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2003-2004 - October 22, 2003

Faculty Senate Minutes

OCTOBER 22, 2003

Present:  Jim Acheson, Michele Alexander, Robert Bayer, Douglas Bousfield, Mary Brakey, Thomas Brann, Laura Cowan, Richard Eason, Mahmoud El-Begearmi, Todd Gabe, Alla Gamarnik, Stephen Gilson, Alexander Grab, Michael Greenwood, Michael Grillo, Paul Grosswiler, Vince Guiseppe, Robert Gunderson, Nancy Hall, Marie Hayes, Dianne Hoff, Peter Hoff, James Horan, Michael Howard, Dana Humphrey, Carlos Islam, Mel Johnson,  Scott Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Dennis King, Sarah Knight, David Lambert, John Maddaus, Kathleen March, Jim McClymer, Charles Moody, Howard Patterson, Bryan Pearce, Matthew Rodrigue, Thomas Sandford, Christa Schwintzer, Bruce Segee, Stellos Tavantzis, Roy Turner, Jim Warhola, Gregory White.

Absent:  Peggy Agouris, Dean Astumian, Eisso Atzema, Darlene Bay, Robert Cashon, Robert Causey, Thomas Christensen, Eugene Del Vecchio, Sandy Gardner, Gail Garthwait, Ludlow Hallman, Joseph Kelley, Roger King, Irv Kornfield, Daniel Lux, Chuck Maguire, Stephen Marks, Larryl Matthews, Martha McNamara, Linda Rottman, Douglas Ruthven, Dan Sandweiss, Gregory Sinnett, Janet Spector, Andrew Thomas, Ken Tudor, Michael Vayda, Bob Whelan, Dave Yarborough.

I. Welcome and Signing in

The meeting was called to order at 3:18 P.M.

II.        Announcements of the President

The meeting started with the Dialogue with the Administration since President Peter Hoff and Senator Dianne Hoff had a late afternoon flight to Texas. Faculty Senate President Bryan Pearce introduced the following topics for discussion: Library update, UMS and UM strategic planning, faculty numbers and fiscal transparency, “a TA in every pot”, impact of increased student enrollment.

III. Dialogue with the Administration

Library Update

Dianne Hoff pointed out that the Library Committee’s efforts will interface with those of the Library Task Force. Four areas are being considered:

a)      Reinstate some of the discontinued journals for one year until a long-term process for journal subscription is worked out.

b)      Develop a process for the above journal reinstatement.

c)      Elevate the chief librarian to Associate Vice President for Information, able to sit in on budget discussions.

d)      Develop a plan as to how the library is funded in the future.

President Peter Hoff indicated that a group has been assembled to address facilities aspects of the library such as the addition, technological needs, and capital equipment. The purpose is to at least sensitize the State government to include a moderate request in this year’s budget and a complete package in the next biennial budget. He also recognized that the current budget and planning process do not address library needs but was encouraged by the attention this important issue has been currently receiving.

Provost Robert Kennedy emphasized that the Library Task Force (LTF) intends to address all of the critical issues about the library. The LTF includes Associate Vice President Doug Gelinas (Chair), Bryan Pearce, Jim Warhola, Dianne Hoff, Ann Leffler, Sue Paonessa, and a representative from USM. The LTF will submit an interim analysis report at the next faculty meeting.

Mike Howard asked if some of the funds allocated for new journal subscriptions will be used for reinstatement of discontinued journals. Doug Gelinas responded that this will certainly be considered by the LTF.

Michael Grillo questioned the process of selecting the members of the LTF and the representation of the various disciplines. Provost Kennedy responded that the process was well representative and respectful of the Faulty Senate as senators B. Pearce, D. Hoff, and J. Warhola are members of the LTF.

Mahmoud El-Begearmi suggested that the LTF include representatives from other institutions in the State, and Provost Kennedy thought that this would be appropriate.

A numbers of senators expressed concerns regarding the input of the various academic units in the journal selection process. R. Kennedy, D. Gelinas, and D. Hoff assured that the process has not been determined but the community’s input will be sought.

Strategic Planning Process of the University of Maine System (UMS)

President Hoff explained that this process was initiated by the Board of Trustees (BOT). They thought it was time to take a serious look at the structure and nature of UMS, and requested that the Chancellor undertake strategic planning. The Chancellor has secured the services of a consulting firm, Cambridge Concord Associates (CCA), to facilitate the process. The Strategic Planning Process (SPP) will be open and will engage the academic communities of the seven campuses. A system-wide Task Force will include all seven Presidents. Interim reports of the Task Force will be received by all Universities for input in the next seven months. Elaine Concord of CCA and Elsa Nunez, UMS Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, will visit our campus on 11/04/03 and meet with several groups including the Faculty Senate leadership.

Matt Rodrigue, President of USG and a BOT member, indicated that one issue that will come up is how we plan to shape ourselves in terms of interacting with the rest of the system in view of the fact that the University of Maine is located north of the State’s population center. Another issue is looking at all of the UMS “components” in view of the anticipated developments associated with the Community Colleges. The Chancellor  respects UM and considers it the flagship campus of the system. No changes are anticipated in this regard.

Dana Humphrey said that since the SPP will establish a vision and resources will be allocated to allow this vision to be achieved, it is very important that we clearly articulate the unique role this campus plays within our State. Dana distributed copies of a UMS document providing information on the rationale, stages and time line of the SPP.

Bryan Pearce asked about the status of the UM strategic plan. Provost Kennedy indicated that a committee is being formed to assess the areas where a) progress was made, b) priorities have changed or c) progress was not made. The committee will have a very short time frame to finalize their assessment. If there are major suggestions and deviations from the original strategic plan, the Faculty Senate will have the opportunity to discuss the modified plan.

Who are the 736 faculty?

Bryan Pearce pointed out that having the names of the faculty will solve the “700 or 500” mystery and perhaps lead to fiscal transparency. Provost Kennedy responded that Tom Skaggs will have the information in different formats at the next Faculty Senate meeting. Following a Michael Grillo remark, Kennedy thought that numbers of administrators could also be determined.

Marie Hayes requested information about 1) professional staff, as their numbers have increased significantly in the last few years, and 2) a differentiation between hard- and soft-money faculty numbers (and names).

Dana Humphrey suggested that it is important that we know what these professionals do (research vs. teaching) and where their funding is coming from. Jim McClymer indicated that the number of professionals increased from 200 to 1100 or 1200 in the last 10 years.

IV.   Committee Reports

A.  Michael Grillo (University Environment)

Issues to be considered: Effect of CED course policies on departments and their curricula; effects of the library debacle on departments and their curricula; workload and incentivized budget; surveillance on campus; the parking debacle.

B.         Peggy Agouris (Research and Public Service). Did not attend

C.        Darlene Bay (Finance and Institutional Planning). Did not attend

D.        Marie Hayes (Academic Affairs). One of the committee’s goals is continuity with last year’s committee’s activities. They are reviewing all the issues covered and the motions that passed last year. A strong information base has been established. The charge of the committee will include advising issues (how to improve the advising process); implications of the change-in-major rule (forgiveness of grades when a student changes majors) on academic award candidates; special registration rules for athletes and perhaps other groups (e. g., students with disabilities).

E.         Jim Acheson (Committee on Committees). The Student Employment Advisory Council needs a new member.

F.         Howard Patterson (Constitution and By-laws). The committee was divided into two groups, one of which will represent the administration, and the other will represent the faculty in reviewing last year’s version of the Faculty Handbook. They will then get together with their respective lists of suggested changes, and put together a consensus handbook. The final draft will become electronically available to the Faculty Senate for feedback.

G.        Dana Humphrey (Board of Trustees Representative). Next BOT meeting will be held in Bangor on 11/17/03.

I.          Dianne Hoff (Library Advisory). See Library section above.

J.          Jim Warhola (Interdisciplinary Programs). The committee is working on the interdisciplinary program (IP) lists for the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogues. They have subdivided undergraduate IP’s into four categories: majors, minors, certificates and concentrations. They are currently working on the graduate IP’s. The issue of the status of the committee (special vs. standing) will be reviewed.

K. Tom Sandford (Workload Analysis). It is difficult to fit workload to a metric or formula but we need criteria for reallocating resources. Workload assessment can be a part of this process. It can also be used to determine whether or not workload inequities exist among colleges and departments. The committee would like to be involved in developing a process for workload assessment, if the administration wants to pursue this matter.

Howard Patterson pointed out that student advising is a very important function and should be included in workload assessment.

A T.A. in every pot:

Bryan Pearce introduced the concept of “a T.A. in every pot”, that is, a graduate student assigned to every professor who wanted one. The assigned TA could assist in teaching or research, thus ensuring the research program stayed active in a period between grants.

Dr. Deirdre Mageean, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School,  reported that we have 572 graduate students of which 233 are centrally funded T.A.’s. The rest are supported by grants and other sources. The University lost about 50 T.A. positions in the last five years as a result of cuts at the department or college level. The purpose of the decision to allocate T.A. positions centrally is to protect them from further attrition. A number of T.A. positions were not filled this year because of low stipends, so making graduate stipends more competitive is a high priority. The Graduate School will work with Doug Gelinas and the Associate Deans to develop a process for allocating T.A. positions in the future. The University offered 32 Ph. D. degrees (highest ever) last year.

A number of individuals stressed the importance of graduate education in the economic development of the State, and suggested that this message be conveyed to the Board of Visitors and the UMS representatives during the respective meetings in the next few days. It was also emphasized that economic progress depends upon a high caliber liberal arts education, which ensures development of well rounded citizens capable of making critical decisions. Moreover, we should not forget the intrinsic value of the arts in an advanced society.

Roy Turner pointed out that graduate education is connected to undergraduate education through the research and teaching performed by graduate assistants, and the fact that they help faculty be better researchers and teachers.

Thomas Brann observed that the State has invested in research but without a sufficient number of graduate assistants, this investment will not pay the expected dividends.

Matt Rodrique suggested that regarding all of the issues discussed previously, we need to make a strong case in a quantitative manner as to how the State will be helped. Such an approach will play an important role in terms of the UMS strategic planning and resource allocation.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:48 P. M.

Respectfully submitted,
Stellos Tavantzis,


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