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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2009-2010 Faculty Senate

Minutes

______________________________________________________________________________

     Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 2 p.m., MBSC  Dodge Rooms

______________________________________________________________________________

Present:    M. Bacon, N. Bacon, Baguyos, Barone, Benjamin-Alvarado, Bonsell, Boyer, Carballal, Decker, D'Souza, Elder, Erickson, Hayes, Hendricks, Holley, Johanningsmeier, Kercher, Laquer, Lomneth, Marx, Mitchell, Nordman, O'Connell, Paterson, Proulx, Ritzman, Siy, Sollars, Srithongrung, Tisko, Tixier y Vigil,  Wileman.

Excused:  Anderson, Bartle, Bernstein, Hafer, Haworth, Lamsam

___________________________________________________________________________

I.          The meeting was called to order at 2:05 p.m.

II.        The minutes of the September 9, 2009, meeting were approved.

III.      Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Elder reported

1.      The Executive Committee and Administration (EC&A) met September 16, 2009.

Resolutions 2996-3002 were acknowledge by Chancellor Christensen.  He also mentioned that Suzanne Sollars, Past President of the Faculty Senate, and Steve Bullock, Asst. V.C. for Academic and Student Affairs, have had a conversation about an ad hoc or a Faculty Senate committee to deal with disaster preparedness.  This will be a group that they can turn to if there were ever a disaster or epidemic or the like, which would cause a situation where we would have to work closely with the Faculty Senate in terms of what to do about classes, etc., if there was ever the potential of closing of public institutions due to H1N1 were it more virulent.  This committee would be available to offer advice or counsel to the Incident Command Group established by the Federal Government and the State of Nebraska.  Christensen also indicated that he doesn't have the authority to change the composition of the incident command group. 

Elder reported that at the Faculty Senate August Retreat a concern was voiced as to when UNO had had a Security Audit.  A few situations were mentioned, and, while none of these escalated, there was a general feeling that Campus Security had not been effective in many of these situations.  There was also perception that our Campus Security does not have the power or the control to do things to manage many situations.  Bill Conley, V.C. Business & Finance, does not know when the last Audit was done or what it entailed.  If the university was to do a security audit they would probably do all four campuses.  In summer of 2008 a consultant was brought in to UNO, looked at Campus Security, evaluated where we're at, how we're staffed, what our relationships are in the community, and reported that UNO should continue with what it was doing.  If others think a Security Audit is still necessary, clarification of specific incidents should be noted.  Sr. V.C. Hynes encouraged faculty members and others to clarify the specifics of any incident.  Then get together with the Student Affairs and others, who may be able to assist in helping resolve any problems.  We need to be sure we've got an understanding of the procedures, policies, and practices that can be effective.  She wondered if there were some differences in understanding the basis of our being a campus that has a Campus Security Force and not a Campus Police Force; and that maybe we provide a level of security, that keeps us calmer as a campus, keeps us from polarizing situations, until there is demonstrable behavior that requires us to call in police. 

There was discussion comparing Campus Security with a Campus Police Force such as that at UNL, with the idea that, with the Omaha Police Department as backup, UNO should stay with the Campus Security model.  Between the two, response time seems to be appropriate.  Changing would also be an enormous budget issue.  One possibility to improve response times would be to explore the formation of an OPD substation on campus.  The last two police chiefs have been UNO graduates and other graduates are in command positions, so they know the campus and the culture.  Even so there would be a need for significant additional resources not currently available. 

It was agreed that there should be a regular review of current policies, practices, and procedures.  Faculty, staff, colleges, and departments should be involved.  New faculty orientation informs new faculty of the current procedures; but established faculty may not be aware of the current procedure.  Presumably there's a one a two page item that can go in the phone directory.  It cannot hurt to be redundant.  Sr. V.C. Hynes noted that the first emergency call should be to UNO Campus Security.  They are the professionals and would know when to call the Omaha Police Department.  She also brought up information assurance, which is an incredibly important security issue.  V.C. Conley noted that Campus Security should be involved in all dialog.  He also noted that he is interested in looking into possibly being able to text Campus Security as UNL has done, because texting can be done quietly.  It's almost like pushing a panic button.  Some of these safety issues may not filter down to the department level.  It may be helpful for a discussion to take place at that level on safety issues, accommodating students with disabilities, and response to situations such as if there's a health crisis in the classroom.

Chancellor Christensen then shared a draft of the University policy on Conflict of Interest, which is being reviewed and refined as charged by the Board of Regents and Central Administration.  University Counsel took the existing document and has made the changes we see here.  Many of the funding agencies are requiring a document before funding is considered.  The President of the University and the campuses are required to make annual Conflict of Interest disclosures and reports.  What has changed is the demand for this accountability by both the state and the federal government.  Chancellor Christensen recommended that University Counsel meet with the four Faculty Senate Presidents, and also the two collective bargaining groups (either the presidents or executive committee members).  The old policy was characterized as being too granular, confusing, and complex.  There is very little new to the policy, this information gets reported now.  He distributed a copy of the policy that had both old verbiage and new changes suggested by University Counsel.  The goal is to try to make this document understandable.  The new Conflict of Interest Policy will need to be approved by the Board of Regents.  Our current organizational structure is OK.  Summary data is all those organizations want, so individual names would not be in the report.  So reports will appear that we had request for outside employment, some number of those approved, and also how many were not approved.  Current UNO reporting is by campus.  Comments should be sent to Sr. V.C. Hynes.

The final item the Chancellor wanted to bring up was enrollment.  Enrollment is up, both administratively and delivery site.  Again, for the 3rd year in a row there is a historical record for diversity on campus.  This has been one of the goals, to look like our community, to represent our community.  While he assumes that Central Administration will stick with the same funding formula, he was pleased with the way enrollment is going.  The Iowa program did well.  We doubled the number of transfers from Iowa Western.  International programs did well.  Transfers were amazing, and that was beyond our partnership with Metro, which, he feels, is more of a collaborative instructional program.  Our number one feeder school for transfers is UNL.

The Chancellor asked for suggestions as to how to thank people for contributing to this success.  He will be going to talk to Staff Advisory about  how to do it with staff.  Our enrollment growth, our ability to retain students is going to be a team effort.  Everybody has got to be involved in that.  We have people in our recruitment office who do a wonderful job; they're out there pitching all the time.  They're not coming because of a recruiter, they are coming here because of the environment, the faculty, the staff, and so on.  President Elder suggested reinstating First Fridays, which was held the first Friday of every month, funded by an Alumnus, giving faculty and staff a chance to have a beer, some snacks, and socialize.  Although Elder did note that what he has heard from faculty recently is to have something just for faculty and administration which was how the event started; staff being invited more recently.  Sollars emphasized that there has been a lot of push from faculty feeling it would be very nice if faculty and administration could function at that level in a social setting, independent of the staff.  The request, last year, was to establish it with just faculty and administration.  Elder stated that even one function with only faculty would be a nice way to celebrate the enrollment figures.  There was some discussion as to how a function like this could be funded; the original event ceased for lack of funding.  No decision was made.

President Elder then gave updates of what each of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees was working on.

a.       Professional Development:  meeting with Sr. V.C. Hynes and talking about community engagement. 

b.      Goals & Directions:  amongst other things, looking at the possibility of wellness dollars perhaps going to subsidize HPER fees, as Creighton subsidizes 50% of their gym membership.  NU President Milliken seems to be very supportive of wellness issues.  This will probably come forward as a resolution and then be passed to the U-Wide Wellness Committee. 

c.       Academic & Curricular Affairs:  has been asked by Dara Troutman, President Milliken's assistant, to set up a meeting with Arnold Bateman, in terms of On-Line Worldwide.  This may be something that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee does.  It may be that the Faculty Senate can facilitate a meeting where the principle people on our campus get to talk to the NU-wide principle people.  There are a lot of faculty that are only sort of aware of distance education, as sort of an abstract concept, but there are faculty that have actually experienced it and are far more knowledgeable.  Getting those knowledgeable people to interact with the system wide folk is what we are hoping to accomplish. 

d.      Faculty Personnel & Welfare:  they are, amongst other things, continuing to look at benefits.  President Elder is scheduled to attend the September 2009 U-wide Benefits Committee meeting to see how that committee functions.

e.       Rules is looking at our on campus committees and will try to figure out which are functioning well and which could use a little encouragement to function better. 

Sr. VC Hynes elaborated on the enrollment numbers by noting that UNO had added about 30 sections, knowing that we anticipated a larger number of students attending this semester.  Campus wide more than 1,300 seats were added to accommodate the crowd.  700 Of those seats were added in the college of Arts & Sciences alone.  It looks as if UNO lost more in interstate, outside, non-residential enrollments, but picked up significantly more on-line enrollments.  16% of the current enrollment is under represented and non-resident alien students.  She noted that there is a bit of evidence of a slip in retention in the last couple of years.  In first year freshman to sophomore year, the retention rate had been 70%, but not in the F07-08 or F08-09.  This is an important issue and is related to student advising and some money issues.  She said it was important that we work together to help students graduate. 

President Elder asked isn't AQIP focusing on advising and Gen Ed?  Sr. V.C. Hynes answered that it seems that those seem to be the two places where we seem not to be across the board in a general sense.  At UNO, a general education course in one college may not count in another college; thus limiting a change in major.  We have at least two models on campus that are examples that are environments that show higher retention, the Goodrich Program and the Thomson Learning Community.  In both of those programs we had 90% plus retention rates from freshman to sophomore year.  We want to identify what, in those programs, assists students in moving forward.  We want to learn how to make a lot of forward movement. 

Sr. V.C. Hynes made special mention of the staff that are working on the NeSIS Project; we each have different responsibilities but none of us would be able to accomplish our teaching goals without staff support. 

Sr. V. C. Hynes also said that David Cicotello, Interim  Assoc V.C. Student Affairs, who was attending another event, was personally following up on an issue that was in the minutes of the August Faculty Senate Retreat about a grade that was changed.  

Chancellor Christensen added that both Male African American students and Male Hispanic students' populations are up.  Whatever we're doing there we have an obligation to figure that out and do more of that.  Those are two of the populations that tend not to take advantage of higher education opportunities.  He also reiterated the governor's recommitment to the P-16 effort.  Nebraska used to be among the top 10 in the percentage of high school students who went on to college.  We are now number 19 nationally.  Part of the goal of the P-16 statewide is to help restore Nebraska to its rightful place in the top 10 in its percentage of its graduates who go on to college.  It is also an opportunity for sustaining and growing enrollments even though the high school population in Nebraska is starting to decline. 

Senator Laquer commented that information from earlier in the meeting indicated the decrease in continuing on of freshman, and, yet, the large increase of transfers from Lincoln and other places.  Sr. V.C. Hynes replied that the transfer students from Lincoln to their sophomore year here are counted system wide for national reporting purposes as continuing students.  They don't get counted as having dropped out of the system; they are separate from the other issue of the decrease. 

V.C. Conley gave a quick up-date from Business & Finance.  A campus survey of Business & Finance was completed last month.  500 People were invited to fill out a survey, 160 people answered at least one of the questions in the survey.  The data is being posted on the web site.  [http://www.unomaha.edu/bnf/  or http://www.unomaha.edu/bnf/PDFs/B&F%20Survey%20-%20Sept%202009%20-%20Final%20Results%20Summary.pdf  ] There was some good information collected.  The comments will not be posted, but they were helpful and good as well.  They plan to do the survey again, probably on an annual basis.

They are trying to get through the process of acquiring University Village.  Earlier in September they did get the Board of Regents approval.  They still need the CCPE and then the legislature to approve it.  Hopefully that will be complete by March or April of 2010.

They have modified the Surplus Property operations over the last 6 or 9 months, which has enabled them to consider selling the building on North 16th.  The building was appraised, they went through a broker, and it looks like there is a buyer.  The funds will go toward the Roskens Hall renovation project.  Surplus property is now being stored in the basement of EAB or on the dock outside.  They are selling a lot of surplus property through the web and Craig's List.  They are also trying to distribute one college's surplus to others on campus.  It is state property, so they must try to distribute it within UNO or sell it.  They tried to find organizations that would come in and take it all, but no one seems to want to do that. 

The next item Business & Finance has for the Board of Regents is UNO parking and getting approval on the expansion of Lot 9, across the street from the Scott Conference center.  When we first rented Crossroads we were paying $30-40,000 a year.  Then Crossroads and Simon Management began charging UNO $3,000 a day, $474,000/year.  Even that price, many would argue, compared to building a parking garage, is reasonable.  But we rarely use the 1350 stalls and a year from now we are not going to need as much parking on this campus with the College of Business going south.  We are looking at other off-site parking for a year from now.  They are also looking at splitting Parking/Transportation out of Campus Security, so we have a Campus Security operation that focuses on campus security only, and a Parking operation that focuses on all parking and shuttle issues which next year, with a lot more inter campus travel, must be gotten right.  There's not a lot of money so it must be done with the same resources we have. 

Holley related she'd heard nothing  but good things about riding the shuttle, and the separation of the two loops has really worked well. 

Conley continued that the Milo Bail Student renovations were done over the summer.  The ballroom looks great and the Maverick Lounge area is highly utilized and the students' responses have been very favorable. 

In the Finance area, they have had to work hard on the LB533 compliance.  That is the new regulation on expense reimbursement, within 60 days.  With the 60 day rule meals over $5 have to have a receipt, affidavits are no longer allowed.  It is state law. 

The NU ID change is happening later this month.  You will log on to any system and use your NU ID.  Depending on the system, the future will be your NU ID. 

The new shuttle loops are getting very good reviews.  Some clean up is necessary, but everything else has been well received.  It was noted that most of the drivers seem to like working with the students. 

2.      Chancellor's Council met September 24, 2009.

Mollie Anderson gave a short presentation on this years' United Way Campaign. Steve Bullock introduced Mark Kretovics and Sandra Nielsen from AQIP (UNO's Accreditation Process). The next hour was spent going around the room talking about what AQIP means (or has meant) to the individual units.

At the end of the meeting I talked briefly with Mollie Anderson. There were two things of interest: (1) She and the HR persons at UNMC (John Russell) and UNL (Greg Clayton) are looking into pooling resources to create a system-wide Benefits Education position. I've asked FP&W (John Erickson) to follow up on this. This is in response to last year's disability issue. (2) She also wants to connect with faculty on wellness issues. I've asked G&D (Doug Paterson) to follow up on this.

3.      Deans' Forum:   Agendas and summaries are now available http://www.unomaha.edu/aandsaffairs/insidepages/deansforum.php

4.      Standards Of Communication Committee met October 2, 2009. 

They  discussed UNMC's Stem Cell Resolution and how a UNO resolution might be drafted. We discussed the presentation by the Directors of Distance Education Programs at UNO that will precede our Oct 7th EC&Cabinet meeting. We discussed how information about the activities of the UNO Faculty Senate reaches the Board of Regents. Last year, Suzanne Sollars sent electronic stand-alone resolutions to Donal Burns. Last year we started having Sue Bishop send hard copies of our minutes to the regents. A question was raised regarding where a record of the Board of Regents vote to appeal the CIR decision is posted. It was agreed that we would try and meet twice each month on Friday mornings at 10:00am. Our next meeting will be on October 16th.

5.      Written Acknowledgements of Resolutions (& Table):

Res#

DateF.S. Passed

Title

Admin

Accept

Sent for Senate Action

Denied

Deferred

In Progress

Final Action/Resolved

3002

9/9/09

Commending AFCON for Professor Ayers Invitation

9/10/09

       

Administration Accepts for purposes of information

3001

9/9/09

University Committee on Research and Creative Activities (UCRCA)

9/10/09

       

Administration Accepts for purposes of information

3000

9/9/09

Professional Conduct Committee

9/10/09

       

Administration Accepts for purposes of information

2999

9/9/09

 UNO Faculty Grievance Committee

9/10/09

       

Administration Accepts for purposes of information

2998

9/9/09

Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee  Nominees

9/10/09

       

Administration Accepts for purposes of information

2997

9/9/09

Recognition for Dr. Cindy Melby Phaneuf

9/10/09

       

Administration Accepts for purposes of information

2996

9/9/09

Temporary (Fall 2009) Replacement for External Senator George Morcous

9/10/09

       

Administration Accepts for purposes of information

2961

4/8/09

Create a Long-Term Disability (LTD) Task Force

X*

       

Acknowledged

2944

1/14/09

UCRCA Funding

     

X*

   

2931

11/12/08

"Shots Fired: When Lightning Strikes" Video

       

X*

Senate in-progress following report

2930

11/12/08

Park-&-Ride-&-Bike System of Transportation or Other Transportation Alternatives

 

Senate Wrkng on

   

X*

 

2928

10/8/08

Electronic Communication

     

X*

   

2909

5/14/08

UNO Disaster Planning

 

Senate to Comm

   

X*

Return to Senate for further work

2899

4/9/08

UNO Child Care Center

     

X*

2009 Retreat Item

 

*2961 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 4/10/09:  "The chancellor acknowledges receipt of the resolutions, but suggests that the Senate may want to make a call to Central Administration to inquire about the existence of the U-Wide Benefits Committee, under whose auspices, this might normally fall.  There may be no need to establish a separate task force if this committee, or a subgroup, is active, and would entertain an examination of the existing disability benefit procedure.")

(The Faculty Senate Admin Tech notified the UNO rep to that committee, David Corbin, on 4/9/09.  He replied on 4/12/09:  "The NU Benefits Committee will be meeting on April 16.  I will bring the two resolutions to their attention.  It does seem that the Benefits Committee should be able to handle the issues without a new committee, but I'll wait and see what kind of response I get.")

*2944 (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.)

*2931 (From the EC & Admin Mtg 1/21/09:  Senator Sollars gave Wade Robinson a list of faculty willing and qualified to comment on "Shots Fired" While Robinson says all the feedback he has received has been positive, faculty senators reported that students who had viewed the video were not impressed.)

(From Wade Robinson via e-mail on 2/16/09:  "The Shots Fired issue is resolved based on the wording listed.")  

(From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 2/20/09: 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.)

(From Wade Robinson via e-mail on 2/24/09: "Based on the information you gave me I have contacted a person at NASP to learn more about their PREPaRE program and learn about the program structure and costs.  I have also contacted De. Scott Pollard to get program and cost information as well and hope to hear from both in the near future.  I will also be communicating the UNO faculty you provided as well.")

9/2/09:  As a recently appointed member of the UNO Disaster Preparedness Committee, Past-President Suzanne Sollars will be sent to training to be certified, as are the other members of the committee, by the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  It is affiliated with FEMA and provides a standardized structure for organizations to coordinate incident management.

*2930 (At the EC & Admin Mtg 11/19/08:  VC Conley said that there were a number of components of Resolution 2930, as written, that needed further consideration.) (At the EC & Admin Mtg 1/21/09:  Vice Chancellor Conley reported that B. J. Reed was working with MAT and that there will be an integrated campus parking plan. The Regents will be asked to extend the contract with Crossroads. There was some discussion of providing bicycles for students to go between campuses.) (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 2/20/09: Acknowledge receipt and forward to Vice Chancellor Conley for additional review and implementation as feasible.)

(5/5/09 From SAC V.P. Jeri Maxwell:  SAC has voted and would like for you to know that we support Faculty Senate in their decision on resolutions 2930 & 2947.  However we would like to suggest a slight word change in Resolution 2930. "WHEREAS single-use motorized vehicular transport has a detrimental effect on the environment and a negative impact on finances via the cost of fuel,"We would rather it say something like "single person motorized vehicular transport"...)

*2928 (From 10/15/2008 EC & Admn Mtg:  Chancellor Christensen said he would bring up Senate Resolution 2928, 10/08/08, concerning seeking alternatives to Lotus Notes, with the President's Council. John Fiene is aware of the problems and supports the direction suggested in the resolution.)

Follow-up by Sollars via e-mail: "Chancellor Christensen brought the matter to President Milliken who concurred with the Lotus Notes problem, but said the matter needed to be deferred until after SIS implementation."

*2909 6/20/08 EC&A Mtg:  Associate Vice Chancellor Robinson discussed Emergency Planning and asked about the creation of a faculty committee that can assist the administration in planning for the continuation of academic programs in crisis situations.  Senate will need to determine in there is a specific senate committee that could do this or if there is a need to develop a committee outside the senate.  See Minutes of Exec Committee and Cabinet 7/9/2008 for further information: http://www.unomaha.edu/facsen/minutes/2008_2009/08_7_minutes.php

9/2/09:  As a recently appointed member of the UNO Disaster Preparedness Committee, Past-President Suzanne Sollars will be sent to training to be certified, as are the other members of the committee, by the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  It is affiliated with FEMA and provides a standardized structure for organizations to coordinate incident management.

*2899 EC&A Mtg April 16, 2008.  The Chancellor responded to the Senate's recently passed resolution regarding the University's day-care facility.  He was primarily concerned about the Senate's recommendation that UNO develop a lab school as part of the day-care facility, since this represents a significant departure from what the university is doing and would require a substantial investment of resources.  He pointed out that the original goal was to develop a day-care that would meet national accreditation standards.  The differences between day-care and preschool curricula and facilities was discussed.  The administration agreed to provide the Senate with information about the current day-care operation and also agreed to work with the Senate and Student Government to explore the issue if that is desired.

B.     Treasurer's Report:  Senator Laquer  submitted the September 2009 Budget Report.

He also reported that Elder, Laquer, Sollars, and Bishop met with Kathy Krause (Assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Budget, Academic and Student affairs) on September 14, to learn about the Faculty Senate budget.  Most of the budget is salaries and benefits.  This year's operating budget has been reduced from last year's.  The reason for that is because of a $431 deficit that incurred last year.  That deficit was primarily due to a budget transfer to pay for the ice cream ($300) at the August 2008 faculty-staff picnic.  That transfer did not appear in SAP since it was not treated as an expense which we would have seen but was just removed from the base budget.  It did appear as a reduction in the Plan budget.  In addition, when there are more than 2080 working hours in the year, for example 2088 or one extra day (as occurred in the last fiscal year), then the additional salary (approximately $130) and benefits cost is taken from the operating budget.  The senior vice chancellor covered the $431 deficit for fiscal year 2009, but reduced our budget this year by the same amount. 

The August 2009 ice cream expense for the faculty-staff picnic again will not show up as an expense but as a budget transfer.  This year there's again one extra day, thus we have already reduced the operating budget in anticipation of that event.  With this knowledge Bishop has reformulated the operating budget for fiscal year 2010.  The operating expense budget is therefore down about $860, or almost 20% of the operating budget from last year.  We are not destitute but we will be watching our pennies. 

We learned that it is important to pay attention to the Plan budget value to identify budget transfers that ordinarily would be considered to be expenses but according to accountants is just a transfer into somebody else's budget.  The Plan budget is complicated also by the fact that benefits are not directly included but are paid out of a different budget line. 

The Faculty Senate budget has been flat for the last five years, except for the small increases in state budgeting.  In the 2006 fiscal year a portion of the operating expenses was transferred to NU values to be used for a salary increase for the Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant.  That resulted in a permanent decrease in the operating expenses portion of the budget. 

1.      Budget Advisory Committee Report:  Senator Bartle wrote that the Budget Advisory Committee had a productive meeting with Julie Totten who briefed us on this year's budget allocation. He attached a document which explaina how the state allocation to UNO was determined. A few points he would make:

  • For this year, UNO is experiencing a cut of $2.2 million, or 2%.
  • Estimated expenses are calculated from our previous year's budget, plus funded increases and unfunded increases. By far the largest part of the increase is salaries, wages and benefits.
  • State-aided revenues decreased this year because of a shortfall in net tuition from 2008-09.  This demonstrates the importance of achieving increased enrollments and that these enrollments include non-residents who pay more in tuition. During the 2008-09 period enrollment was up but net tuition was down because of fewer non-residents enrolling.
  • n this year, UNO did not have to fund any O&M (operations and maintenance) expenses for new buildings, as the other campuses. However next year we will have to do so because of the addition of Mammel Hall. That will be an expense that UNO will have to fund internally.

Also, it is important to note:

  • The 1% building renewal assessment was suspended this year in part to fund the Programs of Excellence allocation at the rate of $3 million of for one-time (not permanent) allocations. Thus the sorts of expenses that can be funded from these funds are different; for example, permanent personnel cannot be funded from one-time funds.
  • The Nebraska research Initiative (NRI) will still be funded.

Also helpful is the presentation that the Chancellor and both Vice-Chancellors gave on June 25:

http://www.unomaha.edu/budgetadvisorytf/tabs/uno/campusforum062509.pdf        

2.      The Budget Advisory Task Force will be meeting soon.  Senator M. Bacon reported the State Projection Board will meet a week before the end of this month.  The legislature will then have some idea of what will happen.  The NU President has put aside contingency funds for some mid-year coverage, but not enough to cover what might be a 1.5% mid-year cut.  The Governor has stated that "Rainy Day" funds will not be used.

IV.     Executive Committee:  Senator Mitchell moved the following resolution for the committee.  It passed by a vote of 24 For, 2 Against, 4 Abstentions:

Resolution 3003, 10/14/09:  Regarding Stem Cell Research

Whereas, the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center passed the following resolution on October 6th.

Whereas, the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln passed an essentially identical resolution on October 5th.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha supports its colleagues at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and requests that the Board of Regents accept and support the University of Nebraska Medical Center Faculty Senate's resolution:

University of Nebraska Medical Center Faculty Senate

Resolution 1, 2009-2010

WHEREAS, the discovery of human embryonic stem cells and subsequent research showing their tremendous potential to understand and treat devastating human diseases or injuries has been widely considered one of the most important biomedical scientific breakthroughs of the past several decades, and;

WHEREAS, in July of 2009 the National Institutes of Health established stringent guidelines for the ethical conduct of stem cell research and regenerative medicine, and;

WHEREAS, the vast majority of scientists, including Nobel Laureates, and all major professional scientific and clinical associations, as well as the general public support the continued or expanded use of embryonic stem cells,  and;

WHEREAS, the US House and Senate [H.R. 810 (2005-6); S.5, (2007)] have voted in a clear, bi-partisan, majority to support such research, and;

WHEREAS, the Nebraska Legislature, after careful and thoughtful deliberation, reached a compromise permitting embryonic stem cell research in the Stem Cell Research Act (LB606, 2008) which had the acceptance by both the supporters and opponents of such research, and was signed by Nebraska's governor, and;

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2009 President Obama removed the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research put in place by President Bush, resulting in potential access to several hundred additional cell lines for researchers using federal funds, and;

WHEREAS, neither Federal nor Nebraska law [P.L. 111-8, Title V §509 (2009); Neb. Rev. Stat. §71-8806 (2008)] permit state nor federal funds to be used for the destruction or creation of embryos or for any type of cloning, and;

WHEREAS, the current policy of the Board of Regents, resulting from the recommendations in the carefully and thoughtfully written Report of the President's Bioethics Advisory Committee representing diverse viewpoints in 2001, is compatible with both State and Federal law and policies, and;

WHEREAS, the faculty of the University of Nebraska Medical Center  support  free and open scientific inquiry that is scientifically responsible and in keeping with all applicable laws, and;

WHEREAS, the citizens of Nebraska should have access to the latest advances in medical treatment, and;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate, representing all of the academic units of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, believes that the current systems of federal and state derived laws and regulations provide adequate guidance and oversight for embryonic stem cell research, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the UNMC Faculty Senate requests that the Board of Regents continue its current policy supporting embryonic stem cell research, which already complies with federal and state laws, guidelines, and regulations.

V.        Standing Committee Reports

A.    Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Johanningsmeier reported those present at the meeting were:  Present: Johanningsmeier (Chair), Hendricks (Vice-Chair), Mitchell, Baguyos.   Absent: Bonsell

      At the meeting there were 15-20 minute presentations from two invited speakers, John Bartle of CPACS and Becky Pasco from the College of Education.   They were asked to tell us about the distance education "success" stories in their respective programs, as the first step in our fact-gathering regarding distance education. Both speakers told of how they had long ago recognized the need for offering degrees online to students unable to attend classes at UNO in person, either because the campus is too far away or the prospective students are busy professionals; the two degrees are a Master's in Public Administration and a Bachelor's in Library Science. They told about how enthusiastically their faculty members participated in the programs, in large part because they get to retain control over the content and quality of instruction. In the School of Public Administration, faculty also have the incentive of $2,250 extra pay for teaching a distance education course; Education faculty receive perks such as laptops and extra travel money. They both mentioned, too, that when they ask students why they chose UNO of all the options available, they responded that it was because both programs are accredited and offer high quality instruction by professors.

Both speakers offered their judgments that good distance education programs a) come out of real needs of certain groups of students; and b) must be under the oversight of the departments and / or colleges involved. They expressed some reservations about what they perceive as NU Worldwide's apparent desire to centralize both curricular control and revenue collection.

      After these presentations, committee members had time to ask a number of questions. We will use all the information we learned here to prepare for our October meeting, at which we plan to hear from representatives of departments that have so far been reluctant to participate in distance education, for a variety of reasons. After this, at our November meeting we plan to meet with Mr. Arnold Bateman, the director of NU Worldwide, to communicate what we have found out. At all times our committee's chief concerns are how to protect not only the quality of the education being offered to students but also the rights of UNO faculty if they decide to participate in distance education.

B.     Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator Boyer reported the  committee met September 30, 2009.  Members present:  Boyer, Kercher, Laquer, Siy, Wileman. Member excused: Ritzman

Lanyce Keel provided an update on developments in Information Technology Services (ITS).

GMAV – The conversion of student email accounts to gmail has been successful.  8,000 students signed on the first day.  About 80% of students are using the system.  Student workers must retain their Lotus Notes accounts.  It has been difficult to identify students who are being paid.  ITS is working with HR to better identify those students. The Google software was free although there were expenses of about $7,000 for a spam filter, Postini.  There is no way for the gmail system to provide a "return receipt" to ensure that a student received an email.  A "return receipt" is only possible if the email remains on the same email system.  In this case the faculty member is sending the message from Lotus Notes and the student is receiving it on gmail. There have been two fairly long interruptions of service in the last 30 days.  The outages are unusual and hopefully will not be repeated.

Progress of moving faculty and staff to another email system – Last Fall the Faculty Senate passed a resolution asking that alternatives to Lotus Notes be explored.  The response was that alternatives would be considered when the implementation of SIS was complete.  Lanyce said it would be at least two years before there will be any movement on that issue. Requirements will need to be assessed.  Some security will be lost if there is a move to Google mail.

Technology Fee – UNO's technology fee is $9 per credit hour.  Fees are distributed as follows:  10% is used for tech fee grants that the colleges and other campus units submit and the deans prioritize. 45% goes to ITS for the items listed above. 4% goes to the Library. 37% is distributed to the colleges based on credit hour production. 4% is returned to UNL based on their credit hour production.  $100,000 of the tech fee grant funds are going to SIS this year to assist with the purchase of a degree audit module.  UNL students pay $7.35 per credit hour with a cap of $110.25 per semester.  They do have the option of purchasing low cost software. Among our peers the technology fee varies from $6.50 to $25 per credit hour.  The average is $12.80.

NeSIS – The new student information system is moving along on schedule.  The application module went live on September 17. Other modules will be coming online in the next few months. Both systems will run for a year or more to ensure the new system is working adequately. It is still uncertain whether students will be registering for Fall 2010 classes on the old system or the new system.  UNL will continue to use their existing recruiting, application, and degree audit modules and interface with the new system.  The new system will impact all faculty and there will be informational and training sessions as the new features become available. Progress on this project can be found at:  http://www.unomaha.edu/nesis/tabpages/anncs/anncs.php

Blackboard Alternatives – A group with representatives from all colleges has been formed to look at alternatives to Blackboard.  They are assessing: 1) Moodle, 2) Sakai, and 3) a new version of Blackboard.  They are looking at technical requirements.  In June the annual cost of Blackboard increased significantly.  If there is a change, it could take 2-3 years. For more information take a look at:  http://www.unomaha.edu/lms/

Test Scanning Results – ITS plans to stop providing paper copies of reports on scanned tests by Spring 2010.  The results will only be provided electronically.

Open source software – ITS is looking at open source software.  They may move away from MyFolders to Google docs or other storage alternatives.

Our next meeting will be Friday, October 23, 2009 at 10 a.m.  We will meet with Audrey DeFrank from the Library.

C.     Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Erickson reported the committee met September 30, 2009.  Members present: Bacon, Carballal, Erickson, Proulx, and Srithongrung.

      The committee discussed a number of items and proposes 2 resolutions.

1.  Faculty benefits issues.

President Elder attended the University Benefits Committee meeting as a guest.  Keith Dietze (NU Benefits Administrator) has developed a scenario that compares COBRA costs in the first 2 years of a disability with the scenarios developed last year, based on actual events in the College of Business.  Dietze's scenarios indicate that the income loss relative to insurance cost increases are not as severe as those in the examples presented in last year's document.  However, the test COBRA rates in Dietze's spreadsheet assume that the COBRA policy is based on single coverage rather than family coverage, so there is still an apples-to-oranges effect. 

President Elder also reported that there would likely be some resistance to changing the disability insurance offerings to faculty and staff.  However, this is something that the committee is not yet ready to give up on, so we will continue to investigate the possibility of having policies offered by companies other than UNUM.  FPW will also attempt to determine if the University is constrained legally in the ability to offer insurance from other companies.

There is faculty interest in the benefits issues from other campuses in the NU system now, and those investigations are proceeding more or less independently from those at UNO.  There could be some benefit in pursuing the issues jointly, so some FP&W members will make an attempt at contacting the faculty groups at UNK, UNL, and UNMC.

A possible point that might be negotiated is creating a separate insurance pool of disabled employees, where the rates of insurance are lower than the rates if the disabled employees remain in the retired pool.  There seemed to be little likelihood that the disabled pool and the under 65 pool could be merged, however.

Finally, as a result of our motion from last year, there is a university wide committee being established to provide more education to faculty and staff on these issues.  FP&W will invite Mollie Anderson to the October meeting to provide us with an idea of where this effort is going.

2.  Parking issues.

Parking is an important enough issue to warrant a committee, but whether the UNO Parking Committee functions as intended does not seem to be a FP&W issue.  However, since parking is a concern for many, we move this resolution again.  We do recommend that one of the Rules Committee's first visits be to ascertain the Parking Committee's functionality.

This resolution was referred from the UNO Parking Committee in June of 2009, and sent back to FPW in the September Faculty Senate meeting.                   

Senator Erickson moved the following resolution, for the committee:  The UNO Parking Committee Proposal on Events Parking Calendar and Parking.  The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution 3004, 10/14/09:  Parking Issues (Events Calendar)

WHEREAS, UNO units schedule many worthwhile events that result in additional vehicles parking on campus, and these additional vehicles create parking conflicts that could be reduced by better exchange of information and more careful planning, and

WHEREAS, the UNO Events Calendar is available for listing campus events,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that one person from each campus unit be assigned the responsibility of listing all unit events that will increase the number of vehicles parked on campus on the UNO Events Calendar, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a mechanism be developed for units whose events will bring more than 50 vehicles to campus to provide this information to the Campus Police Security, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Campus Security use this information to facilitate parking for these events, and to advise event organizers of changes in the location or time of their events that would reduce parking conflicts.

3.  BOR salary/contract litigation costs

The committee has found it difficult to determine the BOR costs of litigation.  We are drafting a resolution to ask administration for an accounting of the litigation costs.

D.    Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Paterson reported the committee met in September 2009.  In Attendance:  Senators Jessiline Anderson, Henry D'Souza, Richard Lomneth, Bonnie O'Connell, Doug Paterson (chair).  Absent:  Senator Matthew Marx (flu).

The Agenda was reviewed and approved.  The Committee approved the year's meeting days and times.

Senator Marx was unable to be present to give a report on the Sustainability Committee and related matters.  The Committee will return to the subject at our next meeting.

The Committee next reflected on the Faculty Senate meeting last week with President J. B. Milliken.  The Committee is concerned that the faculty members who came to the meeting, as well as the Senate members themselves, might not have received the kind of understanding about the implications of the salary impasse that they wanted or needed.  While the Committee members for the most part believe there is a bit of a "dis-spirited" feeling in the faculty, we want to know in fact what the temperature of the faculty is currently.  Thus the Committee is looking into developing and distributing a survey to all UNO faculty members to gather feedback on current attitudes regarding the impasse, administration attention, work climate, etc.

From previous discussions, the G&D Committee discussed the HPER renovation and noted various committee and faculty concerns.  President Elder has requested the Committee take up the possibility of the NU system somehow incorporating NU credits so as to encourage faculty to use the facility.  Because such a change could not happen at just UNO but had to be a part of the entire system, and because the use of credits present some possible contradictions, it was observed use of NU credits might be some time in coming.  Senator Paterson was charged with contacting AAUP and Faculty Secretary Sue Bishop about such a survey.

Also from previous discussions, the Committee discussed the matter of corporatizing the university.  The topic of "branding" elicited descriptions such as:  predatory marketing, hegemonic oppression, branding the brain, deception, and corporate-speech marketing.  The larger subject of corporatization of the university was marked by top-down communication, little-to-no communication, announcements not consultation, increased reliance on testing and not critical thinking, and "go out and find your own money" advisories.  It was observed that some have had positive corporate experiences and that large corporations do want people who can think critically.  There was discussion around the terms training, education, and pedagogy – the first being routine, the second basic information and dialogue on fundamental cultural knowledge, and the third the critical thinking phase and collaborative consciousness.  It was thought that one "Goal" of UNO could be to emphasize education and ideas, and even critical thinking, and not fall into training and text-oriented learning.  Our task is not to "train" knowledge workers.

At the request of several faculty members, the Committee began a discussion of UNO exploring a move toward Division I Athletic designation.  Some of the committee are truly uninterested in and unaware of sports, while others are strong sports fans.  All, however, said that the question "Why?" had to be answered clearly.  What is the rationale?  Issues raised:  the exploitation of student athletes, injuries that last a lifetime, the chimera of professional possibilities, the sportization of a university such as happens at UNL, maintaining the educational purpose of the university as central.  It was observed that high-profile athletic teams/programs give visibility to a school and bring good energy, and that Division I programs have to work on a budget entirely separate from the university budget, operating on earned income at the gate and TV/Radio commercial sales and private monies.   In some schools, sports are a good money maker, mainly in scholarships for non-athletic programs.  The mixing of the two budgets is ideally fairly separate.  As a counter argument, it was also stated that in truth sports thrive on huge subsidies from rich fans and becomes a monopoly that takes money from people who pay taxes to people giving money to sports.  It was also observed that if the university was a Christmas tree, in ten years the lights won't work, the needles will be dry and falling off, but the tree will have a couple of huge gaudy decorations.  Stadiums take enormous resources as Omaha has just learned.  This can be a sizeable con.  There is also the concern that a team needs to win to attract money.  The ethic of Vince Lombardi's "winning isn't the most important thing, winning is the only thing" should have no role in a university, but it's almost unavoidable in sports. Losing programs circle the drain.  Also:  How, it was asked, can UNO make a move to Division I when we don't have anything close to a Division II academic budget?

Senator Paterson was asked to contact Profs. Dave Ogden and Steve Bullock to see if they could come to a G&D meeting to give us their analysis.

E.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator Benjamin-Alvarado reported the  committee met September 30, 2009.  Present: Senators Benjamin-Alvarado (Chair), Haworth, Hayes, and Tixier y Vigil.  Absent: Senators Lamsam and Tisko

Senator Benjamin-Alvarado reported to the committee the results from his meeting with Senior Vice Chancellor Terri Hynes on the community engagement, the scholarship of engagement, and their relationship to professional development matters, including but not limited to the RPT process. The meeting was a part of the committee's on-going objective to collect information from across the university regarding these important issues and to work in partnership with the administration to develop useful definitions, understandings and measures of these elements. The central focus of the meeting with SVC Hynes is to work collaboratively to develop a matrix of "measurement instruments" that can capture the wide diversity of the research, service and creative activity across disciplines and colleges at UNO. Specifically, the committee is concerned about the way in which these measures do and do not take into account the wide variability in how faculty engage in research activity and how it is distinguishable from the measure of "service" as it is related to community engagement. SVC Hynes is aware of that concern and was open to discussing how to develop adequate instruments that can capture that activity in the broadest sense. First, she believes that there must be intent to engage the "community." Faculty from the core areas in math and science are likely to have a different approach to engagement as compared to a faculty member working in social work or in education. Second, it was noted that in almost all major funding sources in the math and science fields (NSF, NIH, etc.) require in their research proposals contain a statement regarding the "community impact" of the proposed work and perhaps this might be an appropriate way for faculty in these areas to approach the question of community engagement. Finally, the meeting was closed with an understanding that this was a part of a larger information gathering process being undertaken by the committee for AY 09-10 and that we are predisposed to working with senior administration on the development of these instruments as stakeholders interested in the suitability and accountability of these instruments as they relate to faculty interests.

The committee discussed the next steps related to this process. We will collect the RPT guidelines from the various colleges across the campus to ascertain their evaluation of research and service activity as it related to community engagement and faculty performance. The committee will also look at how any re-definition of these elements will impact the existing agreement between the university and the AAUP. Finally, as a part of the information gathering process, the committee will be meeting in October with Dean BJ Reed of CPACS for a presentation on "community engagement" that has already been shared with the Deans and senior administration here at UNO. The committee will meet in November with Assoc. Vice Chancellor Deb Smith-Howell for a discussion on professional development and its relationship to these emerging issues. We expect that once the guidelines have been collected and assessed that we will begin the process of creating a matrix of multiple measures on community engagement that is acceptable to the concerns of faculty, consistent with any and all pre-existing contractual agreements, as well as, assisting the administration in the measurement of community engagement.

F.      Committee on Rules:  Senator Holley reported the Committee met September 28, 2009.  Ballots were counted for the Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee.  501 Ballots were mailed to full time faculty, 230 were returned, and 211 were valid and were counted, completing "Resolution 2998, 9/9/09:  Academic Freedom and Tenure."  This completion was accepted.

Resolution 2998, 9/9/09: Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (Completed)

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.

One tenured faculty member will be elected from the following two nominees to serve three-year terms from October 16, 2009, through October 15, 2012, to replace James Caroll:

            Christine Dando (tenured) ELECTED

            Birud Sindhav (tenured).

And one non-tenured faculty member will be elected from the following two nominees to serve three-year terms from October 16, 2009, through October 15, 2012, to replace Nancy Kelley-Gillespie:

            Cher McAllister (non-tenured) ELECTED

            Joyce Neujahr (non-tenured).

An environmental scan of all committees listed on the Faculty Senate web site is nearly completed.  The next steps were identified and assigned.  The outline for the next step of inquiry was reviewed and findings will be shared by e-mail and at all Rules Committee meetings by all committee members communicating to all.

It was agreed in principle that revisions be made as necessary to the Faculty Senate Bylaws to permit meetings mediated by electronic media in rare cases when that is the only way for the Senate to collaborate on action to respond in time to certain situations, such as the opportunity to support UNMC and UNL in regard to stem cell research.

VI.      Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.    Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON):  Senator Paterson reported the meeting was held September 12, 2009 at Eiseley Branch Library.

Present: Peggy Adair, legislation liaison; Dwayne Ball, president, representing ACLU Nebraska and the Nebraska Association of Scholars; Tom Black, Sentinel editor, representing the Nebraska State Education Association; Robert Brooke, webmaster, representing Nebraska Writing Project; Karen Buckley, secretary and representing Nebraska Educational Media Association; Nancy Comer, representing the Nebraska Reading Association; Bob Haller, representing UNL chapter of the American Association of University Professors; Cathi McMurtry, AFCON treasurer; Dave Moshman, policy coordinator; Laurie Lee, representing UNL Faculty Senate; Linda Parker, president-elect, representing Nebraska Library Association; Rod Wagner, representing the Nebraska Center for the Book.

Minutes: (Buckley) Minutes of the July 11 meeting will be submitted for approval at the Oct. 10 board meeting.

Treasurer's Report:  (McMurtry) AFCON's treasury has a balance of $2006.65, as of Sept. 11, with 37 paid and two guest individual members and 13 paid and two in-kind organization members current with dues. The treasurer's report was filed for audit.

President's Report: Ball's report will be covered within other agenda items.

Newsletter: (Black) The deadline for articles for the December Sentinel is Nov. 27.

Legislative Report: Adair distributed handouts, entitled "Incidents Suppressing Student Expression in Nebraska." Ball stressed the importance of maintaining rosters of who will testify and who will write senators and media in support of the Student Expression Act.

Membership Reports:

Lee noted that in the UNL Academic Faculty Senate minutes hearings on the proposed budget cuts were to begin Sept. 18 and that the Senate is still discussing the Ayers incident.

Comer noted that Adair addressed the Nebraska Reading Association's July meeting, regarding the Student Expression Act.

Black said he has written leaders of the NSEA on the Student Expression Act.

Old Business: Regarding the annual meeting, Parker said that the contract with the Holiday Inn at 72nd and Grover, Omaha, has been signed. Dr. Bill Ayers, featured speaker, is planning to arrive Saturday morning. Publicity for the event is scheduled to be released Sept. 28.

Nominated for Academic Freedom awards are: David Moshman (moved by Adair and seconded by Lee) for his many contributions to Academic Freedom, including his just published book, Liberty and Learning/Academic Freedom for Teachers and Students; Julia Schlenk and Ameilia Montes, UNL English professors who organized a set of events at UNL leading to a public protest against the disinvitation of Dr. Ayers (moved by Brooke, seconded by Parker); and the Millard South student, who was suspended for wearing a "R.I.P. Julius" t-shirt in memory of a friend who was slain (nominated by Lee, seconded by Comer). The nominees are contingent upon their acceptance.

Lee then announced that AFCON would join ACLU Nebraska, Nebraska Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Academy of Rock-Northeast Family Center in observing Banned Books Weeks with "Dangerous Songs, Banned Books and Censored Movies," a celebration of the First Amendment 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 at Duffy's Tavern, 1412 O Street, Lincoln.

New Business: Ball, Lee and Adair volunteered to serve on the nominations committee to present a slate of officers (president-elect, secretary and treasurer) at the annual meeting.

Adair noted that she will be presenting ("Speechless") at the Nebraska Library Association and Nebraska Educational Media Associations annual Fall Conference Oct. 29-30 in Omaha. She congratulated Moshman on the publication of his new book, with other board members signaling approval with applause.

B.     Academic Planning Council (APC):  Senator D'Souza reported the APC met September 11, 2009.  The following programs are coming up for review this year and are listed on the UNO web page.

2009-2010

  • Business Administration
    • Note: Coordinated with AACSB Accreditation
    • Accounting
    • Economics
    • Finance, Banking and Law
    • Marketing
    • Management
  • Chemistry— Dr. Jeannette Seaberry (Chair)
  • Environmental Studies—Dr. Henry D'Souza (Chair)
  • Geography— Dr. Leah Pietron (Chair)
  • Geology— Dr. Leah Pietron (Chair)
  • Mathematics – Dr. Chris Allen (Chair)
  • Philosophy—Dr. John Bartle (Chair)
  • Physics-- Dr. Leah Pietron & Dr. Kathleen Henebry (Co-chairs)
  • Religion—Dr. Frank Bramlett (Chair)

The APC will review the reports from the external teams for ISQA and Business Administration programs.  The AASCB accreditation team will be here in the spring of 2011 to review the Business Administration programs.

The Centers require a separate report and their reviews are coordinated with the respective departments.

Follow-up meeting with Criminology and Criminal Justice and Women's Studies are being planned.

C.    American Association of University Professors (AAUP):  Senator N. Bacon reporte

Faculty Salaries 2009-2011

The wheels of justice turn slowly.  On September 21, the CIR forwarded the record of the dispute between the UNO AAUP and the NU Board of Regents to the Nebraska Court of Appeals.  The regents have until October 23 to file a brief, and from the date that their brief is filed, the AAUP attorney has thirty days to file our brief.  Then the court sets a date for oral arguments, and after another interval for deliberation, the court will issue its decision.

Employee Free Choice Act

The Employee Free Choice Act is an important opportunity to improve national labor law, permitting employees to unionize by signing petition cards (rather than requiring elections, which have historically left employees open to pressure from management).  The AAUP supports passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.  President Loree Bykerk is writing to Nebraska's congressional delegation in support of the act.  UNO faculty can sign the "Scholars in Support of the Employee Free Choice Act" petition at  http://www.peri.umass.edu/sefca/

Membership Drive

In celebration of the UNO AAUP's 30th anniversary, any member who recruits a new member during the month of October will receive a Borders gift certificate for $30.  Membership forms can be downloaded from the AAUP website:  http://www.unomaha.edu/aaup/memservices.html

As an additional incentive, new members who join this fall will not begin paying dues until January, 2010.

Fall Events

A wine and cheese reception for AAUP members and other interested faculty is scheduled for Thursday, October 29 from 3:30 until 5:00 in the Art Gallery, WFAB.

The fall dinner for AAUP members is scheduled for Friday, November 20 at the Field Club.  Cash bar at 6:00, buffet dinner at 7:00.  The dinner will celebrate thirty years of collective bargaining at UNO.

D. Graduate Council:  Senator  Tisko reported the Graduate Council met on 21 SEP 09.  Penny Harmoney, Director of Graduate Studies gave a presentation on the NESIS project.  The new system will help to have uniformity in the admission process among different programs.  All materials are to be collected online with a product called ImageNow.  Applications will not be forwarded from the Graduate Studies office to the program until the program is complete.  Because incomplete application will not be forwarded; statistics tracking the number of applications are expected to indicate a decrease.  The new process will be tested during the spring and summer 2010 semesters.  Full implementation is scheduled for the fall 2010 semester.  The DegreeWorks project is the new degree audit system.  Full implementation is expected to be July 2010.

Dean Smith-Howell reported that graduate applications, acceptances and credit hours have increased since last year; however, the acceptance rate has decreased.  She also reported that a new graduate catalog has been printed.  The catalog is available online and with a limited amount of bound copies available for deans, program chairs and directors.

Discussion ensued about the Graduate Council's responsibility concerning program reviews.  Concentrations and majors are approved by Committee B and brought to the Graduate Council.  Expedited graduate certificates (using pre-existing courses) are approved by Committee B, Graduate Council, SVCAA and the Provost Dean of the Graduate College; the approval is a report item for the Board of Regents.  New majors, programs and graduate certificates undergo a detailed approval process including Board of Regents approval.

A Graduate Council Workshop was planned for 9 OCT 09 at UNMC as a means to bring all four campuses together to discuss graduate education issues.  Attendees are anticipated to be graduate program chairs and the members of each graduate council.

Committee A will review the "Guidelines for Good Practice in Graduate Education" from the UNL graduate college and UNMC to see if it can be adapted for use at UNO.  Included in the document are guidelines for mentoring junior faculty.

Dean Smith-Howell encouraged the council to submit nominations for the Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity as well as the University Committee or Research and Creative Activity research and travel awards.

Dr. Ethel Williams of the School of Public Administration volunteered to be UNO's third representative for the university-wide Executive Graduate Council.

E.     Strategic Planning Steering Committee:  Senator O'Connell reported the committee met September 23, 2009.  The main work of the committee with be done in the task forces and reported out at the monthly meeting for comment and direction. The Feb 12 campus/community event will be hosted and facilitated by the entire steering committee.

Each task force chairmen reviewed their committee's charge and all the steering committee were asked to select at least one to join. Members are welcome to serve on more that one task force.

Goal 3 Objectives Revision Task Force-Chairman Neal Topp

Develop a draft list of objectives for the current UNO Plan, Goal 3 Community Engagement, before the February 12, 2010, Strategic Planning Event.  At the event, the draft list will be discussed and revisions suggested final draft to be confirmed following the event.

Strategic Planning Forum Event Task Force- Chairman, Melissa Cast-Brede

Plans, organizes and coordinates presentations and activities for the Strategic Planning Spring Event February 12, 2010 including event set-up, facilitation of small group discussions, and evaluation of the event.

Community Engagement Documentation and Inventory Task Force-Chairman, Bill Swanson

Responsible for creating and developing an easy and accessible method for collecting, maintaining, updating and reporting all community engagement activities performed by individuals and groups (faculty, staff, students and alumni) associated with UNO.

Neal Topp reported for Steve Bullock on the AQIP check-up visit that was taking place on campus. Strategic Planning members were asked to attend several of the briefings to represent the group and report on activities of the steering committee.

Scholarship of engagement will continue to be a topic of discussion in the coming year. BJ Reed reported on the progress of the program statement for the proposed Engagement Center.

Focus for 2009-10:  Engagement – Central to our City

  • Inventory and document current UNO Community Engagement efforts
  • Revise and approve Goal 3 in the Strategic Plan to reflect current and future activities
  • Host a spring strategic planning event that involves entire campus and community
  • Support campus AQIP process

VII.          New Business

A.    Eta Sigma Gamma's 16th Annual Bell Tower Challenge for the Omaha Food Bank will take place Wednesday, Noon, October 21, 2009.  During the contest, teams of three people will stack cans while the Bell Tower strikes noon.  Faculty Senate has participated for 7-8 years.  Teams will compete in two divisions, students, and faculty/staff, for awards recognizing the most creative team, the most enthusiastic team, the team that stacks the most food cans and any team that donates at least 1,000 cans of food.  Since the event's inception, 42,165 pounds of food have been donated.  Eta Sigma Gamma is a national professional health education honorary.  The 3 stacking volunteers for the Faculty Senate team are Griff Elder, Carol Mitchell, and Jan Boyer. Donations of canned goods can be dropped off with any of the stackers or in the Faculty Senate office.

B.     Senator M. Bacon moved and Senator Benjamin-Alvarado seconded the following resolution, which passed unanimously:

Resolution 3005, 10/14/09:  Regarding Ronald Raikes

WHEREAS Ronald Raikes served honorably as a member of the Nebraska Legislature from 1997 to 2008, and

WHEREAS, as Chair of the Legislature's Education Committee, Senator Raikes consistently supported the University of Nebraska, especially during times of budgetary challenges, and

WHEREAS Senator Raikes also represented Nebraska on the Midwest Higher Education Compact, again demonstrating his support of and devotion to the cause of higher education,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha extends its condolences to the Raikes family and notes with sorrow the passing of a true friend of the University of Nebraska.

C.     Senator M. Bacon moved and Senator Mitchell seconded the following resolution, which also passed unanimously:

Resolution 3006, 10/14/09:  Regarding Dr. Charles (Chuck) Gildersleeve  (Senator M. Bacon)

WHEREAS Dr. Charles (Chuck) Gildersleeve taught Geography at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for forty-five years (1964-2009), and

WHEREAS Dr. Gildersleeve was completely devoted to students as the center of the academic enterprise, winning several teaching awards and often mentioned by students as the most influential instructor in their academic careers, and

WHEREAS Dr. Gildersleeve demonstrated his love for his subject and  his commitment  to geographical education at all levels, by being a founding member of the Geography Educators of Nebraska and frequently interacting with secondary educators to improve their instruction, and

WHEREAS Dr. Gildersleeve epitomized civic responsibility by serving on the Omaha Planning Board,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska gratefully acknowledges the many contributions of Dr. Charles Gildersleeve, honors his memory by encouraging colleagues to emulate his devotion to students and the University, and expresses its heartfelt condolences to Pat Gildersleeve and their children.

D.    Senator Tisko brought up the loss of 40 parking spaces, which were turned into reserved spaces, from the parking lot near DSC.  First it was announced the spaces would be for recruits, it was then expanded to dedicated parking for performances in WFAB.  He wishes to register displeasure in what seems to be a top down decision.  He commented that this loss seems to be just something else taken away from the faculty.   Senator Boyer, a member of the Parking Committee, stated that the Parking Committee was asked about using the small lot next to WFAB for recruiting.  The Parking Committee's decision was to not change that parking lot.  They were not told that the parking spaces would be taken from somewhere else.  The senators would like to know the procedures for reserving parking spaces.  Parking spaces do not seem to be used in a fair or equitable way.  Senator Boyer will take this issue to the Parking Committee.

VIII.  The meeting was adjourned with announcements at 3:40 p.m.