2006-2007 Faculty Senate
Excused: Corcoran, Ottemann, Smith
Absent: Arbelaez, Lahue, Mei, Rolan
I. The meeting was called to order at 2:30 pm.
II. The October 11, 2006, minutes were approved as written
III. Officers' Reports
A. President's Report: Senator Shaw reported
1. The Executive Committee and Administration met October 18, 2006. The Executive Committee presented the Faculty Senate resolutions regarding the election for the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, its approval of the Graduate Certificate in Global Information Operations, the role of course evaluations, and a common base course evaluation form. Interim-Chancellor Christensen stated that he supports moving to a common evaluation form and that the effort should be undertaken by faculty under the auspices of the Faculty Senate. The Senate will devise a mechanism to find faculty volunteers from all the colleges to ensure appropriate representation. Information Technology Services will have to be consulted to ensure that data derived from the form can easily merge into MyMapp ePortfolio and accreditation reports. Also discussed was MyMapp ePortfolio. Concerns were expressed about the time required to create records and reports. Part of the current problem lies in the transition: those faculty on tenure track who are entering several years of information face a greater burden than those who enter one year's records for an annual report. MyMapp ePortfolio's advantage lies in how electronic records can be queried to generate reports and analyses of activity. We need to do more to inform faculty about the reasons that UNO is moving toward the use of MyMapp ePortfolio. I offered to consult with Dr. Sheri Rogers (Interim Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs) to find venues for this communication. In addition, departments have great latitude to devise categories for reporting activity, but they need to agree on the categories and how they will be used. Some concerns about MyMapp ePortfolio lie in the technical aspects of how it works, such as placing records in order, odd changes in font size after a copy-and-paste, and the formatting of reports. The next version of the interface addresses a number of known issues, but faculty need to report specific problems to the development team so they can work on resolving them. Interim-Chancellor Christensen will be meeting with Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention (MECA) to discuss concerns about leases, and after that he should be able to provide numbers detailing the differences in cost between the Qwest Center and the Civic Center for hockey. He noted that cost is not the only concern, and that the environment of the arenas is also important. The Civic Center is smaller and in that respect could prove a better match for the hockey team. However, the Civic Center is also somewhat ramshackle and that aspect of the facility also needs consideration.
2. The Faculty Senate Presidents and NU President Milliken met October 25, 2006. The Governor is committed to slowing the rate of state spending growth, and he is asking state agencies to keep requests for budget increases to three percent or less. President Milliken noted that three percent would be a difficult target for the university, given that the rate of inflation in higher education runs higher than that tracked by consumer prices. President Milliken asked that we distribute the Board of Regents' Strategic Planning Framework--Accountability Measures. The Board intends that the university focus its attention and resources to meet these goals, and the campuses will report their progress regularly.
3. The Chancellor's Council met October 26, 2006. Brett Blackman (Director, Administrative Computing) and John Fiene (Associate Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs--Technology) addressed the Council concerning issues affecting the security of UNO's computing and network resources. The security team continuously tests for vulnerabilities, and they have been assisted by the network security laboratory at the Peter Kiewit Institute. Much work has already been done in replacing Social Security numbers with NU ID numbers in various systems. The Lotus Notes anti-spam system now intercepts over 300,000 spam messages each day, and as many as 50,000 contain viruses or other potentially malicious code. Dr. Steven Bullock, (Political Science and Faculty Senate) reported on the dual enrollment program. Students in the program typically score well on the ACT test, and their GPAs as UNO students compare favorably to other students. The dual enrollment program has assisted in recruiting students to UNO. Copies of the Faculty Senate's resolutions concerning the use of course evaluations and supporting the creation of an campus-wide instrument containing a common base of questions were distributed. There were vigorous congratulations to the Faculty Senate for moving ahead on this.
4. NU President Milliken and Faculty Senate President Shaw met November 1, 2006, after the EC&C meeting. Among other things, they discussed the likely composition of the UNO Chancellor's search committee. At the EC&C meeting, earlier in the day, faculty names were suggested for this search committee. President Shaw turned this list over to President Milliken. Only one or two UNO faculty members will probably be asked to serve on the search committee.
5. President Shaw directed the Senators to review a list attached to the agenda listing Senators eligible for President-elect. The election will be held at the December meeting. Senator Tarry was identified as one who had expressed willingness to be a nominee and serve if elected.
B. Treasurer's Report: Senator Tarry submitted the October 2006 budget report.
IV. Executive Committee Report: Senator Randall reported
A. The Annual Bell Tower Challenge was held at noon on October 18, 2006. The amount of food raised at this year's Challenge was 3,669 pounds, bringing the grand total over the years to 36,669 pounds. The Faculty Senate team, consisting of Senators Bernstein, Randall, and Shaw, won the Faculty/Staff Division of Most Cans Stacked.
B. 72nd Street Food Fight has begun and all are encouraged to contribute.
V. Standing Committee Reports
A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Tarry reported the committee did not meet, but continues to gather information about the allocation of state-funded graduate assistants and plans to report to the Senate on this issue later in the year.
B. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Skreija reported the committee met on Wednesday, October 25, 2006. Present: Stuart Bernstein, Samuel Brown, Barbara Hewins-Maroney, Elaine Lahue, John Maloney, and Andris Skreija (Chair). The committee discussed the questionnaire regarding the campus climate and the steps that needed to be taken to facilitate its administration to the faculty and how to ensure maximum faculty response. Among other things it was decided to invite Mr. M. F. Zimmerman, who would be the individual actually setting up the "Blackboard" site, to the next meeting. The committee also discussed the focus groups and their time frame. Ms. Marti Rosen-Atherton, the focus group coordinator, will also be invited to the next committee meeting.
C. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Reilly reported the committee met on October 25, 2006. The meeting was attended by Saundra Wetig, Robert Smith, Lyn Holley and Hugh Reilly (Chair). Discussion continued on gathering of information on the outreach activities of the different departments within UNO. Hugh Reilly gave an update of the results that are being compiled in an Excel spreadsheet. Senator Reilly also met with Linda Mannering, Director of Institutional Research, on October 26th to examine a report of outreach activities that she had compiled. We will be merging all of our information. She is excited about the work and is anxious to see our final results. She will be meeting with the Goals and Directions Committee at our next meeting to discuss ways that she can help.
D. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Bullock reported the committee met on Wednesday, October 25. Those present were Senators Bullock, Mei, and Noble. Senators Winter, Corcoran and Rowland were absent. The committee spent the majority of the meeting addressing the advisability of pre-tenure sabbaticals. Each Senator had been assigned a peer institution to investigate and we discussed policies related to sabbaticals at those institutions. It was determined that pre-tenure sabbaticals are not an option at most other peer institutions and we agreed that such a policy at UNO would likely be imprudent. They did, however, discuss the possibility of proposing a resolution formalizing a policy of course release time for new faculty in order to encourage an appropriate level of scholarship for a positive tenure decision. We are planning on investigating the policies for release time at other institutions and determining a course of action internally. It is likely that we will craft a resolution related to such following our next committee meeting.
E. Committee on Rules: Senator Barnes reported that the committee had not met, but he had a request for the Senate to recommend a faculty member to sit on the search committee for a new Director of University Relations. Senator Hugh Reilly volunteered and his name will be forwarded to Ms. Julie Totten, Interim V.C. for Administration.
VI Non-Senate Committee Reports
A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson submitted the following report: the meeting was held October 14, 2006, in Lincoln. AFCON has 20 organizational members, individual membership is up 1 to 56. No faculty members from UNL were involved in the writing of a UNL retrospective nor in the proposed Diversity Document. It was a group of UNL administrators who authored these. It is, according to Moshman and virtually the entire AFCON Board, fatally flawed. Some of the errors include: saying diversity includes "similarities and differences"; is confined to: race, national origin, ability, religion, sexual orientation, age, and gender - thus not including sex, class, political views and affiliation, scholarly ideas, and more; saying "diversity fosters inclusiveness", which it doesn't because there is always resistance; saying "diversity in all its dimensions must be valued", which must be read to include valuing fascism, Nazism, slavery, child molestation, etc.; that the Principles outlined are not principles but vague narrative; and that evaluation of faculty on including diversity in classrooms makes a mockery of academic freedom, which is especially objectionable when no faculty have been involved in the creation of the document. Moshman also observed that a document such as this merely serves to give the entire dialogue about diversity a bad name. Dwayne Ball said the key for academic choices was Academic Freedom and excellence, to which Doug Paterson opined that "excellence" was a loaded political term adopted two decades ago by such conservative organizations as the Heritage Foundation. Other Board members urged a renewal of the Ball-Paterson Point-Countpoint. The Board passed a resolution empowering President Haller to draw upon the discussion and Moshman's written critique and compose a statement concerning the document to be delivered to the UNL administration. It was stressed that the matter of including many faculty hands in the re-casting of the document was essential. David Moshman also reported that there is a new line of professors designated for UNL who will be teachers only, will have no research assignments nor tenure appointments. The NU Board of Regents will act in November on the recommendations of the UNO Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee concerning the case of Pam Owens. A faculty member from a Lincoln High School reported that her administration continues to attempt to enforce what amounts to prior restraint on the school newspaper and her advising of the newspaper. Mel Kurtz reported on the National Book Festival in Washington DC. Finally, it was reported the Nebraska Educational Media Association would have their annual state conference at the Quest Center in Omaha October 26 - 27. The elections committee has nominated Nancy Comer to be AFCON President-Elect, term beginning January 2008. Cathy McMurtry has been nominated to continue as Treasurer and Karen Buckley has been nominated to continue as Secretary. A resolution adding a nomination of Susan Quint to the Academic Freedom Award was made and passed unanimously.
B. Academic Planning Council: Senator Reilly reported that the meeting was rescheduled for November 9, 2006.
C. Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Professor Carter submitted the following report: the meeting was held October 17, 2006. Dan Koraleski provided the Financial Report stating that some donors are angry due to the Chancellor leaving and others are upset because of what happened. The Audit report reflects no incidence of fraud; they are checking accuracy of the expenditures and working closely with the auditors and administration for better control of reimbursement. The audit was not distributed because it is in draft form and needs to go to the Board of Regents first. Lee Denker reported what is going well at the Alumni Association, events, new building, and magazine. He then spoke about areas that need improvements, including purpose of the Board, board members' roles and responsibility, enhanced relations with UNO Administration and NU Foundation, board member orientation, annual funding needs, donor database and technology, partnership and program overlaps, marketing, alumni surveys, and program analysis. He ended his talk with the impact of a state spending limit on the University of Nebraska (Initiative 423). Announcements of events followed with Senator Gwen Howard Roundtable (October 24), Building Donor Reception with Karrin Allyson (Oct 25), Senator D. Pedersen Roundtable (Nov 2), Golden Circle - Dean Gail Baker, Speaker (Nov 3), and Jim Leslie's Retirement Reception (Nov 15). John Christensen ended with University Updates providing the UNO Financial Oversight Action Plan regarding policy and personnel, current operations, review and communication, and booster program, university-wide.
D. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Holley reported
1. Strategic Planning Steering Committee met September 27, 2006 with BJ Reed and Deb Smith-Howell presiding.
- The strategic planning awards will be presented at a special event to be scheduled in April.
- the October 11th Convocation, which will be somewhat simplified, will be followed by dedication of the UNO Library, which will be followed by a reception at the Milo Bail Student Center (Dodge Room).
Spring 2007 Strategic Event (not Advance): March 2, 2007. Preparation for the event will include:
- Focus groups of UNO stakeholders will be convened and facilitated by Bill Swanson's Environmental Scan Issues and Strategies Committee. Stakeholder groups are parents and community members; staff; faculty; and students. Groups will suggest strategies to address top issues identified in the May 2006 Advance.
- UNO "units" (College/Department/School) will review their respective unit's strategic plans.
UNO-wide general education requirements and goals that have been in effect since Fall 1990 are being reviewed by an invited committee, Co-Chairs are Shelton Hendricks and Deborah Smith-Howell.
2. UNO Strategic Planning Steering Committee met October 25, 2006 with BJ Reed and Deb Smith-Howell presiding.
Spring 2007 Strategic Planning Event: Morning of Friday, March 2, 2007 at the Alumni House.
Fall Campus Awards Presentation: 3 pm Thursday, November 16th at in the MBSC Ballroom
- Strategic Planning Awards, nominations are in and will be reviewed by a committee (Bill Swanson, Mary Sweaney, and Neal Topp)
- New "Step Up" Awards .. several awards available, nominations are requested.
UNO STEP UP Award honors faculty and staff members who have volunteered or in some fashion gone out of their way to bring a project to fruition for the betterment of UNO - whether the duties involved fit the faculty or staff member's usual job description or not. Groups of people may also be recognized. .. Lanyce Keel, Committee Chair
Review of Strategic Plans: BJ Reed will introduce topic of review and updating of unit level (department, school, institute-level) strategic plans at the next meeting of the UNO Deans.
Coming Soon . myMAPP website. Links UNO strategic plan with goals, and the indicators and narrative that evaluate progress.
VII The meeting adjourned at 3 p.m.