this to a $4.4M increase for this year.

Q: Owen Smith asked what the thinking is on how to handle budget cuts—across-the-board or targeted—and how this may be connected to incentivised budget planning.

A: Bob Kennedy responded that he has not spoken to anyone who is in favor of across-the-board cuts, so the focus is on targeted cuts. He has reactivated the incentivised budget committee and the strategic planning committee. Both are looking at incentives and ways to help the budget, and how to examine priorities to make critical decisions with the least impact on the mission and on delivery to students. These groups met over the last two weeks and continue to meet. Also, Mark Anderson, Doug Gelinas, and Dan Dwyer have been asked to work with him [Bob Kennedy] to look at the mission to provide a programmatic basis for cuts.

Q: A follow-up question asked if it was safe to conclude that the cuts will not be across the board.

A: He replied in the affirmative, though he indicated that he would be cautious on the use of the word “safe”. Peter Hoff added that few people in the abstract believe in across-the-board cuts, but the tenor changes when we get down to what specific cuts need to be made. He suggested that we should all thank our deans for each making the case that theirs is the college most severely impacted by the previous cuts and the one that should be cut least this time.

Q; Stylianos Tavantzis asked Mark Anderson about the benefit of allowing MBNA to use the UMaine logo for a credit card.

A: He answered that the Alumni Association does have a UMaine card available from MBNA. The payments from this go to the Alumni Association.

Q: Bob Rice asked Peter Hoff if he could update us on the search for a Chancellor.

A: He replied that he probably could not, since he gets most of his information about that from the newspapers. He said that we do have a student on the committee, and that the search has narrowed the field some weeks ago to seven semi-finalists. He believes the final candidates will be interviewed by us in some fashion. He does not know any of the names yet. The Board doubts that it will make a selection before its January 14 meeting, which will be in Orono. It will probably delegate the task to its Executive Committee, and the selection will probably be made in February.

Q: Jim Warhola asked Bob Kennedy and Peter Hoff for comments about the Strategic Plan in light of the budget cuts—in particular, would it be scrapped.

A: Peter Hoff stated that it would not be scrapped, but instead it will be a guide for dealing with the budget. Bob Kennedy added that the Strategic Planning Committee is continuing to meet and is wrestling with how to set priorities. The plan will not be scrapped, but it will guide the process. The committee is very much faculty-based (almost exclusively), and he and the President will continue to rely on that committee’s ideas. He urges discussion within units, with the results conveyed to the committee.

V. Committee reports

A) Judy Kuhns-Hastings, University Environment

The committee is very busy and will bring forth motion on Graduate Student on Health Insurance at the January meetings.

B) Keith Hutchison, Research and Public Service

Nothing to report.

C) Christa Schwintzer, Finance and Institutional Planning

They have followed up on the motion on maintenance of the Hudson Museum and Bodwell Lounge. The roof has been repaired. The motion also called for carpet replacement (due to bugs in the carpet). Glen Reif reported that the new roof will keep the moisture out of insulation. Some artifacts are in cold storage to kill the beetles. Artifacts are in sealed containers, but are available to all faculty for research or classes. They are waiting until Summer 2003 to tear out the rugs to avoid moving the artifacts an additional time.

D) Bryan Pearce, Academic Affairs

Their major focus has been Honors College. A motion will be delayed at least until the first of year. John Maddaus clarified that the focus is on the implementation of the Honor College, not whether or not there should be one.

E) Howard Patterson, Committee on Committees

There have been appointments to the Parking Committee. He is now seeking members for the Radiation Safety Committee and the Environmental Health and Safety Committee. He requests that members with input about possible members should send it to him.

F) Bob Rice, Constitution and By-laws

No report.

G) Kathleen March, Library Advisory

Tomorrow, the committee will meet Marty O’Neal (University Development) to discuss the creation of an endowment for the Library. It will begin with modest contributions from faculty and graduate students. Joyce Rumery will also be there.

H) Owen Smith, General Education Review

Folders on FirstClass are now set up to discuss General Education Review. There is a folder on the Faculty Senate Desktop for Senate-related discussion and one on the Academics Desktop for general discussion.

Q: Bob Rice asked if they have factored in information from the open forums.

A: Not yet.

Q: Stylianos Tavantzis asked about key goal 1 of the Strategic Plan and how that relates to the General Education Review.

A: It makes sense that the two are following the same path and working on same page. The two were developed separately, both are responding to ongoing national/international discussions about liberal education. They do share things since responding to same stimuli, and it makes sense as the General Education Review moves forward to pull in things from the Strategic Plan.

Q: A follow-up question asked that if the general comments are of the variety “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”, then maybe there would be a better response if the review is tied to the Strategic Plan.

A: Many of the comments have been in that vein, but there have been some on other side. The next steps are to review the vision document, e-mail, open forums, and FirstClass discussions, then decide on what is the wisest course of action. They will try to draw from all the positions.

I) Jim Warhola, Interdisciplinary Programs

Nothing new to report. But they did meet with Bob Kennedy on the role of interdisciplinary programs in the Strategic Plan. They are waiting for draft document on new interdisciplinary self-governing programs.

J) Dana Humphrey, Board of Trustees Representative

Not present, no report conveyed to John.

VI. New Business:

1. Motion on maintenance of technology classrooms – Submitted by the Finance and Institutional Planning Committee

Preamble
Many of the larger classrooms on campus have been equipped with technology to assist in the creative and efficient presentation of lectures. Others have been outfitted as computer classrooms. The largest classrooms such as DPC 100 are used to teach several thousand students each week. Faculty spend hours preparing presentations that rely on the technology in the room – projectors, computers, microphones, etc. Staff and technicians from Information Technologies, Office of Student Records, and Facilities Management have worked hard to keep these facilities in good condition. However, at times projectors and computers fail and projectors have historically required long periods (weeks) to repair. When this has happened there have been extended periods when faculty have been frustrated in their efforts to present quality lectures and large numbers of students have not received the quality education they deserve. Many faculty have not known where to report problems or how to get them solved. Some equipment users leave the equipment so it cannot be used by those who follow. Faculty are not given advance warning of malfunctioning equipment and so cannot alter their lecture plans accordingly.

The following campus organizations share responsibility for maintenance of these facilities:

1. Information Technologies (John Gregory, Executive Director). Responsible for computers (Campus Networking, Andrew Moody, Manager) and projectors and microphones (AudioVisual Services, David Bagley, Multi-Media Specialist).

2. Faculty. Responsible for proper use of the equipment and reporting problems promptly when they occur.

3. Office of Student Records (Alison Cox, Director). Schedules classes in the lecture halls and classrooms. Also schedules other events when the rooms are not being used for classes. Responsible for making the rooms available for repairs.

4. Facilities Management (Anita Wihry, Executive Director of Institutional and Facilities Planning). Responsible for lights in the lecture halls and classrooms, for erecting and removing scaffolding (if needed for work on the projectors), and for unlocking buildings in the morning.

Motion
The overall goal will be to keep our technology-equipped teaching facilities (lecture halls, classrooms, and computer classrooms) in excellent working condition. This means that all equipment is fully functional and repairs, when needed, are made quickly (within minutes, hours, or a few days depending on the difficulty of the repair). To this end the Senate recommends that:

Information Technologies

1. Designate a single individual or office where problems can be reported. This person/office will quickly contact Audio Visual Services and/or Campus Networking as needed.

2. Place information cards on the podium with instructions for whom to call about problems and specific instructions to turn off the projectors as appropriate. Check, as needed, to ensure that the cards are still there.

3. Make repairs quickly. When computers malfunction a qualified technician will respond within minutes to minimize loss of valuable class time.

4. Keep sufficient spare parts on hand so projector bulbs and other frequently needed parts do not take weeks to obtain while the equipment cannot be used.

5. If a particular system cannot be repaired before the next class scheduled in the room, faculty will be notified so they can make adjustments to their lecture plans. Faculty who are scheduled in the room within three hours will be notified by telephone and e-mail. Faculty who are scheduled at a later time will be notified by e-mail.

6. Train faculty and other users of the equipment in the particular systems in the room they will use.

7. Develop step by step written instructions for the use of the equipment in each room. These instructions will be handed to everyone who receives instruction in the use of the equipment. They will include the name of the person/office where problems are to be reported.

8. In any lecture halls that were used over the weekend, qualified technicians will check the teaching technology and replace items on the stage (podium etc.) in their proper places on Monday morning prior to the first class.

9. Install a telephone in Neville 101 and other lecture halls used to teach hundreds of students to allow faculty to efficiently report problems in these large auditoriums.

10. Check overhead projectors on a regular basis and maintain as needed.

11. Include significant faculty input into the design of new classroom facilities to ensure that these facilities are easily used by ordinary faculty as well as those with advanced knowledge of technology.

12. Involve the Academic Computing Advisory Committee (ACAC) or its successor in a review of existing facilities and the design of new facilities in line with their responsibility for “helping to develop short- and long-range plans for the maintenance and enhancement of academic computing technologies on campus.”

Faculty

1. Obtain training in the proper use of the equipment in the rooms in which they teach.

2. Return any computer or other settings that they changed during their class to the standard settings.

Report any problems promptly so they can be solved before others use the room.

The Office of Student Records

Designate an individual/office to receive requests for making lecture halls and classrooms available for repairs. Making the room available may involve moving or canceling one or more scheduled events. Repairs have a very high priority because the primary function of these rooms is teaching.

Facilities Management

1. Designate an individual/office to receive requests for help with repairs and to arrange for the needed scaffolding.

2. Set up scaffolding when needed to repair projectors. This will need to be done when classes are not in session (late afternoon, early morning, or weekends).

3. Make sure that the buildings are unlocked in the morning.

A second is not required for motions from committees.

Christa Schwintzer provided a brief introduction to the motion. An earlier version garnered garnered 47 e-mail responses, all saying something needs to be done. The committee has run the 12 items by John Gregory [Information Technologies]. He supports the intent of motion and looks forward to working with all those involved. He did raise questions about 3 items. Item (1) [designating a single individual to be a contact point] will most probably be done with reporting on-line. The committee does not think this will work. With respect to Item (3) [make repairs quickly; response within minutes], he feels that IT does not have adequate staff to make sure that someone could be at a lecture hall within minutes, although it is certainly a goal to strive toward. The committee thinks we still need to do this, even if it necessitates new resources. With respect to Item (5) [timely notification if the equipment in a room cannot be repaired prior to class], he said that most realistically, an active Web page could be made available, and faculty could check it before their classes. The committee feels that this will not work, since it would require each faculty member to check the Web site prior to each class. They note that if things get better, perhaps so many notifications will not be needed.

Allison Cox [Student Records] is also supportive. Anita Wihry has made no objections to requests to Facilities Management. Mention was made of the issue of locked doors at DP Corbett at times when classes were scheduled. The doors in that building are controlled by computer, which was not working properly. One faculty member requested that markers for white boards be supplied, but Anita Wehry replied that those are the responsibility of the academic departments, unlike chalk, which is supplied by the janitors.

Discussion:

A Senator asked if IT or Student Records is best equipped to handle Item (5) [notification]. Christa replied that those two groups could work it out between them.

Owen Smith asked if the committee had any sense of the potential budget impact of this motion, and any sense of which is the biggest item. Christa replied that from John Gregory’s [IT’s] perspective, the biggest item is the possible need for more personnel. He has no problem with having spare parts on hand. Owen asked that given the current budget, aren’t we asking for things that may not be possible? Christa replied that there is a student technology fee that is collected, and one possibility is to redirect these fees for the things recommended in this motion.

Vote:

The motion passed with one opposed, three abstentions.

2. Motion concerning the replacement or repair of the Library steps Submitted by the Finance and Institutional Planning Committee

Preamble
The north face of Fogler Library and its massive limestone-framed steps serve as a focal point for the entire campus of the University of Maine. The steps also function as a stage for gatherings on the mall and are among the most widely photographed items at the University for promotion and recruiting.

Unfortunately, the limestone framing the steps is in a state of obvious decay, is shedding large chunks of stone, and has become visually unattractive. Moreover, the steps may be reaching the point where they pose a safety threat and/or are in danger of accelerated disintegration.

Motion

The steps of Fogler Library should be replaced within the next two years. If this is not possible for financial reasons, the University should make any and all reasonable efforts to protect the library steps from further decay, to mitigate hazards to the University community, and to restore their aesthetic appeal until such time as they can be replaced.

Christa Schwintzer provided a brief introduction to this motion. This motion calls attention to the Library steps as something that is important to us. There is some good news: a group of alumni has expressed an interest in replacing the steps, although there is no definite plan. Until there is something definite, she thinks we should go ahead with our motion.

Discussion:

Jim McClymer suggested that maybe there are other things we could better spend this money on. Maybe we should say something about actively seeking external funds. Ed Ferguson noted that it is a rather unglamorous thing to donate money for, so he is sure that the administration has more glamorous things that they could work with the alumni on. It would be better to use E&G funds to do campus repairs, and this is a centerpiece of the campus.

Amendment:

Douglass Ruthven proposed an amendment to the motion, to change the first sentence to read: “The steps of Fogler Library should be repaired or replaced within the next two years.”

There was some discussion of the amendment.

Vote on the amendment: The amendment passed with 24 in favor, 15 opposed.

Additional discussion:

It was noted that alumni classes have been taken to the steps, where it has been suggested that it would make a good class project. Bob Rice asked if there was still money set aside for repairs or replacement; Mark Anderson answered no, that the money has gone to roofs and elevators.

Vote:

The motion passed with 41 in favor, no opposed, and 4 abstentions.

VII. Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 4:06pm.

 


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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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