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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

 

2009-2010 Faculty Senate

Executive Committee & Cabinet

Minutes

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Wednesday, July 13, 2009, 2 p.m., MBSC State Room

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Present:    Benjamin-Alvarado, Boyer, Elder, Erickson, Hendricks, Holley, Laquer, Paterson, Sollars

Excused:   Johanningsmeier, Mitchell

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

II.        The Minutes of June 3, 2009, were approved as submitted.

III.             Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Elder reported

1.      Board of Regents met June 12, 2009.

The morning was devoted to the following presentations: (a) Update on the Innovation Campus, (b) NU Budget Recommendation,  (c) UNL Athletics Student Life Complex, (d) Update on NeSIS Project, (e) Peter Kiewit Institute, (f) Holland Computing Center.

a.       The Innovation Campus will be on the former Nebraska State Fair Grounds, which roughly connect UNL's Main Campus to its East Campus. Consultants JJR/Smithgroup and Noodle Companies are teamed together to analyze the site and provide a business model. The planning is still in its early stages. The next presentation will be in September.

b.     The budget was discussed in general terms along with the 4% tuition increase. See IX-B-1 below.

c.   The UNL Athletics Student Life Complex is being funded by the Athletic Department and concerns a conversion of a strength training facility in the stadium to a student life complex for athletes.

d.   John Fiene provided an update on the SIS project. Things are going well. UNK Chancellor Kristensen and the Regents expressed their appreciation for the sacrifices made by those working on this project.

e.   Michael McGinnis, the new Executive Director of the Peter Kiewit Institute, was introduced. The search that led to the appointment of Dr. McGinnis grew out of a Review of PKI by the Washington Advisory Group. It is noteworthy that the charter for PKI has been revised based upon this review, which pointed to the need for a research agenda that will take PKI to the next level. Dr. McGinnis spoke. He has only been on the job two days. His focus will be on "innovation" and "learning environment." Building upon current PKI strengths in Information Assurance and Information Science, he would like to build strengths in (1) applications of modeling and simulation, (2) transportation growth and warehousing and (3) nanotechnologies. He pointed out, in reference to modeling/simulation, that in the next few years all new surgeries (particularly, those from the waist up) will need to be performed and experimented with in a virtual environment first.

f.    The Holland Computer Center was announced. This ties the computing cluster Firefly at PKI to the clusters Prairie Fire and Red in Lincoln.

The Board of Regents meeting began at 1:00. The items of concern to UNO include: IX-A-3 Bachelor of Science with a major in Neuroscience at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; IX-A-4 Elimination of Regents Policy RP-5.7.6 Tuition Policy for Distance Education For-credit Hours; IX-B-1 2009-10 University of Nebraska Operating Budget, Tuition Rate Increases; IX-B-14 Renovation of Roskens Hall.

IX-A-3. Approved Unanimously. There wasn't much discussion.

IX-A-4. Approved Unanimously. President Milliken stressed that this item has been recommended by many parties concerned with distance education at the University of Nebraska, including the Distance Education Coordinating Committee (now the Online Worldwide Steering Committee).  Lanyce Keel and David Boecker represent UNO on the OWSC.

IX-B-1. Approved Unanimously. It was stated repeatedly that this tuition increase is the lowest in 10 years and the second lowest in 20 years. Regent Ferlic, who professed to generally being against tuition increases (except for professional programs), spoke out very strongly in favor of the tuition increase. Regent Whitehouse stressed that this was not a step that was being taken lightly. Indeed, the recent financial aid advances, such as the increase of the Pell Grant max by $600 to $5,350, the Collegebound Nebraska and Student Assistance Fund programs, along with private support such as the Thompson Scholars program were all important factors in convincing the Regents that this budget achieves the right balance at this time between maintaining the quality of the University of Nebraska's programs and student's financial needs.

IX-B-14. Approved Unanimously. There wasn't much discussion. The proposal is currently at the concept stage. When a budget is finalized, it will come back to the Board of Regents for more discussion.

2.      Executive Committee and Administration (EC&Admin.) met June 17, 2009.

Minutes were submitted by Senator Laquer.  Attending:  Elder, Christensen, Hynes, Conley, Mitchell, Laquer, Boyer, Holley, Sollars, Robinson, Castilow.  Absent (invited) Cicotello. 

a.      New/Completed  Resolutions

i.        Resolution 2984, 5/13/09 (completed 6/3/09): Appointment of Chair of the Cabinet.  Accepted for information.

ii.   Resolution 2990, 6/3/09:  Graduate Council Representative.  Accepted for information.

      Rather than spend time discussing resolutions with little controversy, the prior practice of an email response to current resolutions would be resumed.  Castilow indicated that three days was usual, unless other activities were more pressing.  In the absence of a response, a follow-up by Bishop would be acceptable. 

b. Resolution Action Table: 

2944.  Chancellor Christensen found the clarification added 6/10/09 acceptable.  He provided additional context to the correction.  He sees the value of funding for UCRCA, but in difficult budget times, continued funding cannot be guaranteed.  Hynes communicated that there is very little permanent budget for UCRCA.  She has taken some of the F & A funds that comes into her office, and allocates it to UCRCA.  This is of course limited by the success of faculty in obtaining external funding.  She is committed to reinvesting those funds into research and this committee is one venue. 

c.  Other:  

Roundtable:

      Chancellor Christensen liked the notion that each of us would keep us all informed of what might be coming down the pipeline prior to a resolution being formulated.  Elder commented that this roundtable could be a way for the Senate to be informed of forthcoming topics from the vice-chancellors, though this meeting would continue to facilitate communication from the Faculty Senate to the Administration.  Both Christensen and Elder acknowledged that there may be issues that pop-up and need to be managed at that time.            

      Chancellor Christensen related as how there was a lot of talk in the newspaper about the status of the Crossroads Shopping Center as potentially up for sale.  UNO is protected by their contract from the loss of parking even if the mall is sold.  Rumors have also been floating about as to why doesn't UNO own that property, and the answer is that there is no money for such a purchase.  The timing is terrible since work has not yet been completed on Aksarben Village, and there is also the Midtown Crossing project also underway in midtown.  Central administration (Millikan) is aware of the issues.  If anything more substantial than rumor occurs, then appropriate communication will occur at that time.  Conley stated that if the Crossroad's garage came on the market at a good price, the university would need to consider it, even though the goal is to get out of Crossroad's parking and concentrate on the north-south traffic from the Main Campus to the Pacific location.  With 3000 stalls, it is a $20,000,000 garage (new).  The new mall designs are exterior access; rumors indicate that razing the current facility has been considered.

      Enrollment projections look strong for fall 2009.  This is critical to us, not only for this year but also next year.  Robinson reported that as of this week summer enrollment is up 4.8% and credit hours up 7%. For fall, enrollment is up 3% and 3.6% on credit hours.   Elder asked if a projection for the tuition model could be made.  Christensen replied that it depends when the census is taken, and the actual mix of students; last year enrollment was up slightly, but overall we lost money.  If the trends continue, then continued erosion of the base funding would be less, and maybe even gain back some funding. 

      Christensen reiterated that faculty are absolutely critical to recruiting.  A lot of students will make their final decision based on some personal contact that has occurred.  Some departments have taken advantage of that, taking advantage of dual enrollment.  The students are coming to a faculty or a department that they know, not just to UNO.  Recruiting will increase again in the fall since that is when students begin the college search process. 

      Competition for out-of-state students is increasing with Peru State College advertising that all students pay the in-state rate.  Competition for students entering in fall 2010 will be fierce; some other institution's advertising appears to verge at being dishonest, yet it does attract attention of prospective students. 

      Laquer asked if we knew how many of our students have current on-line enrollment or transfer credit from Peru State.  There are in-state transfer agreements governing credit transfer between state colleges and universities.  Robinson related that there are many students enrolled at Peru who are obtaining dual credit in their high school, not our dual enrollment model, and not AP.  We do see some of these students transferring in with up to 24 credit hours.  It is not just Peru, but also students from Northeast Community College in Norfolk, and Iowa Western with dual enrollment credit, which is not like UNO's dual enrollment.  There are increasing numbers of colleges granting college credit for classes taken in a high school classroom.  Elder related that there is a national accrediting organization for these dual enrollment classes.  When the UNO Math Department was developing their program, they considered that accreditation.  Christensen related that Nebraska already has essentially that sort of process for their colleges, and dual enrollment programs.  In any case it is important that we continue to do well what we do. 

      Mitchell reported that this morning on the NBC Today Show there was a young woman in the crowd wearing her North High School graduation regalia.  Al Roker interviewed her asking her where she was from and where she was going to college – she said UNO.  Laquer asked if there is a way that we could get a clip of that and place it on a UNO web page.  Christensen suggested Tim Kaldahl could look into that. 

      Elder brought up his concern as to how research at UNO is portrayed.  He is interested in consistent assertions that there is important research that is done here at UNO.  For example, it is clear that the regents believe that there is research done at UNMC.  Yet still Chancellor Maurer makes sure that there are talking points in the UNMC Faculty Senate President's binder prior to Regents' meetings.  This information enables communication of these activities, funding levels, and important results during lunch (really a ‘power lunch') or during other informal interactions with the regents.  Elder was able to obtain some information on the status of research at UNO from Harmon Maher, Mary Laura Farnham, and Nancy Schlesiger, prior to the last Regents' meeting.  UNMC is not complacent as evidenced by their active efforts.  Elder would like to see UNO do as much marketing of their research as UNMC does; and he anticipates Faculty Senate action on this issue.

      Chancellor Christensen agreed that this was a point well taken.  In addition there will be a change in the Regent's metrics for each campus.  Each campus will then have an opportunity to present individually how they match up to these metrics.  In the past, though not that we have not wanted to be involved, but Central Administration has made the statement that there are two campuses that have a primary responsibility in research; one is the Research I institution, the other is UNMC; and so they always present.  Now that will be different since UNO will have the opportunity to address all of those research, engagement, and teaching activities as an institution.  The other opportunity is the campus visit by the Regents; though the timeframe is pretty compressed, and it now occurs on a two-year cycle instead of annually.  The Chancellor related as how the capital campaign has allowed him to talk to business leaders in our community who may serve on our advisory board about who we are and what we do.  That group has a better appreciation of research, both bench and applied. 

      Hynes reported viewing a presentation recently on the Innovation Campus, which while primarily a UNL venture, and located in Lincoln, will need partnerships with campuses in Omaha in order to be sustainable.  This should then open up opportunities for research, tech transfer, and the like, but whether that will happen since it is a UNL venture remains to be seen. 

      Hynes reported that she and Conley had a meeting with some other people in other divisions on domestic violence issues.  They are looking at working together in training for Campus Security, Counseling, and Health Services staff, so that they are prepared for a possible domestic violence event.  Preparation is necessary with the increasing numbers of students on campus, and it can also affect employees.  The different divisions that are impacted may not normally work together; Academic and Student Affairs is separated from Campus Security which is under Business and Finance.  This group is not a task force, and has no formal name.  The people taking the lead on this are Marti Rosen-Atherton, Coordinator of Counseling; Marcia Adler, Supervisor of Health Services; Rita Henry, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Services; Paul Kosel, Assistant Manager, Security and Traffic; and Molly Anderson, Director, Human Resources.  This group is developing some programmatic elements.         

      Chancellor Christensen explained that in the spirit of keeping groups on campus informed (head's up), he had extended an invitation to the Staff Advisory Council leadership to join us to view the draft of the Budget Forum presentation scheduled for June 25 at 10:00.  He felt that it would be easier to have one draft presentation rather than two.  The Budget Forum presentation is scheduled for the time of the regular monthly Chancellor's Council.  For sure there will be an audience from every constituency.  Feedback is solicited from this draft presentation prior to the Forum; however the material to be presented should be considered confidential and not released to the general campus population since it is incomplete.  This draft has been seen by the Budget Advisory Task Force, and will be presented to the Deans tomorrow. 

      Hynes reiterated that UNO is the only campus in the system who cannot say what the budget cuts will be since they are waiting for the decision of the Commission of Industrial Relations on the University's appeal of the AAUP salary raise decision.

      At 2:40 pm the Staff Advisory Council leadership joined the meeting.  The Chancellor summarized the reason for the meeting.  Since the material was to be considered confidential, no notes are presented here.  See the report of the Budget Forum for the public details. 

d.   Adjourn at 3:50 pm.

3.      Chancellor's Council - Substitute Meeting = University Budget Forum Presentation (Report submitted by Senator Laquer.)

      The Forum took place on June 25, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in the Collaborating Commons, College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building.  It was led by Chancellor John Christensen.

      Attending for the Faculty Senate:  Laquer, Sollars, Holley, and, possibly others.  Absent Elder (out of town), Mitchell (out of town).

The slides presented are available as a pdf document here http://www.unomaha.edu/budgetadvisorytf/tabs/uno/campusforum062509.pdf

The UNO Budget Advisory Task Force Information page is here http://www.unomaha.edu/budgetadvisorytf/tabs/uno/unoinfo.php

which includes links to earlier budget presentations.

An mp3 file (8 Mb) of the presentation is available on request from F. Laquer, Faculty Senate Secretary-Treasurer or Sue Bishop. Chancellor's Budget Forum2009_06_25.mp3

The Omaha World Herald report of the meeting was published in Midlands, 2009 June 26, pages 1B and 2B, and on line; http://www.omaha.com/article/20090626/NEWS01/706269884

      Much of the presentation was the same at that shared in draft form at the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Administration meeting June 17.  The only major additions were slides 17, 18, and 19 "UNO Budget Reductions," "What Can You Do?", "The Glass is Half Full," and some of the discussion items as detailed below. 

      Chancellor Christensen began by stating that this is an update, and that UNO was not at a definitive place at this time compared to the other Nebraska campuses.[1]  He expressed his appreciation to the various constituencies for the work that they have done so far in conserving funds, and allowing some vacant positions to remain so. There has been no hiring freeze.  He noted that the fall 2009 Schedule will be offered as it has been published.  This should reassure students that their planned course selections will not be interrupted.  The strategic goal about being student centered is real on this campus; decisions are being made based on their potential impact to students.  The next concern is how to fund spring 2010.

      Vice Chancellor Conley went over the University-wide Budget numbers (Slides 4-10, some not numbered refer to the document campusforum062509.pdf).  They show the current 08-09 and the projected 09-10 budget.  The State appropriation has increased by 1.5%.  Special includes expansion of the College of Nursing in Norfolk and Allied Health at UNMC.  The tuition includes the Regent's approved increase of 4%, plus special for tuition increases in law, Dentistry, Pharmacy; and possibly others; neither special factor impacts UNO.  The total revenue is projected to increase 2.4%.  Salaries and benefits are to increase 1.5%.  The health insurance increase will be 6%, with none of the increase passed onto the employee.  Life insurance has been expanded to 1x salary, up to a maximum of $120,000.  Utilities are projected to increase 8% (Slide 6).  There is a small increase in the debt service.  New Building O&M (Operations and Maintenance) was previously funded elsewhere in the budget; it was not zero this year, but has no impact on UNO this year.  It will impact UNO in Fiscal 2011 (see later).  The 1% Building renewal Assessment was suspended by the Legislature for the next two years [see Slide 7 for its purpose].  The funds will instead be used for a Student Assistance Fund which will help families in crisis due to economic or other reasons to keep their students in the University.  $3.0 million will be used as one-time funds for Programs of Excellence.  "Continuing Operations and Other" increases due to the special items above, but basically there is no increase otherwise.  "POE/Faculty & Student Diversity/Need-Based Aid" will only see a 4% increase in need-based aid only.  Comparing the revenue and expenses yields the $8.5 million shortfall (Slide 9).  The campus distribution of the shortfall is shown in Slide 10.  Some deficits, for example a new building is assigned to that campus only.  Salary increases different than the 1.5% are also funded by the campus itself; which is why the percentage for UNO is higher than the others.  The UNO portion of the deficit is $2.2 million.  There are three main components of the UNO portion (Slide 11).  The Tuition Revenue Shortfall is due to the fact that our tuition receipts this year were below that of the previous year.  That will be covered by the Academic Excellence Fund started in 05-06 when the University began incentives for the Campuses to grow tuition revenue.  Those increases have been banked, used for part-time instructors, and now these funds will be needed to cover the shortfall.  The AAUP Salary increase assuming a 3.8% increase amounts to $1.2 million of the deficit.  The campus share of the U-wide cuts is $0.3 million. 

      Conley continued that the budget for Fiscal 2011 will also be challenging (Slide 12).  There will be a continuation of the AAUP salary increase differential, and a share of the U-wide cuts.  New building O&M will apply to UNO in 2011 when Mammel Hall comes on-line with a substantial $1.1 million cost.  The administration is already looking to minimize the impact of that $1.1 million in Fiscal 2011.  [Note:  it was not stated here, but assumed that the tuition revenue shortfall impacting Fiscal 2010 will not be repeated; assuming that UNO can grow tuition..  See also a question from the audience at the end] 

        Vice Chancellor Hynes continued the presentation with more details on the $1.2 million which arises from the AAUP Contract (Slide 14).  UNO cannot be more definitive with respect to the budget since the Commission of Industrial Relations has not yet ruled on the Regent's appeal of the Special Master's decision; the CIR does not have a deadline.  For planning, the administration is assuming that the salary increase will be a maximum of 3.8% (a conservative estimate).  It could be 2.9%, or something in between.  If there is no decision by the time classes start (start of the contract year), under the regulations of the State, no changes to faculty salaries may be made until this is decided.  Once the decision is made, the CIR also decides how much interest is to be paid on the salary that is retroactively due.

      Chancellor Christensen continued with his Guiding Principles (Slide 16).  1. "Make every effort to retain people."  Christensen said that he has told Milliken that not only are we skinny but we are anorexic when it comes to the staffing on this campus; and that is true in every category, from staff to administration as compared with our Board of Regents comparable institutions..  2. "Minimize impact on students" when making decisions on cuts.  3. "Decentralized decision-making (college/unit level)."  This keeps the decisions as close to the student as possible.  The individual units are different enough that it only makes sense that the decisions be made there.  4. "Carry-forward of budget savings."  5. "Management of class sizes and assigned time, where possible."  They are looking at opportunities where possible to manage class sizes differently, and to deal with assigned time differently during this period of financial stress.  6. "Continued sound fiscal management to conserve funds."  This amounts to $300,000 to $400,000 in savings so far.  Those savings will be directed back to the units where it originated.  7. "Continued focus on increasing revenue."  We need to be creative at developing new or growing existing revenue streams.  For example we advocated for several years for the opportunity to fully serve our metropolitan area, including Harrison, Mills and Pottawattamie Counties in Iowa, which are part of the federally defined Metropolitan area.  This ultimately resulted in a lowered tuition rate for those residents, but also an increase in the total tuition received by UNO due to increased enrollment. 

      The final budget remains uncertain and these are still estimates (Slide 17).  There will be "Reductions of approximately 30 full-time equivalents expected."  The operative term is equivalents.  1. "90% are academic and student affairs (most in faculty areas)."  It needs to be here since that is where the differential occurred.  2. "Vacant lines (open positions)."  The Chancellor appreciated the strategic thinking about the lines that have been kept vacant, perhaps for one time, or even permanently.  Again these are decisions that are made at the program and unit level.  There are funds held here that will prevent the real loss of people.  It is his hope that much of the 30 equivalent positions will come from positions without people currently in them.  3. "Evaluate moving some faculty from 12 month to 9 or 10 month"  4. "State-aided to other funding."  Where possible moving people to other funding (foundation, grant, private, or other extramural) will be considered.  5. "Full time to part time"  [Not explained further.]  6. "Reduced part-time and temporary positions"  7. "Capture salary savings, where possible".  These are difficult to predict, depending on what the final budget will be.  These are the strategies that many of the units have suggested in order to address this budget downturn. 

      The Chancellor continued with additional ideas of what people can do to help (Slide 18).  1. "Conserve resources (energy, spending, etc.)"  So far we have done a good job, but there is still progress to be made.  Reinventing how we do business.  2. "Help grow revenue."  With the new tuition model it is important to continue to grow our campus, which will help us grow the revenue returned to our campus.  a. "Recruiting students."  There is no-one more important in the recruitment process than Faculty and Staff.  It is the people (advisors, faculty, and staff) that they will be working with as the student goes through their programs.  We do a good job, but there are probably additional ways that we can interact to increase enrollment.  b. "Increasing productivity (workload / efficiency / effectiveness)."  Units are looking at this individually.  c. "Retaining students through continued excellence."  This is as important as recruiting them.  The promise to students and families needs to include Graduation.  Those students that stay are part of the tuition base in the future.  d. "Participate in opportunities for external funding."  Where possible the Chancellor encourages these activities, recognizing that it is not possible in all cases.  This has been increasing at UNO and has been successful.  In addition opportunities for direct Federal funding [e.g. earmarks] should be pursued since many others are also.  3. "Buy UNO (bookstore, food court, catering, athletic events, etc.)" will help us help ourselves.  4. "Be Mavelous - Participate in wellness activities to help reduce healthcare costs".  The Chancellor related as how Lyn Holley sent him an email stating that we all need to take care of ourselves.  As a family here at UNO we all need to take care of each other and also ourselves; which will help manage health and pharmaceutical costs. 

      The Chancellor views the situation as "The Glass is Half Full" (Slide 19).  1. "Could be worse- Reductions are higher in most other states."  At a state university in California they have been directed to cut 20% off the top; that changes the fabric of the university.  Their cut is on top of a 10% cut last year.  They will have thousands of students who are eligible who will not be able to attend college in that state.  2. "Growth - Enrollment for summer & fall 2009 is strong."  About 5% in head count this summer, which we have not seen in several years.   Why is this happening?  Some is the economy, but also the University is telling its story well, and we are being recognized for being a quality institution, here in Omaha.  The fall increase appears to be about 3%.  If the mix of enrollment is as before, we will see some gains to the base budget returned to the campus.  3. "Value- UNO offers a great education at a low cost."  Take any comparison group you want, UNO is a great value.  4. "Results – UNO delivers on student achievement & growth."  This message getting out there and is starting to be supported by statistics. 

4. "Athletics on the move."  In the three previous of these meetings, no-one has mentioned athletics, which the Chancellor found surprising in the face of the challenging situation he inherited.  His charge was to fix the challenging situation in athletics in three to five years.  His initial goal was three years; recognizing that that was optimistic.  The elephant in the room is the $1.5 million deficit.  His practice is that none of those dollars to fix the athletics deficit come from Academic and Student Affairs.  During the budget shortfall several years ago the Chancellor thought that athletics should participate with their share then, and they will participate in this budget reduction also.  Athletics is important to University life in many ways.  He wants to avoid a kind of "mercenary, bottom-line thinking; if they don't make money then they are a source of relief".  This would then translate across the campus.  For example, looking at the Fact Book for any number of units, and comparing percent of budget to student credit hour production; or bottom line thinking; we could develop a strategy that if you are not a profit center, then you are not [kept].  That is a very dangerous path to take, it is not forward thinking, it disregards the greater good, and you end up with a non-comprehensive campus.  In some years, some units carry the ball, and some units will always be below the line or in the red if you only look at dollars and cents.  But instead we need too look at the greater gift that they give to the campus, be it an academic program, a service unit, or an auxiliary, there is a bigger picture.  The level of state support for athletics here is barely at the level of support across the country for Division II programs.  By comparison, very few Division I programs make money in spite of public perceptions otherwise.  The Chancellor asked "Would we like to be the example of a D-II program with a D-I Hockey team that can make money?  The answer is yes.  The driver in athletics [at UNO] is Hockey as Trev Alberts figured out immediately.  Alberts has done several things to improve the program, including hiring the best coaching staff in college hockey.  Revenues in terms of sponsorships and private funds in the last month are incredible.  The numbers of season tickets sold in the last week are better than they have been for two years.  The other elephant in the room is being in debt and also spending money like crazy.  The Chancellor stated that one of the reasons he hired Trev Alberts is that he has some star power, he knows people, and he is smart.  He has connected with this community in ways that we cannot imagine.  The Chancellor said he was asked how we could pay for the new head hockey coach – that is all being privately funded.  The assistant hockey coach is taking the salary of the previous assistant hockey coach.  Why would he come here, taking a salary cut?  He has the opportunity to work with the second winningest coach in the United States in college hockey.  The Chancellor stated that there is a lot of stuff floating around about athletics, and he will not allow Academic and Student Affairs to bear the solution for that.  That auxiliary is important for campus life, and community engagement (some people would never be on campus otherwise); it is the "front porch" to the university. 

      The Chancellor then asked for questions, not mentioning the last two items in Slide 19;: 6. "Exciting new facilities – HPER, Mammel Hall (CBA), Welcome Center, MBSC"  and 7. "We have great faculty & staff…We are Omaha's University."

      While waiting for questions, the Chancellor stated that he doubted that there would be any opportunity to have any additional budget forums later in the summer since even fewer people would be around.  If the situation becomes clearer he said he would communicate that as soon as possible.  He encouraged conversations with unit supervisors to determine each unit's plans as each are unique.  He again thanked all the staff and faculty for their support in this process.  Continuing to fill time, he said that staff should start hearing about their salary increases as early as today.  

      There were only two questions from the audience.  One asked about the blank following "Tuition Revenue Shortfall" for Fiscal 2011 (Slide 12).  Christensen said that he expected with the projected enrollment increases it would not be a problem, except under a peculiar mix of enrollments.  Hynes answered that at this time they do not know what to put in that place, thus it is blank.  They are counting on faculty and staff to meet the expectation discussed earlier of having faculty in front of all classes in the fall.  All of the available part-time funds are front-loaded into the fall, and they are counting on those tuition dollars coming in, in a way that will give us the 50% of the increase in tuition to be initially returned to the campus, based on the current (complicated) model.  That will allow us to replicate the fall offerings in the spring.  Then as the base budget is calculated for next year, we would hope that we would not have a deficit in that line; but instead have some additional dollars to offset other cuts.  While we have spent most of our time today on the 2010 budget, 2011 also needs to be considered; and it is not clear how the economy will perform.   Conley continued that the "Tuition Revenue Shortfall" is difficult to pin down.  For example, while this year both enrollment and credit hours were up, the mix of non-resident and resident changed and thus the tuition receipts actually went down.  Therefore it is not easy to predict whether it will be positive or negative. 

      The second question dealt with this period of financial stress.  A question at the faculty level was how do we make it through the next year or two, but these are permanent cuts.  He solicited guidance about where do we think about any of this as being temporary?  The Chancellor responded that the Deans and unit heads should be able to answer the question more specifically than he.  There are cases when dollars are being used to buy time, which is temporary.  In order to grow the campus, we will need to be able to grow faculty, staff, and support.  We are doing a pretty good job through private dollars with opportunities to build capacity.  If we are not in crisis, do those tuition dollars support the changes that we need to have to build the campus human infrastructure?  There is no simple answer.  Extramural funding is expected to grow, including more private support.  The Chancellor is encouraged by the committee for the capital campaign that will kick off in October.  There is a lot of faculty, student, and program money in that and the Chancellor anticipates that it will do well. 

      Hynes commented that all money is temporary; even though we hire people into long-term positions.  A lot of the dollars that are going away are dollars that we have invested on a temporary basis, and some are potentially the loss of a vacant line – a permanent person.  There was a plan behind the Academic Excellence Fund started by the Deans several years ago with a goal of $2 million.  With a stable tuition model the goal was to invest these funds into permanent positions.  Similarly with distance education on this campus, where we are looking at where we have grown, and the fees that come in as a result.  When these temporary dollars come in consistently, they can then be used for example to hire a tenure track faculty to be the lead full time person working on on-line education.  With research this is already done.  We take temporary money the F&A money from external funding, in concert with the deans then use that money to support he position of Harmon Maher [Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research] a key leader who can then go out and work with faculty and staff on the campus to help them generate more resources. 

      The Chancellor related that when he is in the community he discusses one of our strategic goals – "Student Centered."  He describes that the data from the graduating student survey show that 95%"would recommend UNO to a family member or a friend."  The exiting students also genuinely believe that we are helping them be successful. 

      The Chancellor stated that we will get through this.  Back in 1984 the Education department was proposed to be cut, and that was only $400,000.  We survived that and thrived.  In 2000 there was also a reallocation, through which we survived.

      The presentation ended at 11:07 am.

4.      Written Acknowledgements: 

Resolution 2944, UCRCA Funding:  (Addition to comments) 6/10/09 Nancy Castilow wrote for Chancellor Christensen: "One clarification related to  Res. 2944, dealing with ongoing support of the UCRCA budget.  I said that I was open to the concept and supportive of continued funding of the UCRCA budget, albeit we would need to review its  funding during times of budget constraints, as we do with other such programs.  The decision to fund and how much to fund remains the purview of the Office of Academic Affairs.  I did not opine that the UCRCA budget line would automatically see no funding during years of budgetary problems."

5.      Resolution Action Table:

Res.#

Date

Senate

Passed

Title

Admin Accept

Sent for Senate Action

Denied

Deferred

In Progress

Final Action/Resolved

2990

6/3/09

Grad. Council Rep

       

complete

Acknowledge 6/17/09

2984

5/13/09

Chr of Cabinet

       

complete

Acknowledge 5/20/095/20/09

2961

4/8/09

Create a Long-Term Disability (LTD) Task Force

 

X*

       

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

 

Senate Deferred

 

X*

2009 Retreat Item

 

*2961 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 4/0/09:  "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.)(6/10/09 Nancy Castilow wrote for Chanc. Christensen: "One clarification related to  Res. 2944, dealing with ongoing support of the UCRCA budget.  I said that I was open to the concept and supportive of continued funding of the UCRCA budget, albeit we would need to review its  funding during times of budget constraints, as we do with other such programs.  The decision to fund and how much to fund remains the purview of the Office of Academic Affairs.  I did not opine that the UCRCA budget line would automatically see no funding during 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.")

*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.)

*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

*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 June 2009 Budget Report.  The year ended with a small overall surplus that will apparently not be carried forward for us.

IV.   Standing Committee Reports

A.    Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator Boyer reported the committee has invited Merry Ellen Turner to update the committee on International Programs including  scholarships available to international students.  Merry Ellen will attend the August 26th committee meeting.

V.   Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.     Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON):  Senator Paterson reported AFCON met June 13, 2009 at Eiseley Branch Library.  Those present:  Peggy Adair, legislative liaison; Dwayne Ball, president, representing ACLU Nebraska and the Nebraska Association of Scholars; Tom Black, Sentinel editor; Karen Buckley, secretary, representing Nebraska Educational Media Association; Kathy Prohaska Cue;  Karen Drevo, representing Nebraska Library 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; Doug Paterson, past president-, representing the Faculty Senate at UNO; Rod Wagner, representing the Nebraska Center for the Book;

 Opening: Ball called the board meeting to order at 10:13. Self introductions were made.

Minutes: (Buckley) The minutes of the May 9 meeting were approved upon a motion by Paterson and a second by Moshman.

Treasurer's Report  (McMurtry) AFCON's treasury has a balance of $2107 as of June 12. AFCON has 33 paid and two guest individual members and twelve paid and two in-kind organization members current with dues.  The treasurer's report was filed for audit.   

 President's Report:  Ball moved up discussion of the annual meeting and introduced Kathy Prohaska Cue, past president of the UNL Faculty Senate and a new member of AFCON.  She reported that the subcommittee was still investigating whether UNL violated academic freedom with the disinvitation of Dr. Bill Ayers.

            Parker proposed the annual meeting would be Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center (72nd and Grover, Omaha) and presented a budget for the event.  Cost for attending the event will be $30, including lunch. Drevo moved and Black seconded that the annual meeting would be at the Omaha Holiday Inn; the motion was approved.

            Haller and Paterson agreed to serve on the annual awards committee.  Board members are asked to suggest nominees at the July meeting.

Newsletter: (Black) Black said that the next deadline for the Sentinel would be Aug. 31.  Ball said that great thanks were due to Black for his years of service; members concurred with their applause.

Legislative Report: 

Adair reported that Nancy Comer said that the Nebraska Reading Association had reserved a time slot for Adair to speak on the student expression bill at the association's meeting July 13-14 in Cozad.  Adair will also be speaking at the fall conference of Nebraska Library Association/Nebraska Educational Media Association's fall conference Oct. 29-30 in LaVista.

            Adair requested that members keep sending her stories of why the student expression bill is needed.  She also stated that it is vital for interested parties to e-mail their state senator on the day the bill is introduced.

Membership Reports:

·         Lee said the UNL Faculty Senate's major concern regarding the upcoming university budget is vertical cuts.  Prohaska Cue said that the decision on budget cuts should be made public by the following week.

·         Drevo said that the Intellectual Freedom committee of NLA proposed three programs for the fall conference; Adair's program was accepted.

·         Moshman said that the ACLU was reviewing a case in which a school only allowed students to read books intended for their age level and not allowing students to read books above their grade level, even if their reading ability  was above their grade level.

·         Haller said that the AAUP journal Academe was requesting stories on good and bad procedures for making budget cuts.

·         Wagner said that the Nebraska Center for the Book met last month and began looking at the student expression bill.  The group will vote in August on whether to support the bill.

Old Business: Board members looked at the newly redesigned AFCON website, which garnered positive responses for its new look and content.  Parker moved, and Black seconded, to reimburse Barb Cornelius for expenses incurred in renewing the afconebr.org domain. The motion passed.            

New Business:  Lee will be meeting with ACLU Nebraska members on this year's Banned Books Week observance.  Lee will report back to the board regarding possibly cosponsoring events with the ACLU.  Wagner and Buckley volunteered to join Lee as a planning committee for Banned Books Week, if AFCON chooses to participate in an observance. AFCON generally plays an active role in odd number years for the event.  Drevo moved, and Haller seconded, to make $100 available for Banned Books Week activities.  The motion passed.

There being no further business, Ball declared the meeting adjourned at 12:07 p.m.  The next meeting will be Saturday, July 11 at the Walt Branch Library on South 14th Street, between Old Cheney and Pine Lake.

VI.             Old Business

A.    Continue Work on Retreat Program:  Senator Elder asked all members of the EC&C to e-mail him some general interest topics that he can cull through and see what might be important for the Faculty Senate to work on in 2009-2010.  These thoughts should be to him by July 22, 2009.  It was decided to let Chancellor Christensen chose his own topic for his presentation, which will probably be budget related.  Sr. V.C. for Academic and Student Affairs Hynes would be asked to speak on her "Vision for UNO."  Assoc. V.C. for Research Harmon Maher would be invited to make a presentation, and Asst. V.C. Bullock will be invited to spend about 5 minutes on AQIP.  A tentative schedule was penciled in.

B.     Stem Cell Research Resolution:  It was suggested that a committee be set up to research and craft a resolution regarding the NHI recent decision on Stem Cell research and the UNO Faculty Senate's position on this subject.  Past-President Sollars will chair this committee and Senators Paterson and Hendricks also volunteered to serve on the committee.  A few other senators were suggested and President Elder will contact them, with Past-President Sollars following up.  While the NU Board of Regents does not seem to be looking at this until October 2009, it was suggested that it would be good to have a resolution ready.  Also suggested, was contacting the other three Faculty Senate presidents to see what their current position is on this subject.

VII.          New Business

The agenda for the EC & Administration meeting, on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, will include a heading for Roundtable discussion and a request for a UNO Budget update.

VIII.        The meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m. with announcements.



[1]  The Chancelllor did not state this, but it was understood that the reason is that the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations http://www.ncir.ne.gov/index.htm has not yet ruled on the Regents appeal of the Special Master's support for the AAUP salary increase http://www.ncir.ne.gov/March%20Filings.htm #1207, http://www.ncir.ne.gov/Case 1207.appeal.order on motion in limine.htm