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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2006-2007 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 2 p.m., MBSC Dodge Rooms

Attendees: Arbelaez, Barnes, Bernstein, Boucher, Gascoigne, Hewins-Maroney, Holley, Lahue, Maloney, Mei, Miller, Mordaunt, Noble, Ottemann, Reilly, Roland, Shaw, Skreija, Smith, Sollars, Tarry, Thorp, Wetig, Windler

Excused: Bullock, Chundi, Edick, Randall, Wolcott

Absent: Betanabhatla, Brown, Corcoran, Huq, Parnell, Stanichar, Williams, Winter

I. The meeting was called to order at 2:15 p.m.

II. The November 8, 2006, minutes were approved as submitted.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report: Senator Shaw reported

1. The Executive Committee and Administration met November 15, 2006. Interim-Chancellor Christensen announced that the Chancellor's Cabinet approved a proposal to prohibit smoking, beginning in January 2007, on the veranda outside the entrance to Criss Library. The Student Senate encouraged the Administration to implement the prohibition, and Criss Library is agreeable. Enforcement will likely follow the current model for enforcing the ban on smoking within ten feet of any campus building entrance. Some proposals for contributions to the athletic program are still in play, so sponsorships may ultimately meet or exceed those of last year. The task force that investigated the Daktronics scoreboard proposal recommended that it be pursued only if we find money to purchase the equipment upfront. The arrangement looks less promising if we build the cost of the equipment into a service contract with Daktronics. Much of the meeting was spent discussing myMapp e-Portfolio and ways to provide training and information to faculty. A draft of responses to questions which faculty have asked about the system should be completed for distribution to the faculty in early December. Lanyce Keel and Joyce Crockett, directors in ITS, compiled the questions from recent training sessions. Senator Bullock volunteered to be the Faculty Senate representative on the myMapp development team to serve as a conduit for questions and information. The myMapp development team, which already includes faculty representatives, can serve as a clearinghouse for questions as well, and we agreed to work on getting contact information to the faculty. Senator Tarry asked that general training sessions be scheduled during the month before annual evaluations are due to assist faculty who have missed training with their departments. Senator Skreija also asked that a hotline be available for after hours assistance as well.

2. Chancellor's Council met November 16, 2006, and reviewed plans and preliminary drawings for the renovation and expansion of the HPER Building. The drawings are available on the UNO website. Funding for the work will come primarily from a $95.00 per semester student fee. The Student Government and student focus groups were consulted about the fee, and were largely supportive given that the facilities have a direct impact on student life. Other fees will increase as well, and faculty can expect to pay about $350 per year, which remains very competitive with the private gyms and health clubs in the community. The expansion on the west side of the HPER building will create over 100 new parking places, because the building will be elevated with parking underneath.

3. Board of Regents met on November 3, 2006. Senator Randall attended for Senator Shaw. President Milliken made a presentation on the university's Strategic Plan. It was noted that time lines for the Strategic Plan were reviewed.

B. Treasurer's Report: Senator Tarry submitted the November 2006 budget report.

IV. Standing Committee Reports

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Tarry reported the committee met on November 29. All members attended. The committee reviewed data on the allocation of graduate teaching assistants across the UNO campus. Senator Tarry indicated that John Farr helped by explaining how UNO had gotten to its current pattern. Brief discussion noted the importance of graduate TAs in recruitment, and use of part-time faculty as an alternative. The committee also discussed dual enrollment and agreed to invite Steve Bullock to a future meeting. A list of questions was drafted and will be sent to Senator Bullock in advance of our meeting with him. Finally, the committee was informed of a proposal for a BA in Foreign Languages.

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: The committee met on November 29, 2006. President Shaw met with the committee to discuss next steps to follow up on the two resolutions on student course evaluations, approved by the Faculty Senate in October. President Shaw offered for discussion the draft of a letter to be sent to UNO faculty requesting volunteers to serve on a task force to design a common base course evaluation instrument as called for in F.S. Resolution 2849. The draft letter calls for two members from each College to serve on the task force. Discussion centered on whether a time-frame for the task force should be specified. This is problematic, because the level of effort is not yet well understood.. The committee will provide feedback to President Shaw on the letter.

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Skreija reported the committee met November 29, 2006. Those present were Stuart Bernstein, Samuel Brown, Barbara Hewins-Maroney, Elaine Lahue, and Andris Skreija, (Chair). Michael F. Zimmerman was a guest. John Maloney was absent. The Committee discussed details and possible options regarding the administration of the proposed Faculty Satisfaction Survey. Questions encompassed the electronic medium to be selected, how to set things up so that the maximum of data can be extracted from the survey and yet faculty be assured of anonymity, and what resources would be needed to pursue the various options. Senator Brown volunteered to investigate these aspects. Another issue raised was whether or not we want to include UNL faculty whose work assignment is primarily on the UNO campus and, similarly, UNO faculty who in fact work primarily on the UNL campus. Senator Skreija is to investigate the feasibility of doing so, as well as the number of individuals in these statuses. Both Senators Brown and Skreija are to report their results at the next Committee meeting.

During discussion following this report at the Senate meeting, Senator Miller suggested all full time faculty, including Instructors, who are non-tenure track, be included in the survey.

D. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Reilly reported the committee met with Linda Mannering, Director of Institutional Research and members of her staff, to discuss our project on outreach programs. Attending the meeting were Saundra Wetig, Lyn Holley, Robert Smith, Ziaul Huq, Jayaram Betanabhatla and Hugh Reilly (chair). Linda Mannering provided us with a spreadsheet design that she would like us to use to capture and store the information we are gathering on outreach activities by academic departments within UNO. A first draft of the spreadsheet will be prepared and then sent to committee members for them to gather additional information. We hope to finish this project in the spring of 2007.

D. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Bullock was excused from today's meeting and no others present at today's Senate meeting were present at the committee meeting, so let the report stand as follows: The committee met on Wednesday, November 29. Present were Senators Bullock and Winter. Senators Mei, Noble, Corcoran and Rowland were absent. The committee spent the majority of the meeting with Associate Vice Chancellor Deborah Smith-Howell, who was presenting on various aspects of the FacConnect website. She explained the rationale behind the site and elaborated on the various components of the site. We also began a dialogue regarding policies for release time for new faculty, which we will continue during our next meeting.

V. Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Professor Paterson reported

  1. The monthly meeting was held November 11, 2006. Present: Peggy Adair, legislative liaison; Dwayne Ball, representing ACLU Nebraska and the Nebraska Association of Scholars; Tom Black, Sentinel editor, representing Nebraska State Education Association; Karen Buckley, secretary, representing Nebraska Educational Media Association; Jim Bunstock, Nebraska Writers Guild; Barbara Cornelius, webmaster; Dick Herman, representing Nebraska Press Association; Mel Krutz, representing Nebraska Center for the Book; Cathi McMurtry, treasurer; Dave Moshman, AFCON policy coordinator; Susan Oles, representing Nebraska English Language Arts Council; Doug Paterson, president-elect, representing UNO Faculty Senate. There are 46 individual members and 17 organizational members current with dues. Last month's discussion of the proposed UNL diversity plan resulted in: a critique of the UNL diversity plan written by Ball and Gerry Harbison published in the Daily Nebraskan; an analysis by Moshman submitted to the UNL Faculty Senate, which resulted in Moshman being invited to address the Senate and his critique forwarded to the Board of Regents as the Faculty Senate's response to the proposed plan, and a guest editorial in the Lincoln Journal Star by Haller. The state conference of AAUP has not appointed a new representative to AFCON but is interested in gaining co sponsorship by AFCON to invite one of "the 100 most dangerous academics" (Dana and/or Michael Berube) to speak on academic freedom on campuses. Adair, from the Ad hoc Committee on Student Rights Legislation, has contacted ACLU Legal Director Amy Miller, who was interested in the concept of formulating a Nebraska student bill of rights. Paterson (UNO Faculty Senate) suggested it might be time to address the Nebraska Board of Regents about the concept and importance of academic freedom. Krutz (NCB) said the recent annual meeting of the Nebraska Center for the Book was "wonderful" and well attended. Buckley noted that AFCON had an informational table at the recent NLA/NEMA conference. Bunstock (NWG) said the recent fall conference of the Nebraska Writers Guild at the University of Nebraska at Kearney proved a good collaboration with UNK. AFCON received a thank you note for the recent donation to the Harvest of Books fund drive.
  2. The Annual Meeting was heldDecember 2, 2006, in Lincoln NE. The theme of the meeting was Civic Education, Student Rights and Student Media, specifically focused on student press and student arts issues. A panel featuring current and former OPS secondary teachers and a student highlighted the discussion. These were: Susan Baird, former journalism teacher at Bellevue East; Susan Quint, former theatre teacher and current teacher of health at Bellevue East; Matt Deabler, current journalism instructor at OPS Central; and Molly Mullen, former student at Central and current journalism student at UNL. Also on the panel was Joe Rowson, currently a long-standing member of the NU Office of Central Administration. Each member of the panel discussed issues of the attempted and actual abridgment of student free expression at their respective schools. The AFCON Academic Freedom awards were presented to Susan Baird, Matt Deabler, and Susan Quint. The slate of officers for 2007: Karen Buckley was nominated as Secretary and Cathi McMurtry was nominated as Treasurer. The President-Elect nominee for 2008 is Nancy Comer. Doug Paterson, current President-Elect, will officially take office at the next Board Meeting, January 13, 2007.

B. Academic Planning Council: Senator Reilly reported the meeting last week covered different assignments for the Council, including chairs for the Review Committees. Six to eight departments are being reviewed this year, which is the largest group in years. Several outside reviewers have already been recruited.

C. Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Professor Carter reported the Board of Directors for the UNO Alumni Association met at the Thompson Center on November 21, 2006. The meeting was called to order by Mike Kudlacz and the financial report was provided by Lee Denker reviewing the financial statements through the first nine months of the year. The alumni center renovation/addition has generated nearly 1 million dollars in contributions. There is an increase in building revenue but annual fund contributions are still down. Because the bylaws were last reviewed in 1984, a task force led by Martha Zajicek presented an executive summary of the revisions that included reducing the number of executive committee members from eleven to eight, with three vice chair positions eliminated. The revised executive committee will be made up of: Chairman, 1st Vice Chairman, 2nd Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Past Chairman, Legal Advisor and President/CEO. The Alumni President reported that the Annual Board Meeting would be held on December 19 with State Senator Hockey Night on January 12 and Alumni Night on the Ice January 26th. Julie Totten provided the University Update stating that the Chancellor's search committee was in progress with Alumni involvement. She also provided maps for future development and renovations on the Dodge, Pacific, and Center campuses.

D. American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator Lahue reported that, while she was unable to attend the meeting, she was told that membership and on-going contract negotiations were discussed.

E. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Holley reported the committee met November 28, 2006. BJ Reed and Deb Smith-Howell presided. Since October, Bill Swanson has led six focus groups involving about 130 UNO students. Students have identified and discussed several issues that can be further explored during the faculty/staff/ community focus groups during the Spring Strategic Planning Event to be held the morning of March 2, 2007 at the Alumni House. The theme will be Focusing on Students and Community Engagement. The program will include a presentation on unit level strategic planning, and faculty/staff/community focus groups.

VI. New Business

A. Winter Commencement: Senator Shaw reported Commencement for December graduates will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave. Faculty members are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

B. Nomination & Election for 2007-2008 Faculty Senate President. Senator Shaw called for nominations for the President-Elect. Scott Tarry was nominated and elected by acclamation.

C. Election Statistics Memo: Senator Shaw brought the memo to college deans, regarding college representation for the 2007-2008 year, to the attention of all Senators.

D. Senator Tarry moved for the Academic & Curricular Affairs Committee the following resolution, discussion was held, and questions were answered by the chair of the Foreign Language department, Senator Gascoigne. The motion passed with no nays.

Resolution 2850, 12/13/06: Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages

WHEREAS, the B.A. degree in Foreign Languages has the potential of being high quality; and

WHEREAS, the B.A. degree in Foreign Languages replaces currently-offered majors in individual languages (Spanish, French, and German) with a new major that promotes additional competencies in third languages, encourages cosmopolitan perspectives and multicultural comparisons, and includes mechanisms for assessing student learning based on performance outcomes; and

WHEREAS, the B.A. degree in Foreign Languages requires no new resources and reflects the goals of the University in meeting the needs of its graduates;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha recommends approval of the B.A. in Foreign Languages.

VII. The meeting adjourned at 2:55 P.M.