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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

(last updated 12/4/14)

2014-2015 Faculty Senate





Wednesday, December 10, 2014
CEC 201/205/209

I.       Official Call to Order 

II.      Presentation and Approval of Minutes:   November 12, 2014 (agenda attachment–pages 1-24)

III.     Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Scherer

1.      Report to all Faculty:  Forthcoming following December 10 Faculty Senate mtg.

2.      External Issues:  BOR Update

a.      NU Economic Competitiveness Plan

b.      Update of Communication Plan between UNO and BOR regarding NU Presidential Search.

c.       UNO College of Business request for Differential Tuition

3.      Internal Issues

a.      Textbook Update

b.      Update on Community of Practice (COPS) discussion with administration

4.      President's Activities and Committee Assignments

a.      UNO Strategic Planning Forum Invitation for Jordan Koch, Student Senate President, and Lisa Scherer, Faculty Senate President, to report on the faculty and student surveys and resulting goals and actions.  Date of Forum is January 9.

b.   Faculty Senate President spoke with the UNO Student Senate during an October meeting and Student Senate President provided an update on activities at the November Faculty Senate Meeting.

c.   President suggests providing a supportive role in UNO student government Initiative to become a smoke-free campus.

d.   Continued development of Faculty Senate blackboard site to enhance communication and training of senators.

e.   Campus Violence Prevention Committee Formed (Naatz, Counseling)-FS President to be included.

f.    Travel committee formed to develop best practices for UNO faculty, staff and students, particularly to address health risks abroad-FS President to be included.

5.      Office of Academic & Student Affairs Leadership Group: As of November 25, 2014, it has been updated to July 3, 2014.

B.     Vice President's Report:  Senator Holley

1.   EC&A:  November 19, 2014 (agenda attachment – pgs.)

a.      Acknowledgements for Resolutions:

2014-2015 Resolution Action Table

(Action Pending and Current Resolutions)






Admin Acknow- ledged

Sent for Senate Action



In Progress

Final Action/Resolved



Center for Real Estate & Asset Mngmnt.



Acknowledged at EC&A mtg.




Faculty Senate Presidential Appt. to AAUP (completed 11/12/14



Acknowledged at EC&A mtg.




Initiating Emeritus Status Policies and Procedures



Aug ‘14


Sept ‘14

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."

Will be looked at by 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

(From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 10/25/12:  Relative to Resolution 4054, the Chancellor cannot support this resolution; as was discussed at a 10/25 AAUP meeting, the AAUP agrees that they have no jurisdiction over background checks as those affected are not part of the bargaining unit until they are hired and these check occur pre-hiring.)

*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.")

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

1.      Budget Report:  (November 2014) (agenda attachment – page 28)

IV. Executive Committee Report:  Senator Holley

            The following items were discussed at the EC&C meeting:

A.    Professor Emeritus Resolution:

James McCarty, OASA, will be replying to Faculty Senate Resolution 4134 by January 2015.

B.     Reduced Rates for Parking for Adjunct Faculty Members:

Faculty Personnel & Welfare Committee has this as one of their charges.

C.    Alcohol and Drug Use Policy:

Faculty Personnel & Welfare Committee has this as one of their charges.

D.    Sexual Misconduct Policy:  

Syllabus Language-Title IX issues and syllabus language suggested by Central Administration. EPAC 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.  A Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Misconduct Policy was suggested. Names suggested for membership were Bob Woody, Darryll Lewis, and Michael O'Hara.

E.     Establish a New Research Partnership – NABID Institute:  (agenda attachment – pgs. 29-38) or Addendum IX-A-4 at

A proposal that Chancellor Christensen and BJ Reed have asked the Senate to consider under special circumstances.  The proposal is to establish a new research partnership between UNMC, UNO and PKI.  The partnership will be called the Nebraska Advanced Biomedical Technology Innovation and Discovery Institute (NABID Institute) which will be governed jointly by UNO and UNMC.  The NABID Institute has substantial donor support and is not expected to reduce existing shares of regular funding.  The Institute is expected to attain leadership in research (especially biomechanics, biomedical, robotics) and to attract the funding associated with such leadership.  To accommodate donor requests, the NABID Institute was presented to the Board of Regents for approval at their 20 November meeting.  The Board granted approval with the understanding that successful vetting through UNO's approval processes will occur subsequent to Board approval and hopefully before the end of the calendar year. I have conferred with our Parliamentarian, and am recommending that the proposal to establish the NABID Institute (attached) be raised as a motion under new business and considered at the this Executive Committee and Cabinet meeting.  If approved, a resolution would be discussed and voted on by the full Senate at its December meeting.  Former President of the Senate Meredith Bacon has noted that this process is not without precedent.

The following resolution was passed by the Executive Committee and is being presented to the Faculty Senate:

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

WHEREAS the Nebraska Advanced Biomedical Technology Innovation and Discovery Institute (NABID) will create partnerships with local, national and international leaders of innovative biomedical technology, and

WHEREAS the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will be at the helm in partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in building advances in biomedical technology innovation through NABID, and

WHEREAS NABID will expand the educational and economic strength of UNO, associated partners, the Omaha community, and Nebraska,

WE HEREBY RESOLVE that the Faculty Senate of UNO supports the formation and implementation of NABID.

F.     Engineering Proposal and Shuttle Bus Proposal

Faculty Senate President has asked Dr. Bing Chen to ask the Ad Hoc Committee on Engineering at UNO to examine the engineering proposal in its latest form as well as the shuttle bus proposal between Lincoln and Omaha and make recommendations.  The EC&C agreed to add this to the original charge and Past-President Meredith Bacon will use it to re-energize the Ad Hoc Committee.

G.    Smoke-Free Campus:

One of the Faculty Senate standing committees will be charged with looking into supporting the Student Senate Initiative to Make UNO Smoke-free Campus.

H.    Communication Issue via UNO Website: 

Continue to field concerns from students, staff and faculty regarding difficulty in finding information on UNO website.

Possible Solution:  Leave the external market focus of the current webpage but add a student portal and a faculty/staff portal to improve communication about internal issues.

V.    Standing Committee Reports

A.    Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Parnell

On November 25, 2014, Senator Parnell e-mailed the following:

I received many concerned emails about online evaluations.

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

C.    Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Woody (No Meeting/Report)

D.    Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Mitchell (No Meeting/Report)

E.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator  Sollars (No Meeting/Report)

F.     Committee on Rules:  Senator  Morris

a.      Resolution:  Scholarship by Review Committee (OA&SA)

BE IT RESOLVED that Adam Weaver, Psychology Department, be appointed to the Scholarship by Review Awards Committee being formed from the Office of Academic & Student Affairs.

b.       Resolution:  Bookstore Manager Search Committee

BE IT RESOLVED that Joe Allen, Psychology Department, be appointed to the Bookstore Manager Search Committee.

c.       The Rules Committee is developing a system among its members to track liaison reports for non-standing committees. Each member of the Rules Committee will be responsible for tracking a set number of liaison reports. The Rules Committee will also create a spreadsheet of UNO committees and their respective liaisons.

VI.             Other Faculty Senate Committees:

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

B.     Ad Hoc College of Engineering Steering Committee:  Past-President M. Bacon

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

Little progress has been made on constructing the actual language of the strategic plan. One additional strategic goal has been discussed in addition to the SPAG goals:

Promote policies and practices than enhance the safety, health and well-being of all constituencies at UNO.

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

Committee Chair Lisa Scherer has compiled the cumulative frequencies of responses to all categories rated by the committee and has produced a report of the top 10 student appreciations and concerns for both education/academic related issues and co-curricular and contextual issues. The specific results will be shared with the faculty senate at the January Faculty Senate meeting.

E.     SPAGS (Strategic Priority Action Groups)

1.      Communication and Marketing (monthly e-mail letter to faculty): 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.   Faculty Senate President monthly reports continuing

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

d.   Faculty Senate President meetings and emails with Chancellor Christiansen continuing

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

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

g.   Faculty Senate 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

LBGTQ Affinity Initiative for faculty and staff was delegated to the Diversity Strategic Priority Action Group (SPAG) for a possible resolution. The diversity SPAG was also asked to consider developing a resolution supporting the LBGTQIA-Common Ground Initiative (Diversity SPAG)

The diversity committee has established specific goals.

Resolution:  LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group

WHEREAS UNO's Campus Strategic Plan articulates our Values which include "the principles of inclusion, representation, openness and diversity;"

WHEREAS the UNO Faculty Senate has identified the priority of enhancing and promoting diversity on campus and stands in support of all groups on campus who seek to provide a safe space for mutual support;

WHEREAS nationwide surveys indicate LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) people report issues of discomfort in the workplace related to their gender identity or sexual orientation;

WHEREAS multiple UNO groups exist to support the needs of LGBTQ students, LGBTQ faculty and staff have distinct needs and concerns, but have no equivalent groups;

WHEREAS the establishment of such a group would enhance recruitment, retention, and productivity of valued colleagues and better align our campus with UNO's Campus Strategic Plan;

BE IT RESOLVED that the UNO Faculty Senate supports the creation of a "LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group."

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.    Library & Learning Resources, University Committee on:  Prof. Duran

The committee met October 2, 2014.  After introducing ourselves, we were given an update by Assoc. Dean Audrey DeFrank.  Things appear to be proceeding well in regard to both architectural changes/enhancements and website update.

The two issues that will prove most salient are those of the Strategic Priorities and the Open Access Fund Pilot Project.  The first of these seems key to our discussions last year of wanting more agency for the Committee.  Members were concerned that our function was more of an audience to whom reports were issued than a true guiding or collaborating body.  Though there weren't many specifics about the form of the current/future Strategic Priorities documents/plan, this seems to be a perfect venue within which to enunciate our concerns as a group.

The Open Access Fund Pilot Program, about which we are still gathering details, is part of UNOs larger endeavor to place our scholarly selves and activities in a broadly-available domain.  As you might imagine, there is some overlap with the Digital Commons initiative.?  More to come, from others with a better handle than I presently have.

These two should occupy a key place in our thinking going forward, certainly because they are campus-wide efforts and we may need to serve as their voice to groups like the Faculty Senate and individual departments.

This being said, one of our key tasks now is to build our future agendas and envision our role within those issues.  We are also looking to have at least one more meeting prior to the end of this semester, more if needed/possible.

B.     Sustainability Committee:  Prof.  Katie Bishop

The Sustainability Master Plan has been formally approved and published.  The link to the pdf of the plan is:

Meeting of October 31, 2014:

Presentation to Chancellors and Faculty Executive - Nov 4th & 5th respectively

Roll out of Sustainability Master Plan - email, press releases, formal meetings... Some parts of plan are already being implemented, committee will need to set additional implementation priorities over the next few months.

Faculty Senate Liaison's assessment:

A ton of work has been put into the Master Plan as will be evident when document is formally released. The committee has a good plan to start the roll out. Will need to work to keep up momentum in the spring.

What can Faculty Senate do to help?

Faculty senate can keep sustainability on its radar and encourage faculty to attend advertised upcoming presentations/learning sessions as they are announced.

Meeting of November 21, 2014:

Outcomes for upcoming meetings. There will be an open forum and then meetings covering the different categories. Each category will have a working group for implementation priorities and planning. Working groups will consist of volunteer and invited members.

Other avenues of communication. Are there specific departments/groups on campus that would like a presentation on the Sustainability Master Plan?

What can Faculty Senate do to help?

Committee members met with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee? Would Faculty Senate as a whole want a presentation? Have all members of Faculty Senate been sent a copy of the master plan?

C.    University-wide Fringe Benefits Committee:  Prof. Erickson (next meeting:  4/23/14)

VIII. Old Business

IX.    For the Good of the Order

X.      New Business

A.    Faculty Senate President-Elect (Nominations & election)

B.     Faculty Senate to Join VPA-UNO Toy Drive for Open Door Mission

XI.    Adjourn 

XII.   Announcements

A.    Chancellor's Holiday Party:  Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 3-5 p.m., MBSC Ballroom

B.     NU Presidential Candidates at UNO:

November 2014

·         Dr. George Ross, president of Central Michigan University.

UNO MBSC, Nebraska Room:

·         12/9/14, 3 p.m.:  Dr. Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University System.

·         12/10/14, 9 a.m.:  Dr. Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

·         12/15/14, 3 p.m.:  Dr. Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health.

C.    EC&A Mtg:  Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 2 p.m., Chancellor's Conference Rm., EAB 200

D.     Commencement:  Saturday, December 20, 2014, 9 a.m. & 2 p.m.., UNO Fieldhouse

E.     EC&C Mtg:  Wednesday, January 7, 2014, 2 p.m.,  ASH 196

F.     Faculty Senate Mtg:  Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 2 p.m., MBSC Chancellor's Room


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


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