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2008-2009 - September 24, 2008

Faculty Senate Minutes

September 24, 2008

Present: Ed Ashworth, Sandy Berkowitz, Tom Brann, Rod Bushway, Chris Campbell, Ted Coladarci, Bob Dana, Mike Eckhart, Cynthia Erdley, Sue Erich, Jacques Ferland, Todd Gabe, Per Garder, Michael Grillo, Bill Halteman, Dianne Hoff, Sue Hunter, Kirsten Jacobson, Blake James, Cary Jenson, Scott Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Al Kezis, Irv Kornfield, Karl Kreutz, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Larry Latour, Jeremy Logan, Molly Maclean, Stuart Marrs, Craig Mason, Jim McClymer, Abtin, Mehdizadegan, Lisa Neuman, Harlan Onsrud, Tina Passman, Howard Patterson, Mick Peterson (for Justin Poland), Bob Rice, Dylan Riley, Joyce Rumery, Dan Sandweiss, Evelyn Silver, Kathryn Slott, Touradj Solouki, Claire Strickland, Robert Strong, Shihfen Tu, Roy Turner, Janet Waldron, Jim Warhola, Stephanie Welcomer, Mark Wells, Huiji Xue.

Absent: Andrei Alyokhin, Dan Belknap, Douglas Bousfield, Fei Chai, Steve Cohn, William Congleton, Raphael DiLuzio, Catherine Elliott, Sue Estler, Janet Fairman, Duane Hanselman, Deboarh Killam, Michael Kinnison, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, David Morrison, Ngo Vinh Long, Gregory Porter, Beth Wiemann, Vivian Wu.

Senate President Dianne Hoff opened the meeting at 3:15 pm. She introduced the student representatives to the senate.

Dr. Laura Cowan read this eulogy for Dr. Elise Turner.

Tribute to Elise

Laura Cowan

Elise Hill Turner passed away this summer on August 14 after a 7-year battle with cancer. It has been the University of Maine’s privilege to have Elise as a friend and colleague since 1995 when she and her husband Roy joined the Computer Science Department. Elise was remarkably brilliant. Her academic specialty was –ironically – ―artificial‖ intelligence, but there was nothing ―artificial‖ about Elise’s authentic and amazing intellect. Her research interests included natural language processing, discourse processing, multiagent systems, and computer science education. Her articles have appeared in the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, the Journal of Natural Language Engineering, and Applied Intelligence. She published papers in the leading conferences in her field and regularly won substantial grants from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.

One of Elise’s lasting contributions has been her course Computer Science 140. Designed to help first year computer science majors (in Elise’s words) ―think like computer scientists ―and to give non-majors a rigorous overview of the field, the course provides a framework for the issues surrounding computers that students can use both in advanced computer science courses and in every day life. COS 140 is especially notable because it has proven successful in retaining both women and minority students in computer science. While earning Elise papers in premier Computer Science conferences, this course has won the University of Maine national acclaim. COS 140 reflects Elise’s dedication to her field and to her students. She was a beloved teacher of undergraduate and graduate students. Her devoted teaching was recognized in 1998 by a ―Faculty Student-Centered Award,‖ honoring faculty involvement outside the classroom.

Elise was also an admired leader. When she died, she was Chair of Computer Science and co-Director of the Maine Software Agents and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She had been a member of the Board of Directors of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Hancock County and also of ―A Safe Place, a Battered Woman’s Shelter‖ in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Elise was perhaps the most effective chair I have witnessed in my more than twenty years here at the University of Maine. She was determined to make Computer Science an exemplary department which reflects the highest standards and most recent developments in their fiercely competitive and rapidly changing field. Her goals for the department emphasized the theoretical underpinnings of computer science. Under her leadership her department was able to hire top people from leading universities in Computer Science—an amazing feat given the size of the University of Maine and the demand for Ph.D.s in the field in academia, government and industry. Enrollments in Computer Science either rose or held steady during her tenure as chair. A stronger, dynamic Computer Science Department is one of Elise’s enduring legacies to the University of Maine.

Elise will be remembered by many for her amazing courage. She evinced this courage at a young age. Born in 1959 and educated at a time when girls and women were discouraged from studying math and sciences, she pursued math and science in high school and computer science in college IN SPITE of her teachers’ bias against women. Her most audacious act of courage was her recent 7-year fight against cancer. She resolutely refused to be defeated by cancer and endured immense suffering in her numerous operations and in the side-effects of her many treatments. In the midst of these struggles, she lived a vital life as a scholar, teacher, department chair, musician, Christian, wife, and mother. Elise’s courage proves Charles Dickens’ conviction that ―whatever power gave us life, and for whatever purpose, it was given to us on the understanding that we defend it to the last breath.

Elise was also remarkable for her fair-mindedness and her generosity. With her undergraduate degree cum laude from Barnard, a Masters from Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech, Elise’s academic pedigree was impeccable. These academic credentials coupled with her physical beauty and musical gifts would have made a lesser person pretentious or vain. In spite of her natural advantages, Elise was generous to everyone and appreciated all people on their own merits. I never saw her ―pull rank‖ on others because of her gifts or credentials or call attention to her personal merits (or hard-earned distinctions). In spite of her Southern graces and aristocratic carriage, she was never too proud to sit in the grass and play duck-duck-goose with her daughter Kathrina. Even though six-month-old Kathrina had a cold and Roy and Elise were preparing a conference paper, Roy and Elise took the time to attend a good-bye party for Cheryl Madore, Kathrina’s teacher in the Infant Program at the University of Maine’s Children’s Center.

Elise’s sense of fairness and magnanimous nature stemmed from her deep-seated belief in the humanist values behind a liberal arts education. Her high principles and her passion brought a fire of conviction to all her actions. The poet William Butler Yeats has been criticized for the ambiguity in his description of a woman’s beauty as ―beauty like a tightened bow.‖ The people who criticize this simile have never seen Elise. Her precise, classical features and her tall, glamorous bearing suggested the tension and precision of a graceful, taut bow. Her spirit made her beauty even more brilliant, noble, and fierce. Whether she was arguing for the integrity of the UMaine computer science program, promoting the principles of a liberal arts education, or teaching the Stillwater Montessori children a song from the opera Hansel and Gretel, Elise brought intensity to everything she did. This intensity gave her (as Yeats describes in the same poem), ―a mind that nobleness made simple as a fire.  This noble mind made her intimidating in an argument, but also allowed her to focus her benevolence. She gave her colleagues, her students, and even her daughter’s preschool friends an undivided attention that enriched every encounter with Elise. According to Yeats, this beauty liked a tightened bow was ―not natural in an age like this.‖ Elise was exceptional in so many ways.. We are fortunate that ―our age‖ and our place have been graced by her extraordinary being.

The minutes from the May 7, 2008, senate meeting were approved.

Questions & Discussion with Administrators:

Faculty Senate President Dianne Hoff asked about the new MFA in Media Art that is now being offered. Sue Hunter stated that there was a long process involved and the program had had a resounding review by external reviewers. A question was asked as to why the senate’s PCRRC committee was not involved. The process may have started while the PCRRC was in the formation stage and the two may have crossed time lines.

Provost Sue Hunter gave an update on the search for the Dean BPPH, SPIA and the Dean of College of Education. They have not yet moved forward on the BPPH dean search. Bahman Baktiari is the interim director of SPIA. The search for dean of EDHD is moving forward.

Vice President/President Elect, Faculty Senate Judy Kuhns-Hastings asked about a new Interdisciplinary Master’s in Professional Science degree which is planned for the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Dan Sandweiss, Dean of the Graduate School, stated that the Intent to Plan has been sent to Dianne Hoff and that the PCRRC is not involved in graduate programs, it is the Graduate Board that will vet this proposal. Dianne Hoff stated that she is the rep to the Grad Board this year.

Prof. James Warhola stated that the aggregate number of faculty has decreased from 587 to 543 faculty. Does the $150 million campaign include additional faculty lines? Is there a time frame for this? President Robert Kennedy replied that it is difficult getting a real number of faculty on campus. Budget cuts certainly have played a part in the reduction of faculty. One of the main goals of the fundraising campaign is to provide more endowed chairs and professorships. Scholarship money is doing well as people are more willing to donate money for scholarship funds. 11% of the goal is for faculty money but there are still 3 more years in the campaign.

Vice President, Finance, Janet Waldron addressed the economy and the affect it is having on our budget numbers. UMaine is in a good position to weather whatever may materialize, but there will be more discussion about this in the future. The system’s request for FY 2010/2011 has been sent to the Governor’s office, UMS has asked for 8.5 million base budget increase.

Prof. Michael Grillo commented on how the increase in enrollment has affected professorships, space in dorms and classes.

President Kennedy stated that donors know to whom they want to give money in many instances. He said that he does tell them of the departments that have significant need. A question was asked about the system of clarifications on programs that have the greatest need. Provost Sue Hunter has started conversations with deans to find out what programs need.

A question was asked about the need to forward mail from the address and why First Class isn’t used as the priority address. Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Stuart Marrs stated that UMaine is the only campus in the system that uses First Class and PeopleSoft needed a preferred e-mail address.

A discussion about people’s dissatisfaction with PeopleSoft ensued.

Prof. Stephanie Welcomer asked about the climate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students on campus. Dean of Students Robert Dana stated that Student Services regularly assesses the climate for GLBT students and violence against women. Another question was asked about binge drinking. Dr. Dana stated that his office spends a great deal of time addressing the issue of binge drinking which leads to many problems on campus. Peer educators help with the issue in the dorms.

Committee Reports:

BOT Rep – Dr. Robert Rice

There have been three Board of Trustees meetings since the last senate meeting in May. They approved a $6 million renovation to Aubert Hall, which will include two new labs, one for Pharmacology and the other a Junior Faculty lab.

The BOT approved Dr. Jeffrey Hecker as Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences. They approved Dr. Sue Hunter as Provost and Eric Rolfson as the replacement for Barbara Beers who is stepping down as Vice President of Development.

Tuition increases were approved; undergrad tuition was increased 9.6% and graduate education increased 9.8%.

They approved violence in the workplace statement. Five Million dollars was approved for the Advanced Wood Composite Center for a new bay for wind blades. Gifts totaling 13.92 million through the UMaine Foundation were accepted. The Campaign for UMaine is now at 89 million dollars. President Kennedy showed a video at the BOT meeting highlighting life on campus. The MFA in Intermedia Studio Art was approved. Energy costs are a high priority with the BOT and UMaine has saved money on energy costs. President Kennedy submitted to the Governor’s office a major initiative for the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension for saving energy.

Academic Affairs – Dr. Dan Belknap

No report.

Constitution & Bylaws – Dr. Judy Kuhns-Hastings

No report.

Research & Scholarship – Dr. Touradj Solouki

The committee is compiling the responses to the survey sent out last year and will have a report in the near future. The committee was to meet electronically in a couple of days.

Finance & Institutional Planning – Dr. Sue Estler & Dr. William Halteman

The committee needs a member from BPPH.

Library Advisory Committee – Dr. Harlan Onsrud

Dr. Onsrud brought a hand out to the meeting titled ―Elimination of Paper Versions of Some Online Journals Available through Fogler Library‖. He also wanted people who have questions regarding on-line journals to please e-mail him. Joyce Rumery, Director of Libraries, stated that the library keeps count of journals that are used. The use of paper copies is decreasing, that of electronic journals is on the rise.

Service & Outreach – Dr. Michael Grillo

The committee needs reps from colleges other than Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Committee on Committees – Dr. Shihfen Tu

The committee needs reps from BPPH, ENG, UMCE.

A representative from LAS is needed to serve on the Cultural Affairs Committee.

A representative is needed from each of the five colleges to serve on the Scientific Misconduct Committee.

Program Creation, Review & Reorganization – Dr. James Warhola

The committee has been formed.

Ad Hoc Committee on Shared Governance – Dr. Dianne Hoff & Dr. Robert Rice

Dean Dan Sandweiss (also a member) gave an update on the draft document that is being worked on.

University Environment – Dr. Stephanie Welcomer

The committee has not yet met. Issues to be discussed include alternatives to teaching during birth, adoption, and other family issues. She thanked Amy Fried, Sandy Caron, and Janet Waldron for working on these issues. She also said the committee was trying to continue the masters swimming at the Wallace Pool.

Old Business:

No Old Business.

New Business:

Motion to Establish Faculty Senate Goals for 2008-2009

The faculty of the University of Maine engages in university governance through the Faculty Senate, which is the official governance body of the faculty. As such, it is important for the Senate to work toward goals that move the institution forward and address critical issues as they emerge.


The Faculty Senate of the University of Maine endorses the following goals for the 2008-2009 academic year and encourages each committee to proceed with all due speed to accomplish these goals, while remaining nimble and able to adjust or react as needed.

Academic Affairs Chair – Dr. Daniel Belknap

  • Investigate University admission standards and how they are being applied.
  • Establish the process for, as well as the rate and occurrences of, faculty attrition, relocation, and strategic planning related to faculty positions, especially in light of rising enrollment
  • Establish a process for resolving inter-college disagreements related to joint programs and shared classes
  • Make recommendations for equitable compensation of faculty supervising student enrollment, such as thesis writing and independent study credits
  • Continue the analysis of General Education requirements (which may fall to a subcommittee)

Committees on Committees Chair – Dr. Shihfen Tu

  • Establish which committees of the administration have (or should have) liaisons from the Senate
  • Ensure the administration informs the Senate about the final make-up of committees (and that this gets posted on the administration website)

Constitution and Bylaws Chair – Dr. Judy Kuhns-Hastings

  • Review the Constitution and Bylaws for any inaccuracies, inconsistencies, or omissions, and suggest necessary revisions

Environment Chair – Dr. Stephanie Welcomer

  • Investigate the status of climate issues on campus
  • Review the energy audit, which is finished (or nearly finished)
  • Be a liaison to the committee investigating the feasibility of better commuter bus service
  • Select a ―green‖ goal appropriate for the Senate and then lead this effort
  • Investigate the impact of a M/W, T/Th class schedule

Finance Committee Co-Chairs – Dr. Sue Estler, Dr. Bill Halteman

  • Work with the administration to develop an annual fiscal report
  • Investigate the status of Coke contract and use of funds
  • Ask to see and then review the Board of Trustees’ quarterly financial reports for decisions that have an impact on this campus
  • Get answers to the questions posed last year about the timing and kind of gifts coming in with the capital campaign, how priorities are being set for this money, the hidden ―costs‖ of gifts (e.g. the athletic bubble), and the apparent emphasis on expenditures for the president’s garden, Carnegie Hall, etc.

Library Chair – Dr. Harlan Onsrud

  • Make significant steps toward establishing an Institutional Repository
  • Investigate the status of library support in light of increased tuition, increased enrollment, capital campaign efforts, and additional research support for external sources
  • Continue to explore ways to improve holdings in scholarly data bases

PCRRC Chair – Dr. James Warhola

  • Investigate the status and impact of collaboration, such as with the Vermont Medical School and Husson Pharmacy Program
  • Revise Protocols based on past experiences – clarify what falls under PCRRC
  • Make recommendations about the scope of this committee in reviewing and making recommendations for program creation

Research Chair – Dr. Touradj Solouki

  • Investigate additional site licenses for research programs (e.g. SPSS) and databases
  • Make recommendations for further institutional support for research and grant writing

Service and Outreach Chair – Dr. Michael Grillo

  • Establish interdisciplinary guidelines – Across campus, online, and cross-campus
  • Work with Academic Affairs on a [process for resolving cross-college and cross-institution conflicts

Shared Governance Co-Chairs – Dr. Robert Rice, Dr. Dianne Hoff

  • Finish draft of the document of understanding about shared governance on this campus
  • Work w/Task Force to complete an agreement between the faculty and administration
  • Create a Faculty Handbook

Executive Committee Projects

  • Conduct a University Environment survey, modeled after the one used by the Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Develop a process for administrative evaluations
  • Continue archiving policies and motions

The motion passed.

Respectfully submitted, Tina Passman


Back to 2008-2009

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