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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2003-2004 Senate


Wednesday, February 11, 2004, 2 p.m., MBSC Dodge Rooms
Attendees: Akers, Allen, Bacon, Bramlett, M. Carroll, Dasgupta, D'Souza, Dickson, Garver, Helm, Kosloski, Lewis, Metal-Corbin, Nazem, Neathery-Castro, Ortman, Owens, Pasco, Pedersen, Ritter, Sadlek, Schulte, Shuster, Simpson, Smith, Thorp, Tixier y Vigil, Watson, Williams, Zigurs

Excused: Latchaw, Madsen, Mitenko

Absent: Benjamin-Alvarado, Bennett, Mei, Shroder

Presentation: Senator Sadlek presented a framed copy of Resolution 2718 to the UNO Women's Soccer Team Coach, Don Klosterman. Stephanie Kirby, a Captain of the team, was also present.

Security on Campus Forum: Before the meeting was officially called to order the following presented information and answered questions:

  • .Jim Buck, Vice Chancellor for Business Services
  • Paul Kosel, Asst. Manager, Campus Security and Traffic
  • Stan Schleifer, Manager, Support Services
  • David Carter, Ph.D., Counseling, College of Education
  • Rita Henry, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services
  • The representative from the Omaha Police Dept. was unable to attend.

I.    Senator Sadlek called the meeting to order at 2:45 p.m.

II.   The following guests were welcomed:

    • Becky Brown, University Relations
    • Steve Masara, Student Senate/Faculty Senate Liaison
    • Tom Bragg, Dean of Graduate Studies

III   The January 14, 2004, minutes were approved as written.

IV.   Officers' Reports

A.   President's Report: Senator Sadlek reported:

1.   The Board of Regents met on January 16 and 17, on the UNO campus. On Friday morning, the Regents conducted their annual visit to UNO. They heard presentations on the Lewis and Clark Initiative, on VIA (Visual Interaction Analysis) design, on UNO's Institutional Portfolio, and on federal appropriations for UNO. The Regents heard an up-date on NU Priority Programs. From 2002 to the present, the Regents have allocated $7 million to priority programs (of which $1.25 million have come to UNO). These are additions to the base budget, not one-time allocations. State Senator Don Pederson reported on the Higher Education Task Force, created by LR 174. There was a brief report on NU Information Security, given by Mr. Michael Carr, the new university security specialist. At the official meeting of the Board on Saturday Regent Don Blank was elected the new chairperson for 2004. Regent Howard Hawks was elected vice-chairperson. The major report of the day was again on the UNO institutional portfolio. The major item of business was the approval of the $50 million UNL North Stadium Improvement Project. With respect to UNO, the only item of business was the approval of the deletion of the M.A. program in Biology and the addition of a thesis track for the M.S. in Biology. At the end of the meeting, Regent Randy Ferlic gave a presentation on tuition remissions for non-resident NU students.

2.   The Executive Committee and Administration met on January 21, 2004. The Administration accepted resolution 2718, on the UNO women's soccer team and discussed the faculty's complaints regarding Travel and Transport. Also discussed was the complaint that no faculty members were involved on the Distance Education Coordinating Council.(Senator Sadlek also communicated these concerns to Provost Jay Noren, who said that more faculty will be added to the council in the very near future.) Senator Sadlek will look into arranging for UNO faculty to be involved in drafting, by March 1, 2004, the Distance Education Strategic Plan. There was a proposal to change the UNO suspension/expulsion policy, which was forwarded to Senator Neathery-Castro and her committee for further review. The Executive Committee was given an up-date on the Welcome Center, which has meeting rooms open to other departments on campus. Finally, there was an up-date on the budget situation.

3.  The Chancellor's Council met on January 22, 2004. Dr. John Christensen has been appointed to the permanent position of Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. Sheri Rogers gave an up-date on the preparations for Honors Week, which will take place beginning on March 25th. The Student Honors Convocation will take place on Sunday, March 28, at 1:30 p.m. The Faculty Honors Convocation will take place at 7 a.m. on Thursday, April 1. Dr. Rogers also gave an up-date on the Millard School Dual Enrollment Pilot Program. There were reports by Vice Chancellor Buck on the budget situation (the Governor's initial request for $600,000 cut to UNO in 04-05 was substantially less than originally expected), by Dean Bob Welk on the evolution of the new college, and by Associate Vice Chancellor Wade Robinson on the new Welcome Center.

4.  NU Chancellor L. Dennis Smith and Provost Jones met with the Four NU Faculty Senate Presidents on February 6, 2004. This meeting was attended by both President Sadlek and President Elect Bacon. Representatives from UNK and UNL were as displeased with the service from Travel and Transport as the UNO representatives were. UNMC representatives did not report any dissatisfaction with Travel and Transport. Among the most significant of these benefits to using Travel and Transport was the ability to recover the costs of missed or canceled flights. President Smith did ask the four Senate presidents, however, to forward memos to him outlining the complaints, and he promised to follow up. Then there was the question of faculty representation on the Distance Education Coordinating Council. Each campus currently has two representatives on the council. Neither of UNO's current representatives is from the faculty. President Smith and Provost Noren said that they would have no problem with enlarging the council to include faculty representation from UNO. All four campuses have been charged with coming up with a strategic plan for distance education by early March 2004. Also discussed was the state of daycare on their respective campuses. It turns out that UNO, unlike some of the other campuses, has a very good record with respect to providing adequate daycare. Another issue was the the question of reducing tuition for out-of-state students in order to attract more of them to Nebraska. Provost Noren is now doing studies to see the impact of this proposal and others, which are trying to boost NU enrollments.

5.  On March 2, 2004, there will be a University Day at the Legislature.

B.  Senator Dickson submitted the January 2004 Budget Report.

V    Executive Committee: Senator Bacon reported:

A.  The 2004-2007 Faculty Senate Representation Statistics.

B.  Senator Bacon moved the following two resolutions, which were passed:

1.   Resolution 2719, 02/11/04: Regarding Senior Scholars Academy

Whereas the UNO Faculty Senate supports the concept of a Senior Scholars Academy at UNO,

Be it resolved that the UNO Faculty Senate join the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor in sponsoring the Senior Scholars Academy breakfast on March 25th.

Be it further resolved that the UNO Faculty Senate will contribute $100.00 to help sponsor the breakfast.

2.  Resolution 2720, 02/11/04: Regarding President Smith

Whereas, Dr. L. Dennis Smith has served as President of the University of Nebraska since 1994, a post he has filled with competence, energy and humor, and

Whereas, Dr. Smith has fought for increasing the quality of education on all the University's four campuses, including the recognition that faculty salaries and working conditions must be the best the state and University can provide, and

Whereas, Dr. Smith has been nationally recognized for his vigorous defense of academic freedom, especially as it applies to research, and

Whereas, Dr. Smith has led the University in trying political and budgetary times and has represented the University effectively and forcefully to the citizens and elected officials of Nebraska,

Therefore, Be It Resolved that, on the occasion of Dr. Smith's retirement as President of the University of Nebraska, the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha thanks him for a job well done and wishes him and Mrs. Smith a productive and satisfying retirement.

C.   Senator Bacon also reported the resignation of Senator Shroder. The A&S Senators will caucus to elect a replacement.

VI     Standing Committee Reports

A.   Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Neathery-Castro reported the committee met on Wednesday, January 28, 2004. Present were Jim Akers, Wally Bacon, Joan Latchaw, Jody Neathery-Castro, John Thorp, Ethel Williams. The committee discussed the request made to change the university policy on suspensions, which was made by Wade Robinson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs & Director of Admissions, Records and Registration. The committee felt that further information and discussion was warranted before any resolution to change the process is put forth.

B.  Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Dickson reported the committee met on January 28, 2004. Committee Members present were Laura Dickson, Becky Pasco, Laura Schulte, Bob Shuster, Marsha Watson, Ilze Zigurs. The deadline dates and publicity for the Paul Beck Scholarship were scheduled. Scholarships will be $800 for full time undergrad; $800 for full time graduate; and $400 for part time undergrad. Senator Dickson met with V.C. John Christensen regarding scholarships listed on the UNO web site. We are hopeful that the web page will improve. There needs to be a Strategic Plan regarding distance education that will be accepted by the Regents. When that happens changes will be made regarding Faculty representation on distance education committees.

C.  Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator D'Souza reported the committee met on January 28, 2004. Members present were Natalie Bennett, Henry D'Souza, David Helm, Wai-ning Mei, and Pamela Jean Owens. The committee is still investigating the issue related to the air ticket purchasing policies through Travel & Transport. Senator Pamela Owens brought up the issue of offering free tickets to the UNO hockey game to promote the well-being of the faculty. The deans of the colleges should be encouraged to provide a link to the on-line Faculty Handbook from the college web sites. Art exhibit events and lecture series, workshops organized on campus also need to be promoted and publicized to the same extent as sports events. These events should be announced during the Faculty Senate meetings.

D.  Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Allen reported the committee met on January 28, 2004. Those present were Garver, Kosloski, Allen. Discussion continued on the minority recruitment issue. The committee feels that the university needs to put more emphasis on recruiting more minority students directly out of high school in addition to recruiting from Metro Community College. UNO needs to look beyond the "average" students and target outstanding minority students. The committee will look at ways of working with Omaha Public Schools to see if OPS keeps records of where outstanding minority students go to college. The committee also discussed the survey of graduating UNO students recently presented to the Senate.

E.  Committee on Professional Development: Senator Nazem reported the committee met on January 28, 2004. Members present were Senators Ritter, Smith and Nazem. Senator Nazem reported the resignation of Senator Shroder from the Senate. Also discussed were faculty mentoring, and if a "Grants Writing Workshop" can be offered by Graduate Studies and Research/Grants Development during the summer and be made available to all interested faculty.

F.  Committee on Rules: Senator M. Carroll reported the committee met on Wednesday, January 28, 2004. In attendance were Mike Carroll, Yvonne Tixier y Vigil, Raj Dasgupta, Darryll Lewis, and Frank Bramlett. Absent was Peter Madsen. The Committee continues its updating of section 2 of the UNO Faculty Handbook, "Governance of the University" and hopes to complete that task by the end of February. At its standing committee meeting February 25, the Committee will review the Faculty Survey of Choices for Committees, to be circulated campus-wide in early March.

Senator Carroll moved the following for the committee and it was passed:

Resolution 2721, 02/11/04: Regarding University Committee on Excellence in Teaching

Be it resolved, that the following faculty be recommended for service on the University Committee on Excellence in Teaching. (Two members should be recipients of the award and one member should be ''first year faculty member holding a Ph.D.") These members will serve staggered terms, and their replacements will be appointed to serve terms that would balance term endings, except for the first year faculty member, who serves one year.

Cassia Spohn (PACS) - (chair) (recipient of award) term continues until 7/31/04
Karen Dwyer (A&S) - term ends 7/31/04
Ziaul Huq (BA) - term ends 7/31/06
Jerene Fluckinger (ED) - term ends 7/31/04
Leah Pietron (IT&S) - (recipient of award) term ends 7/31/05
David Helm (FA) - term ends 7/31/04
Carson Holloway (A&S) - new faculty holding PhD - term ends 7/31/04

VII    Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee Reports

A.   Senior Scholars Academy Committee: Professor Cederblom submitted the following report: The Emeritus College Committee should be renamed the Senior Scholars Academy Committee, since that has become our preference for the institution we are aiming to create. A space has been identified in the Library that could be renovated and used by Senor Scholars for at least the next few years, during which time a more permanent home could be planned. The Committee visited the space with Marc Davis and Steve Conley, Campus Architect, to discuss what renovations would be needed. Arrangements are being made for a Kickoff Breakfast on March 25 for planning the Academy. Retirees who live in the Omaha area, as well as interested faculty who are approaching retirement, will be invited. The event will be co-sponsored by Chancellor Belck, Vice Chancellor Christensen, The University of Nebraska Foundation, and the Faculty Senate.

B.   Prioritization Committee: Professor J. Carroll reported that the committee met with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee's Academic Prioritization Subcommittee Tuesday, February 10. There was general agreement that the previous prioritization process could be reinitiated as appropriate. Prioritization could be done comprehensively, for example every five years, or incrementally. Discussion dealt only with the incremental approach and what would trigger re-prioritization. Faculty Senate representatives argued successfully that prioritization could not be combined with academic program review. Agreement on a means to add a program or initiative to the prioritization list was easily reached. Faculty who felt they could develop a compelling case for prioritization would be free to do so, and Academic Affairs would assemble a review team to rate the proposal and compare it to the current priorities. There would be no set schedule. The touchier issue is what might trigger considering programs for deletion from the priority list. Everyone agreed that programs removed from the priority list would be expected to keep any increase in base funding received as a priority. Evaluation of programs for removal would be on the same system as addition, but requires a different evaluation trigger. Trigger possibilities mentioned were that programs receiving substantial priority funding would be removed and need to reapply, that priority programs be evaluated with the departments in which they function, and that priority programs be reviewed a set number of years after receiving their funding. Further suggestions and discussion on this are needed.

VIII  Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.   Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Ritter noted that AFCON had an editorial published in the Omaha World Herald regarding suspension from Westside High School of students for posters related to a "Distinguished African American Student" award.

B.   Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Professor Fruhling reported the Alumni Association met on January 20. The 2004 new members were introduced. Dean Pol presented information about the College of Business, specifically the Student Investment Program. Recently, the Alumni Association organized a gathering for UNO Employee alum. The board is beginning the process to evaluate renovation and maintenance needs of the Alumni Center. Rental fees from the Alumni Center produce a steady flow of revenue.

C.  American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator D'Souza reported the AAUP is discussing possible modifications to loans to new faculty. Two forums on computer privacy in academe are planned, with the UNO Faculty Senate and UNO Women's Studies as co-sponsors along with the State AAUP. The featured speaker at both presentations is Dr. Martha McCaughey, Associate Professor and Director of Women's Studies, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Appalachian State University. The Bernie Kolasa scholarships will be announced in the next AAUP newsletter. The AAUP is currently investigating the possibility of two contract violations involving faculty members in two different colleges. The grievance officer is meeting with the administration in an effort to resolve these issues. UNO AAUP is also helping to circulate a petition to repeal LB 775.

D.  Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Garver reported the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met on January 27 at 3 p.m. to discuss planning for the May 10, 2004, Strategic Advance and to hear progress reports from its standing committees. The SPSC was also addressed by Chancellor Nancy Belck and by Dr. John Christensen, Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, who discussed current academic developments and prospects for the immediate future.

IX   After a reminder to all Senators that the May Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled on May 5, 2004, a week early, the meeting adjourned at 3:50 PM.