2002-2003 - March 26, 2003
Faculty Senate Minutes
March 26, 2003
PRESENT: Peggy Agouris, David Batuski, Darlene Bay, Phyllis Brazee, Kathrine Carter, Robert Cashon, Robert Causey, Thomas Christensen, Laura Cowan, Richard Eason, Ed Ferguson, Todd Gabe, Alla Gamarnik, Sandy Gardner, Gail Garthwait, Michael Grillo, Paul Grosswiler, Don Hayes, Marie Hayes, Jim Horan, Mike Howard, Dana Humphrey, Melvin Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Carol Kim, Dennis King, Roger King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Irv Kornfield, Bjorn Lake, Jenny Londot, John Maddaus, Stephen Marks, Larryl Matthews, Michael McCauley, Jim McClymer, Kim McKeage, Charles Moody, Howard Patterson, Bryan Pearce, Judith Rhymer, Robert Rice, Matthew Rodrigue, Cathrine Johnson for Linda Rottmann, Thomas Sandford, Christa Schwintzer, Phillip Silver, Mary Ellen Symanski, Gregory White.
ABSENT: Jim Acheson, Eisso Atzema, Douglas Bousfield, Thomas Brann, Martha Broderick, Eugene Del Vecchio, Michael Greenwood, Ludlow Hallman, Dianne Hoff, Peter Hoff, John Jemison, Joseph Kelley, David Lambert, Ngo Vinh Long, Daniel Lux, Kathleen March, Martha McNamara, Douglas Ruthven, Bruce Segee, Jane Smith, Stylianos Tavantzis, Andrew Thomas, Ken Tudor, Roy Turner, Jim Worhola, Bob Whelan, Dave Yarborough.
I. Welcome and Sign in
The meeting was called to order at 3:15 .
II. Approval of minutes from the February 26, 2003meeting
Jim Horan moved and Mike McCauley seconded that the minutes be accepted. The motion passed unanimously.
III. Announcements of the Senate President
Bob Rice informed the senate of several bills to be discussed by the state legislature:
LD1269 – school quality and teacher preparation
LD1302 – expanded access to higher education in Maine
LD1327 – committee to determine why young people leaveMaine
LD 734 – expanded nursing education and created 80+ new positions
LD 735 – increased faculty in nursing education
LD 764 – allowing politicians to campaign in dormitories of public universities and colleges
President Rice also provided some information about tuition costs in other states and tuition costs compared to median income.
Jenny Londot announced that student senate will be providing a forum to allow student to give the university feedback on a variety of issues.
IV. Questions to Administrators
Mike Howard asked about a recent notice from the administration regarding use of university assets for non-academic activities. In the absence of President Hoff, Kassie Stevens Walker replied that the intention was to prevent individuals from running a business using university assets. Mike Howard mentioned a faculty member that had been told not to use a university email account as contact information for a personal organization. Ms. Stevens Walker replied that the policy was not new, that we could perhaps usefully discuss interpretations or amendments, but that the system counsel was concerned. Mike Howard stated a strong concern that the policy was being abused.
V. Committee Reports
A. University Environment – Michael Grillo
The committee is drafting a motion regarding mentoring and development of administrators from within the ranks. The committee to discuss the work load formula has been constituted under the chair ship of Marie Hayes and has begun preliminary efforts to seek the necessary information.
B. Research and Public Service – David Batuski
A meeting is being arranged with Sponsored Programs to discuss responses to the consultants report. Status of research professors was investigated, but no problems were identified. Release time was also looked into. However, there is no consensus that a consistent policy is required. The committee will post common practices.
C. Finance and Institutional Planning — Christa Schwintzer
The committee handed out information regarding the budget and past financial results. Revenues are increasing. Faculty salaries as a percent of revenues are not increasing.
D. Academic Affairs – Howard Patterson
The committee has continued to investigate math and English competency issues. English continues to be stressed in most majors within upper division courses. The same is not always true for math courses. The committee will meet to formulate outcomes and set goals to be achieved.
E. Committee on Committee – Carol Kim
The VP for research search is proceeding. Nine phone interviews were conducted and three or four candidates will be invited to campus soon.
F. Constitution and By-Laws – Bryan Pearce
The sixth edition of the faculty hand book will be passed out during the next meeting. It will contain a disclaimer deferring to the collective bargaining agreement.
G. Board of Trustees Representative – Dana Humphrey
A new dorm next to DTAV has been named Edith Patch Hall for Edith Patch who worked at the University from 1903 to 1954. A $3 million fundraising campaign is being conducted to raise money for an arena and hockey center. One and one quarter million will come from Harold Alfond. A 6% increase in enrollments is projected. Patrick Nero is the new Athletic Director. Of 27 tenure documents which went to the Board, all were approved. The system is working on a strategic plan. Technical colleges are to be converted to community colleges.
Jim McClymer asked if this was the first discussion of the community colleges. Dana Humphrey replied that it has been being discussed for 5 years. Jim Horan stated that this move will clearly benefit the technical colleges, but the effect on the University was not so clear.
H. Library Advisory Committee – Don Hayes
The committee met with Elaine Albright to help develop a set of talking points to be taken to the upper administration. There will be more information next meeting.
I. Interdisciplinary Programs – Laura Cowan
The committee believes that it should be constituted as a standing committee.
VI. Old Business
No old business
VII. New Business
Motion: Request to Continue Important Services
The administration has indicated that they intend to eliminate a number of services as a cost savings measure and replace them by electronic means. While the faculty generally embraces the use of technology to enhance our work, the technology is not yet to the point where it can replace the printed word.
The decision to stop providing class lists is a shifting of clerical task onto faculty. Low cost centralized printing is to be replaced with local printing at a much higher cost per page. Not all teachers have, or should have, access to DSIS and the printing of class lists. This is a particular issue where classes or laboratories are taught by teaching assistants and adjuncts.
The printed schedule of classes has a higher bandwidth than any electronic form. It allows students and faculty to work together efficiently to plan class schedules.
The record of the online versions of the schedule of classes, general education lists and DSIS to handle the loads is poor. Until such time as the advantages of electronic delivery can be clearly demonstrated, hardcopy of important documents should continue.
Request that the administration work with faculty senate (or designated subcommittee) to ensure that useful services, such as delivered hardcopy of class lists and printed copies of schedules of classes, that further the academic mission of the university are maintained and enhanced.
Further more, the administration should solicit faculty input to improve the operation and user friendliness of WEB DSIS and successor software such as PeopleSoft .
Jim McClymer moved and John Maddaus seconded. Laura Cowan asked if the class schedule for next year would be printed. It will be available on April 1. The motion passed 38 for and 1 against.
Motion: Creation of a Policy Handbook for the University of Maine
Policies, administrative practices and directives are in place that governs various aspects of employment at the University of Maine . These guidelines can be found in manuals, on web-sites and in handbooks. Of concern to the faculty senate is that there is no central source for the collection of documents that govern common practices that affect faculty members, the faculty-student interaction, resource allocation and other salient aspects of faculty service to the University. Although change to our governing policies and practices is, and should be, rare, there is no general protocol by which changes are disseminated through the community, nor are historical records of changes maintained by some offices within the University. The motion, detailed below, supports the creation of a central repository of policies, practices and directives that govern faculty, the faculty student interaction and resource allocation. Under the motion, a standardized protocol for the dissemination of changes to policies, practices and directives will be developed and a historical record of changes maintained.
The purpose of this motion is to create a web-based policy handbook. Policies, Administrative Practice letters, and directives that govern faculty members, the interaction of faculty members with students and resource allocations that affect faculty members, shall be gathered in a central, accessible repository. Within the handbook, files will be maintained that allow changes to policies to be monitored. The campus community will be notified of changes to policies via an agreed upon protocol.
While the content of the central repository is expected to be dynamic, the basic repository shall be developed in a timely manner and complet3d no later than March, 2004.
Michael Grillo moved and Jim McClymer seconded. Christa Schwintzer asked about the relationship of the faculty handbook to this motion. Bob Rice replied that the handbook would be a subset of this larger collection. Dorothy Klimas-Zacas asked who would do that actual work. The motion passed unanimously.
Motion to Support Return of Indirect Cost to Fogler Library
The University of Maine Fogler Library and its research collections are critical for the success of research in the state of Maine . Currently, the Library is seriously under-funded, and one of the things that are hardest hit by this are the journals, other serials, and books that scientists and other scholars need to support their research.
According to the indirect cost (“overhead”) agreement negotiated with the Federal government, 1% of the indirect costs is to support the Library. Provost Kennedy has recently agreed, in principle, to earmark 1% of the indirect costs recovered (IRC) for the Library above and beyond the amount currently budgeted for the Library, subject to budgetary needs. This is good news indeed, and we applaud the Administration for this initiative, yet it does not go far enough. In the present budgetary climate, this 1% cannot be allocated. Also, 1% of the IRC is insufficient to support the research collections of the Library that support the University’s research efforts.
The Library needs this money as soon as possible, possibly even at the expense of other worthy uses for the IRC. The Library also needs additional funds, and the money generated by grants seems a logical place from which to obtain them. We understand that the IRC agreement may not be modified until the next negotiations with the Federal government.
Be it resolved that:
- The Faculty Senate fully endorses the Provost’s plan to earmark 1% of the indirect cost recovered to the Library for acquisitions to support research collections.
- The Faculty Senate strongly urges that this money be given to the Library immediately.
- The Administration, at the time of the next negotiation with the Federal government about indirect costs, negotiates a higher percent of the indirect costs to go to support the Library, and that these funds are so directed.
- The Administration establish additional “earmarks” from revenue sources (such as the comprehensive fee) to help ensure appropriate future funding of scholarly materials.
John Maddaus moved and Don Hayes seconded. Dorothy Klimas-Zacas asked what “immediately” means. David Batuski replied that this plan was formerly in place but was removed during the current budget crunch. Gregory White wondered if increasing the overhead rate would hamper the ability of researchers to get grants. David Batuski replied that 1% is insufficient and needs to be rethought. Robert Kennedy explained that the rate is negotiated at the system level and that the University of Mainemight not be able to impact the negotiations. Our rate is currently 47%. Funded research is currently increasing. Don Hayes asked how our rate compares to that of other research institutions. Robert Kennedy replied that a rate of 45% to 49% is considered high. Todd Cole asked what the 1% is applied to. It is 1% of the total overhead amount. John Maddaus asked where the rest goes. Robert Kennedy replied that it is used for equipment, maintenance and utilities and Dana Humphrey noted that the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs maintains an online list. David Batuski stated that this motion calls for the first firm earmarking of funds for the library.
The motion passed with 38 for and 2 abstentions.
Motion on Transfers and Credits
There is a discrepancy in University policy with regard to evaluation of internal and external transcripts for transfer purposes. This discrepancy allows students from other institutions to transfer only courses which meet certain criteria, most notably a grade of C or better. In contrast, internal transfers are presently limited only to the possibility of losing credit for all work completed, irrespective of level of performance in individual courses. It is possible that such an all-or-none approach to transcript reevaluation may discourage some students from pursuing or succeeding in a new program or major. In order to address this present inequity with regard to our own students, we propose the following addition and change to the present policy (present policy in italics).
The Faculty Senate recommends the following alternative procedure be included in the University policy on transcript evaluation:
Once during a student’s association with the university his or her transcript may be reevaluated if certain conditions are met. This can only occur following one of the actions listed below:
- Return to the university following suspension or dismissal
- Completing a successful semester on provisional continuation
- Changing academic majors or colleges within the University
- Entering a transitional program
- Returning to the University after withdrawal from it
If one or more of these conditions is met, the student’s dean may exclude from the calculation of the student’s
accumulative grade point average all grades (including passing grades) received during one or more semester(s) immediately prior to the qualifying program change. For purposes of this policy, any courses taken outside normal term dates (running start or any courses attached to a fall or spring semester) will be treated as part of a separate semester. When a transcript is reevaluated, the dean may waive required courses in which passing grades were received (so that students need not repeat them) but neither the grades(s) nor the credit(s) for those courses count toward graduation or the computation of the accumulative GPA.
Alternatively, if one or more of the above conditions is met, the student’s dean may elect to exclude from the calculation of the student’s accumulative grade point average and credits only courses and grades which would not be required by the student’s new major or by General Education requirements received during one or more semester(s) immediately prior to the qualifying program change and for which the grade received was less than a C. Thus, the grades of courses which fulfill major or General Education requirements would continue to be included in the calculation of the accumulative GPA unless they are repeated.
Jim McClymer moved and Phyllis Brazee seconded. Marie Hayes asked how this policy relates to measures other schools are taking to promote retention. Howard Patterson replied that this is an attempt to help students to do well. Alla Gamarnik asked what would happen to students with no declared major who wished to use this policy. Howard Patterson replied that the motion gives the deans flexibility in how they handle any situation. Mary Ellen Symanski noted that application of the policy could be expensive for the student. Matthew Broderick said that student senate has discussed the issue and has considered the possibility of that the result will be a watering down of grades and an erosion of the creditability of the institution. However, the student senate concluded that the policy provides a valuable opportunity for students and it was passed unanimously. John Maddaus if courses with acceptable grades can stay on the record and it was confirmed that they can. Christa Schwintzer noted that a major concern was with student satisfaction. Bryan Pearce believes that the motion rewards failure—why, then, limit it to changes of major, and why not just throw out any bad grade? Doug Gelinas noted that the courses would not be completely expunged from the record; they would just be removed from the computation of the GPA. Christa Schwintzer stated that courses can be repeated to remove a single bad grade. The motion passed with 28 for, 2 against and 8 abstentions.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:20