SKIP navigation
Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2008-2009 Faculty Senate

Minutes


Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 2 p.m., Alumni Center

Members:    M. Bacon, N. Bacon, Bartle, Boyer, Chundi, D'Souza, Dwyer, Elder, Erickson, Gershovich, Haworth, Holley, Johanningsmeier, Kercher, Lamsam,  Laquer, Marx, Mei, Miller, Mitchell, Morcous,  Noble, O'Connell, Paterson, Proulx, Reames, Sollars, Tisko, Tixier Y Vigil, Wileman

Excused:      Anderson, Bernstein, Boucher, Huq, White

Absent:        Lin, Ritzman


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

II.        The February 2009 minutes were approved.

III.       President Sollars asked Senator Reames to say a few words about the recently deceased faculty member from the History Department, Dr. June Meacham.  After a moment of silence, the rules of order were suspended, without objection, so that the following resolution could be considered.  Senator M. Bacon moved the following resolution for the Executive Committee.  The resolution passed.

            Resolution 2957, 3/11/09: Condolence for Dr. June L. Mecham (History)

Whereas  the late Dr. June Mecham was a highly valued member of the Department of History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, recognized for her outstanding teaching and research, and

Whereas Dr. Mecham will be sorely missed both by the faculty of the University of Nebraska and by her loving family,

Therefore Be It Resolved that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha expresses it heartfelt condolences to Dr. Mecham's husband Gary Mecham, Jr., to her daughter Evelyn Mecham, to her mother Sheryl Mueller, and to the rest of her family, friends and colleagues.

III.     Officers' Reports

A.     President's Report:  Senator Sollars reported

1.      Executive Committee and Administration (EC&Admin.) Meeting:  (February 18, 2009).  Chancellor Christensen was not able to be in attendance.

Senior Vice Chancellor Hynes said that there was as yet nothing specific on the budget but that all indications were that it would be a lean year. Difficult decisions under severe time restraints will have to be made. President Milliken must present a budget to the Legislature Appropriations Committee in mid-March.            

The Chancellor would like some consistent accounting for Senate resolution sent to his office. Senator Sollars announced that a table would be ongoing on the Senate website identifying the administration's response or non-response to resolutions. Vice Chancellor Hynes said she did not understand the resolutions process. She perceives them as a start of a policy formation process. Senator Sollars said that there has generally been a response to resolutions and planned to request that the Chancellor provide a written response after resolutions are submitted to him. [After the meeting, the Chancellor agreed about providing written responses (see below for responses)].   

Vice Chancellor Hynes and Conley suggested that the "green" resolutions passed on February 11 contained offensive language and no details, especially on the substantial costs of the resolved actions. Senator Sollars countered that the Sustainability Task Force had been consulted. Vice Chancellor Conley responded that the whole Task Force should have been consulted, not just a few members. Senior Vice Chancellor Hynes said that resolutions without detailed cost estimates were not shared governance. She further observed she did not know where the resolutions fit on current policy priorities. Nancy Castilow suggested that the Sustainability Task Force might be the body to which the resolutions should be addressed. Associate Vice Chancellor Robinson complained that these resolutions would end up on the Senate's list of unacted upon resolutions. Senator Bacon suggested that the least the Administration could do would be to agree in principle with the resolutions.

On Resolution 2897 (Civil Leave) questions have been addressed to the General Counsel's office. In time, policy will be adopted.

Again, Senior Vice Chancellor Hynes asked what the best process for responding to resolutions might be, especially without cost benefit analyses. Senator Noble said some of the requested information may already be in the Administration's possession. Senator Elder, responding to the Senior Vice Chancellor's repeated complaint about language, said that the Senate's resolutions point to the direction in which the faculty wishes to proceed. The Senior Vice Chancellor stressed that these resolutions were presented as a fait accompli, not as a point of departure for discussion and shared governance. Senator Sollars closed the discussion by defending that resolutions are more than just statements of principle; usually the Faculty Senate Standing Committees research the topic for months before drafting a resolution. She emphasized that resolutions emanate from faculty concerns and interests and define recommendations and a point of discussion with the administration.

Res#

Date

Title

Admin Accepted

Sent for Senate Action

Denied

Deferred

In Progress

Final Action/Resolved

2956

2/11/09

UCRCA appointees

X

       

Appts Made

2955

2/11/09

EPACS appointees

X

       

Appts Made

2954

2/11/09

Regarding the Position of a Sustainability Director

       

X[1]

 

2947

2/11/09

Support for Bike Lane

X

X.

     

Senate Sent Letter  2

2944

1/14/09

UCRCA Funding

     

X 3

   

[1] (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 2/20/09: Acknowledge receipt.  The Administration shares the Faculty Senate=s goal of advancing sustainability at UNO, however, many factors must be considered to achieve this goal.  Faculty Senate is requested to provide supporting documentation re: costs/benefits, etc. developed in preparing these resolutions.  Vice Chancellor Conley will continue to work with the Sustainability Task Force to prioritize initiatives and actions.)

2 (Admin sent back for Senate to send letter.) (On 2/12/09 Senate sent a letter to Mr. Todd Pfitzer, Traffic Engineer, City of Omaha w/resolution)

3 (From the EC & Admin Mtg 1/21/09: The Chancellor supports the concept in Resolution 2944 on funding an UCRCA budget line but opined we wouldn=t get it during the years of budgetary problems.)

2.      Chancellor's Council:  (February 26, 2009).

The final budget numbers are still uncertain.  There is a possibility of a 1.5% instead of 1% budget increase per year. The 0.5% addition equals approximately $2.8 million. The potential faculty raises and staff raises could total approximately 5 million.  The current "guess" is that there will be a $19 million shortfall for 2009-2010. There is no certainty about those figures at this point.

Undergraduate applications are up by almost 1000 students and admissions up by 720 students as comparable to the same time last year; freshman applications up by 16.3% (640) and transfer student applications up 62% (313) over this time last year. The total number (4567) of freshman applications at this time (Feb 25) is nearly equivalent to the total number of applications received last year at the close of the application period (August 1, 2008). Since the rate of enrollments averages approximately 50-60% of the admissions, it is expected that there will be 300-400 more students enrolled next year as compared to last year.  Metropolitan Advantage Program student applications are currently equivalent to last year's numbers. Graduate applications are up (approx. 80 students), but admissions are down slightly.

There is a new organizational chart for processing all components of SIS and people are in place for their assignments. Some ‘add-on' modules (e.g. degree audit processing) are needed in addition to the original software package purchased. Some of these add-ons are campus-specific, since the original "one size fits all" model for the system does not match with campus differences (e.g. applications).  There will likely be additional costs for these modules. The SIS budget is currently $11 Million over budget.  In a post meeting follow-up, Assoc. V.C.  John Fiene explained, "The SIS project is currently slightly under the budget as planned at this point in time.  The project was funded for the first year by the legislature - $20M out of a total project budget of $30M+.  So the project was not fully funded by the legislature and there is a pending deficit request in the legislature for the remaining funding to complete the project budget."

3.      The Faculty Senate/SAC Dinner will be held on April 28, 2009, 6 p.m., MBSC.

4.      Written Acknowledgement of Resolutions:

Received from Nancy Castilow, Assistant to the Chancellor, on 2/20/09:  The Chancellor apologizes for not being at Wednesday's meeting; he was at Foundation outreach out of state.  He did want me to share that he believes the suggestion from the Executive Committee to provide a written response to resolutions is a good one and intends to provide this for future resolutions.  He asked that I convey his responses to the resolutions on the table from our last [EC & Admin] meeting:

Res. 2945:  Faculty Senate Recognition of Good Works -- Accepted

Res. 2946:  Working on a Habitat for Humanity Project -- Accepted

Res. 2947:  Support for Bike Lane -- acknowledged for the purpose of information.  Administration will not be taking action, however, the Faculty Senate may choose to forward to appropriate civic entity.

Res. 2948- 2954:  (Acknowledge receipt.  The Administration shares the Faculty Senate's goal of advancing sustainability at UNO, however, many factors must be considered to achieve this goal.  Faculty Senate is requested to provide supporting documentation re: costs/benefits, etc. developed in preparing these resolutions. Vice Chancellor Conley will continue to work with the Sustainability Task Force to prioritize initiatives and actions.

Res. 2955: EPACS representation.  Accepted

Resolution 2956:  UCRCA representation.  Accepted.

Follow-up on previous resolutions:

Res. 2897:  Policy on Student Leave.  Issue was referred to University Legal Counsel by administration.  Discussion revealed incongruence of language relating to definition of civil leave between senate resolution and federal statute. Recommended initial action: Bring resolution language into compliance with statute language defining civil leave.

Resolution 2930:  Park-and Ride System.  Acknowledge receipt and forward to Vice Chancellor Conley for additional review and implementation as feasible.

Resolution 2931:  Shots Fired Video.  Acknowledge receipt of resolution and list of faculty educators to Assoc. VC Wade Robinson.  Robinson reports that presentations to large campus groups is essentially completed with no further presentations scheduled. No additional action required.

Res. 2932:  Time Capsule.  Acknowledge receipt of resolution with recommendation that funding for project be discussed with Centennial Committee.  No further action by administration required.

Res. 2937:  Create a Team to Implement a Common Course Evaluation.  Acknowledged and referred to Vice Chancellor Hynes for review.  VC Hynes acknowledges receipt of final report; review in process.

5.      In the spirit of increasing effective communication with the Administration, President Sollars encouraged the members of the Senate to make every effort to include relevant wording from the Board of Regents bylaws and/or the Faculty Senate Constitution/Bylaws applicable to the resolution.

Sections from UNO Faculty Senate Constitution and Board of Regents Bylaws

THE CONSTITUTION of the FACULTY SENATE of the UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA at OMAHA

PREAMBLE

We, the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO),

In order to provide for a free dialogue between the faculty and the administration, and

In order to establish a means whereby matters of faculty interest and concern may be presented to the administration and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, and

In order to formulate policies and procedures which are of university interest and concern, and

In order to provide a responsible and representative faculty voice in the recommendation of these policies,

Do hereby present this constitution through the chancellor to the president and the board of regents for ratification, establishing and providing for the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha to represent the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, hereafter called "the university," in these matters.

ARTICLE I. RESPONSIBILITY

The faculty of the university, hereafter referred to as "the faculty," has significant responsibilities in matters relating to formulation of university policies. To provide for the discharge of these responsibilities delegated to the faculty by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, hereafter referred to as "the board," the faculty designates the senate to serve as its representative agency. The senate shall be guided in its deliberations by the established policies of the board, the interpretation of these policies by the chancellor of the university, the expressed interests of a responsible and professional faculty, and the ideals of academic freedom and shared governance.

BYLAWS OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS

2.12.1 Responsibilities of Faculty Governing Agencies. Each agency shall have the following general responsibilities:

(a)  Adopt its rules of procedure, which are subject to Board approval after public hearing by the Board

(b) Act as the official voice of the faculty of which it is composed;

(c) Act on academic matters that affect more than one college;

(d) Advise and consult with student, staff, and administrative groups on matters of general concern, which include, but are not necessarily limited to, the budget, institutional planning, library and computer operation, student academic conduct in the classroom, and the selection of academic administrative personnel;

(e) Consider business specifically delegated to it by the Chancellor;

(f) Recommend candidates for honorary degrees; and

(g) Provide for the protection of academic freedom by adopting rules and regulations for consideration by the Board as provided in Paragraph 1.2 of these Bylaws:

(1) Establish a code of academic rights and responsibilities, provided that such code shall not conflict with Chapter IV of these Bylaws;

(2) Establish suggested penalties and sanctions for failure to adhere to the standards contained in such code; and

(3) Establish a governmental structure and a system of procedure for handling alleged failure to adhere to the standards contained in such code, provided that nothing shall conflict with anything contained in these Bylaws.

B.     Treasurer's Report:  Senator Bacon submitted the February 2009 budget report.

1.  Budget Task Force Report:  Senator M. Bacon reported they are trying to identify ways to cut expenses.  They did very little on increasing revenues.  Suggestions were grouped and prioritized.  There is no date for the next meeting.  The next Budget Forum is scheduled for March 26, 2009.

IV.       Executive Committee Report:  Senator M. Bacon moved the following resolution for the Executive Committee. 

            A.   Resolution 2958, 3/11/09:  Shared Governance

WHEREAS, the mission of the University of Nebraska at Omaha moves forward in tandem with the visionary strength of its administration, faculty, staff and students; and

WHEREAS, shared governance is a cornerstone of an enlightened University;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate at the University of Nebraska at Omaha expresses its appreciation to the Board of Regents, President Milliken and Chancellor Christensen for their continuing commitment to the principle of shared governance of which the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha is the equal and fully committed partner.

FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate acknowledges the commendation of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate expresses its appreciation for the considerable, ongoing work of the 2008-2009 Faculty Senate in its productivity, demonstrating its continuing striking commitment and dedication to the founding principles of the University of Nebraska, the Bylaws of the Board of Regents and the Constitution of the Faculty Senate at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Senator Holley moved, seconded by Senator Dwyer, to insert the words Faculty Senate acknowledges the commendation after the words "that the" and strikes the words expresses its appreciation after the word "Senate" in the fourth paragraph.  The amendment passed.  The resolution, as amended, passed. 

VI.     Standing Committee Reports

A.     Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Gershovich reported the committee met on Wednesday, February 25, 2009.  Present:  John Bartle, Moshe Gershovich (Chair), Charles Johanningsmeier, Carol Mitchell. Excused: George Morcous, Jeanne Reames.  Guests:  Kenneth Deffenbacher (Chairperson, Department of Psychology), William Tapprich (Chairperson, Department of Biology).

1.      The meeting was devoted to a discussion about the proposal for a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Neuroscience at UNO.  The proposal was submitted jointly by the Department of Biology and the Department of Psychology on behalf of the College of Arts and Sciences.  The chairpersons of these two departments emphasized the need for and timeliness of the proposed BS for which there is currently no equivalence in Nebraska or nearby states.  The interdisciplinary nature of the proposed degree, which also involves faculty members from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, will provide students with post-graduate and professional employment opportunities in various bio-medical fields.

Senator Gershovich moved the following resolution for the committee.  The resolution passed.

Resolution 2959, 3/11/09:  BS in Neuroscience in College of Arts & Sciences

WHEREAS, the Faculty have a preeminent responsibility for academic and curricular validity at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; and,

WHEREAS, the formation of innovative new degree programs adds to the success of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's missions of being student-focused, providing research opportunities across disciplinary boundaries, and deepening links with the community; and,

WHEREAS, the Departments of Biology and Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with members of the faculty of the University of Nebraska Medical Center have initiated the creation of a new Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience, which is designed to recruit students seeking new interdisciplinary opportunities, and

WHEREAS, the proposed degree would not duplicate any currently available program in the University of Nebraska system and would be unique among degree programs in the nation, 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha strongly endorses the creation of the proposed BS in Neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences.

2.      The A&CA Committee also discussed a request by the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice to change the names of the four BS degrees currently offered from "Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice" to "Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice."  Senator Bartle explained that potential applicants to these programs may be deterred from applying since they erroneously think they may be limited to Criminal Justice (which focuses on administrative and systemic aspects of law enforcement) rather than to Criminology (which studies the causes for criminal behavior) as well.

Following this discussion, the A&CA committee adopted the following resolution proposal, which Senator Gershovich moved for the committee.  The resolution passed.

Resolution 2960, 3/11/09:  Change Name of Four Degrees Offered by School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

WHEREAS the faculty in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha request a change in the names of each of the four degrees currently offered by the school to "Criminology and Criminal Justice," and

WHEREAS this change in degree names will ensure that the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, which is one of UNO's priority programs, will be able to continue its development as one of the leading programs of its kind in the world.

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha approves of the request for changing the name of each of the four degrees offered by the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

B.      Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator Boyer reported the committee did not meet in February due to a scheduling conflict but we did interact via email.

1.  Paul Beck Scholarship -  The estimate of funds available to award for the Paul Beck Scholarship was received.  Awards for 2009-2010 will be:

Full-time UNO Undergraduate - $900
Full-time UNO Graduate - $900
Part-time UNO Undergraduate - $450
Part-time UNO Graduate - $450

Deadline for applications:  April 10

Sue Bishop will coordinate announcements.  Criteria for the scholarships is available on the Faculty Senate web site.

2.   Clocks on Campus - David Meradith, Chief Engineer, was contacted on February 23, 2009.  He provided the following information:

Clocks on campus are of three types:

a)   Battery Operated – Batteries are checked every summer.  If a clock stops, it should be reported to Facilities 4-3600 and they will replace the battery.

b)  Electric – If the time is incorrect, call Facilities 4-3600

c)  Atomic Clocks – More of these are being purchased but they cannot be placed everywhere because the signals cannot reach every location.  When they are installed, Facilities checks back in 12 hours.  If the clock has the correct time, the signal is working.  If not, they replace the clock with a Battery Operated or Electric Clock.

Daylight Savings Time – Facilities changes the time on battery operated and electric clocks.  Atomic clocks should change time automatically much like cell phones.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to call Facilities when clocks are not working properly.

3.  We had invited a representative from International Programs to talk to the committee about International Programs activities.  Due to scheduling conflicts, we will delay this until the Fall semester.

4.   Dr. Jim Carroll will attend our meeting next month.  He is on the SIS implementation team.

C. Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Elder reported the committee met February 25th.  John Erickson, Meredith Bacon, Griff Elder and Patrice Proulx were present.  Karen Dwyer and Jay White had excused absences.  Additionally, we had invited faculty members Graham Mitenko, Michael O'Hara and Janet West, along with Director of University-wide Benefits, Keith Dietze, to join us.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss two related issues: Insurance costs for retired/disabled faculty and long term disability insurance. The Committee is currently collecting more information and will provide a more in-depth report next month.

D.    Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Paterson reported the meeting was held February 25, 2009.  In attendance:  Senators D'Souza, Huq, Marx, O'Connell, and Paterson (Chair).  Guest:  Joe Kaminski, Director of UNO Campus Recreation;  Suzanne Sollars, UNO Faculty Senate President.

The Committee's guest for the first part of the meeting was Joe Kaminski,  the Director of Campus Recreation.  The Committee invited Joe so that we might discuss the developments of the HPER Expansion and Renovation and the impact of the project on UNO faculty.  Topics discussed included:  (1) the increased cost for faculty and whether it might become prohibitive for faculty use, especially faculty and spouse;  (2) the costs for students;  (3) promoting health but charging high costs for activity;  (4) the bond issued for the project;  (5) whether other campus projects can/will be financed by bond issuance;  and (6) the cancellation of the parking structure due to costs, and the subsequent decrease in parking space on the west side of campus.

Discussion was lively and informative, and the Committee thanked Joe for meeting with us.  Because some of the informating sought by the committee involves UNO policy, and because Joe was not in a position to speak on those matters, the Committee determined to invite Assoc. Vice-Chancellor Wade Robinson to the next meeting.  [Due to Wade's not be available on March 25th, he has been invited to join us for April 29th, and has accepted.]

The Committee then welcomed Suzanne Sollars, UNO Faculty Senate President, to discuss communication with the UNO administration about the Greening resolutions. Topics discussed included:  (1) the language of the resolutions;  (2) communication between faculty and administration;  (3) the priority of Green issues in the administration; and, (3) possible ways to make the resolutions passed by the senate even more effective.

Discussion was animated.  Several ideas were pursued and will be discussed at the March meeting.

E.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator  Lamsam reported the meeting was held February 26, 2009. 

Research Climate Survey from 07-08:

We spent the entire meeting discussing the results of this survey.  We talked about the specific results as well as how to best disseminate the information and exactly which details to present.

1.   Some initial data analysis reveals the following:

  • 48.6% of the respondents perceive that UNO provides "less" or "substantially" less for travel funding than their peers at other universities.
  • 63.3% of the respondents indicated that they would submit more conference papers if more travel funds were available
    • 84.4% of "minority" faculty would travel more with more travel funds, compared to 60% of "non-minority" (statistically significant difference based on Chi square analysis).
    • 28% of "minority" faculty are spending $1,000 or more per year of their own money on travel, compared to 11.5% of "non-minority" faculty spending the same amount (statistically significant difference based on Chi square analysis)
  • To the question asking, "If you could, would you do more research?", 74.6% of respondents answered "yes"
    • For those neither tenured, nor tenure-track (e.g., instructors), 67% answered "yes"
    • For those tenure-track (not yet tenured), 82% answered "yes"
    • For those tenured, 74% answered "yes"
  • The top 3 perceived barriers to increasing research productivity included:
    • Assigned time (indicated by 74.6%)
    • Campus funding (indicated by 53.1%)
    • External funding (indicated by 42.3%)
  • Perceived assigned workload
    • 45.2% of the faculty perceived that the ratio for research/creative activity was somewhere between 35% and 50% of the workload.
    • 51.0% of the faculty perceived that the ratio for teaching was somewhere between 35% and 50% of the workload
    • 51.5% of the faculty perceived that the ratio for service was somewhere between 10% and 20% of the workload
  • To the question asking if the above workloads were officially stated, 4.3% stated "yes" and 85.6% stated "no"

Senators Present: Noble, Tisko, Lamsam. 

Senators Absent: Mei,  Haworth,  Tixier y Vigil

F.      Committee on Rules:  Senator Miller reported the committee met February 25, 2009.  Those present:  Bacon, Chundi, Holley, Lin, Miller.  Excused: Bernstein.

1.   The committee discussed concerns regarding the 2/09 UCRCA appointment.  Senator Lin agreed to contact his colleague on sabbatical to determine if that individual is interested in continued service on UCRCA and he will report his findings at our March meeting.

2.   The printed spring recruitment survey is scheduled to be mailed on March 4 and an email version sent on March 25.  During the Feb. Rules meeting a concern was raised about external faculty members not receiving past spring recruitment surveys.  The Rules chair researched this issue and all full time faculty members will be included in the spring 2009 mailings.  Any additional action on this issue was tabled until the March Rules meeting. 

3.   The committee agreed upon wording for a letter that will be sent to incoming senators by 2/27/09.  This letter welcomes the recipients to the senate and urges them to respond by mid March with committee preferences.  The Rules committee will assign senators to standing committees at our March 25 meeting.

4.   Rules Committee members discussed our ongoing efforts to contact university committee chairs.  Two spring contact reports are complete, three contacts have been carried over from our fall list and three spring contact are pending.

VI.      Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.     Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON):  Senator Paterson reported the meeting was held Saturday, February 14, 2009.  Opening:  Ball called the board meeting to order at 10:08.  Members introduced themselves.

Minutes:  (Buckley) The minutes were approved, following spelling corrections, upon a motion by Moshman and a second by Brooke.

Treasurer's Report (McMurtry) AFCON's treasury has a balance of $1193.83, as of Jan. 9.  The treasurer's report was filed for audit.  Dues statements for 2009 were distributed.

President's Report:  Ball said the major project this year would be providing education about and soliciting support for the introduction of the students expression bill.

It was noted here that former Pennsylvania Senator Ric Santorum will be speaking at UNL soon.  The GLBT community is upset about his views on gay/lesbian issues and, while not advocating disrupting Santorum's presentation, is making plans for numerous kinds of protests.  The group asked support from AFCON, which AFCON is not able to give except to say that all expressed views are welcome at a university.  It was also noted that UNL Professor Miles Bryant was chairing a committee (AFCON's Moshman is on it) to investigate what happened with the Ayers situation, and what should happen in the future.

Newsletter:  (Black)  The deadline for the next edition of the Sentinel is Feb. 25.  Ball requested members let Haller know if AFCON could send their newsletters by e-mail, rather than mailing print copies.

Legislative Report: (Adair)  Adair provided a brief history of efforts that have been made to pass similar student expressions bills following the U.S. Hazelwood Supreme Court decision.  Ball noted that a sponsor has been found to introduce the student expression in the next Unicameral session.

Membership Reports:

  • Ball said that ACLU Nebraska plans to support the student expression bill when it is introduced.
  • Moshman noted that the UNL Faculty Senate has appointed a committee, whose original focus was how to handle future challenges to campus speakers and has now been expanded to further examine the Bill Ayers "disinvitation" to speak at UNL.
  • Comer said the Nebraska Stat Reading Association will hold its annual conference Feb. 26-28 in Kearney.
  • Hoffman said that LEA has been successful in cyber lobbying for passage of bills.
  • Oles attended the recent National Council of Teachers of English in San Antonio.
  • Lee said that the UNL Faculty Senate is monitoring the formation of UNL's budgets and is concerned that budget cuts may be vertical.
  • Adair noted that the Unicameral has added streaming of public hearings to the live coverage of the Unicameral session.  Interested persons may go to Nebraksalegislative.com at 1:30 p.m. to see that day's agenda.
  • Brooke said that spring gathering of the Nebraska Writers Project will be Saturday, May 2 and be the 30th anniversary observance.  Afternoon activities will include a panel presentation on writing for social justice.  He suggested someone volunteer to speak on the student expression bill as part of the panel.  Brooke said that he is working on the new web page and would like to have input from members on designing pages to make them more user friendly, especially to non-AFCON members (such as students, teachers, librarians, administrators, parents, etc.)
  • Wagner said the Nebraska Center For the Book said committees are beginning to organize plans for the annual meeting and book festival to be held this fall.  AFCON generally sponsors a display at this table. 

Old Business:

Paterson has been in conversation with Leonard Kurz of the Frederick Ewen Academic Freedom Center.  Kurz said the association is interested in learning more about AFCON and would be willing to consider AFCON for a grant to increase public awareness.

A sponsor has been found for the student expression bill.  Co-sponsors and people to testify in favor of the bill are being solicited.  AFCON needs a consensus of member organizations and to discuss benefits to various groups, including students, teachers, administrators and school boards.  The Civics Education Board might be one avenue of support for the bill.  Strong support in the form of testimonials and compelling stories to state senators are needed.

A central premise here is that schools for the most part have no policy on student expression.  Therefore administrators and teachers tend to go in the direction of suppression so as to avoid the critical responses of families, groups, and communities.  If there was a state policy, in our case one that encouraged student expression, creativity, and critical thinking, then schools could refer those who complained about student newspapers, plays, or similar projects to the state law.

There was no New Business.  The next board meeting will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14 at Eiseley branch library.

B.     Academic Planning Council (APC):  Senator D'Souza reported the APC met February 23, 2009.  Site visit for the academic review School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Women's Studies are scheduled for March 9-10.  Dr. Chris Allen is the internal chair for the School of Criminology and Dr. Jeannette Seaberry is the chair for Women's Studies. This is the first academic review of Women's Studies.

Draft of the academic review report for Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis (ISQA) is expected to be ready by April, 2009 and site visit will take place in the Fall 2009.  ISQA review is done in conjunction with ABET accreditation.

Draft of the academic review report for Department of Mathematics is expected to be ready by May, 2009 and site visit is likely to be scheduled in September or October 2009.

Seven APC reviews are scheduled for 2009-2010.  Following are the tentative internal chairs and the respective programs.

Chemistry:                                                  Dr. Jeannette Seaberry
Mathematics:                                              Dr. Chris Allen
College of Business Administration:             Dr. Kath Henebry
Physics:                                                      Dr. Leah Pietron & Dr. Kath (co-chairs)
Geography/Geology:                                   Dr. Leah Pietron
Religion/Philosophy:                                    Dr. Frank Bramlett

There is a possibility of splitting Religion and Philosophy.  The CBA review is done in conjunction with the AASCB accreditation.

APC will be developing a self-study report template to be used with Digital Measures. 

C.     American Association of University Professors (AAUP):  Senator N. Bacon reported the AAUP's lobbyist, Jim Pappas, attended an Executive Committee meeting on February 20 to provide an update on developments in the unicameral.  He explained that the forecasting board would publish its economic forecast on February 27 and that the appropriations committee would discuss the university's budget on March 3.  Pappas said that the effect of the federal stimulus package on the university budget is difficult to predict; any funds from the stimulus will probably be used for existing rather than new programs because it's one-time money.

Pappas works in concert with the NU lobbyist as long as nothing in the NU budget proposal is potentially injurious to UNO.

The Bernie Kolasa Academic Freedom Memorial Scholarship will support two UNO graduates entering graduate or professional programs during or after the summer of 2009.  Each scholarship is in the amount of $1,000.  The application deadline is April 3; for information about the application process, contact Scholarship Committee chair Ann Antlfinger (Biology Department, AH 114) or check the AAUP website: http://www.unomaha.edu/aaup/kolasa.html.

AAUP members are invited to vote on ratifying the contract.  The vote, and a discussion of the 2009-11 agreement, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, 2:30-4:30  in the MBSC Council Room.

D.     Graduate Council:  Senator Laquer reported the Council met March 9.  Among the subjects V.C. Hynes spoke about were:  construction from special funds; graduation rate is a concern; external funding was up; criteria for vertical cuts rests with the deans; staff resources are thin; there is no guidance from Central about cuts; there is a need to think programmatically; there are more denials of graduate applicants, but enrollment is up.

E.     Strategic Planning Steering Committee:  Senator  M. Bacon reported the 2009 Strategic Planning Forum is April 20.  The subject will be "Community Engagement."  The speaker is from Towson University.

VIII.     There being no further Business, the meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.