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2012-2013 - January 30, 2013

FACULTY SENATE

MINUTES

January 30, 2013

 

Present: Steven Barkan, Jason Bolton, Richard Borgman, Emmanuel Boss, Dick Brucher, Stephen Coghlan, William Congleton, Mauricio da Cunha, Benildo de los Reyes, Dylan Dryer, Janet Fairman, Michael Grillo, Robert Gundersen, Dennis King, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, Mary Ellin Logue, James McClymer, Paul Myer, Harlan Onsrud, Michael Peterson, Andrew Reeve, Brian Robinson, Thomas Sandford, Michael Scott, Howard Segal, Claire Sullivan, Roy Turner, Chuck Wallace, Gail Werrbach, David Yarborough, Bob Rice, Kathryn Slott, Susan Hunter, Stuart Marrs, Melvin Johnson, Edward Ashworth, Charles Rodda (GSG), Robert Strong, Paul W Ferguson, Molly MacLean

Absent: John Allen, Douglas Bousfield, Ian Bricknell, Charlsye Diaz, Marcia Douglas, Thane Fremouw, Ramesh Gupta, Gordon Hamilton, Clarissa Henry, Steven Kimball, Bill Livingston, David Marcincowski, Robert Milardo, Martha Novy-Broderick, Ray Pelletier, Jay Rasaiah, Mark Wells, Robert Jackson Pineau (USG),

The meeting was called to order at 3:15 pm

I. Welcome and Announcements:

President Ferguson introduced Chancellor Page and expressed “deep appreciation” to the Faculty Senate for work in many areas including the Blue Sky Project.

He stated the senate had been fully committed to, and active as a full partner with, the university in moving the Flagship agenda forward.

Chancellor James Page:

We’ve worked very hard with President Ferguson to work as a team. Team work is crucial and look forward to more.

When referring to the system, he clarified that he meant the entire system, all campuses, not just the office in Bangor.

We face the following challenges:

  1. Economics –state, business, families, campuses. It’s significant that the state budget showed flat funding for the universities. That was an important first step, debate will continue until the budget is passed spring/summer.
  2. Demographics – Maine graduated just under 14,000 public high school students, compared to NY city with 280,000 seniors. High School population is expected to decline in the next several years by approximately 19%.
  3. Revolution of education, how to use distance education and leverage diverse needs, and program and academic strengths.

Programs coming out of the BOT Goals and Actions, 16 directives, two the Trustees could now do but the rest are long-term projects. Prioritize programs and projects i.e., credit transfer being worked on; externally this is being received very well.

Administrator Reviews: working on three areas with 46 additional that could be looked at and how to transform processes and procedures. If we’re going to invest in critical programs, academic programs and control tuition, there’s not going to be money from new increases in funding. There’s a need to rearrange, reallocate much of what is done. BOT and campus presidents are aware that there’s a need to not be reactive to cuts but to be strategic with investments.

Q. How are you involved with the current impasses with the Union and any suggestions on how these impasses may be avoided in the future?
A. Everyone is dissatisfied with how the process is done. Looking to find a way to change the model and how dialogue is handled. No one likes the current situation.
Q. What does the System hope to gain with the Redistribution Formula, it appears the System is purposely directing money away from the Flagship campus?
A. Outcome Based added one parameter that is defined, i.e., cost efficient production of completing a degree in four years. It’s difficult for Orono to be efficient on that parameter due to size so during discussion that’s one part of the picture. Another is how to allocate dollars to R&D. A majority of R&D is in Orono, some at USM and very little on other campuses. As a result of discussions, all seven presidents requested that the intent of the Strategic Investment Fund be looked at. Because of that, the Strategic Fund is suspended for one year. Those dollars will be held at campuses, the System and BOT will have the opportunity to see the intent and what to do next.
Q. Mick asked, efficient production of a four-year degree but a student is interested in return on investment? Governor uses Maine Maritime as an example of a students return on investment but their cost is very high.
A. There will be a committee to see how the model is working, what works and what doesn’t. The administrative review captures the System also with comparison to peers, per student, heavy in administration.
Q. The system-wide administrative review shows that we are heavy in administration system wide. How is this being addressed?
A. We are looking at the administrative review on three levels:
  1. Integration: Common platform and policy;
  2. consolidate duplicate services;
  3. centralization: doesn’t necessarily mean moving it to the System Office. Centralization could take place in Fort Kent or Orono. We’re committed to shrinking administration across the board, including the System Office.
Q. Any strategy to get the savings back to the source, i.e., Research & Sponsored Programs. How is that money being moved back so it’s close to Orono?
A. Great question and not a good answer at this time. How to assure money saved is truly available to feed back in. This is an active piece of each implementation going forward.
Q. There are concerns about reports that come out and “the devil’s in the details”. Is this campus being heard?
A. Yes. Colleagues have a right to be skeptical on how things are implemented, rolled out, and reviewed. The initiatives will be a different level of project management. There will be a lot of opportunity to give input.
Q. Why weren’t there any open meetings regarding the IT review?
A. There were IT professionals from each campus who were part of the meetings. There were no open meetings but work teams on the campus.
Q. The steering committee seemed to have representatives from other campuses but not Orono.
A. Janet Waldron commented that there were subcommittees under the review committee that had representation but not the review committee.
Harlan commented that the concern is that IT is very important to the faculty and they have very different needs from those of administrators.
Mick stated that the complexity of super computers, distance education, etc. makes IT a major concern for faculty.
Q. There’s talk about a need for more students. Any plans to recruit students from abroad, high schools are recruiting now. Is anything like that being looked at?
A. President Ferguson and Janet Waldron have terrific news on that subject.
Janet Waldron said they’ve worked to help coordinate a plan. Negotiating with Study Group from the UK.  The contract will guarantee numbers and students will be paying out-of-state-tuition fees. There will be an International Study Center in conjunction with USM (they will have a International Study Center also), working with our ESL program and our academic curriculum and instructors, academic quality is set by the university so overall the university maintains control. Goal of 300 per year for Orono.
Q. Performance Based Funding was pushed back but why not benchmarking? Why is there resistance to benchmarking against peers?
A. It is an internal cost structure for production of a degree.
Q. Look at Orono compared to an Idaho or other institution.
A. There is resistance because performance based on Maine dollars, Maine students, and their costs.
Q. We need high quality faculty, what about using reserves accumulated at the System, could be used to keep the credential faculty and to attract more.
A. Critical issue that the campus(s) faces is the ratio of tenured stream, non-tenured faculty to all tenure stream. Figures show fewer than 15% of tenure stream faculty were tenured. We need new, young scholars, support and keep them here.
  1. I have heard that the reserves at the System Office are $177 million, “I wish that were true.”

Reserves

Unrestricted – $176+/- million
Money is on the System Office books – it exists throughout the system, all campus reserves. Seventy-five percent of that money exists on the campuses.
Remaining amount that resides at the System Office, $43-44 million
$17 million is benefit carryover, can’t use those funds for anything but benefits.

The System has two funds: a budget stabilization fund, like a rainy day fund  – $10 million

And about $6 million in one time dollar’s. Once that is gone, it’s gone.

II. Approval of November 2012 Minutes
Vote: Motion Approved

III. Committee Reports

BOT Rep – Robert Rice 
There was extensive discussion of credit transfer, outcome based funding, and IT procurement at the meeting. Since then several things have taken place from the Goals and Actions, that document is linked on the website. On the Outcomes Based Funding, it was pointed out that it was not a positive issue for this campus. The campus Presidents managed to keep the Strategic Funds on the campus for at least another year. Bob made a comment during the BOT meeting regarding PCard and IT issues and centralized travel. Someone from the System called him a few days later which made it clear to Bob that they are further down the road on the issue than has been released to the public. Regarding the System budget being larger than five campuses, actually it is system wide services that are larger than five campuses.

Academic Affairs –Richard Borgman & Judy Kuhns-Hastings
Military credit discussed at a meeting on Monday, a lot of progress was made.

Constitution & Bylaws – Mick Peterson
No report.

Research & Scholarship – Robert Gundersen
No report.

Finance & Institutional Planning – James McClymer & Tom Sandford
Met last week and discussed Outcome Based Funding. Reallocation funds could amount up to 5% of state funding.

  1. President Ferguson stated: proposal that has gone through for Outcome Based Funding, through all the good work, the System and BOT concept was Performance Based Funding but through everyone’s efforts that is off the table. Now it is actually Outcome based on producing degrees at a low cost. Ongoing conversation for Flagship campus benchmark, Flagship should be measured differently. This is an ongoing conversation, a win this year but will be a challenge going forward.

The role of the Senate has been very important.

University Environment – Andrew Reeve & Mike Scott
Met to discuss classroom improvement and came to a couple conclusions. Looking to allocate money to faculty group to renovate classrooms and future buildings should have endowments to maintain them.

Library Advisory – Robert Rice & Howard Segal
Met last week. Digital Commons progressing, the annex and last copy center storage areas are both full so there will be issues later on what to do with the overflow. There is a grant from ILMS for Legacy Print Collections and digitization. Joyce Rumery is very involved; it encompasses many Libraries in the state. There will be renovations to part of first floor of the library.

Service & Outreach – Emmanuel Boss & Claire Sullivan
Survey was sent out to Deans and Directors and received 35 responses.

Committee on Committees – Roy Turner
No report.

Program Creation & Reorganization Review – Mick Peterson
There will be a public meeting on February 8, 2013 at 3:00 in the FFA Room, Memorial Union. The hearing is for The College of Natural Sciences Forestry and Agriculture proposed elimination of three undergraduate degrees and the merger of departments into a new School of Food and Agriculture.

General Education  — Chair Vacancy
There is a meeting set for next week with Stuart Marrs.

Ad Hoc IT – Martha Novy-Broderick & Mike Scott
Will have an open meeting with Dick Thompson regarding IT impact on faculty.

Committee of the Administration
Blue Sky Reports

Blue Sky Steering Committee – Bob Rice – Spoke with the Chancellor

Pathway 1 – Mick Peterson – Letter went out, response from Faculty Senate will be key.

Pathway 2 – Jim McClymer – The letter will be sent next week. Committee will meet later in February. At one meeting we discussed financial ratios and ask if Janet could speak to that subject at some point. Janet commented that she’d like for people to understand the financial ratios because they do speak to the health of the institution.

Pathway 3 – Rick Borgman – Letter was shared with the committee last week and it jumpstarted good conversation. In the process of responding and will also gather additional information.

Pathway 4 – Judy Kuhns-Hastings – Sent letter and had positive response from one committee member. This Pathway has a lot of support from the Senate, approx. 90% approval. One thing that came out of conversation at the breakfast was concern about how university students may come out of the university experience.

Pathway 5 – Doug Bousfield – No report.

IV. Open Comments from the Administration

Q. Recently changed the phone system on campus; did we save any money doing that?
A. We’re about halfway through changing to an IP system, able to take down switch that are older and in need maintenance, and able to remove copper. When the conversion is complete it will save money.
Q. I found quality inferior.
A. The quality can depend on the line you’re on and if it’s competing for data traffic.

V. Old Business
None

VI. New Business
None

Adjourned at 4:50 pm

Respectfully submitted

Kathryn Slott

 


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Faculty Senate
Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
205 East Annex, Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640
E-mail: kimberly.junkins@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1865