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2006-2007 - April 4, 2007

Faculty Senate Minutes

April 4, 2007

Present: Aria Amirbahman, Richard Blanke, Emmanuel Boss, John Daigle, Sue Estler, Alaric Faulkner, Jacques Ferland, Gail Garthwait, James Gilbert, Michael Greenwood, William Halteman, Brandon Hartt, Karen Horton, Mel Johnson, Scott Johnson, Leonard, Kass, Irving Kornfield, David Kotecki, David Lambert, Kathleen March, Jim McClymer, Ngo Vinh Long, Harlan Onsrud, Tina Passman, Mick Peterson, Gregory Porter, Bob Rice, Linda Rottmann, Ann Schonberger, Kathryn Slott, Allan Smith, Touradj Solouki, Edna Szymanski, Shihfen Tu, Stephanie Welcomer, Beth Wiemann, David Wihry.

Absent: Jim Acheson, Carla Billitteri, Tony Brinkley, Rodney Bushway, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Alan Cobo-Lewis, Laura Cowan, Dorothy Croall, Marcia Davidson, Eugene Delvecchio, Raphael DiLuzio, Duane Hanselman, Dianne Hoff, Cary Jenson, Deborah Killam, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Roger Merchant, Jessica Miller, Howard Patterson, Paul Rawson, Alan Rosenwasser, Michael Scott, Denise Skonberg, Stellos Tavantzis, Vivian Wu.

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

President Kass opened the meeting by announcing that President Kennedy had approved the guidelines for the Program Creation Reorganization Review. He thanked both the president and Provost Szymanski for their assistance in developing the policy.

The minutes from the February 28 meeting were approved.

Committee Reports:

Board of Trustees Representative – Bob Rice

The BOT met on March 18 & 19 at UMF. They did not have a quorum due to the weather, so met again on the 23rd and approved all of the tenure nominations from this campus. Two of our senators were approved for tenure, Dianne Hoff and William Halteman. The BOT ratified a policy of shared governance. Spring head count for 2007 is 11,003 students, up 208 students from 2006 at this time. The number of faculty on this campus is 623. Of those 402 are tenured, an additional 100 are eligible for tenure, 121 are not eligible for tenure.

Academic Affairs – Dr. Irving Kornfield, Dr. Aria Amirbahman

Dr. Kornfield stated that the committee has a motion on the approval of the student evaluation form on today’s agenda.

Constitution & Bylaws – Dr. James Gilbert

No report.

University Environment – Stephanie Welcomer

They are looking at alliances between different groups on campus. They are working with sustainable resource groups on campus. They have looked at energy costs since 1990, and are looking at decreasing our carbon footprint.

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

Dr. Johnson pointed out materials that had been distributed to senators electronically. One is a review of University Institutional Level Rankings, and the other was clarification of procedures for directors and members of research units. Dr. Eckardt welcomes input from faculty regarding this document.

Finance & Institutional Planning – Dr. William Halteman

No report.

Library Advisory Committee – Dr. Touradj Soulouki (for Hoff)

The committee met last month. The committee encourages all faculty to take the survey that the library has sent out to everyone. They are exploring the development of sponsored collections. They are looking at an internal digital repository for faculty publications. They are looking at model systems and will have more details in the future.

Service & Outreach Committee – Dr. Kathleen March

The committee is continuing to work on compiling information for its final report.

Program Creation & Reorganization Review Committee – Dr. David Wihry

The committee is in the process of being formed, and Dr. Wihry expects them to meet next week.

Committee on Committees – Dr. Mike Greenwood

The committee is forming a search committee for the Director of the School of Nursing.

Discussions with Administrators

Dr. Kass began the discussion by asking if the university is planning on increasing the student body size by more than 1,000 students. Dr. Szymanski said they weren’t talking several thousand, but they are studying growth patterns in majors and growth patterns in the economy, and looking at potentials from investments from the state. It is a fairly large scale effort to gather data. They know which units have the most out-of-state students and similar information. The administration will talk to the faculty once it has enough information to form a conversation.

A question was asked regarding PeopleSoft and the various complaints regarding extra staff being hired, more work involved in processing, etc. The Provost said that this is common across the country. It takes a lot to adapt to a new system. Dr. Waldron said that we are nearing the end and as people learn to use the whole system it will become faster and easier. It will take a few years to fully realize the benefits of the new system. The team on campus is doing everything it can to make this transition easier on employees. This includes time and efforts reports for grants and also the admissions process, which was overwhelmed this year by the amount of applications that came into the shared processing center.

New Business:

Motion to Approve the 2007-2008 Academic Calendar

The Faculty Senate approves and recommends the adoption of the 2007-2008 Academic Calendar.

A friendly amendment was made to remove the “and recommends the adoption of” from the motion. Agreed.

The motion passed.

Motion to Approve Revised Student Evaluation of Teaching Form.

The Faculty Senate recommends that the revised Student Evaluation of Teaching form (SET) replace the old version of the SET for those colleges, departments, units, etc., that continue to use the old SET form.

Dr. Kornfield introduced the motion. He noted the error that info to be used in P&T decisions. (see p. 3 “The info you provide…” paragraph) A series of committees attempted to revise the form. Faculty Senate charged Academic Affairs to work on the issue, and this committee in turn charged the University Teaching Council to work on the form. There is opportunity to insert further questions. Reference was made to the School of Engineering Technology and its form. This is not an attempt to replace their form, but it is a recommendation that units consider adapting this new SET instead of the old one.

Harland Onsrud commented that he thought the form is excellent and the best he’s seen. However, he encouraged members to vote against the form unless the word “legibly” is added to the instructions which the instructor reads to the students…”unless you sign the form legibly”. A signature is not valid unless it provides identity. If we don’t add this word, we are promoting an unethical practice.

Dr. Onsrud moved that the word LEGIBLY be added, as a friendly amendment. This was seconded. A voted was called, 28 in favor, 2 opposed, no abstentions.

A question was asked why the signature line was removed from the form. The removal of the line was discussed and agreed upon at the elected members meeting.

The motion was then put back on the table. A vote was taken. The motion passed.

Motion to Ensure Security for Faculty Members entering Data in the Electronic Faculty Profile Database System

Scott Johnson introduced the motion for the Executive Committee which represents all of the standing committees of the senate. Dr. Johnson read the preamble and the motion:

The University of Maine is preparing to implement an electronic Faculty Profile Database System near the end of this academic year (spring, 2007). This web-based system will be used by all faculty members at the University of Maine for annual reporting purposes.

This system evolved from a report by the University Research Council’s sub-committee on Research and Scholarship Measures. The Research Council’s sub-committee report was presented to the full Faculty Senate by Dr. Shannon Martin on November 16, 2005.

From Senate Minutes, November, 2005:

“Dr. Shannon Martin, Chair of the Scholarship Measure Committee of the University Research Council

President Hayes introduced Dr. Martin. Dr. Martin has been working on a sub-committee of the University Research Council to develop a university-wide set of procedures to measure our creative activity which is inclusive of all disciplines. Dr. Martin distributed copies of a report that has been produced by the sub-committee (a copy of the report is available upon request).

She began by describing the committee and its inception. It was organized in January 2005 and was charged with reporting the scholarship measures, research products and creative outcomes thought to meet the standards of our academic faculty at this university. The committee finished its work in April. She gave an outline of their progress and the kinds of work which fell into different categories.”

Following the subcommittee’s work, there were many months of meetings with stakeholders around campus, which generated additional input and ideas. In planning and development the electronic reporting process, the goal was to make the database as inclusive as possible, so that all faculty members would have an opportunity to highlight their work, and so that stakeholders could tap the information for various purposes (development office, media, institutional research, etc).

Because the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture had been using and continually improving an electronic reporting system for several years, a decision was made to use that system as a platform upon which to develop a university-wide system. NSFA faculty completed their FY2006 annual reports using the new, expanded system as a pilot project, and work over the past year has gone into using that experience to refine and debug the system.

In addition, this semester (spring, 2007) the system was made available to Deans, Associate Deans, Faculty Senate Executive Committee members, and many others on campus in order to conduct one final round of modifications before initial launch. Many additional modifications have been made as a result.

Each department and college will have a Unit Administrator who will have access to their unit’s data and be able to generate a variety of reports from it (this feature is still in the process of being refined). The senior administrative leaders at UM, and other designated entities, will have administrative access to all of the information in the system.

No doubt there will be additional modifications to the system over the next few years in order to fully satisfy the range of faculty activities. However, the one question that the Senate Executive Committee felt needed to be resolved now was the issue of data security in the following sense. Each faculty member is solely responsible for the content of their own annual reports, and under no circumstances should any entries in a faculty member’s report be altered without that person’s approval. In addition, a statement to this effect should accompany any instructional text associated with the database so that it is not lost across administrative generations.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee proposes the following motion to address this issue.


The accuracy of data entered into the Faculty Profile Database System is the sole responsibility of each individual faculty member. Clarification or correction of possible errors can be requested by any who view a faculty member’s data entries. However, editing of, and correction to, any entries can only be done by the faculty member, or by a person who has been authorized in writing by the faculty member. A statement to this effect should be included in any instructional material accompanying the database system.

A vote was called. The motion passed, with 1 abstention.

Senator McClymer asked if the voting process could be shortened, and it was indicated that this can be accomplished by a statement of “hearing no objection” from the President.

Old Business: There was no old business.

Dr. Kass then called everyone’s attention to the slate of nominees for officers of the senate next year, noting that others may still be added if desired:

Dr. Dianne Hoff Vice President/President Elect

Dr. Kathleen March Secretary

Dr. Robert Rice Board of Trustees Representative

A motion was made to adjourn.

It was seconded.

Meeting adjourned at 4:35 pm.


Back to 2006-2007

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