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Faculty Senate

2007-2008 Faculty Senate

Retreat Minutes


Wednesday, August 22 , 2007, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Mahoney State Park

Attendees: M. Bacon, Barnes, Betanabhatla, Boucher, Boyer, Chundi, D'Souza, Dwyer, Gershovich, Heidel, Hewins-Maroney, Holley, Huq, Lamsam, Mei, Miller, Morcous, Mordaunt, Noble, Parnell, Paterson, Reames, Reilly, Shaw, Smith, Sollars, Stanton, Tarry, Thorp, White, Windler, Winter

Excused: N. Bacon, Edick, Ottemann, Novikov, Tixier y Vigil,


I. The meeting was called to order at 9 a.m. President Scott Tarry had some introductory remarks regarding themes/goals for this next year. He suggested engagement of students, and community, consolidation, and efficiencies. He then invited the attendees to introduce themselves.

II. The minutes of May 9, June 6, and July 11, 2007, were approved.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report: Senator Tarry reported:

  1. Executive Committee and Administration Meeting was held July 18, 2007. Chancellor Christensen discussed the budget shortfall, which is now slated to be $378,900 for UNO. The administration is working with the deans to reallocate resources to cover the shortfall. There is greater concern about next year's budget. The additional operations and maintenance costs for new buildings in the NU system are not budgeted and no additional resources are expected from the state. Utility costs may also adversely affect the budget next year. The apparent reluctance of the Regents to support more than nominal tuition increases is cause for concern if the projected shortfall materializes. Wade Robinson discussed enrollment projections and said we appear to be close to matching last year. Robinson also noted that while the additional new housing on campus will eventually help recruitment, its immediate impact on enrollment numbers will be minimal. The HPER project, which is also projected to help recruitment efforts, goes before the Higher Education Coordinating Commission on September 22. Chancellor Christensen said that he is fine with the NU administration's decision not to hire a private firm to handle "whistleblower" reports of problems within the university. The Chancellor pointed to the university's internal "ombudsperson" process and encouraged the senate to remind faculty, as well as staff and students, that such a system exists. The Chancellor also reported that the Omaha Police Department's first responder training exercise was a success and gave both OPD and university officials a chance to become more comfortable with how a campus crisis might be handled

B. Treasurer's Report: the final budget report for 2006-2007 and the July 2007 budget report were submitted. The budget page was explained to both new and continuing senators.

C. Parliamentarian: Past President Shaw and Senator Barnes read the parliamentarian's notes on terminology of motions, importance of committee work, introduction of business to the Senate, etc. A cheat sheet on Priority of Motions was distributed.

IV. Executive Committee Report: On behalf of the Executive Committee Senator Barnes moved the following, except for R2880, which was moved by Senator Tarry. All passed.

A. Resolution 2878, 8/22/07: Resignation/Replacement of Senator Sam Brown from UNO & Faculty Senate. (Senator Barnes)

Be it resolved that the Executive Committee has noted CPACS' Senator Sam Brown's resignation from UNO. Dr. Jay White has been appointed to finish his term on the Faculty Senate through 5/13/09.

B. Resolution 2879, 8/22/07: Resignation of Senator Deb Anderson from UNO. (Senator Barnes)

Be it resolved that the Executive Committee has accepted Senator Deb Anderson's resignation. Dr. Lyn M. Holley has been appointed to finish her term on the Faculty Senate through 5/14/10.

C. Resolution 2880, 8/22/07: NU-Wide Gender Equity Committee (Senator Tarry)

Be it resolved that Interim Senior Vice Chancellor, Sheri Rogers, reported that the UNO seat on the NU-wide Gender Equity Committee has been filled by Dr. Juliette Parnell.

V. Special Order

A. Resolution 2881, 8/22/2007: Election of Secretary-Treasurer

Be It Resolved, Senator Suzanne Sollars is elected Secretary-Treasurer by acclimation, to replace Deb Anderson, who has resigned.

Recess: At 9:45 am the meeting recessed for the six standing committees to meet and consider business left unfinished last year and goals for the coming year.

Presentations began at 10:30 am. Speakers were:

1. John Christensen, UNO Chancellor

    • Twelve month model for UNO
    • Building Bright Futures
    • Campus to lose parking spaces

2. Julie Totten, Interim V.C. for Business and Finance

  • UNO and NU budget overview

3. Sheri Noren Everts, Interim V.C. for Academic and Student Affairs

  • Reported on 5 Search Committees and their members
  • Teaching Circles, Research Triangles, and Community Engagement
  • Campus Learning Assessment

4. Deb Smith-Howell, Associate V. C. for Academic Affairs

  • Gen-Ed Task Force
  • UNO Centennial

5. David Miller, New UNO Athletic Director

  • Introduced himself and gave an overview of how he views college athletics and athletes.

After a lunch break, the meeting resumed at 1 p.m.

Recess: At 1:25 p.m., after some discussion for Good of the Order, the meeting again recessed for the six standing committees to meet again.

Resume Meeting: The meeting resumed at 1:50 p.m.

VI. New Business:

The Standing Committees reported on their break out sessions:

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Sollars

In attendance: Senators Sollars, Gershovich, Morcous, Mordaunt and Reames. Excused: Edick

  • Elected Senator Sollars as Chair
  • Elected Senator Edick as Vice-Chair

Goals for 2007-2008

  1. Follow-up on Dual Enrollment Programs
    • Monitor Progress
    • Examine quality control
  2. Discuss post-tenure review policies and procedures
  3. Examine the increasing emphasis on faculty engagement in community service activities
  4. Examine the implications of distance education in regard to faculty commitments and quality of student education

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Boucher

For 2007-2008 goals, the committee will:

  1. Monitor the progress of the Course Evaluation Faculty Task Force by having an ER & S committee representative attend future meetings;
  2. Assess and coordinate awarding the Paul Beck Scholarships;
  3. Invite guests to future standing committee meetings from the different resource areas for current updates and information (i.e. library, computer services).

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Hewins-Maroney

2007-2008 Objectives/Goals for the committee:

  1. Review analysis of the climate survey and determine next steps as a result of the analyses.
  2. Examine information dissemination to faculty from the administration so that it is a systematic and reliable process to aid in the welfare of the faculty.
  3. Examine the suggested/proposed new configuration of the academic year, particularly as it pertains to the welfare of the faculty.

D. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Reilly

  1. Hugh Reilly will meet with Wade Robinson on Monday, August 27, to discuss the involvement of the goals and directions committee in helping to formulate plans for potential campus-wide crises (pandemics etc.).
  2. Henry D'Souza will be preparing an initial report on alternative energy sources (geothermal, fuel cell) for future campus use. The report will be presented to the Strategic Planning Committee and shepherded by G&D committee member, Robert Smith, who is also on the Strategic Planning Committee.
  3. The G&D committee plans on taking an in-depth look at the tuition and fee structure, especially its impact on minority students and the economically disadvantaged. Areas of focus will include:
    • Goodrich program
    • Minority student recruiting efforts
    • Possibility of hiring a recruiter that focuses on O.P.S.
    • Strengthening our relationship with Metropolitan Community College
    • Working more closely with the "Bright Futures" program.

E. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Noble reported members present: Noble, Mei, Winter, Lamsam; and members absent: Tixier y Vigil, Novikov.

Items for Consideration this Academic Year:

1. First Issue

    a. Research Expectations/Tenure Requirements

      1. Better articulated (more explicit documents)

      • Ex: Conference Attendance vs. Dollar Availability

      2. Grant dollar expectations

    b. Grant Game - are we creating a "grant culture" at UNO?

      1. Where do grant proposals fit into the RPT/merit picture?

        a. How are they evaluated?

        b. Is it an expectation?

      2. Issues related to overload/consultation.

2. Second Issue

    a. Course Evaluations (somewhat of a follow-up to the new campus-wide student evaluations developed last by the Educational Resources and Services Committee - is this the correct committee?)

      1. How used in RPT/merit process?

        A. Note: We have to remember the resolution passed by Faculty Senate last year stating that student evaluations should not be used as the sole criteria in evaluating teaching.

      2. Should class GPA be included along with student evaluation scores for each course?

      3. Could we track student success in subsequent courses (that build off your course) as an indication of teaching effectiveness?

    b. Team with UCAT to create a workshop for properly evaluating teaching effectiveness.

    1. UCAT has done workshops for creating a good teaching portfolio (for RPT/merit), now we need to train people how to evaluate those portfolios.
    2. Work with Wayne Harrison (chair of UCAT) and Deb Smith-Howell on this effort.

F. Committee on Rules: Senator Miller

    1. Resolution2882, 8/22/07: UCAT Replacement

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the following name go forward to complete Leon Dappen's three-year term (July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2009) to the University Committee on the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT):

    Nick Stergiou, HPER, ED.

    2. The committee members are working to fill summer committee vacancies. We hope to secure 23 nominees prior to the Sept. 12 Faculty Senate Meeting.

    Goals for 2007-2008 for the committee:

    a. Secure nominees for all openings on university committees, standing committees, faculty committees, ad hoc and advisory committees;

    b. Conduct a faculty survey during the spring semester to gather data on interest in committee service.

VII. After announcements, and the decision to change the January Senate meeting to January 16, 2008, which will move the EC&C meeting to January 9, 2007, and the EC&Admin meeting to January 23, 2008, the meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.