2008-2009 Faculty Senate
Excused: Chundi, Lamsam, Mitchell, Tarry
Absent: Tixier Y Vigi
I. The meeting was called to order at 2:22 p.m.
II. The August 20, 2008 minutes were approved as submitted.
III. Officers' Reports
A. President's Report: Senator Sollars reported
1. The Chancellor's Council met August 28, 2008. Lucas Seiler presented Student Government's plan to present UNO with a Centennial Project gift of a Maverick statue to be placed on campus. Artists' renderings will be obtained within the next few weeks. A crisis preparedness video called "Shots Fired" will be shown throughout the campus. The Emergency Preparedness Committee was asked to provide information about what would happen in the case of a violent attack on the UNO campus. It is difficult to detail response standards for each floor of each building. One of the videos is set on a college campus and plans are to use this video for students. This may also be the more appropriate video for use with faculty. Reserved funds (approx. 8 million) have been obtained to remodel Roskens Hall. Many Elsevier journals and their online access have been cut resulting in a savings of $150,000 per year. The library will provide interlibrary loan for access to articles in those journals. Elsevier has consistently raised prices and not included online access to articles even when the library subscribes to the hard copy of the journal. Other Universities are also dropping the use of Elsevier journals. Centennial events have been announced for October 8-12. Note that some of the events require advance notification of attendance and some have a fee to attend. The Ward Connerly "American Civil Rights Institute" backed petition to end affirmative action had 136,000 signatures, more than the 112,000 needed to be placed on the ballot. UNO will continue to monitor the potential outcome of the passage of this initiative.
2. The Board of Regents met September 5, 2008. The Regents voted to increase salaries of the UN System President and each of the four Chancellors to levels approaching the median of Board-selected Peer Institutions for each campus. The salary increases will occur over a 2-year period and come from University Foundation discretionary money. The percentage increases were from 7% (Christensen) to 19% (Maurer, UNMC). The Regents expressed the need for them to also look at faculty salary equity and provided each Faculty Senate President a copy of the August 2008 report from the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (report may be obtained at: www.mhec.org). All campuses reported undergraduate student enrollments as up from the 2007-2008 academic year. UNO had the highest increase of any campus in first-time freshman enrollment at 8.2%. Graduate student numbers were up by 2.2%. The overall increase for UNO was 0.4%. The total number of undergraduate admissions was down by 4 students, new freshman were up by 138 and graduate students by 61. Total enrollments were 14,213, up from 14,156 last year. A contract was agreed upon with Oracle and CedarCrestone for the new SIS system. The system will be used by all UN System campuses and by the Nebraska State College System. First-year costs will be $29.8 million ($18.1 million is from State appropriation). Ongoing annual maintenance will be $2.5 million. Implementation is projected to occur in August 2010.
B. Treasurer's Report: Senator M. Bacon submitted the August 2008 Budget Report and explained how the budget sheet should be read.
C. Parliamentarian's Report: Dr. Adkins gave a few suggestions to make meetings go smoother and quicker. Senators should review the minutes, agenda, etc., prior to coming to the meeting. As everything is printed, it is not necessary to have entire reports read aloud at the meeting. He noted that it is not necessary to conduct debate on issues unless there is a lack of consensus. There are times when it is appropriate to just approve a motion and move on with business.
IV. Executive Committee Report:
Senator Boucher reported the Executive Committee and Cabinet reviewed statistics for the Thompson Learning Community:
New this Fall: 79 Students
- 68 are first-time freshman
- 5 sophomores
- 4 juniors
- 1 senior
- 29 students are from Underrepresented populations (37%)
- 49 students are First Generation College Students (63%)
- Asian/Pacific Islander - 2;
- African American/Black - 15;
- Hispanic - 9;
- Indian/Alaskan - 1;
- Unknown - 2;
- White - 49
- Female - 44;
- Male - 34
- Arts and Sciences - 21;
- Business Administration - 19;
- Public Affairs and Community Service - 4;
- Communication, Fine Arts, and Media - 3;
- Education 3;
- Engineering (UNL) - 5;
- Information Science and Technology - 3;
- University Division - 20
- 19 & below - 13;
- 20-23 - 23;
- 24-28 - 29;
- 29 & above - 3
- On Campus - 30;
- Off Campus - 48
V. Standing Committee Reports
A. Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Gershovich reported the committee met for the first time this year on Wednesday, August 27. Present: John Bartle, Moshe Gershovich, Carson Holloway, Charles Johanningsmeier, Carol Mitchell. Absent: Thomas Sires (new member of the faculty Senate and the committee, substituting for Senator George Morcous during F08).The meeting was devoted to a discussion of the revised proposal for an new B.S. in IT Innovation, submitted on August 19, 2008 by the College of Information Science and Technology. The original proposal, which had been submitted to the A&CA committee in late Spring 08, raised some profound questions which were articulated, during the summer, to Dr. Jerry Wagner, the initiator of the proposed B.S. Unfortunately, the revised draft of the proposal does not appear to have fully addressed those concerns. The committee decided therefore to invite Dr. Wagner, as well as a representative of the IS&T college (Dean Hesham Ali, or Associate Dean Deepak Khazanchi) for our meeting in September to further explore the matter.
- Blackboard upgrade: Senator Ritzman indicated that the Grade Center in the new release of Blackboard was very slow and asked if there were plans to make it possible to save all grades at one time rather than save each grade individually. Lanyce Keel said she was aware the new release was slow and that she would look into what might be done. There is no plan to be able to save all grades at one time. On August 29, 2008, a fix to speed up the system was completed. Using Firefox version 2 was also encouraged.
- Email alternatives: Senator Kercher asked if there were any possibility that email systems other than Lotus Notes might be possible. John Fiene explained that Lotus Notes was selected by Central Administration. The committee will draft a resolution requesting that alternative email systems be examined.
- Safe Assign: Lanyce Keel provided a report of the Safe Assign Pilot Project. The pilot is going to be extended for 2008-2009 academic year because there are still some issues that have not been resolved.
- Automated Test Scanning: Faculty members may drop off tests for scanning and the results will appear in faculty ebruno. Faculty will have to print or send emails to students. ITS will no longer print test results.
- SIS: John Fiene indicated that a decision on a vendor for the new Student Information System would be made by the Board of Regents on September 5th. Implementation will take about 2 years. Committee members inquired as to whether existing data will be ported to the new system. There was also a discussion of how to engage faculty in the implementation process. Senator Boucher asked about the possibility of an electronic wait list for students trying to get into filled classes. This is currently available to CBA students but it was suggested that the new SIS system should have this feature so it might be best to wait until that is available.
- MAC users: The committee express concern that not all applications are tested for MAC and that MAC users often have problems. John Fiene states that about one-fourth of ITS employees are MAC users and they try their best to test new applications.
C. Committee on Rules: Senator Miller reported the committee met August 27, 2008. Those present were: Present: N. Bacon, Bernstein, Chundi, Holley, Mitenko and Miller. Members of the Rules Committee discussed current committee openings on the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, the Faculty Grievance Committee, the Professional Conduct Committee, the Library and Learning Resources Committee and the Technology Resources and Services Committee. Data from the spring recruitment survey was used to select possible volunteers and committee members agreed on contact procedures. Senator Miller will move the following resolutions for the committee, all of which passed:
1. Resolution 2922,9/10/08: Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee Nominees (ballots sent to all full time faculty, results to be reported10/2008)
BE IT RESOLVED, that in accordance with section 6.1 of the Faculty Senate Bylaws the following nominees for the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee are brought forward by the Rules Committee for senate nomination. The ballot will be presented to the UNO faculty. Two tenured faculty members will be elected from the following four nominees to serve three-year terms from October 16, 2008, through October 15, 2011, to replace John Noble and Carey Ryan, whose terms are expiring:
- James Shaw (tenured)
- Robert Smith (tenured)
- Juliette Parnell (tenured)
- Jayaram Betanabhatla (tenured).
2. Resolution 2923, 9/10/08: UNO Faculty Grievance Committee
BE IT RESOLVED, that in accordance with the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Bylaws, section 6.1, Faculty Grievance Committee, the following faculty members are brought forward by the Rules Committee for ballot election by the senate.
Two Associate Professors will be elected from the following four nominees to replace Chris Marshall and Victor Winter, for a three-year term from September 16, 2008, through September 15, 2011:
- Franklin Thompson, (Associate Professor)
- Maria Villamil, (Associate Professor) ELECTED
- Janice Rech, (Associate Professor) ELECTED
- Matthew Harden, (Associate Professor).
One member of the Faculty Senate Faculty Personnel and Welfare committee will be elected from the following two nominees to replace Jack Heidel as the Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee representative for a one-year term from September 16, 2008, through September 15, 2009:
- Karen Dwyer ELECTED
- Jay White.
3. Resolution 2924, 9/10/08: UNO Professional Conduct Committee
BE IT RESOLVED, that one representative must be elected by ballot vote to serve a three-year term from September 16, 2008, through September 15, 2011, to replace outgoing member Bob Nash. In accordance with Section 1.1 of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Professional Conduct Committee's Rules and Procedures, the following two nominees (all tenured faculty ranked assistant professor or above) are brought forward by the Committee on Rules for ballot election by the full senate as follows:
- Joe Bertinetti ELECTED
- Joyce Neujahr.
The newly elected representative will also serve as alternate for three- years from September 16, 2011, through September 15, 2014.
Bob Nash will continue serving as an alternate (replacing Kathleen Danielson) for three-years, from September 16, 2008, through September 15, 2011, per Resolution R2803.
4. Resolution 2925, 9/10/08: Library and Learning Resources Committee
BE IT RESOLVED, that the following names go forward to complete terms on the Library and Learning Resources Committee:
- James Hagen (to complete Jeanne Harrington term: 8/1/06-7/31/09)
- ____tba________ (to complete Karen Hein's term: 8/1/07-7/31/10).
5. Resolution 2926, 9/10/08: Technology Resources and Services Committee
BE IT RESOLVED, that the following names go forward to complete terms on the Technology Resources and Services Committee:
- Donald Rowen (to complete John Reidelbach's term: 8/1/06-7/31/09)
- Joyce Neujahr (to complete Karen Hein's term: 8/1/07-7/31/10).
The committee also discussed the designated senate issue: "University Committees need to MEET". The committee agreed to make contact with 15 university committees this fall. Rules committee members will share the following information when they make their contact: (1) Verify the name of the chairperson and thank them for their service. (2) Ask if they have a current membership list for their committee or explain how to find that list. (3) Encourage them to contact committee members and schedule regular meetings. Committee contact assignments were agreed upon and should be completed by September 24th.
VI. Non-Senate Committee Reports
A. American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator N. Bacon reported this is a bargaining year. In meetings throughout the fall semester, the AAUP bargaining team led by Professor Bill Pratt will negotiate a contract to cover the period from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011. A survey is being distributed to all members of the bargaining unit (all full-time faculty) to help set bargaining priorities. Please complete the survey by September 19, and urge your colleagues to complete the survey as well. The AAUP continues to encourage all members of the bargaining unit to join the union. The larger our membership, the stronger our voice as we negotiate salaries and working conditions.
B. Graduate Council: Senator Laquer reported the Graduate Council met 2008 Sept 08. Dr. Terry Hynes, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs was introduced, and thanked us for our service in spite of tight resources. She encouraged us to continue to challenge our students at every stage of their education. Quality education leads to a competitive advantage for the graduate. She is involved in attempting to find the additional resources needed. She / the University has not been able to attract the resources from the state that would be consonant with the quality of education here at UNO. She has contacts, and there are donors who know our reputation for quality. Dr. Harmon Maher, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activity, spoke about a forthcoming requirement for federal research funding. Faculty will need to complete an on-line training course on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The rules are pending. UNMC is requiring this training of their entire faculty this year. UNL faculty participation is voluntary this year, but will be required in the future. Shelton Hendricks (with his background in both ethics and research) is working on the first draft of the UNO policy. It is anticipated that the training will be minimal, amounting to three hours on-line. UNMC only requires four modules. The RCR module is part of a larger program from CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, citiprogram.org). In addition to the individual conflict of interest policy, there is also an Institutional conflict of interest policy that is to be developed. Deborah Smith-Howell, Graduate Dean reported that the Graduate Studies website is now updated. The intent is that a graduate catalog will be able to be generated from a snapshot of the website. She distributed a list of new graduate faculty, a list of scholarships, a master list of graduate programs, a list of new graduate courses approved in 2007-08, and a list of graduate programs, certificates, and concentrations from 2007-08. This summer she advertised for two graduate assistant positions for her office and had sixty applicants for each position, 2/3 of whom were outstanding. The Dean will have some funds to distribute to graduate programs to advertise their graduate programs as was done last fall. Notification of the application process is pending. The only report she wants is a copy of the product.
C. Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Senator Anderson reported the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met on August 27, 2008. The committee discussion focused on the goals and objectives with particular emphasis on Goal 3 which requires some work by rewriting the language and spending more time reviewing and developing objectives. Here is the link to the Strategic Framework: http://www.unomaha.edu/plan/resources.php where the goals and objectives can be viewed.
- Goal 1: UNO will be recognized as a student-centered metropolitan university. As we strive to achieve our vision, students are always UNO's key constituency. UNO commits to build and serve a diverse student body reflecting a dynamic metropolitan environment. (Sub-goals and objectives listed).
- Goals 2: UNO will be recognized for its academic excellence as a metropolitan university. UNO strives for academic excellence by focusing on teaching, learning and scholarship consistent with its metropolitan mission. Excellence is demonstrated in programs and areas of distinction, high quality undergraduate programs and strong graduate research/professional programs. (Sub-goals and objectives listed).
- Goal 3: UNO will be recognized for its outstanding engagement with the urban, regional, national, and global communities. (Objectives listed). UNO promotes partnerships that transform and improve urban, regional, national and global life. UNO supports dynamic and reciprocal relationships with constituents. Knowledge can be shared; accessible resources applied; and energies can be extended to continuously address contemporary issues. UNO will
- Objective 1: Increase its response to the needs, interests, and differences inherent in the diverse community it serves.
- Objective 2: Increase its capacity to meet the continuing educational, training, enrichment, and service needs of its varied constituencies.
- Objective 3: Expand its partnerships that meet the educational, training, enrichment, and service needs of the community.
- Objective 4: Increase the professional and community service provided by its faculty, staff, and students.
- Objective 5: Increase its recognition of the involvement and contributions of alumni and community partners to UNO's academic enterprise.
- Objective 6: Increase its students' educational and developmental experiences.
VII. New Business:
The Educational Resources and Services Committee was asked to look into synchronizing clocks on campus and to see why all the bells in the bell tower aren't chiming.
VIII. The meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.