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2001-2002 - February 27, 2002

Faculty Senate Minutes

February 27, 2002

Present: Jim Acheson, David Batuski, Darlene Bay, Thomas Brann, Martha Broderick, Katherine Carter, Steve Cohn, Richard Cook, Paul Creasman, Richard Eason, Ed Ferguson, Sandy Gardner, Alla Gamarnik, Paul Grosswiler, Don Hayes, Peter Hoff, Mike Howard, Dana Humphrey, Keith Hutchison, Edward Jadallah, Richard Jagels, John Jemison, Harvey Kail, Joseph Kelley, Robert Kennedy, Carol Kim, Roger King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Irv Kornfield, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Diana Lawson, Daniel Lux, John Maddaus, Chuck Maguire, Kathleen March, Stephen Marks, Jim McClymer, Kim McKeage, Bryan Pierce, Robert Rice, June Carter for Linda Rottman, Douglas Ruthven, Dan Sandweiss, Christa Schwintzer, Bruce Segee, Frederick Servello, Philip Silver, Owen Smith, Andrew Thomas, Sarah Vidito, Jim Warhola, Gregory White, Dave Yarborough

Absent: Seanna Annis, Robin Arnold, Douglas Bousfield, Scott Dunning, Daniel Dwyer, Bill Farthing, Charles Forshee, Matthew Gagnon, Dianne Hoff, Melvin Johnson, Dennis King, Phil Locke, Ngo Vinh Long, Ivan Manev, Charles Moody, Ali Ozluk, Howard Patterson, Glenn Reif, Roy Turner,

Welcome and signing in

The meeting was called to order at 3:15.

Approval of minutes from the January 30, 2002 meeting

Owen Smith moved and Dorothy Klimis-Zacas seconded that the minutes be approved. The motion passed with a clear majority.

III. Announcements

John Maddaus announced that Don Hayes’ motion regarding the Head Teacher for the Child Study Center had been withdrawn. Dean Eilers has agreed to request that the position be unfrozen, so the motion is no longer needed. (Note: in later discussion, Provost Kennedy announced that he had agreed to unfreeze the position and that recruitment efforts can begin.)

John Maddaus reported that he had received a letter from President Hoff agreeing with the Senate’s postion on technology classrooms. Hoff stated that he endorses the spirit and likes the detail of the resolution and that Doug Gelinas, John Gregory and Anita Wihry will work together to address and implement these suggestions.

John Maddaus noted that he had received the Policy on Partner Accommodation for the University, a response from Provost Kennedy to the Definition of Faculty, Units and Programs of Study, and guidelines from Provost Kennedy for forming peer committee for Joint Appointments. The appropriate persons were thanked for achieving these actions, all of which will be discussed in the next Elected Members Committee meeting.

John Maddaus announced that some difficulties had been encountered on the Senate’s First Class folder. Some folders had been set to expire when the intention had been that they should be permanent repositories of information. The problems have been noted and the folders will be reposted as soon as possible.

IV. Questions to Administrators

Christa Schwintzer asked Mark Anderson about changes in the current budget document, especially as related to the Children’s Center. Anderson replied that we now have more clarity on the costs of health care benefits. The net effect of all necessary changes is estimated to be a deficit of $5,000,000, nearly all of which would be unnecessary were it not for increased health care costs. Also, the size of the tuition increase is now clear. It will be about 4%. Finally, the system is expecting an in-kind contribution toward the new ERP program. This will probably take the form of a staff person. The cuts are roughly proportional to each Vice-president. Deans have received targets for program reductions. They must submit details by March 15; the University has until March 30 to send details to the system.

As to the Children’s Center, a committee has been formed to investigate the option of a sliding fee scale. Anderson met with parents, was asked to add parents to the committee and has done so. The committee will take on the additional charge of evaluating the long-term effects of the cuts on the Center.

The most recent budget documents have been posted on First Class. There will be a meeting on Friday in DPC 100 to get university community input into the budgeting issues.

Irv Kornfield asked what effect post-tenure awards would have on the deficit. Mark Anderson replied that they would increase the deficit.

Paul Creasman asked President Hoff about the use of Social Security numbers to post grades. Hoff replied that he was not aware of any rules pertaining to the practice. Christa Schwintzer stated that Alison Cox does have a written policy available: Social Security numbers can be used, but the list should not be posted in alphabetical order so that identities of the students cannot be guessed. Doug Gelinas stated that only the last four digits should be used, since the first three identify where the person is from. Owen Smith added that use of the full number is problematic in terms of protecting the number itself. Creasman stated that some web sites at the University use Social Security numbers as passwords and that students do not feel protected, since both the password and the name can be saved, potentially allowing access to both.

Owen Smith asked Robert Kennedy about faculty lines that have been frozen. When can hiring begin? Kennedy replied that after departments have submitted the budget information that is due on March 15, they can proceed in accordance with the written plan. Smith asked if any allowances could be made for disciplines that experience a main recruiting market before that time. Kennedy replied that officially, one must wait.

V. Committee Reports

University Environment – Judy Kuhns-Hastings

No report. However, some matters will be brought next week to the Elected Members Committee meeting.

Research and Public Service – Keith Hutchinson

No report.

Finance and Institutional Planning – Christa Schwintzer

The committee will be bringing a couple of items forward later in the semester.

Academic Affairs – Bryan Pierce

No report.

Committee on Committees – Howard Patterson

All committees are currently covered.

Constitution and By-laws – Bob Rice

A meeting regarding the evaluation of administrators was held with Doug Gelinas and Bob Kennedy. The committee is finishing up the discussions of this topic. In addition, an editor has been found for the faculty handbook and all sections are being put together. We should be ready to discuss this soon.

Library Advisory – Kathleen March

The reorganization in the development office has slowed the formation of the endowment fund for the library. There is some concern for the status of Fogler as a state research institution in the areas of business and science. A letter will be published once a week to apprise constituents about events at the library. New software will be installed during March break to control printing at the library. There will now be no charge for up to 300 copies; after that, copies can be charged on the Maine Card. More repairs are proceeding on the building. The committee is making an effort to get some of the indirect costs transferred to the library. It was asked if the library makes a profit on copy machines. March did not know.

General Education Review – Owen Smith

Two new members have been added to the committee. There will be a reassessment meeting to determine where the committee stands, and how and in what form to proceed.

Interdisciplinary Programs – Jim Warhola

The committee has received guidelines from Scott Delcourt for formation of interdisciplinary faculty groups. The document will be reviewed.

Board of Trustees Representative – Dana Humphrey

Next meeting is March 17-18 in Machias.

VI. New Business

Judy Kuhns-Hastings made the following motion, which was seconded by Alla Gamarnik

RESOLUTION TO PROTECT ON-CAMPUS CHILD CARE PROVIDED BY THE CHILDREN’S CENTER

PREAMBLE

The University of Maine Children’s Center provides high-quality child care for the campus community, including faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates. The University provides $243,165 of the Center’s total $718,094 (2001-2002) budget, or 33.9%, with the rest coming from fees paid by parents (33.6%), government subsidies for low-income parents (26.7%), the USDA Food Program (4.1%), the Department of Human Services funds for quality improvement (1.6%), and miscellaneous other sources (0.1%).

The recent round of budget cuts proposed by the Administration includes a 50% cut in the University’s funding for the Children’s Center, or 17% of the Center’s total budget. This cut is much higher than the average cut to the University’s funding of other programs on campus, which seem generally to be in the 2 5% range. Indeed, the Interim Chief Financial Officer recently publicly stated that he was unaware of any other program on campus whose budget the Administration purposes to cut to this extent.

The proposed cut puts the Children’s Center at risk of closing, even allowing for increased fees charged to the parents. Closing or reducing the quality of the Children’s Center obviously directly affects the children and parents who are associated with the Center. However, the Children’s Center serves more than just those stakeholders. Much as the fire department serves the needs of more of the community that just those who require its services, so the Children’s Center serves the entire campus community. Its existence serves those who might have children in the future. It serves those departments that have faculty, staff, graduate students, or undergraduates with children in the Center, since it frees those individuals from worry that impacts their performance and from lost time that they might otherwise have. It allows professors to teach classes in the summer and to meet with their graduate and undergraduate students then. It allows those researchers with children to spend their productive summer time working instead of needing to be home. Consequently, since much of the grant writing occurs then, the Children’s Center significantly contributes to the University’s ability to generate external funding and high-quality research. Indeed, it is unclear if the supposed savings obtained by cutting the Center’s budget outweigh the loss of indirect cost money from grants that would be lost as researchers are forced to give up grant writing in the summer. The Center is also a powerful recruiting and retention tool for the campus, both for faculty and staff and for students.

In addition, child care is widely seen, rightly or wrongly, as a women’s issue. The presence or absence of high-quality, affordable child care on campus says a lot about the friendliness of the University and administration to families and women. It is extremely ill-advised from the standpoint of public opinion for the University to cut child care, especially at a time when the University needs the good will of the citizens of Maine to weather bad economic times.

MOTION

Whereas the proposed cut to the University’s contribution to the budget of the Children’s Center is disproportionately larger than the cuts proposed for other programs on campus; and

Whereas the proposed cut will harm and potentially eliminate the Children’s Center; and

Whereas harming the Children’s Center directly harms those members of the University community with children in the Center; and

Whereas harming the Children’s Center indirectly harms the University’s core teaching and research missions; and

Whereas harming the Children’s Center indirectly harms the University’s ability to generate external grant funding; and

Whereas harming the Children’s Center contributes to a chilly climate for women and young families on campus; and

Whereas harming the Children’s Center will signal to the citizens of Maine that the University is indifferent to the needs of women and families in the campus community

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of the University of Maine strongly disapproves of the amount of the proposed cuts to the Children’s Center budget and hereby urges the Administration to do all in its power to ensure that any reduction in the University’s contribution to the Center’s budget be no more than the average reduction, on a percent basis, to the University’s contribution to other programs on campus.

Discussion:

Kathleen March asked why the cuts to the Children’s Center were so high.

Mark Anderson replied that: a) current cuts are not as severe as those that took place in the early ‘90’s. At that time, the mistake was made of making across the board cuts rather than carefully examining what cuts could be undertaken without damaging the University’s ability to deliver core services, b) the magnitude of the subsidy is high–$3,100 per licensed slot, and c) the problem has arisen due to increased compensation and costs of benefits and child care is an employee benefit.

Judy Kuhns-Hastings reported a conversation with Gary Quimby. The University is a flagship institution and the Children’s Center is the flagship center in the state. The Center is an exemplar; it is visited by professionals from all over the state. It is also used for educational purposes for nursing students and early childhood development students. Perhaps these things were not considered when the budget cut was contemplated.

Doug Ruthven stated that it is not appropriate to look at one item without taking the larger picture into account. We must examine the alternatives.

Andrew Thomas questioned the statement that “much of grant writing” is done in the summer. Is there empirical support for that statement? We need statistical tests of the facts rather than emotional statements.

There was some discussion of the wording until all were reminded that that portion is in the preamble, not the resolution itself.

Gregory White stated that the cut is only 17% of the total budget. In his department the cut was 3% of the total budget, but, if salaries are excluded, the cut amounts to 30% of the operating budget.

Owen Smith asked Mark Anderson what else would be cut if the Children’s Center were given its funding back. Anderson replied that it would probably have to come from one of the academic service areas: the bursar’s office, purchasing or human resources.

Alla Gamarnik stated that the Children’s Center cannot accommodate the cut. There is a legally mandated ratio of caregivers to children. There is a long list of parents wanting to get their children in. What will happen to graduate students and others who do research in the summer?

Don Hayes asked Gary Quimby what the cut would mean. Quimby said that the funding sources are all interwoven. Parent fees would have to be increased. The fees would have to be set so high for families with high incomes that they would leave. This would leave the Center at risk of not surviving, since the current financial situation is based on operating at 100% capacity. Quimby fears that the funding would unravel. He is not asking that the Center be exempted from cuts. He only wants to continue to provide a much needed service to the University community. The Center could absorb a 10% cut. This is not just a job for him or his staff. They are working with the kids and need to maintain the current level of quality.

Dorothy Klimis-Zacas stated that the Center is a good tool for attracting people to the University. Yes, the numbers matter, but this is a social issue, not a purely financial issue.

Kathleen March added that the policy on partners also speaks to the atmosphere on campus and our mission. We do many things that contribute to the sense of community.

Judy Kuhns-Hastings stated that it is not healthy to attempt to separate logical arguments from the emotional. Both aspects need to be considered.

Bruce Segee thought that the long waiting list might imply that the price is too low.

Richard Jagels suggested considering the costs and benefits and how much of the cost is actually borne by those who reap the benefits. Mark Anderson replied that is one reason that a change in the fee schedule is being contemplated. Darlene Bay stated that in doing a cost-benefit analysis, one must be careful not to ignore important points that are difficult to quantify. The whole community benefits from this service, and the costs of not having it may be higher than one imagines.

Stephen Marks stated that the issue is an Affirmative Action issue. Without child care, female untenured faculty are at a disadvantage. A recent study on the impact on the career of having a baby during the 5 years after earning one’s PhD found that women in the sciences were 24% less likely to achieve tenure than men with the same family characteristics. Women in the humanities and social sciences were 20% less likely to achieve tenure. Marks also noted that we should pay attention to the gender split in our own ranks. He noted that mostly women’s voice were heard supporting the resolution and only men’s voices were raised in opposition.

Paul Creasman reported that student senate was opposed to the resolution. The students feel that the problem stems from salaries and wages increase amounting to $3,700 per University employee. The students are opposed to any budget problems that increase their tuition.

Paul Grosswiler stated that it is a quality of life issue. That supporting the Children’s Center is good business.

Harvey Kail asked how the amount was determined and whether the amount was still up for negotiation. Mark Anderson replied that everything is up for negotiation until March 15. Kail asked where the dollar amount came from. Anderson replied that there was a certain arbitrariness in that determination.

President Hoff stated that the administration will take any resolution from faculty senate seriously. However, this is not an easy question and the administration will be guided by input from the students. Hoff believes that we should take care in how we regard the Child Care center issue a “women’s issue,” since men like himself have also been single parents raising children and meeting their professional requirements, including meeting the standards for tenure and promotion. He asked faculty to consider whether they would be willing to allocate a portion of their operating budgets to begin a Children’s Center if none existed.

A motion was made and seconded to call the question. The motion passed with a clear majority. After a hand count, Paul Creasman requested a roll call vote. The results of that vote are as follows:

Aye: Jim Acheson, David Batuski, Darlene Bay, Katherine Carter, Steve Cohn, Richard Cook, Ed Ferguson, Sandy Gardner, Alla Gamarnik, Paul Grosswiler, Don Hayes, Mike Howard, Edward Jadallah, Harvey Kail, Joseph Kelley, Roger King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Irv Kornfield, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Kathleen March, Stephen Marks, Jim McClymer, Kim McKeage, Bryan Pierce, Robert Rice, Frederick Servello, Philip Silver, Andrew Thomas, Jim Warhola

Nay: Paul Creasman, Diana Lawson, Daniel Lux, Chuck McGuire, Douglas Ruthven, Bruce Segee, Gregory White, Dave Yarborough

Abstain: Thomas Brann, Richard Eason, Peter Hoff, Keith Hutchinson, Richard Jagels, John Jemison, Robert Kennedy, Christa Schwintzer, Owen Smith, Sarah Vidito

The final count was 29 for, 8 against and 10 abstentions. The motion passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:59.

Respectfully submitted

Darlene Bay

Acting 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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