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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2007-2008 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, December 12 , 2007, 2 p.m., MBSC Dodge Rooms

Members: M. Bacon, N. Bacon, Betanabhatla, Boucher, Boyer, Chundi, D'Souza, Dwyer, Edick, Elder, Gershovich, Heidel, Hewins-Maroney, Holley, Lamsam, Miller, Morcous, Noble, Novikov, Ottemann, Parnell, Paterson, Reames, Reilly, Shaw, Smith, Sollars, Stanton, Tarry, Thorp, Tixier y Vigil, White, Windler, Winter

Excused: Barnes, Huq, Mei, Mordaunt

Absent: Morcous

Presentation: Scott Tarry, with Steve Bullock and Linda Mannering gave an update of the Twelve Month Concept Task Force's work so far.

I. The meeting was called to order at 2:45 p.m.

II. The November 7, 2007, minutes were approved as written.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report: Senator Tarry reported

1. Chancellor's Council met November 15, 2007. The Chancellor is interested in faculty input on how the university might best prepare itself to continue course delivery in the event an emergency forces the university to close the campus or curtail access for an extended period of time. NU central administration is revising Memorandum 16, which speaks to the issues of data security and privacy. Currently, enforcement of the university's security and privacy policies is left to the discretion of the campuses. In UNO's case, ITS and the Chancellor's office believe there is a presumption of personal privacy for data on university computers and that a clear justification must exist before university officials would seek access to a faculty member's computer or computer accounts. The Chancellor is in the process of reviewing the charter and history of the Chancellor's Commission on Multicultural Affairs. He will consult with faculty as the commission is reconstituted and repopulated. The UNO "road show" took deans and members of the university administration to Norfolk, Columbus, and West Point in October. The team visited local chambers and held meetings with the three communities. Future "road shows" are planned for other parts of Nebraska and Iowa. This is especially important with the development of the Metropolitan Advantage Program, which provides a tuition break to students from the three Iowa counties in the Omaha metropolitan area. The Chancellor's office is sifting through the initial round of suggestions for the Chancellor's Bright Ideas initiative, which seeks input from the campus community on how the university might operate more effectively and efficiently.

2. Executive Committee & Administration met November 26, 2007. The Chancellor discussed his efforts to reconstitute the Chancellor's Commission on Multicultural Affairs. He will report to the Senate early next year and seek input for reconstituting the commission to make it more effective and responsive to the needs of the university community. John Fiene, who heads UNO delegation to the system-wide Student Information System steering committee will be invited to brief the Senate on the upgrade project and implications it may have for faculty. The Chancellor also discussed the bake sale issue and believes that the risk is manageable under the new guidelines developed for student groups using bake sales to raise funds. Among the issues still to be resolved in the development of the South of Center Campus (previously the Chili Greens property) is the hockey practice facility, which is conceived as resource that could be shared between the university and the community by exploring partnership opportunities with the city and other interested parties. While the administration agrees with the general thrust of Senate Resolution 2893 - Incorporating Energy Efficiency in New Campus Construction, and noted that it is consistent with President Milliken's call for environmentally friendly facilities on all of NU's campuses, it does not see the need for full LEED Certification for new construction. The administration noted that the cost of certification is around $50,000. This number was considerably higher than the estimate offered by Senator Noble, who contends that the cost is closer to $3,500. Vice Chancellor Totten agreed to look into the costs of certification and discuss this issue with the senate as information becomes available.

B. Treasurer's Report: Senator Sollars presented the November 2007 budget report.

IV. Standing Committee Reports

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Sollars reported the committee met November 28. Present Morcous, Reames, Sollars. The committee has been asked by Student Affairs to consider the fact there is no standardized class attendance policy for students who have been called to Jury Duty. Students report the courts have denied requests to reschedule jury duty because of class schedules. Several components were discussed, such as potential problems with examination schedules, laboratory projects, and class projects scheduled on a particular day. In addition, other responsibilities were discussed that might be included under such a policy. More information is being sought from Student Affairs and Student Senate before proceeding with a resolution.

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Boucher reported the committee met November 30, 2007. Members present: Senators Boucher, Boyer, Parnell, Stanton; Members absent: Senators Ottemann, Thorp. Dean Shorb provided updates and answered questions about library services. Floor plans of each level of the library and the renovation schedule were discussed. There are three more phases in the renovation: Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by May 2008; Phase 2 by December 2008; and Phase 3 by Summer 2009. The main library website has the link to detailed information about the status of the library collections during renovation. Because of the unavailability of some journals and books during renovation, Dean Shorb assured us that Interlibrary Loan will be provided extra resources for the increase in the volume of requests. The committee toured the new physical spaces on the first floor, including unfinished areas and the new compacters for housing bound journals in the future. Of special interest to faculty might be the planned new 3rd floor "faculty club" section. It is designed with at least 16 study rooms, classroom for 8-10, a lounge with fireplace, open seating with a buffet area, and a kitchen. These new spaces are intended for individual and group study, thesis defenses, and other smaller meetings or receptions. If faculty have specific needs for this area, contact the dean directly. The library realizes that assessing the use of journal databases and subscriptions, book purchasing, and how the library estimates use of electronic and non-electronic resources is an inexact science, and we were assured that it does not use this exclusively to deaccession resources. Note that it is in the user's best interest to indicate to the library essential books and journals to be sure their value is known. Electronic database use statistics are available from the library upon request. Some departments have expressed that they would like to be contacted when resources are scheduled to be deaccessioned. Subject specialists are the primary point of contact for departments (often through their library liaisons) to indicate what areas are of interest to faculty members and needed for teaching. All faculty members are encouraged to indicate their research, creative activity and student needs to their subject specialists directly. Subject specialists can be found on the Library web page in "About the Library", select "Library Directory & Contacts" and use the drop down menu to select "Subject Specialists". Here is the URL: http://library.unomaha. edu/aboutthelibrary/directory/personnel/specialist.php. Dean Shorb will look into the possibility of providing access or review of the new book lists that are available for ordering to department library liaisons or other individual faculty, which are currently on an electronic system rather than the old catalogue slips. With regard to journal databases and subscriptions, there are several updated databases, and departments review their journal subscriptions every 3 years. If you use journals assigned to another department, especially common if you are in an interdisciplinary field, contact your subject specialists to determine which budget is attached to your journal(s) of interest, and be sure your need is known. Juliette Parnell attended the Course Evaluation Task Force meeting on November 29. Although the committee met their November goal of agreeing on 8 common questions, information from a web seminar that members of the Task Force attended last month provided several new approaches and ideas. As a result, the committee is considering a more extensive change of evaluation forms. The electronic course wait list using E-BRUNO/SIS was piloted, however, its future remains unknown since the university will phasing out SIS in the near future. For electronic delivery of test scan results, you can select, in E-BRUNO, the display/ output format and the report per student option is available. The committee will look in to whether a syllabus is necessary to put an article on reserve status and, if so, will see how the situation can be resolved.

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Hewins-Maroney reported the committee met November 28, 2007. Members in Attendance: Dr. Meredith Bacon, Dr. Karen Dwyer, Dr. Griff Elder, Dr. Jack Heidel, Dr. Jay White, and Dr. Barbara Hewins-Maroney (chair).

Mentoring: Dr. Barbara Pickering, coordinator of the first year, pre-tenure faculty mentoring program, met with the committee to talk about the program and plans for the future. The Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee (FPWC) members felt her task was challenging and provided suggestions to supplement her efforts:

  • The need for mentoring of three distinct groups should be emphasized: pre-tenure; lecturers and instructors (not on tenure track); and international faculty, especially if they were trained abroad.
  • The importance of mentoring within the departments should be stressed to department chairs and deans. Having senior and junior departmental colleagues work together is the key to successful mentoring. In some instances, entire academic departments may need to be mentored in order to know how it is done.
  • Identify good mentoring models at other campuses and move to implement the best model(s).
  • Develop a conference for international faculty focusing on U.S. academic culture. Three members of the committee, Meredith Bacon, Jay White, and Jack Heidel, will examine the feasibility of this project.
  • Obtain more detailed information regarding mentoring from the individual departments. The deans have been requested to provide information about their respective college, but the committee members felt more specific information may be necessary.

The FPWC will continue to examine mentoring and will work with Dr. Pickering and others in the support of this activity.

Family-friendly/gender neutral Restrooms: The following resolution, which passed, was presented in support of family-friendly/ gender neutral restrooms:

Resolution 2894, 12/12/2007: Family-friendly/Gender Neutral Restrooms

Whereas the University of Nebraska at Omaha is a metropolitan university serving a diverse student body and employing a diverse staff and faculty as well as attracting a diverse community of campus visitors, and

Whereas the University of Nebraska at Omaha strives to be a welcoming campus to all individuals and families, and

Whereas increasing numbers of students, faculty, staff and campus visitors have special health needs or medical conditions requiring restroom privacy,

Therefore be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha strongly recommends that all newly constructed campus buildings and all renovations of existing buildings provide for family/gender neutral/individual privacy restroom facilities.

Emeritus Professors and Inclusion in the UNO Telephone Directory: The FPWC recommends that emeritus faculty be listed in the UNO Employee Directory in the section identifying faculty by department. There should be a designation indicating their status as emeritus. The committee does not recommend that emeritus faculty be listed in the "individual directory" which lists the contact information for each current full-time faculty and staff member.

The committee will seek to gather further information regarding Endowed Professorships and Fund Availability.

D. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Reilly reported the committee members, Hugh Reilly, Doug Paterson, Robert Smith and Henry D'Souza met on November 27, 2007. We discussed the potential impact of the "Building Bright Futures" program on UNO. We have begun research on this new project and its potential impact on UNO and will work on creating some recommendations to help "Bright Futures" students successfully transition to UNO.

E. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Noble reported the committee met November 28, 2007. Senators Present: Noble, Mei, Lamsam, Tixier y Vigil. Senators Absent: Winter, Novikov. Senators present at our meeting continued "wordsmithing" the questions we have created for the faculty survey regarding perceptions of the research climate at UNO (including requirements for obtaining tenure/promotion, travel, conferences, travel dollars, etc.). The questions are nearly ready and Senator Noble has scheduled a meeting with Linda Mannering, Director of Institutional Research, on December 7th to discuss the inclusion of our questions on the "UCLA survey." Senator Hewins-Maroney, chair of the Committee on Personnel & Welfare, has been invited to attend this meeting to include questions regarding the mentoring process at UNO. We have continued discussion with Assoc. Vice Chancellor Smith-Howell and her office on the issue of how to effectively evaluate teaching effectiveness (beyond course evaluations) from myMAPP entries. Senators were asked to encourage the faculty they represent to do complete the survey when it is offered.

F. Committee on Rules: Senator Miller reported the committee met on November 28, 2007. Attending: Bacon, Barnes, Chundi, Holley, Miller, Windler. The spring committee meeting schedule was confirmed and we identified candidates for the open seats on the Wellness Stampede Advisory Committee. Committee members viewed the recruitment flyers and surveys used in the past and discussed revisions that they want incorporated in the documents used during the spring 2008 semester. Fluorescent orange paper will be used for the flyer sent via campus mail. A tentative timeline was approved for mailing both the printed and electronic versions of the recruitment items. Senator Barnes will ask the Senate President if his signature can be used on the flyer.

V. Other Committee Reports

A. Common Course Evaluation Form Task Force Report (FTDCCE): Senator Parnell reported the John Griggs' general summary of the November 29, 2007, meeting. Present: Jenny Farrar (Math), Bill Mahoney (CompSci), Jessica Meendering (HPER), Wayne Harrison (Psychology), Laura Ilcisin (CBA), Nancy Kelley Gillespie (Social Work), Franklin Thompson (College of Education), John Grigg (History). A number of the task force entered the meeting with the idea that we may be able to finalize a list of questions for presentation to the Faculty Senate. However, members of the Task Force who had participated in the Webinar asked for an opportunity to summarize some of the important points of the presentation before we proceeded. This presentation then developed into a general discussion of the purpose, nature, and goals of the Task Force. Those who had attended the Webinar were extraordinarily persuasive in arguing that we needed to re-think the scope of the project. As a result, the meeting agreed in unanimity to delay making a formal presentation of a list of questions to the Faculty Senate. Instead John Grigg and Wayne Harrison will work to draw up a general summary of the situation as the TF sees it as of this time. This summary will include a number of recommendations to the Faculty Senate. Before submitting this document to the Senate, it will be circulated electronically to all members of the TF for comments, corrections etc., to ensure that the finished document has the broadest support possible.

VI Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported the Annual Meeting was held December 1, 2007. Preceding the annual general membership meeting of AFCON were awards presentation, lunch and a brief history of AFCON. Paterson presented UNL student Sarah Swift with the Academic Freedom Award, recognizing her role last year as editor of the Omaha Benson High School Gazette, which published a series of articles on "The N Word." The Benson High School newspaper advisor, Jerrod Zegelis, was unable to attend but will also receive an academic freedom award. Sarah then spoke on her experiences and the resulting controversy and answered questions. Haller distributed a handout on Civic Education, regarding the Civics Nebraska Partnership. Haller also presented a special award to Mel Krutz as founder of AFCON. Dave Moshman distributed copies of "A Brief History of AFCON on the Occasion of its 15th Anniversary Year 2003," which had been prepared by Krutz. Buckley distributed minutes from the December 2, 2006 annual membership meeting.

B. Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Professor Carter wrote that the Board of Directors for the UNO Alumni Association met at the Thompson Center on November 13, 2007 for the last meeting of the year. The financial report was presented by Dan Koraleski who shared the September financial reports for the alumni operation and the alumni center. Annual fund revenues through September have increased 8% to $276,826 from 2006. This excludes a bequest of $130,231 that was received in June. Total expenses throughout September are $810,253 versus the budgeted amount of $810,525 (less pickle card program). The Thompson Center has a net profit of $89,068 through September. At the Alumni Center rental revenues for September were $31,605 which was $1,845 over budget. Revenue figures include $12,567 food and liquor commissions. Year-to-date Net Revenue is up 34% to $223,945. Total operating expenses for September were $12,646 which was $2,068 under budget. Net profit for September was $18,459 which was $10,083 over budget. Year-to-date net profit is $89,068. September had over 4,987 guests; up 872 guests from September 2006. Lee Denker provided his president's report sharing that the Alumni Association staff is very involved with UNO100 Centennial Celebration activities that will begin in October 2008. Their involvement will include Homecoming 2008, The Gala fundraiser, and information in the Alum Magazine. Mike Kudlacz recommended the approval of a ROTC Alumni group to recruit members and funds in an effort to generate more revenue. A percentage of the money received will go the group and the funding streams will be regulated by the Alumni Association. Deb McLarney shared information about possible agreements with Affinity Bank and Affinity Insurance. The board approved agreement with Affinity Bank and will discuss advantages with Affinity Insurance further. The election of 2008 officers includes:

  • Chairperson: Rod Oberle
  • 1ST Vice Chairperson: Mark Grieb
  • 2nd Vice Chairperson: Kevin Munro
  • Secretary: Patricia Lamberty
  • Treasurer: Dan Koraleski
  • Legal Advisor: Martha Zajicek
  • Past Chairperson: Deb McLarney

The final 2007 committee report included the golf outing including 188 golfers and generating $50,000.00 despite poor weather. Annual fund committee reports an effort to encourage graduates to contribute sooner. Mark Grieb stated that new revenue streams are down $150,000.00. Communication committee disclosed efforts to increase the quality and membership of the UNO Alum magazine as a marketing tool. Chancellor Christensen noted enrollment is up .18 percent, the second highest in ten years with a student enrollment just under 15,000. Dr. Christensen is making road trips to key locations in Iowa to recruit more Iowa students at UNO with efforts to reduce out-of-state tuition. The meeting was followed by the Annual Alumni Association meeting. Mike Kudlacz recognized the 2007-2009 board members with a first term including Garrett Anderson, David Craft, Jill Goldstein, Bob Hearron and Laurie Ruge. Second term included Ray Barr, Bob Danenhauer, EvaJon Sperling, and Thomas Warren. Recognition of retiring board members included Patricia Tayler, Angelo Passarelli, Kevin Warneke, and John Wilson. Mike Kudlacz and Harold Sage received the Outstanding Service Award. A reception followed the meeting.

VII. New Business

A. Senator Sollars was nominated for Faculty Senate President for 2008-2009 and was elected by acclamation.

B. Faculty members are encouraged to attend Commencement on December 21, 2007, , and are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall, in regalia.

C. The College Faculty Senator(s) Election Statistics Memo was attached to the agenda for information purposes only.

VIII The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m. The senators were reminded of the change in meeting dates in January 2008.