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2013-2014 - September 18, 2013

FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
September 18, 2013

Present: John Allen, Steve Barkan, Richard Borgman, Dick Brucher, Stephen Coghlan, Micheal Montgomery for George Criner, Mauricio da Cunha, Benildo de los Reyes, Scott Dunning, Dylan Dryer, Janet Fairman, Michael Grillo, Gordon Hamilton, Dennis King, Judy Kuhns-Hastings, James McClymer, Robert Milardo, Martha Novy-Broderick, Harlan Onsrud, Michael Peterson, Andrew Reeve, Brian Robinson, Jonathan Rubin, Thomas Sandford, Michael Scott, Howard Segal, Allan Smith, David Townsend, Susan Wheaton, Clayton Wheeler, David Yarborough, Bob Rice, Kathryn Slott, William Dee Nichols, Paul W. Ferguson, Jeff Hecker, Carol Kim, Alicia Bolduc (Stud. Gov), Abilgail Jones (Grad Stud Gov).

Absent: Jason Bolton, Emmanuel Boss, Ian Bricknell, William Congleton, Charlsye Diaz, Marcia Douglas, Thane Fremouw, Robert Gundersen, Ramesh Gupta, Clarissa Henry, Steven Kimball, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Mary Ellin Logue, Paul Myer, Ray Pelletier, Jay Rasaiah, Mark Wells, Gail Werrbach, Melvin Johnson, Peter C. Altmann, Charles Rote

The meeting was called to order at 3:15 pm

I.          Welcome and Announcements:

Harlan welcomed all to the first full Faculty Senate meeting of the year. For those that were new, Senators are elected from their college, Administrators (President, Provost, and VP for Research) attend the Full Senate meetings, there’s an Undergraduate Student Government Rep and Graduate Student Government Rep, and other campus organizations that have representation at Full Senate meetings. For specific processes of Faculty Senate check the website at www.umaine.edu/facultysenate

A Committee sign up sheet will be sent around.

There will be a brunch for those on Senate at Harlan’s Sunday, Sept. 29.

II.        Approval of May 1, 2013 Minutes

Vote: Motion carried.

III.       Committee Reports

BOT Rep – Robert Rice 
The BOT met in July, uneventful, there will be a meeting next month in Bangor. The System Office is working on initiatives, i.e., IT issues, the travel policy, and academic credit transfer. Tracy Bigney, Chief of HR, will move to Clerk of Board. BOT will have a retreat in October.

Academic Affairs –Richard Borgman & Judy Kuhns-Hastings
The committee hasn’t met yet but will within the next couple of weeks. Topics will include classes running Mon. – Thurs.

Constitution & Bylaws – Mick Peterson
No report.

Research & Scholarship – Emmanuel Boss & Mauricio de Cunha
Meeting in October.

Finance & Institutional Planning – James McClymer & Tom Sandford
The committee will meet with the VP next Wednesday to discuss financial issues and Institutional Planning. It would be nice to have a committee member from Business and one from Education so each college is represented.

University Environment –Mike Scott & OPEN
The committee continues to look at classrooms, bond issue to address classrooms, and other issues. The committee has not met yet.

Library Advisory – Robert Rice & Howard Segal
If anyone is interested in joining, the committee meets with the Dean of Libraries approximately two or three times a semester.

Service & Outreach – Martha Broderick & David Yarborough
The committee has not met but plan to check with Claire and Emmanuel where they left off last year. Will try to contact departments to see what they currently do for Service and Outreach.

Committee on Committees – OPEN
Kim Junkins will be doing 90% of the work for the committee but a Chair is needed.

Program Creation & Reorganization Review – Brian Robinson & Mick Peterson
The purpose of the committee is to receive, review, and recommend program change, creation, or elimination. There are presently six members but ten are needed. The Chancellor recently reinstated two programs, BA in Theater and BA in Women, Gender and Sexuality.

General Education  — Harlan Onsrud
The committee reviews course requirements across campus. There was a reevaluation of requirements two years ago and something that keeps coming forward. With the System wide credit transfer initiative, this has expanded and will probably end up being an active committee.

Ad Hoc IT – Michael Scott & OPEN
The committee hasn’t met yet. There is a Resolution coming up under New Business.

Committee of the Administration
No report.

IV.       Open Comments from the Administration

Q.
The news reported a large proportion of tuition goes to Study Group for students. How strong were the incentives to help students graduate?
A.
Study Group is an international company helping to recruit students from abroad. There are two centers, USM and UMaine. Study Group has a five-year contract. First year is 80% (also covers cost of recruiting) and each year after an additional 5% is paid to Study Group as an incentive. Retention/progression rate was researched before Study Group was selected. UMaine faculty are teaching the courses.

Q.
It was reported in the paper that $1.8 million was being spent to remodel Estabrook Hall.
A.
Estabrook was previously a residential hall and will not be residential any longer. The report was incorrect, the renovation amount is actually $700,000+/-. The first floor will be office and interactive classroom. Study Group will have a portion of the second floor along with classrooms, some minimal office space and an International Center. The International Office may move over at some point. There will be no residential use of the building. The $1.8 million is actually $1 million for Estabrook and the $.8 million for USM.

Q.
How long is the Study Group contract and does it center on the retention issue?
A.
Five years and history elsewhere show’s a high percentage rate for retention.
A.
Provost stated that UMaine is involved with two paths, Engineering and Business, more may be opened up later.

There are four students now because recruiting started too late and the season was missed. That number will go up. Study Group is also sending their recruiters to UMaine and Maine to visit so they have first hand knowledge of the campus and area.

Q.
For President Ferguson: Will Faculty Senate continue to have a role in the Blue Sky and Steering Committees or will role be diminished now that it’s being reorganized?
A.
There’s been a change in management because the project is in year 3. The VP’s have specific tasks to get done so Janet and Jeff have a lot of tasks. Each VP will transition the group to an advisory committee and meet regularly with the faculty group. This change doesn’t diminish the role of Faculty Senate but has more to do with the fact that the project is in year 3.

Q.
The Faculty Senate last year discussed and forwarded suggestions but we’ve seen little progress.
A.
They still remain priorities.

Q.
What’s happening with the Faculty Fellows Program Proposal and why hasn’t there been further involvement from the Executive Committee of Faculty Senate in the development of the program?
A.
President Ferguson stated the original concept was for Faculty Leadership Academy was early on but that changed to Faculty Fellowship. Several from Faculty Senate were involved early on and had continued input. The program is not finalized and a call hasn’t been sent out.

Q.
Shared Governance Policy makes clear that there is to be collaboration with faculty, deans, and administration. There were no open sessions for input for the Provost position. While there is strong support on the selection the process is important. Why weren’t the normal procedures followed and will they be in the future?
A.
Not sure that Shared Governance wasn’t followed. When Provost Hunter shared on July 1 that she was leaving there was limited time to fill three positions. There were conversations, sought input, and comments taken. Each position is a two-year fixed length terms and then a national search will be done. It seemed appropriate to fill the positions that way with the best people at UMaine. Once Provost Hecker was appointed he used the same process to fill the other two positions.

Provost Hecker explained the process for filling the positions that were open.

A comment was made regarding Shared Governance not always being followed and it should be.

Stated that in the spirit of Shared Governance, Faculty Senate’s Committee on Committees was notified to fill positions on the Dean Search Committee.

Harlan stated that some questions presented were due to a lack of communication over the summer.

Q.
Mike Scott stated that last year, working with Stuart, there was a committee of faculty involved with the active classroom. Is there any follow-up with that?
A.
Janet Waldron stated she’d check in to the issue and get Mike linked back in.

V.        Old Business
None

VI.       New Business

RESOLUTION FROM THE FACULTY SENATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE TO PRESIDENT FERGUSON

PREAMBLE

The University of Maine System (UMS) Information Technology (IT) Transformation Plan, “A Redesign of Information Technology Service Delivery,” was approved by the UMS Board of Trustees, January 2013. “A Redesign of Information Technology Service Delivery” is in its first phase of implementation, directed by UMS Chief Information Officer (CIO) Richard Thompson, by explicit instruction of Chancellor James Page. The plan was developed in response to the Chancellor’s December 2012 revised charter, after his rejection of the recommendations of an administrative IT review committee representing all campuses, formed by charter of the Chancellor May 2012. The vision of the approved plan, authored by the CIO, is “[t]o deliver seamless, high-quality and effective information technology infrastructure and services that matter to students, faculty and administrative users.” (“Administrative Review: Information Technology Services,” 2). The approved plan proposes “transformational change that establishes an accountable person within a framework that provides high engagement and oversight from campus leadership, as well as a commitment to efficiencies, savings, and a greater focus on academic programs and activities” (ibid, 4) a “new focus on academic technology” with the planned outcome of “a seamless information technology delivery system which is responsive to the needs of leadership, faculty, students and administrators” (10). The plan identifies “change of governance, development of communication, accountability and oversight,” as key factors for achieving “a streamlined and efficient system of service delivery and asset management” (15) securing “efficiencies resulting in savings of at least 10% of current operating budgets” (7) by Fiscal 2016.  The plan calls for modernization and transformation by systematically reassigning campus-level responsibilities for IT management, growth and delivery to system-level administration (the Office of the CIO), centralizing and standardizing services, procurement and funding, and policies and practices; by consolidating to system-level the management and delivery of campus and system infrastructure, support, data center operations, and communications systems; by unifying delivery of end-user technology across campuses; and by centrally organizing academic IT, web development services and learning management systems through a shared services model, all to be achieved by applying best practices (Appendix 3—Recommendations, 25-29). The plan is to be fully implemented by April 2015.

WHEREAS the University of Maine System (“The System”) Information Technology (IT) Transformation Plan, A Redesign of Information Technology Service Delivery (“The Plan”), is currently in its initial phase of implementation; and

WHEREAS aspects of The Plan implemented since inception have included establishment of a multi-campus IT Director, an Academic Information Technology Service Management Committee, a CIO council, a communications plan for leaders, administrators, technical staff and innovators, a campus commonalities report for identifying, reviewing and organizing IT services into a shared services model with campus IT management, and establishment in part of a new organizational structure; and

WHEREAS aspects of The Plan implemented since May 2013 have included governance changes impacting oversight at the campus level; and

WHEREAS aspects of The Plan implemented since May 2013 have included changes to infrastructure impacting or potentially impacting academic IT at the campus level; and

WHEREAS aspects of The Plan implemented since May 2013 impacting campus oversight and/or academic IT have been enacted without either soliciting input from or informing in a timely fashion University of Maine faculty representatives to the Academic Information Technology Service Management Committee;

AND FURTHER,

WHEREAS The Plan systemically removes autonomy and authority over development, management and delivery of academic IT infrastructure and services from University of Maine vests such autonomy and authority in The System;

AND FURTHER,

WHEREAS The Plan does not quantify or otherwise consider consequences of cost-management decision-making on the effectiveness of academic IT use and development, nor the potentially mitigating effects on proposed cost-savings due to academic IT-educational services solutions mismatches; and

WHEREAS The Plan is not informed by any study or review of current academic IT practices and needs of faculty at University of Maine and other campuses; and

WHEREAS The Plan is without mechanism for shared, direct communication between system-level administrators of The Plan and campus faculty, despite recommendation from the May 2012 review committee to “Form constituent-based advisory opportunities for consumers of IT services. These should include formally assembled groups of students, faculty, and administrative staff to have the ability for their needs to be heard and to provide priority and voice to their ideas and input” (“Administrative Review,” 10); and

AND FURTHER,

WHEREAS academic IT network and digital communications supporting are today integrated into daily classroom activities of more than 50% of University of Maine campus-based courses; and

WHEREAS The Plan makes no acknowledgement of the deep daily integration of academic IT in daily classroom activities; and

WHEREAS seamless, high-quality and effective information technology infrastructure and services via campus-based network and digital communications are further relied upon by University of Maine students in their daily and academic lives and equally by University of Maine faculty in their daily and professional lives; and

WHEREAS the vision of The Plan is precisely to deliver seamless, high-quality and effective information technology infrastructure and services that matter to students, faculty and administrative users; and

WHEREAS disruption of access to academic IT resources and services implies immediate disruption of delivery of educational materials and services for both campus-based and distance-learning courses; and

WHEREAS such disruption of services compromises the effectiveness of the teaching faculty, the reputation of affected campuses, and faith in The System’s ability to effectively oversee and manage IT centrally;

AND FURTHER,

WHEREAS repeated disruption of IT infrastructure network services occurred throughout the University of Maine campus during the first two weeks of the Fall 2013 semester; and

WHEREAS such disruptions severely negatively impacted hundreds of classes and distance-learning offerings, some repeatedly, during the first two weeks of the Fall 2013 semester; and

WHEREAS no organized system-level communication about or response to issues was evident to UM faculty or other campus-level IT stakeholders during the first two weeks of the Fall 2013 semester; and

WHEREAS System-level response to campus-wide disruptions in IT infrastructure network services was slow and inadequate, appeared to have insufficient direct knowledge of campus-level events with a concomitant lack of urgency in responsiveness, appeared inaccessible to general end-users seeking remedy from the consequences of disruptions in service, and appeared slow to acknowledge the scope of campus-level disruptions; and

WHEREAS these recent events have made superabundantly evident the need for robust mechanisms whereby faculty and other campus-level stakeholders can provide continuous input and receive timely feedback to System-level administrators implementing The Plan throughout all phases, in formats best promoting effective communication of stakeholder and end-user needs, issues, solutions and innovations;

AND FINALLY,

WHEREAS this Body has previously brought to the attention of the University of Maine administration, specifically the Office of Administration & Finance, and the Office of the Provost, concerns about lack of process and communication with regard to implementation of The Plan, and received assurances from University of Maine administration that faculty would be duly included and informed through conduits to be instituted as a campus-level priority; and

WHEREAS it has been the experience to date among UM faculty that campus-level administrative assurances of input & inform have not been adequately realized in practice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the University of Maine Faculty Senate prevail upon the Office of the President to 1. Immediately convene an open meeting of campus-wide academic IT stakeholders before October 1 to discuss concerns with current implementation strategies and timelines of The Plan; and, 2. Begin co-development of a process for creating a proper, permanent communications mechanism between faculty campus administration and System-level administrators of The Plan, to maximize benefit and positive impact of technology integration and transformation of the “Redesign of Information Technology Service Delivery” on the teaching and research missions of the University of Maine.

SUBMITTED BY: Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Ad Hoc IT Committee of Faculty Senate of the University of Maine.

Discussion

This resolution came from faculty frustration, disruption to classes during the first week, and no reporting method when there’s a disruption. There needs to be reliable communications when IT disruptions are coming. President Ferguson didn’t believe a resolution was necessary but agrees there has been frustration and will be meeting as soon as possible with Dick Thompson. There were assurances that something like this would not happen but it did. The System needs to come have a conversation about the issues. Janet Waldron agreed, clear communication is needed and so far it’s not acceptable. UMaine Strategic Plan will guide the campus direction, IT Governance Council and IT Effectiveness Council. The Councils have been generated and will need to work with UMaine to enforce that campus is driving the technology needs.  John Gregory stated that communication is a serious issue but not sure the outage could have been avoided since they were not tied to the restructuring. PeopleSoft and other services were already here but we do need better communication moving forward.

It was stated that the Resolution was a stronger tool if it’s not passed today.  If postponed, while waiting to see how a meeting with the System Office goes, the Resolution becomes stronger.

Vote: Resolution Approved

 

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