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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2007-2008 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, April 9, 2008, 2 p.m., MBSC Dodge Rooms

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

Excused: Mordaunt, Stanton

Absent: Lin, Morcous

Among other things, NU President J.B. Milliken, spoke on the budget, SIS implementation, and legislative matters, immediately before the meeting began. He also took questions.

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

II. The March 12, 2008, minutes were approved as written.

III. Officers' Reports

A. President's Report:

    A. Chancellor's Council: Senator Tarry reported that the Council met March 27, 2008. Chancellor Christensen noted the impressive participation of UNO students in the Seven Days of Service activities that took place during Spring Break. Over 700 UNO students working with additional area high school students participated in numerous projects including Habitat for Humanity. Ellen Freeman-Wakefield and Rita Henry spoke about a collaborative effort between the YWCA and UNO designed to address the growing problem of intimate partner violence (IPV). Freeman-Wakefield presented some sobering statistics about the prevalence of this problem on college campuses. A group of faculty, staff, and students interested in working to improve outreach, education, and the university's response to such incidents has formed, but additional members are welcome. The Council also heard about, a website designed by UNO's Gamma Kappa Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national finance organization. The website is designed to raise awareness among students and others about the need to better manage money and debt. IST Dean Ali mentioned his college's summer camps and encouraged the campus community to promote these opportunities to area youth, especially girls and minorities for whom some of the camps are offered free of charge. The Library is now loaning Amazon Kindles, which are handheld devices for downloading and reading digitized books.

    2. Executive Committee & Administration Meeting: Senator Barnes reported the meeting was held March 19, 2008. The administration reported that the new Senior Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Terry Hynes, will start in her new position at UNO on June 15, 2008. Dr. Hynes currently serves as dean emerita and professor in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. In preparation for UNO's Centennial celebration the administration has been working to identify "host families" who will support and assist UNO activities related to the event(s). At this time, several prominent Omaha families have agreed to participate in this role. The administration reported the bonds related to the HPER renovation have been sold and that the renovation is expected to begin immediately following the spring semester. Wade Robinson also presented updates related to the design of the new HPER facility. The architects and construction companies have been working on many of the critical details of the project that allow us to get a more specific glimpse of the planned renovation. The Chancellor reported that the financial contributions needed for a new building to house the College of Business Administration have been secured. The site for the building will be on the Pacific street campus. Early applications for undergraduate admissions are currently up compared to the same time last year. Also, the rate of conversion from applicant to enrolled student is expected to increase as a result of lower tuition for residents of Iowa counties adjacent to Omaha. Partial state funding of the new system to replace SIS is working its way through the Nebraska Legislature with favorable support. The amount of financial support has been adjusted up and down as the issue has progressed through committees. The initial report from the Twelve Month Task Force is on the UNO website. The task force has been split into four work groups to address separate questions. They are expected to report back to administration by the end of this academic year. The Senate's resolution concerning Civil Duty/Jury Duty was well received by administration. Before the administration places the language in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs, they plan to check existing policy and AAUP agreements to assure the language was not conflicting. For example, there was a brief discussion of whether the policy infringes on the faculty members right to determine the grade for a course. The fee that UNO is charged to lease space at the Crossroads parking garage is being increased from $127 per day to $3000 per day. The university is working hard to keep that space available to UNO students and is actively involved in negotiations. Steve Bullock is organizing a committee to discuss issues raised regarding MyMapp and the annual review process for faculty. He indicated a desire to have a committee representing a diverse group including faculty who have expressed concerns about MyMapp. We should expect the committee to convene in April and work into summer, with recommendations by the fall semester. If you have an interest, or know faculty who would be interested in serving, please contact Steve Bullock. (President Tarry noted that The efforts of the Administration to take a critical look at the use of myMAPP for purposes of annual reviews and the collection of institutional data are appreciated and the Faculty Senate will continue its own evaluation of myMAPP through the Committee on Professional Development. This committee will monitor the discussions of Bullock's group and also evaluate any report or recommendations coming from the group and make its own recommendations regarding myMAPP for consideration by the full Senate.)

    3. President Milliken and Four Faculty Senate Presidents Mtg: Senator Tarry reported President Milliken met with the presidents of the faculty senates on March 13. Among the topics discussed were the University's interest in the relocation of the State Fair, the development of a coherent business model for distance education in the NU system, and funding for faculty salaries and operating budgets. The President will visit the UNO Faculty Senate on April 9th.

    4. Chancellor's Written Response to Resolutions: On March 20, 2008, Sheri Noren Everts, Interim Sr. V.C. for Academic & Student Affairs Resolution, e-mailed President Tarry regarding F.S. Resolution 2898, 3/12/08: Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Inclusiveness and Diversity: Chris Allen was selected by the Chancellor to serve a three year term (08/1/2008 - 07/31/2011).

B. Treasurer's Report: Senator Sollars submitted the March 2008 budget report.

IV. Standing Committee Reports

A. Committe on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Boucher had no report. Senator Parnell reported that the Common Course Evaluation Form Task Force is in the process of finalizing eight questions and are looking for student feedback. The Task Force will meet again in May.

B. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Hewins-Maroney reported the committee met March 26, 2008.Members in Attendance: Dr. Meredith Bacon, Dr. Karen Dwyer, Dr. Griff Elder, Dr. Jack Heidel, Dr. Jay White, and Dr. Barbara Hewins-Maroney (chair).

Endowed Professorship
The committee reviewed the response from Ms. Susan Schnase regarding the University of Nebraska Foundation and funding of the endowed professorships. The response reflected the economic situation in the market place and the low interest that some investments have earned. The committee believes this issue is worth watching given the current economic conditions and the instability of the market.

Two colleges have yet to submit their reports on mentoring, and will be asked again to submit their reports. The committee believes that next step will be to seek information from department chairs, because of the general nature of the reports received so far.

U.S. Academic Culture
A funding source has been identified. Further investigation of the source will determine if the ad hoc group moves forward to the proposal stage.

Childcare and the Recruitment and Retention of Faculty
Dr. Brigette Ryalls, Director of Developmental Psychology, and Ms. Dawn Hove, Director of UNO's Child Care Center, joined the committee in discussing UNO's Child Care Center and the possibility of a laboratory school. Ms. Hove provided information about the current program and its accreditation. Dr. Ryalls discussed the relationships between developmental psychology and the Child Care Center and made some recommendations regarding further relationships. The FP&W committee felt that as the need to hire younger faculty increases, information regarding the center should be more widely disseminated. FacConnect should be utilized and information should be shared during new faculty orientation. The committee members also felt that an educational advisory committee composed of faculty from the Developmental Psychology Program and the College of Education would strongly benefit the program.

To highlight the importance of a quality child care and on behalf of the Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee, Senator Hewins-Maroney moved the following resolution, which passed:

      Resolution 2899, 4/9/08: UNO Child Care Center:

      Whereas a large number of faculty will reach retirement age in the next decade, and

      Whereas the University of Nebraska at Omaha will have to compete with other institutions with similar demographics for new faculty, and

      Whereas many, if not most, new faculty will be of an age consistent with young families, and

      Whereas UNO's childcare facility is outstanding but could be extended to include participation by undergraduate and graduate students as part of their degree curricula,

      Therefore be it resolved that the Faculty Senate strongly urges the Administration to explore the possibilities of incorporating a -laboratory school as an addition to the existing childcare facility, and

      Be it further resolved that a professional oversight committee composed of faculty in Developmental Psychology and the College of Education's graduate Pre-K3 endorsement program be established to oversee the proposed establishment and eventual operation of a laboratory school as part of UNO's childcare facility.

Committee Planning for 08 - 09
For the April meeting, the FSPWC will examine its progress on issues discussed this academic year and work on a tentative agenda to start the new academic year. Issues that were initially suggested were mentoring, the 12 month concept, and leadership development among the faculty.

C. Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Reilly reported Robert Smith, Henry D'Souza, Laura Ilicisin and Hugh Reilly attended the Goals and Directions Committee meeting on March 26. We discussed how we would meet basic education needs in case a natural disaster, pandemic or other crisis were to occur at UNO. We looked at equipment needs, possible alternative classroom locations and a variety of other options. Robert Smith is preparing the first draft of a resolution that we plan to present to the Faculty Senate.

D. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Noble reported the committee met March 26, 2008. Senators Present: Noble, Tixier y Vigil, Winter, Mei, Novikov, Lamsam. The committee discussed opportunities to encourage faculty to complete the "UCLA survey" and the attached "research climate survey." The initial release date was February 12th, but it has been extended to May 30th, so Faculty Senators are requested to continue encouraging their colleagues to provide the information. Linda Mannering, in the UNO Office of Institutional Research, has informed us that the response rate at this point is less than 20%. These surveys have the opportunity to provide Faculty Senate with significant, useful information, so let's all provide input. We also had significant discussion regarding the recent petition that has circulated around the campus community regarding myMAPP. Much of the conversation revolved around the committee being formulated by Steve Bullock that is going to be looking into the myMAPP situation. We discussed the role that the Professional Development Committee might take in these efforts: from the make-up of the myMAPP committee, to potentially monitoring the accountability of the myMAPP committee, to acting as a liaison between that committee and Faculty Senate.

E. Committee on Rules: Senator Miller reported the Rules committee met on March 26, 2008. Present: Bacon, Barnes, Holley, Lin, Miller. Excused: Chundi. They assigned the 13 incoming senators to Senate Committees. They also discussed the results of the recent faculty recruitment survey (89 responses to date) and selected names, linked with interest areas, from that survey to fill the 51 openings on university committees. Committee members volunteered to contact designated individuals and ask if they are willing to be nominated for service on a specific university committee. Contacts will be made within the next two weeks and results will be forwarded to the Chairperson.

VI. Non-Senate Committee Reports

A. Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported AFCON will meet April 12. There is another surge on the issue of tenure and why it is absolutely necessary for academic freedom.

B. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Smith reported the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met Wednesday, March 26, 2008 in the Chancellor's conference room and was presided by Dr B. J. Reed.. The Faculty Honors Convocation was announced for Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center ballroom; a full breakfast will commence at 7:00 a.m. The Student Honors Convocation is scheduled for Friday, April 11 at 3:00 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center with a reception in the MBSC ballroom following. All faculty are encouraged to attend both events. The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) was discussed. AQIP operates under the aegis of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and provides a continuous process for maintaining accreditation; UNO entered the program in 2004. The next major step in the AQIP process is generating a Systems Portfolio, which is due by November 1. Reports required for the portfolio are to be submitted by June 1. Some required information will be gathered by mining the MyMAPP data base as well as other campus information sources; the document will be available on-line as it is generated for feedback from the campus community. NCA will provide feedback to UNO regarding the Systems Portfolio by spring 2009. Final re-accreditation will be in the year 2011. Community Links will be stood up in August, 2008. Administration of the Community Links will be conducted by the Center for Faculty Development under the supervision of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. A kick-off event is planned for early September, 2008.

VII. The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.