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2006-2007 - November 15, 2006

Faculty Senate Minutes

NOVEMBER 15, 2006

Present: Shari Baxter, Tony Brinkley, Rodney Bushway, Dorothy Croall, Marcia Davidson, Sue Estler, Jacques Ferland, Amy Fried, Gail Garthwait, James Gilbert, Michael Greenwood, William Halteman, Dan Innis, Leonard Kass, Robert Kennedy, Adam Kirkland, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Irving Kornfield, David Kotecki, David Lambert, Kathleen March, James McClymer, Henry Munson, Kenneth Nichols, Howard Patterson, Mick Peterson, Gregory Porter, Paul Rawson, Robert Rice, Alan Rosenwasser, Linda Rottmann, Ann Schonberger, Denise Skonberg, Kathryn Slott, Touradj Solouki, Edna Mora Szymanski, Shihfen Tu, Beth Wiemann, David Wihry, Vivian Wu.

Absent: Jim Acheson, Aria Amirbahman, Carla Billitteri, Richard Blanke, Emmanuel Boxx, Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Alan Cobo-Lewis, Laura Cowan, John Daigle, Eugene DelVecchio, Raphael DiLuzio, Duane Hanselman, Dianne Hoff, Karen Horton, Cary Jenson, Scott Johnson, Deborah Killam, Roger Merchant, Jessica Miller, Ngo Vinh Long, Harlan Onsrud, Tina Passman, Michael Scott, Allan Smith, Stellos Tavantzis.

Dr. Leonard Kass, Senate President, opened the meeting by outlining what he hopes the senate will accomplish in the open meetings, which are attended by administrators, students and senators. He also has invited Mary Cathcart, Elizabeth Schneider and Emily Cain to attend these meetings. He said his goal is for the senate to understand where the university is economically and politically, at least from the state perspective. He also wants faculty to take advantage of the questions for administrators.

A motion was made to approve the minutes from the October 18 meeting. The minutes were approved.

Committee Reports:

Board of Trustees Representative – Dr. Robert Rice

The BOT met on November 5 and 6 in Machias. There were a number of appointments approved by the BOT. Jake Ward was appointed as Assistant Vice President of Research, Development and Government Relations. Eric Ralston has joined campus as the Associate VP of Development. Fall Enrollment figures, full-time equivalent enrollment, is 9,401 up 2.1% over last year at this time. USM is down 2.3% at 7,180 students; they lost 168 since last year. Total number of students enrolled at UMaine is 11,797. There are 2,900 part-time students, 72% are baccalaureate students and 19% are graduate students. System-wide there are 3,361 students enrolled in distance education, and 490 students from UMaine enrolled in distance courses; 400 take only distance education courses. Out-of-state students account for 15.9% of the student population.

Operating expense for the entire system: $586 million. Of that $287 million in expenses comes from UMaine. Our operating revenues, before state appropriation, are $187 million.

Our unrestricted expendable assets have gone up $5.8 million. This is dedicated money but it is not restricted by grants, gifts, contracts or other needs.

The Board of Trustees Representatives addressed the trustees, suggesting that the move to standardize the calendar across the system could be problematic. Different universities have different exam schedules, different numbers of days, etc. The move to standardize come from distance education, which feels that all the distance education should start and finish at one time. Those discussions are ongoing at the administrative level at this point.

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

Dr. Kornfield gave an update on the University Teaching Council. The UTC has met twice since the last senate meeting. They are close to making final recommendations for the teaching evaluation form used by students. The Academic Affairs committee has not yet met, but will be looking a several issues, including Continuing Education.

Constitution & Bylaws – Dr. James Gilbert

There have been new additions to the committee. They will be working on an addition to the existing bylaws regarding program review.

University Environment – Dr. Amy Fried

The committee continues to work on some issues from last year, particularly the motion to move towards the model policies that the AAUP has on work and family issues. This year the committee has been meeting with Janet Waldron and others to design a policy related to this issue, particularly alternatives to teaching after the birth or adoption of a child and also a course coverage policy that departments can use. The committee hopes to have a report for the senate before the end of this semester.

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

Dr. Peterson began by stating that the committee was asked by the senate executive committee with the evaluation of the research mission of the university, as well as institutional status. They currently have a draft report on preparing different institution evaluation metrics. They are soliciting additional committee members to help review documents from other institutions to get a perception of what the university’s role is.

Finance & Institutional Planning – Dr. William Halteman

The committee has met once since the last senate meeting. They have been discussing the current budget and the future budget. They have also been identifying peer institutions for comparison of financial metrics in order to improve our financial status.

Library Advisory Committee – Dr. Dianne Hoff

Dr. Hoff was unable to attend, there was no report.

Service & Outreach Committee – Dr. Kathleen March

The committee has not met since the last senate meeting. Dr. March did want to alert faculty that sometime around the beginning of February they will hold an informational meeting to discuss the various aspects of service learning and outreach efforts happening here on campus and on these activities nationally.

Committee on Committees – Dr. Michael Greenwood

The committee is looking for faculty to serve on the search committee for the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

Questions for Administrators:

Dr. Kass opened the question session by making reference to the $2.7 million returned from the systems office to be distributed to the various campuses, perhaps $1 million of which will come to UMaine. VP Janet Waldron stated that we are very thankful to the systems office for this money. She said that it is still in the refinement stage. It has been divided into three categories: is the avoidance of costs; one-time money that has been identified; and ongoing dollars from some position eliminations and operating expenses at the system level. At this point we do not know what will come back to this campus.

President Kennedy also said that as soon as his office receives some final numbers he would make sure that that information is released to campus.

The president and provost were asked to comment on the promotion and tenure issues this year as compared to last year. Provost Szymanski replied that the process is the same this year as last with one exception on her end. The process normally goes through the peer committee, the dean, then is reviewed at her office. She makes a recommendation to the president. The provost’s office has been utilizing a committee of three faculty members who review the information and make a recommendation to the provost. This year she has asked them to perform an additional duty: to have at least one of them sit in on her conversations, as she likes to have a faculty voice present during these deliberations. She has also scheduled debriefing sessions at the end of the process so that if there were any issues that are unclear, they can be resolved.

Another senator asked the president and provost to recognize that decoupling should not exist in the peer committee process, since it is hard to vote against somebody as member of peer cte without it looking like something it isn’t. The Provost says this has been done and wants to make it clear that a negative decision is not self-serving to the department.

Dr. Szymanski also wanted to speak about preparations for the upcoming NEASC accreditation process. Learning outcomes are one of the components and as this is one of our vulnerabilities we are preparing for a mock site study a year early to identify our weaknesses so that there are no surprises. They are forming the sub-groups for the self study at this time. She alerted people to the new NEASC section of their website and encourages the faculty to go there and familiarize themselves with the process. Volunteers to serve on this self study are needed. (**Copy of committee outline from the site at the end of these minutes).

Dr. Kass encouraged any faculty who wish to work on this self-study to please volunteer.

There was some more discussion on the P&T issue regarding salary lines and whether they will be returned to the college is tenure is denied. Dr. Kennedy said that in more than 80% of the cases the line is returned to the college; it is studied case by case. Both Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Szymanski said that our process is basically the same as in their past experience at other institutions.

Dr. Kennedy stated that he had recently met with the University Foundation Board, and they are extremely pleased with the direction UMaine is headed. The University of New England will be announcing the formation of a school of pharmacy. UMaine has been in discussions with UNE for over two years, and will feed students into the UNE program. Dr. Kennedy said he is very pleased with the proposal. It will funnel money onto campus to help update labs and hopefully monies will be available to hire more faculty. The first three years will require no extra resources from our campus. If we had wanted to do this on our own, it would have theoretically taken 10 years to put a program together. With the present plan, we can start admitting students in the Fall of ’07.

Dr. Kennedy has also been meeting regularly with members of the legislature. Many members have mentioned to him that this is the year for higher education in Maine. Many of the groups he meets with are optimistic about the new pharmacy program.

Dr. Kennedy added that the UMass School of Pharmacy has asked UMaine to collaborate on a program with them, because most of their top students come from UMaine.

New Business – Motion to Approve the Posthumous Degree Policy for Undergraduate, Master’s and PhD Degrees

PhD Degrees

Preamble: The University of Maine ordinarily awards undergraduate and graduate degrees only to those candidates who have completed all course work and other requirements necessary to earn the degree. However, given the somewhat extended nature of a graduate student’s dissertation preparation, occasions may arise in which a student passes away just prior to completing the final

doctoral degree requirements. This policy permits the University of Maine to confer a doctoral degree to a deceased graduate student who has been admitted to candidacy and has completed all work except submission of the final dissertation, and who would likely have finished the remaining degree requirements within a year of the death.

Procedure: Upon receiving signed approval from the student’s dissertation committee, the graduate program coordinator and/or department chair forwards a nomination letter to the Dean of the Graduate School expressing support for the conferral of the posthumous doctoral degree. The letter should address how close the student was to completing the dissertation at the time of his/her death. The nomination packet should also include the student’s C.V. and may also contain letters of support from other faculty members. The Dean of the Graduate School will confer with the Executive Committee of the Graduate Board about awarding the degree posthumously. If the review is favorable, the Dean will forward a recommendation to the Provost and the President that the doctoral degree be conferred posthumously. The President will then inform the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs of the University’s decision.

Undergraduate and Master’s Degrees

The following policy is to govern the awarding of degrees posthumously at The University of Maine:


A posthumous degree may be awarded if:

At the time of death the student had completed all requirements of their degree program and would have qualified for graduation; or

At the time of death the student was enrolled in their final semester, was taking the necessary courses to complete their degree requirements, and their instructors and/or advisor can show that the student was likely to complete the coursework satisfactorily.


A request for a posthumous degree is made to the chair of the student’s department by family, friends, or faculty members who have worked with the student. A death certificate and proof of their relationship to the student must be made available:

If the above requirements have been met, the request will go to the Associate Dean of the college/Graduate School for approval;

Provost reviews and makes recommendation to the President;

President has final approval;

The approved request is forwarded to the Office of Student Records.

Awarding of Posthumous Degree:

The student’s diploma and transcript will note that the degree was awarded posthumously;

The student’s name will appear in the commencement program, along with their hometown and a note that the degree was awarded posthumously;

The President, Provost or their designee(s) will hold a private reception with the family and friends of the deceased and present the degree at the reception.

The Academic Affairs Committee presented the motion. The motion was seconded.

A question was asked as to how often this happens. Dr. Kennedy said that it doesn’t happen very often, but it happened twice last year.

A vote was called. The motion passed 33 for, none opposed.

Old Business – There was no old business

The meeting adjourned at 4:12 pm.

**Self Study Subcommittees for New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Accreditation

As we prepare for the NEASC site visit, we have the opportunity to work together to examine and reflect on the university and to identify areas where we may need improvement. In order to accomplish this task, we will need participation from faculty on a variety of committees. We plan to use faculty time carefully so that they provide input and feedback but are not required to do any major writing or organizational tasks.

Currently the effort is organized according to some rather broad committees, which will eventually be broken into subcommittees. Following is the list of the committees, their chairs, and the specific standards they cover.

Standard 4 and 6: Academic Programs (4) and Students (6). Co-chaired by Sue Hunter and Dan Sandweiss.

Standards 1, 2, 3, 10 & 11: Mission and Purposes (1), Planning and Evaluation (2), Organization and Governance (3), Public Disclosure (10), and Integrity (11)

Chaired by Dan Sandweiss. Administrative members so far include Evelyn Silver and Joe Carr.

Standard 5: Faculty (5). Chaired by Sue Hunter. Len Kass will be a core member as well as other Faculty Senate volunteers.

Standards 7, 8, & 9: Library and Other Information Resources (7), Physical and Technological Resources (8), and Financial Resources (9). Co-chaired by Janet Waldron and Joyce Rumery. John Gregory will also be a member of this committee.

Special Committee: Student Learning Outcomes (Part of Standard 4). Members so far: Chair Virginia Nees-Hatlen, Dana Humphrey, Len Kass, Sue Hunter, and Tom Skaggs


The NEASC site visit will be in the Spring of 2009. We have scheduled a mock site visit for Spring of 2008 in order to prevent any surprises. Our draft self study must be finished by December 2007.

To Volunteer

Volunteers are needed for all committees. Please contact the committee chairs directly in order to volunteer.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen March


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