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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2004-2005 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, April 13, 2005, MBSC Dodge Rooms

Attendees: Adkins, Akers, Allen, Anderson, Bacon, Bernstein, Bramlett, Corcoran, D'Souza, Fruhling, Garver, Glaser, Kosloski, Latchaw, Mei, Mitenko, Ortman, Ottemann, Owens, Pasco, Paterson, Randall, Sather, Scherer, Shaw, Skreija, Watson, Wetig, Wolcott

Excused: Benjamin-Alvarado, Dasgupta, Metal-Corbin

Absent: Arbelaez, Elder, Merkel, Stroope, William

Esther Scarpello, Fringe Benefits Manager, gave a presentation, before the meeting began, on the upcoming Benefits Fair and ongoing retirement planning seminars.

I. The meeting was called to order by Vice President D'Souza at 2:10 p.m.

II. The March 9, 2005, minutes were approved as written.

III. Officers Reports

A. President's Report: Senator Bacon

1. NU President Milliken and Provost Noren Meeting with the Four NU Faculty Senate Presidents: President Bacon returned from the meeting in Lincoln at about 2:30 p.m. and reported that the NU system is looking at the largest increase in budget since Governor Orr was in office. The new CPACS building is still the number one priority. Also discussed was the reorganization of distribution of tuition money. And a systems wide benefits group will meet shortly to look into the Health Care Benefit issue. Provost Noren suggested a Wellness Program for retirees that has worked to reduce costs at other businesses.

2. Chancellor's Written Response to Resolutions: On March 17, 2005, Nancy Castilow, Asst. to the Chancellor, wrote: "The Chancellor acknowledges Res. 2763 for the purpose of information. In response to Res. 2764, the Cabinet approved Vice Chancellor Christensen's request to hire a permanent director for the Service Learning Academy at their March 8th meeting."

B. Professor Bartle, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, gave a presentation the NU system process of capital budgeting.

C. Senator Allen submitted the March 2005 Treasurer's report.

IV. Executive Committee Report: Senator D'Souza moved the following resolution on behalf of the Executive Committee. The resolution passed.

Resolution 2765, 4/13/2005: Senator Adidam's Resignation and Replacement

WHEREAS Senator Adidam's resignation, due to travel, has been accepted by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and

WHEREAS a caucus of the majority of the remaining Senators from the College of Business Administration have elected Robert Otteman to complete Senator Adidam's term (May 2005),

WHEREAS the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate recognized that this replacement would take effect at the April meeting,

THEREFORE the Faculty Senate welcomes Senator Otteman to service in the 2004-2005 Faculty Senate.

V Standing Committee Reports

A. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Watson reported the committee met on 23 March. Senators Wolcott, Shaw, Pasco, and Watson were in attendance. The meeting's single agenda item was consideration of the effectiveness of the current UNO web site. The committee had actively attempted to gather information on the charge and has received no specific evidence, written complaints, or testimony that would uphold allegations of substantial problems with the current web site. The committee could find no grounds for further action. The committee has also restructured itself to add a member from ITS as an ex-officio. John Fiene, or his designee, will hold this position.

B. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Skreija reported the Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare met on Wednesday, March 30, 2005. Those present were D'Souza, Mitenko, Owens, Skreija (ch). Those excused were Bernstein, Mei. The committee discussed possible issues that might be considered by the next year's committee:

  1. Any conflict of interest and commitment policy that might be proposed by the administration.
  2. The issue of retention of minority and female faculty. One possible source of information might be exit interview data.
  3. Criteria used for tenure, promotion and merit based salary increase decisions and recommendations. Also how the criteria used correlate with the contract the candidates might have.
C. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Allen reported the Committee met on March 29, 2005. Those present were : Allen (chair), Fruhling, Garver, Wetig, Sather.

The committee continued working on the Minority Recruitment Strategic Plan, a draft of which was presented to the Senate. Senator Allen hopes to get more input on the draft, and hopes it will be finalized, voted on, and presented to the administration by early in this next academic year.

D. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Adkins reported the committee met on Wednesday, March 30, 2005. Present were Senators Adkins (Chair), Corcoran, Paterson, Scherer, and Kosloski. Three issues were discussed.

  1. An unresolved issue from last year's committee concerns the need for a faculty mentoring policy.
  2. The committee continued its work on the issue of professional development for faculty who teach on campuses other than where they hold their primary appointment.
  3. The issue of travel money for faculty, and potential disparities between colleges, was discussed.

E. Committee on Rules: Senator Arbelaez was unable to attend the meeting. Senator Randall, Vice Chair of the committee moved the following resolution for the committee. The resolution passed.

Resolution 2766, 4/13/2005: Spring 2005 Named Professorship Review Committee New Members

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following two faculty serve on the Named Professorship Review Committee (Kiewit, Kayser, & Isaacson Professorships) for spring 2005 (The Administration will select one additional member of this committee.):

Zhenyuan Wang A&S, to replace Judy Harrington,

Ilze Zigurs (IS&T), to replace Leah Pietron.

VI Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported on two meetings. The first was held on March 12, 2005, at the Eisley Library in Lincoln. Subjects covered included:

  • Distribution of the monthly newsletter.
  • A legislative update on felon's voting reporting that the likelihood of legislation allowing felons to vote was possible in the near future.
  • Other issues focused on a Gay Pride Site-In at the Beatrice Public Schools, a discussion of the actions of Harvard's President Lawrence Summers, and further discussion on Prof. Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado - Boulder. The UNO Faculty Senate, and all interested parties, should keep an eye on this case. If terminating Prof. Churchill's tenure appointment and indeed his appointment should occur, the Senate would be advised to discuss the matter and act quickly.
  • Under New Business, the committee heard about a development at the Omaha Nation reservation concerning censorship of an article intended for the school newspaper. It was also reported that books are still objected to in public libraries, with requests to have them removed relatively common.

The April 9, 2005, meeting was held at the Eisley Library in Lincoln. Subjects covered included:

  • A concern by the ACLU that part of the problem of No Child Left Behind is schools expelling students who are likely to do poorly on scores, thus not only raising school scores in an artificial and destructive manner, but also depriving students of their academic freedom to learn.
  • A brief announcement by AFCON President David Moshman that he had received UNO Prof. Sam Walker's paper on the UNO Center for Afghanistan Studies.
  • Yet further discussion of the case of Prof. Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado - Boulder. This was a wide-ranging discussion which addressed issues of academic freedom, especially were Prof. Churchill to be released from the university.

The next meeting is to be May 14.

B. American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator D'Souza reported The UNO chapter of AAUP is in the process of expanding the Executive Committee to include one representative from other bargaining unit members, namely, instructors and assistant instructors. In addition, there will be four members at-large elected instead of the three now. The proposed text of the changes has been distributed for comments to the membership according to procedure. The changes will be voted on. The UNO AAUP Chapter meeting was held on Monday, April 11, 2005.

C. Graduate Council: Senator Paterson reported that the Graduate Council met on Monday, April 11, 2005. Assoc. VC Tom Bragg presided. This was the first meeting of the UNO Graduate Council since September, 2004. Dr. Bragg reported that (1) Theresa Baker had resigned her position as Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies; and (2) there wasn't any truly pressing issues that required a meeting. He and his remaining staff also had been unable to locate reliable minutes from the September meeting. Ensuing discussion demonstrated that the members of the committee desired the Graduate Council to meet regularly regardless. The discussion ranged from "meet only when there is specific business" to "meet whether or not there is any specific business." Dr. Bragg said he would call regular meetings, and that one of the topics needed to be reviewing the entire graduate college, objectives, and effectiveness.

D. Spirit Committee: Senator Bernstein deferred to Mr. Price, President of the Staff Advisory Council, who reported that this year's Spirit Campaign will be wrapping up in early May. The Chancellor will then draw for the top three prizes of the year. There has been great participation and support from the students, staff, and faculty.

E. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Allen reported that the Advance was held April 11, 2005. There was a spectacular display of UNO research, student activity and student production. A number of people from the community were in attendance. Discussions with the Nebraska Lieutenant Governor, Omaha Mayor, Omaha Chamber of Commerce representative, and NU President Milliken were interesting and frustrating, as were the table discussions. It was deemed a very successful Advance.

VIII New Business

A. Senator Allen moved the following resolution, which passed:

    Resolution 2767, 4/13/2005: AFCON Travel Expense

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate shall adopt a policy to reimburse the AFCON representative for mileage expense to attend AFCON meetings in Lincoln that is not already covered by AFCON.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this policy shall be made retroactive to the beginning of the current Senate fiscal year and that the current representative be reimbursed for his mileage not covered by AFCON.

B. Senator Adkins moved the following resolution which passed. Coach Denny will be invited to the May 2005 meeting to received the framed resolution.

Resolution 2768, 4/13/2005: UNO Wrestling Team

Whereas the UNO Wrestling Team, coached by Mike Denny, captured its second consecutive national NCAA Division II title, and

Whereas, the UNO Wrestling team had a cumulative team GPA of more than 3.1 and a number of academic All-Americans,

Whereas the wrestling team's athletic and academic achievements bring honor and prestige to the University,

Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha congratulates the wrestling team and Coach Denney and looks forward to the team's 2005-2006 season.

C. Center for Afghanistan Studies: Senator Paterson introduced a paper written by Professor Sam Walker on the topic of the UNO Center for Afghan Studies. Also introduced was a rebuttal written by Dean Tom Gouttierre. It was noted that Dr. Walker's paper has already been distributed to the Chair of the NU Board of Regents and the U. S. Secretary of State. President Bacon remanded the subject to the Academic and Curricular Committee for investigation and to see what bearing it has upon Strategic Goal #2. He and Senator Paterson will work up a written charge for the committee.

XI The meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.