2006-2007 - February 28, 2007
Faculty Senate Minutes
FEBRUARY 28, 2007
Present: Shari Baxter, Carla Billitteri, Tony Brinkley, John Daigle, Marcia Davidson, Sue Estler, Alaric Faulkner, Dennis King (for Gail Garthwait), James Gilbert, William Halteman, Brandon Hartt, Dianne Hoff, Dan Innis, Cary Jenson, Leonard Kass, Irving Kornfield, David Kotecki, David Lambert, Ngo Vinh Long, Kathleen March, Tina Passman, Howard Patterson, Mick Peterson, Linda Rottmann, Dan Sandweiss, Ann Schonberger, Kathryn Slott, Allan Smith, Edna Mora Szymanski, Shihfen Tu, Janet Waldron, Stephanie Welcomer, Beth Wiemann, David Wihry.
Absent: Jim Acheson, Aria Smirbahman, Richard Blanke, Emmanuel Boss, Rodney Bushway, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Alan Cobo-Lewis, Laura Cowan, Dorothy Croall, Eugene DelVecchio, Raphael DiLuzio, Jacqaues Ferland, Amy Fried, Michael Greenwood, Duane Hanselman, Karen Horton, Scott Johnson, Deborah Killam, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, James McClymer, Roger Merchang, Jessica Miller, Harlan Onsrud, Gregory Porter, Paul Rawson, Alan Rosenwasser, Michael Scott, Denise Skonberg, Touradj Solouki, Stellos Tavantzis, Vivian Wu.
President Kass opened the meeting by introducing Brandon Hart, Student Government representative. He also announced that a slate of candidates for Vice President/President Elect, Secretary, and BOT Representative are needed at the next meeting.
The minutes from the January 31 meeting were approved.
Board of Trustees Representative – Dr. Bob Rice
The BOT will be meeting in Farmington on March 17 & 18. One of the major subjects discussed will be tenure. The system is also forming a committee to look at retirement and benefits issues and how they will change in the future, that committee is just being formed now. There is a group called MaineStreet and are missing a person from this campus to serve on that committee. We really need a person to serve on this committee so we can have a say in decisions that are made.
Academic Affairs – Dr. Irving Kornfield, Dr. Aria Amirbahman
Dr. Kornfield reported on the activities of the UTC. The UTC has been working ona revision of the student evaluation instrument. There is a draft that has been looked at by senate members and the form will be presented in the near future to the senate.
Constitution & Bylaws – Dr. James Gilbert
University Environment – No Report
Research & Public Service – Dr. Mick Peterson, Dr. Scott Johnson
Finance & Institutional Planning – Dr. William Halteman
Library Advisory Committee – Dr. Dianne Hoff
Service & Outreach Committee – Dr. Kathleen March
The committee has met and is working on an extensive report on Service Learning or Outreach. It will include definitions, the institutions that support these endeavors such as the Carnegie Foundaton, what does service have to do with P&T issues, service learning research and publication venues, funding opportunities and assessment tools. They hope to come up with recommendations for our campus and hope to have this by the end of the semester.
Committee on Committees – Dr. Michael Greenwood
A questions was asked about a bill before the legislature regarding Maine’s libraries. Someone replied that LD793 is a bill that is being considered and will bring monies to Fogler if passed.
Old Business – Policy and Procedures for Program Creation and Reorganization Document presented by Dr. Jim Gilbert
The University of Maine Policy and Procedures for
Program Creation and Reorganization
This document states the general principles and procedures that guide reorganization of academic units. These general principles and procedures are meant to affirm the University’s commitment to shared governance, academic freedom, affirmative action, and accountability; to assure faculty members that their concerns and ideas are incorporated to the extent possible as decisions are made; and to ensure that the overall academic quality of the University’s programs is maintained as reorganization takes place.
As the University of Maine responds to changing resources and the changing needs of Maine’s citizens, it may find that reorganizing programs is necessary or desirable to achieve its goals. Any proposed reorganization should maximize the University’s resources and better serve our students and faculty.
Reorganization of programs takes place through a process of shared governance. Shared governance recognizes value and necessity of faculty input and knowledge in academic decision making. The faculty’s involvement is provided for in the Constitution of the Faculty Senate, which provides for faculty jurisdiction and advice on academic issues.
We recognize that such reorganizations are also governed by the University of Maine System Policy and Procedures for Reorganization of Programs (Section 309). At the University of Maine, the primary responsibility for ensuring appropriate consultation with the faculty rests with the President, the Provost, and the Faculty Senate.
The Faculty Senate’s Program Creation and Reorganization Review Committee (PCRRC) will be responsible for receiving comments and drafting a response in support of or in opposition to any reorganization proposal deemed by the Committee to be subject to a full review by the committee and the Faculty Senate.
This review process will be applied to all proposals required to be approved by the Chancellor’s Office or the Board of Trustees, regardless of whether the Board’s authority or Chancellor’s Office authority has been waived. Proposals that involve any of the following would normally be subject to academic review by the Faculty Senate:
- All university reorganizations involving major university academic units such as colleges, schools, academic divisions, departments, and academic programs.
- Reorganization, establishment, or merging of colleges, schools, academic divisions and departments, off-campus instructional centers, and centers, institutes and laboratories.
- Establishment of university centers or other new units which provide credit bearing courses or degrees.
The review procedure will consist of 1) a discussion phase, 2) an informal phase and 3) a formal phase. The discussion phase will be a verbal information exchange and a discussion of a potential plan. The informal phase will be a broad-based information exchange of a brief written proposal. The formal phase is initiated by the Faculty Senate and its PCRRC for those informal proposals deemed by the PCRRC to have significant academic implications.
1) The discussion phase normally will involve the Provost and the Senate President. If mutually agreeable, the information will be made available to the faculty.
2) The informal phase of review is normally initiated by a two-page written pre-proposal from the administration to the Faculty Senate that summarizes the proposed change, its resource costs and benefits, and its impact on academic programs. This pre-proposal will be posted and widely disseminated by the Senate to solicit comments from the faculty. If the Senate’s review committee determines that there is insignificant academic impact from the proposed reorganization, there will be no formal review process. If the review committee determines that the proposed reorganization has potentially significant academic impacts, it will request additional information in preparation of a formal review phase.
3) The formal review phase will require a written proposal that shall include a rationale and substantiated justification, with appropriate data, to support the proposed reorganization. Any proposal will include:
- a description of the proposed program creation or reorganization and identification of the program(s) involved;
- a rationale for the proposed reorganization;
- a list of potential impacts, including budget impacts;
- the timing for implementation of any decisions; and
- a detailed narrative considering the criteria in Appendix A
The PCRRC will post the proposal and widely circulate it on campus. Written comments in support of and in opposition to the proposal will be solicited. A public hearing will be held to gather additional information. Following this, the review committee will write an opinion on the proposal.
While normally a proposal will be initiated by the administration, the senate may initiate this process if they believe program revision falls within the jurisdiction of this policy. In
such cases, the Faculty Senate will request discussion of the proposal with the administration.
The review process for a proposed program creation or reorganization should be initiated sufficiently early that meaningful input is possible. The Faculty Senate and its review committee normally will have two months to solicit comments, hold a hearing, and make a recommendation in support or opposition to the proposal. If the proposal is amended, additional time may be required for the Faculty Senate to reach a consensus. While the Faculty Senate needs the flexibility and time to investigate situations brought before it in order to attain adequate understanding of the issue, it is expected that the Faculty Senate, in special circumstances, will act on a request within an expedited time frame that is consistent with university and external constraints defining the context for change.
- The review process beings when the Faculty Senate receives a complete proposal for reorganization.
- In the next two weeks, the review committee will solicit written input from units, faculty, and students whom it considers may be impacted by the reorganization. The review committee will request comments from any faculty member, student, or administrator who wants to comment on the proposed reorganization.
- Approximately one month from receiving the proposal, the review committee will have a public meeting to hear presentations for and against the reorganization. The review committee will transmit its written recommendations to the next Faculty Senate Meeting for consideration. If the Faculty Senate fails to act on the recommendation, the review committee’s recommendations will be considered those of the Senate.
- The Faculty Senate’s written recommendations, including an assessment of the positive and negative impacts of the proposed reorganization or elimination, will be reported to the Provost and President within one week after the Faculty Senate has finished evaluating the options for reorganization or elimination.
- A summary of the Faculty Senate’s recommendations will be incorporated into any proposal that the President of The University of Maine sends to the Chancellor and the UMS Board of Trustees for approval. A copy of the proposal to the Board will be sent to the Faculty Senate.
This policy is subject to review and revision one year from implementation. It is expected that as the Administration and the Faculty Senate gain experience with reviews of program creations and reorganization, changes to improve the policy will become apparent.
Appendix A. Criteria for Reorganization
- Criteria Supporting Reorganization
a. On a national or international level, the profession or discipline has changed.
b. Reorganization will better serve the strategic focus of The University of Maine.
c. The proposed reorganization provides a competitive advantage to the unit.
d. The viability of the unit is at risk without refocus of direction.
e. The program’s scope is too narrowly focused and needs broader, perhaps interdisciplinary, focus or conversely the program scope is too broadly focused and needs tighter focus.
f. Two or more programs have a substantial similarity or affinity of objectives such that economics of operation or improvement in quality may reasonable be expected from their consolidation.
g. The clarity of the program’s identity and function will be increased by transfer to or consolidation with another program.
h. The program’s contribution to The University of Maine missions of teaching, research, and service does not justify maintenance of its present size.
i. Budgetary constraints require reorganization of a program within a department, school, or college.
2. Criteria Contraindicating Reorganization
a. The reorganization is sufficiently uncommon within higher education so as to render difficulty in recruitment and retention of quality students and faculty.
b. The reorganization would endanger the quality and/or accreditation status, where applicable, of one or more of the programs affected.
c. The programs, though dealing with similar subject matter, are substantially different in orientation, objective or clientele.
d. The cost reduction of reorganization would be so modest as to make such reorganization rather pointless if cost savings is the primary objective.
e. The program’s reorganization would have a substantially negative impact on education and societal concerns to Maine.
f. The program’s reorganization would have a substantially negative impact on strategic goals of The University of Maine.
g. The program’s reorganization would result in substantial loss of revenue currently derived from grants, contracts, endowments or gifts.
Dr. Gilbert stated that this is the same document that was presented to the Elected Members two weeks ago with the exception of a change in the Discussion section on page two of the document. He then proceeded to ask the senate to approve the policy so that it may be sent to President Kennedy for approval.
A question was asked as pertains to the statement in item number one under “Procedure” in particular the phrase “If mutually agreeable, the information….”. What happens if it is not mutually agreeable? Dr. Gilbert said that this document is basically the same as the one passed in September, but in this version at least there is a discussion phase of the process, which is a definite improvement.
There were no additional comments or questions.
A vote was called on the policy.
27 voted to approved. 0 voted against. 2 abstentions.
Discussions with Administrators
Dr. Kass asked Dan Sandweiss about the Strategic Plan and any things that the faculty may have particular interests. Dr. Sandweiss stated that as the plan had been approved last year, there is now a group of faculty working on the implementation of the plan. The first phase they are working on is how to move the plans goals forward with limited resources. He directed faculty to the Provost’s “Hot Topics” folder where the points of implementation have been listed. He encouraged faculty to please comments on these in that folder.
A question was asked of the Provost regarding positions that are being cut in CLAS this year, effectively downsizing the college. This usually involves re-thinking the mission of the college, units, etc. Dr. Szymanski replied that we are now facing our 15th budget cut in 16 years, which is very disturbing. We are still in the thinking though stage, hoping to plan a strategy to advocate for increases. This year we are going to have to see if we can get through the year. The President has asked many people including herself to start looking at growth models, which include the growth of both faculty and students. It is very difficult to do anything in a planned fashion when each year the budget picture is not known. She said there is a major disconnect between what this university does to drive the economy of the state and the funding that is sent our way. We are working on a plan to help the legislature see the value of the university.
VP Waldron said that open forums have been scheduled on campus to discuss the budget. They are hoping they will have a better idea of where they are with the legislature as the semester comes to a close. The Chancellor, President and a lot of other people are advocating with the Board of Visitors, and the BOT to get this message out to people. We will want to engage people in the various aspects of the effort that is being put forward. They are looking at FY08 and looking at contingencies to balance the budget.
Are we trying to do more than we can with the funding available? Our market share of Maine kids who come to this institution is relatively stable. We cannot downsize this University without it negatively affecting the state.
VP Waldron spoke on the issue of retirees and the unfunded obligation for costs of benefits for people who are retiring.
Discussion about the implementation plan and the downsizing aspect of the plan followed.
Dr. Susan Hunter gave an update on admissions. She addressed some issues that have arisen with the implementation of PeopleSoft. The processing center located in Neville Hall processes all documentation for admissions application for all campuses. The electronic material is distributed to one or more campuses, depending on how many campuses the student is applying to. It has been a little more difficult than they had anticipated. The processing center is something like a mailroom, distributing information as they receive it. At one point the center was three weeks behind in processing applications. They are currently running about a month behind compared to last year. At times there have been 15 people working overtime on weekends in order to process this material. Ideally the processing center should be running 24 hours a day. Anything faculty can do to positively interact with prospective students will be a great help to admissions this year. They are hoping that the process will be smoother next year. The PeopleSoft software is not the issue, the initial set-up of the processing center was not perfect, staffing was not adequate, next year won’t be perfect, but it will be better than this year.
Dr. Kass encouraged faculty to use the mid-term evaluation form.
Dr. Gilbert stated that we will need a slate of candidates at our next meeting, he also will need people to serve on the Executive Committee and the other senate committees.