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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2005-2006 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 2 p.m.,
MBSC Dodge Rooms

Attendees: Adkins, Anderson, Arbelaez, Bernstein, Dappen, DeLone, Glaser, Hewins- Maroney, Lahue, Mitenko, Nordman, Ottemann, Owens, Pasco, Paterson, Randall, Reilly, Roland, Scherer, Shaw, Skreija, Tarry, Thorp, Tilton-Weaver, Watson, Wetig, Winter, Wolcott

Excused: Bullock, Edick, Dasgupta, Miller

Absent: Bacon, Corcoran, Ortman, Roslanowski, Williams

Before the meeting, David Cicotello, Director, Enrollment Systems, gave a presentation on recruiting new students to UNO.

I. The meeting was called to order at 2:25 p.m.

II. The November 9, 2005, minutes were approved as submitted.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report: Senator Glaser reported

1. The Executive Committee and Administration met November 16, 2005. Resolution 2808 (giving UNL faculty who teach at UNO grants) and the issue of reciprocity was discussed. The issue was also discussed at the December 7, 2005, UNO Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Cabinet meeting and it was agreed that no action to modify the resolution was necessary. At the suggestion of Senator Paterson, Senator Glaser remanded the Resolution back to the Professional Development Committee. Also discussed was the faculty senate presidents' meeting with President Milliken, and the issue of health care for retirees. The Presidents' Health Care Committee should be looking closely at this. The UNO administration would like to continue the $1.3 m. of diversity in money in UNO contracts. There was an extended discussion about the definition of "minority" in relationship to the diversity funding. While the faculty senate executive committee strongly feels that this funding should be used for U.S. minorities, we know it is also being used for international faculty. John Christensen will find the definition used by the Nebraska University system and get back to us.

2. Chancellor's Council met November 17, 2005. The Chancellor reported on the Board of Regents meeting. She is trying to get Center Street access to Chili Greens. She will be going over the Master Plan at the December 1, 2005, BOR meeting and the board will vote on housing in the January 20, 2006, meeting. HPER building is full, not meeting the demand. There is a proposed extension using student fees. This would allow Student Health to move to HPER. Intramural sports needs the Chili Greens space. There is a Salvation Army 72nd St. Food Fight that UNO is participating in. Commencement - Paige Mulhollan, one of the founders of the Metropolitan University Movement, will be getting the honorary degree. He will meet with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee on the morning of December 16.

3. Board of Regents Meetings November 11, 2004 and December 1, 2005:

      a. The BOR met on November 11, 2005. President Glaser reported the Business Affairs Committee meeting reviewed UNO's Master Plan as the context for new housing. Chancellor Belck presented our non-matriculant study which shows that 63% of non-matriculants do not enroll in the NU system. The proportion of resident students to full-time (about 2400/8500). Robinson explained that retention in residence halls is 87% (10% more than the general retention rate). Hawks and Miller both spoke up in support of new housing. As for the financing of the new housing, David Lechner, NU Vice President for Business and Finance, recommended private housing for financial reasons. The Academic Business Affairs Committee meeting looked at the definition of "Center". There was recognition that there is confusion about this term and what it means. There will be a revision of this policy at the January meeting. Jay Noren presented a report about this issue, which included the following.

      The Bylaws Amendment Proposed for January Consideration:

      "Multi-Departmental Academic Centers for Research, Teaching, and/or Service": Require BOR Approval if characterized by all of the following: 1. Interdisciplinary breadth encompassing commitment of funding and faculty time from more than one department. 2. An identifiable budget. 3. Evidence that the multi-departmental center will more effectively achieve stated academic objectives than traditional departmental, school, or college structures.

      Milliken stated that Centers are a positive thing for the university. The more we can promote inter-disciplinary and inter-campus work, the better. The Board of Regents meeting in the afternoon was dominated by each chancellor presenting their Priority Academic Programs and their Programs of Excellence.

      b. The BOR met on December 1, 2005. Senator Shaw reported the Board began by reviewing parts of its new "Strategic Framework," and the Regents tried to reach consensus on specific, measurable goals as markers for progress. They agreed on a target of 1.5% per year over the next three years for enrollment. For graduation rates they decided that the NU campuses should strive to exceed the 6-year average for undergraduates among their peer institutions. The 6-year measure is derived from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and it is useful as a statistically comparable measure. However, several Regents expressed concern about limitations in definition, and they agreed to work further on refining the measure for this goal. The Regents then addressed this goal: all faculty pay increases should be based entirely on merit. The goal statement does not elaborate on a definition for "merit," though in discussion the Regents acknowledged that there are different kinds of performance which can be meritorious. Chancellors Mauer (UNMC) and Perlman (UNL) spoke in favor of the statement. Two of the Faculty Senate representatives (Mary Beck, UNL and I) expressed concerns about processes fraught with potential for unfairness. I cautioned the Board that the faculty and UNO and UNK formed collective bargaining units because of, at least in part, great dissatisfaction with poorly managed merit procedures. The Regents then turned their attention to a review of cost-cutting initiatives undertaken by the Business and Finance Offices on all four campuses. The campus representatives made an impressive presentation, and their numbers indicate that "back office" operations consume a rather low percentage of NU expenditures. Regent Miller suggested that the Board should establish a goal of reducing administrative expenditures 5% each year. President Milliken and the Chancellors spoke firmly against this goal, as did the Faculty Senate representatives. They pointed out that they had been charged to do things such as increase enrollments which would likely require some incremental increase in "back office" operations. I told the Regents that Chancellor Belck had made many cuts on the Business and Finance area since 2000, and that she had worked hard to avoid cuts which directly affected classrooms and students. I am doubtful that further cuts can be made that do not ultimately affect academic matters. The Regents asked that the Business and Finance staffs continue to look for savings, particularly a rationalization of administrative computing, but they did not adopt a specific target. Before adjournment, Regent Miller made a presentation concerning the Rand Corporation's "Collegiate Learning Assessment" project, which is intended to measure undergraduate learning. About 200 institutions have signed on to use the program, which uses a combination of CLA-devised tests and GRE tests. The Regents expressed interest in further discussion about measurements of undergraduate learning, though the CLA approach did not appear to enrapture them. My initial impression is that it is probably as good and useful as the National Survey of Student Engagement, though its emphasis is different. At this point, however, I remain confident that UNO is on a better path in developing an ePortfolio approach to the evaluation of student learning.

    4. Enrollment Management Services Committee met November 8, 2005. Billboard advertising is going up around town. Cathy Warren is the new hire in Multi-cultural Affairs headed by Jim Freeman for outreach to the Native American community, with .45 appointment funded with the Chancellor's diversity dollars. Applications for spring semester are up 30%, fall semester up 18%. Graduate applications are also up. There is a Fall 2005 Survey of Entering Transfer Students.

IV. Treasurer's Report: Senator Shaw submitted the November 2005 Budget Report.

V. Executive Committee Report:

A. Senator Adkins gave a brief summary of Professor Bartle's Budget Committee report to the Executive Committee and Cabinet concerning Minority and Diversity Funds. The NU system are above the mean level of our Peer Groups in female faculty. We are not that high in minority comparison relative to our peers, but are making good improvements. The Nebraska Legislature gave the NU system $0.5 million base budget for Diversity Funding in 2000-2001, after that it was money the administration found. Up until now UNO has received about $1.24 million. Professor Bartle will look into why there was no funding included in the 2005-2006 budget.

B. Change in Staff Compensation: Senator Shaw reported the Executive Committee agreed that the Parliamentarian's stipend has been inadequate to compensate his work on behalf of the Faculty Senate. The Executive Committee agreed to increase the Parliamentarian's stipend to $1,000.00 from $500.00 per year. The Executive Committee also addressed the rate of pay for Sue Bishop, the Faculty Senate's Administrative Technician. Tthe NU Values system now permits a mid year pay raise beyond the standard annual raise. The Executive Committee agreed that the Faculty Senate should increase the Administrative Technician's wage to $14.096 from $13.753 per hour. These adjustments in compensation were proposed only after an analysis of the past several years of the Faculty Senate budget expenditures indicated that funds remaining in the 2005-2006 fiscal year are sufficient.

VI. Standing Committee Reports

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Anderson reported the committee met November 30, 2005. Present: Nancy Edick, Randy Adkins, Mark Scherer, Scott Tarry, Deb Anderson, WOLCOTT. Guest: Steve Bullock.

Dual Enrollment: The committee heard from guest Steve Bullock that the total number of student enrollments has steadily increased since the program's inception in 2003-2004. Latest data (2004-2005) indicate 500 students have taken almost 800 dual enrollment courses. As a recruitment tool, we learned that in the Millard school district, the number of students who came to UNO pre-Dual Enrollment averaged 12. Since Dual Enrollment, this has increased to 40-50. Data also indicate that students are more likely to come to UNO if they have had involvement with faculty and if students indicate overall satisfaction with the Dual Enrollment program. Westside and Papillion have been added this year, with plans to expand to private schools after 12/06. UNO has no input into which high school students take these courses. However, by using part of the fee to provide Dual Enrollment scholarships for free/reduced lunch students, there is hope it will impact student diversity in the program. Also, there are efforts underway to prepare 5th graders for AP and Dual Enrollment courses which could increase student diversity. Finally, it was acknowledged that parents may be unfamiliar with AP and Dual Enrollment programs, particularly the differences between the two. By improving communication, more students may enroll in the programs. Of the $200 student fee, $82 is used to pay for students to take the AP exam. If the student elects not to take the exam, UNO keeps this money in a general dual enrollment fund to be used for special projects and activities. Because the percentage of Nebraska students taking the Advanced Placement exam is so low, the Chamber of Commerce and UNO administration would like to increase this number. Currently, it is not required (Millard and Westside) or required but not enforced (OPS). MOEC schools are surveyed annually regarding the subject areas that have the greatest need for Dual Enrollment/AP offerings. Recent responses indicate an increasing need in the area of foreign languages and economics. Report from Nancy Edick regarding Academic Planning Council: The Academic Planning Council is reviewing and revising the academic program review process to more closely align it with accreditation requirements, AQIP, and the university's overall strategic plan. They are also reviewing the priority program review.

Center for Afghanistan Studies (CAS): Deb Smith-Howell will attend the ACA meeting in January to report on review processes for non-academic programs such as the CAS.

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Watson reported the committee met 16 November. Senators Pasco, Thorpe, Ortman, and Watson were in attendance. The results of the focus groups on Course Evaluations were reported and discussed. The members of the committee who were present decided that the input of the full committee was needed to decide on the course of action at this point. The issue was therefore tabled until another meeting could be scheduled that all committee members could attend. That meeting was held 30 November 2005. Senators Watson, Williams, Thorp, Shaw, Pasco, Ortman, and Lanyce Keel (ITS representative) were present and discussed the different possible courses of action for Course Evaluations, and came to agreement on the course of action. ER&S will proceed with a two-pronged strategy: make a short-term solution available, but at the same time offer policy advice on a long-term, permanent solution. The committee will now begin the work of drafting policy recommendations to bring to the full senate. Much of the work will be accomplished through email. The committee expects to have its recommendations ready in time for the January Senate meeting.

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Skreija reported the Committee met at 2:00 PM on November 30, 2005. Present: Stuart Bernstein, Elaine Lahue, and Andris Skreija (chair). Excused: Barbara Hewins-Maroney and Lauree Tilton-Weaver. The Committee discussed two issues:

  • The charge that it investigate possible changes in work assignments with the deletion of "Fellow" status. It was decided to check with the AAUP if they had any information regarding this matter.
  • Senator Hewins-Maroney's suggestion, which was accepted, that she and Senator Tilton-Weaver work on a survey that could be sent to all faculty at UNO to get a feedback on their perception of the work environment, professionally and socially. They have a meeting schedule with Linda Mannering, Director, Institutional Research.

D. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Winter and Owens reported for the committee. The the Committee met on 30 November. Senator Corcoran was in attendance. Senators Bullock, Owens, Paterson, Roland and Winter were absent. Carrying out the Committee's oversight responsibility I met with Carol Mitchell, the Chair of UCAT, and Deborah Smith-Howell, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. It was learned that under the new organizational structure UCAT appears to be running smoothly and possibly more effectively. It is noteworthy that UCAT, independently from the concerns of this committee, has included diversity as one of the "themes" for allocating grants this year. Also, that FacConnect, a portal website that links faculty to professional development opportunities, resources, support and events, was initiated this past August. It is a well-developed toolkit for both new faculty and continuing faculty and is quite impressive. The committee is working on a new schedule for their meetings.

E. Committee on Rules: Senator Randall reported the Rules Committee met on Wednesday, November 30 and discussed the following:

  • Frederic Laquer agreed to be a nominee for the Student Publications Committee;
  • Holly Miller is recruiting a second candidate.
  • A replacement for the UCR from AS was not asked as yet, this will happen next week.
  • The Rules Committee will meet in January to design a new information/request sheet for all faculty to volunteer for committee service; the initial "teaser" will be mailed in February, with the final "commitment" sheet to be sent in following Spring break.

Senator Randall moved the following resolution for the committee. It passed.

Resolution 2810, 12/14/2005: Nominees to Student Publications Committee:

BE IT RESOLVED that the following names constitute the approved list of nominees to the Student Publications Committee from which the Chancellor is to select one for three-year appointment from 01/01/06 through 01/01/09 as specified in the By-Laws of the Board of Regents:

Frederic Laquer,
Marsha Kruger.

VII. Non-Senate Committee Reports:

A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported the committee met Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005, in Lincoln, NE. Newsletters were distributed and will be mailed the coming week. President Moshman reported that no further actions has been taken in the case of students at a football game who help up signs reading "oklahomos." The subject of President Moshman sending a letter from AFCON concerning the Michael Baker case generated much discussion on a broad variety of topics. Emerging as the central issue is the question of what degree of academic freedom do high school teachers have in the way they choose to teach material. Is it the same as in higher education? Is it possible to open a constructive discussion on teaching methods? President Moshman will send the letter to the LPS that he distributed to the board. Joanne Chapuran raised the question of press censorship and prior censorship at the high school level visa a vis school newspapers. One issue seems to be issues of libel. On the other hand, it is generally thought, and even written as policy much of the time, that high school student papers are published primarily to promote the school and school spirit. Is this a good first exposure to journalism? What then are students learning about press and the freedom of the press. Indeed, "At what age do young people in a free society begin learning about freedom?" Membership remains at least steady, and in terms of organizations, is increasing.

B. Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Senator Randall reported the Board met December 13, 2005. The Alumni Center is scheduled to open again in January 2006. The President of the Alumni Association is retiring and the position is being advertised. The Chancellor spoke about land acquisition.

C. Graduate Council: Senator Paterson reported there is no report because there was no meeting. He has asked the Dean Bragg why there have been no meetings.

VIII. New Business

A. Senator Watson nominated Senator James Shaw for President-Elect. Senator Skreija and others supported the nomination by seconding it. There were no other nominees. The Senate approved election of Senator Shaw by show of hands.

B. The Election Statistics Memo for the colleges was presented to the Senate.

C. The number of continuing Senators initially elected from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Fine Arts exceeds the allocation to the College of Communications, Fine Arts, and Media. Current CFAM senators reported that to meet the CFAM college responsibility to adjust Senate representation for 2006-2007, they had caucused earlier December 14 and agreed to accept resignations from Senators Paterson and Miller effective at the conclusion of the 2005-2006 Senate.

IX. The meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.