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2006-2007 - December 14, 2006

Faculty Senate Minutes

DECEMBER 13, 2006

Present: Aria Amirbahman, Shari Baxter, Richard Blanke, Emmanuel Boss, Tony Brinkley, Dorothy Croall, Marcia Davidson, Sue Estler, Jacques Ferland, Amy Fried, Gail Garthwait, James Gilbert, William Halteman, Karen Horton, Sue Hunter, Dan Innis, Mel Johnson, Scott Johnson, Leonard Kass, Robert Kennedy, Adam Kirkland, Irv Kornfield, David Lambert, Kathleen March, James McClymer, Roger Merchant, Ngo Vinh Long, Kenneth Nichols, Harlan Onsrud, Tina Passman, Mick Peterson, Gregory Porter, Robert Rice, Alan Rosenwasser, Dan Sandweiss, Ann Schonberger, Michael Scott, Kathryn Slott, Allan Smith, Touradj Solouki, Edna Mora Szymanski, Shihfen Tu, Janet Waldron, Beth Wiemann, David Wihry.

Absent: Jim Acheson, Carla Billitteri, Rodney Bushway, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Alan Cobo-Lewis, Laura Cowan, John Daigle, Eugene DelVecchio, Raphael DiLuzio, Michael Greenwood, Duane Hanselman, Dianne Hoff, Cary Jenson, Deborah Killam, Dorothy Kliis-Zacas, David Kotecki, Jessica Miller, Howard Patterson, Paul Rawson, Stellos Tavantzis, Vivian Wu.

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

Dr. Leonard Kass opened the meeting.

Dr. Kass stated that a student has been hired to archive Faculty Senate minutes. Electronic copies will be made and posted to a First Class folder.

Committee Reports:

Dr. Robert Rice – Board of Trustees Representative

The BOT will meet in January, there is no report today.

Dr. Aria Amirbahman & Dr. Irv Kornfield – Academic Affairs

The UTC sub-committee on assessment has been meeting. They will have a document to present hopefully at the February Faculty Senate meeting.

The Academic Affairs committee met with Sue Hunter and Ken White on updates on policy changes that will affect grading. We will no longer have a grade of “W”. There will no longer be a career GPA. From now on all work done at the undergraduate level will show the total GPA, whether they do one Bachelor’s degree or two. The committee has two motions to be presented today.

Dr. James Gilbert – Constitution & Bylaws

There will be a motion to amend the bylaws of the senate presented at the January meeting. Everyone has been given a copy of the amendment.

Dr. Amy Fried – University Environment

The committee presented comments on the final report of the policy school. They requested clarification on academic programs. They have been informed that that part hasnot been approved yet. The work/family policsy continues to be addressed. Issues includs teaching duties after the birth of a child, etc. They are still in the stage of gathering information. Dr. Fried will be moving to the position of Associate Research Dean for the college of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Even though Dr. Fried has enjoyed working on the senate, she will no longer be able to serve as chair of this committee.

Dr. Kass thanked Dr. Fried for her many years of service to the Faculty Senate.

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

The committee continues to work on the institutional benchmarking document that has been shown to the executive committee.

Dr. William Halteman – Finance & Institutional Planning

The committee met last week and continues discussions on budget issues, structural deficits and financial benchmarking as to how other institutions spend their dollars.

Dr. Dianne Hoff – Library Advisory Committee

Dr. Emmanuel Boss gave the report. The committee has met and decided to look at something the Research & Public Service committee has touched upon: ranking of universities as pertains to their research library. There is a definite correlation between the ranking of the university and the ranking of its library.

Dr. Kathleen March – Service & Outreach Committee

Dr March stated the committee has met. They continue to plan for an informational day and hope that all can attend.

Dr. Michael Greenwood – Committee on Committees

The committee needs one person to serve on the Cultural Affairs committee. The committee also needs a faculty senator to serve on the Campus Planning committee.

Questions for Administrators:

Dr. Kass asked the Provost about her request for people to serve on the NEASC assessment team. Dr. Szymanski stated that NEASC requires institutions to assess

student learning outcomes as part of the accreditation procedure. They also require formal assessment of General Education outcomes. She would like a committee to look at instruments used to assess these outcomes by other peer institutions. They need volunteers to look at these tools and recommend ones we should utilize. This group will then report to the senate and the administration. They would like to form this committee by the end of January. She welcomes as many as are willing to work on this issue.

Someone asked Dr. Szymanski about a conversation a few weeks ago about differential tuition. She stated that this is a conversation, not something that has been looked at officially and noted this is not uncommon in other institutions. They are in the process of investigating the issue. Some colleges have more costs involved in their degree programs. The smallest differential they have found is in Wisconsin, which amounted to a difference of $20 per credit hour. The largest was in Colorado – about $3,000 per student. A proposal was sent to the Provost’s office, but it has not been acted on yet. We are in the information-gathering stages.

There were no more questions for administrators.

At this point Dr. Kass asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the November 15, 2006 meeting. The minutes were approved.

New Business:

Dr. Aria Amirbahman introduced the two motions for the Academic Affairs committee explaining that both pertain to uniformity in student records, and also because of Peoplesoft issues. In regards to the first motion, three campuses already have this policy in place, UMaine does not.

Motion for the Part-time Dean’s List

Part-time students are currently not eligible to be on the Dean’s list.

The following motion is proposed by the Academic Affairs Committee:

Both matriculated and non-matriculated part-time undergraduate students who take at least 12 credits over two semesters are eligible to be on the Dean’s list, provided that they have a grade point average of at least 3.33.

The motion was seconded.

Some discussion ensued regarding undergraduate students and graduate students. A friendly amendment was suggested that “undergraduate” be added before “…students” in the motion. This was accepted.

A question was asked whether PeopleSoft could be programmed to only include matriculated and full-time students. It cannot.

Another person stated that as more and more students are attending part-time, many due to the fact that they also work full-time jobs, it would be appropriate to recognize these students in this way. Non-traditional students should be eligible for this.

Another question was asked if this also pertains to summer session. Dr. Hunter felt that this does not pertain to summer credits, but she stated she would check on this after the meeting.

A motion was made to call the question. The motion failed to be seconded.

A vote was taken on the motion.

22 for, 9 opposed, 3 abstentions. The motion passed.

The second motion was presented by Dr. Irv Kornfield.

Motion on the Audit Option Policy

The current policy is as follows:

“Courses may be changed from the Grade or Pass/Fail option to the Audit option during the first two thirds of a semester, but changes during the second third can be made only with the approval of an academic advisor and the student’s dean.”

The following motion is proposed:

Courses may be changed from the Grade or Pass/Fail option to the Audit option during the Add/Drop period. Changes after that can be made only with the approval of the instructor, an academic advisor, and the student’s dean.

A question was asked as to what problem this motion would fix. Dr. Hunter stated that this is another example of trying to make the seven campuses uniform in their grading policy, and it is also related to PeopleSoft issues. Dr. Hunter also agreed with the statement that the add/drop period is too short. This motion also gives the instructor the prerogative to approve a change.

Dr. Kornfield recommended that the motion be voted down to give senators time to consider the motion.

Someone else said that perhaps the system should start conforming to our policies, which she thought worked fine as they are.

Dr. Kornfield moved to withdraw the motion, it was seconded.

There was some discussion on the motion to rescind. A person stated that he was beginning to become concerned that PeopleSoft is driving the policy on campus.

A vote was called to withdraw the motion. 35 voted to withdraw the motion, 0 opposed, 0 abstained.

Presentation about the Folklife Center

Dr. Tony Brinkley gave the presentation. He stated that there are concerns that many faculty members associated with the center want shared with the senate. There are questions about a tenured case being turned down. This involves the elimination of a faculty position and the future of a major research accomplishment by Dr. Sandy Ives, who started the center. It also involves the board of advisors of the center. These changes are taking place with no public discussion. Dr. Brinkley feels the senate should be aware.

The center serves many interests, not only in CLAS but in other colleges as well. Brinkley thinks this is a significant issue. They brought this to the senate as a reorganization issue. Nothing has been approved at this time, so there is still time to bring suggestions to the administration.

Dr. Ferland stated that Dr. Richard Judd had wanted to attend the meeting today but had another meeting, but wanted the senate to know that the main issue to him was the closing of a major research center on campus. Whether or not the Folklife Center is moved to the library and regarded as an archive, the fact is that we have a prominent research center, used nation-wide. They are concerned that the center will be closed before the end of the year with no campus discussion.

Dr. Roger Merchant, UMaine Cooperative Extension from Piscataquis County. A member of the senate stated that the services at the Folklife Center are invaluable in order to continue relating stories of parts of the history of the area.

Another member stated that as the creative economy is being pushed by the State of Maine, it seems counterproductive to close the center, where the major part of research is conducted. We are talking about starting new schools yet are trying to close this very successful entity down.

Dr. Ann Schonberger stated that it is very important for the center to have academic leadership, certainly where it pertains to the Women’s Studies Program. She did not think it could function without an academic director connection.

Someone suggested that there be questions directed to administrators and the Director of Libraries at the next senate meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:28 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen March, Secretary

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Contact Information

Faculty Senate
Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
205 East Annex, Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469