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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2007-2008 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 2 p.m., MBSC Dodge Rooms

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

Excused: Lamsam, Mei, Mordaunt, Ottemann, Sollars

Absent: Betanabhatla, Lin, Stanton

Presentation: Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Deb Smith-Howell spoke on the UNO Thompson Learning Community.
I. The meeting was called to order at 2:30 p.m.

II. The February 13, 2008, minutes were approved as written.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report:

    1. Executive Committee and Administration Meeting: Senator Tarry reported the meeting was held February 20, 2008. The meeting began with a discussion of Resolution 2896, which the Senate passed in February. Sr. Vice Chancellor Everts said the Administration appreciated the Senate's efforts on this issue. The discussion then turned to options once LR233CA either dies or leaves committee. The UCLA Faculty Survey was discussed and it was agreed that the Administration and Senate leadership would do more to encourage faculty to complete the survey. (The deadline for completing the survey was later extended to May 30, 2008.) The idea of an advisory or coordinating panel on issues of sustainability was discussed. A similar effort has been undertaken at UNL and may provide a model. Information about the University of Nebraska's computing policy will be discussed at the March meeting of the Board of Regents. The revision of the computing policies has implications for faculty and staff and will need to be studied carefully as the campus addresses this issue. Harmon Maher's term as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activity has been extended and Steve Bullock as been appointed Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs. Searches for these positions will be conducted when the new Sr. VC for Academic and Student Affairs is in place. Steve Bullock, who served as a member of the Search Committee for the Sr. VC for Academic and Student Affairs attended the meeting at the request of Faculty Senate President Tarry and reported on issues surrounding Dr. Terry Hynes who is a finalist for the position. Dr. Bullock spoke to numerous people at the University of Florida during the search in an effort to gain a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding Hynes's tenure as Dean.

    2. Chancellor's Council: Senator Barnes was unavailable early in the meeting. Senator Tarry read his report. The meeting was held February 28, 2008. Vice President Barnes attended for President Tarry. Chancellor Christensen was out of town and Interim Senior V.C. Sheri Noren Everts chaired the meeting. The Council viewed a powerpoint presentation regarding a new public relations initiative that is being funded by the Holland family. The vision is for a publication that promotes and tell's UNO's story. It was suggested that this publication would be shared with area stakeholders and potential donors. The theme for the publication is "Experience..Excellence from a new perspective". The Deans were asked to suggest success stories that exemplify UNO. These stories are needed for the publication. The Council also received an update on LR233CA. It has been withdrawn from the legislature. Finally, the U.S. Under-secretary of Education will visit Omaha and UNO on April 9. The intent of the visit is to gather information regarding issues of accessibility.

    3. Board of Regents Meeting: Senator Tarry reported the Board of Regents met March 7, 2008. The Board's Committee on Academic Affairs heard presentations on the SIS upgrade, the Second Annual Nebraska Summit on Entrepreneurship, and the Strategic Framework report related to faculty merit compensation. Provost Pratt provided an update on the SIS upgrade project and discussed the time-lines for selecting a contractor and implementing the upgrade, which is expected to begin in August 2008 with full implementation being completed in 2011. There are five potential software vendors and seven potential hardware and implementation contractors involved in the process, which continues with bidder demonstrations during April. Faculty from each of the campuses will be represented on the committee that observes the demonstrations. Vice President for University Affairs, Pete Kotsiopulos, gave a presentation on the university's efforts to support entrepreneurship in the state. Working with the Gallup Organization and the Nebraska Business - Higher Education Forum, the University of Nebraska is working to support entrepreneurship in rural and urban contexts throughout the state. President Milliken noted his concern that Nebraska is not doing enough to support and encourage entrepreneurial activities and believes the university can play a greater role. Director of Budget for the NU system, Chris Kabourek, gave a report on faculty compensation and noted that faculty at UNL and UNMC are falling farther behind the midpoint of their peers. The Board has established maintaining faculty salaries at or above the midpoint of peers as one of its objectives and expressed displeasure that this goal was not only not being met, but seems increasingly less attainable. Kabourek pointed out that UNO and UNK were not included in the analysis since collective bargaining agreements keep faculty at these campuses at the midpoint of their peers. The President of the UNK Senate noted that collective bargaining agreements have only assured that we don't trail as much as we might otherwise, but that because of the process, faculty at UNO and UNK typically lag behind their peers as well. Regent Wilson noted that one of the Board's goals is that "All salary increases should be awarded, to the extent possible, on the basis of merit" and suggested that UNO and UNK need to better integrate themselves into the merit culture of the NU system, which presumably means altering collective bargaining agreements. This suggestion seemed a bit misplaced given the balance of the discussion, which focused on the inability or unwillingness of the system to maintain competitive salaries on the campuses that are not organized. A preliminary look at the 2008/2009 budget was presented by Chris Kabourek and as suspected, the news is not especially good. Per a request from the Regents, Kabourek prepared an analysis that took into account different levels of tuition increase, the lack of additional state funding, and the need to cover the initial cost of the SIS upgrade (less $7.2 million in new state funding for the project) and the expected $1.3 million charge for the Mead ARDC cleanup. A tuition increase of 9.5% would generate enough revenue to cover the university's obligations, but not the one-time costs associated with SIS and Mead. This is an increase that is well beyond the 6% benchmark established by the Board, which is seemingly in favor of an increase below 6%. An increase below 6% would have dire consequences for the university's operations. The Board will continue its deliberations on the budget at its April meeting in preparation for approving a budget in June. Provost Pratt provided an overview of campus efforts to revise and enhance general education programs. UNK and UNL, which are ahead of UNO in this process, were invited to tell the Board about their experiences. The Board questioned both campus representatives about the apparent lack of input from alumni and the community in the process. UNO's Senate President gave an impromptu update on UNO's efforts and noted that we are engaging alumni and community representatives as well as students, faculty, and staff in our discussions about general education.

    4. President Tarry reported that the Ward-Connerly petition is still being circulated. It is officially the "Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative." He reminded the faculty that, while we respond to inform others of the anticipated impacts to this campus, we must avoid any use of state resources supporting or opposing the petition.

    5. President Tarry has also been in communication with the UNO Parking Committee, which is working on a policy statement which addresses the Senate business item about use of faculty-staff parking for visitors to campus events during working hours.

B. Treasurer's Report: The February 2008 budget report was approved.

IV. Executive Committee Report: The Executive Committee passed a motion to allow Senate Coordinator, Sue Bishop, to attend a Fred Pryor Seminar on March 26, 2008. The seminar is "Managing Multiple Priorities, Projects, and Deadlines," and the Senate will be charged $99.00.

V. Standing Committee Reports

A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Edick reported the committee met February 27, 2008. Present: Edick, Reames, Sollars. Absent: Gershovich, Morcous, Mordant. Update on SafeAssign (SA) plagiarism detection tool: Phase 1 of the SA pilot has been completed. Faculty report variable results after using SA. An updated version of SA is available, so testing will begin soon using the new version. SA is bundled with Black Board, thus there are no extra expenses to the University for its availability and use. There will be plagiarism conversations at UNO (brown-bags, plus follow-up discussions the next day) on April 7 & 8 and April 21 & 22. At least one member of Faculty Senate is encouraged to attend, especially since the SA task force will seek a Faculty Senate resolution regarding the use of SA and potential revisitation of the current policy regarding plagiarism by students. On behalf of the committee, Senators Edick moved the following, which passed after a short discussion of #7, which was explained as the way a provision in dealing with military leave is written:

Resolution 2898, 3/12/08: Policy on Student Civil Leave

      WHEREAS the University of Nebraska Omaha strives to serve the best interests of students,

      WHEREAS the call to Civil Duty (jury duty; mandated local, state, national or tribal service) is an important component of the student's rights and responsibilities,

      WHEREAS it has become increasingly difficult to reschedule jury duty, and other civil service responsibilities often cannot be rescheduled to accommodate class schedules,

      THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the University of Nebraska Omaha adhere to the following guidelines on Civil Leave

      1. When a student receives a call to Civil Duty, he or she will notify the course instructor no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled date of duty unless specified differently by the instructor on the syllabus.
      2. The instructor will allow the student an excused absence from the course on the day(s) required for Civil Leave.
      3. Upon request of the student, the instructor will ask the class for another student to take notes during the period of Civil Leave.
      4. If Civil Leave occurs during a critical period in the course (exam; in-class graded assignment; group project; participation-required day), the instructor will work with the student to determine if the missed day(s) will likely have a negative impact on the student's grade and whether the assignment or exam can be accommodated at a later time.
      5. If Civil Leave causes an extensive loss of class time for the student or will likely negatively impact the student's grade or learning experience, the instructor and student will determine whether it is best for the student to receive a grade of 'Incomplete' or 'Withdrawal' for the course.
      6. If a grade of Incomplete is chosen, the instructor and student will formally document the procedure required to complete the course.
      7. If a grade of Withdrawal is chosen, the student will receive a prorated refund of tuition and fees paid for the course.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a policy on Civil Leave will be included in the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Catalogs.

B. Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Boucher reported the committee met on February 27. Members present: Senators Boucher, Parnell, Stanton, Thorp; Members absent: Senators Boyer, Ottemann. For the Paul Beck Memorial Faculty/Staff Scholarship, a conservative estimate of this year's award total is $2000. This will be divided into the following estimated awards:

    • $650 for a full-time undergraduate student;
    • $350 for a part-time undergraduate student;
    • $650 for a full-time graduate student; and
    • $350 for a part-time graduate student.

    The deadline for applications will be Friday, April 4, 2008. If the interest earned in the fund is greater than $2000 (as determined in August), we will then proportionately divide the extra amount among the awardees. If there are no applications in a category, we will then redistribute the funds to other applicants. Awards will be decided by the ER & S Committee at its April meeting, and announced at the Faculty Senate meeting in May. We discussed writing a letter to specifically request donations for the Paul Beck Memorial Faculty/Staff Scholarship. This could be distributed to the university faculty and staff via e-Notes along with an attachment of the flyer requesting applications.

    With regard to official policies and procedures related to handling instructor evaluations, the committee discussed the help of the Course Evaluation Task Force in gathering data from the different departments. Senator Parnell is going to ask the committee about this.

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Hewins-Maroney reported the committee met Wednesday, February 27, 2008. Members in Attendance: Dr. Meredith Bacon, Dr. Karen Dwyer, Dr. Griff Elder, Dr. Jack Heidel, and Dr. Barbara Hewins-Maroney (chair). Member Absent: Dr. Jay White.

    Faculty Mentoring: The committee continues to examine the next steps in its advocacy of mentoring at the university. Several deans have responded to the request to describe the mentoring activities in their respective colleges. The committee will place the information in a PDF file and ask that it be made available on the Faculty Senate website. The committee discussed the on-going need for the mentoring of full-time instructors and part-time adjuncts. Some departments mentor these two groups. Most departments do not. The committee urges all departments to review its mentoring practices and provide mentoring opportunities for all teaching faculty.

    Twelve Month Concept/Entrepreneurial Model There are continuing questions from the faculty regarding the Twelve Month Concept. In relation to the concept, the term "entrepreneurial model" has risen. The FPWC would like further clarification of this model and how it relates to funding and the twelve month concept.

    U.S. Academic Culture The ad hoc group continues to look for funding for a workshop or seminar.

    Childcare and the Recruitment and Retention of Faculty I n a discussion regarding the recruitment of UNO faculty and the need to be competitive to attract young, topnotch faculty, one of the issues that emerged was the need for quality childcare at UNO. The UNO Childcare Center provides a much-needed service, but it seems to lack an educational emphasis. The intellectual and social growth of the preschoolers should be the focus of the center. Currently, there does not appear to be a curriculum that engages children in thinking, reasoning, and communicating, and preparing them for their future academic success. The committee is concerned and wonders if a laboratory school or a child development school should be started at the university. The committee will continue to examine this issue and make further recommendations regarding the development of a quality, model program.

D. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Reilly reported the committee met on February 27th. Members present included: Doug Paterson, Robert Smith, Laura Ilcisin, Jayaram Betanabhatla, Henry D'souza and Hugh Reilly. We discussed a resolution to encourage the administration to look at the potential effects of the Building Bright Futures and Thompson Learning Program on our campus population. If these two programs succeed, it is likely that many of their students will be coming to UNO. We need to be prepared to meet their needs. An initial draft had been prepared by Senator Paterson. A few minor changes were suggested and Senator Paterson agreed to make some revisions and resubmit the resolution for our approval and vote. We also had a brainstorming session where we discussed what we would need to continue to teach our classes in the event of a natural catastrophe. We looked at what our basic needs would be in order for us to continue to offer classes in the event that a building was destroyed or there was some other massive disruption of our ability to educate our students. We looked at options via the web and other more traditional options. We will be putting together a brief summary of our recommendations.

E. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Noble reported the committee met February 27, 2008. Senators Present: Noble, Tixier y Vigil. Senators Absent: Winter, Mei, Novikov, Lamsam The committee discussed the final opportunities to encourage faculty to complete the "UCLA survey" and the attached "research climate survey". The initial release date was February 12th, but it is still available until March 12th, (since extended to May 30th) so Faculty Senators are requested to continue encouraging their colleagues to provide the information. We also discussed Senator Noble's recent meeting with Deb Smith-Howell and her office to discuss a workshop to educate participants on how to effectively evaluate teaching effectiveness (beyond course evaluations) from myMAPP entries. A potential speaker has been identified and we are in negotiations to offer the workshop early in the fall semester.

F. Committee on Rules: Senator Miller reported the committee met February 27, 2008. Present: Barnes, Bacon, Holley, Chundi, Miller. Absent: Lin. Members discussed a request for a slate of nominees who could serve on the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Inclusiveness and Diversity. Committee members volunteered to contact individuals who expressed an interest, with the goal of securing two nominees to present to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Faculty Senate committee assignments for current and incoming senators were discussed and it was decided that an email would be sent to incoming Senators to welcome them to the Senate and ask for their first, second and third committee preferences. A request was received from a faculty member asking for a University committee assignment on the University Committee for Technology, Resources and Service. The Rules committee voted to honor this request when university committee assignments are made in April, 2008. New business: Members talked about the notification process for university committee nominees and suggested that the chairperson of every university committee be contacted in early fall to ensure they know who is on their committee and encourage that chairperson to hold regular meetings. On behalf of the committee, Senators Miller moved the following, which passed:

    Resolution 2898, 3/12/08: Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Inclusiveness and Diversity:

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the following names (minimum of two) go forward as nominees to the Chancellor's Advisory Committee for Inclusiveness & Diversity:

    • Chris Allen
    • Maria Villamil.

    The Chancellor will then select one faculty member to serve on the committee for a three year term (08/1/2008 - 07/31/2011).

VI. Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported AFCON met March 8, 2008. The Connerly resolution was highlighted by developments at UNL. It was reported that there have been "opportunity hires," which passes over the search process, in order to cultivate women and minorities by not having searches. This is not the way to do it. Also reported was that a couple of Nebraska counties have outlawed "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" because of the "N" word.

    B. Alumni Association, Board of Directors: Professor Carter wrote that the UNO Alumni Association Board of Directors met February 29, 2008. The Board President Rod Oberle introduced the board members followed by Dan Koraleski's financial report. January Annual fund are $7,053.56. This is a slight increase of $725 from January 2007. Total January expenses were $102,670 vs. January 2007 amount of $80,912. The Thompson Center has a net profit of $993 in January. Dan also reviewed the Alumni Center Financials. Rental revenue for January was $14,611 which was $1,152 less than January 2007. Revenue figures include $4,247 food & liquor commission. Net profit for January was $993 which was $282 more than January 2007. January had over 2,269 guests. During the Presidents Report Lee Denker reported that the universities new perspective and story will be conveyed through a new Centennial Publication. Things to look forward to in 2008 include a big Centennial Celebration that will be launched in October with a grand Homecoming; ongoing involvement with the NU Foundation including data management and coordinating of Annual Fund programs; and the development of new revenue streams. He reported that the Database Conversion will be completed by 2009 and the Annual Fund will be enhanced with a 20,000 direct mailing with a target goal of $432,000. Regarding old business Lee reported the process that the Operations Committee used to determine a recommendation for partnering with US Bank on a new affinity program and insurance agreement. The Alumni Association has decided not to take action on this partnering at this time. During 2008 the association will be looking for additional collaborative ventures. During the committee reports Jim Garbina indicated the golf tournaments in the past five years has raised $250,000 for scholarships, $54,000 last year, and plans to fund four scholarships this year. The tournaments draw 50 sponsors and 200 golfers. The Young Alumni committee reported lots of energy while creating their mission statement, goals and objectives and committee assignments. ROTC Alumni committee is working on the Centennial calling lists of ROTC graduates to become active alumni members, developing Scholarship fund for cadets, and promoting an air and space museum tour. The committee is also working on a fly over at the upcoming homecoming game. The chancellor reported enrollment is up five percent, second highest in ten years. There will be new financial opportunities for Iowa students seeking to attend UNO. Campus renovations are on schedule with HPER Phase I completed and Phase II underway. Recruitment is ongoing to replace open positions on campus. Student updates included student body focus for 2008 to include active participation in administrative changes, pursuit of a smoking ban campus wide, student government and legislative initiatives, and appreciation for students feeling safe on campus. Upcoming events include the Womens Walk which brought in $350,000 last year. The Centennial opening week runs October 8-11 including Convocation, HPER Groundbreaking Ceremony, Campus Bus Tours, and a University Open House.

    C. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Smith reported the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met Wednesday, February 27, 2008 in the Chancellor's conference room and was presided by Dr B. J. Reed. The Strategic Planning Event of February 15, 2008 was discussed and was judged to have been a success. Feedback, evaluations, and questions from the event were reviewed. Questions to be further discussed include: How can communication about community engagement links be enhanced? How can faculty, staff, and students who engage in community service be better recognized? What selection process can best be used to match available students with community engagement activities? How can service learning projects requested by community groups be screened for feasibility? Who within the administration will approve new engagement links and what criteria will be used for the approval? What are the essential elements for a legitimate project? No consensus regarding these questions was reached and committee members were asked to think about these matters for further discussion.

VII. New Business

    Senator Tarry discussed two things having to do with myMapp:

    1. There have been conversations with Academic Affairs to put togther a group/team/etc. to take a hard critical look at myMapp. Steve Bullock is taking an the organizing lead with this by forming a group to begin meeting the latter part of April into the first part of the summer. They would report back to the Faculty Senate in the fall. This should be enough time for faculty to give input. Senator Tarry asked for those interested to contact him.

    2. There is a petition being circulated among the faculty regarding myMapp. This petition asks the administration what exactly UNO is getting out of myMapp. It also asks the Faculty Senate to rescind any resolution supporting myMapp. Senator Tarry advises that there has never been a resolution supporting myMapp, so there is none to rescind. There was just a mention of myMapp within Resolution 2794 (8/17/05: Support for Center for ePortfolio-Based Assessment at UNO). Senator Tixier y Vigil had the petition if anyone was interested in signing.

VIII. The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.