Skip Navigation

2005-2006 - February 1, 2006

Faculty Senate Minutes

February 1, 2006

Present: Aria Amirbahman, Dean Astumian, Eisso Atzema, Shari Baxter, Mary Brakey, Sandy Caron, Dorothy Croall, John Daigle, Marcia Davidson, Sue Estler, Amy Fried, James Gilbert, Robert Gundersen, Ludlow Hallman, William Halteman, Marie Hayes, Dianne Hoff, John Jemison, Mel Johnson, Scott Johnson, Leonard Kass, Robert Kennedy, Dennis King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Irv Kornfield, David Kotecki, David Lambert, Kathleen March, Stephen Marks, James McClymer, Kathleen McIntyre, Harlan Onsrud, Eric Peterson, Michael Peterson, Paul Rawson, Robert Rice, Alan Rosenwasser, Linda Rottman, Joyce Rumery, Daniel Sandweiss, Ann Schonberger, Michael Scott, Evelyn Silver, Kathryn Slott, Beth Wiemann.

Absent: Jim Acheson, Robert Bayer, Carla Billitteri, Richard Blanke, Richard Borgman, Emmanuel Boss, Tony Brinkley, Rodney Bushway, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Alan Cobo-Lewis, Laura Cowan, Raphael Diluzio, Stephen Gilson, Alexander Grab, Michael Greenwood, Nancy Hall, Karen Horton, Deborah Killam, Jessica Miller, Denise Skonberg, Touradj Solouki, Stellos Tavantzis, Roy Turner, Stephanie Welcomer.

The meeting was called to order at 3:15 pm.

The Minutes from the February 1, 2006 senate meeting were approved.

President Hayes opened the meeting by reminding the senate that the Chancellor would be on campus February 3.  She encouraged all to try and attend the open meeting schedule for that day.

Questions for Administrators:

Provost Sue Hunter was asked about departmental costs related to sabbaticals.  She stated that usually the department requests funding to replace the faculty member on sabbatical, and it is usually granted.  If the department asked for funds to cover the lost person it is up to her office to figure out how to come up with funding.  Usually the people who are put forward for sabbatical are teaching very large class loads and her office really had no way around it; these people were teaching large classes and it was essential that these courses continue to be offered.  When the faculty member is teaching an upper level course with limited students, they would try to find someone else to fill in or offer the class during a different semester and increase the student enrollment.

Marie Hayes asked President Kennedy if he could give some of the Chancellor’s goals for his meetings on campus February 3.  Dr. Kennedy said that the final reports from the Strategic Planning Committees are due at the Vice Chancellor’s office in May, so this is a chance for the Chancellor to come to each campus and give the status of the progress so far and to hear input from the campus community.  He referenced a recent meeting that Chancellor held at UMM which was reported in the Bangor Daily News.  The Chancellor will also meet with several different groups while he is here on campus such as members of the senate, strategic planning committees, the Board of Visitors, administration, student affairs, etc.

Committee Reports:

Board of Trustees Representative – Dr. Robert Rice

The BOT met at the University of Southern Maine on January 22 and 23.  A number of issues were discussed, the first being the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was approved.  Six institutions are involved.  Each is expected to contribute finances to the school.  By the second year it is expected that 15 students will be enrolled.  The school will be overseen by a Director who will report to Dan Sandweiss and the Provost.  The budget is modest for the first few years.  It has some very important features in that it allows us to move forward to garner NIH grants.

A Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering has been approved for USM.  The plans are for two years of teaching in that discipline, by professors from UMaine, and the money for those courses will come to this campus.

Elaine Clark was appointed Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance, she is currently Director of Bureau of General Services in Augusta.  She has excellent credentials.

There is a push for a Mathematics Readiness program similar to the Reading Readiness program. Many are complaining about students who are accepted into programs who do not have sufficient mathematics training in high school.  It has been proposed that system-wide standards are developed that are more vigorous than we have now.

On February 10 there will be a day-long retreat in Belfast (Hutchinson Center) for the system-wide strategic planning committees.  Our campus has submitted two reports on how it will comply with the SP recommendations.  UMS expects to have a completed plan by May.  Dozens of people on campus who are working on this.

Academic Affairs – Dr. Eric Peterson and Dr. Irving Kornfield

Dr. Peterson announced that there is now a folder on First Class for the University Teaching Council.  The council’s charter is posted in the folder.

The co-chair of the senate Academic Affairs committee will now sit on the UPCC Committee.  Dr. Peterson looks forward to increasing the collaboration between the UPCC and the Faculty Senate.

Dr. Robert White, Dean of the Division of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Education will be speaking to the senate at the March 1 meeting.  In particular the academic affairs committee wants him to address the impact of base budgeting on CED, scheduling courses. Also, the senate will send out a reminder to all faculty at the beginning of the semester about the mid-semester teaching evaluations.

There will be paper copies of the schedule of classes.  Every faculty member will receive 2 copies, 200  copies will be at the library and each departmental office will receive copies.

Constitution & Bylaws – Dr. Leonard Kass

The outline for the Faculty Handbook has been solidified.  All are encouraged to look at the sub-folder on the Faculty Senate folder.  Please contact Dr. Kass with any comments or suggestions.

University Environment – Dr. Sandy Caron and Dr. Amy Fried

The committee has produced a report which will be discussed under New Business.

Research & Public Service – Dr. Scott Johnson and Dr. Mick Peterson

Dr. Johnson gave the report.  The Graduate Mission of the University of Maine, particularly its doctoral mission is a key factor in differentiating the University of Maine from the other campuses in the system.  The research mission is another key factor.  Those two factors – research funding and graduate education – are what gives us the highest possible Carnegie classification as doctoral research intensive.  UMaine has produced all of the doctoral students in the system to date.  It attracts greater than 90% of the external grants and contracts to the system, a total of approximately 60 million dollars per year, up from 27 million in 1995.  Research and graduate education go hand in hand. The Faculty Senate Research and Public Service committee has set out this year to quantify the role played by doctoral students on campus.  We will soon be circultating a survey in which the committee will be asking faculty for examples of research papers, grant proposals, papers, books, and other scholarly products that are a direct result of the work of doctoral students.  We also want to know where our doctoral students have ended up after graduation, and the graduate school would like to know this as well.  We understand that Master’s students and undergraduate students make important contributions but wish to take this one piece at a time or we won’t be able to reach any conclusions is this senate time period.  We opted to start with doctoral students.  Faculty members in a doctoral program should take the time to complete this survey.

Committee on Committees – Dr. Stephen French Gilson (Dr. Gilson was absent)

The committee is looking for nominations to serve on two review committees: The Dean of Business, Public Policy & Health and the Dean of the Honors College.  Also, Dr. Evelyn Silver has asked for nominations for the search committee for the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

Library Advisory Committee – Dr. Dianne Hoff

The committee has met recently and is preparing a report which was requested in the response to the motion passed in November that would look at the library’s most critical needs.

Public Service and Outreach – Dr. Kathleen March

Dr. March opened by thanking all those who took part in the Tapas Bar Library Fundraiser.

The committee met last week and has looked at copies of promotion and tenure documents from all colleges with regard as to how service plays a role in the P&T process.  The committee is also preparing a short survey which will be mailed to all faculty regarding public service.

Finance and Institutional Planning – Dr. Todd Gabe

Dr. Gabe announced that on February 22, Vice President Waldron will give a budget presentation to all faculty who wish to attend.  It will be held from 1 to 3 pm at the main dining room at Stodder Hall.

Old Business:

None

New Business:

Dr. March read the following tribute to Dr. Horan.

Those who have been fortunate enough to know James Horan well know the truth to the statement that he is irreplaceable.  We all joke about the same things – about his constant references to his ethnicity – Irish, for those who weren’t aware -, to his uncle in the Vatican, to his – some of us would say well-chosen favorite baseball team -.  Many can tell stories about his preferences in food, cars, and administrators.  We may even have learned about some Maine and UMaine politics from the inside and been rather uncertain of Jim’s approach to keeping them on the straight and narrow.

But through the uncertainty and perhaps even the fear of following his lead, we usually saw the force behind his position.  It wasn’t the fact that he might call you at midnight to discuss his current plan after hours of rumination.  It wasn’t  his ability to maintain the style of the New York minute after decades of living in Maine.  And it wasn’t his ability to connect so many people and facts in his deliberations.  Instead, it was something else, something not linked to any of the characteristics just listed, but to the sense that, whatever his views, plans, or mode of action, Jim Horan followed his heart.  He believed that what he did and said were for the better good of a colleague, a college, or the institution.  He might tell you about the connections and knowledge he had which led him to his conclusions, but was to illustrate why we could trust him, that he was basing his words on real-life experience.

On the other hand, those who knew Jim well also know there was an exceptionally humble person inside him.  Humble and loyal.  He told you what he knew and how he’d come to know it in order to teach you the value of faithfulness to a cause.  And he was nothing if not faithful.  He will be remembered by many as true to an extreme to the faculty and that, we know, occasionally raised some hackles.  (Not that Jim was adverse to raising a few hackles, bless his heart.)  So often the positive resolution to an issue was achieved precisely because the hand of Horan helped craft a document, a position for senate to adopt, or maybe even struck the fear of the Yankee into the heart of one who might disagree with the position which always favored  an individual colleague or the faculty as a whole.

For many, James Horan was a mentor never to be forgotten.  He kept many of us on an even keel, would not let us off the hook when we wanted to dodge the issues or simply take the easy way out.  He stood by us as friend and, of course, as politician.  There are two final things I’d like to note in closing.  First: Often when trying to encourage us to fight the good fight, Jim used to talk about the “scars on his back” from similar battles in the past.  He wasn’t bragging.  He was letting us know we could survive and it was worth it.   And second, he was probably the only man who nowadays could use the medieval, politically incorrect phrase “I fell on my sword for you” to a woman and get away with it.  How many of us would do that for a colleague.

The University of Maine, like it or not, believe it or not, is a far better place because of four decades of Dr. James Horan as a faculty member, administrator, friend, for the sacrifices in health and spirit he unselfishly made, precisely for the sake of that good fight.

Dr. James McClymer read the following:

When Marie and I talked about doing something in the Senate for Jim Horan she thought about someone representing the Senate and someone representing AFUM; two big parts of the many parts of Jim Horan’s life.

I remembered Senate year 1, which was my first year at Maine. Some of my senate colleagues would say that we had to keep Jim Horan and AFUM off the Senate.

Who is this ogre Jim Horan and this horrible organization he represents I wondered?

I soon found out that Jim was no Ogre and the Senate and AFUM are not antagonistic, but are overlapping organizations. Every faculty member in the Senate is a member. Past, present and future AFUM leaders have been, are, and will be members of the senate.

What Jim recognized, and dedicated so much of himself to, was the role of faculty in the academy. He knew that wisdom and leadership were not solely vested in those that had chosen to leave the classroom, the lab or the field. He knew that faculty should play a major role in governing the University, for the betterment of the University and our mission. He actively worked towards this goal, playing leading roles in both the

Council of Colleges, the Senate and AFUM.  His contributions can not be overstated.

Jim truly valued the work faculty do. More than that he valued the people who are the faculty who do the work. He worked on our behalf, sometimes at the front of the stage, taking slings and arrows, and often behind the stage, helping people one on one.

We, those of us in this room today, and the entire UMaine community, today and tomorrow, are better off for Jim’s efforts.

The work Jim dedicated so much of himself to remains undone, and will always be unfinished. More of us just have to do more.

I am going to miss you Jim, and thank you.

Motion Recognizing the Contributions Made by Dr. James Horan – Read by Dr. Kathleen March

Whereas

Dr. James Horan, Professor of Public Administration, has served as a faculty member at the University of Maine since 1965 and has consistently shown his suppport for colleagues on an institutional, academic, and personal level

and whereas

Dr. Horan has served as both faculty member and administrator at this University while simultaneously serving in various capacities in Orono – including as its mayor for 7 years

and whereas

Dr. Horan, as evidence of his commitment to faculty and faculty governance issues, served as the first president of AFUM

and whereas

Dr. Horan was a founding member of the Council of Colleges – predecessor of the Faculty Senate – and also served numerous terms on the Faculty Senate at the University of Maine as well as serving as a member of its Executive Committee, including as Senate Parliamentarian

Be it resolved that

The Faculty Senate of 2005-2006 hereby recognizes Dr. James F. Horan for his many contributions to Faculty Governance at the University of Maine.

The motion was seconded.

A vote was called, the motion passed unanimously.

Environment Committee Report:  Evaluation of the Policy Initiative

Dr. Amy Fried gave a report from the Environment Committee of the Faculty Senate regarding the two Policy Studies Draft Proposals.

Environment Committee of the Faculty Senate Report on Two Policy Studies Draft Proposals

On November 30, the Faculty Senate asked the Senate’s Environment Committee to consider draft proposals for the development of a Graduate School of Public Policy and/or a Policy Studies Interdisciplinary Faculty Group. Draft proposals for these two approaches have been developed by a committee which has circulated these to some potential members of these proposed groups. That committee stated that there are 80-100 faculty currently doing some sort of policy research at UM. Thus, there is a rather large and diverse prospective membership.

The Environment Committee agrees that faculty with shared interests in public policy should work together to conduct research, apply for funds, serve policy-makers and the public, publish and otherwise present scholarly research, and teach students. There are myriad contributions such efforts can make to our university, faculty, students, and community.

However, we have concerns with the process that has been pursued and the impact of the flawed process on the ultimate success of this endeavor. Specific concerns include a lack of transparency and rigor, the exclusion of faculty from numerous, policy-related disciplines, and biases in the composition of the committee and in the departments and fields included.

These draft proposals include no evidence that committee members have used standard procedures for the development of degree programs, nor the employment of the typical mechanisms policy analysts use in assessing policy alternatives. Such procedures have been developed because they work to focus planners and to make sure that ideas undergo rigorous and careful review. As the literature of public policy concludes, inclusive and systematic processes for generating alternatives, weighing options, and determining how to proceed tend to lead to more effective results and elicit more active engagement by potential participants.

Furthermore, disciplinary and gender diversity were absent in the initial planning committee. Despite these fields’ policy emphases, no senior faculty members from disciplines that have many women faculty members, such as Education, Nursing, Women’s Studies, and Social Work were included. Thus, the committee composition was in direct conflict with the University of Maine Diversity Action Plan (2003-2005) which has the goal to “Strengthen graduate education by training leaders and practitioners to meet the changing needs of the State as the population ages through programs specific and interdisciplinary such as Social Work, Nursing, Education, Business, Women’s Studies, and the Center of Aging.” Nor were faculty included from the policy-related fields of Franco-American Studies, Native American Studies, and Disability Studies. No tenured or tenure track women were included.

We offer our comments, findings, and recommendations in the spirit of collegiality and shared governance. Greater coordination in the area of policy studies is indeed a worthy endeavor which should pursued. This can best be done when faculty work together in an open and inclusive manner and with careful and rigorous analysis of diverse models.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – FINDINGS

1. Improving coordination in policy studies at UM is a worthy goal. There are many ways this could be accomplished, with varied resource requirements.

2. The process for developing new policy studies endeavors has not yet defined what policy means, assessed costs and benefits, evaluated impacts on existing departments, or compared alternatives to models elsewhere.

3. The graduate school proposal has not yet considered accreditation requirements, resources, state needs, the market for degrees, likely focus areas or linkages with existing policy centers.

4. The development of these draft proposals for new policy studies endeavors has not included a diverse range of policy-related disciplines, has not included any tenured women faculty, and has excluded disciplines with relatively large numbers of women faculty.

5. The interdisciplinary policy faculty group (IFG) by-laws propose an IFG unlike other IFGs, in part because it has no history of previous collaborative work nor a coherent set of research interests. At the same time, the proposed policy IFG by-laws are exclusionary. Thus the bylaws do not seem to be consistent with Faculty Senate policy on the creation of IFGs.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – RECOMMENDATIONS

1. We recommend that the process begin anew with a full consideration of issues such as focus, membership, resources, and alternate approaches. We also recommend a more open and inclusive process, a wider array of disciplines, and greater gender diversity.

2. We recommend that the process for developing policy studies use the tools of policy analysis to generate, analyze and assess alternative organizational structures, and take account of the impact of alternatives on existing programs. The committee must define “policy” and recommend the entity’s administrative location.

3. We recommend discussion and analysis of various alternatives, including (but not limited to) using the Cohen and Smith Centers for international and domestic policy studies centers; the development of IFGs after a period of focused policy group self-organization and project work; and a competitive process to generate and fund policy workgroups.

4. We recommend that organizers conduct a detailed inventory of faculty involved in policy studies, to be aimed at classifying research foci.

5. We recommend that organizers work with the university’s legislative liaison and public affairs staff on a plan to enhance research-related links between faculty and government officials.

6. We recommend withholding approval for existing proposals and look forward to progress toward enhanced policy efforts.

Graduate School of Policy and International Studies (GSPIS)

The draft proposal for this graduate school lacks a detailed discussion of many of the elements that are normally examined to gain approval for graduate programs at UM. These include a consideration of necessary resources, an inventory of the skills presently on campus and the needed faculty with other skills, a consideration of accreditation requirements and market, and an assessment of how the UM program would fit with other graduate programs at the university and in the state. Since the College of Education receives no mention, it appears that the committee members see no role for it in this new graduate school. No rationale for its exclusion is included, a significant oversight when one considers the significant amount of graduate policy work already being done in the College of Education.

There is also little in the way of discussing whether there will be a particular focus for the proposed graduate school, nor a consideration of a core faculty with various focus areas. Accreditation requirements for graduate programs in public policy, as developed by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration include requirements for core faculty. Standard 5.0 reads:

There must be a faculty nucleus that accepts primary responsibility for the professional graduate program. This regular faculty should consist of a sufficient number of full-time faculty significantly involved with the program to support the set of teaching, research and service responsibilities appropriate to the size and structure of the program. In no case should this faculty nucleus be fewer than five (5) full-time persons. The institution should specify how each regular faculty member is involved in the teaching and related research and service aspects of the program. At least 50 percent of the courses offered in the curriculum as well as at least 50 percent of the courses covering the common curriculum components shall be taught by full-time faculty of the institution. [http://www.naspaa.org/]

The current draft proposal does not discuss how the graduate program will provide training in the accreditation agency’s core competence areas. Creating this program will clearly require new funds. Assigning five core faculty to the program will require new hires or the removal of existing faculty from their current departmental or college homes, undermining faculty members’ previous departments’ capacities. If the program is to be excellent, substantial new funds will be needed.

The draft proposal presents the Maxwell School (Syracuse University) as a model, but does not perform a rigorous and systematic analysis comparing the resources of that program to the resources available at UM.  Maxwell (http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/deans/faculty.asp) incorporates 145 faculty, including “eight Guggenheim Fellows, six American Council of Learned Societies

Fellows, 17 Fulbright Research Fellows, 12 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows, and one MacArthur Fellow.” The Muskie School, which might have provided another comparison, offers masters degrees in three focused areas: community planning and development, health policy and management, and public policy and management. It also offers a Ph.D. in public policy which requires core courses as well as focused course work. In our view, advocates of a graduate school at UM need to examine requirements for such a program much more carefully, a step which will better enable them to predict resource needs.

The draft proposal argues that the school “could generate considerable research money.” At the risk of stating the obvious, it is worth noting that granting agencies award research dollars to particular faculty members who demonstrate their expertise and track records and who have well-thought out plans of research. Funds do not come to policy schools because faculty are organized into named policy schools. However, the document never describes particular research projects which faculty would work on or their likely funding sources.

The assumption that creating a policy school will facilitate gaining grants is asserted, but there is no systematic assessment that establishes this is so. Nor does the draft proposal explore why and how other policy schools have gained grants. In fact, it is possible that an additional administrative structure will slow down and add costs to funded research. Furthermore, the redeployment of resources from existing programs may weaken certain departments and research programs, even imperiling graduate programs which currently support UM’s Carnegie Research I status. Without realistic dollar figures as to the costs of the program, a discussion of what departments will lose resources and the amount of resources they will lose, a cost-benefit analysis of these resource shifts, and a plan which explains the administrative location of the policy school, the plan remains too vague to be endorsed.

The committee should analyze the structures and resources at Muskie and elsewhere which facilitate gaining grants and should then modify the proposal to include these. Many faculty in the College of Education already engage in state-funded research which they share with the state legislature; furthermore, a staff member in Education’s Center for Research and Evaluation has worked both at Muskie and the Margaret Chase Smith Center. Such individuals should be consulted to illuminate how Muskie’s organizational structural facilitates their ability to secure state funding. In our opinion, Muskie has gained from cultivating relationships with elected and unelected state officials, relationships built on providing research for policy development and analysis. UM’s legislative liaison should be consulted regarding how UM might develop similar ties and should work with Public Affairs staff to enhance ties between faculty and officials.

More thought needs to go into explaining the policy school’s relationship with existing policy research entities, i.e., the Margaret Chase Smith Center and the Cohen Center. The proposal calls for raising money from a major donor who will have the opportunity to name the new policy school. Some of us question whether this makes sense during a time when the Cohen Center has not yet hired its first director and needs to enhance its funding and operations. There also appears to be duplication with UMS’s existing policy school. Before proceeding with planning, it would be prudent to craft arguments to be made to the UMS Board of Trustees and to the state legislature about why the University of Maine needs the same degree programs that already exist in the University of Maine System.

Interdisciplinary faculty group by-laws

Faculty Senate has also received draft by-laws from a proposed interdisciplinary policy studies faculty group. Existing interdisciplinary faculty groups have been focused around a bounded set of research interests considered from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Some examples include faculty groups in Neuroscience and in Quaternary and Climate Studies. The Faculty Senate policy which established faculty groups appears to have expected a certain level of focus. In already-established working groups, faculty worked together before forming themselves into this structure and, in many cases, faculty had already produced scholarly work and gained grant support. However, this proposed working group does not appear to have a history in working together on research, grants or teaching. The absence of such a history makes the proposed interdisciplinary faculty group (IFG) fundamentally different from other IFGs. The unique nature of this proposed IFG is associated with a lack of specificity regarding the particular research to be performed and grants to be sought.

While a very large number of faculty could be involved in a policy IFG, the draft by-laws appear to be rather exclusionary, with a series of gatekeepers posted to limit access to the IFG. Here we see a fundamental contradiction between a) the plan of an IFG with a rotating set of many faculty and b) an organizational structure which limits faculty access to group membership leadership and possibly resources. Furthermore, University of Maine policy states that “group members shall adopt bylaws” yet these bylaws have not come from a membership but from a committee which has not opened its deliberations nor decision-making to the large potential membership.

In addition, the draft by-laws avoid any substantive focus. According to Article IV.1. of the bylaws, “The Policy Studies Faculty shall consist of all full members of the Policy Studies Faculty.” It would be helpful to specify some policy areas, while also using inclusive language to signal that faculty with other policy interests may join. The one hundred or so faculty members currently identified as having some connection with public policy indeed have very diverse emphases. Following the example of myriad policy research centers across the country, the committee might decide to identify several clusters, such as health care, environment, or community development.

Since the IFG is supposed to cross disciplinary lines, a list of faculty organized by discipline does not adequately summarize potential faculty policy research activities. If a diversity of faculty are to be encouraged to join this IFG, these many substantive foci should be acknowledged and built into the structure. Gender exclusion, as with the Policy School proposal, remains a concern.

Several other issues remain to be addressed. First, the current proposal includes no prospective budget or a discussion of the resources of staff and funds that would be needed. Second, what is the role of the faculty and departments excluded from current process, including those with preexisting relationships with existing policy centers? Third, it is not clear what faculty would gain from developing an association with the IFG. Fourth, this proposal has not addressed the role of the Margaret Chase Smith and Cohen Centers, as well as other University of Maine research entities. Both Cohen and Smith Centers have their own external boards, community-based constituencies and financial supporters, but it is not clear if these have been consulted thus far. There is also no evidence that the committee has systematically considered whether one or both of those could be developed to serve as an umbrella for policy faculty.

Recommendations:

1. Increasing coordination in policy studies is a worthy goal which can be pursued in many ways. To best achieve this goal, we recommend that the process begin anew with a full consideration of issues such as focus, membership, resources, and alternate approaches. We also recommend a more open and inclusive process, a wider array of disciplines, and greater gender diversity.

2. We recommend that the process for developing enhanced policy studies use the tools of policy analysis. Under these procedures, participants start with defining their goals and then go on to consider alternatives. A definition of policy should be part of this initial phase. Along the way, there should be a rigorous and systematic examination of resources required for different approaches (and the resources to be redirected from existing programs) and a consideration of how alternatives are organized. The committee should use expertise to evaluate the models and their fit with UM resources. A standard cost-benefit analysis should be performed; this should compare all alternatives and should take account the impact of alternatives on existing programs. With regard to a policy graduate program, the committee should examine national accreditation requirements. Further information about faculty (see point 4) is also necessary.

3. We recommend discussion and analysis of multiple alternatives, including those listed below. After restarting the process, other organizational options will likely be proposed and these should also be examined. In addition, aspects of different models could be combined. One, a model in which the Margaret Chase Smith Center serves as the umbrella for state and national policy studies and the Cohen Center serves as the umbrella for international policy studies. The Smith Center’s existing Fellows and Scholars Program could be enhanced; the committee should consider what the Smith and Cohen Centers need to grow their capacities.

Two, faculty with shared policy interests and expertise can join together to write grants and conduct research. After faculty in such self-organized groups discover if their collaborations are successful, they may put themselves forward as an IFG. This approach uses the IFG system as it was intended by Faculty Senate.

Three, a model such as the one proposed by Dean Leffler of CLAS in which UM, by providing small amounts of seed money, encourages a plethora of policy workgroups to convene and develop ideas for extramural funding proposals and/or joint research in specific policy areas. Seed money could be used for an all-day retreat, group travel to a national meeting on the topic, a visit to a funding agency, or soliciting the help of an outside expert. In order to inspire the greatest number of ideas, the number of groups should not be limited early on. But if funding can cover only a small number of groups, they could be selected via a competitive process somewhat like the MAPIs but requiring only a one to two page proposal.

These three alternatives have the virtues of incrementalism; that is, they require modest changes, use existing structures and policies, and do not necessitate redeploying resources. Each can be enhanced by creating a development staff position to be devoted to grant assistance for faculty involved in policy studies of some sort.

4. We recommend that organizers conduct a more detailed inventory of individuals at UM who are involved in policy studies to determine their involvement in various levels of policymaking and the particular focus of their research. This inventory will determine: a) who is actively involved with state agencies in doing state level policy research, b) who is interested in pursuing other state policy research, c) who is involved with national level policy research, and d) who is involved in international policy research. The inventory will also help determine some substantive clusters around which the policy school or group should be organized. This approach is consistent with that followed elsewhere, including at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and other nationally recognized policy schools.

5. We recommend that organizers work with the university’s legislative liaison and public affairs staff on a plan to enhance links between faculty and government officials. Providing policy-related research to officials demonstrates UM’s contributions to the community and builds productive relationships, leading to funding opportunities and a greater understanding of the University’s tripartite land grant mission and accomplishments.

6. We recommend withholding approval for existing proposals and look forward to progress toward enhanced policy efforts. Further analysis and information-gathering, along the lines sketched in this report, should go into consequent proposals which might be submitted for comment and approval.

In closing, we applaud the ad-hoc policy committee for working toward a shared goal of greater coordination and development of policy studies at UM. We appreciate the work they have put into this endeavor. Together we can craft structures and programs that will serve the University of Maine and its many communities.

Options for Public Policy at the University of Maine

1. Maintain status quo with existing policy studies centers and graduate programs, making sure that such programs can not only maintain accreditation but flourish. Create closer ties between existing faculty and consumers of policy information in the state, including state legislators.

2. Faculty organize new interdisciplinary groups around shared policy research, writing grants to support research costs.

3. Faculty and departments propose new graduate programs with emphases on public policy, using standard procedures to describe the market for degrees and needed costs and resources.

4. University administrators organize a series of competitions to support researchers with common policy research. Funds are to be used for seed money.

5. University administrators organize a large interdisciplinary policy faculty group and appoint initial leadership of faculty group. [Currently unclear how it would be decided which faculty would be included, the extent to which faculty engage in joint research projects, to what extent membership and leadership would shift over time and whether seed money and other resources would be available.]

6. Existing policy centers develop stronger connections with each other and with faculty across campus. Margaret Chase Smith Center’s proposal for enhancing their Fellows and Scholars Program and for creating a locale for policy work on campus is a model for this approach. Cohen Center to develop programs and staff and work with other centers, such as the Canadian-American Center, which are involved in international efforts.

7. Develop a new policy center emulating national centers such as the Maxwell School, with new graduate programs in international and domestic policy. Hire sufficient faculty to have five core faculty members, other faculty with joint appointments, and adjuncts with practical policy experience. Provide core policy courses requires under accreditation and determine policy focus areas to be offered to graduate students. Fund new faculty with start-up packages and initial administrative costs. For international policy degrees, match requirements to nationally recognized programs, including requirements for high language proficiency. Increase hiring faculty in languages (specific languages to be determined based on international area foci chosen). Determine degree of overlap with and distinct niches in relationship to the Muskie Center and map strategy for gaining approval for new policy center from the Board of Trustees and explaining its importance to interested publics and public officials.

Dr. Fried stated that two months ago the Faculty Senate had asked the Environment Committee to review two draft documents that have been developed. One is a Proposal for a Graduate School of Policy Studies and one is a set of proposed Bylaws for interdisciplinary faculty groups.

The most basic summary of the reports would be that the goal of building greater relationships and work groups of common research across campus when it comes to policy studies is a very important and worthy goal.  The committee also concludes that there are many different ways to go about doing that and therefore would like to encourage the policy committee to engage in further specifications and analysis.

Going through the report, we see there are issues related to process.  The report notes that when there is an open and inclusive process, it is more likely to produce better participation and results.

Ann Schonberger stated that after hearing more discussion she would like to make a motion to include the Environment Committee’s report at the public forums that will be held regarding the Public Policy Draft.

Stephen Marks moved that the report be included in the meeting minutes.  The motion was seconded.

Dean Astumian pointed out that it was early for a set of bylaws for a school that has not yet been formed and is in fact in the preliminary stage of development.

Kathleen March noted that the report would be automatically included in senate minutes, as all committee reports are included in the minutes.  At this point the motion to include the report was removed from the floor.

Ann Schonberger then moved that the Environment Committees Report be included in any public forums held by the Public Policy Committee, the motions was seconded.

Alan Rosenwasser also felt that copies of the report be sent to all members of the Public Policy Initiative Group.

Kathleen March then read the motion, which would be that the report be sent to the Provost, Chair and members of the Public Policy Initiative Group and also be made available to members of the university community who attend the public forums.

A vote was called.  32 for, none opposed, one abstention.

Presentation by Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dr. Susan Hunter

Dr. Hunter presented two items to the senate.  The first was regarding final exams and the grading period.  The current policy is that final grades are due five days after the last class if there is no final exam or five days after the final exam is given.  Some faculty declare that they are giving a final exam, when in fact they are not, in order to give themselves some extra time for grading or to use the final exam week for final projects, presentations, etc.  This is referred to as the “Phantom Final”.  Dr. Hunter said that she feels this is a decision which should be left to the faculty member.  The problem arises when rooms are assigned to final exams which in reality do not exist.  There is a computer program which searches out and identifies final exam conflicts for students.  In consultation with Tammy Light, we are proposing a slight change.  They are proposing that the deadline for grades will be the day after New Year’s day.  Currently the only people who should be turning in grades that late are the faculty who give final exams on the Friday before break.  This will now give everyone more time and no one less time.  This statement was met with a loud round of applause.  Dr. Hunter requested that faculty please submit grades as soon as they are ready, not to wait for the last minute deadline, and to try to utilize the on-line grading system that is in place for use.  They had 49% of faculty use on-line grading successfully for the fall semester and some units had close to 70% usage of the service.  Using the on-line grading also gives students access to their final grade must faster.  If the faculty members’ plans change and they decide not to offer a final exam, please notify the Office of Student Records.

The second issue pertains to snow storms during final exams.  If we have a bad storm during final exam week, there is a process to follow.  The proposal is to change the time periods a bit during finals week in the fall semester.  As it stands now final exams run from 8 am to 6 pm.  We are proposing to run from 9:30 in the morning to 7:30 in the evening.  The reason being is that if a student feels it is unsafe to come to campus because of a storm, or faculty who feel it is unsafe to drive, it is difficult to get word to a departmental office at 8 in the morning to change the time of a final (most offices do not open until 8 am, which forces a student to drive to campus not knowing whether or not the final has been cancelled).  By shifting the final exam period to start at 9:30, the offices can let the student phone in before they make the trip to campus.  Dr. Hunter asked for faculty feedback regarding this proposal. She also said that the “Phantom Finals” may come into play with this decision as if a lot of finals are eliminated the finals week could be shortened, theoretically.

A motion to adjourn was made and seconded.

Meeting ended at 4:30 pm.

 


Back to 2005-2006

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