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2003-2004 - December 17, 2003

Faculty Senate Minutes

December 17, 2003

PRESENT: Jim Acheson, Dean Astumian, Eisso Atzema, Darlene Bay, Mary Brakey, Thomas Brann, Thomas Christensen, Laura Cowan, Richard Eason, Michael Eckardt,  Mahmoud El-Begearmi, Todd Gabe, Alla Gamarnik, Gail Garthwait, Alexander Grab, Michael Greenwood, Michael Grillo, Paul Grosswiler, Ludlow Hallman, Marie Hayes, Cortlynn Hepler, Peter Hoff, Mike Howard, Dan Innis, Carlos Islam, Mel Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Dennis King, Irv Kornfield, Anne Leffler, John Maddaus, Deirdre Mageean, Chuck Maguire, Kathleen March, Howard Patterson, Bryan Pearce, Thomas Sandford, Christa Schwintzer, Bruce Segee, Evelyn Silver, Cassie Stevens-Walker,  Stellos Tavantzis, Roy Turner, Michael Vayda, Jim Warhola, Gregory White.

ABSENT: Peggy Agouris, Robert Bayer, Douglas Bousfield, Robert Cashon, Eugene Del Vecchio, Sandy Gardner, Stephen Gilson, Robert Gundersen, Nancy Hall, Dianne Hoff, James Horan, Scott Johnson, Joseph Kelley, David Lambert, Daniel Lux, Stephen Marks, Jim McClymer, Martha McNamara, Charles Moody, Dan Sandweiss, Janet Spector, Andrew Thomas, Bob Whelan, Dave Yarborough, Dana Humphrey, Gregory Sinnett, Vince Guiseppe, Ken Tudor, Linda Rottmann.

I. Welcome and Signing in

The meeting was called to order at 3:21 P. M.

II. Michele Alexander Memorial

President Bryan Pearce announced the tragic death of Michele Alexander, senate colleague and member of the psychology faculty.  She died in a car accident yesterday (12/17/03). After a moment of silence, he invited people to eulogize her.

Marie Hayes, her close friend , spoke of Michele’s splendid qualities as a parent, spouse, friend, educator, and colleague. She read the following note written by Michele’s husband Steven:

“In 1998, while Michele began her fourth year as an assistant professor at Ohio State University, our world was turned upside down. Michele was diagnosed with melanoma.  The diagnosis came out of the blue. We were caught completely off guard. All of us know unexpected things happen in life, but this is a different thing than being prepared for them actually happening.  Her melanoma was of an unusual character, and such that physicians were unsure if it had metastasized.

There are events in life that re-focus our attention. This was one. We had been long range planners, looking forward to a life of known goals. Maine had been one such goal. We had lived here previously some years before, where Michele began her academic start at Colby College by filling in as a sabbatical replacement. We loved every moment of this year in Maine. The land, the sea, the people…  We were engaged at Acadia, and married on the coast at a friend’s Inn near Schoodic. Our plan had been to return to Maine. However, job prospects, especially for Michele as a Social Psychologist, seemed unlikely.  After all, how many Social Psychology positions are in Maine?  So, instead of a career, we decided it would be a place for retirement. We couldn’t wait – but we thought we could. Melanoma changed all that.  All of a sudden, being in a place you love mattered.  And it mattered now. All we could think was, what are we doing?  Life is now, not in 30 years. We wanted to be in a place we loved, a great place to raise a family, and in a place where one person could really do something good.

10:10 on a Friday night we got the call. It was the doctor. Michele answered and I picked up the other line.  He was a pro, there was no small talk.  All he said was, “Michele, there is no residual. You are clear of cancer.” That was a moment. The next moment came sooner than expected — the next morning.  Michele checked the Chronicle and there was a job ad for a Social Psychology position at Univ. of Maine. Wow.

Our attention was now properly focused.  She applied for the job and was offered the position. We were ecstatic. The next day, truly from out of the blue, I was asked to consider being the director of the private elementary school where I worked. It was not even a close call.  Maine all the way.

Michele has loved her four and a half years here.  She loves this school and you people.  She loves all of you.  She enjoyed your company, your work, and your spirit. I can honestly say that I saw her leave for work happy nearly every day.  While she came home tired, she also came home satisfied.

If Michele was writing this today it would be more eloquent, and personal. It would also be to the point. She would tell you that you meant everything to her, and she would thank you for the time you gave her. We did not know if we would have another five years together, we did not know we would have Maine, we did not know we would have you. Michele had all of this, and more. Thank you, every one of you.  You made Michele’s and my dreams come true”.

Jim Warhola praised Michelle’s contribution to the Interdisciplinary Committee’s work on the compilation of the Matrix for Undergraduate Interdisciplinary and Multi-disciplinary Programs (see relevant motion below).

The new Undergraduate Student Government President, Cortland Hepler, had been in Dr. Alexander’s classes and said that she was one of the best professors he and other students had ever had. She always tried to connect with her students. Her death is a  tremendous loss to all of them.

President Hoff said that we were only scratching the surface of understanding the profound loss that the University has suffered. He was moved by the  immediate outpouring of students on line following the announcement of Dr. Alexander’s death. They made some of the most superlative comments ever said about a teacher either here or anywhere.

Marie Hayes announced that there was a strong possibility that a memorial service for Michele will take place at the Maine Center for the Arts at the beginning of the Spring Semester.

III. Announcements of the President

Senate President Bryan Pearce introduced the new Faculty Senate members: the President of the Undergraduate Student Government, Cortland Hepler, and Dr. Daniel Innis, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Health, who will be the Deans’ representative to the Senate this year. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate will meet with Chancellor Westphal on January 6th. Dr. Pearce urged the faculty to talk about the importance of education to the people of the State. He also suggested that the Faculty Senate be involved in the assessment and potential realignment of the UMaine strategic plan.

IV. Dialogue with the administration

Michael Grillo: In regards to the job freeze imposed due to  expected budget cuts, will the administration announce how priorities are set for determining future faculty hires?

President Hoff: As always, there will be public announcements for all open positions. It is public record as to what positions are being recruited.

Bryan Pearce requested an update of the budget situation. President Hoff responded that there were no new developments. As we know the Governor’s staff proposed a $13 million cut from the current FY’s UMS budget and a $10 million cut (not cumulative) from FY 05. However, the State legislature will play a decisive role on this matter, since the Governor cannot implement cuts unilaterally when there is no revenue shortfall. Irrespective of budget cuts and known increased costs for next FY (salary increases), the University’s fiscal attitude will be as described in last week’s memorandum by Provost Kennedy and VP Janet Waldron. The President encouraged faculty, students, and University advocates to be involved in reminding the State government and the people of Maine about the important work we do here and the University’s role in the State’s economy.
V. Approval of minutes from the 11/19/03 meeting

The minutes from the 11/19/03 meeting were approved unanimously.

VI.   Committee Reports

A.  Michael Grillo (University Environment)

The committee met with the Director of Public Safety and discussed the use of surveillance cameras on campus. Maine State law dictates how and where these cameras may be used and deals with issues of privacy. These cameras are used on campus as a deterrent to potential criminal activities. The committee requested that the public receive information related to the use of the surveillance cameras. He will also find out if the University needs to establish policies regarding the use of web cameras, and if the State already has laws governing their use.

Kathleen March brought up the issue of safe walking on campus at night. Of course there is room for improvement but, at present, existing “lighted corridors” might dictate the way we cross campus at night.

In regards to parking, President Hoff will provide the Univ. Environment Committee with a summary of the recommendations of the 2002 Parking Commission. Michael Grillo asked that the issue of parking be considered as part of the overall campus planning for the next few decades.

Grillo asked for a clarification of a) the process for hiring new faculty or replacing departing faculty, and b) the University’s priorities regarding faculty positions as they relate to the updated strategic plan. Relevant motions on these issues will be submitted (or activated) at the January meeting.

Finally, Grillo urged faculty to forward information to him about how we can improve on what we are doing. It is important to compile faculty perceptions on where there is crisis be it lack of positions, lack of research support, high numbers of adjuncts or other problems. The purpose of this would be to determine where we are most hampered from doing our best.

B.  Darlene Bay (Finance and Institutional Planning).

The committee has requested a) data on numbers of faculty, professionals, and adjuncts over the past several years, and b) financial information for FY 03. Dr. Bay invited requests for particular analyses of the financial data she hopes to receive in the near future.

C.  Marie Hayes (Academic Affairs)

Two reports, titled “Update on General Education Assessment” and “Reports from General Education Assessment Working Groups: Fall 2003”, were distributed. The former is an early draft for the interim report to NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). This is in response to a motion passed by the Senate on 1/29/03, recommending that the “University Administration, in cooperation with the Faculty Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee, the Undergraduate Program Curriculum Committee (UPCC), the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), other appropriate campus bodies, and the individual faculty members who teach courses approved for General Education requirements undertake a process to assess student learning outcomes in general education…”

The “Update on General Education Assessment” report, authored by Virginia Nees-Hatlen, Interim Director of CTE, will be discussed at the January meeting. The Academic Affairs Committee has been coordinating the collaborative efforts of the administration, CTE and the Faculty Senate in putting together the interim report to NEASC.

NEASC requires data-driven assessment of learning outcomes to improve teaching especially in general education courses. The groups mentioned above are in charge of establishing an assessment process for this purpose. The UPCC has asked all faculty who teach gen-ed courses to specify learning goals that are reasonable and can be assessed. Some of the issues we are facing are as follows:

a)      Who houses, collects, and analyzes data from gen-ed classes.

b)      How will  data be used, if learning outcomes are not achieved.

c)      There exist many ways of achieving  learning goals.

d)      Could a peer ommittee establish a process for © that is not threatening.

The Graduate Education Subcommittee is working on the future of allocation of TAships and GAships, and the Teaching Evaluation Subcommittee is looking into alternatives to student evaluations in assessing teaching effectiveness.

Mike Howard reported that he met with Dean Innis to discuss the “Doing Business in Iraq” conference.” Howard and others are concerned about “how is business done in Iraq”. He referred to the five principles outlined by President Hoff to serve as guidelines for a future conference the University might be involved in on this topic, and emphasized the principle that the University should not be involved with an organization that does not make its membership public information. Dean Innis agreed that there should be guidelines for structuring any future activity. Howard asked Dean Innis about progress on a) implementing the five principles in the upcoming conference, and b) the “Alliance” conforming to the principle of publicizing its membership.

Dean Daniel Innis reported that a) the conference has been tentatively set for March 25th, b) three faculty from the College of BPPH will be speakers in the afternoon session, and c) the College’s involvement with the Alliance might depend on whether or not the Alliance decides to publicize its membership.

Howard Patterson alluded to the fact that in spite of the “no exams during the last week of classes University” policy, a substantial number of professors do not adhere to it.  This practice not only does not allow students to prepare for final exams, but also might have a negative impact on retention.

D. Jim Acheson (Committee on Committees)

Faculty are being recruited to serve on the Advisory Council to the Honors Program

E. Howard Patterson (Constitution and By-laws)

Vice President for Academic Affairs Doug Gelinas will soon present to the committee the administration’s recommended changes to the Faculty Handbook version that was approved by the Faculty Senate last spring.

F. Jim Warhola (Interdisciplinary Programs)

The committee will present the matrix for Undergraduate Interdisciplinary and Multi-disciplinary Programs today and the Graduate Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Programs in the near future. The committee will examine issues related to costs of running interdisciplinary programs at UMaine, and how to optimize use of funds for administering these programs.

VII. New Business

Inclusion of the Section on “Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Programs and Endeavors” in the Undergraduate Catalog at the University of Maine

The Interdisciplinary Studies Committee

December 17, 2003.

Motion: The Faculty Senate proposes that the Undergraduate Cataloginclude a section on “Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Programs and Endeavors”, and that the substance of that section be the following description and categorization of programs and endeavors currently operating at the University of Maine.  The IDS Committee proposes that this list be included in the current on-line catalog as soon as practically possible, and in the next printed version.

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Programs and Endeavors at the University of Maine

The University of Maine boasts a vibrant array of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary programs and endeavors.  Such activities have become the hallmark of intellectual vitality and excellence in contemporary higher education.  The University of Maine offers an exceptionally wide range of opportunities for all members of the University community—undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty members, staff members, and administrators—to participate in scholarly undertakings that involve multiple academic disciplines.  The categories below provide a schematic outline of the range of such opportunities currently available to undergraduate students at the University of Maine; other endeavors may be in the planning stages, and the University actively fosters the expansion of this critical aspect of its overall mission of teaching, research, and public service.

I. Matrix for Undergraduate Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Programs

The University of Maine has 4 types of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary programs at the undergraduate level: Majors, Minors,Certificate Programs, and Curriculum Concentrations.  Each of the last three of these types supplements but does not replace an academic major. Multidisciplinary Studies Programs are courses of study which require course work in more than one of the traditional disciplines (defined at the University of Maine by named departments), but do not have formally constituted, required course work or student research / scholarship that integrates multiple disciplines.  Interdisciplinary Studies Programs are courses of study which require course work in more than one of the traditional disciplines (defined at the University of Maine by named departments), and have formally constituted course work or student research / scholarship that integrates multiple disciplines.

The matrix below indicates the program in each type.


Interdisciplinary Program Multidisciplinary Programs B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies                                     Financial Economics (B.A.)Ecology and Environmental Science (B.S.)                    International Affairs (B.A.)Engineering Physics (B.S.)                                            Landscape Horticulture (B.S.)
New Media (B.A.)
Resource and Agribusiness Management
Sustainable Agriculture (B.S.)
Women’s Studies (B.A.)


Bio-Medical Engineering (B.S.)
Canadian Studies                                                          Classical Studies*
Franco-American Studies*                                           Film and Video
Linguistics                                                                     Fisheries Minor
Museum Studies                                                           Marxist and Socialist Studies*
Museum Education

Medieval and Renaissance Studies*
Native American Studies                                               Pre-Medical Studies
Religious Studies*

Pre-Professional Health Studies
Public Relations

(*also offered as a Curriculum Concentration)

Certificate Programs:

Maine Studies Certificate                                              Classical Studies Certificate

Museum Studies Certificate

Curriculum Concentrations:

Disability Studies                                                          Adventure Recreation Business

Equine Business Management (B.S.)                             Management (B.A.)

Franco-American Studies*                                           Classical Studies*

Peace Studies                                                               Criminal Justice Administration

Religious Studies*                                                         Geography

Latin American Studies

Legal Studies

Marxist and Socialist Studies*

Medieval and Renaissance Studies*

(*also offered as a Minor)

II. Other Interdisciplinary Endeavors at the University of Maine:

Academy of Public Service (joint endeavor of UM Dept. of Public Administration; M.C.Smith Center, and the Muskie Institute of USM)

Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center
Bureau of Labor Education
Canadian-American Center
Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies
Center on Aging
Cooperative Extension Service
Franco-American Center
Honors College
Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies
Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology
Maine Folklife Center
Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy
Peace Studies Office
Pulp and Paper Process Development Center
Research Collaborative on Violence Against Women
Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research
Solar Vehicle Team (College of Engineering)
Wabanaki Center
William Cohen Center for Public Policy and Commerce
Women’s Resource Center

The above motion was amended to include the certificate “Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages.”

The amendment was accepted and the motion carried unanimously.

Before adjournment, Marie Hayes offered the motion:

We adjourn in honor and lasting tribute to Professor Michele Alexander. This motion will be made a part of the permanent record of the Senate Faculty Minutes, and a copy of the minutes will be sent to Professor Alexander’s family.

The motion carried unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:36 P. M.

Respectfully submitted,

Stellos Tavantzis, Secretary


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Faculty Senate
Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
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Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469