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2008-2009 - December 17, 2008

Faculty Senate Minutes

DECEMBER 17, 2008

Present: Andrei Alyokhin, Edward Ashworth, Daniel Belknap, Douglas Bousfield, Rodney Bushway, Chris Campbell, Joe Carr, Fei Chai, Steve Cohn, Ted Coladarci, Robert Dana, Michael Eckardt, Catherine Elliott, Cynthia Erdley, Susan Erich, Sue Estler, Todd Gabe, Per Garder, Michael Grillo, William Halteman, Dianne Hoff, Michael Howard (for Kirsten Jacobson), Sue Hunter, Cary Jenson, Scott Johnson, Michael Kinnison, Irv Kornfield, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Larry Latour, Molly MacLean, Stuart Marrs, James McClymer, Lisa Neuman, Harlan Onsrud, Tina Passman, Justin Poland, Robert Rice, Dylan Riley, Joyce Rumery, Dan Sandweiss, Kathryn Slott, Touradj Solouki, Patrick Spinney, Claire Strickland, Robert Strong, James Warhola, Mark Wells, Huiji Xue.

Absent: Sandy Berkowitz, Carla Billitteri, Thomas Brann, William Congleton, Raphael DiLuzio, Janet Fairman, Jacques Ferland, Saundra Gardner, Duane Hanselman, Deborah Killam, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Karl Kreutz, Craig Mason, David Morrison, Ngo Vinh Long, Howard Patterson, Shihfen Tu, Roy Turner, Stephanie Welcomer,Vivian Wu.

Senate President Dianne Hoff opened the meeting at 3:15.

Minutes from the November 19, 2008 senate meeting were approved.

Committee Reports:

Academic Affairs – Dr. Daniel Belknap

The Academic Affairs committee is considering several issues. Adjustments to the academic calendar, extending the holiday break, breaking up spring break into two separate weeks, closing dorms, all with the goal of saving energy. They are looking into how much it costs to close and open a dorm, they have been given an estimated figure of $1,000 for each building. They are also investigating the change to a four day week, but this is more controversial. There were comments on closing dorms. Dr. Dana told the senate that at this time all but 5 dorms are closed during the holiday break.

Constitution & Bylaws – Dr. Judy Kuhns-Hastings

The committee continues to review the constitution and bylaws of the senate. They are focusing on the criteria for membership at this time.

Finance & Institutional Planning – Dr. William Halteman

They continue to monitor the financial outlook for campus.

Library Advisory Committee – Dr. Andrei Alyokhin

Dr. Alyokhin reported that the committee continues to work on the institutional repository.

Dr. Dianne Hoff announced that the chair of the Library Advisory Committee, Dr. Harlan Onsrud, will be going on sabbatical for the spring semester. She told the members of the senate that Dr. Onsurd had been invaluable during this fall semester’s work. He completed the PCRRC’s Policy Manual and had worked tirelessly on other projects for the senate.

Service & Outreach – Dr. Michael Grillo

Dr. Grillo reported that his committee is reviewing materials that were produced by last year’s S&O committee. The committee is also looking at faculty workload and productivity.

Committee on Committees – Dr. Shihfen Tu (absent)

Dianne Hoff announced that the committee is having difficulty in finding volunteers to serve on various committees. They are still looking for persons to serve on the search committee for the Director of University Cooperative Extension. Also looking for one more faculty member to serve on the Promotion & Tenure committee, full professors only.

University Environment – Dr. Stephanie Welcomer (absent)

No Report.

Ad Hoc Committee on Gen Ed – Dr. Tina Passman

Dr. Passman reported that the UPCC has been using a gen ed outcomes assessment report that was produced by the senate in 2004 as a guideline. The report itself was approved by the senate but never voted on officially. The UPCC would like to continue to use the report. She will bring the report to the senate for a vote in the spring.

Program Creation, Review & Reorganization – Dr. James Warhola

The committee had held a hearing on the elimination of the BS Program in Environmental Management & Policy. The committee has a motion to eliminate the program on today’s agenda. He also reported that the PCRRC Policy and Procedures Manual which was approved by the senate at the November meeting, was sent to the President for approval. President Kennedy has rejected the motion to approve the manual for various reasons. One problem is the definition of what constitutes a program, the committee thinks that any unit that grants degrees would constitute a program. A few of the items Dr. Kennedy disapproved of can be worked around, others may take more work. The committee will meet with Provost Hunter.

Shared Governance – Dr. Dianne Hoff

The draft is finished and the document should be ready by the time NEASC comes to campus. They expect to be able to share it with the senate, hopefully in January.

Discussion and Questions for Administrators:

Kathryn Slott asked Dr. Hunter if she had found any information on what the self student was changed from every 10 years to every 7 years. Dr. Hunter replied that she has not yet looked into it but would try to find out in time for the next meeting.

Dr. Halteman asked about the original 6.4 million cut being reduced to 5.3 million, half of the million went back to MEIF, he wanted to know what happened to the other half million. Dr. Hunter said that it is being held until they know what’s going to happen in the spring. They will keep the senate informed as to what will happen with those monies.

Dr. Grillo commented on the letter from Chancellor Pattenaude that was distributed to everyone, he wanted to know what means we at UMaine have to communicate with the system and the BOT. Dr. Hunter said that all 7 presidents are in daily communication with the chancellor’s office. She said that the overriding issue is that the system cannot sustain the current operating model. The system is facing increased costs for energy and health care costs which cannot be avoided. There is also the issue of the rate of decline of high school grads in the state which will continue for the next 8 years or so. Also is the economic downturn. We will need to make system-wide changes in the way the system operates. Only UMaine and one other campus had a good financial outlook, due to the excellent financial staff. Dr. Hunter thanked Claire Strickland and Janet Waldron for the outstanding work on our finances. We hope to have a sustainable plan sent to the BOT later this year. Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Hunter will meet with the chancellor with a plan to go forward.

Dr. Hoff said that she had heard the UMF had already cut one program and had laid off faculty. Sue Hunter said she had not heard anything about this. Joe Carr stated that the Lewiston Sun Journal was going to run an article about cuts and layoffs at UMF.

Dr. Grillo asked how campus faculty could have more of a voice in these decisions. Dr. Rice replied that that is what the BOT reps from each campus do at the BOT meetings.

Dr. Hunter said that during Chancellor Westphal’s tenure as chancellor the system had tried to reorganize the system but legislation was passed that stopped his office from reorganizing the UMS.

Dr. Hoff told Dr. Hunter that if the administration needs to meet with the faculty senate at any time, the senate would schedule a special meeting. The senate wants to help in any way it can.

Dr. Warhola commented on how well the PeopleSoft grading has gone this semester and thanked Drs. Marrs and Hunter for their work on this.

Board of Trustees Rep Dr. Robert Rice reported that the BOT will meet on January 11 and 12. This meeting will be preceded by the Finance Committee report. He reported that there were many reasons for the program review and the request by UMS fo a report of classes that were held with less than 12 students.

Dr. Hunter said that the BOT is looking at the number of grads each program has. The campuses are giving reasons for low grad numbers, units within departments, etc.

At this time the Motion to Eliminate the BS Program in Environmental Management and Policy was put on the table for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

Research & Scholarship Committee – Dr. Touradj Solouki

Dr. Solouki gave a powerpoint presentation regarding the results of a survey that his committee had sent out to all faculty on campus.

Dr. Jim McClymer introduced a Resolution Supporting Energy Grant Colleges at the Nation’s Land Grant Institutions:

As part of this nation’s response to energy issues which impact the security of this nation and the health, wealth and happiness of all peoples, The Faculty Senate of the University of Maine urges the creation of Energy Grant Colleges at the nation’s Land Grant Institutions.

Resolve that the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate of the University of Maine, on behalf the Faculty of the University of Maine, send letters to the Governor, Representatives and Senators of the State of Maine, as well as the President-elect, seeking their support to enact legislation creating Energy Grant Colleges at the Land Grant Research Institutions in each State. The Executive Committee shall furthermore seek the support of other Land Grant institutions and other associations in the creation of Energy Grant Colleges.

Continuing the spirit of the (Morrill) Land Grant, Sea Grant and Space Grant Colleges and Universities, The University of Maine Faculty Senate requests your support to enact legislation creating Energy Grant Colleges; an investment that helps prepare the Unites States for the future, reduces current and future energy demand and emission of green house gasses, creates employment and manufacturing capacity, and supports local economies.

The cost of energy is an ever growing cost to Universities which increases tuition and detracts funds from the core missions of teaching, research and service.

Energy Grant Colleges would receive substantial funds to:

  • Improve energy conservation.
    • Reduction in operating costs
      • Lower tuition
      • Increased ability to accomplish core missions
    • Less use of non-renewable fuels
      • Should lower costs of fuels for all
      • Less pollution and greenhouse gas emission
    • Spur development of energy saving technologies and industry
      • For example, retrofit buildings for LED lighting. A guaranteed large purchase encourages investment in the manufacturing infrastructure to produce quantity LED lighting, lowering the cost for all and resulting in wide scale adoption and energy savings.
  • Implement alternative energy sources
    • Work with private partners
      • Test new concepts/ bring new concepts to market
      • Increase scale of technologies lowering cost for all
  • Engage in energy related research, teaching and service
    • Develop the new technologies that increase quality of life while encouraging conservation, efficiency and new sources of energy, energy transmission and storage.
    • Provide the next generation the tools they need to make good public and private policy and technical decisions related to energy.
    • Outreach to assist small and large business with technical and professional expertise. {addition to cooperative extension service}
    • Outreach to the public

The investment in Energy Grant Colleges will provide returns on all time scales.

Immediate

  • Local employment and purchases to retrofit buildings
  • Savings from energy savings

Short term

  • US investment in manufacturing (employment) to meet demands for energy savings technologies (i.e. LED lighting, efficient climate control, etc)
  • Assistance for small business and consumers through outreach

Long Term

  • Research that leads to improvements in energy creation, storage and use.
  • Training the next generation of scientists, engineers, policy makers and consumers for rational long and short term energy decisions.

These suggestions are consistent with recommendations made by the American Physical Society Energy Efficiency Study Group

(http://www.aps.org/energyefficiencyreport/report/aps-energyreport.pdf)

The resolution called for the senate president to write letters to the Governor, representatives and senators of the State of Maine. There was considerable comment on this resolution, mostly favorable, but the consensus was that the senate president should enlist the assistance of others on campus who are working on these issues before any letter is sent.

The meeting was adjourned.

 


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Faculty Senate
Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
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Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640
E-mail: kimberly.junkins@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
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