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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2008-2009 Faculty Senate

Executive Committee & Cabinet Minutes


Wednesday, July 9, 2008, 2 p.m., ASH 19

Members: M. Bacon, Boucher, Boyer, Dwyer, Gershovich, Miller, Noble, Sollars, Tarry

Excused: Elder, Paterson


I. The meeting was called to order at 2:10 p.m.

II. The June 4, 2008, minutes were approved as written.

III. Officers' Reports
A. President's Report: Senator Sollars reported meetings of Board of Regents (June 13), Executive Committee & Administration (June 18) and Enrollment Planning & Steering Committee (July 8):The Regents approved a 6% increase in tuition for the 08-09 academic year. Discussed was the need to keep tuition "affordable." The Nebraska system has among the lowest in tuition/fee rates among peer institutions, and this was generally considered a positive (among respective peer averages for 08-09, UNK is 28% below, UNL is 32% below and UNO is 10.5% below).Tuition increase results in $740,000 budget shortfall for UNO. Also unknown amount needed for new SIS. Some staff lay-offs have occurred. Most of shortfall ($600K) will be sent to Academic and Student Affairs. Funds ($200K) may be taken from part-time monies (indirectly from Academic Excellence Fund) to offset A&CA shortfall. The rest of shortfall will be sent to divisions proportionately.Projected first-time undergraduate enrollment up approximately 3%. Overall enrollment may be down; students not registering for classes. Sending survey to these students to find out why.Graduate admission numbers down (719 Fall '07, 685 Fall'08) although applicant numbers up (1326 Fall'07, 1373 Fall '08). Need to explore reasons why (capacity, funding, etc.).Minutes of EC & Admin meeting written by Senator Bacon:Chancellor Christensen welcomed the Executive Committee and stressed that faculty-administration collaboration was key for student success. There followed an informative response to Senate Resolution 2909 concerning disaster planning. Wade Robinson heads up the Incident Command Team which has already addressed most of the Goals and Directions Committee's specific concerns. The Team has conducted exercises with a number of scenarios (tornados, pandemic, earthquake, etc.) and has planned for business continuity. However, academic and instructional continuity has yet to be addressed and Mr. Robinson invited a permanent, as opposed to short-term, Faculty Senate representative to the team. Coordination with the University of Nebraska Central Administration and the Omaha Police is ongoing. Chancellor Christensen warned against campus complacency, noting that when the sirens had sounded recently, certain classes and individuals had not taken shelter as directed. Senator Miller brought Mr. Robinson's attention to a recent E-BRUNO web grading glitch. Mr. Robinson promised a prompt correction. Chancellor Christensen noted the many construction projects on campus which sometimes make getting from one campus location to another challenging. Senator Bacon raised the parking issue connected with construction. Chancellor Christensen asked for patience and suggested a net gain in available spaces when all the dust settles. There is private funding for renovation of Roskens Hall when the College of Business Administration moves to the Pacific Street campus. The College of Education will move to Roskens Hall. Kaiser Hall will then become a shared instructional space for the entire campus. There was also discussion of cooperation between UNO and Aksarben Village. Chancellor Christensen then gave us bad budget news. UNO's share of the projected shortfall is $744.000, 80% to come from Academic and Student Affairs. There will be reduced funding for Programs of Excellence and Diversity and a 6% tuition increase. UNO's share of the initial SIS upgrade is $600,000. Fall enrollment projections indicate a break-even year despite increases in admissions and orientation visits. B. Senator M. Bacon reviewed the June 2008 Budget Report, which was accepted as submitted.
IV. Standing Committee Reports
A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senators Gershovich and Sollars met with Assoc. V.C. for Academic Affairs Deb Smith-Howell to discuss the proposed B.S. in I.T. Innovation. The committee will look at the proposal again at the Retreat. B. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: The committee had received an e-mail from Prof. Jim Carroll which read: There was a pair of lunchtime brown bags last year on the topic of plagiarism. I attended the first. I was not able to attend the second. As I recall these were led by Suzanne Sollars, Nora Bacon, Rita Henry, Joyce Crockett and at least another person. An item which came up briefly was a mention that there was faculty plagiarism that students noticed. There were a few brief comments on both sides of this: that faculty did indeed use in there teaching materials copied from others, that such copying was acceptable. This was not resolved, in part because it came near the end of a session that was already running long. As the Faculty Senate Committee with oversight of the Professional Conduct and Academic Freedom Committees, I urge you to explore (find elsewhere and cite properly or develop from ethical principles) and communicate guidelines for faculty use of the work of others without ascription. The audience for these would be faculty so that they might avoid modeling behavior which seems inconsistent with the standards to which we hold students, our students so that they learn to discriminate when consistency is desirable and reuse of materials appropriate, and the UNO judicial bodies so that there are guidelines they could use in considering individual cases. President Sollars agreed that the committee should address this. C. Committee on Professional Development: Senator Noble reported that Linda Mannering, Director, Institutional Research, will forward the file of the results of the "UCLA Survey" to him. The committee will consider the results after the Faculty Senate Retreat in August.
V. Non-Senate Committee Reports
A. A cademic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported the AFCON meeting was held June 14, 2008. President Comer called the members' attention to the issues of Loyalty Oaths that are still used in some school districts, and the issue of Religion and Academic Freedom. There was brief discussion. Tom Black announced the deadlines for the AFCON Newsletter, The Sentinel. Policy Coordinator David Moshman related an ongoing issue in Lincoln regarding the place of the Director of Lincoln Public Libraries in the hierarchy of accountability, and in the process of hiring and firing that position. In recent negotiations, it has been determined that the power of the Mayor to fire this position must be mitigated by the power of the Library Board. There was much discussion about the matter of archiving AFCON materials with the State Historical Society. Linda Parker distributed several check lists of what we might want to archive and what we might put in what order. Linda will continue drawing up plans for the archive process. The Hazelwood Decision generated considerable discussion, and it was suggested this, and the status of it now, be a topic for the Annual Meeting in Lincoln in November.
VI. Old Business
    A. Continued Planning for Senate Retreat
    1. Goals: President Sollars distributed a list of the goals/priorities she had received from the EC & C members. She asked that all look it over and narrow/consolidate the list and/or suggest which committees each would be appropriately assigned. She asked for all replies by July 23, 2008.
    B. Room Assignment: Senator Sollars announced that the full Faculty Senate meetings would be held in the Chancellor's Room. C. Future Full Senate Agendas: Senator Sollars requested that the Chairs write a long report for the written agenda, but make a shorter, bulleted report for a power point agenda.D. Those invited to the Faculty Senate Retreat (with possible topics) will be:
    1. John Christensen, Chancellor (UNO's Upcoming 100th Anniversary) b. Bill Conley, Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance (Budget and, perhaps, UNO Construction) 2. Terry Hynes, Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs (Her goals/vision for UNO, and how enrollment might effect these) 5. Introduce
    a. Ivory Bobb, Jr, President of Staff Advisory Council b. Lucas Seiler, President/Student Regent of Student Government
E. Retreat Schedule is still being decided.
VII. New Business
    A. Resignation Request from George Morcous Senator Morcous writes on 6/23/08: My class schedule this Fall includes teaching every Monday and Wednesday from 12:00 - 1:15 and from 3:00 - 4:15. This will make it difficult on me to attend Senate/Committee meetings. I do not know my class schedule next semester. It has never been the same. So, I would request permanent replacement. The Executive Committee agreed that President Sollars will speak with Senator Morcous regarding the commitment made, when elected to the Senate, for a 2-3-year term as a Senator when accepting the process of nomination. The expectation is that Senators will arrange their class schedules around Senate meetings after making the commitment by acceptance of the Senate appointment. Both Chairs and Deans are familiar with this process and will arrange class schedules to accommodate a faculty member's Senate obligation. She will also offer to contact his Chair and/or Dean if they are not accommodating this commitment. If necessary, a vote will be taken in August.
VIII. The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.