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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2009-2010 Faculty Senate

Minutes

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_____________________Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 2 p.m., MBSC Chancellors Room_______________________

Presentation:  A'Jamal Byndon, Director, Omaha Table Talk, explained what Omaha Table Talk is and urged all to try to attend.  They are held once a year.

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I.          The meeting was called to order at 2:16 p.m.

II.        The December 10, 2009, Senate meeting was cancelled due to weather.  The November 11, 2009, minutes were approved as submitted.

III.             Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Elder reported

1.      The Executive Committee and Administration (EC&Admin.) met November 18, 2009.

      The Chancellor acknowledged and concurred with Faculty Senate Resolution 3007, 11/11/09:  On the Passing of Retired Goodrich Faculty Member, Wilda Chue Stevenson.

      President Elder asked about the pictures and plaques that had been hanging in MBSC before this summer's renovation.  These were the Distinguished Award for Research recipients and Teaching Awards recipients.  A faculty member, wrote Elder to ask him to find out where the pictures are now.  Once this was mentioned most realized that they were missing and thought it was inadvertent.  V.C. Conley will look into the matter and see that they are re-hung, if not in MBSC, then on the first floor of EAB, the Library, or some other publically visible place of honor.

      Discussion moved to the budget crisis.  It seems that the recommendations to the legislature have held up so far.  Chancellor Christensen called this the most severe budget crisis he has ever confronted in his time at the university.  There will be a Campus Budget Forum tomorrow, November 19, which will try to cover what the recommended reduction figure might be and what that could mean cumulatively to the current biennial budget reduction.  Even though there is not too much new information, the forum will let everyone know what is known at this time and what is not known.  Program of Excellence funds, $3 million university-wide, have been set aside, and might be used to help make the budget reduction less severe.  The Chancellor also was very appreciative to those who have held the line on tuition, unlike the University of California, which is increasing their fees by 32%.  He also noted that the university cannot survive with the constant downhill trend of state support for public institutions without addressing the tuition rate.  He does not think there will be a late surcharge on students for Spring 2010 here, although that is being done in many other states.  We do not know what the bottom line is yet for either the first or second year.  The second piece of the Forum will be to let people know that everything is on the table.

      NU, and the State of Nebraska, cannot legally reduce the percentage of contributions to retirement funds, as other universities in the country, both public and private, have done.  There is a state law against this.  Nebraska is only one of two states that disallow this at this time.  The Budget Advisory Task Force (BATF) has come up with some guidelines for reductions.  SVC Hynes noted that all that information is on the BATF web site.  [Note:  This document does not appear to be on the BATF site, http://www.unomaha.edu/budgetadvisorytf/; the Meeting Minutes tab is empty.  A second request was made during the Budget forum, and the group was informed by SVC Hynes that Steve Bullock would look into it.]  There were many tactical suggestions that did not have to be implemented this year, but will probably become part of future conversations. 

      The Chancellor tried to put it all in perspective by noting that the projected two-year budget reduction figure is about $7.5 million dollars of budget reduction for UNO, which is equivalent to the total state supported budget of three UNO colleges.  Contracts/grants, etc. are 1/3 of the budget, tuition is another 1/3, and the final 1/3 of our budget comes from the state.

      On the other hand, once UNO gets through the budget crisis the future is very bright.  The Susan Thompson Buffett Scholars Program alone http://www.unomaha.edu/thompsonlc/ is adding to our student population.  The program began with a limit to the number of students, but since they had many more qualified applicants they raised the limit, and then they took the limits off completely.  This is not available at any other university.  Now they are looking at the need for additional university housing for these students. 

      It was suggested and agreed that the Administration continue to let faculty know what they can do to help the university - - practical steps, such as adding more students to a class, or adding another section, if possible.  The Administration also encouraged the Faculty Senate to send any and all ideas to their representative on the Budget Advisory Task Force. http://www.unomaha.edu/budgetadvisorytf/tabs/members/members.php .

      The issue of a blog or website that faculty and others could access to discuss the budget concerns and be able to know what had been considered was brought up.  There were concerns about its security and utility; many public blogs go off on tangents and unproductive dialog. 

      It was noted that this would be Past-President Suzanne Sollars last EC&A meeting.  The chancellor thanked her for her service.

      The slides from the 11.19.2009 Campus Forum are at http://www.unomaha.edu/budgetadvisorytf/tabs/uno/campusforum111909.pdf

2.      Board of Regents met November 20, 2009.  The Regents (with John Fech, UNL Fac Sen Pres) took a tour of the Nebraska Innovation Campus before the meeting, which began at 10:00.

      The regents approved the first stage of development of Innovation Campus. A handout was provided on the Budget, but no new information was available. So there was no presentation on the Budget.

      The main agenda item was a resolution that would have restricted Stem Cell Research to the Stem Cell lines allowed under the G. W. Bush Presidency. Prior to the vote there was about an hour of Public Comment. The Regents then discussed the resolution and explained their respective positions. It is noteworthy that in Regent Whitehouse's justification of his intention to vote against, he referred specifically to the fact that all four University of Nebraska Faculty Senates passed resolutions supporting Stem Cell Research, subject to all Federal and State Law. When the vote was taken the four authors of the resolution voted for the resolution, while the four other regents voted against. Thus the resolution failed. It is noteworthy that among the four student regents, 3 voted against including the UNO Student Regent Neal Bonacci.

3.      The Chancellor's Council was replaced by the November 19, 2009, Budget Forum.

4.      Deans Forum:  The agenda and minutes posted have been updated and are current.   http://www.unomaha.edu/aandsaffairs/insidepages/deansforum.php

5.      Written Acknowledgements of Resolutions (& Table): Nancy Castilow e-mailed on 11/16/09 that the Chancellor acknowledges and concurs with Resolution 3007, 11/11/09:  On the Passing of Retired Goodrich Faculty Member, Wilda Chue Stevenson.

Res#

Date

F.S. Passed

Title

Admin

Accept

Sent for Senate Action

Denied

Deferred

In Progress

Final Action/Resolved

3007

11/11/09

On the Passing of Retired Goodrich Faculty Member, Wilda Chue Stevenson

11/16/09

       

Acknowledged and concurs

3004

10/14/09

Parking Issues (Events Calendar)

       

X*

 

3003

10/14/09

Regarding Stem Cell Research

 

X*

       

2962

4/8/09

Inform Faculty and Staff of Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance Policy Offsets, Waiting Periods, and Phase-Out Ages

X*

       

Acknowledged

2961

4/8/09

Create a Long-Term Disability (LTD) Task Force

X*

       

Acknowledged

2944

1/14/09

UCRCA Funding

     

X*

   

2937

12/10/08

Create a Team to Implement a Common Course Evaluation

4/09

       

New Common Course Evaluation Team established 3/09*

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

 

*3004 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 10/15/09:  "The chancellor will discuss the resolution with Vice Chancellor Conley and Tim Kaldahl, University Relations."

*3003 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 10/15/09:  "While the Chancellor has not taken a public position on this matter, he suggests that, should the Faculty Senate wish to do so, this resolution could be forwarded to Donal Burns, BOR Corporation Secretary, to document Senate support."  (This was done by the UNO Faculty Senate on 10/14/09)

*2962:  (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 4/10/09:  "With regard to the second resolution, he would ask Vice Chancellor Conley to review how these benefits are currently communicated to faculty and staff, with follow up as he deems appropriate.")

*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.) (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.")

*2937 (From the EC & Admin Mtg 12/17/08: Vice Chancellor Hynes asked F.S. President to send the Task Force's final report.)

(From the EC& Admin Mtg 1/21/09:  Vice Chancellor Hynes promised to look over the materials on the Common Course Evaluation. There is a form from a previous incarnation of the task force. The recommendations, as reviewed,  need to be implemented.)

(From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 2/20/09:  Acknowledged and referred to Vice Chancellor Hynes for review.  VC Hynes acknowledges receipt of final report; review in process.)

(3/09 New Common Course Evaluation Team formed via Steve Bullock.)

*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 November 2009 Budget Report, because the December 2009 had not been approved by the EC&C, due to the January 2010 EC&C meeting being canceled due to weather.

1.      Budget Advisory Task Force (BATF):  Senator M. Bacon reported that there was a meeting, but very little information was passed on.  It was reported that "something" would be known on January 16, 2010.  President Elder also announced that Dr. M. Bacon will continue to report to the Faculty Senate after her Senate term ends in May 2010.  He also announced that that each Senate President will be a member of the BATF.

IV.             Standing Committee Reports

A.    Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Hendricks reported the committee met Wednesday, November 18.

      In attendance were: Johanningsmeier, Hendricks, Bartle, and Baguyos, as well as special guests Arnold Bateman (Director, Online Worldwide), Kristin Grosskopf (Distance Education Specialist for Online Worldwide), John Fiene (UNO Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs - ITS), Griff Elder, and Lynn Harland. Absent: Mitchell (excused) and Bonsell.

      After hearing a brief presentation by Arnold Bateman, the Director of NU's Online Worldwide initiative [http://nebraska.edu/administration/online-worldwide.html , http://onlineworldwide.nebraska.edu/ ], about its developmental history, the committee had the opportunity to communicate the many concerns that UNO Faculty have about Online Worldwide and ask a good number of questions (most of which had been sent to Mr. Bateman beforehand).

      The committee especially strongly communicated the concern of UNO faculty that Online Worldwide is being driven chiefly by a desire for increased revenue rather than for any educational reasons. Mr. Bateman agreed that more needed to be done to indicate in the program's Strategic Plan that it has a strong educational purpose of serving people who for various reasons cannot necessarily attend classes in person but who, by gaining more knowledge through an online degree course, could better their own lives and their communities.

      In addition, the committee clearly communicated to him our sense that the best distance education programs at UNO have resulted from individual programs' own initiative, and that too much central control will stifle these programs' creativity and their "entrepreneurial spirit," in the words of one committee member. UNO faculty, we told him, generally welcome the help that Online Worldwide could provide in terms of financing, marketing, and course development but would prefer to be allowed to maintain a great deal of autonomy, such as through keeping their own websites, among other things.

      We also spent a great deal of time discussing the fact that under Online Worldwide, what students currently pay for online courses in the form of  "fees" – which are thus returned to specific programs for them to use as they decide – will become "tuition." The concern stated repeatedly by UNO representatives was that there is no guarantee these funds will be distributed directly back to the programs which generated them; instead, they will take a long route back towards these programs, with many people along the way having the opportunity to use these funds for their own purposes, such as to supplement shrinking budgets.

      What we told Mr. Bateman that UNO faculty are especially interested to know is when the extra revenue generated by online education courses (due to the fact that tuition for these courses can be raised to "what the market will bear") will be available to add tenure-track faculty to successful programs. Because under Online Worldwide, the charges for courses will be designated as tuition (permanent money) rather than as fees (temporary money), it would now be possible to hire faculty with this money. However, although Mr. Bateman completely agreed that quality courses require well-qualified faculty – not low-paid adjuncts – to teach them, and that the "incentive" of adding new faculty lines was extremely important to getting faculty to "buy in" to distance education, he had no definite answers as to when – or how – individual programs might be able to hire new people.

      The meeting concluded after an hour and a half. A few questions, such as ones our committee had about faculty members' intellectual property rights in courses, were left unasked; Johanningsmeier has forwarded these to Mr. Bateman and is awaiting a reply.

B.     Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator Boyer reported the members present:  Boyer, Kercher, Laquer, Siy, Wileman. Excused: Ritzman.  Guest:  Steve Bullock.

      Steve Bullock, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, provided an update on the Common Course Evaluation.  The Common Course Evaluation Implementation Team consisting of Peter Wolcott (IS&T), Karen Dwyer (CFAM), Mitzi Ritzman and Laura Schulte (COE), Jody Neathery-Castro, Jack Shroder, Ed Tisko (CA&S), Jim Jones, Michael O'Hara (CBA), Dale Krane, Kyle Kercher (CPACS), Marvel Maring (Library) and Joyce Crockett (ITS) have met to discuss pilot projects and implementation. 

      During summer 2009 a pilot was conducted using modifications of questions developed by the Faculty Task Force to Design a Common Course Evaluation which finished its work in May 2008.

      The team has been evaluating an instrument based on the Student Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ) (developed by Dr. Herbert Marsh, University of Western Sydney.  Marsh is an internationally recognized expert in the area of psychometrics [http://www.mta.ca/pctc/TONI_SEEQ/what_is_seeq.htm]).  A sample questionnaire is at http://cbt.uts.psu.edu/Protected/TestPilot/SEEQ/seeqdemo.tp3?USER_ID=test

A larger pilot (25+ classes) of two versions of the SEEQ instrument will be piloted in December.  The group hopes to have significant data from that pilot to make a final recommendation during the Spring 2010 semester.     

Once the instrument has been selected there will still be a number of issues that must be decided. Should the questionnaire be online, on paper, or an option to select what works best for a specific class? What is the best scale to use (1-5 or 1-10)?  How will the information be tabulated and used?

      Regardless of the instrument and the method of administration, there needs to be a statement or policy indicating that student evaluations are only one measure of faculty performance.  Faculty should have access to aggregate student evaluation data for their college and the university in order to compare their evaluation outcomes.

      The Educational Resources & Services Committee will not meet in December.  The next meeting of the committee will be January 27, 2010. 

C.     Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Erickson reported the committee met November 18, 2009.   Members present: Bacon, Carballal, Erickson, Nordman, Proulx, and Srithongrung.

      The committee spent almost the entire meeting on the domestic partner resolution.  We determined that we would like to propose a new resolution referencing the previous resolutions (2370 (1999) and 2440 (2000).  A proposed resolution was drafted referencing the 2 previous UNO Senate resolutions regarding this issue.

      We want to be very careful about the wording of the resolution, given administration's recent responses to what they considered to be too strongly or inappropriately worded resolutions.  We want it strongly worded enough that administration understands the importance we place on the issue, but at the same time we do not want it to be inflammatory so that it goes nowhere. 

      We also want to add some references, one set that supports our position on this issue regarding the cost to the state in dollars, and the other set that provides supporting evidence from local companies that have implemented domestic partner benefits and also from peer and aspirant universities.  We are working on collecting that information and should be ready with the resolution in December.

      The last item we discussed was the budget situation, and realized that we should be prepared should there be Faculty, Personnel and Welfare issues arising from what could be serious budget cuts.

D.    Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Paterson reported the committee convened for its monthly meeting on November 18, 2009, at 2:30 PM in CPACS 208. 

      In Attendance:  Senators Henry D'Souza, Richard Lomneth, Matthew Marx, Doug Paterson (chair).  Absent:  Senators Jessaline Anderson (illness), Bonnie O'Connell (conflict with Strategic Planning meeting).  Guest:  Trev Alberts, UNO Athletic Director. 

      Following up on the Committee's discussion in October with William Wakefield about the possible move of UNO to Division I-AA athletics, the Committee elected to invite UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts to our November meeting. 

      Alberts was very forthcoming in the discussion.  While it was a wide-ranging dialogue, key observations from Alberts included: 

    1. Division II football – and most broader athletics – has changed and will most likely no longer be good for UNO.
    2. The current model is good for smaller towns in smaller markets.  In most of our current conference schools, the college/university athletic program is the only game in town.  UNO has competition from UNL and Creighton and from the Lancers and Qwest.  Most of these programs engage substantially
    3. While several regional schools have moved to I – AA, numerous Division III schools are moving to Division II. 
    4. The question is, what level of competition do we want our student athletes to face, and what level of competition will excite sports enthusiasts in Omaha.
    5. Alberts suggests we need to compete against our academic peers or comparable institutions.   Our conference is not this.
    6. In response to a committee question, Alberts said he was open to a discussion as to what the UNO faculty could do to help with assessing the situation.

      At c. 3:40, we thanked Alberts for meeting with us. The Committee was uniformly impressed with Alberts' detailed understanding of the questions involved and concurred that he represented his positions well.

      The Committee discussed two resolutions put forward by Senator Paterson dealing with the matter of HPER fees and faculty participation and with a question of faculty mood.  After discussion, it was determined that Senators Paterson and Marx would work on the HPER resolution and we would take it up again in December.  The Committee tabled the resolution on faculty mood for later discussion. 

      Senator Lomneth introduced a Resolution commending the work of Senior Specialist, Environmental Health & Safety, Patrick Wheeler and Vice Chancellor, Business & Finance, Bill Conley for their work on sustainability.  After discussion, the Committee passed the Resolution with the stipulation that Senators Paterson and Marx would make minor rewrites, and the Resolution would then be passed onto the Executive Committee and Cabinet and then to the Faculty Senate for its next meeting. 

      Senator Paterson moved the resolution for the committee. 

Resolution 3008, 1/13/10:  Recognizing the Effort of Patrick Wheeler and Bill Conley to Improve Sustainability at UNO

WHEREAS, any institution moving into the 21st century must adopt sustainable practices to retain vitality and viability; and,

WHEREAS, members of the University of Nebraska at Omaha student body, faculty, staff and administration have begun to recognize the significance of adopting sustainable practices; and,

WHEREAS, members of the University of Nebraska at Omaha student body, faculty, staff and administration recognize we are lagging in adoption of sustainable practices and have great potential to be better stewards of our financial and natural resources, and innovators in many areas related to sustainability; and,

WHEREAS, we have a responsibility to demonstrate best practices to our students and the larger community;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the UNO Faculty Senate recognize and praise Patrick Wheeler in his efforts to raise awareness and catalyze the University of Nebraska at Omaha into taking the initial steps on the path toward sustainability, including his efforts in campus-wide adoption of the recycling program, his work on Vice Chancellor Bill Conley's Sustainability Task Force, and his current work with diverse campus units to increase energy efficiency; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the UNO Faculty Senate recognize and praise Vice Chancellor Bill Conley for his interest in and efforts toward building a more sustainable University of Nebraska at Omaha by organizing the Sustainability Task Force, advancing the university Building Temperature Policy, supporting energy audits of campus buildings, supporting the U.N. World Environment Day Forum held on campus, and other sustainability efforts.

The resolution passed unanimously.

E.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator Benjamin-Alvarado reported the committee met on November 9th. PD Committee members present were Senators Benjamin-Alvarado (chairperson), Tixier y Vigil, Haworth, Hayes and Tisko, Absent: Senator Lamsam (excused).  The special guest speaker was CPACS Dean BJ Reed. Dean Reed presented the committee with an overview of the concept of community engagement, and how his college is interpreting community engagement and how it will be integrated into the larger concerns of faculty development, promotion and tenure. Insofar as community development has become a priority of the administration, Dean Reed shared that it has been cause for concern from his perspective and that of his faculty for precisely the same reasons that the Faculty Senate has drawn into this discussion. To address the issue, CPACS has appointed a committee to address the manner in which the concept can be interpreted and how it will relate to faculty development within their college. He anticipates that the college will have a set of recommendations from the committee early in the Spring 2010 semester, and he is willing to share the document with the Professional Development committee. He stated that the most important consideration regarding the issue is that there cannot be a "one-size-fits-all" approach to the definition of community engagement, and that each college may eventually have to approach the issue similarly, drawing up a document that meets the particular elements of faculty concerns as it relates to the concept and its definition. Most importantly, it must be a faculty driven process. On a related note, Senator Benjamin-Alvarado met with AVC Smith-Howell, Interim AVC Maher and Lanyce Keel to discuss the efficacy of Faculty Development instruments available to faculty. Senator Benjamin-Alvarado agreed to serve on an advisory committee along with other faculty members for the remainder of the academic year to engage in a comprehensive assessment of faculty development instruments on campus and to determine what additional instruments might be needed.

F.      Committee on Rules:  Senator Holley moved the following resolution for the committee:

Resolution3009, 1/13/10, UCRCA Replacement (Harden for Lipschultz):

BE IT RESOLVED that, on the University Committee on Research & Creative Activity (UCRCA), the following name go forward to complete the term of Jeremy Lipschultz (CFAM) (08/01/07-07/31/10), who has resigned from the committee:

            Matthew Harden.

           The resolution passed unanimously.

V.                Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.    Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON):  Senator Paterson reported the Annual Membership meeting was held November 14, 2009, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Present:  Peggy Adair, legislative liaison; Russ Alberts; Dwayne Ball, president, representing ACLU Nebraska and the Nebraska Association of Scholars; Nancy Comer, representing the Nebraska Reading Association; Gerry Cox; Laurie Thomas Lee, representing UNL Faculty Senate; Cathi McMurtry, treasurer; Max Morrissey;

Jane Neal, Lincoln Public Schools, retired; Sue Oles, representing Nebraska English Language Arts Council; Linda Parker, president-elect, representing Nebraska Library Association.

      President Ball called the meeting to order at 12:37 p.m.

MINUTES: Members reviewed the minutes of the November 15, 2008 AFCON Annual Membership Meeting. Minutes were approved following a motion by Parker and a second by Lee.

TREASURER'S REPORT: The Treasurer's report for November 13, 2008 through November 14, 2009 was reviewed and filed for audit.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT:  The nominating committee of Lee, Ball, and Adair presented the following slate of officers for 2010:

President-elect: Rod Wagner

Secretary: Peggy Adair

Treasurer: Cathi McMurtry

There being no further nominations from the floor, nominations were closed following a motion by Lee and second by Parker.

COMMENDATIONS: Members commended Dwayne Ball for his service as president of AFCON for 2009.

      There being no further business, the annual membership meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

ADDENDUM: FURTHER COMMENDATIONS

      The following commendations were submitted during the regular November 2009 AFCON board meeting with a request by members that the commendations also be recorded in the annual membership meeting minutes:

Members commended Karen Buckley for her years of service as secretary of AFCON.

Members commended Linda Parker and her annual meeting committee, Karen Drevo and Doug Paterson, for their exemplary efforts in organizing and leading the 2009 AFCON Fall Program/Annual Meeting.

Board of Directors met November 14, 2009 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Those present were:  Peggy Adair, legislative liaison;  Russ Alberts; Dwayne Ball, president, representing ACLU Nebraska and the Nebraska Association of Scholars;

Robert Brooke; Nancy Comer, representing the Nebraska Reading Association;

Gerry Cox; Bob Haller, representing American Association of University Professors, UNL; Judith P. Healy; Laurie Thomas Lee, representing UNL Faculty Senate; Cathi McMurtry, treasurer; David Moshman, policy director; Max Morrissey; Jane Neal, Lincoln Public Schools, retired; Sue Oles, representing Nebraska English Language Arts Council; Linda Parker, president-elect, representing Nebraska Library Association; Doug Paterson, representing UNO Faculty Senate.

President Ball called the meeting to order at 12:45 p.m.

MINUTES: Members reviewed the minutes of the October 10, 2009 AFCON board meeting. Minutes were approved following a motion by Lee and a second by Parker.

TREASURER'S REPORT: The Treasurer's report dated November 13, 2009 was reviewed and filed for audit.

NEWSLETTTER DEADLINE: Ball announced the deadline for sending articles to Tom Black for the next issue of the Sentinel is November 20, 2009.

MEMBERSHIP ISSUES: Ball discussed recent membership issues that have been resolved through communication.

STUDENT EXPRESSION GROUP: The Student Expression Group of Adair, Ball, and Haller reported that they continue to make personal contacts to garner support for the Student Expression Bill that will be introduced in the 2010 legislative session. The group will meet with the bill's sponsor, Senator Ken Haar, on December 3, 2009.

NEXT MEETING: The next meeting of the board of directors of AFCON will be on Saturday, December 12, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in Eiseley Library in Lincoln. The Student Expression Bill will be the main order of business.

OTHER BUSINESS: Parker requested that members begin thinking about the 2010 AFCON annual meeting and offer suggestions for speakers. Paterson suggested as a speaker the woman from Stanford who was not appointed to President Obama's cabinet as Secretary of Education due to her extensive research on education that is critical of the present system.

COMMENDATIONS: Members commended Karen Buckley for her years of service as secretary of AFCON. Members commended Linda Parker and her annual meeting committee, Karen Drevo and Doug Paterson, for their exemplary efforts in organizing and leading the AFCON Fall Program/Annual Meeting.

      There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:59 p.m.

B.     American Association of University Professors (AAUP):  Senator N. Bacon reported the AAUP's chief negotiator Bill Pratt has been in discussions with representatives of the Board of Regents to settle the dispute over faculty salaries.  In a report to the AAUP Executive Committee on Wednesday 12/2 and again in a chapter meeting on Thursday 12/3, Professor Pratt explained that the terms of the proposed settlement are as follows:

  1. A raise of 5.84% over the next two years. This is exactly the amount by which our salaries fall short of the midpoint of our peers; it achieves, then, a catch-up for this year and a keep-up if we assume that salaries at peer institutions will be flat next year.  The raise is to be front-loaded, with 4.5% for this academic year and 1.34% next year.  The front-loading was suggested by the administration side, presumably because the budget situation is less dire this year than next.
  2. Promotion stipends for associate professors and professors will increase by $1,000, rising to $4,000 for associate professors and $5,250 for professors.  This is the first increase in promotion stipends in eight years.  In AY 2010-11, the stipends will rise to $4,250 and $5,500.
  3. For faculty going on phased retirement, the employer contributions to health benefits will remain in place.  The longstanding practice of full employer contributions was discontinued this summer; it will be restored, and the contracts for three people who agreed to phased retirement without the full employer contribution will be revised to comply with the new agreement.
  4. The appeal of the CIR's decision will be withdrawn.

The Executive Committee unanimously recommends acceptance of the proposed settlement.  The ratification vote was held on Thursday, 12/10 from 2:30 until 4:30 p.m.  The settlement was accepted as proposed.

C.     Graduate Council:  Senator  Tisko reported on the November and December meetings.

The Graduate Council met on November 9, 2009. 

      Dean's Report:  Dean Smith-Howell reported that the Graduate College has limited funds available for student travel.

      A New Graduate Faculty Workshop is being planned for the winter of 2010.  New faculty from the last two years will be invited.  The focus will be mentoring graduate education.

      The Elton S. Carter Graduate Honors Reception is being planned for spring of 2010.  Dean Smith-Howell has received nominations for the Helen Hanson Outstanding Graduate Student Award from some of the graduate programs.  Dean Smith-Howell encourages all graduate program chairmen to submit the names of their outstanding graduate students by February 19th for inclusion at the Honors Reception.

      The fall semester Graduate Faculty meeting was held on November 16, 2009.

Committee A Report:  A revision of the graduate grade appeal policy was presented to the council.  The focus of the appeal process at the graduate school level is to ensure that the policies created by the appealer's program.  Discussion focused on the policy could be integrated into existing program policies.  The proposal was sent back to the committee for further consideration. 

      Committee B Report:  A dual degree program, Masters of Public Health/Masters of Social Work was approved.

The Graduate Council met on 14 DEC 09. 

      Dean's Report:  Dean Smith-Howell reported that the Ph. D. in Psychology is to be a joint degree with UNL.  Now UNO's Office of Graduate Studies will be able to support the Psychology Department's doctoral students.

      Dean Smith-Howell presented four issues related to strategic planning. 

  1. Faculty workload as it concerns graduate education needs to be examined.  One issue is to make a distinction between supervising a Master's thesis and supervising a doctoral dissertation.
  2. How are graduate assistantships to be handled.
  3. How can the issues pertaining to the recruitment of international students be addressed better. 
  4. How can the development of interdisciplinary programs in the Graduate College be facilitated.

      Committee A Report:  The "Grade Appeal Policy at the Graduate College Level for Graduate Level Courses" was presented and approved by the Graduate Council.  The appeal policy will focus on ensuring that the department has followed its own appeal policy.  As a help to graduate departments and programs, a companion document, "Grade Appeals in Graduate Level Courses:  Guidelines for Graduate Programs/Departments" was presented and approved by the Graduate Council.  The guidelines are meant to help departments formulate an appeal process consistent with the Graduate College appeal process.

      Committee B Report:  Five course syllabi were approved.

VI.             New Business

A.    President Elder presented Past-President Sollars with a gift from the EC&C. 

B.     There were no other nominations for Faculty Senate President-Elect.  Senator M. Bacon moved and Senator Holley seconded the following resolution, which was passed unanimously:

Resolution 3010, 1/13/10:  Faculty Senate President-Elect

BE IT RESOLVED, Frederic Laquer is elected President-Elect by acclamation.

C.     College Faculty Senator(s) Election Statistics Memo:  Information only - - Memo was sent to all Deans.  It listed Faculty Senate representation by College and why.

D.    Imputed Income:  Senator Laquer explained his take on the tax implications caused by last summer's agreement to pay for group term-life insurance.

E.     Senator Boyer explained the White House Office of Science and Technology seeks input regarding access to taxpayer funded research.  This input is due by January 21, 2010.  Faculty Senate Coordinator, Sue Bishop, will forward the appropriate e-mail to all Faculty Senators.

F.      Senator D'Souza reported that Professional Development Leave (PDL), formerly known as Sabbaticals, will only be given to those who apply for an entire year.  He considers this discriminatory to those who cannot afford to take more than one semester off at a time.  Senator Bartle added that PDL is investing in our professional development, so when it only fits certain categories it is not good HR policy.  President Elder charged the Professional Development Committee with composing a resolution addressing this.

G.    Senator Johanningsmeier reported that he has been told that part of the budget crisis will be solved by having all tenured faculty teach an extra class for the next two years.  It does not seem that other alternatives are being looked at.  Would this make up for the loss of adjuncts?  It may be good for students to have more choices for seats in classes, but is it good for the professors? President Elder charged the Goals & Directions Committee to look into this.

VII.          The meeting adjourned with announcements.