SKIP navigation
Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate


Faculty Senate

of the

University of Nebraska at Omaha


2001-2002 Senate Minutes


Wednesday, May 8, 2002, 2:00 p.m., MBSC Dodge Room

Attendees: Akers, Allen, N. Bacon, W. Bacon, Benjamin-Alvarado, Bennett, Bishop, Blair, Bragg, Bruckner, Carlson, J. Carroll, M. Carroll, Dickson, D'Souza, Dufner, Engelmann, Fawcett, File, Garver, Hagen, Helm, Johnson, Krause, Latchaw, Leavitt, Lin, Littrell, Mei, Metal-Corbin, Mitchell, Nazem, Neathery-Castro, O'Connell, Pedersen, Ritter, Ryalls, Sadlek, Schulte, Shroder, Simpson, Smallwood, Thompson, Tixier y Vigil, E. Williams, S. Williams, Wolcott, Zhao

Excused: Chung, Kosloski, Lewis,

Absent: Coyne, Landis, Tuan


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

    1. L. Dennis Smith, President, University of Nebraska
    2. Steve Kuss, President, Staff Advisory Council

  2. Presentation: President Smith addressed the senate, and took questions after his presentation. Subjects included Afghanistan, diversification of the UNO campus, outstanding programs, and, of course, the budget situation.

  3. Official Call To Order: Senator W. Bacon called the meeting to order at 2:20 p.m.

  4. Presentation and Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the April 10, 2002, meeting were approved as submitted.

  5. Officers Reports

    1. President's Report:
      1. Chancellor's Council: President W. Bacon was unable to attend the Chancellor's Council Meeting of April 18, 2002. President-Elect Sadlek, who did attend the meeting, reported:

That the budget was discussed. Each of the deans then reported on the current faculty mentoring practices in their respective colleges. There was also a discussion of staff mentoring. In the roundtable discussions that followed, Dean Gouttierre addressed the concerns regarding the Afghan textbooks produced by UNO. Dean Gouttierre has agreed to organize a public Afghanistan up-date meeting on campus, to be held before the end of the semester.

      1. Curriculum Developments in the Proposed Global E-Learning Project:

E-mail from Senate President W. Bacon to Vice Chancellor Hodgson sent April 22, 2002:

Dear Vice Chancellor Hodgson:

It has come to my attention that students in Shanghai are currently enrolled in English 1150. It is unclear whether it is a UNO or a IIIST offering. The English Department informs me that it has neither prepared nor authorized such an offering but that the book being used is one employed in our ENGL 1150. Whoever is offering the course is apparently using an English Department syllabus and assigned text.

The two Faculty Senate resolutions passed in September specify that the Senate would support the project if, and only if the English Department's concerns were positively addressed. If the ENGL 1150 is now being offered, regardless if it is a UNO or IIIST course, I believe the Faculty Senate will quite publicly disapprove of the entire project.

As I have said in the past on a number of occasions, the lack of communication between Prof. Ng and his colleagues in Omaha is unacceptable. While I fully realize that he has nurtured, indeed established, the program, I believe it is essential that if the project is ever to be approved, he must not be the one in Shanghai who verifies the program's academic legitimacy. Simply put, the faculty have no confidence in him as our representative.

E-mail from Vice Chancellor Hodgson to Senate President W. Bacon received April 26, 2002:


Thank you for your letter concerning English instruction at Fudan University and IIIST.

Please be assured that UNO is not offering English 1150 in Shanghai. The course to which Professor Nora Bacon refers in her earlier e-mail is not a UNO course, and is in no way a substitute for English 1150. The Chinese faculty, in their zeal to provide the very best preparation for their students, have elected to use the same text as we currently use, so that their students can gain an appreciation for the level of skill which is required for a graduate of an (this) American university. They are attempting to provide the students with a continuing opportunity to enhance their English language skills, so that they may be better prepared to face the rigors of our courses when these become available. The Chinese faculty fear that if the students experience a one or two-year hiatus in English language study, they may suffer a serious erosion of their present level of ability.

While I truly cannot explain to you why, or even if, they are using the number 1150, I can and do assure you that there is no intent either on their part or ours to consider this activity as a substitute for UNO's English 1150.

    1. Secretary-Treasurer's Report: Senator Bruckner submitted the April 2002 budget report.

  1. Executive Committee Report: Senator Bruckner reported:

  • The Chancellor's written response to Senate Resolutions 2620 through 2624, passed by the senate on April 10, 2002, was received in the senate office on April 22, 2002. All were either approved or accepted.

    • External Faculty election outcome: Gary Krause (Civil Engineering) will be the new Senator, after Clarence Waters declined to serve.

VII Standing Committee Reports

  • Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator N. Bacon reported on the following:
      • The committee met on April 24, 2002. The committee discussed the implementation of policy on repeated courses with a guest, Wade Robinson. Dr. Robinson explained that the policy on repeated courses outlined in senate resolution 2616 (passed by the senate on March 13, 2002) is, for the most part, unproblematic. But the SIS program cannot place an automatic early-registration block on courses that have been completed twice with a grade of C- or higher. Instead, the registrar's office will run a focus report during the early registration period and the first week of the semester to identify students in this category. If the report locates any students who should not have used early registration, the students will be contacted and dis-enrolled (unless, of course, they enrolled with the permission of the instructor). The policy will be enforced effective spring, 2003, albeit through a slightly more cumbersome procedure than an early-registration block. The committee also discussed the high failure rate in UNOmaha's Math 1310 and 1320 courses. This subject will be held over for next year's committee.

  • Having studied data on the performance of students transferring in general-education credit from Metro Community College, the committee proposed the following resolution:

Resolution 2625, 05/08/02: Regarding MCC transfers

WHEREAS the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Metropolitan Community College have a unique relationship, with a large number of students transferring MCC credit to UNOmaha for courses taken prior to or during their residency at UNOmaha;

WHEREAS data gathered over a ten-year period indicate that, for students completing the prerequisite English course at MCC, the failure rate in English 1160/64 is nearly twice as high as the rate for students completing the prerequisite at UNOmaha;

WHEREAS the data also indicate that, for students completing the prerequisite math course at MCC, the failure rate in Math 1320 is substantially higher than the rate for students completing the prerequisite at UNOmaha;

WHEREAS these data reveal a performance gap, casting doubt on the equivalency of MCC's English 101 to UNOmaha's English 1150/54 and on the equivalency of MCC's Math 122 to UNOmaha's Math 1310;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the data should be distributed to the Articulation Task Force and to the chairs of the English Department and the Math Department at both institutions.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage faculty in the English and Math departments at both institutions to work collaboratively to close this performance gap.

The resolution passed.

  • Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator O'Connell reported on the April 26, 2002 meeting:

      • The committee reviewed factors leading to the dilemma of no applicants for Paul Beck Scholarships this spring term. No timeline or guidelines for procedures were passed to the committee chair or incoming members; no timeline was readily retrievable from the Senate Secretary's computer files. The committee agreed that there was not sufficient time to recruit or solicit applicants, and committee members schedules would not allow decision making to carry beyond the academic year. One suggestion was that the scholarship might be discontinued or renamed.

  • The committee then addressed the library periodical issue reviewing problems relative to approaches in different disciplines, i.e. some recognize on-line journals while others do not, or it is possible to" buy" publication and often these are not in juried forums. Laura Dickson has committed to using the Library Home Page as a place to publicize the issue and begin the debate on how tenure and promotion guidelines might be changed in light of current problems. The committee stressed that this needs to be an open process, and established the goal of a spring 2003 system-wide colloquium with joint participation from all 3 campuses and a wide variety of disciplines.

  • The last item on the agenda dealt with continued fact finding in the Department Chair search and appointment question in light of the difficulties surrounding the Black Studies Department. The committee resolved to carry this issue forward to the next Senate year when the outcome of the AAUP arbitration hearing will be known and can be acted upon.

C. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Engelmann reported:

1. A meeting was held on April 24, 2002, with Mary Laura Farnham, Director of Sponsored Programs and Research, and John Bartle, incoming chair of the University Committee on Research. The report from Sponsored Programs and Research indicates that there has been a great increase in successful proposals for external funding resulting in large part from increased proposal submissions. Nevertheless, there are still funding sources that have not been tapped, and the director urges faculty to work with SPR to discover these opportunities.

      • Also discussed were the effects of having the duties of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research taken on by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. It was agreed that when the position of Dean for Graduate Studies and Research is filled, it is of crucial importance that it be occupied by someone with a level of experience and effectiveness comparable to that which Dean Hodgson and former graduate dean Hendricks brought to it.

VIII Non-Senate Committee Reports

  • Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): President Elect Sadlek reported that:

  • The governing board of the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska conducted their regular monthly meeting on 13 April 2002 at Eisely Library in Lincoln. Among the topics discussed was the James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award given by the Academic Senate at UNL. AFCON wondered if the UNO Faculty Senate would be interested in adopting a similar award.

Planning has begun for this year's Banned Books Week, which will take place from 21 September 2002 to 28 September. Most of the activity, however, is planned for Lincoln. Next year's representative from UNO could be involved in helping to bring some of this activity to the Omaha area.

  • Academic Planning Council: Senator E. Williams

1 Report of the April 29, 2002 meeting: The Academic Planning Council (APC) met to discuss two of three program reviews that were performed during the month of February. The review of the Mathematics Department was discussed by the review team chair, Roger Foltz, Music Department. Jane Woody, Social Work, chaired the review team for the Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis (ISQA). The third program that was reviewed, Criminal Justice, will be discussed at the May 15 meeting of the Council.

Summarily, both programs have a sound curriculum, strong and dedicated faculty, quality students, and do an excellent job in maintaining program quality. Some of the areas of concern raised for both programs require additional resources. Both Math and ISQA have received the reports and have had the opportunity to respond.

  • Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Thompson

  • Senator Thompson submitted a summary of March 27, 2002 meeting. The Committee is currently identifying external factors affecting strategic planning. Focus over the semester has been on achieving 5 main goals indicates by the survey at the fall advance.

IX Old Business:

  • Senator Carlson, saying that he felt it was imperative to express his concerns, asked that the following e-mail that he sent to Chancellor Belck on May 1, 2002, be included in the minutes:


It has come to my attention that some faculty have been expressing lack of confidence in Peter Ng and the manner in which the pilot program in Shanghai china has been run and in possibilities of UNO involvement in the future. I feel that it is imperative that you understand that these feelings are not universal among the faculty. In fact, there are many faculty who havecomplete confidence that the program can be run successfully and maintain as high, if not higher, standards as exist for programs on the Omaha campus. This does not mean that things will be done exactly the same as they are on the Omaha campus or that there won't be problems along the way. I see the Shanghai program as an unparalleled opportunity for UNO to excel in the international education arena. I, the vast majority of my colleagues in the communication Department, and many colleagues from other UNO departments view the potential for the program and meeting the challenges that the program will provide as exciting.

Much seems to be made of Faculty Senate Resolution 2598 passed last year which some are interpreting as giving the English Department veto power over the entire project. I believe an assumption underlying that resolution was that all parties would actively work together, address problems, explore different options, and arrive at solutions. For whatever reasons, this has not happened. To have one department or a few individuals, whatever their motives may be, subvert the program is an injustice to those of us who are willing to meet the challenges, and a major disservice to UNO and to the University of Nebraska system. It is time for those who are committed to moving UNO forward and not letting provincial issues close doors to unprecedented opportunities to step forward. As a member of the Senate, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the University, I am willing to engage in any forum necessary to move the Shanghai project forward.

X New Business :

A. Transfer of Presidency and Election of 2002-2003 Officers

      • President Bacon passed the gavel to President Sadlek
      • Senator File moved the following resolution on Behalf of the Committee on Rules:

Resolution 2626, 05/08/02: Membership of Standing Committee Members:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the senate president appoints the 2002-2003 senators to the standing committees as designated:

Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs

James Akers, ED
Nora Bacon, A&S
Gary Krause, NU
Joan Latchaw, A&S
Jody Neathery-Castro, A&S
Ethel Williams, PACS

Educational Resources & Services

Thomas Bragg, A&S
Laura Dickson, LIB
Bonnie O'Connell, FA
Laura Schulte, ED
Andrew Smallwood, A&S
Peter Wolcott, IS&T

Faculty Personnel & Welfare

Natalie Bennett, A&S
Robert Carlson, A&S
Henry D'Souza, PACS
G. Vaughn Johnson, BA
Shuanglin Lin, BA
Wai-ning Mei, A&S

Goals & Direction

Chris Allen, A&S
Jonathan Benjamen-Alvarado, A&S
Bruce Garver, A&S
Karl Kosloski, PACS
Mary Caroline Simpson, FA
Angela Valle, A&S

Professional Development

Robert Blair, PACS
Harvey Leavitt, A&S
Josie Metal-Corbin, ED
Sufi Nazem, BA
Keith Pedersen, NU
Beth Ritter, A&S


Michael Carroll, PACS
Donna Dufner, IS&T
David Helm, FA
Darryll Lewis, BA
Boyd Littrell, A&S
Yvonne Tixier Y Virgil, ED

The resolution passed.

      • Resolution 2627, 05/08/02: Regarding Election of 2002-2003 Faculty Senate Vice President:

BE IT RESOLVED, that according to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska, Article IV, the faculty senate elects the following senator as 2002-2003 Vice President:

Tom Bragg (to replace Senator Ann Coyne).

The resolution passed.

  • Resolution 2628, 05/08/02: Regarding Election of 2002-2003 Faculty Senate Secretary/Treasurer:

BE IT RESOLVED, that according to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska, Article IV, the faculty senate elects the following senator as 2002-2003 Secretary/Treasurer:

Ethel Williams (to replace Senator Martha Bruckner)

The resolution passed.

  • The Senate recessed for 2001-2002 Standing Committee Members to Caucus to Elect Chairs:

Resolution 2629, 05/08/02: Regarding Standing Committee Chairs

BE IT RESOLVED, that according to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska, Article IV, Section 1, the standing committees have met and selected the following chairs for 2002-2003 from their continuing members:

Nora Bacon, Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs
Laura Dickson, Committee on Educational Resources and Services
G.Vaughn Johnson, Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare
Bruce Garver, Committee on Goals and Directions
Robert Blair, Committee on Professional Development

The resolution passed.

XI 2001-2002 Senate Concluded with President Sadlek dismissing the outgoing senators after thanking them for serving on the senate.