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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2002-2003 Senate


Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Mahoney State Park, Riverview Lodge
Attendees: Akers, Allen, N. Bacon, W. Bacon, Bishop, Benjamin-Alvarado, Bennett, Blair, Carlson, J. Carroll, M. Carroll, D'Souza, Dickson, Dufner, Garver, Johnson, Kosloski, Krause, Latchaw, Leavitt, Lewis, Lin, Littrell, Mei, Metal-Corbin, Nazem, Neathery-Castro, O'Connell, Pedersen, Ritter, Sadlek, Schulte, Simpson, Tixier y Vigil, Valle, Williams, and Wolcott

Excused: Bragg, Helm

Absent: Lewis, Smallwood

Guests : Chancellor Belck, Vice Chancellor Hodgson, Vice Chancellor Buck, Vice Chancellor Carrico, Lanyce Keel, Assistant Planning Director for Distance Ed and Information Technology Services, and Shay Riggs, UNO Student Government President/Regent

  1. After presentations from Lanyce Keel (IT Services), Jim Carroll (Parliamentarian), and Chancellor Belck (budget crisis), and also a question and answer session which included Vice Chancellors Buck, Hodgson, and Carrico, the meeting was called to order at 3:20pm

  2. The minutes of the May 8, 2002-2003 Faculty Senate meeting were approved as submitted.

  3. Officers' Reports

    1. President's Report: Senator Sadlek reported:

      1. The big item of business this summer was the budget crisis. President Sadlek sent out two e-mail announcements in order to keep the entire faculty informed. He met with the three other Faculty Senate Presidents and some of their executive committee members. At that meeting they forged a list of principles the administration might use when dealing with the budget cuts. He met with Vice Chancellor Hodgson, the Enrollment Management Steering Committee, and twice with the AAUP Executive Committee to share information on the budget crisis. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Cabinet met four times this summer, instead of the usual two.

      2. Senator Sadlek submitted the report of the July 18, 2002, meeting of the Board of Regents. Senator Bragg attended that meeting but was unable to attend the Retreat to give the report.
    1. Secretary-Treasurer's Report: Senator E. Williams submitted the July 2002 budget report.
  1. Executive Committee Report: Senator Sadlek reported for Senator Bragg:
  • Resolutions passed in summer 2002 (all of which were accepted by the Chancellor):

      • Resolution 2637, 06/12/02: Funding to Attend Conference

WHEREAS President Greg Sadlek has received notification of the Governance Conference in Atlanta, GA, to be held October 17-20, 2002, and

WHEREAS there will be much relevant information offered for both the Faculty Senate and the AAUP,

WHEREAS the cost of the trip and conference will be approximately $1200,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate will fund one half of the cost for President Sadlek to attend the conference.

      • Resolution 2638, 07/10/02: PhD in Information Technology

WHEREAS the academic content of the PhD in Info Tech program has the potential of being high quality,

WHEREAS we have been assured that the initial funding has been allocated.

WHEREAS it is our understanding that the future increases in funding for this program will not come from reallocation of funds from other uno academic units.

We recommend approval of the PhD in info tech program.

3. Resolution 2639, 07/10/02: MFA in Creative Writing

The Faculty Senate approves the proposal for Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with the understanding that there will be no new faculty lines created and that all additional costs will be covered by surcharges to the students.

  • Resolution 2640, 08/07/02: Chair of the Cabinet:

BE IT RESOLVED, that according to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska, Article VI, Section 3, the senate president appoints the following senator Chair of the Cabinet:

Laura Dickson.

  • The Executive Committee motion that the Faculty Senate approve without amendment all resolutions passed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Cabinet in the summer of 2002 was passed.

V. The Standing Committee Chairs were polled and there were no reports.

VI Non-Senate Committee Reports

  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator O'Connell reported that she met with the AAUP throughout the summer. Much attention was paid to potential budget cuts which might effect the contract. New contract negotiations are progressing. One change in the contract would change the term "faculty" to "unit member." Another change would add sexual orientation to the discrimination clause. There will be a Wine & Cheese Reception on October 3, at the UNO Gallery. All are urged to contact new faculty and invite them to the reception.

    VII Old Business

A. Final Exams & Commencement: Senator Sadlek reported that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Cabinet reviewed the status of Commencement Day and final exams in light of the fact that conflicts still appeared in the fall 2002 exam schedule. The EC & C reviewed two corrective measures proposed by Vice Chancellor Hodgson and suggested two counter-proposals. One of these counter-proposals, rescheduling Friday afternoon exams conflicting with Commencement for the Saturday preceding Commencement, was later accepted by Vice Chancellor Hodgson. It will probably be put into effect in spring semester because the fall exam schedule is already out.

  • Budget Crisis: Senator Sadlek shared the replies he had received this summer in response to his two e-mails to the faculty. He reported that the EC&C did not want to get into business of cutting programs, and that specific decisions are best left to administrators to handle. He shared the list of principles, developed by all four Faculty Senate Executive Committees, but noted that the Chancellor wants specifics rather than principles. The following five questions from Gregs e-mail:

1. How should/can we respond to inevitable part time instructors.?

2 How can we foster continued momentum?

      • How to make better use of distance education?
      • Are there low enrollment graduate courses that can be dropped?
      • How do we bring about redirection of faculty workloads?
  • A brainstorming session took place. Senator Sadlek then asked that each committee look at one specific item, and summarize their ideas. The committees were given the following charges, but could also look at other items:

Academic & Curricular Affairs: Short term affect of cuts of part time faculty on students with few other choices

Educational Resources: Distance education and other educational resources

Faculty Personnel & Welfare: Long term loss of part time faculty and revenue effects

Goals and Directions: Administrative cuts/restructuring of colleges (faculty, departments, intercampus)

Professional Development: Redirection of faculty workload.

Rules: Distributed among other groups

VIII At 4:45 the Faculty Senate recessed for a working dinner.

IX Before the meeting reconvened at 6:10 p.m., Shay Riggs, Student Government President/Regent, was introduced and welcomed. She answered questions regarding the mood of the student body.

X Just after the meeting reconvened, Senator Carlson asked for a suspension of the rules in order to present a motion regarding the Global E-Learning Project:

Whereas, University of Nebraska at Omaha funding for the Global E-Learning Project in the Shanghai, China International Institute of Information Science and Technology (IIIST) has been canceled, and

Whereas, approximately 220 students are currently enrolled in the IIIST program, and

Whereas, UNOmaha has a moral and ethical obligation to these students,

Be it resolved, the UNOmaha Faculty Senate urges the administration to find means without UNOmaha funding of enabling currently enrolled IIIST students to complete UNOmaha degree requirements.

After discussion the motion received less than a simple majority of votes, and did not pass.

XI Old Business then continued with each committee giving a brief summary of their discussions.

    • Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator N. Bacon reported from her committee that it is our mission as a metropolitan university to address social inequities in the urban environment, we value the contributions of a diverse student population, and therefore the we oppose any cut that disproportionately affects poor, disabled, or minority students. Also, part-time faculty are cost-effective because their pay is low and they do not receive benefits, in a time of budget crisis, it makes little economic sense to eliminate our most cost-effective teaching staff, many departments depend on part-time faculty, so that use of tenure-line faculty to cover their courses decimates major programs and redirects tenure-line faculty from their research commitments, and part-time faculty are primarily employed in general-education courses and thus ought to be protected by the prioritized status of general education, so while short-term cuts to the part-time faculty in the spring, 2003 semester may be unavoidable, these positions should be restored.

    • Educational Resources and Services: Senator Dickson reported that the sense felt by her committee was that distance education cannot be a substitute for classes that are offered on campus and in person. It should be used for people we cannot otherwise reach, not just those that don't want to come on campus. Out of state tuition should be charged for out of state students. There should be a Distance Ed Fee over and above tuition.

    • Faculty Personnel & Welfare: Senator Bennett reported, for her committee, that there should be no permanent cuts to part time faculty. Cutting part time faculty should be a temporary measure. Part-time faculty are a critical resource to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and provide direct linkage to the broader Omaha community, thereby fulfilling the university's metropolitan mission, part-time faculty often teach introductory and specialized upper division courses that improve the quality and productivity of academic programs, some academic departments rely more heavily on part-time faulty than others to provide core courses which increase student credit hour production, permanent cuts in part-time faculty will result in a decrease of course offerings at the upper division level, permanent cuts in part-time faculty will result in increased workload for full time faculty and will hurt efforts to recruit and retain new faculty, as well as produce higher faculty turnover, and current budgetary constraints necessitates some reduction in part-time faculty, this committee recommends that any depletion in part-time faculty be a temporary measure towards reconciling budgetary constraints, taking effect in and lasting no longer than one (1) semester.

    • Goals and Directions: Senator Garver reported that his committee recommended no consolidation for colleges. It is not appropriate for senate to get involved. There should be efficiency in delivery in needed courses by allowing campuses to keep tuition revenue. Increase course offerings but not the cost. They also recommended having greater cross listing for graduate and undergraduates, between departments or campuses, particularly to allow the continuation of offering graduate courses. Reduce courses grads need to take in seminars, etc. Encourage creation of Liberal Arts Masters Degrees to incorporate small departments which offer Masters' degrees, and departments that have no masters' programs, to other departments. There should be greater centralization of library purchasing and library loans and agreements between campuses to purchase scholarly tomes. We should rethink the way the libraries are organized and do purchases.

    • Professional Development: Senator Blair reported on the redirection of faculty workloads. All faculty will be teaching more classes. There will be impact on research and tenure, and the implications are significant. The committee suggested that the administrators teach some classes. There must be protections of the people who are on tenure. Tenured professors could take over more teaching to leave younger tenure track faculty to do research. This would be a temporary arrangement. Other solutions would have to be found down the road for senior faculty to return to research. This also has implications for promotion.

    • Rules: Senator Littrell reported that there is a difference between long and short term. In the coming year it might be worthwhile to explore with AAUP delaying implementation of salary increases for 3-4 months. That would result in base pay increase, but free up funds out of this year's budget. Short or ongoing, consider academic year as having 3 terms, rather than 2 long and 1 short. Fund summer salaries out of regular year contract money, saving summer school for students, rather than saving money. It is already like this in Lincoln. Limit summer teaching stipends to a certain amount or 5 % of salary. There is also the aging character of the UNO faculty. Is it possible to think about a salary deferral arrangement which could possibly be linked to phased retirement? People would forgo a given amount for the moment, interest is paid on that amount, and it is paid out over few years (NFL does this and it works nicely). In an emergency it can be paid over 3-4 years. Rationalize tuition increases. Link phased tuition increases to phased retirement arrangements. All administrators and staff who are faculty, should teach one class each year.

IX New Business:

    • Community Service Project (Senator Schulte) postponed until the September 2002 meeting.
    • Memorials, etc., for Faculty Members (Senator Metal-Corbin) postponed until the September 2002 meeting.

    • Senator Carlson asked to informally discuss further Senate action on the China project. Informal discussion followed.

X The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 pm.