FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
MARCH 1, 2006
Present: James Acheson, Dean Astumian, Shari Baxter, Richard Borgman, Emmanuel Boss, Karen Boucias, Mary Brakey, Sandy Caron, Elaine Clark, Laura Cowan, John Daigle, Sue Estler, Amy Fried, Robert Gundersen, Ludlow Hallman, William Halteman, Susan Hunter, Marie Hayes, Dianne Hoff, Karen Horton, George Jacobson, Mel Johnson, Scott Johnson, Leonard Kass, Robert Kennedy, Dennis King, Irving Kornfield, David Lambert, Michael Mack, John Mahon, James McClymer, Eric Peterson, Mick Peterson, Robert Rice, Alan Rosenwasser, Linda Rottman, Daniel Sandweiss, Ann Schonberger, Michael Scott, Evelyn Silver, Claire Strickland, James Toner, Janet Waldron, Stephanie Welcomer, Elaine White, Robert White.
Absent: Aria Amirbahman, Eisso Atzema, Robert Bayer, Carla Billitteri, Richard Blanke, Tony Brinkley, Rodney Bushway, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Alan Cobo-Lewis, Dorothy Croall, Marcia Davidson, Rapael DiLuzio, James Gilbert, Stephen Gilson, Alexander Grab, Michael Greenwood, Nancy Hall, John Jemison, Deborah Killam, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, David Kotecki, Kathleen March, Stephen Marks, Jessica Miller, Harlan Onsrud, Paul Rawson, Denise Skonberg, Kathryn Slott, Touradj Solouki, Stellos Tavantzis, Roy Turner, Beth Wiemann.
The Meeting was call to order at 3:15 pm.
The Minutes from the February 1, 2006 meeting were approved.
President Marie Hayes gave opening remarks. Marie reminded the senators that there would be a Public Policy forum and encouraged members to attend. She thanked Dean Dan Innis for his assistance with the meetings. She also referenced a mid-semester course review form that is being handed out at the meeting. As the Faculty Senate President she is requesting that faculty make use of the mid-semester review form and wanted those remarks in the minutes. Marie also stated that Dr. Elsa Núñez, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the University of Maine System, will be speaking at the April 5 senate meeting. Marie encouraged any members of the senate to contact the senate office if they are members of any Strategic Planning committee.
Vice President Janet Waldron introduced Elaine Clark, the new Associate Vice President for Finance. VP Waldron said she was extremely pleased to welcome Elaine, who attended Mt. Holyoke College, Western New England School of Law and most recently was Director of the Bureau of General Services for the State of Maine where she was responsible for more that two million dollars of property and one hundred million in purchasing contracts.
Marie thanked VP Waldron for the presentation she gave to faculty members the previous week. Janet also stated that there will be other open forums regarding the budget.
A question was asked about the peer institutions subject. Dr. Kennedy stated that they were going to ask the Strategic Plan committee to look into it. Dr. Kass stated that in the Executive Committee meeting VP Mahon stated that he will work closely with the Faculty Senate to establish criteria for the peer institutions study.
Marie Hayes asked President Kennedy about the Strategic Planning meeting in Belfast, the summary for the university and our campus. Dr. Kennedy said that over 200 people attended. They looked at each of the Directions. Each direction had from 5 to 20 issues. One exercise was to rank these issues. Each of the three groups tended to prioritize the same issues. The unwritten conclusion was that there are only so many issues that can be focused on at any one time. He was encouraged by the outcome. Marie asked about the system’s effort to centralize functions. Dr. Kennedy said that to say that there is concern among the campuses regarding THESIS and the centralization issue, would be an understatement. The presidents have talked about it and he has spoken to the chair of the BOT. His perspective is that the seriousness of the issue was not understood by the BOT. On March 9 there will be a meeting regarding this. There will be a letter from some of the campus presidents asking that this part of the plan be slowed down to allow us to study the impact of THESIS.
BOT Representative — Dr. Robert Rice
The Board of Trustees will meet at the end of March at UMPI. There is no formal agenda at this time. When he receives the agenda he will notify members if there is anything critical. It has become increasingly clear that at some point this campus will put together a series of priorities and a list of peer institutions that we will be measured against, both relational peers and aspirational peer institutions. We will get that to the system through the President and Provost. It is important that we participate in this effort.
Academic Affairs — Dr. Eric Peterson and Dr. Irving Kornfield
Dr. Kornfield began by referencing a motion passed by the senate in 1999 which compelled the Faculty Senate President to encourage faculty to utilize a mid-semester evaluation course review. Dr. Kornfield has samples of these evaluations for handouts. A survey has been sent to faculty regarding the evaluation form which will be sent to the UTC. The survey is to provide recommendations on the evaluation form. The UTC has also contacted all second semester freshmen who received a GPA of 2.5 or better in their first semester here and asked them to identify an educator or counselor here who was influential in their decision to attend the University. Those identified will receive a letter from the UTC acknowledging their impact on these students.
Dr. Peterson reported on the Academic Affairs committee which had met the previous week. The meeting focused on CED and the impact of base budgeting. Dr. Robert White is here today to address the senate about CED. They discussed the UPCC and the process of submitting/changing courses and difficulties faculty are experiencing. Dr. Hunter attended the academic affairs committee meeting and was very helpful. There has also been further observation of the final exam schedule and the concept of rotating final exam times, as some classes have had the same final exam time for many years in a row. The committee thought the idea had merit and told Dr. Hunter that it would be discussed at the senate meeting. Dr. Peterson asked if any in attendance had any comments on rotating the final exam schedule. There were no comments on the plan.
Constitution & Bylaws — Dr. Leonard Kass
The outline of the new Faculty Handbook has been posted in the Faculty Senate folder. It is a rough draft at this point. If anyone has any comments, please contact Dr. Kass. All faculty senators will be asked to vote on this in an upcoming meeting.
University Environment — Dr. Amy Fried and Dr. Sandy Caron
The committee is still working on several subjects, right now family and work issues. Dr. Caron and Dr. Fried will be meeting with VP Waldron regarding work assignments.
Research & Public Service — Dr. Scott Johnson and Dr. Mick Peterson
Dr. Peterson gave the report. The committee has distributed the survey about PhD graduates here at the university to all doctoral granting departments. The survey was initially sent to all deans for input, then to all graduate coordinators in those departments. They have received four replies at this time. The committee members will be contacting the departments to urge them to reply. They want responses from PhD advisors. The survey’s purpose is to quantify the effect these graduates have on the State of Maine.
Finance & Institutional Planning — Dr. Todd Gabe
Dr. William Halteman gave the report. FIP met with Anita Wihry of Facilities Management, who gave a presentation on what they are doing regarding conservation and deferred maintenance. The committee would like Wihry to present at senate next year.
Committee on Committees — Dr. Stephen French Gilson
Dr. Gilson was unable to attend. Dr. Hayes reminded the senate members about the upcoming elections for Vice President/President Elect, Secretary, the BOT Representative and the five members of the Committee on Committees. She encouraged members to consider running for these positions.
Library Advisory Committee — Dr. Dianne Hoff
Dr. Hoff will be meeting before the next senate meeting. They are looking at some issues regarding the journal collection.
Service & Outreach Committee — Dr. Kathleen March
Dr. David Lambert gave the report as Dr. March was in Honduras.
The committee met with Vice Chancellor Elsa Níñez to get her views on what this campus’ responsibility should be toward service and outreach for the community. Dr. Núñez said that there is still a perception with some members of the legislature that faculty work 10 hours a week and then go home. There could certainly be more public awareness about what the faculty do to contribute to the campus and local communities. The committee has sent out a survey to all departments regarding their P&T criteria and whether public service is a factor in these decisions. The point of this survey is not to change departments’ processes, but to find out who is doing what.
Another issue discussed with the Vice Chancellor is the creation of a repository of information about what members of the campus community are doing in the public service realm. It would be available for various groups on campus as well as the system office to be able to point to and show what members of the community are involved in.
No Old Business
Dr. Robert White, Associate Provost and Dean of Lifelong Learning, was invited by the Academic Affairs committee to give a presentation. Dr. White stated that thirty sections of classes offered by Continuing Education this year have been taught by members of the Faculty Senate and he thanked those people for their work. He said that the Continuing Education, Distance Education is not the same as the Division of Lifelong Learning. Dr. White provided those present with a copy of the organizational chart for the DLL. All the units in the DLL serve annually over 90,000 people. Someone asked Dean White how all these disparate units came to rest under one entity, and Bob explained that these departments were sort of “leftovers”, yet the unit functions in a very intergrated manner. The extramural activity of this past year was just under $1 million. The division was established in 1996. Dr. White reviewed the enrollment trends over the last ten years.
Sixteen percent of enrolled students this semester are registered for 3 credits or less. Twenty five percent of students are registered for 6 credits or less, 31% are registered for 9 credits or less, 42% in 12 or less, and 53 percent in 13 or more credits. Many students are now attending on a part-time basis. CED is accommodating this population. Since 1996 the enrollment in CED courses has increased by 170% in the fall semester and 270% in the spring semester. In the spring of 1997 there were 1,973 registrations through CED, this spring there were 8, 194. CED offers access to a large number of students.
CED’s summer sessions have been the largest in the history of the University in the past three years. The summer of 2006 they had over 6,500 students, summer of 2005 over 6,900 students. Eighty percent of students taking summer courses are UMaine students. UMaine students are taking advantage of summer coursework in order to finish degrees, most of the courses offered in the summer session are junior, senior and graduate level courses. Twenty-four percent of the total credit hours generated annually at the university are attributed to the DLL. Ten percent of all credit hours can be attributed to distance education. Over a thousand contracts are issued to faculty annually.
Over the last couple of years, with more on-line courses being offered, we are seeing more students going home for the summer and still taking an on-line course from UMaine, when normally that student may have enrolled at their local institution. There are seven undergraduate certificate programs offered through DLL.
The Hutchinson Center is truly a success story. Registrations at the Belfast center have increased by 275 per cent over the last five years. It is now becoming very much a graduate off-campus center, with 45% of the registrations at FHC from graduate programs offered there.
Dean White also pointed out the success of the Camden Conference, the Pop Tech Conference and the new partnership with the Camden Film Festival.
Another project being developed by DLL is the University of Maine Academ-E, which will offer 14 college courses to high school seniors in the state.
In 2003 the CED Winter Session was eliminated. This caused a 25% cut in instructional and administrative budgets. Funds saved from elimination of winter session were earmarked for the university’s section project, unveiled in the Fall of 2003, which began offering 200 additional sections of courses so that students who arrived for orientation left campus with a full load of courses. By virtue of the Provost’s office taking management of the project, we have had 254 class sections offered through the project. DLL has advocated for faculty compensation for many years.
Discussion followed regarding class size for summer courses.
President Hayes summarized the discussion by stating that the senate would appreciate being informed when policies change regarding class size for summer classes. This was agreeable to the senate.
Presentation by Dr. George Jacobson, Professor of Quaternary Biology
History of MEIF Funding at UMaine
Dr. Jacobson opened by reminding the senators that it was ten years ago that the first public expression came from the “Faculty Five” Dr. David Smith, History, Dr. Steve Norton from Earth Sciences, Dr. George Markowsky from Computer Science, Dr. Mac Hunter from Wildlife Ecology and myself, and the group had decided to mount a public campaign to help the Legislature and the people of the State of Maine realize the importance of this institution to the state and to begin to make investments in the university. They wrote an op-ed for the Bangor Daily News, which then-editor Mark Woodward ran in the Saturday edition.
A third of the senators in attendance today were here on campus at the time. By the end of 1995 the university had had nine budget cuts in six years, which meant three came during the fiscal year. We lost 500 positions on this campus, 150 faculty. When the data were collated, they found that at the time of UMaine’s budget cuts, other campuses in the system had actually increased positions. As the elected officials came to understand the problems faced by UMaine, the legislators began to take the budget crisis here seriously. After doing research on what other states were spending on their land grant institutions, they realized that our state needed to be investing at least $20 million more per year in order to bring us up to what our peer institutions were doing.
When the new legislature was voted in with Mark Lawrence and Rep. Mike Michaud as head of appropriations, with the help of Mary Cathcart, Dr. Jacobson had conversations with both regarding funding for UMaine. That began a 4 year process to have specific money to be targeted for our campus. Mark Lawrence created an ad-hoc R&D committee that Mary Cathcart chaired with Rick Bennett. Within a couple of years MEIF was created. The attitude of the legislature changed considerably during this time.
About six years ago the legislature started putting money into the Maine Economic Improvement Fund, with money targeted for R&D. The legislators decided to keep the money separate from funds given to the UMS. That led to this fund.
We are nearing $100 million dollars in external funding. With this growth come concerns about who gets what funding, and who doesn’t. Part of our effort as a community is to work together to make sure that as much as possible, support each other and spread around the new resources that become available. There are ways that we can enhance our budget, such as the indirect cost recovery. If we get to 100 or 120 million in external funding, what we have in tens of millions of dollars of indirect cost recovery. This money should be used by all departments on campus.
A question was asked whether the legislature is still being kept informed of the scholarship occurring on campus. Dr. Jacobson said that we still bring legislators to campus, and are still active in promoting UMaine.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:15.