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2003-2004 - September 24, 2003

Faculty Senate Minutes

September 24, 2003

Present: Jim Acheson, Peggy Agouris, Michele Alexander, Dean Astumian, Eisso Atzema, Darlene Bay, Robert Bayer, Mary Brakey, Mahmoud El-Begearmi, Todd Gabe, Alla Gamarnik, Gail Garthwait, Stephen Gilson, Alexander Grab, Michael Greenwood, Michael Grillo, Paul Grosswiler, Vince Guiseppe, Robert Gundersen, Nancy Hall, Ludlow Hallman, Marie Hayes, Dianne Hoff, Peter Hoff, James Horan, Mike Howard, Mel Johnson, Joseph Kelley, Robert Kennedy, Dennis King, David Lambert, John Maddaus, Chuck Maguire, Kathleen March, Stephen Marks, Jim McClymer, Charles Moody, Tina Passman (for E. Del Vecchio),  Howard Patterson, Bryan Pearce, Matthew Rodrigue, Thomas Sandford, Dan Sandweiss, Gregory Sinnett, Janet Spector, Stellos Tavantzis, Michael Vayda, Jim Warhola, Gregory White.

Absent: Douglas Bousfield, Thomas Brann, Martha Broderick, Robert Cashon, Thomas Christensen, Laura Cowan, Richard Eason, Sandy Gardner, Dana Humphrey, Scott Johnson, Roger King, Irv Kornfield, Kim McKeage, Martha McNamara, Linda Rottmann, Douglas Ruthven, Christa Schwintzer, Bruce Segee, Andrew Thomas, Ken Tudor, Roy Turner, Bob Whelan, Dave Yarborough.

I. Welcome and Introduction of Members

The meeting was called to order at 3:17 P.M.  All members of the senate

who were present introduced themselves

II. Memorial

A memorial statement for Rose Weller was read to the Senate by John Maddaus.

Rosaline (Rose) Weller, the Faculty Senate’s administrative assistant for almost five years, died suddenly of complications of a viral infection on July 9, 2003. Her passing occurred on the 26th wedding anniversary of Rose and her husband, Herman Weller, an associate professor of science education at the University of Maine,

Born on February 14, 1945 in Webbo, Liberia, Rose received her high school diploma from Our Lady of Fatima High School in Cape Palmas, Liberia, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Liberia in Monrovia. She worked as a teacher’s aide and later as a bookkeeper at the American Cooperative School in Monrovia from 1970 to 1985. It was at the American Cooperative School that she met her future husband. They were married on July 9, 1977, in Monrovia. Rose and Herman moved to Caracas, Venezuela in 1985, to Blacksburg, Virginia in 1986, to Lubbock, Texas in 1990, and finally to Orono, Maine in 1993. Wherever Rose and Herman moved, Rose found employment in the field of education.

Rose will be greatly missed by all those who worked with her in the Faculty Senate. With her cheerful disposition, she was a pleasure to work with.  Rose had the distinction of being the only support person on campus who, by the nature of her position, could look forward to reporting to a different person every academic year. Hired during the Faculty Senate presidency of Mary Ellen Symanski, she also served under Presidents Gloria Vollmers, Michael Grillo, John Maddaus, and Robert Rice. She was transitioning to President Bryan Pearce at the time of her death. Each of these faculty members had her or his own unique style of leading the Faculty Senate and of working with an administrative assistant, and Rose adjusted to the changes from one to the next with sensitivity and tact. Once she understood what each president expected of her, she carried out her responsibilities with care and thoroughness. For example, when a major renovation of Aubert Hall made it necessary for the Faculty Senate to vacate its office space in that building, Rose handled all the details of the move to the office in East Annex. She was a master of detail, handling everything from ordering the food for the Senate meetings to contacting the college deans about vacant Senate seats.

Rose’s biggest accomplishment as administrative assistant was bringing the Faculty Senate into the computer age. When Rose was first hired, the Faculty Senate had only recently acquired a computer capable of tasks beyond basic word processing. It was Rose who computerized the Faculty Senate’s records, and created the Faculty Senate’s web page and FirstClass conference.

Outside the Senate’s office, Rose was a devoted wife of Herman Weller, and a devoted mother of their adopted daughter, Lourine. She was an accomplished cook and gardener, and a trusted neighbor and friend. She was also the person who maintained communication with a far-flung network of 11 siblings and their families, as well as numerous cousins and other relatives. Due to two decades of civil war in their homeland, Liberia, Rose’s extended family was scattered across three continents. When a family member in Liberia disappeared, it was Rose who found a way to track that person down, sometimes in a refugee camp.

Rose had a love of education, and took advantage of every opportunity to pursue her own education and subsequent professional development, particularly in the areas of accounting and technology. Finding out how to handle the bookkeeping at the American Cooperative School, or the technology at the University of Maine, was a challenge she welcomed.

Since leaving Liberia in 1985, Rose maintained an interest in events in her native land, and she was distressed by the more than decade-long civil war there. In her memory, Herman has asked that donations by made to the medical relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, which has been the primary provider of medical care in Monrovia and surrounding areas during the latest period of civil war.

All those who had the opportunity to work with Rose during her employment with the Faculty Senate deeply regret the loss of a dedicated colleague and a wonderful human being.

III.          Introductory Comments

Faculty Senate President Bryan Pearce stated that faculty and administration share the goal of helping the University The best way to achieve it is by working together and communicating effectively. He said that he will seek transparency in the University’s financial affairs. Pearce announced that Ellen Woodhead will be the new secretary of the Faculty Senate. He then asked Jim McClymer to give an update of the negotiating efforts of the AFUM team.

IV.   Introduction of Committee Chairs and Committee Assignments

A.  University Environment (Michael Grillo, chair; Gregory White, Mary Brakey, Sandy Caron, Chuck Maguire; Matt Rodrigue, President, Undergraduate Student Government)

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 budgeting; the parking debacle.

B. Research and Public Service (Peggy Agouris, chair; Dave Yarborough, Stephen Gilson, Gail Garthwait, Jim McClymer, Andy Thomas, Mike Eckardt)

Issues to be considered: evaluation of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, both internally and in comparison to similar offices in other institutions; administrative support to researchers (budget assistance, efficient grant management); green sheet automation; stable fringe and indirect rates for the duration of a project; examination of reasons for which faculty who would like to do research cannot do so effectively; guidance of new faculty towards funding sources and mechanisms (internal and external).

C.  Finance and Institutional Planning (Darlene Bay, chair; Bob Bayer, Bruce Segee, Janet Spector, Bob Whelan)

Issues to be considered: Strategic Plan and its implied effects on campus building; other aspects of campus building; look at 5-10 year plan, if one exists, or encourage development of such a plan; financial analyses, including one of the budget and actual results.

D.  Academic Affairs (Marie Hayes, chair; Darlene Bay, Tom Christensen, John Maddaus Michael Vayda).

At large Committee: Michelle Alexander, Laura Cowen, Alla Gamarnick, Nancy Hall, Michael Howard, Kathlene March, Hemant Pendse, Gail Werrbach

Agenda:

1. Charge of the Committee to be defined

2.  Continuity with last year’s achievements: addressing retention and graduation statistics

3.  Curricula issues

a.  Gen Ed requirements, NEASC accreditation; Role of the CTE

b.  Role of CED in meeting course shortfalls/changing roles of departments

c.  Library resources in teaching/mentorship

E.  Committee on Committees (Jim Acheson, chair; Thomas Christensen, Gail Garthwait, Jim Horan, Mike Greenwood, Vincent Guiseppe, President, Graduate Student Association)

F.    Constitution and By-laws (Howard Patterson, chair; Martha Broderick,Jim Horan, Dennis King, Jim McClymer)

Issues to be considered: Modification of Faculty Handbook.

G.    Board of Trustee Representative, Dana Humphrey

Dana Humphrey was not available. President Hoff thought that the Board of Trustees meeting at the Darling Center was very successful. The trustees and members of the press were impressed by the extent and level of research taking place at the Center. The trustees approved the Sports and Fitness Center to be built on the University of Maine campus. The University of Southern Maine was awarded a new doctoral program in psychology.

I.    Library Advisory (Dianne Hoff, chair; Kathleen March, Bob Cashon, Donald Hayes, Todd Gabe, Joyce Rumery, Mary Brakey, Robert Rice, Michael Grillo, Anastasia Kalea)

Issues to be considered include:

a) Reinstate certain critical journals that were cut last summer should have a higher priority over acquisition of new journals.

-Determine the process for journal reinstatement.

b) Develop a process on how to prioritize journal subscriptions.

c) Elaine Albright’s replacement will be downgraded, so the Chief Librarian will have no input on budget issues. Committee has requested reinstatement of Chief Librarian to dean status.

d) Increase the library’s overall funding; additional funds should go to the journal collection portion of the library’s budget. These funds should be added to the University budget and come from the State.

e) Approach the Development Office to create an endowment for the library (this is the only way one-time funds can be channeled to the library budget).

f) Find out what journals are reasonable with their subscription fee and support them (by retaining subscription) over journals that are “unreasonable”.

g) Join other universities in searching all available options for facing the issue of tremendous increases in journal subscription costs.

Also:

The library should know and report the dates for journal subscription renewal to avoid any future journal cuts during the summer when faculty are away.

Faculty should have a voice in the upcoming discussions on renovation of the library and journal collection.

J.    Interdisciplinary Programs (Jim Warhola, Dan Sandweiss, co-chairs; Michele Alexander)

Issues to be considered: define with greater precision the meaning of “interdisciplinary” for academic programs or research centers; draw up catalog listings of all interdisciplinary activity on campus for the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs; seek ways to foster interdisciplinary activity at the University of Maine, particularly as it may pertain to the attraction of outside funding.

K.    Workload Analysis Committee (Tom Sandford, chair; Alex Grab, Bruce Nicholson, Mary Ellen Symanski)

Issues to be considered: Further examination of faculty workload must include research and public service; proposed administration teaching formula does not capture many teaching commitments required of land-grant mission; workload assessments should reflect output quality rather than just input quantity (only input quantity is used by the administration teaching formula); discipline specifics must be reflected in the workload. At the individual level, workload can equitably only be addressed by the department chair/unit heads in consultation with the peer committee.

Marie Hayes, chair of last year’s Work Load Analysis Committee referred to some of the highlights of the report composed and distributed by the committee last spring. Upon surveying the literature on workload analysis, it became evident that the methods depended on who the audience is and if the purpose is allocation of resources, teaching assignments, promotion, etc. Research, graduate student education (seminars, one-on-one contact), field work, public service, and writing-intensive courses are not weighted appropriately.

V.    Questions to administrators

A. Campus planning

Janet Waldron, Vice President for Administration, reported that the campus has a master plan that was developed over ten years ago. Significant changes have been made in the last few years, and parking issues have been exacerbated by the choices being made in the context of the master plan. Three firms with national expertise on campus planning have been asked to update the current plan by reflecting on the current activity and configuration. They will be asking the Campus Planning Committee and the campus community: Where do we want to go from here; how do we want to handle the transportation (parking) issue; location of future buildings; architectural design elements on campus; working with the Arboretum Committee on landscaping; accessibility issues. They will compile and crystallize all the different documents in one document. The campus plan will support and complement the Strategic Plan of the University. They will provide interim information for the community to react to and commend on.

Michael Grillo said that we had a two-day warning on the construction of the new engineering building and asked for better communication in the future.

President Hoff responded that all necessary consultation steps were taken, including asking for the recommendation of the Campus Planning Committee, but perhaps more should have been done from the viewpoint of public information.

Janet Waldron said that in the future people will be informed as to what the choices are and will be given the opportunity to offer their input.

Larryl Matthews, Dean of the College of Engineering, said that he personally gave over thirty presentations to various groups (including faculty) on the license of the new engineering building and the reasons for it. He would be happy to discuss the details (and the reasons) of this particular plan to any group or individual.

Alex Grab asked as to whether or not parking spaces will eventually become available to faculty located in neighboring buildings and how the decision, regarding the site and configuration of the building, was made. Dean Matthews responded that several parking spaces will be available but will be used for the handicapped and visitors because of their proximity to the library and the Memorial Union. He then discussed the different configurations that were examined before the final decision was made.

Howard Patterson pointed that the Parking Committee report was ignored. Janet Waldron indicated that the committee’s report was taken very seriously by President Hoff and that action is being taken on several fronts to alleviate the situation including construction of a new parking lot (Orchard Parking Lot).

B. Journal Cancellations

President Peter Hoff stated that library issues, including an intelligent expansion of the library and adequate funding for journals, are extremely important to his administration.

Provost Robert Kennedy talked about the astronomic increases in journal subscription costs. An increase of $600,000 was reallocated to the base acquisition budget for the library. Over the past ten or fifteen years no new journals have been acquired. During this time new disciplines have emerged and have had to continue without the support of important journals.

Associate Provost Doug Gelinas pointed out that the journal collection has been undergoing cuts over the last three years. Faculty were asked to rate journals in three categories: “nice to have”, “need to have” and “really important”. Increases (up to 15%) in journal subscription rates caused a deficit of $400,000 part of which was covered by a $300,000 reallocation by the Provost. Some journals have been continued as electronic subscriptions, but since subscription costs for packages of journals are lower than those for individual journals, sometimes choices are limited. There has been a 25% increase in the journal acquisition budget but even that will not be enough.

Michael Grillo commented that in regards to journal cuts, decisions are being made in a manner disconnected from the curriculum. Faculty cannot teach responsibly within their fields. He suggested that we need to have a decision making process that takes curriculum into consideration. Provost Kennedy invited input for making the process more inclusive. Dianne Hoff added that will be one of the top priorities of her committee.

Alex Grab reported that the most important journals in history were cut over the summer without any consultation from his department. Associate Vice President Doug Gelinas admitted the process was flawed in part due to budget and journal renewal cycles. President Hoff suggested that the Associate Provost and the Library Committee work together to improve the process of journal selection. Mike Howard pointed out that in the humanities and social sciences online journals are not sufficient for the type of research being conducted in these fields, and questioned budget priorities, e. g., new sports complex vs. academic journals.

Mahmoud El-Begearmi suggested that it is appropriate that some indirect cost funds go to the journal collection, and Provost Kennedy responded that the Administration has already been addressing this issue.

C. Continuing Education (CED)

Doug Gelinas reported that, due to the budget situation, he asked Bob White, Director of CED, to spend less money in terms of offering CED courses, so that the savings could be used to avoid layoffs. Bob White added that the CED budget ($350,000) was reduced by 25%, so CED offerings went down from 255 courses to 177 courses. CED consulted with associate deans and department chairs to establish a process for cutting courses. There was only a 5% decrease in student enrollment as a result of the 25% budget reduction.

Kathleen March asked about the criteria for cancellation of a course. Bob White responded that the criteria include: whether or not a course is a) an overload for a faculty, b) a degree, program, minor or certificate requirement or c) a sequence course (fall & spring).

Mike Grillo asked as to how the hiring of adjuncts fits together with needs of departments for new faculty members. He observed that curriculum related decisions increasingly fall out of faculty hands. Provost Kennedy admitted that we lack a comprehensive systematic process addressing these issues in relation to the strategic plan and incentivised budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:49 P. M.

Respectfully submitted,
Stellos Tavantzis,
Secretary

 


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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
E-mail: kimberly.junkins@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1865