2001-2002 - October 24, 2001
Faculty Senate Minutes
October 24, 2001
Present: Jim Acheson, David Batuski, Kathrine Carter, Steve Cohn, Eric Conrad, Richard Cook, Richard Eason, Bill Farthing, Ed Ferguson, Sandy Gardner, Alla Gamarnik, Virginia Gibson, Paul Grosswiler, Brett Hall, Don Hayes, Peter Hoff, Mike Howard, Dana Humphrey, Edward Jadallah, Richard Jagels, Melvin Johnson, Harvey Kail, Robert Kennedy, Carol Kim, Dennis King, 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, Robert Rice, Linda Rottmann, Douglas Ruthven, Dan Sandweiss, Christa Schwintzer, Bruce Segee, Frederick Servello, Phillip Silver, Owen Smith, Sylianos Tavantzis, Roy Turner, Sarah Vidito, Jim Warhola, Gregory White, John Peckenham
Absent: Robin Arnold, Douglas Bousfield, Thomas Brann, Scott Dunning, Daniel Dwyer, Charles Forshee, Diane Haslett, Dianne Hoff, Keith Hutchison, John Jemison, Joseph Kelley, Roger King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Phil Locke, Daniel Lux, Stephen Marks, Glenn Reif, Andrew Thomas, Dave Yarborough
I. Welcome and Signing in
The meeting was called to order at 3:20pm.
II. Approval of minutes from the September 26, 2001 meeting
Steve Cohn moved that the minutes be accepted. The motion was seconded and approved.
A. Shawn Walsh (presented by Suzanne Tyler)
A memorial statement in honor of Shawn Walsh (attached at end) was read into the record by Suzanne Tyler.
B. Richard Emerick (presented by Sandy Ives)
A memorial statement in honor of Richard Emerick (attached at end) was read into the record by Sandy Ives
Dan Sandweiss moved that the Senate accept these memorial statements as part of the record of the Senate meeting, and that the Secretary be directed to send a copy to the families. Seconded by Owen Smith. The motion passed unanimously.
A. Board of Visitors on campus (Oct. 11 and 12)
John Maddaus discussed the Board of Visitors meeting on October 11 and 12, which several members of the Senate attended. The meeting was a valuable exchange, although with no particular conclusions. The Board is interested in hearing from us. He has requested that President Hoff convey to the Board the Senate’s desire to have an opportunity to meet with representatives of the Board about what they concluded and where we go from here. Peter has passed this request to the Board and will notify us of their response.
Question: Owen Smith asked what concerns and issues the Board had.
Answer (J. Maddaus): A major concern was visibility of the University state-wide and the things that can be done and the ways the faculty can contribute to enhance the visibility. There were some suggestions that the Board might propose developing a marketing plan. They said that there were a great many good things going on—in particular, they commented on the students and their positive comments about their experience and about teaching. The Board thought this was a message that needed to get out. John commented that this is not something that one person can do, so we need to see what the Senate can do.
There was a comment by a senator that the Board thought there seemed to be a perception that this is the University of Northern Maine.
Jim Warhola mentioned that there was a discussion of the vagaries of funding at the meeting.
B. Faculty evaluations of administrators
John Maddaus reported on the Executive Committee’s recent meeting with Vice President and Provost Kennedy and President Hoff, at which one of the topics was the faculty evaluations of administrators. The upshot of the meeting was that there will be a small working group formed, consisting of two people appointed by Vice President Kennedy and two by John, to develop a proposal to present to the Executive Committee, then ultimately to the full Senate and to the Provost’s Council. This proposal will specifically regard the evaluation of deans. In due course, this will be extended to a discussion of evaluating vice presidents as well.
V. Questions to the Administrators
Q [Christa Schwintzer, for Mark Anderson]: Does the Governor’s 2% across-the-board cut apply to us for this year?
A: It does, but not in ways that look like 2%. There are cuts that do not directly affect us. For example, there is a hiring freeze affecting all State agencies, which is the primary way the State is effecting their savings. However, he said that at the System level, it affects us by about $2.6 million. It is in essence a cut in the increase we expected this year. It translates to roughly $1.3 million for us in this year’s budget. We were already facing significant budget problems from health care increases, and scenarios for next year had budget shortfalls of between $2.5 and $5 million. The “deappropriation” adds to that, and we do not know if it is a base cut or a one-time cut; most people expect a base cut. We also do not know if there’s another deappropriation coming or not. If we are pessimistic, the cut for next year may be as much as $6 million. The President has put into effect a hiring moratorium for E&G funded positions, although there is a mechanism to ask for exceptions. By the end of November, he feels that we should know the likely size of the health care increase. Once the picture is clarified, he indicated that they will remove the moratorium.
Q [follow-up by C. Schwintzer]: Any particular things cut?
A: Mark Anderson said that the only thing excepted in the Governor’s order was debt service for R&D.
Q: Owen Smith indicated that he had understood that there was to be a surplus for next year, and asked if that would be applied to this cut.
A: Mark Anderson answered that there was between $500,000 and $1 million surplus in the budget this year, depending on some assumptions. It could have been applied to next year. He does expect some carry-forward from this year, but the scary thing is that the health care premiums may increase in the following years.
Q [Owen Smith]: Any discussion about getting health care taken care of in same way as the State is doing?
A: Mark Anderson said that there have been some misconceptions about that. He expects the premium will increase about 47% per employee next year, but that will still be lower than State employees’ premiums—so tying into the State contract might disadvantage us. Historically, Blue Cross/Blue Shield was very anxious to get our business, and so gave us a three-year contract on which they ended up losing money. We probably will not be able to get multiple year contracts from insurers again. There are only three insurers in Maine able to handle our business, due to our size.
Q [Melvin Johnson]: The experience with Blue Cross is similar to what we had with NYLCare—is there some other way to approach this problem?
A: Mark Anderson remarked that another model is to go back to self-insurance, which was the model before NYLCare. In fact, there’s a request in the current bidding process to place a bid for self-insurance (administered by one of the insurance companies), but there is no reason to believe that it will save us money.
Q: Christa Schwintzer asked Mark Anderson if he could tell us something about the new dorm being constructed behind DTAV.
A: He showed a drawing of what the dorm will look like. It is a 200-bed, suite-style dorm, with 2/3 single rooms and 1/3 double rooms in a suite arrangement. Oak Hall was renovated into singles, which have been popular, and has handled some of the increased demand. The new dorm will handle more of the increased demand, or, if demand levels off, then York Village can be demolished. The new dorm will be ready for occupancy in January 2003 (construction will be complete in Fall 2002).
Q: Steve Cohn remarked that the computer repair center appears to be understaffed and that computers needing repair sit there for some period of time.
A: Vice President Kennedy said that the center reports to John Gregory [IT Director], and that he will talk to him and get back to us.
VI. Committee reports
A. Judy Kuhns-Hastings, University Environment
The committee has met, but there is no real report yet. She said there was a lively discussion about student retention.
B. Bob Rice, Constitution and By-laws
C. Keith Hutchison, Research and Public Service
Douglas Ruthven reported that Keith Hutchison is out of town. The committee has not met yet, although Vice President Dan Dwyer did request a meeting that was not scheduled.
D. Christa Schwintzer, Finance and Institutional Planning
The committee is meeting, but no report yet.
E. Bryan Pearce, Academic Affairs
The committee has met twice. It has been tasked with the Honors Commission [Provost’s Commission on an Honor’s College] report and with Math and Writing Competency. With respect to Honors, the discussion focused on curriculum and financial issues. He requests that the senators become familiar with the report by looking at the Honors Program Web site to see how it will affect their colleges and programs. [The report is available at http://www.umehon.maine.edu/documents/honorscollege.htm.] He recommends that Charlie Slavin attend the next meeting to tell the Senate about it. He would then like senators’ feedback. With respect to Math and Writing Competency, he reported that Steve Cohn will take the lead on this with a subcommittee. The subcommittee will probably work primarily with the Math and English departments.
F. Howard Patterson, Committee on Committees
Help is needed on three committees:
• ROTC Committee: one more member is needed. The people running ROTC are new and do not know the faculty, so he requests that we e-mail him with names of people who might be interested. The person doesn’t have to be a senator.
• Student Conduct Code Committee: one more member is needed. This does not have to be a senator, and he requests that we e-mail him names of anyone who might be interested.
• Post-Tenure Award Committee: Someone is needed from CLAS and Engineering. There is a deadline, so he asked senators from these colleges to let him know of possibilities.
In response to a question, he reported that ROTC needs someone from the College of Natural Sciences.
G. Kathleen March, Library Advisory
The committee is getting close to finalizing membership. They have had some sharing of agenda items and have met with Joyce Rumery to preview Library’s perspective on things this year. General topics are: money; and public relations and service for Fogler.
H. Owen Smith, General Education Review
There was no report from committee. However, he had announcement about the work of the committee. The committee will have open meetings beginning next month to get comments on the proposal as drafted last year. There will be three or four open meetings through November and early December.
In response to a question, he indicated that the committee will distribute the proposal as widely as possible as part of the process.
I. Jim Warhola, Interdisciplinary Programs
The committee needs someone from the College of Business, Public Policy, and Health. This person does not have to be a senator. The committee has met twice and has begun assessing various interdisciplinary programs on campus. There are quite a few: 12 undergraduate and 8 graduate programs are listed in the catalog, then there are some additional ones that might be construed as interdisciplinary. Some others are being planned as well, and they will be considered by the committee. The committee sees itself as reviewing the programs in light of the Strategic Plan, which stresses interdisciplinary programs.
Owen Smith asked if there was a representative from the College of Education. Jim Warhola said that there was not, but that the committee would welcome one.
J) Dana Humphrey, Board of Trustees Representative
The next meeting of the Board will be November 4–5 at UM Farmington. Each university gets one chance per year to make a presentation to the Board, and this is our turn. The presentation is made by the faculty representative and the student representative (John Martin, Political Science). He requests that if we have good news items or concerns that we would like for him to highlight, we send them to him on FirstClass. He requests that we keep it short, as he has only five minutes for the presentation. If he hears nothing, he will talk about the good things going on involving undergraduates and scholarship efforts, broadly defined. In response to a question from Owen Smith, he said that he needs the items on or before November 2.
VII. Old Business
A. Assignment of issues to committees
A number of issues have proposed for consideration and action in 2001-2002, including several issues on which the Senate took some action in 2000-2001 and on which follow-up action is deemed to be required. Following discussion at the September 2001 meetings of the Elected Members Committee and the Senate, the Executive Committee sought the guidance of the members of the Senate by asking members to prioritize a list of issues. Based on consideration of the responses received, the Executive Committee moves to assign issues to committees as follows:
The following issues are assigned to the designated committees:
• Honors College Commission report – to Academic Affairs
• Math and writing competencies – to Academic Affairs
• Campus sustainability, energy and environment – to Finance and Institutional Planning
• Budget and capital projects – to Finance and Institutional Planning
• Faculty workloads – to Finance and Institutional Planning
• Academic space and facilities – to Finance and Institutional Planning
• Student course evaluations – to University Environment
• Student retention – to University Environment
• CED faculty advisory council – to Research and Public Service
• AA degree equivalent to general education? – to General Education Review
• Process for faculty evaluations of administrators – to Executive Committee
• Definitions of faculty, units and programs of study – to Executive Committee
• “Coaches” as a separate faculty category – to Executive Committee
Bob Rice was called upon to move motion as written; it was seconded by Howard Patterson.
Kathleen March offered a friendly amendment: That the Academic Affairs Committee consider the issue of coverage of classes when faculty are absent.
John Maddaus asked for unanimous consent. Steve Cohn asked for clarification of the amendment, at which point the parliamentarian advised seeking a second for the amendment and proceeding with discussion. The amendment was seconded by Doug Ruthven.
Discussion of amendment:
K. March said that there are times when a faculty member cannot be in class, and the issue of how the class is to be covered, or if it is covered, is vague. The committee may need to consider how this is to be done.
B. Rice asked if this would be a policy that would be included in the Faculty Handbook. K. March said that she certainly sees it as appropriate for the Handbook so that the faculty will know to do the right thing.
H. Patterson asked if she could cite an example of why we are considering this now. She responded that if a faculty member must be away for professional or health reasons, it is unclear how these courses are to be covered. It may be that there are different requirements for faculty in different colleges or departments. Whether the class needs to be taught, whether assignments can be given, whether the Internet can be used to maintain communication during absence, or a VCR can be wheeled in… There are so many variations, and there may have been people who have been perceived as not teaching their classes.
D. Ruthven indicated that this is currently handled at the department level, and that he would hate to see additional bureaucracy added when the current system seems to handle it. J. Maddaus reminded the senators that this amendment is just to send the issue to committee. D. Ruthven indicated that the issue seems to be more substantive than should be covered in an amendment. B. Pearce indicated he shared D. Ruthven’s concerns, and that this might make rules that might haunt us in the end.
O. Smith said he did not think that the request has to do with legislation, but rather with a topic to be considered, and so it is appropriate to send to Academic Affairs.
I. Kornfield called the question.
Vote on calling the question: 33 in favor, 5 opposed.
Vote on amendment: 21 in favor, 23 opposed. Amendment failed.
Discussion on main motion:
No further discussion
Vote: Unanimous save two abstentions. Motion carried.
VIII. New Business
A. Reauthorization of Ad Hoc Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies
The Senate created an ad hoc committee on Interdisciplinary Studies at its January 2001 meeting (see below). Raymond O’Connor conducted a number of discussions with faculty and administrators during the Spring ’01 semester to seek input on the scope and mission of the committee. This work should be continued.
To continue the work begun in Spring semester ’01 on issues related to interdisciplinary programs, the Senate re-authorizes the ad hoc Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies for the 2001-02 academic year. The committee will look at programs involving teaching and/or research, both current and projected, in light of the University’s Strategic Plan. This committee will seek to foster interdisciplinary programs campus-wide.
Jim Warhola was asked to introduce motion, which he did. He mentioned that Raymond O’Connor (on sabbatical) has promised a report on the committee’s notes from last spring.
Second by Owen Smith.
Vote: passed unanimously.
Motion to adjourn by Steve Cohn. Meeting adjourned 4:22pm.