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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

(last updated 1/12/15)

2014-2015 Faculty Senate





Wednesday, January 14, 2015
MBSC Chancellor's Room

Presentation:  Melanie Krings, President, Staff Advisory Council


I.       Official Call to Order 

II.      Presentation and Approval of Minutes:   

III.     Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Scherer    

1.      External Issues:  None

2.      NU System Issues:

a.      NU President Candidate:  Update on Process UNO Survey Results (agenda attachment – pages 15-27) 

b.      Update on International Travel Committee

3.      UNO Campus Issues:

a.      Update on Meeting with Cecil Hicks and HR Initiatives

(e-mail dated 1/5/15 from Cecil Hicks to President Scherer)

Subject: Best Places to Work Survey (Pre-Information)

Happy New Year All!

I hope you all had a wonderful holidays!

Thanks for taking time before the break to discuss the Best Places to work Survey.  Your support of this initiative is much appreciated.  We are working out a few "wrinkles" with the plan of sending out invitation to eligible employees to take survey starting on Jan.  7th or 8. The closing date is Jan.  23rd.     Eligible employees is defined(per survey administrators) as all Full-Time-Regular Employees (this excludes Part-Time, Temporary and Student Employees-maybe we can look a utilizing different process for soliciting feedback from this group in the future).  

Attached you will find a draft email that will be distributed within the next few day to eligible employees. (agenda attachment – page 28) Also, attached is sample of the survey questions.  We briefly discussed the possibility of modifying/adding questions.  Unfortunately, at the current time it is cost/time prohibitive to so but I think would be worthy of consideration for the next survey period (2016).  

You can assist with this process by encouraging your "constituents" to fill survey out honestly and in a timely manner.  If you need me to come to speak any of your groups, I am more than happy to do so.  Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns.  Also, here is the Chamber of Commerce Site where much of content about the survey is included.  (

Thanks again for your commitment-please let me know what questions, comments or concerns you might have about this initiative. 

b.      Update on FS Communication with full time and part time faculty from FS President via Angie Sargus

c.       Update on Communication:  Agenda and Minutes from OASA to be sent to FS President and Sue Bishop

d.      Update on Communication Liaisons (SVC BJ Reed to Support e-mail to Deans)

e.       Meeting w/John Fiene, Lanyce Keel and Joyce Crockett on enhancing communication and collaboration with FS and educational IT services

f.       UNO Website Update regarding enhancing the usefulness of current website faculty, staff and student internal communication

g.      BJ plans to establish a Diversity Cabinet that includes faculty, staff, and students in order to better coordinate diversity initiatives across the campus community.

h.      BJ and Deb Smith-Howell have solicited nominations from faculty, staff and students to serve on the search committee for the Dean of the UNO Library.

i.        BJ has taken note of the fragmentation of compliance responsibilities (e.g., ADA, Title IX, FERPA, etc.) and the need to develop a more integrated and comprehensive set of policies and procedures accessible to the UNO faculty, staff, and students.

j.        Professor Emeritus conversation with James McCarty.

k.      Update on arena and graduation ceremony in new arena in December 2015.

4.   Research support for faculty travel is under discussion.

B.     Secretary/Treasurer's Report:  Senator Cast-Brede

1.      EC&A:  December 17, 2014 (agenda attachment – pages 29-31)     

2.      Acknowledgements for Resolutions:

2014-2015 Resolution Action Table
(Action Pending and Current Resolutions/Written Replies )






Admin Accept

Sent for Senate Action



In Progress

Final Action/Resolved



Faculty Senate to Partner with VPA-UNO Toy Drive for Open Door Mission






Faculty Senate President-Elect






LGBTQQIA Faculty and Staff Affinity Group






Appointments a & b






Support for the Formation and Implementation of the Nebraska Advanced Biomedical Technology Innovation and Discovery Institute







Initiating Emeritus Status Policies and Procedures



Aug ‘14


Sept ‘14

January 2015

SVC BJ Reed: "I have asked James McCarty to look at a revised Emeritus policy that we can bring to Faculty Senate/Deans and other key stakeholders hopefully by August or September."

New expectation is document to SVC BJ Reed in January 2015



Criminal Background Checks at UNO




Not supported.  As with Resolution 4073, which I opposed, in part, because of its reference to all  NU campuses, I also believe this to be a safety issue for which we have legal and fiduciary responsibility.  In summary, the absence of some form of background checks for persons employed on campus seems in opposition to best practices.



Determine Contractual Implications of Background Check Policy

(w/participation of bargaining unit and Central Admin.)



The chancellor acknowledges receipt of the resolution and has provided the legal opinion requested.*

(UNO Faculty Senate is not satisfied with this response.)



UCRCA Funding




*4074 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on2/18/13:  Not supported.  As with Resolution 4073, which I opposed, in part, because of its reference to all  NU campuses, I also believe this to be a safety issue for which we have legal and fiduciary responsibility.  In summary, the absence of some form of background checks for persons employed on campus seems in opposition to best practices.)

*4054(Legal Opinion): From: John C. Hewitt [] ; Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:11 PM;

       To: Ed Wimes; Subject: Background Checks. 


     In a response to my email of July 14, you have indicated that at this time you anticipate that the "background check" at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will consist of the University reviewing public records (i.e., sex offender registry, criminal convictions, etc.) for applicants for employment.  Based on the foregoing you have inquired whether such an approach would constitute a mandatory subject of bargaining.

     The simple answer is that the University could, in my opinion, proceed to implement such an approach for applicants without any discussions.  The obligation to bargain in good faith concerning mandatory subjects is generally limited to the current employees of an employer.  There is generally no obligation to negotiate concerning prospective employees.  Star Tribune, 295 NLRB 543 (1989).

     If there remains any discussion about expanding such an approach to current employees, then the answer becomes more complicated.  Nevertheless, I do not believe that the University would be required to bargain over the decision to review public records at its own cost and expense.  As I indicated previously, this decision would likely be within the employer's managerial discretion.  However, I also believe that the University would be required to bargain over the "effects" of such a decision; such as (a) whether any information in a person's criminal record would remain confidential; (b) whether certain employees would be exempted based upon length of exemplary work records; (c) the appeal rights of employees who claim that they have been incorrectly identified of having been convicted of a particular crime or who believe there are extenuating circumstances that would exclude their disqualification; and (d) the categories of offenses that would result in automatically exclusion from employment.

     If you would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to call.

John C. Hewitt; ; CLINE WILLIAMS WRIGHT JOHNSON & OLDFATHER, L.L.P.; 1125 S.103rd Street, Suite 600; Omaha, Nebraska 68154; Phone 402.397.1700/Fax 402.397.1806

*2944 (From the EC & Admin Mtg 1/21/09: The Chancellor supports the concept in Resolution 2944 on funding an UCRCA budget line but opined we wouldn't get it during the years of budgetary problems.)(6/10/09 Nancy Castilow wrote for Chanc. Christensen: "One clarification related to  Res. 2944, dealing with ongoing support of the UCRCA budget.  I said that I was open to the concept and supportive of continued funding of the UCRCA budget, albeit we would need to review its funding during times of budget constraints, as we do with other such programs.  The decision to fund and how much to fund remains the purview of the Office of Academic Affairs.  I did not opine that the UCRCA budget line would automatically see no funding during years of budgetary problems.")

3.      Budget Report:  December 2014 (agenda attachment – page 32)

IV.     Executive Committee Report:  Senator Holley  

A.    Identification of Need for FS Representatives on HR and Student Affairs

B.     Request to re-establish IT liaison relationship with Educational Resources & Services Committee by identifying Lanyce Keel as  liaison to the ER&S committee and by identifying a committee member who is a heavy user of instructional IT services as the committee contact for her.

C.   Adjunct Classifications:

It was agreed, between chairpersons, Senator Harden for the Faculty Personnel & Welfare Committee, and Senator Sollars for the Professional Development Committee, that, due to the FP&W Committee being overburdened with tasks, the PD Committee would look into Adjunct classifications or the possibility of new designators (e.g., “Professors of Practice,” etc.).

D. Resolutions:

1.      Resolution for Senator Returning to Senate:

BE IT RESOLVED that Harrison Means is returning from his semester of Paid Professional Leave.  We thank Richard Stacy for temporarily serving for him for Fall 2014.

2.      Resolution Regarding Commitment to Make UNO a Non-Smoking Campus

WHEREAS considerable research has shown the harmful health effects of second-hand smoke;

WHEREAS UNO Faculty Senate is committed to supporting policies that enhance the wellness of UNO faculty, staff, and students;

WHEREAS two major universities in Omaha, UNMC and Creighton, have smoke-free campuses;

WHEREAS seven out of ten of UNO's peer institutions are smoke-free;

WHEREAS eight out of fourteen of the Big 10 universities have smoke-free campuses;

WHEREAS data from focus groups and surveys of UNO students indicate most students support UNO becoming a smoke-free campus (73% of 632 survey responses) and the UNO Student Government has passed a resolution to make UNO a smoke-free campus; and

WHEREAS implementation of a smoke-free campus is a complex endeavor and designs for implementation must be customized for each unique work environment, the first step for any change is a commitment to the goal to make the UNO campus smoke-free;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UNO Faculty Senate requests the UNO administration to commit to the goal of making UNO a smoke-free campus.

3.      Resolution of Appreciation for Presidential Award for Community Engagement: 

WHEREAS UNO is the first college or university in Nebraska to be named a Presidential Award winner as part of the US President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll;

WHEREAS each year the US President recognizes best practices for community service and service-learning, including long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of their service by presenting one award in each of four categories to one institution of higher education;

WHEREAS the four Award winning organizations are at the head of a list entitled the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which includes many other worthy institutions;

WHEREAS UNO has, since 2006, been recognized on that list and at high levels of distinction up to but not including Award Winner, i.e., Honor Roll (2006, 2007, 2008), Honor Roll with Distinction (UNO 2009, 2012, 2013), Presidential Award Finalist (UNO 2010);

WHEREAS UNO is the winner of the 2014 Presidential Award in the category of economic opportunity and is the first college or university in Nebraska to be named a Presidential Award winner; and

WHEREAS this high honor was achieved through the sustained, creative, unselfish contributions of Paul Sather and the UNO Service Learning Academy, Kathe Oleson Lyons and the UNO Office of Community Leadership and Service, Deb Smith Howell and the offices of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, Senior Vice Chancellor BJ Reed, Chancellor John Christensen and the myriad UNO faculty, staff, and students who are and have been engaged with the community;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UNO Faculty Senate hereby acknowledges and expresses deep appreciation for these meritorious contributions to the culture, deeds and reputation of the University of Nebraska at Omaha that have propelled UNO to national recognition.  We salute you.

4.      Resolution of Appreciation re 2014 Light of Wellness Award: 

WHEREAS three UNO colleagues have received the 2014 Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELLCOM) Light of Wellness Award for workplace wellness leadership;

WHEREAS workplace wellness is a growing concern in high energy, diverse workplaces such as universities;

WHEREAS workplace wellness is particularly difficult to encourage within the budget constraints and dedication to diversity and inclusiveness typical of public universities; and

WHEREAS UNO students, faculty and staff benefit collectively and as individuals from support for wellness;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UNO Faculty Senate acknowledges and applauds Marcia Adler, Director of Health Services, Julie Kalasek, Assistant Director of Health Services, and Esther Scarpello, the Benefits Manager in Human Resources, and thanks these colleagues for their dedication and hard work in promoting wellness of UNO faculty, staff and students.

V.     Standing Committee Reports

A.    Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Beard

B.     Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator Kwak (No Meeting/No Report)

C.    Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Harden

D.    Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Mitchell

E.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator  Sollars

F.     Committee on Rules:  Senator  Morris

VI.     Other Faculty Senate Committees:

A.    Faculty Senate Budget Advisory Committee: Prof. Johnson, O'Hara, Ward

B.      Ad Hoc College of Engineering Steering Committee:  Prof Emeritus M. Bacon

C.    Ad Hoc Faculty Senate Strategic Plan Writing Group:  Senator Scherer

D.    Ad Hoc Faculty Senate-Student Senate Survey of Students Group:  Senator Scherer

E.     SPAGS (Strategic Priority Action Groups)

1.      Communication and Marketing: Senator Scherer

a.      FS college liaisons encouraged to: 1) ensure that their colleagues are receiving the monthly report from Faculty Senate President, 2) speak at semester college meetings, and 3) meet with their college dean to discuss FS issues and learn about dean and college issues

b.      FS President monthly reports continuing  

c.       FS President monthly meetings with SAC President, Melanie Krings and Student Government President continuing

d.      FS President meetings and emails with Chancellor Christiansen continuing

e.       FS President and Vice President regular meetings with Senior Vice Chancellor BJ Reed continuing

f.       FS President periodic meetings with Associate Vice Chancellor Dan Shipp and Deb Smith-Howell continuing

g.      FS President and Vice President to meet with Regent Daub

h.      Communication with the Board of Regents has been very limited, and no one has sought the insight or advice of the FS President on any issue under consideration.

2.      Diversity:  Senator Holley  

LGBTQQIA Affinity Initiative for faculty and staff was delegated to the Diversity Strategic Priority Action Group (SPAG) to draft a resolution.   A resolution of support was written by the SPAG and enacted by the Senate.  The Diversity SPAG was also asked to consider developing a resolution supporting the LGBTQQIA-Common Ground Initiative.  The SPAG has established specific goals themed around increasing faculty diversity. 

The diversity committee has established specific goals.

3.      Academic Standard, Qualities of Education:  Senator Parnell 

Committee discussing assessment of student learning outcomes.

4.      Workload and Workload Balance:  Senator Harden  

Discussion of common and equitable assignments for service, teaching and research across colleges.

5.      Research and Creative Activity Support:  Senator Morris   

a.       Discussion of widely disparate support for conference travel across colleges-how to make this more equitable?

b.      Discussion of how to increase research support for faculty via the Office of Sponsored Projects.

VII.    Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.    UCRCA:  John P. McCarty, Chair

Date of Meeting: 12 December 2104 – 10:00 AM


John McCarty, Chair, College of Arts & Sciences - Natural Sciences

Danielle Battisti, College of Arts & Sciences – Humanities

Matthew Harden, College of Communication - Fine Arts & Media

Sofia Jawed-Wessel, College of Education

Peter Szto, College of Public Affairs and Community Service

Jamie Luhr, Student Representative

Matt Germonprez, Member At Large, College of Information Science & Technology

Ex Officio: 

Mary Laura Farnham, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs and Research

Elizabeth White, Coordinator – Internal Research Resources, Office of Research and Creative Activity

Information Covered at Meeting:

                    1. Minutes from the meeting of 14 November were approved.

2. The subcommittee charged with selecting the recipient of the Eliot S. Carter Award for the outstanding Masters Thesis (Haifeng Guo, Matthew Harden, and Peter Szto) reported on their deliberations. A winner and honorable mention were selected and forwarded to the Graduate Studies Office.

3. UCRCA received two proposals from graduate students for the December deadline. Proposals were discussed by the committee and we recommended funding one of the proposals and asking the other applicant to revise and resubmit.

4.  The committee discussed recent studies showing that students, reviewers, and others in academe still tended to rate females and minorities lower than males. We discussed approaches the committee might adopt to minimize any unconscious bias in our review process. Guidelines for future chairs of the committee will recommend that this topic be discussed at the start of each year and that strategies adopted by granting agencies such as NIH and NSF be monitored.

5.  We concluded the meeting with a discussion of what guidance we might provide faculty members considering volunteering for the committee. While rewarding, service on the committee is more time consuming than most university committees and members need to be aware of the guidelines that prohibit members from applying for UCRCA funding. Ideally candidates should have prior success in applying for outside funding to meet our goal of helping applicants improve their grant writing abilities

6.  The meeting adjourned at 11:00.

VIII.  Old Business

A.    Professor Emeritus Resolution Update:  Senator Holley reported that this is on James McCarty's desk and he should have something for us in January 2015.  The Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee is urged to meet with James McCarty as soon as possible to achieve closure on the resolution.

B.     Dialogue about reduced rates for parking for adjunct faculty members: This is also with the Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee.

C.    Sexual Misconduct Policy & Behavioral Review Team:  Senator Scherer reported that there is Syllabus Language-Title IX issues and syllabus language suggested by Central Administration. EPAC, and AVC Smith-Howell, are developing a revision of language suggested by Central which will then come to Faculty Senate. FS President will follow up with Deb Smith Howell on status of EPAC's work on this.  The Faculty Senate President will form an Ad Hoc Committee to look at this wording if there is no language forthcoming from EPAC, etc.

D.    UNO Constituency Safety & Well-being: Senator Scherer

Better education, coordination and communication of information to all constituencies on how to facilitate the health, safety and well-being of ALL of its constituents: 

1.   Student Safety Website-very impressive but would like to see a Faculty and Staff Safety website

2.   Confusion on resources for faculty staff (Ombudsmen, EAP person, Counseling, Behavioral Review Team, etc.). What information is confidential? What is not? Where to go?

3.   BRT: Student Concerns—Student is the focal person or person of concern and faculty, staff and students can report here? If is the person of concern is a faculty or student, where does a faculty or staff person report? What are the mechanisms for dealing with the issue(s)?

4.   Should a standing committee be tasked with following up on this-Faculty Personnel & Welfare?

E.     Update on Communities of Practice (COPS) discussion with administration: 

Senators Scherer & Sollars have gathered information about COPS, which, this year, replaced Teaching Circles and Research Triangles, etc., without much faculty input.  President Scherer negotiated several modifications to expand and clarify membership requirements which are now reflected on the COPS UNO website (e.g., only limit on number of members is that total funds for stipends not exceed $1,200.00 per year, part time faculty and graduate students may be members, but will not receive stipends.)  Further negotiations are in progress regarding part-time faculty members being eligible for the $200 stipend.

F.     Alcohol & Drug Use Policy: This is with the Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee.

G.    Review of Standing Committee Goals for the Year 2014-2015  (agenda attachment– pages 33-35)

IX.     For the Good of the Order

X.       New Business

XI.      Adjourn 

XII.    Announcements

A.    EC&A Mtg:  Wednesday,  January 21, 2015, 2 p.m., EAB 200 (Chancellor's Conference Room)

B.     EC&C Mtg:  Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 2 p.m., ASH 196

C.    Faculty Senate Mtg:  Wednesday, February 11, 2015, Fieldhouse 250

D.    Faculty/Staff Awards Banquet:  Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 6:30 p.m. social, 7 p.m. dinner (All Faculty Senators and a guest will be invited.  RSVP will be necessary.)

Faculty Senate Meetings

(Usually 2nd Wednesday of month; 2 p.m.)








August 20, 2014 (Retreat)

Mahoney State Park

Anne Steinhoff

September 10:  MBSC



October 8:  CEC   

CEC 201-205

Interim NU Pres. Linder

November 12:  MBSC 

MBSC – Chancellor's Room

Stud. Gov. Pres/Reg. Koch

December 10:            

(Prep Week)

Commencement 12/20/14)

CEC 201/205/209


January 14: 

MBSC – Chancellor's Room

Melanie Krings, President, Staff Advisory Council

February 11: 

(Fieldhouse 250 – 2nd floor –

Athlete Study Center)

AVC Dan Shipp; & Lindsey Ekwereku

(Asst. Athletic Dir. for Academics)

March 11:    

(Spring Break 3/22-3/29/15)

CBA 122


April 8: 

CEC 230/231


May 13: 

(Commencement 5/8 & 5/9/15)

CEC 230/231