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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2002-2003 Senate


Wednesday, October 9, 2002
2:00 pm, MBSC Dodge Rooms

Attendees: Allen, N. Bacon, W. Bacon, Benjamin-Alvarado, Bennett, Bishop, Bennett, Bragg, Brown, Carlson, J. Carroll, M. Carroll, D'Souza, Dickson, Dufner, Garver, Helm, Johnson, Krause, Kuss, Latchaw, Leavitt, Lewis, Metal-Corbin, Neathery-Castro, O'Connell, Sadlek, Schulte, Simpson, Williams, Wolcott

Excused: Blair, Littrell, Mei, Nazem, Smallwood, Valle

Absent: Akers, Lin, Pedersen, Ritter, Tixier y Vigil,

  1. Before the meeting officially began Sheri Rogers gave a brief presentation of UNO's Institutional Portfolio.

  2. Senator Sadlek officially called the meeting to order at 2:15 pm, with a moment of silence for Bernie Kolasa.

  3. Senator Sadlek introduced the following guests: Steve Kuss, Staff Advisory Council President,

Becky Brown, from University Relations. He also welcomed Senator Madsen, who is completing Senator Helm's term. Senator Helm is on sabbatical for Fall 2002 and Spring 2003.

  1. The minutes of the September 11, 2002, meeting were approved as submitted.

  2. Officers' Reports

    1. President's Report:

      1. Executive Committee and Administration meeting (September 18, 2002):

The Senate Executive Committee and members of the administration reviewed recent resolutions of the Faculty Senate. All the resolutions concern appointments to various committees, and there was little feedback on these resolutions.

Most of the meeting was taken up with a discussion of an open letter from Senator Sadlek and AAUP President Michael Peterson on the recent lay offs. Sadlek reviewed the reasons for the letter and the letter's objectives. An open discussion of the text followed, and these comments were considered as the letter went through additional revisions. The letter was distributed on 9/23/02.

The Senate leadership also reported that the results of the Senate's study on the success of Metro CC students in UNO's entry-level math and English courses was discussed at the meeting of the Articulation Task Force on 9/16/02. As a result of this discussion, the task force decided to sponsor discussions on transfer students between the faculty in the corresponding UNO and Metro math and English departments.

2. Chancellor's Council: Vice President Bragg's report of the September 19, 2002 meeting:


a. The Chancellor is trying to find some way to obtain faculty and staff input on how we might better proceed with future layoffs, etc. that will avoid repeating the difficulties of the past.

b. The Chancellor asked all to encourage attendance at this years Convocation.


a. Layoffs: The first item of discussion at the meeting (before the request above) dealt with the fallout of the layoffs.

b. Collaborative Report: A collaborative report must be provided to the President on Monday, 23 September. Essentially, this is the report that is to indicate ways by which the university can collaborate between and among campuses to save money.

c. Budget for the next biennium was discussed.

d. There will be no Holiday Gala this year - it has been discontinued (budget cutting)

3. President Smith's meeting with 4 Faculty Senate Presidents: September 19, 2002

Meeting of the Faculty Senates' Presidents with President Smith and Provost Noren

The meeting opened with a discussion of the US Patriot Act. The question posed by President Smith was: How can we comply with this law and still preserve our academic freedoms?

The budget situation was discussed at length. The Governor has said that the most optimistic forecast calls for a 0-% increase in university funding for the biennium. Even with 0% increases in faculty and staff salaries, however, the university system's fixed costs will rise $18 million per year. At this point, then, he is assuming a $20 million cut each year of the biennium.

President Smith said that university restructuring must continue. He wants to completely restructure the business operations on all four campuses, and to continue our attempts to restructure academic departments as well. He has asked the chancellors to look closely at schools of education and business. He has asked Faculty Senates to survey all courses and see which ones have not been offered in some time. These, in theory, should be eliminated.

Lobbying: Central Administration is putting together a package of talking points for everyone. Administration would like more faculty and university employees to get involved in getting our message across to state legislators and to the public. There are currently marketing plans in the works to sell the value of the university to the state.

Finally, it looks like health insurance premiums are going up again. Nationally, health expenditures are rising at 11% or higher per year. We should find out what the increases will be in health insurance in about a month.

4. Senator Sadleck proposed reporting Senate business to UNO faculty by email newsletter. This would be a regular letter from the Faculty Senate President, not a website or hard copy. He envisions including a link to the Faculty Senate website.

    1. Secretary-Treasurer's Report: Senator Williams submitted the September 2002 budget report.
  1. Executive Committee Report: Senator Bragg moved the following:

A. BE IT RESOLVED that UNO students with established residency in the Iowa counties of Pottawattamie, Harrison and Mills should be treated as Nebraska residents for purposes of determination of tuition owed.

President Sadlek charged the Educational Resources and Services committee with investigating this further.

B. Resolution 2646, 10/09/2002, Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON)

BE IT RESOLVED, that the senate president appoints the following senator to be the senate representative for a one year appointment, through 05/14/03, to the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON):

Beth Ritter

The motion passed.

  1. Standing Committee Reports
    1. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator N. Bacon reported that the committee discussed two issues: implementation of Resolution 2600 (C- grades) and articulation with Metropolitan Community College. It was also reported that Vice Chancellor Hodgson stated that the Faculty Senate has the final say on academic policies.

    2. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Dickson reported that the committee would not solicit funds for the Paul Beck Scholarship this year. They will explore options/changes to this scholarship. Also discussed were the new student IDs and problems associated with them. Problems with department chair search procedures were forwarded to the AAUP for possible changes in contract language. The committee also talked about sponsoring a colloquium on Serials Pricing Issues, and asked for feedback from the Senate

    3. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Johnson reported that the committee met and set their agenda for the year.

    4. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Garver reported that the committee did not meet in September because its traditional meeting time overlapped that of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. At its October meeting the committee will discuss in the Faculty Senate can encourage and facilitate faculty participation at the Comunity Forums and the "Strategic Advance" to take place in mid-November.

    5. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Leavitt reported for Senator Blair that Marilyn Leach, Director of the Center for Faculty Development, and Joanne Sowell, Art Department and Chair of the University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching spoke at their September meeting. They discussed the consequences of the budget cuts, vacancies on UCAT, and Teaching Circles.

    1. Committee on Rules: Senator Littrell moved the following:

1. Resolution 2647, 10/09/2002, University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT):

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following names go forward for a three-year term (July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2005) to the University Committee on the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT):

Pam Smith, CPACS
Bruce Chase, A&S

Motion passed.

2. Resolution 2648, 10/09/2002, University Committee on Athletics:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following name go forward as a three-year appointment from 08/01/02, through 07/31/05, to the University Committee on Athletics:

Leah Pietron (to replace Michael Stewart)

Motion passed.

3. Resolution 2649, 10/09/2002, Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee

BE IT RESOLVED, that in accordance with section 6.1 of the Faculty Senate Bylaws the following nominees for the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee are brought forward by the Rules Committee for senate nomination. If approved, a ballot will be presented to the UNO faculty.

One faculty member will be elected from the following two nominees to serve a three-year term from October 16, 2002, through October 15, 2005, to replace retiring member, Bruce Chase:

Elaine Lahue, Assistant Professor, Biology
Lisa Boucher, Assistant Professor, Biology

One faculty member will be elected from the following two nominees to serve a three year term from October 16, 2002, through October 15, 2005, to replace retiring member, David Helm:

Tim Yontz, Assistant Professor, Music
Steve Williams, Associate Professor, Theater

One faculty member will be elected from the following two nominees to serve a three year term from October 16, 2002, through October 15, 2005, to replace retiring member, Michael O'Hara:

Bill Corcoran, Associate Professor, Economics
Richard File, Associate Professor, Accounting

Motion was approved.

  1. Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee Report

    1. Budget Committee: Senator Johnson reported that the committee discussed the importance of institutional memory from one year to the next. They are examining what other universities are doing, how the committee should be organized, etc.

  2. Non-Senate Committee Reports

    1. Academic Planning Council: Senator E. Williams reported that the APC identified three departments for review: Chemistry, Geography/Geology, and Physics. These reviews are tentatively schedule to take place between February 10-21, 2003.

    2. Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Senator Sadlek read Senator Blair's report.

The Alumni Association will be surveying the alumni groups of UNO's peer institutions to learn about the range of their activities. Vice Chancellor Buck discussed several issues associated with the latest round of budget reductions. Senator Blair also attended the September 18 Alumni Association Roundtable with Omaha Mayor Fahey The Mayor discussed several issues relating to UNO-City relations, including collaborations, road improvements, and campus access.

    1. American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator O'Connell reported that the negotiating team has submitted a proposal to the UNO Administration and, if all goes as planned, that proposal will be submitted to the Board of Regents on October 11. It was also reported that two membership meetings will occur-- the UNO AAUP Chapter Dinner will be held Saturday, October 26, at Fernando's, South of Dodge on 114th St, 7:00-9:30, all members and retirees invited. The second Chapter Meeting to be held Thursday, November 7, Room, TBA, 2:30. Progress in negotiations as well as other chapter matters will be discussed. The Executive committee also voted to change the name of the AAUP scholarship to the Kolasa Memorial Scholarship in honor of recently deceased Professor Bernie Kolasa, long time labor activist and AAUP member.

    2. Graduate Council: Senator Lewis reported the minutes of Committee B (March 26, 2002) and Committee A (April 15, 2002).
    1. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Garver reported

Professor Rebecca Morris convened the Sept. 25th meeting of the SPSC and reported on the organization and projected activities of the two Community Forums scheduled to be held at UNO in November 2002. Chancellor Nancy Belck presented a "strategic update" in which she emphasized long-term strategic advances as opposed to short-term tactical retreats by UNO. The next campus-wide "Strategic Advance" is scheduled to take place on November 15, 2002, with a view to following-up on the work of the "Strategic Advance" and the Community Forums held in May 2002. To date, little has been done to modify the hopes and expectations of May 2002 in light of UNO's continuing budgetary crisis and prospects for having to dismantle additional programs and lay-off more personnel. The SPSC meeting concluded as sub-committees (aka "task forces") met to discuss implementation and refinement of the SPSC's broad goals of improving teaching, scholarly & creative achievement, and community service.

  1. Old Business:

    1. There was discussion on Chancellor Belck's Open Letter of 09/27/02. President Sadlek is collecting e-mail feedback. Regarding the recent termination of UNO employees, the senate was reminded that this process had happened before, with the Audio Visual department, in the mid 1990s. The senate supported HR using UNO faculty expertise in the future, instead of calling an outside consultant on how to terminate employees. President Sadlek charged the Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee with proposing a process HR can follow for future terminations, if any.

    2. Senator Schulte reported on a Community Service project for the Faculty Senate. Habitat for Humanity is building a house at 3624 Redman. She passed around a sign-up sheet for the afternoon of Friday, October 25, 2002.

  2. New Business

A. There was discussion of the Patriot Act and its effect on academic freedom.

  1. The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.