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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

 

Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha

2001-2002 Senate Minutes


Wednesday, March 13, 2002, 2:30 p.m., Chicano Awareness Center

Attendees: N. Bacon, W. Bacon, Bishop, Blair, Bragg, Bruckner, Carlson, J. Carroll, M. Carroll, Chung, Coyne, Dickson, Dufner, Engelmann, Fawcett, Hagen, Landis, Littrell, Neathery-Castro, O'Connell, Pedersen, Sadlek, Shroder, Smallwood, Thompson, E. Williams, Wolcott, Zhao, Kuss, Winters

Excused: Elder, File, Nazem, Ryalls, Schulte, S. Williams

Absent: Mitchell, Helm, Johnson, Tuan


  1. Introduction of Guests: Senator W. Bacon introduced the following guests.


    1. Derek Hodgson, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
    2. Sherri Rogers, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
    3. Arturo Robles-Ramirez, Executive Director, Chicano Awareness Center
    4. Rebecca Valdez, Assistant Executive Director, Chicano Awareness Center
    5. Steve Kuss, President, Staff Advisory Council
    6. Aaron Winters, Student Senate/Faculty Senate Liaison
    7. Becky Brown, Coordinator, Communications and Media


  2. Guest Presentations:

A. Vice Chancellor Derek Hodgson spoke of UNO receiving its first federal earmark, student retention (fall to spring) increased again this year to its highest level on record, student credit hour production is about 1.5% below its all time high, and the why and where of the university's budget reductions.

    1. Arturo Robles-Remirez welcomed the Faculty Senate to the Chicano Awareness Center and asked the Senate to continue to keep the Center and Latino community in mind. He also identified several UNO programs run in cooperation with the Center.
  1. Senator W. Bacon called the meeting to order at 3:15 pm.


  2. Minutes of the meeting of February 13, 2002, were approved as submitted.

  1. Officers' Reports


    1. President's Report: Senator W. Bacon reported on the following:

      1. Executive Committee and Administration, February 20, 2002
      2. Chancellor's Council, February 28, 2002
      3. Board of Regents, February 22-23, 2002

B. Secretary-Treasurer's Report: Senator Bruckner

1. Budget Report, February 2002, was approved as submitted.

VI Executive Committee Report:

    • Announcements:

      • Faculty Senate Election Results: The following fourteen (14) faculty members have been elected to serve three-year terms from May 8, 2002, through May 11, 2005:

College of Arts & Sciences (8)

Chris Allen
Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado
G. Griffith Elder
Bruce Garver
Joan Latchaw
Harvey Leavitt
Harmon Maher
Wai-Ning Mei

College of Business Administration (1)

Darryll Lewis

College of Education (2)

James Akers
Josie Metal-Corbin

College of Fine Arts (1)

Mary Caroline Simpson

College of Public Affairs & Community Service (2)

Karl Kosloski

Henry D'Souza

External Faculty (1) tba

(Election to be held in March as per By-Laws)

      • Retiring Senators: The following senators will complete their term of service with the May 2002 meeting:

Wally Bacon 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
Joong-Gun Chung 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
Ann Coyne 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
George Engelmann 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
James Fawcett 09/13/00 - 05/08/02
Richard File 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
James Hagen 05/10/00 - 05/08/02
Melodee Landis 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
Carol Mitchell 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
Brigette Ryalls 08/01/01 - 05/08/02
Jack Shroder 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
Franklin Thompson, III 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
Christopher Tuan 05/11/99 - 05/08/02
Steven Williams 05/09/01 - 05/08/02
Solomon Zhao 05/10/00 - 05/08/02

      • Chancellor's Written Response to Senate Resolutions: The UNO Chancellor's Response to Faculty Senate Resolutions covering resolutions 2589 through 2611 passed by the senate from September, 2001, through, February 2002, was received in the senate office in February 2002.


  • Approved: Resolutions 2589-2599, 2601-2607, 2609-2611

Not Approved:

        • Chancellor's Response to Resolution 2600, 10/10/01: Catalog Revision for C-

After discussion, there was a motion to re-introduce at the next Faculty Senate meeting because of conflict between this resolution and the recommendation of the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council view minus grades as being less than "C" grades. This resolution is not consistent with that premise.

  • Chancellor's Response to Resolution 2608, 12/12/01: Scheduling of Commencement Ceremonies

There are a variety of reasons the university holds commencement ceremonies on Fridays. Among these are the following:

  • .Sensitivity to religious denominations who recognize the start of Sabbath as 12:00pm midnight on Fridays.
  • .Higher participation from students, parents, faculty and staff.
  • .Cost savings to the university due to reduced overtime expenses.
  • .Relatively low number of population who are inconvenienced with the Friday time frame.
  • .Recognizing there are other options, the group took the item under advisement for further discussion in the Faculty Senate Executive meeting of February 20.

  • On behalf of the Executive Committee, Senator Shroder moved the following two resolutions:


    • Resolution 2612, 03/13/2002: Martha Bruckner

Whereas Martha Bruckner is an esteemed colleague and friend;

Whereas Martha Bruckner has worked diligently and tirelessly for the benefit of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Faculty Senate;

Whereas Martha Bruckner has accepted a challenging position outside the University;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha thanks Martha for her years of dedicated service, and wishes her success in her new endeavors.

Motion passed unanimously.

    • Resolution 2613, 03/13/2002: Survey of Graduation Day/Time/Place

Whereas a number of issues regarding the location, day, and time of the University's graduation ceremony have arisen,

Whereas these issues have raised the possibility of altering the final exam schedule,

Whereas the preferences of students and faculty regarding these issues are largely unknown,

Be it resolved that a survey of the faculty via Blackboard will be conducted on behalf of the Senate by the Goals and Directions Committee.

Motion passed.

VII Standing Committee Reports

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator N. Bacon reported:

1. The committee meeting of February 27, 2002: Though Mark Goldsberry gave the committee more data on the performance of students who transfer math and English credit from MCC, his report did not arrive until two days before the meeting. So this matter has once again been postponed. Since the data also called attention to a surprisingly high rate of failure in Math 1310 and 1320, two members of the math department will be asked to the next meeting for discussion of this pattern. After discussion of three issues charged to our committee, three resolutions were proposed.

2. On behalf of the Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs, Senator N. Bacon moved the following three resolutions:

a. Resolution 2615, 03/13/02: Due date for grades

Whereas the registrar has proposed that the university set a single due date for grades, recommending that the date be set seven calendar days (excluding university shutdown days) after the last scheduled final exam,

Whereas this proposal is simpler and more convenient than the current system of staggered due dates for grades,

Therefore be it resolved that the due date for grades be set seven calendar days (excluding university shutdown days) after the last scheduled final exam.

Motion passed.

b. Resolution 2614, 03/13/02: Deadline for selecting the CR/NC option

Whereas students considering the CR/NC option should make this decision based on a clear understanding of what a course entails,

Whereas gathering adequate information about the course may well require two class meetings (in other words, for most evening classes, two weeks),

Therefore be it resolved that the deadline for choosing the CR/NC option be changed to Tuesday of the third week of class.

Motion passed.

c. Resolution 2616, 03/13/02: Repeated Courses

Whereas the faculty senate has affirmed (in resolution 2604) that when a student repeats a course, the most recent grade is the most accurate assessment of his or her mastery of current course material and thus the grade most appropriate to calculate into the GPA,

Whereas the faculty senate has further affirmed (in resolution 2607) that for the special case of graduation with honors, every grade awarded should be included in the calculation,

Whereas students who have been unsuccessful in a course should be permitted to persist in seeking mastery of the course material,

Whereas students who have satisfactorily completed a course should be discouraged from repeating it more than once if, by doing so, they take seats needed by other students,

Whereas the Registrar should be given unambiguous direction regarding catalog copy in this respect,

Therefore be it resolved that the section in the undergraduate catalog now headed "Removal of 'D' or 'F' Grades from Grade Point Average" be revised as follows:

Repeating Courses

1. If a student with a grade of D+ or lower repeats the course, he or she may register through early registration.

2. If a student with a grade of C- or higher opts to repeat a course, he or she may register through early registration only once (that is, for one repeat). For any subsequent repeat, the student may enroll only during the first week of class and with the permission of the instructor.

3. Letter-graded courses must be repeated for a letter grade.

4. All courses and grades will continue to be a part of the student's permanent academic record (transcript).

5. When determining eligibility for graduation with honors, every grade awarded is computed into the GPA.

        • For all other purposes, only the most recent grade earned in a course is computed into the GPA.

Motion, as amended by striking "and credit/no credit courses must be repeated for credit/no credit," then passed.

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator O'Connell reported on the following items:.

1. Committee report of February 27, 2002: The chair issued reminders of the forthcoming April 5 deadline for the Paul Beck Scholarship campaign. Peter Wolcott then reported on the last meeting of the Distance Education Task Force whose goals are to create strategic plans, one for the UNO campus and another for the University system. Discussion concerning a definition of distance education lead the description as courses with technology mediated interaction not dependent on a specific site. Eventually, it's believed that a hybrid mode of delivery will evolve wherein courses utilize on site staff and facilities while interacting through computer and video networks. The task force also acknowledges the need to address student services issues, such as advising, lotus notes training, orientation, etc. It is also concerned with how the distance education policy and impetus will continue after the task force dissolves. It was agreed that an investigation of campus policies by colleges and departments was necessary due to varying procedures dependent upon internal advancement or external hiring. The committee will pursue this issue for the remainder of the 2002 spring term.

2. On behalf of the Committee on Educational Resources and Services, Senator O'Connell, moved the following:

Resolution 2617, 03/13/02: Dean Searches

WHEREAS UNO faculty feels that the role, responsibilities, and impact of faculty on the Dean search committees is unclear;

WHEREAS the Board of Regents by-laws and guidelines regarding Dean searches are brief and vague leading to a variety of interpretations and inconsistent application from one Dean search to the next;

WHEREAS the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs has not consistently followed the guidelines for the composition and conduct of the search committee or disseminated the guidelines to committee members; and

WHEREAS an inclusive and transparent search process encourages faculty participation;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha urges that:

the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs develop procedural guidelines for the selection and conduct of the Chair and members of the Dean search committees,

such search guidelines define the role and responsibilities of the Chair and the search committee members as well as the legal and generally accepted steps in the search process,

implemented search guidelines be followed consistently,

and Dean search committees be coordinated out of the office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Motion passed.

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Shroder reported:

1. Committee meeting of February 27, 2002 the committee decided to ask Mike Malone to come to next committee meeting to discuss means to obtain better access to information on food in the student center for reasons of health and religion. The committee discussed whether or not to look further into situation in Black Studies to see whether or not we could be of any greater help to the faculty of that department. Concluded that we will consider the documents provided by Chair Chrisman, Dean Hendricks, and Chancellor Belck. Also discussed was the less-than-optimal situation with part-time faculty and it was concluded that in these times of financial stress not much could be done although the issue needs more discussion, and perhaps fresh approaches. Discussed the situations emerging with International Studies, Afghanistan Studies, and the China Program in that too limited faculty oversight and input has the potential to produce problems that need to be addressed. Further information will be sought and discussions will continue. The committee also decided on a motion regarding Part-time Faculty.

2. On behalf of the Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare, Senator Shroder, moved the following:

Resolution 2618, 03/13/02: Part-time Faculty

Whereas, part-time faculty are an important resource for UNOmaha especially for teaching evening general education service courses, and

Whereas, current UNOmaha staff employees are often qualified to teach in administrative units other than units of their primary appointment and historically have formed an important population for recruiting part-time faculty, and

Whereas, University of Nebraska Executive Memorandum No. 19 states ".no overload assignment shall provide income in excess of twenty percent (20%) of the staff member's base salary.", and thus uses base salary as a limiting factor in determining teaching opportunities for UNOmaha staff in teaching for administrative units other than units of their primary appointment, and

Whereas, the policy stated in University of Nebraska Executive Memorandum No. 19 is blatantly unfair and discriminatory toward lower paid UNOmaha staff employees who are potentially allowed to teach less than higher paid UNOmaha staff employees,

Be it resolved, UNOmaha Faculty Senate urges part-time instructors in administrative units who are university staff employees in other university units be treated the same and subject to the same guidelines and policies as part-time instructors who are not university employees in other university units, and

Be it further resolved, the UNOmaha Faculty Senate urges modification of Executive Memorandum No. 19 so that overload assignments are not governed based on salary percentage.

Motion passed.

D. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Hagen presented the following reports:

Martha Bruckner, as a member of the Senate Budget Advisory Committee, in the February Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting, seemed to indicate that the committee would/should meet before the next (March) Senate meeting and perhaps she could provide some information relevant to the idea of a standing finance committee. Joyce Crockett, ITS, reported that she and her group have arranged a way to survey the faculty through blackboard. As a test of the system a survey on graduation was prepared. Leah Cross, Sr. Systems Analyst, compiled a count of all graduating seniors with an 12/21/02 exam regardless of time. The total was 92. Removing those meeting at other afternoon times and with TTh classes gave as the remainder 61. Clair M. Fleener, forwarded the following response, from the chancellor, to Resolution 2608: There are a variety of reasons the university holds commencement ceremonies on Fridays. Among these are the following: Sensitivity to religious denominations who recognize the start of Sabbath as 12:00pm midnight on Fridays; higher participation from students, parents, faculty and staff; cost savings to the university due to reduced overtime expenses; relatively low number of population who are inconvenienced with the Friday time frame. Recognizing there are other options, the group took the item under advisement for further discussion in the Faculty Senate Executive meeting of February 20. A report from Jim Welch, Director, Milo Bail Student Center, on costs of graduation and security: 1)Rental of the Civic Auditorium: $ 3,000 per event, 2)Salary expense, Saturday ceremony versus Friday ceremony: $ 1,200 - $ 1,300 in additional overtime dollars for Office/Clerical Staff per event.

E. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Engelmann reported that the committee met briefly on Feb. 27, 2002: to discuss the question of representation of the UNO Faculty Senate, as a member organization, at meetings of the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON). Based on his attendance of the February meeting, Senator Blair noted that AFCON has a number of ongoing activities that require continuity. Based on his suggestions the committee recommends that the president of the senate appoint a representative to AFCON from senate. The representative should be prepared to attend AFCON meetings, which are held monthly in Lincoln throughout the academic year. Senator Blair also observed that while UNL is represented in AFCON by a number of member organizations such as the UNL chapter of the AAUP, the faculty senate is the only body at UNO that is a member.

F. Committee on Rules: On behalf of the Committee on Rules Senator File moved the following resolution:

Resolution 2619, 03/13/02: Replacements on the University Committee on Research

BE IT RESOLVED: that the following names go forward as three year appointments, from August 1, 2002, through July 31, 2005 on the on the University Committee on Research:

John McKenna (English) - Humanities position - replacing Jeremy Lipschultz
Art Diamond (Economics) - Business Administration position - replacing Sufi Nazem
Jeannette Seaberry (Counseling) - At-large position - replacing Donald Greer

Motion passed.

VIII. Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator Sadlek

AAUP/Faculty Senate Liaison Report: The Executive Committee met on 12 February 2002 and 26 February 2002. The main items of business were (1) on-going grievance activity related to Black Studies, (2) the administration's request to re-open the current contract to allow a roll-back of the negotiated 6% faculty raises for next year, (3) the administration's request to pay less than the contracted rate for under-enrolled summer courses, and (4) a faculty questionnaire in preparation for next year's collective bargaining. The questionnaires are completed and will be going out to the faculty in the very near future. On 28 February 2002, the entire chapter of the AAUP met to discuss a response to point #2 above. The consensus at the meeting seemed to be in favor of the position of the negotiating team, which is not to reopen negotiations.

B. Graduate Council: Senator Bragg

Senator Bragg reported on the UNO Graduate Council meeting of March 11, 2002. The meeting included a response to the concerned expressed by the Graduate Faculty about the process used by the Library to make decisions affecting teaching and teaching quality, revisions to the "Quality of Work Standards," a report from the Graduate Student Appeals committee, and approval of the minutes of the February 11, 2002, Graduate Council meeting.

IX. Announcements:

A. Next Faculty Senate Meeting: April 10, 2pm., MBSC, Dodge Room
B. Awards Banquet: May 1, 2002, Cocktails: 6:30 pm, Dinner: 7 pm
C. Faculty Senate Retreat, August 21, 2002, Mahoney State Park

X. Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.