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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2006-2007 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, April 11 , 2007, 2 p.m., MBSC Dodge Rooms

Attendees: Arbelaez, Barnes, Betanabhatla, Boucher, Brown, Bullock, Chundi, Corcoran, Edick, Gascoigne, Hewins-Maroney, Holley, Huq, Mei, Miller, Mordaunt, Ottemann, Noble, Parnell, Randall, Reames, Reilly, Roland, Shaw, Skreija, Smith, Sollars, Tarry, Thorp, Wetig, Winter, Wolcott

Excused: Bernstein, Tilton-Weaver

Absent: Lahue, Lin, Stanichar

Presentations before the meeting was called to order:
  • Professor Paterson, Faculty Senate representative to AFCON and current president of the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON), updated the Senate on what AFCON has been doing this year. He specifically touched on Freedom of Speech cases.
  • Wade Robinson, Associate V.C. Student Affairs, expanded on the plans for the renovation and expansion of the HPER building, and addressed some questions from Senators.

I. The meeting was called to order at 2:25 p.m. Unanimous consent was obtained to suspend the rules in order to take up an item of new business immediately. Robert Smith introduced the following motion and explained his concerns.

Resolution Regarding Proposed Expansion of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building and the Concomitant Increase in Student Fees at the Rate of $90 per Semester.

Whereas 54 to 70% of student respondents in a recent campus survey indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with various facets of existing recreational facilities (except for parking, which figure was only 18%), and

Whereas over 80% of student respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with existing Student Health Services and Injury Prevention and Care facilities, and

Whereas 56% of student respondents expressed opposition to an increase of $90 per semester in student fees for improved recreational, health services, and injury prevention facilities, and

Whereas an increase in student fees of $90 per semester is a 110% increase in existing fixed fees per semester, and

Whereas, fixed fees represent a significant fraction of college costs to part-time students, which is an important constituency for a metropolitan university, and

Whereas large increases in tuition rates are expected to meet anticipated budget shortfalls for the University in the upcoming biennium, and

Whereas this Faculty Senate does not know how simultaneous, large increases in tuition rates and fixed students fees will affect student enrollment,

Therefore, be it Resolved, that the University of Nebraska at Omaha Faculty Senate oppose the proposed expansion of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building at this time, and the concomitant increase in student fees at the rate of $90 per semester.

Be it further Resolved, that this Resolution be expeditiously communicated to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska prior to their consideration of the aforesaid building expansion and renovation.

With consent of the Senate, further discussion included responses from Assoc. V.C. Robinson and Student President/Regent Williams. Debate concluded at 30 minutes. The vote by show of hands was 2 in favor, 25 opposed. The resolution failed.

II. The March 14, 2007, minutes were approved as presented.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report: Senator Shaw reported

    1. Executive Committee and Administration met March 21, 2007. Much of this meeting was spent talking about plans for the renovation of the HPER building. I reported that a number of Senators had expressed serious misgivings about the size of the projected fee increases. In the discussion which followed, we learned that some portion of the fee increase is inevitable, due to a necessary retrofit of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) of the HPER building. Since much of the building will be torn up for this work, Interim-Chancellor Christensen noted that would prove less costly to plan for the renovation at the same time. LB605 bond funds are not targeted toward the HVAC project. Joe Kaminski (Director, Campus Recreation) E-mailed me a copy of the chapter in the feasibility study for the HPER renovation which addressed focus groups and the faculty/staff survey. I had it forwarded to the entire Faculty Senate for their review. Senators had expressed interest in the Board of Regents' consideration of a research metric for UNO. Sheri Rogers, Interim Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, agreed to contact NU Provost Linda Pratt to inquire if she could confer with the Faculty Senate about the issues. Provost Pratt sent me a copy of a PowerPoint presentation which she used at the most recent Regents' meeting. I also contacted Mary Laura Farnham (UNO Sponsored Projects Office) to inquire about information in her records. I intend to ask one of the Faculty Senate standing committees to examine the information and send suggestions to Provost Pratt. Dean Thomas Bragg (UNO Graduate Studies and Research) also expressed interest.

    2. Chancellor's Council met March 22, 2007. Most of this meeting consisted of announcements. Work will soon begin on the Chili Greens property to create three multipurpose athletic fields, one of which will be constructed at a competition standard. The UNO soccer team will need a field by July, because their current Ak-Sar-Ben field will be overtaken by work there. The Chili Greens fields will be funded by a combination of Recreation fees and donated funds. The Coordinating Commission on Post-Secondary Education (CCPE) approved UNO's plan for new residence halls and a parking garage on the Dodge Street campus. The last remaining step is bonding authorization from the Nebraska Legislature. The Mid-America Collegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) will send several officials to visit UNO on March 29 and 30. This is part of the process which will lead to a vote on UNO joining the conference at the end of May. At the time of this writing, two candidates for UNO Athletics Director had interviewed on-campus, and two more were scheduled to visit. Dean Shelton Hendricks (College of Arts & Sciences) noted that work is underway to start a Center for Islamic Studies.

B. Treasurer's Report: Senator Tarry submitted the March 2007 budget report.

IV. Standing Committee Reports

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Tarry moved the following resolution, which passed, for the committee:

Resolution 2852, 4/11/07: Bachelors of Science Degree in Information Assurance

Whereas the BS in Information Assurance has the support of the contributing colleges and units on the UNO campus and requires no new faculty; and

Whereas the degree positions UNO to become a national leader in undergraduate instruction and training in information assurance; and

Whereas the degree responds to the clear and substantiated needs of business, government, education, and prospective students in the area of information assurance; and

Whereas the degree fosters multi-disciplinary collaboration and learning; therefore,

Be it resolved that the UNO Faculty Senate supports the approval of the Bachelors of Science in Information Assurance.

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Wolcott reported the committee met on March 28, 2007. Present: John Thorpe, Peter Wolcott, Lisa Boucher, Lanyce Keel. Discussion was held on the following:

Selection of a Vice President for the committee

    No decision was made, but absent committee members will be consulted.

Course Evaluation Faculty Task Force

The course evaluation faculty task force has met twice. At the first meeting, on March 6, Pres. Shaw gave an overview of the mandate for the task force and identified some milestones that the committee might look to. These include coming to a decision about the purpose of the course evaluation, and making a decision about whether to adopt an existing instrument or create a new one. The timeline will depend on the nature of the answers to these and other questions. At the second meeting, on March 26, the committee discussed problems with using student evaluations, concluding that there is no way to overcome bias within the evaluations, and that very clear and strong explanations must be made to those using the evaluations about their limitations. The goal for the third meeting, scheduled for April 30, will be to come up with broad areas the committee wants to see covered in the evaluation (e.g. organization of material, assessment), and begin using these to begin framing the instrument.

Paul Beck Scholarship

    After the deadline for applying for the Paul Beck scholarship has passed (April 6th), Sue Bishop will make copies of each application for each committee member and distribute them. Since the criteria for the award include scholarhips, service, and financial need, we'll ask Jean Philips to provide information about the degree of financial need of each applicant.

Library Acquisition and Deaccession Policies

    One committee member raised some issues, based on personal experience and informal polling colleagues within the department, about the library's acquisition and deaccession policies and, particularly, practices. Some key questions include

    • How are decisions made to deaccession a book, journal, or other publication or scholarly work?
    • How can faculty compensate for the narrow years of coverage of some serials in aggregation databases, or "the moving wall" or "fixed wall" in JSTOR?
    • Is there a way that there could be more proactive communication with/from the library about acquisition and deaccession decisions? (give a heads up vs. report on past actions)
    • To what extent are written policies on acquisition and deaccession actually followed?

    The chair of the ER&S Committee is a co-chair of the Library and Learning Resources Committee. The ER&S member will be invited to the next LLR meeting, where these issues can get a preliminary hearing.

Survey software

    Lanyce Keel reported that ITS is looking into automated scanning and delivery via e-mail of Scantron test results. Also, a web-survey interest group is being formed. By Fall ITS would like to purchase some web survey software that could be used to support any kind of survey, elections, course evaluations (e.g. for distance learning sections).

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Skreija submitted the following report: the committee met on March 28, 2007. Present: Stuart P. Bernstein, Samuel L. Brown, Barbara Hewins-Maroney, and Andris Skreija, Chair. Excused: Elaine E. Lahue, and Lauree C. Tilton-Weaver. The committee discussed the next steps in completing the investigation on faculty climate on campus. More specifically the preparation of a progress report on it. This would include a preliminary analysis of the survey results and a discussion of the focus groups to be convened next Fall. The aim is to submit such a progress report to the full Senate at the May meeting.

D. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Wetig reported the committee met on March 28th, 2007. Each committee member shared data collected on Community Partnerships. Each member will forward data to Dr. Reilly the week of April 23rd, 2007 to complete the spreadsheet which will be forwarded to Linda Mannering, Director, Institutional Research.

E. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Bullock submitted the following report: the committee met on March 29. Those present were Senators Bullock, Mei, and Noble. Senators Corcoran, Rowland, and Winter were absent. Dr. Karen Rolf, UNO Assessment Coordinator, discussed her role across campus in the area of assessment and offered some insight into what departments can do to facilitate effective assessment. Generally, she stressed the fact that academic units are best suited to determining their own assessment needs and means of assessment. The committee also continued the previous month's discussion regarding the implementation of myMAPP Faculty across campus for the Annual Review process. Senator Bullock updated the committee on the efforts of Academic and Student Affairs to solicit faculty input in improving the myMAPP system. ASA is planning to distribute a survey to faculty to gather feedback on this year's experiences with myMAPP and will hold at least one open forum for faculty to help in developing the system as we move forward. ASA has already held a meeting with faculty and staff who were myMAPP mentors in their home departments and colleges. Senator Noble suggested a Faculty Senate discussion on myMAPP might be beneficial and those present agreed with this conclusion.

The Senate consented to open discussion of myMapp to all senators. Senator Bullock took questions and problems to be reported back to the myMapp developers.

F. Committee on Rules: Senator Barnes moved the following two resolutions for the committee, both passed:

    1. Resolution 2853, 4/11/07: University Committee on Library and Learning Resources

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the following faculty member be appointed as a replacement to finish the term for Charles Johanningsmeier from 04/04/07 to 07/31/07 on the University Committee on Library and Learning Resources:

    Saundra Wetig.

    B. Resolution 2854, 4/11/07: Student Publications Board (Faculty Position B)

    BE IT RESOLVED, as specified in the By-Laws of the Board of Regents, that the following names constitute the approved list of nominees to the Student Publications Committee from which the Chancellor is to select one for a three-year appointment from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2010, to replace Teresa Lamsam on the Student Publication Board:

    Karen Weber
    Henry Bulley.

V. Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. Academic Planning Council: Senator Edick reported Program Reviews have been completed for Political Science, History, Biology, Black Studies and International Studies. April 12-13, 2007, is the review for Sociology. Computer Science will be reviewed in the Fall 2007.

B. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Holley reported:

Presiding: BJ Reed and Deb Smith-Howell

Welcome and update from the Interim Chancellor Interim Chancellor John Christensen opened the meeting and stayed during the entire meeting. He shared updating information:

  • Housing . Residences and associated parking still on track . first new residence building will open in December, 2007, and at least one of the Chili Greens athletic fields (for soccer) may be in use by July. Residences architects (Hanscome Bashome) and builder (Peter Kiewit) briefings are solidifying conficence in UNO's new "design and build it ourselves" approach. Wade Robinson and Rita Henry have worked with neighborhood homeowners to ensure acceptance.
  • Athletic Director search is well along, campus visits nearing completion and John Christensen would welcome observations and recommendations from UNO folks.
  • Chancellor Search is being carried on independently. Informed opinion (BJR) speculates that the interview process could begin by the end of April.

While maintaining strong hope that the actual final outcome will be positive, John Christensen and many others present expressed concern about state appropriation levels currently being considered for UNO (see email to FacSen from SueBishop/Jim Shaw dated 032807)

2007 Strategic Forum, Friday March2nd - Debriefing, Next Steps BJR and Deb . despite the snow, a success.

  • The early March time frame seems better for the faculty and other participants than, as in previous years, during April or early May.
  • A summary of outcomes will be sent to participants and invitees.
  • Evaluations for sessions and the overall event were very positive (averages between 4 and 5, with 5 being high score). Evaluations and comments for the MyMAPP session were lower than for other parts of the Forum. All acknowledge that MyMAPP is a work in progress. Data produced by MyMAPPFaculty is known to be less than comprehensive and within that, less than perfect. However, it compares favorably with UNO-wide data available without MyMAPP (developed via processes variously described as "a soft Delphi process" and "a Vulcan Mind Meld"). The MyMAPP data will be used for AQUIP and the Systems Portfolio for North Central accreditation, and the limitations of the data will be acknowledged.
  • Next academic year initiative will be to ensure that UNO unit level plans are updates and consistent with the "framework".

NOTE fyi: BJ Reed mentioned that officials and senators in the state legislature have said to him that they regard UNO is a good model for strategic planning.

VI. New Business:

A. Senator Tarry moved and Senator Hewins-Maroney seconded the following resolution which passed unanimously.

Resolution 2855, 4/11/07: Truman Scholar (Sheila Korth)

Whereas, Sheila Korth has been recognized as a Truman Scholar, and

Whereas, Truman Scholarships are awarded to the best and brightest undergraduate students from around the nation who show an in interest in public policy, and

Whereas, Truman Scholarships recognize students for their public service as well as their scholarly performance, and

Whereas, she represented herself and UNO well in a most arduous application and interview process, and

Whereas, she serves as a model for other students and reflects UNO's strategic commitment to academic excellence and community involvement,

Be it Resolved, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha congratulates Ms. Korth and wishes her well as she pursues her academic and personal interests in graduate school and beyond.

VII. The meeting adjourned at 3:28 p.m. with announcements.