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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2005-2006 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, February 8, 2006, 2 p.m.,
MBSC Dodge Rooms

Attendees: Adkins, Anderson, Arbelaez, Bacon, Barnes, Bernstein, Betanabhatla, Bullock, Corcoran, Dasgupta, Glaser, Hewins-Maroney, Lahue, Miller, Ortman, Owens, Pasco, Paterson, Randall Reilly, Roland, Scherer, Shaw, Skreija, Tarry, Thorp, Watson, Wetig, Williams, Winter

Excused: Edick, Tilton-Weaver,

Absent: Holley, Mitenko, Nordman, Ottemann, Wolcott

I. The meeting was called to order at 2:13 p.m.

II. The minutes of the January 11, 2006, meeting were approved as written.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report: Senator Glaser reported:

    1. The Board of Regents met January 20, 2006. The Academic Affairs Committee heard two reports. The first was a strategic framework update on graduation rates and accountability measures. The second was from Jay Noren who gave an extensive report regarding student aid. He concluded that NU needs to increase financial aid to be greater than the peer average (adjusted for inflation), including Pell grants and State grants. He also recommended an increased emphasis on grants vs. loans (the reverse of the recent trend), and subsidized loans vs. private/ unsubsidized loans (also the reverse of recent trends). The Business Affairs Committee listened to reports on 1) a study on UNO housing, including an analysis on various sites for new housing, recommending the next round of 400 beds be placed on the North Campus; 2) Richard Wood on the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education and its recommended practices for capital construction projects, expressing his concern that they may be impinging on the Board of Regent's purview; 3) the Strategic Framework Update from David Lechner and business efficiency practices and results from all four campuses. Legislative Overview: Ron Withem and President Milliken emphasized the importance of LB 605 (funding for capital construction and improvements) and summarized the implications of the governor's proposed tax cut which concluded that there will be about $16m. available for spending. The NU system will be asking the legislature for $12m as a one-time emergency request to help with Mead and increased utility bills. The full Board of Regents elected McClurg as President and Wilson as Vice President. The Board took the following actions regarding UNO: They discontinued the Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies degree at the recommendation of CPACS. They approved 400 new beds on the North Campus on an 11-1 vote.

    2. The Chancellor's Council met January 26, 2006. The administration is working on the request for proposals for the new housing. Their goal is to have it open by August 2007. The Campus Survey of Degree Graduates Outcomes is complete. Most students are very pleased with their academic experience at UNO and would recommend UNO to others. The percentage of students who feel satisfied with the sense of community at UNO is up. The main aspect of UNO that students are unhappy with is parking. Much of the survey is broken down by gender and ethnicity indicating how students perceive their experience at UNO. Freshmen and senior students will be able to take the National Survey of Student Engagement online between 2/3-the end of March. They will be informed about it through Lotus Notes e-mail starting on January 30th. It will be called "TellNSSE". The CCFAM dean search has 3 finalists:

    • Gail F. Baker, Ph.D. in Journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, currently at the University of Florida and will be on campus 2/9 and 2/10;
    • John Fritch, Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas, currently at the University of Northern Iowa and will be on campus 2/16 and 2/17;
    • Edward Inch, Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Washington-Seattle, currently at Pacific Lutheran University and will be on campus 2/20 and 2/21.

    There is a NPPD/OPPD/UNL/UNO energy research initiative regarding how to apply wise energy use for small business and residential use. The goal is to have inter-disciplinary research clusters. They are planning 5-year funding cycle at $500,000 a year. This is currently in the conceptual stages and they hope to roll-out the program in March. BJ Reed is the UNO contact person for this initiative. The Service-Learning Academy had a successful North Omaha seminar in January. There is an initiative between InfoUSA (Vin Gupta) and the Business and IS&T Colleges for a student exchange with IIT. Eighty (as of 1/26) IIT students and 10 faculty will visit UNO, partake in a week-long curriculum, and meet with Warren Buffett. InfoUSA is funding this. John Fiene reported that UNO is expanding its Mac platform and is an official Apple re-saler.

B. Treasurer's Report: Senator Shaw submitted the January 2006 budget report.

IV Standing Committee Reports:

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Anderson reported the meeting was held January 25, 2006. Those present were Randy Adkins, Mark Scherer, Peter Wolcott, Deb Anderson. Nancy Edick and Scott Tarry were excused. The focus of the meeting was the ongoing investigation into the Center for Afghanistan Studies (CAS). The Committee reviewed the Sam Walker letter, Tom Gouttierre's response, and two prior academic reviews and then drafted a list of questions to submit to Dr. Deb Smith-Howell, who is scheduled to attend our February meeting to respond to those questions. The Committee reviewed the goals we set in August 2005 and has begun to look into the post-tenure review process. We are looking for Board of Regent and/or UNO policies that address post-tenure reviews.

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Watson reported the ER&S subcommittee met on 27 January. Senators Watson, Pasco Shaw, and Thorp were in attendance. The committee agreed on the following distribution of the available Paul Beck Scholarship funds (total available: $2900.00):

  • $1000.00 Full-time undergraduate award
  • $1000.00 Full-time graduate award
  • $450.00 Part-time undergraduate award
  • $450.00 Part-time graduate award

The deadline for applications was set for 15 March 2006. In addition, the committee reviewed the original regulations governing the Paul Beck Scholarship, and agreed to return to publishing and using the original selection criteria statement, as follows: "The criteria for selection of the recipient shall include scholarship, service to the university, and degree of need." The committee also discussed the concerns about the library serials budget raised by Chemistry department Chair, Dr. James Carroll. Senator Shaw supplied the following information on the subject:

  • Dean Shorb is trying to rebalance the serials budget and the serious inequities that have developed because of the high cost of science serials. Sciences have been asked to reduce by at least 15%.
  • The Library and Learning Resources Committee met with Dean Stephen Shorb on Monday, January 30, to discuss matters concerning library collections and budget. Departmental library liaisons from all colleges were invited to attend. Senators Thorp and Pasco from the Faculty Senate ERS committee also attend the meeting.
  • Dr. Carroll's specific concerns will be addressed at the Monday meeting.

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Skreija reported the committee met on Wednesday January 25, 2006. Present: Stuart Bernstein, Barbara Hewins-Maroney, Graham Mitenko, Andris Skreija (Chair), and Lauree Tilton-Weaver. Absent: Elaine Lahue.

  1. Skreija reported that he had contacted Janet West of the AAUP, who reported that she had not heard of any complaints regarding changes in work assignments due to the abolishment of the "fellow" status for graduate faculty.
  2. The committee discussed the information members had gathered regarding the issue of how faculty perceive the campus culture. It was decided that the next step is to form one, or possibly, more focus groups to see what additional information might be needed regarding this issue. In order to do so we need to establish what this might cost, who might be group discussion leaders, and who might be group members.

Senator Skreija polled the Senators to find complaints they'd heard on changes in work assignments due to the abolishment of the "fellow" status and found none.

D. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Bacon reported the committee met on Wednesday, January 25. In keeping with previous decisions the following items will be considered before the end of the semester.

  1. In keeping with the goal of better understanding the public image of the University, a report will be prepared. Teresa Gleason and/or Tim Kaldfahl will be invited to provide information at the February meeting.
  2. Draft a resolution on the continuing importance of faculty and student diversity for the University as a Metropolitan University of Distinction.
  3. Investigate if departments and colleges have inventories of their alumni's achievements after graduation.

E. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Corcoran reported the committee met on 25 January. Senators Bullock, Corcoran, Paterson, Roland and Winter in attendance. Senator Owens was absent.

1. Reminder that all faculty should check the information on FacConnect: FacConnect is:

  • A portal website that links faculty to professional development opportunities and resources across the campus.
  • A toolkit for new faculty and continuing faculty.
  • A mechanism by which we are offering an integrated/collaborative model of Faculty Development of UNO.
  • A calendar of faculty development events/opportunities that connects faculty to the unit offering the event/opportunity.

2. There was extensive discussion concerning the mentoring of new faculty by more seasoned faculty. What follows is a number of concerns, but essentially the committee was reluctant to pursue the matter further.

  • Often mentoring is carried out spontaneously.
  • Concern about legal liability if a formal mentoring policy is enacted.
  • If problems exist are they such that a formal policy is needed.
  • Questions exist about the efficacy of mentoring programs. There is no body of research synopsizing or analyzing to determine what a successful mentoring program is.
  • Concern that any mentoring program not mean that Deans and Chairs are permitted to be more lax in their official capacity of giving information to newer faculty, both general and cultural information and RPT information. That formal "responsibility" needs to be maintained, perhaps even reiterated.
  • Is mentoring for achieving tenure and promotion or for acculturation and empowering faculty?
  • Observation that a mentor could help in an informal way with discussions being "off the table."

The sense of the committee is that the informal approach would work best for mentoring. After discussion the Senate concurred, and no action will be taken will be taken on this subject.

F. Committee on Rules: Senator Arbelaez reported the committee met on January 25, 2006 and acted on the following items:

1. The following resolution was moved and passed:

Resolution 2812, 2/8/06: Names for IS&T Dean Search Committee

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following faculty names be forwarded to the office of Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, as requested by Sheri Everts Rogers, PhD., Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, for service on the Search Committee for the Dean of IS&T. The Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs will select one to serve:

  • Debra Anderson, Social Work, CPACS
  • David Carter, Counseling, CoE.

2. Submitted 2 names for the Student Publications Committee in November 2005; these candidates were rejected, and the chancellor has requested 2 additional names to be submitted. This will be delayed until the next meeting in February.

3. Discussed the design of a "recruiting" flyer for all UNO faculty to enlist their volunteering for service on university committees; Holly Miller will consult with her colleague who had volunteered to design a flyer; this will be sent to committee members for approval, and with approval of the executive committee, will be sent to all faculty in late February, to be followed by an e-mail in March. These names will be used for appointments by the 2006-2007 Rules Committee. The goal is to increase the pool of names from 30-40 to 70-80.

V. Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported that the meeting was held Saturday, January 14, 2006. The committee voted to pay those who had to drive to AFCON meeting 22 cents per mile, half the standard IRS-approved rate, as per regular agreement. John Bender addressed the committee on issues of academic freedom for high school students, which also seems to be affecting colleges/universities: Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier.

B. Academic Planning Council: Senator Reilly reported that the Academic Planning Council discussed the review schedules for the School of Communication and the School of Public Administration. The School of Communication will be reviewed on Feb, 27 & 28th, 2006 and the School of Public Administration will be reviewed on March 6 & 7th, 2006. We also looked at the review schedule for 2006-2007 through 2009-2010.

C. Graduate Council: Senator Paterson reported the meeting was held January 30, 2006. Presiding: Dr. Thomas Bragg, Dean - Graduate Studies and Research. Dean Bragg reported there would shortly be more emphasis and energy placed on faculty developing E.portfolios and E.assessments. There was also brief discussion of ADROCA/ Mentoring awards. The Graduate College web page is now up but not complete, and individual departments' graduate information has yet to be added. The Dean also also reported that the administration was still working on comparable-tuition arrangements for the three Iowa / metropolitan area counties, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Discussion of the graduate thesis scholarships focused on the fact that there were relatively quite a few proposals but only a small number of awardees due to money limitations. The amount of money itself -- $500 - seems small for the effort. Doug Paterson reported on Committee A's effort to generate dialogue on the matter of teaching loads as they relate to research / creative activity (R/CA) and teaching. First, it might be that the elimination of Faculty Fellow status resulted in some programs increasing the teaching loads of some who were formerly Faculty Fellows. Second, the committee will explore the various colleges' policies on teaching loads and R/CA loads. The committee will solicit data from Institutional Research to help them with their analysis and to develop a conceptual statement. Alice Shumaker reported that Committee B had reviewed a number of syllabi and approved them and were soon to review more.

D. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Bacon reported the committee met on Wednesday, January 25. Various task forces made their reports, the most lengthy of which was on a survey of student satisfaction. The Strategic Planning Advance is scheduled for May 8, the Monday after graduation. Faculty will receive information from the SPSC as to the schedule of events and ways in which faculty can participate. The Committee discussed the various ways in which UNO should prepare itself for the programs of excellence rearticulation. The faculty is encouraged to urge students to participate in the NSSE's National Survey of Student Engagement which will begin on February 3. Starting on January 30, faculty are requested to direct students to the "TellNSSE" mail in their Lotus Notes accounts, this will direct them to the survey.

VI New Business:

A. Student Government Liaison James Holstein brought the following items of Student Government interest to the attention of the Faculty Senate:

  1. LB 946: American Sign Language to be recognized as another language.
  2. Ongoing research into a Student Savings Card. This card would give discounts at various businesses in the area. The businesses would sponsor the card.
  3. A proposal that all syllabi distributed to students at the beginning of each term identify the grade appeal policy appropriate to that department. This was referred to the Faculty Senate Academic and Curricular Affairs Committee for further consideration.
  4. A statue of the Maverick Mascot, to improve school spirit.

B. Senator Owens noted a student in one of her classes has limited mobility and uses a scooter. While the campus is advertised as handicapped equipped/friendly, with a scooter the student can only use two restrooms on campus, one in Eppley and one in MBSC. Senator Owens was directed to Michael O'Hara, Facilities and Planning Committee chair.

VII. The meeting adjourned at 2:55 p.m.