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2004-2005 - April 27, 2005

Faculty Senate Minutes

April 27, 2005

Present: Jim Acheson, Dean Astumian, Robert Bayer, Mary Brakey, Rod Bushway, Joe Carr, Scott Delcourt, Marcia Douglas,  Michael Eckardt, Mahmoud El-Begearmi, Amy Fried, Todd Gabe, James Gilbert, Stephen Gilson, Alexander Grab, Robert Gundersen, Nancy Hall, William Halteman, Marie Haye, Jim Horan, Dana Humphrey, John Jemison, Mel Johnson, Scott Johnson, Leonard Kass, Robert Kennedy,  Dennis King, David Kotecki, John Maddaus, Deirdre Mageean, John Mahon, Kathleen March, Stephen Marks, Kathleen McIntyre, Harlan Onsrud, Howard Patterson, Mick Peterson, Paul Rawson, Alan Rosenwasser, Linda Rottman, Tom Sandford, Ann Schonberger, JulieAnn Scott, Michael Scott, Denise Skonberg, Kathryn Slott, Touradj Solouki, Claire Strickland, Janet Waldron, Greg White.

Absent: Peggy Agouris, Aria Amirbahman, Eisso Atzema, Carla Billitteri, Richard Borgman, Sandy Caron, Robert Cashon, Laura Cowan, Nellie Cyr, John Daigle, Raphael DiLuzio, Michael Greenwood, Ludlow Hallman, Dianne Hoff, David Lambert, Jessica Miller, Liam Riordan, Douglas Ruthven, Stellos Tavantzis, Roy Turner, Bob Whelan.

Welcome and signing in

Meeting was called to order at 3:17 pm.

Opening Remarks

President Howard Patterson opened the meeting by telling members that President Kennedy has invited all senators to the President’s House for an informal reception to thank the Faculty Senate for their accomplishments and success during the past academic year.

Dr. Patterson also mentioned that many members had spoken with him regarding their desire that this last meeting be kept short, and Dr. Patterson stated that he would try to comply with these requests.

Approval of Minutes

A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes from the March 30, 2005 senate meeting.  The motion passed unanimously.


Dr. Patterson began by announcing that UMaine now has a permanent president, Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Patterson asked President Kennedy to make a few remarks.

President Kennedy began by mentioning a meeting he, John Mahon and the Chancellor had regarding budget.  He also said that he was appreciative of the support he received from many people on campus during the search and he was pleased to continue to be the President of UMaine.  He said that part of his desires and interests is to continue the good working relationship he has had over the years with the Faculty Senate.

He said the Chancellor is very supportive of this campus.  Part of his opportunity is the people in the State of Maine who support this institution. He is very excited about the future of this campus.  He has spent a good deal of time traveling around the state having conversations with various constitutencies regarding the UMaine campus.  In the next couple of months he will be spending more time on campus listening to what people feel are issues facing the campus in the future.  We need to focus on the UMaine strategic plan, perhaps develop a new plan.  He looks forward to speaking with senators about our plans for the future.  He said that he has asked John Mahon to remain as the interm Provost, and Dr. Mahon has agreed to remain during the national search that will be underway next year.  There are other positions that will also need to be filled.

Another theme he wants to focus on is student success, teacher retention.  We will also continue to raise UMaine’s reputation as a nationally ranked university.

He closed by inviting everyone to the President’s house, and congratulating this year’s senate on their successes and stating that he looks forward to working with Marie Hayes and her executive committee next year.

Questions for Administrators

Someone asked about the budget process.

President Kennedy stated that he wanted to thank Vice President Janet Waldron, Director of Budget and Business Services, Claire Strickland, and Provost Mahon for the work they have put into next year’s budget planning, and making the plea for our cause in Augusta.

There was a Board of Visitors meeting in Portland yesterday.  The BOV is extremely engaged with this campus.  They passed a resolution yesterday with different scenarios, all of which were targeted to get additional resources back to this campus.

Janet Waldron stated that she appreciated the working relationship she had this year with the Finance Committee of the Senate and that she endorsed the committee’s motion that was on today’s agenda.  She said her office is very committed to keeping the faculty apprised of any new developments in the budget process.  The new budget does take into account an 8% increase in tuition and a 5% increase in housing.

Committee Reports:

Committee on Committees – Dr. Stephen French Gilson

Dr. Gilson began by thanking people who had worked so hard on so many different committee nominations this past year.  He said that the COC had been unusually active this year forming strategic plan committees, search committees, and the various committees of the administration.  He also thanked his committee members:

  • Dr. Carla Billitteri of English Department
  • Dr. Thomas Sandford of Civil Engineering
  • Dr. John Maddaus of Education
  • Dr. Michael Greenwood of Forestry
  • Dr. Jim Horan or Public Administration

Dr. Gilson introduced the nominees for Vice President/President Elect, Leonard Kass, Secretary, Kathleen March, and Board of Trustees Representative, Bob Rice.  Dr. Gilson explained the procedure for the election, he also stated that there were ballots available or the senate could have the election by voice vote.

Dr. Patterson asked the members if there were any other nominations from the floor.  There were not.  A motion was made from the floor to accept the slate as is, it was seconded.  A vote was taken.  The vote was unanimous to accept the slate of candidates.

University Environment – Dr. Scott E. Johnson

Dr. Johnson opened his report by thanking the members of the Environment Committee for their work during the year.  He stressed that the Graduate Education Report that the committee had produced had been a collaborative effort including the Faculty Senate, the Association of Graduate Students, the University Research Council and the Graduate Board.  The members of the Environment Committee are:

  • Dr. Alan Rossenwasser
  • Dr. John Jemison
  • Dr. Roy Turner
  • Dr. Mary Brakey
  • Dr. John Daigle

Dr. Johnson stated that it was a pleasure to work with these people.

Constitution & Bylaws – Dr. Marie Hayes

Dr. Hayes stated that the committee had had a few small successes the past year including the subject of elections that was addressed by her committee and some revisions to the Constitution regarding these elections.  She felt that some formality had been added to the process.  The committee had also worked on the faculty governance issues and hoped to continue with that in the upcoming year.  She thanked members of the committee:

  • Dr. Amy Fried
  • Dr. Alex Grab
  • Dr. Jim Horan
  • Dr. Nancy Hall
  • Dr. Len Kass

Dr. Hayes also thanked Dr. Dana Humphrey for helping the committee craft a Board of Trustees addition to the Faculty Senate Constitution.

Interdisciplinary Programs – Dr. Kathleen March

Dr. March opened by thanking the members of the committee:

  • Dr. Dan Sandweiss
  • Dr. Ann Schonberger
  • Dr. Stephen Gilson
  • Dr. Carol Toner
  • Dr. Eisso Atzema
  • Dr. Joline Blais

The interdisciplinary programs committees had 5 Monday lunch sessions which were well attended by campus members.  Dr. March thought that these sessions helped to get a campus dialogue started about interdisciplinary programs and would like to continue this in the fall semester.

Library Advisory Committee – Dr. Dianne Hoff

President Patterson thanked the members of the committee for their service (Dr. Hoff was unable to attend the meeting):

  • Dr. Eisso Atzema
  • Dr. Rod Bushway
  • Dr. Robert Cashon
  • Dr. Donald Hayes
  • Dr. Kathleen March
  • Dr. Joyce Rumery
  • Dr. Robert Rice

Finance & Institutional Planning Committee – Dr. Todd Gabe

Dr. Gabe thanked the members of the committee:

  • Dr. Marcia Douglas
  • Dr. William Halteman
  • Dr. Richard Borgman
  • Dr. John Maddaus
  • Dr. Robert Bayer
  • Dr. Mick Peterson
  • Dr. Janet Waldron
  • Claire Strickland

He also thanked Kathleen McIntyre who did considerable work scheduling the committee’s meetings.

The committee passed a motion this year regarding 12 month graduate housing and also has a motion on the agenda for this meeting.

Workload Committee – Dr. Thomas Sandford

Dr. Sandford thanked the members of the committee:

  • Dr. Mario Teisl

The committee’s report will be presented to the President next fall.

Board of Trustees Representative – Dr. Dana Humphrey

Dr. Humphrey opened by stating that the Strategic Plan Implementation Committees have been formed and that meetings will be held in the immediate future.  He hopes that the UMaine members of the committees will keep the campus up to date on the progress of the implementation.  The final Board of Trustees meeting will be held in early June at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Dr. Kathleen March stated that as Dr. Humphrey has served as the BOT Rep for six years he deserved the appreciation of the entire Faculty Senate, Dr. Humphrey received a long round of applause for his efforts on behalf of this campus.

Research & Public Service – Dr. Douglas Ruthven

Dr. Patterson explained that Dr. Ruthven was unable to attend and thanked the members of the committee:

  • Dr. Dennis King
  • Dr. Jessica Miller
  • Dr. Paul Rawson
  • Dr. Mahmoud El-Begearmi
  • Dr. Liz Depoy
  • Dr. Michael Eckardt, Vice President for Research

Academic Affairs – Dr. Mick Peterson

Dr. Peterson thanked committee members:

  • Dr. Mary Brakey
  • Dr. Dianne Hoff
  • Dr. David Kotecki
  • Dr. Greg White
  • Dr. Marie Hayes
  • Dr. Kathleen March

Dr. Peterson stated that there still remains a lot of work for the committee especially as pertains to the academic outcomes assessment.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Dr. Todd Gabe introduced the motion being presented by the Finance & Institutional Planning committee.  He thanked Claire Strickland for the information she provided to the committee.  He explained that it is a basic timeline for budgetary information.

Process to Communicate Budgetary Information During the Summer Months

Finance and Institutional Planning

April 27, 2005


The University of Maine operates on a fiscal year that begins on July 1.  The budgetary planning process, initiated about six to eight months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, typically adheres to the following timeline:

Late fall: VP Administration & Finance, University Administration, and Director of Budget begin to conceptualize budget adjustments and expected offsets for upcoming fiscal year.

November-December:  VP Administration & Finance, Provost, and Director of Budget meet with Deans and Directors to discuss current year budget status and projected needs for the following year.

January: Presidents’ Council, Board of Trustees, and System-Wide CFO’s/Finance personnel hold separate meetings to discuss preliminary budget parameters, based on the state budget and appropriation.

February: Presidents’ Council holds meeting to discuss preliminary budget scenarios, including assumptions about tuition and financial aid.

March: VP Administration & Finance, Provost and Director of Budget present draft preliminary budget in a series of meetings (e.g., full faculty senate, finance and institutional planning committee) and open university forums.

Mid April: Budget forms are due at the System office.

Late April: President, Provost and VP Administration & Finance meet with the Chancellor to discuss/review preliminary budget.

Mid May: System Trustee Finance/Facilities Committee reviews budget, student charges, and state appropriation allocation.

Early June: System Trustees approve budget and student charges for upcoming fiscal year.

Under this timeline, the budget is finalized after the end of the spring semester when many faculty members are involved in off-campus research projects and/or travel.  The budget approved in June may differ from the scenarios presented in March because of changes in the state appropriation or formula used to allocate the system appropriation across campuses, differences between actual and expected student charges, differences between expected and actual negotiated salary increases, and a host of other factors.  Updated financial information and continued communication during the summer months will facilitate faculty input into budgetary changes and help units plan for the upcoming year.


In the event that circumstances require substantive changes to the preliminary budget scenarios, university administrators (e.g., VP Administration & Finance, Provost and Director of Budget, etc.) shall make every effort to meet with representatives from the faculty senate (e.g., outgoing and incoming Presidents, members of outgoing and incoming executive committees, members of outgoing and incoming finance and institutional planning committees, etc.) to discuss revised budgetary information and options.  At a minimum, university administrators will post updated budgetary information and options on the VP Administration & Finance website and/or in the faculty senate First Class folder.  Similar meetings and communications shall take place if other financial “emergencies” occur during the summer months.

The motion was move to the floor and seconded.

A vote was called 34 for, 1 against, 1 abstained.

Next business was a Motion to Create an Ad Hoc Committee for Public Service and Outreach.

Dr. March introduced the motion.  Dr. March stated that outreach and public service is a vital part of a land-grant university.  Its purpose is to develop opportunities for increasing and enhancing the visibility of the University of Maine in the area of outreach.

Motion to Create an Ad Hoc Committee for Public Service and Outreach


Service and Outreach are a vital component of faculty work and integral to the land grant and sea grant mission of the University of Maine.


Faculty Senate hereby creates an ad hoc committee for Public Service and Outreach.  The purpose is to develop opportunities for increasing and enhancing visibility of UMaine in the areas of public service and outreach.

There were some questions regarding the formation of ad hoc committees.

The motion was moved and seconded.

A vote was called.  29 for, 2 opposed, 6 abstained.

Dr. Mick Peterson introduced the next motion for the Academic Affairs Committee.  He stated that this motion is only reiterating what already exists in University policy.  The BOT has required that student input has to be part of teaching evaluations.


The Board of Trustees of the University of Maine requires that student input be considered when evaluating teaching effectiveness.  In the past this requirement was interpreted to mean that all students must fill in the same student evaluation form, the “bubble sheet.”

However, in the 30 years since the teaching evaluation form was first used at the University of Maine, there has been considerable research into effective survey design and design of discipline specific teaching evaluations.  During this period of development, professional accreditation organizations have also begun to focus on student surveys and outcomes-based evaluation to evaluate effectiveness as a part of program accreditation.  The University of Maine has responded by formally approving the use of a number of alternative evaluation forms for student evaluation of teaching.  University tenure and promotion documents have also been updated to remove specific references to the question numbers used on the “bubble sheet.”

Appropriate evaluation tools will result in feedback that is helpful and informative.  This feedback will maximize teaching effectiveness and ensure that students are given the best opportunity to have a voice improving their learning experience.


Deans, heads of academic units and peer committees on the UMaine campus are encouraged to make use of the most appropriate of the available instruments for student evaluations of teaching. These should reflect best practices for evaluation of teaching effectiveness. A choice of well-normed evaluation tools will help ensure that bias is limited and will provide feedback that is more appropriate for the educational experiences in a particular discipline.

Supplemental evaluation methods should be considered whenever possible, including outcomes assessment and peer evaluations, to ensure that the best possible learning experience is provided for the students at UMaine and that the UMaine community engages in continuous improvement of instructional quality.

Discussion ensued.

A question was posed as to who decides what method to use in teaching evaluations.  Dr. Peterson stated that decision was ultimately Dr. Gelinas’ decision, even though there are many courses that use evaluations other than the standard bubble sheet.  He said that currently it is an open process.  There is no strict policy regarding evaluations.

A question was posed as to how contractual language regards these evaluations.  Dr. Horan stated that the contract says that teaching evaluations will be required, it does not specify what type of evaluations have to be used.  JulieAnn Scott, Vice President of the Assocation of Graduate Students, made a comment that if the bubble sheets are not mandatory that students would be very happy to hear this.

A vote was called.

33 voted for, 0 opposed, ??

Dr. Dean Astumian gave a year-end report for the Ad Hoc Committee that was formed last fall in response to some concerns about the resignation of Dr. Hoff as President of UMaine, which occurred during the summer.  The committee had one motion passed and three resolutions.  Dr. Astumian also mentioned a meeting that the committee had held the previous week.  Dr. Hayes then challenged the validity of the meeting as a quorum did not exist to take a vote or make any resolution.  She stated not enough members were present at the meeting.

Dr. Patterson made closing remarks.


Back to 2004-2005

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