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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate


Faculty Senate

of the

University of Nebraska at Omaha


2001-2002 Senate Minutes

Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 2:00 p.m., MBSC Dodge Room

Attendees: N. Bacon, W. Bacon, Bishop, Blair, Bragg, Bruckner, Carlson, J. Carroll, M. Carroll, Dickson, Elder, Engelmann, Fawcett, File, Hagen, Helm, Johnson, Littrell, Nazem, Neathery-Castro, O'Connell, Sadlek, Schulte, Shroder, Smallwood, Thompson, S. Williams, Wolcott,

Excused: Chung, Coyne, Pedersen, E. Williams,

Absent: Dufner, Landis, Lin, Mitchell, Ryalls, Tuan, Zhao

Acknowledged Guest: Steve Kuss, President, Staff Advisory Council

  1. Official Call To Order at 2:10 pm

  2. The March 13, 2002 minutes were approved.

  3. Officers' Reports

    1. President's Report: Senator W. Bacon

      1. Chancellor's Council meeting of March 28, 2002: Items discussed included: the state budget, plans for a University Events calendar, status of student fees for next academic year, status of the search for a Vice President/Provost of NU, a report on the Afghanistan reconstruction programs in which UNO is involved, the resolutions recently passed by the Senate, and praise Chancellor Belck had received for Faculty Senate presence in South Omaha.

      2. Executive Committee and Administration meeting of March 29, 2002: the administration asked that
        1. point 6 of the Repeating Courses section of Resolution 2616 be stricken because it seems to encourage retakes of courses in which a C or better has been earned,
        2. the Senate to revisit Resolution 2617 in order to strike the second and third "whereas'es," and
        3. the Rules Committee provide a more diverse pool of candidates for dean search committees. President Bacon reported positive response he'd received on the Faculty Senate outreach to South Omaha by holding its March meeting at the Chicano Awareness Center.

      3. Board of Regents Meeting, April 5-6, 2002, Nebraska Union, University of Nebraska at Kearney:
        1. The Business Affairs Committee received an update on the "NU values" restructuring of the system's staff. The Academic Affairs Committee meeting was devoted to a discussion of a NU four-year bachelors degree.
        2. During the BOR's formal meeting on Saturday, Dr. Lee Jones, Vice President and Provost of the University of Nebraska was honored for his services to the University.
        3. The Strategic Policy issue was University budgeting for the maintenance and operating expenses necessitated by capital construction gifts (e.g., the Peter Kiewit Institute).
        4. In the consent agendas the BOR approved UNOmaha's $250,000 contribution toward the construction of the Elmwood Park traffic circle. $500,000 toward the CPACS building was back into the budget. The new Student President-Regent from UNL made an impassioned presentation on the tuition increases and how the students' trust in the University had been abused. President Smith then addressed the budget on the basis of the legislature's action (an additional 1% cut to the NU budget in addition to the 2.5% made during the special session)..
    1. President-Elect Report: Senator Sadlek

Senator Sadlek reported on the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON).

    1. Secretary-Treasurer's Report: Senator Bruckner

Senator Bruckner submitted the budget for March 2002.

  1. Executive Committee Report: Senator Bruckner reported for Senator Coyne:

    1. Chancellor's Written Response to March 2002 Faculty Senate Resolutions (2612-2619)

All approved or accepted except Resolutions 2616 (accepted in principle), 2617, and 2618:

      1. Chancellor's response to Resolution 2616 of 03/13/2002 on Repeated Courses:

"Implementation of this item requires additional investigation by Student Enrollment Services, but it is accepted in principle."

      1. Chancellor's response to Resolution 2617 of 03/13/2002 on Dean Searches:

"Urge reconsideration of second 'Whereas.' It was suggested that we aren't in a position to mandate the specificity of the Board of Regents. Dr. Hodgson encouraged the Rules Committee to offer a diverse pool, and to also work through his office to attract members to search committees, recognizing the difficulty in encouraging participants. Problems in prior searches could be traced to lack of diversity in applicant pools, or failure of candidates to meet all applicable criteria (eligibility of tenure as example)."

      1. Chancellor's response to Resolution 2618 of 03/13/2002 on Part-Time Faculty:

"Returned to committee for reconsideration. Executive Memo No. 19 was not authored by UNO. The extent to which it is applied is to address work load issues, and it is not the intent to unfairly discriminate against lower paid employees."

    1. Resolution 2620, 04/10/2002, on Dr. Phil Secret, moved by Senator Bruckner on behalf of the Executive Committee and passed:

WHEREAS the late Dr. Phil Secret, Professor of Criminal Justice, served the University of Nebraska at Omaha with distinction for nearly thirty years, earning the gratitude and admiration of countless students, bringing honor to the University, and inspiring his colleagues, passed away on March 28, 2002, and

WHEREAS Dr. Secret's colleagues mourn his death, honor his memory, and already miss his presence among us,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha extends its heartfelt condolences to his widow and family and pledges the faculty's efforts to emulate his devotion to his profession and to the community.

    1. Resolution 2621, 04/10/2002, on Dean Search Concerns, moved by Senator Bruckner on behalf of the Executive Committee and passed:

WHEREAS Resolution 2617 did not adequately convey the concerns of the Faculty;

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

WHEREAS the guidelines regarding Dean searches are open to a variety of interpretations resulting in procedures that are inconsistent from one Dean search to another;

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 procedures for the selection and conduct of the Chair and members of the Dean search committees,

such search procedures 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,

Search Committees be provided more preparation and orientation,

And implemented search procedures be followed consistently.

  1. Standing Committee Reports

    1. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator N. Bacon

1. The committee met on March 27, 2002. Those members present were Nora Bacon, Carol Mitchell, Jody Neathery-Castro, and Brigette Ryalls. Guests were Jack Heidel, Jerome Drakeford, and Ken Swartz. The committee considered: data on performance of students in MCC's Math 122, UNO's Math 1310, and UNO's Math 1320; proposed Master of Arts in Language Teaching; and Robert Smith's recent column in the Omaha World-Herald about grade inflation.

President Bacon indicated he had drafted an op-ed piece in response to Smith's, prompted by discussion with the Chancellor.

2. Moved by Senator N. Bacon on behalf of the committee, and passed.

Resolution 2622, 04/10/2002 on Master of Arts in Language Teaching

Upon recommendation of the Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs, the Faculty Senate approves the program of Master of Arts in Language Teaching.

    1. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator O'Connell

      1. Those present at the March 27, 2002 meeting were Andrew Smallwood, Tom Bragg, Laura Schulte, Peter Wolcott, and Bonnie O'Connell. The chair set dates for review of applications for the Paul Beck Scholarship. Award recipients will be announced April 25. Peter Wolcott reported on the last meeting of the Distance Education Task Force which is still examining options in light of recent budget cuts. In discussion of a report from Senator Dickson on library periodicals, committee members recognized the need to endorse legitimate web publishing sources and work within disciplines to modify tenure and promotion protocol in light of this publishing crisis. The committee agreed that the recommendations of the recent report on the Black Studies Chair appointment from the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Advisory Committee would be an excellent basis for drafting a senate resolution in regard to Department Chair appointment guidelines.

      2. Senator Wolcott submitted the Executive Summary of UNO's Information Technology Services Distance Education Strategic Plan (March 2002).

    2. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Shroder

Those present at the meeting of 27 March 2002 (Jack Shroder, Chair, Jim Fawcett, Vice Chair, Bob Carlson, Vaughn Johnson) discussed with Mike Malone from Food Services information about food in view of religious dietary restrictions and better health requirements. Three issues of the Black Studies Program were discussed (Chair replacement, involvement of faculty in hiring new chair, and tenure decisions) but it was decided that unless specific requests came, the Committee could do nothing substantive at this time. Large numbers of empty buses traveling through the park in the mornings were noted and discussed.

    1. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Hagen

      1. Members attending the March 27, 2002, meeting were Franklin Thompson, Steven Williams, and James Hagen. The Committee considered Graduation Ceremony survey responses and the Faculty Senate website.

      2. Resolution 2623, 04/10/2002 on Scheduling of Final Exams, moved by Senator Hagen on behalf of the committee, and passed.

WHEREAS a survey of the nineteen members of the Faculty Senate indicated that at least seventeen graduating seniors in their classes had a scheduling conflict with the December 2001 graduation ceremony;

WHEREAS a FOCUS program run by ITS indicated that at least seventy nine graduating seniors had a conflict with that ceremony;

WHEREAS a survey of all UNO faculty indicated that 21% of the respondents wanted no change in the final examination schedule;

WHEREAS an additional 35% of UNO faculty were open to changes provided no final exams were moved to the last week of classes;

WHEREAS all students and faculty are urged to participate in commencement ceremonies,

WHEREAS this conflict imposes considerable public relations and proctoring burdens on the faculty whose finals are scheduled to overlap with graduation, since they must make special arrangements so that graduating seniors can attend the commencement ceremony,

WHEREAS transport to graduation ceremonies held at off-campus locations is time consuming,

BE IT RESOLVED that an ample time period be interposed between the conclusion of scheduled final examinations and the start of the graduation ceremony.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that final exams not be scheduled during the last week of classes.

    1. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Engelmann

      1. The committee met twice March 27, 2002. Our first meeting was with Lisa Kelly-Vance, Chair of the University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching and Marilyn Leach, director of the Center for Faculty Development, to hear a report on activities of the committee and the center. A summary of grants awarded for attendance of designated and non-designated conferences, pedagogical research and summer fellowships was presented, and there was a report on participation in and effectiveness of Teaching Circles.

      2. The committee met with Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Hodgson, who discussed the probable impact of budget cuts on UCR, UCAT and Teaching Circles and Research Triangles.
  1. Non-Senate Committee Reports

    1. Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Senator Bruckner

The UNO Alumni Board of Directors meeting February 19 at 5:00 p.m. heard a report from Bob Danenhauer, Director of UNO Athletics, reviewed the 2001 audit and the 2002 budget, received proposals for a UNO Alumni credit card, and discussed a payment to the Alumni Association for land acquisition (145 feet of Dodge Street frontage), and an Alumni Association travel program.

The UNO Alumni Board of Directors meeting on March 19 at 5:00 p.m. heard a report from Jeff French, Professor in Psychology and winner of the Nebraska University ORCA Award, then discussed: the Alumni Outreach programs, a proposed contract with MBNA to provide credit card services to alumni, and advertising in the UNO Alum beginning in its next issue.

B. AAUP Report: Senator Sadlek

The Executive Committee of the UNO AAUP met on the following dates: 12 March 2002, 26 March 2002, and 9 April 2002. Among the major items of business were the continuing grievance process involving the Black Studies Department, the biennial Collective Bargaining Survey, nominations for next year's officers, and the budget crisis.

C. Graduate Council: Senator Bragg

Minutes of the March 11, 2002, Graduate Council (and its Committees) meeting may be found on the Graduate College website. Senator Bragg gave a brief report of the April meeting, and that agenda can also be found on their website.

D. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Franklin Thompson

A summary of the meetings of January 23, 2002, and February 27, 2002, were submitted to the senators. The next Advance is scheduled for May 13. The next meeting is scheduled for March 27.

  1. New Business

Resolution 2624 on Dr. Ron Burke, moved by Senator Bruckner and passed:

WHEREAS the late Dr. Ron Burke, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, who died on April 6, 2002, served the University of Nebraska at Omaha for nearly three decades, introducing thousands of students to diverse religious cultures, earning the respect and admiration of his colleagues, and bringing credit to his department, his college and his university, and

WHEREAS his valiant fight against his disease and his dignified death inspired his colleagues and his community,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha extends its heartfelt condolences to his widow and his daughters and pledges the faculty's efforts to emulate his devotion to his students and to his community.

  1. The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.