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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2009-2010 Faculty Senate


________________________________________________Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 2 p.m., MBSC Dodge Rooms ____________

Presentation: Mark Goldsberry, Director of Records&Registration, UNO SIS Project Director (NeSIS), gave a very short presentation and then answered questions on NeSIS.


Present:  N. Bacon, Baguyos, Barone, Bartle, Benjamin-Alvarado, Bernstein, Bonsell, Boyer, Carballal, Elder, Erickson, File, Haworth, Hayes, Hendricks, Holley, Johanningsmeier, Kercher, Laquer, Lomneth, Marx, Mitchell, Nordman, Paterson, Proulx, Ritzman, Siy, Srithongrung, Tisko, Tixier y Vigil, Wileman.

Excused: Anderson, M. Bacon, D'Souza

Absent:   Hafer, Lamsam, O'Connell,


I.         The meeting was called to order at 1:22 p.m.

II.       The February 10, 2010, minutes were approved as submitted.

III.      Officers' Reports

A.   President's Report: Senator Elder reported

1.     Executive Committee and Administration (EC&Admin.)met February 17, 2010, 2:05 p.m.

     Chancellor Christensen had another meeting, so was only able to attend the first 30 minutes of the EC&A meeting.

     He suggested the EC discussF.S. Resolution 3011, 2/10/10: Faculty Development Fellowshipwith SVC Hynes.

     Julie Totten, AssocVC, Finance, and the Chancellor met with the President's Council in Lincoln. A sizeable number of legislators also joined them in the late afternoon, and for dinner. Five students from all the campuses were invited by NU President Milliken, from each of the campuses, and represented their campuses very well. 

     The Forecasting Board will meet Monday, February 23, and we will have a better idea of the budget situation then. The Budget Forums seemed to receive overwhelming support from the campus. There are always a few who won't give a positive review without specific answers. Chancellor Christensen noted that he was still open to any and all ideas having to do with the budget crisis. He is encouraged by the clear message he is getting about faculty, staff, and students becoming very involved and participatory.

     The Board of Regents will meet March 5, 2010. One UNO issue will be approval of funding for the new residence halls on the Pacific Street Campus. The true cost and the bonded cost is about a $10 million difference, in our favor. 

     The other Board approval item is for projects at the Student Center. That money comes from Bond Surplus Funds, which must be used on improvements and betterment to Student Center facilities. This time the renovations will include the fireplace lounge and the south lounge (to eliminate the ramp and replace it with a lift to have more useable space in the south lounge). Because of the way the bond resolution is written, to use the Surplus Funds available, we must go back to the Regents for approval. Student Health will be moving to HPER this summer, and that will leave more useable space to be remodeled. 

     The university will be receiving favorable interest rate for the financing of University Village, which UNO will soon take possession. That bonding includes some dollars for renovation and fixing some deferred maintenance.

     AVC Totten announced that the financing for the new residence halls on Pacific Street is happening quicker than thought again because of the favorable interest rates, and we want to get the Board of Regents approval so we can go whenever we think it is in our best interest.

     President Elder reported on the Spring luncheon meeting with the four NU Faculty Senate Presidents and NU President Milliken. (That report is elsewhere in these minutes.) 

     SVC Hynes mentioned the recent shooting at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and that one of the victims is the brother of a faculty member at UNO. The Crisis Management Team on the UNO campus will use this opportunity to remind the campus community that there is an Emergency Response Plan (, and to remind folks to sign up for emergency notification through text messaging, etc. [Note 2010 March 01: Dr. Joseph Leahy's condition is improving. (

     SVC Hynes gave a brief summary of her progress on this year's Promotion&Tenure decisions at UNO.

     SVC Hynes commented on F.S. Resolution 3011, 2/10/10: Faculty Development Fellowships. She agreed with the resolution,"Yes, absolutely–to the extent possible." The Special Session of the NE Legislature changed the university budget mid-point in the decision process, making it necessary to change the fellowships to full year at half pay. She had talked about this change with the AAUP before the final decision was made.  

     President Elder asked for more information about a subject on the Deans Forum Summary of January 4, 2010, regarding Graduate Assistants: Tuition/Stipends. SVC Hynes explained that the stipends that are given to Graduate Students are in the budgets in the colleges. The tuition remission for Graduate Assistance is decided by Graduate Dean Deb Smith-Howell. The distribution of those funds was made 20 years ago, before we ever had even doctoral programs on this campus. That basic distribution of Graduate Assistantships and how much stipend is available, proportionally, has not been changed in twenty years. During that time we've grown doctoral programs and Graduate enrollment has shifted, so we've had a number of programs which haven't had any chance to have money to fund their doctoral students. So SVC Hynes asked Dean Smith-Howell to review the situation to look at ways to fairly allocate the stipend support.

     President Elder noted that last summer Differential Graduate Tuition Increases for UNMC sailed through. Since he has not heard much on it, he asked where UNO stands. SVC Hynes explained that law schools and med schools, and those kinds of professional programs, aren't treated exactly the same as"regular"graduate programs, i.e., MBAs, etc. 

     SVC Hynes said the article in the Gateway, quoting her about cutting under enrolled classes, was nothing she remembered from an interview. They decided it was probably from the Budget Forum. The author had been contacted and explained it was an incorrect quote and would be changed on the web site. As of Feb 25, the statement in the February 2, 2010 edition of the UNO Gateway remained unchanged"When asked to elaborate, Hynes said she would ask deans to take a"hard look at faculty- work load"or cutting under-enrolled classes, but made it a point to stress the decentralization of the process."(Favara, P"Greater budget challenges revealed"9(33), p 2. and on-line at Note: the corrections referenced by the web-edition, and printed February 5,9(34) page 1,"For the Record"(but not on-line) do not correct the quoted statement.)

     The meeting adjourned at 3:10 pm.

2.     NU President Milliken w/Four Faculty Senate PresidentsmetFebruary 15, 2010.

     As we began, President Milliken asked that we don't conduct lunch as a formal meeting. Rather, he wanted everyone to feel free to speak their minds. Therefore out of respect for his wishes, these notes will be brief. (1) We talked about the Uwide Benefits Committee. (Follow-up: The next morning Keith Dietze contacted John Fech (UNL Fac Sen Pres). Keith Dietze will be meeting with all four Fac Sen Presidents March 8th.) (2) President Milliken asked where faculty on each campus see their university in 10 years. We talked then a lot about each university's mission and its potential for growth. Of particular interest for our campus, the potential to grow UNO by about 8,000 students was discussed.

3.     Chancellor's Councilmet February 25, 2010. Linda Mannering gave a brief presentation:

a.      UNO will participate in an institutional survey initiated by CUMU to collect information not currently available about how our urban/metropolitan institutions anchor the development of cities and metro regions. Chancellor Christensen is leading the development of this data collection/survey as a board member of CUMU.

b.     UNO will soon receive communication about The Chronicle of Higher Education survey"Great Colleges to Work For".  Campuses will be selected for recognition in 15 different areas based on their responses to the survey and the results will be published late summer 2010.  We will also be able to use the results internally to discuss various aspects of our campus community. The survey will be communicated to a random sample of faculty and staff (not students) via email around March 19th and be open for approximately one month.

This was followed by Roundtable.

4.     Board of RegentsmetMarch 5, 2010. The morning began at 8:00 with a Strategic Framework Report from the Academic Affairs Committee. Richard Hoffman reported on grant funding activities on all four campuses. The goal for UNO is 7% compounded growth annually towards a 10 year goal doubling sponsored awards for instruction, research and public service (roughly 22 million per year by 2016). We are currently above our target. This was followed by presentations by Prem Paul on research at UNL and Tom Rosenquist on research at UNMC.

     The second presentation of the morning was on Workforce Development from the Outreach and Economic Development Ad Hoc Committee. Linda Pratt discussed the Strategic Planning Framework. This was followed by a presentation by Arnold Bateman on distance education and workforce development.

These presentations concluded with with an inconclusive presentation concerning the question,"What are the future workforce opportunities in non-growth rural areas of the State that will benefit from a BS or higher degree?"

     The Board of Regents Meeting began at 10:00. Of concern to UNO: The Board of Regents approved $492,000 from the Sixth Series Replacement Funds to make MBSC improvements. The Board approved a resolution authorizing the issuance Revenue Bonds for the UNO Student Housing Project on the Pacific St Campus.

5.     Enrollment Management Steering Committeemet March 9, 2010.

     Last year, freshmen enrollment was flat but transfers were up. As a result of the tuition model, Academic Affairs was able to absorb the cuts imposed by the special session in the fall (as opposed to passing those cuts through to the colleges). This year undergraduate, graduate and international admissions are all down. This seems to be part of a national trend that is not well-understood. At UNO, graduate enrollments (especially) may have been adversely affected by the NeSIS transition. Since transfer students tend to decide late, it is still too early to make say whether transfers will save our enrollment figures again this year. The sense on the Committee is that our the best case scenario is one where admissions are flat next year. Note that otherwise the tuition model will require UNO to take a cut.

6.     Dean's Forum Summarycan be found at:

7.  Standards of Communication Committeehad no report.

8.  Written Acknowledgements of Resolutions (&Table): 



F.S. Passed




Sent for Senate Action



In Progress

Final Action/Resolved



Temporary Replacement for Senator Chris Decker




Faculty Development Fellowship Policy




Parking Issues (Events Calendar)






Regarding Stem Cell Research






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






Create a Long-Term Disability (LTD) Task Force






UCRCA Funding






Create a Team to Implement a Common Course Evaluation



New Common Course Evaluation Team established 3/09*



"Shots Fired: When Lightning Strikes"Video



Senate in-progress following report



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


Senate Wrkng on






Electronic Communication






UNO Disaster Planning


Senate to Comm



Return to Senate for further work



UNO Child Care Center



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 SenateResolution 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."

*29096/20/08 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:

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.

*2899EC&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 February 2010 Budget Report.

IV.            Standing Committee Reports

A.   Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs: Senator Johanningsmeier reported the committee met Wednesday, February 24, 2010Present: Johanningsmeier (Chair), Hendricks (Vice-Chair), Bartle, Baguyos. Guest: Nora Bacon. Excused: Mitchell, Morcous

     During the first half of our meeting we met with Senator Nora Bacon regarding two documents that the Writing Across the Curriculum Committee had brought to us for input and / or approval. We discussed both documents at length:"Ethical Use of Print and Online Sources in Academic Papers"and"Plagiarism Policy Adopted by the Faculty of the __________ Department." We made a number of suggestions for ways in which the former document could be improved, and Senator Bacon said she would take these under advisement and consult with WAC, then forward to us a revised document for approval at our next meeting.

     We then offered a few friendly amendments to the latter document (such amendments were accepted by Senator N. Bacon) and unanimously approved the following resolution. 

     The Senate passed Resolution 3013 unanimously.

Resolution 3013,3/10/10: Recommended Plagiarism Policy

WHEREAS the protection of intellectual property rights is vital to the production of ideas, and both activities are essential to the mission of higher education and to the world at large,

AND WHEREAS the University of Nebraska at Omaha has the responsibility of teaching students the skills necessary to succeed not only in their courses of study but also in various capacities outside the university,

AND WHEREAS students at UNO are regularly asked to incorporate the intellectual property of others in their own work.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of UNO deems it necessary to have clear policies in place that teach students the proper ways to attribute the intellectual property of others in their own papers, exams, lab reports, and so forth,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of UNO recommends the following document be widely distributed to programs in the individual and considered by individual programs when constructing their own policies regarding plagiarism:

Plagiarism Policy adopted by the faculty of the ____________ Department



According to the Bylaws of the board of Regents at the University of Nebraska (Sections 2.9 and 4.1[i]), jurisdiction over violations of academic dishonesty rests with the individual colleges while individual faculty members are"entrusted"with the determination of a violation and its resolution.

The ____________ Department recognizes the rights of individual faculty members to carry out their entrusted duties but also recognizes the need to present a unified face on the subject of plagiarism and to have consistent application of punitive actions. The ___________ Department Plagiarism Policy advises the faculty on a consistent approach to addressing plagiarism in course syllabi and provides guidelines for addressing violations of the plagiarism policy.

Guidelines for Addressing Plagiarism on the Course Syllabus

In order to ensure that students understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, course syllabi should include a definition of plagiarism and explain the consequences of plagiarism. The following language is recommended:

In this course, you will submit written work in which you make use of information and ideas found in print or online sources. Whenever you use material from another writer, it is important that you quote or paraphrase appropriately andcite the source. 

Never let it appear that ideas and information gleaned from other sources are your own. The UNO Academic Integrity policy defines plagiarism as"presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source) and submitting . . . academic work in whole or in part as one's own when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person." 

Failure to cite sources appropriately is plagiarism, a serious academic offense. Plagiarized work will not be accepted. Consequences for plagiarism are up to the discretion of the instructor; they may range, for example, from rewriting all or part of a paper to a grade of F for the course. Students who plagiarize more than once are subject to disciplinary action, which may include expulsion from the university.

If you have a question about using or citing another writer's work, DO NOT GUESS. Check with your instructor or a consultant at the UNO Writing Center. Bring a printout of the original source and your paper to the consultation.

Best Practices for Preventing Plagiarism

In"Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices,"the Council of Writing Program Administrators notes that students are most likely to plagiarize under these circumstances: when they fear failure or lack confidence in their own work; when they mismanage their time and panic over a deadline; when they view a course or assignment as"busywork"; when they confront an assignment that seems generic or"canned"; when faculty fail to report instances of cheating or do not enforce appropriate penalties.

Faculty can reduce the incidence of plagiarism by designing courses in which these circumstances are unlikely to arise. 

1.  Present the academic field as an ongoing conversation in which students are finding their place. When they write, they're contributing to the conversation. Assign topics on which they have something to contribute.   

2.  Create fresh assignments. If possible, tie assignments to current events or developments in the field.     

3.  Assign topics closely related to the content of your course, and if appropriate, require that students make reference to the textbook or other assigned reading in their papers.

4.  Require that students submit materials at several stages of the writing process, perhaps a topic proposal, a working bibliography, occasional progress reports, and a draft.         

5.  Create opportunities for students to help each other. Students investigating similar or related topics can form study groups, sharing ideas and leads on good sources, checking each other's use of sources and citations, and reading each other's drafts.     

When Prevention Fails: Guidelines for Responding to Plagiarism

Given the context-specific nature of plagiarism and the uniqueness of each situation, the faculty response will vary. Specifically, the response will depend upon the degree of plagiarism and the intent of the individual(s) involved.

Degree of Plagiarism–The first factor to consider is how blatant or egregious the plagiarism is. For example, plagiarism could be as simple as a faulty paraphrase, one that fails to completely reformulate a reference into one's own words so that a sentence shares too much in common with the original reference. Alternatively the entire written document could be an exact duplicate of a prior student's work or copied from the web. Clearly these cases call for different responses.

Intent–Perhaps the most important factor in determining disciplinary action is intent. 

A student might submit a paper containing plagiarized passages without any intent to cheat or deceive. The skill of integrating and documenting material from outside sources is difficult to learn; it requires practice, and as they practice, students sometimes make mistakes. (Paraphrase is especially difficult to master; it is not always clear how much the language of a paraphrase should differ from the language of the original in order to count as"one's own words.") When a student misuses sources unintentionally, it is more important to provide instruction than to mete out punishment. However,work in which the writer fails to cite sources should not be awarded credit. A student who misuses sources without an intent to deceive should be required to do the work over again or to complete a substitute assignment.

When a student knows that he or she is failing to do original work–when he or she intentionally takes shortcuts or simply cheats–the student violates the Academic Integrity Policy. The consequences must be severe enough to communicate the point that UNO insists on academic integrity. Both the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog spell out the steps the faculty member should take, beginning with a conversation with the student and proceeding as appropriate, possibly as far as a grade of F for the course and notification of academic administrators.

Adapted, with permission, from the policy of the Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis

Rev. February, 2010.


     The committee then discussed two resolutions drafted by Senator Bartle that address many of the issues raised by the committee's work during the fall concerning Online Worldwide, the University of Nebraska's new distance education initiative. The first addresses concerns about faculty control, and the second addresses concerns the committee has regarding how funds generated by distance education programs will be distributed under Online Worldwide. (The EC&C sent both resolutions back to committee for further work.)

B.    Committee on Educational Resources and Services: Senator Boyer reported the committee met February 24, 2010. Members present: Boyer, Kercher, Laquer, Ritzman, Siy, Wileman. Guests: Steve Bullock, Scott Dickey

Course Evaluation Task Force Update:

     Steve Bullock provided the committee with a summary of events outlining progress made on the project since 2005. After analyzing the results of pilot projects during the summer and fall 2009 semesters, the task force is recommending that the Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ) instrument, developed by Dr. Herbert Marsh, be adopted with UNO modifications as indicated on the form. The amount of time required to fill out the instrument was measured; it took between 4 and 12 minutes for students to complete. The task force would like to develop a database that could be used to construct standard evaluation reports that would provide useful feedback to faculty. The Educational Resources&Services Committee will be drafting a resolution supporting the selection of SEEQ as the course evaluation instrument for the campus for consideration of the Faculty Senate at the April meeting when Steve Bullock will be able to attend. The full report of the committee"Course Evaluation Task Force Summary of Events"and a copy of the SEEQ instrument UNO Form 1-12-10.pdf were attached.


Scott Dickey, Bookstore, provided the committee with information about the current state of electronic textbooks and outlined some of the issues that e-textbooks create. The Bookstore currently offers stand-alone access codes to a handful of titles. A partnership with Jumpbooks, a preferred affiliate of CourseSmart, is being considered. A student could download the book or access the e-book through the web. Jumpbooks is the leader in the field at the moment although the National Association of College Stores is planning a release of an e-book platform soon. Options for e-textbooks should be available to faculty for the Fall semester.

Usability, customizing textbooks, the ability to markup a text or to add notes or comments, access and readers are all issues that will need to be addressed before e-textbooks become commonplace.

The cost of textbooks is a growing concern. Although e-textbooks may appear to be less expensive, there is no buyback at the end of the semester nor will refunds be provided once the e-book access code has been activated. Students may not be able to retain the e-book for use after the semester ends. The Bookstore is also investigating textbook rental programs. They purchase paperback copies of textbooks if that format is available to try to save students money. Faculty may assist with lowering textbooks costs by turning in book request forms on time, accurately informing the Bookstore whether an item is required or just recommended, and not changing editions unless absolutely necessary.

Beginning in July 2010, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (H.R.4137) will require that students be provided with accurate course materials information at the time of registration. It is possible that textbooks might have to be selected before the Fall term registration period begins in March each year.

Paul Beck Scholarship:

The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, April 2, 2010.

Criteria and applications may be found on the Faculty Senate website:

The next meeting of the committee will be Wednesday, March 31, 2010. Guests will be Marion Fortin-Wavra, Director, Testing Center, and Lanyce Keel, ITS.

C.    Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare: Senator Erickson reported the committee met February 24, 2010. Members present: Bacon, Erickson, Proulx, and Srithongrung. Meeting held from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in RH510.

1.  Senator Erickson moved the following resolution for the committee. It was passed by a majority vote.

Resolution 3014,3/10/10: Domestic Partnership Benefits:

WHEREAS, the principle of equal rights is an important value to our country, our state, and our community;

WHEREAS, the University of Nebraska, as the state's premier institution of higher learning, can and should take a leading role in advancing the state toward a more just and humane future;

WHEREAS, the University of Nebraska at Omaha wishes to attract the very best faculty regardless of their marital status;

WHEREAS, the advantages of domestic partner benefits have been well documented ( ; Wilson, R. 1999; Vanderbilt Register Online, 2010; Inside Higher Ed News. 2010.);

WHEREAS, a University of Nebraska investigation demonstrated that the costs involved would be minimal (The Wimes Report 2002);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha reiterates its support for employee domestic partner benefits (UNO Faculty Senate Resolutions 2370 (1999) and 2440 (2000)) and strongly urges the administration of the University of Nebraska at Omaha to bring the Senate's position to the attention of the central administration of the University of Nebraska and to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.

Bibliography for a UNL history of the issue up to 2002. In the past, the Regents have not taken positive action on faculty senates' (UNL,UNO and UNK) resolutions because of Article I, Section 29 of the state Constitution (Initiative 416 of 2000) which forbids Nebraska from recognizing any type of same sex union. However, ConAgra Foods Inc., Mutual of Omaha, and Union Pacific Corporation, headquartered in Omaha, all offer some form of domestic partner benefits (HRC Corporate Equality Index 2009).

Inside Higher Ed News. (2010), Uncovered, retrieved from, dated January 18, 2010.

Vanderbilt Register Online. (2010). Vanderbilt Extends Benefits to Domestic Partners, retrieved from , dated January 18, 2010.

Wilson, R. (1999). For gay academics, benefits for partners have a financial and emotional impact. Chronicle of Higher Education , 45(3), 00095982.


2.  Faculty/Staff Life Insurance Benefit

     The committee has been asked to investigate this issue. 

Problem: at salaries above $50,000 annual, faculty pay tax on imputed income for this benefit (essentially the insurance premium costs are added to W-2s in gross wages).                      

Current Solution: pay tax on the imputed income, or opt-out of the insurance.

Questions: Can a third option (or other options) be considered? For example, for faculty and staff whose salaries are above $50,000 annually, could a third alternative consisting of offering a $50,000 option be offered without increasing costs substantially? This would extend the benefit to those who want the"free"benefit, but do not want to pay for the extended benefit.

     The $50,000 cut-off is an arbitrary IRS decision and has little to do with reality. But, it does raise a number of questions that are very relevant to UNO. For faculty and staff up to the $50,000 salary limit, who pays the premium? If and when there are payouts, where do those come from? Who is the insurance carrier?

The union has questioned whether this is a contract negotiating item, and that it then falls outside of the purview of the Senate, and therefore the Faculty, Personnel and Welfare Committee. We do not want to undermine the Union's bargaining power or set up any conflicts when we are both aiming at essentially the same goal. We will organize a meeting with interested parties attending, including AAUP President Loree Bykerk, UNO Faculty Senate AAUP representative Nora Bacon, Negotiator Bill Pratt, UNO faculty representative on the University-Wide Benefits Committee David Corbin, and the members of the Faculty, Personnel, and Welfare Committee to discuss the issue in detail. 

It should be noted that Esther Scarpello, UNO H/R has already forwarded a request to the University-Wide Benefits Committee to examine this issue.

2. Special Appointment Faculty Contract Delays:

     Faculty Personnel and Welfare has been asked to consider this Special Appointment faculty issue. Some Special Appointment faculty are not offered contracts for the upcoming semester or year until very late in the previous semester or year. For example, this often results in the Special Appointment faculty member not knowing whether they will be hired for the Fall semester when the Spring semester is done. In many cases the Special Appointment faculty serve as adjunct professors and provide valuable real world experiences in addition to teaching critical components of the curriculum. The situation causes a number of problems, and raises ethical issues or concerns. Some of those affected may think that they are not being re-hired and will look elsewhere for other jobs. The practice can also be misleading to students who are enrolling for courses without knowing who the instructor will be, or even are left wondering whether the course will be offered at all. We need to consider how to request that administration not engage in this delaying practice that is at the least misleading and perhaps questionably unethical. We will probably need to recommend some acceptable dates or cut-off points for offering these contracts.

     Maria Knudtson from AAUP will attend the March meeting, and we will sort out then how we want to approach this issue.

     (There was a discussion at today's Faculty Senate meeting of whether the faculty in question were"special appointments"governed under Section 3.1.1. of the Collective Bargaining Agreement or"contingent"faculty (i.e. adjunct faculty).

4. Faculty Benefits Issues from 2009:

     Keith Dietze provided scenario spreadsheets that indicate that the costs to faculty who have to go on disability insurance are not as catastrophic as those presented using College of Business examples. We are re-examining the disability benefits scenarios in the spreadsheets provided by University-Wide Benefits Committee and Keith Dietze (UWBC) to see if they are accurate, and whether the options have actually been offered to any affected faculty. I have forwarded the spreadsheets to Graham Mitenko, Michael O'Hara, and Janet West (CBA) to comment, but have not heard back from them yet. I will ask them to respond before our March (FPW) meeting so that we can bring the issues to the UWBC at their April meeting. We also need to include David Corbin in this process too since he is our faculty representative on that committee.

5. Parking Issues:

     We have been asked to examine the UNO Parking committee in terms of functionality (or dis-functionality), and to recommend whether the committee should disband or continue. We have also been asked that, if the committee is to continue, whether the administration can provide the rate proposals more than 2 or 3 days before the committee meets. We will ask Ken Kriz, UNO Parking Committee Chair, to attend the March meeting.

D.   Committee on Goals and Directions: Senator Paterson reported the committee convened for its monthly meeting on February 24th at 2:30 PM in CPACS 208. In Attendance: Senators Henry D'Souza, Richard Lomneth, Matthew Marx, Doug Paterson (chair). Excused: Senator Bonnie O'Connell. Absent: Senator Jessiline Anderson.  Guest: UNO Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Terry Hynes.

     The UNO Senate recommended the Goals and Directions Committee meet with Senior Vice Chancellor Terry Hynes to discuss matters of concern related to the budget, the budget crisis, and faculty interests.

     SVC Hynes kindly accepted the Committee's invitation to attend our meeting and to address questions sent to her ahead of time as well as questions that arose during the meeting. The following is a general description of the topics, SVC Hynes' observations, and Committee responses.

     The Committee noted that some courses had been cancelled in the fall because of low enrollments. Our question was if this would become more common, especially since some courses are part of rotations required for graduation, and could prevent some students from graduation? Dr. Hynes observed that enrollments did need to be taken into consideration and that, while she did not cancel any courses, she knew some deans or chairs had made that decision. In other words, this is not a policy but is a college or department matter. 

     Dr. Hynes also said that the budget situation was fluid, but was more dire in the fall since we expected a cut of up to 6% and received a cut of 3%. Enrollments at UNO have greatly helped with the shortfall and, as of this time, cutbacks for the current year have been done and have not been drastic. Still, the NU system will not know the size of cuts for 2010–2011 until June 2010, and 2011–2012 cuts could be very serious. If large cuts are mandated–as 6% would have this time, vertical cuts might become inevitable.           Regarding credibility of academic programs, SVC Hynes said every effort was being made to protect the foundational educational mission of the university and did not see any scenario whereby that mission would be jeopardized.

     Considerable discussion occurred over the matter of hiring adjunct/instructor positions. First, Dr. Hynes said that the priority for maintaining positions and people was: permanent tenure track; temporary full time; adjunct / part time. However, a suit was filed about releasing an adjunct professor, early review ruled in favor of the professor, and since the BOR had not yet determined a course of action, the matter of releasing adjunct was on hold. Not surprisingly, the BOR and the AAUP have differences of opinion on this matter.

     The issue of accepting voluntary, full-year @ half-pay paid professional leaves created two problems said Dr. Hynes. First, there was concern that this would set a precedent. Committee members said that cuts too could be said to set a precedent. Second, the Senior Vice Chancellor said we had to be careful of implementing temporary solutions for permanent problems. 

     Chair Prof. Paterson raised the issue of privatizing public education because tax laws now favored the privileged and indicated a desire on the part of the private sector to gain control of public education by permanently underfunding it. SVC Hynes and Paterson did not entirely agree on this observation.

     Dr. Hynes observed that while some first tier schools have increased their staff/faculty to student ratios to as high as 31 per 100, others have decreased that ratio. The low end is likely 7 per 100. UNO is perhaps at 18 per 100, a distinctly lower number than 2000, and likely to go lower. The national average is perhaps 25.

     Dr. Hynes had to leave for another commitment at 3:40 and the Committee thanked her for the conversation. When Dr. Hynes said she would enjoy continuing the conversation, the Committee said it would consider that. The Committee then discussed the possibility, and has now extended an invitation to the Senior Vice Chancellor to meet with the Committee on Wednesday, March 31st, at 2:30 PM, during our regular meeting.

     Prior to adjournment, Prof. Marx said that it has been determined that every packaging material used in the Student Center will be biodegradable, and that this met one of the Committee's recommendations to the administration last fall.

     There being no further business before the committee, adjournment occurred at 3:50 PM.

E.    Committee on Professional Development: Senator Benjamin-Alvarado reported the committee did not meet in February. The committee chair will be participating in a Faculty Development Advisory Committee meeting with Assoc. Vice Chancellor Smith-Howell this month. The committee will be reviewing the results of the Community Engagement taskforce for CPACS at the conclusion of their study and will share its recommendations and comments with the full Faculty Senate at its April 2010 meeting.

F.     Committee on Rules: Senator Holley reported the committee met February 24, 2010. All Members present: Nora Bacon, Timi Barone, Stu Bernstein, Richard Fine, John Hafer, and Lyn Holley, and guest advisors: Faculty Senate President-Elect Frederic Laquer, and Faculty Senate Coordinator Sue Bishop,

     Thirteen newly elected Faculty Senators were assigned to fill vacancies created on Faculty Senate Standing Committees by outgoing Senators. In making assignments, results of an email survey of the new Senators about their preferences for committee assignment were considered, and when possible, guided placement. The need for broad representation of colleges on each committee weighed heavily in placements.

     Results of the2010 Survey of UNO Faculty preferences for Service on UNO Committeesis a critically important resource for staffing committees. Print mailing (hard copy) of the survey has sent to all Faculty members at their campus address (printed on paper that is a vibrant color, suggestive of sunshine). March 3 (Wednesday) is the date replies are DUE. March 5 (Friday)– A follow-up e-mail version will be sent to all faculty members.

Please do everything you can to encourage faculty to respond to this survey!

     Senator Holley moved the following resolution for the committee. It was approved unanimously by the full Senate.

Resolution 3015,3/10/10: EPACMembership

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following name go forward to temporarily replace Marshall Prisbell, who is on sabbatical, for Spring 2010 on the Educational Policy Advisory Committee (EPAC):

     Karen Dwyer, CFAM (to temporarily replace Marshall Prisbell).

     Work with electronic systems that may lead to revisions in Faculty Senate By-Laws to provide an option forelectronically mediated Senate meetingsinformed by the concerns voiced in the Senate about the authenticity of electronically mediated meetings is continuing. A prototype system on UNO Blackboard developed by Timi Barone and reported last month is being tested. 

V.     Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.   Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON): Senator Paterson reported the meeting was held February 13, 2010, via UNO Criss Library, Omaha, Nebraska.

     Present: Peggy Adair, secretary, legislative liaison; Dwayne Ball, immediate past president, representing ACLU Nebraska and the Nebraska Association of Scholars; Robert Brooke, web manager, representing Nebraska Writing Project; Karen Buckley, representing Nebraska Educational Media Association; Nancy Comer, representing Nebraska State Reading Association; Laurie Thomas Lee, representing UNL Faculty Senate; Cathi McMurtry, treasurer; Dave Moshman, policy coordinator, chief justice, infallible interpreter of the AFCON constitution; Linda Parker, president, representing Nebraska Library Association; Doug Paterson, representing UNO Faculty Senate; Rod Wagner, president-elect, representing Nebraska Center for the Book.


     [Focused subjects are indicated by Senator Paterson in bold/underscore.]

President Parker called the meeting to order at 10:26 a.m.

     MINUTES: Minutes for January 9, 2010 were approved upon a motion by Ball and second by Paterson.

     TREASURER'S REPORT: The Treasurer's report dated February 12, 2010 was reviewed and filed for audit. Balance on hand for February 12, 2010 is $1,805.28. McMurtry reported she has begun sending out dues reminders for organizations and individual members.

     PRESIDENT'S REPORT: President Parker reported she is working on a timeline and yearly goals for AFCON. She attended the public hearing for LB 898, the Student Expression Act.

     President Parker presented a draft AFCON letterhead to the board for ideas. The board indicated by consensus that member organizations should not be listed on the letterhead and instead the executive board members should be listed. Adair offered to make changes to the letterhead.

     NEWSLETTER: Deadline to submit articles for the next edition of the Sentinel is February 22, 2010. Articles should be emailed to Tom Black

     POLICY COORDINATOR REPORT: Moshman reported the New York City court case in which he testified as an expert witnesswas ruled in favor of the school district.The judge ruled that the Hazelwood decision gives school boards total authority, which Moshman noted underscores the need for legislative action regarding protection of student expression.

     LEGISLATIVE REPORT: Adair reportedthe hearing room was packed with testifiers in support of the student expression bill (LB 898) at the public hearing on January 26. Not all proponents of the bill were allowed to speak (a bit of free speech irony) at the discretion of the Education Committee chair; however, proponents were encouraged to hand in their written testimony to the committee.

On January 29, Haller, Parker, Moshman and Adair met with Senator Haar and his legislative aide, Tom Green, to discuss next steps. Tom Green is going to coordinate a meeting among key supporters and opponents of the billto see if a compromise can be reached.

     Brooke suggested it may be useful to meet privately with the superintendent of Aurora Public Schools to get his ideas for compromise. Brooke will check with his contacts who know the superintendent to see if a meeting can be arranged.

Adair reported no other legislative bills have been introduced that substantially affect academic freedom.


UNL Faculty Senate is still grappling with how best to present a symposium on academic freedom.

     Nebraska Center for the Book will meet in two weeks.

     Nebraska State Reading Conference will be held February 25-27 in Kearney.Adair will be presenting a workshop on student expression titled"SPEECHLESS: The suppression of student voices in Nebraska with a roadmap for change."

UNO students, in joyful expression of academic freedom, assembly, and free speech, staged an impromptu multicultural and multi-lifestyle demonstration on the UNO campus after they learned a small-but-notorious group from Wichita was coming to visit some Omaha college campuses.

     GOALS FOR 2010: Parker presented the following proposed AFCON goals for 2010:

·        Develop membership outreach

·        Document the student expression bill

·        Plan programs to support academic freedom

·        Organize AFCON records

     The board discussed the need to reinvigorate participation by membership organizations that are presently inactive.

     Ball offered to chair a committee to brainstorm ideas to strengthen membership organization participation. Comer and Lee volunteered to assist Ball on the committee. Ball commented that the first need is to identify the issue(s) that precludes participation by organizations.

     Parker will revise the goals and will circulate the revision to the board via email.

     MEMBERSHIP: The board discussed at length the need to gain more participation by member organizations.

Brooke suggested a way to coax organizations back is to do something together with member organizations, such as contests and or/awards for students. The board concurred this is an excellent idea we should pursue. Lee said the ACLU is currently involved in a student video contest that has a March deadline and she will report the outcome of that action to the AFCON board.

     The board discussed reducing the number of AFCON board meetings as one way of encouraging more participation by organizations.

     Motion was made by Ball, second by Comer, to hold AFCON board meetings every other month beginning in February, 2010, with the executive board meeting monthly. Discussion followed. The board clarified that with passage of the motion AFCON board meetings will be held in February, April, June, August, October and December of 2010. Executive board will meet in the months that AFCON board does not have a scheduled meeting. Meetings will continue to be on the second Saturday of the month. AFCON will continue to hold a separate annual meeting, generally held in November. Motion carried. (According to the AFCON Constitution, the Executive Board [Committee] is comprised of the President, President Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, and Immediate Past President.)

Parker noted the following meetings and sites: March, Executive Board meeting Eiseley Library, Lincoln; April, AFCON Board meeting, Eiseley Library, Lincoln;

May, Executive Board meeting, Omaha; June, AFCON Board meeting, Omaha;

     ANNUAL MEETING 2010: Wagner announced he is still in need of assistance in coordinating the 2010 annual meeting. Members interested in helping should contact him at


Due to time constraints the board referred agenda items not yet completed to the executive board for discussion in March.

Parker will send an updated AFCON meeting calendar to Brooke so he can post it on the website.

     The meeting adjourned at 12:06 p.m.

     NEXT MEETING:The next meeting of theAFCON EXECUTIVE BOARDwill be onSaturday, March 13, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. inEiseley Library, Lincoln.

     The next meeting of theAFCON BOARD OF DIRECTORSwill beSaturday, April 10, 2010at 10:00 a.m. inEiseley Library, Lincoln.

B.    Academic Planning Council: Senator Bartle reported the Council met February 26, 2010. The Academic Advising Task Force that was set up in the Fall of 2008, in its final report, recognized the confusion, given its variation among colleges and majors, in the General Education (Gen. Ed.) requirements. Two ad hoc task groups, General Education Steering Committee, to study the Gen. Ed. Requirements, and the Task Force on Academic Advising were set up. Senator Shelton Hendricks served as the Faculty Senate representative on the General Education Steering Committee. In a preliminary draft report of the General Education Steering Committee has proposed:

·    goals for UNO General Education with a rationale for the need to change the requirements and to make them coherent,

·    specific recommendations on Gen. Ed. requirements, and

·    set up a standing General Education Steering Committee with one representative from each college to carry on these responsibilities.

The rescheduled Mathematics department review, narrowly escaped a third rescheduling, in spite of the icy roads in Kansas that prevented the external chair, Dr. Jie Chen, from traveling to Omaha. Thanks to the ingenuity of the internal chair, Dr. Chris Allen and the department chair, Dr. Jack Heidel who quickly came up with a technological fix, telephone conference calling, and completed it successfully. Thankfully, the external chair, Dr. Chen, was willing to be on the phone for over 18 hours in two days. Dr. Allen informed the committee that it was very positive review and highlighted the outreach of the department to students through its Mathematics lab, and to the community, through is graduate instructors who are involved in mathematics education in local schools.

     The internal review of the Philosophy program will take place on March 2-3, 2010. Dr. John Bartle is the chair. Dr. Kelly Dean Jolley, Auburn University is the external consultant.

     Dr. Leah Pietron will chair the review on Religious Studies program which is scheduled for March 22-23, 2010. APC members, Drs. Frank Bramlett and Jeannette Seaberry will also serve on the team. The external chair is Dr. Martha J. Reineke, University of Northern Iowa. 

C.    American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Senator N. Bacon reported the AAUP filed a grievance on behalf of a Lecturer who was told, in May of 2009, that he would not be teaching in AY 09-10. The union contract specifies that"for those Unit Members who have held the appointment [a nontenure-track"special appointment"] for six consecutive years or more, the University shall give the Unit Member at least twelve months written notice of termination,"so the union grieved the termination. An arbitrator has found in favor of the grievant and instructed the University to pay him a year's salary.

     The UNO-AAUP will award two Bernie Kolasa Academic Freedom Memorial Scholarships of $1,000 each to UNO graduates entering a graduate or professional program during or after the summer of 2010. Students graduating from UNO during the summer or fall of 2009 or the spring of 2010 are eligible. The deadline for applications is April 2. For more information, check the AAUP website:

     The AAUP spring dinner will be Saturday, April 24 at the Upstream West, 17070 Wright Plaza.

D.   Graduate Council: Senator Tisko reported the Graduate Council met February 8, 2010. 

     Dean's Report: Graduate enrollment is down 10 students to 2,850 for spring 2010; however, the student credit hours increased 174 to 15,017.

     The graduate office is still developing NeSIS processes to manage student records. The software being used is in the"vaporware"phase.

     The application process for all graduate programs is now being done through NeSIS/PeopleSoft. Faculty wanting access to student records need to contact the Graduate Studies office to arrange training in the PeopleSoft software.

     The Graduate Studies office has prepared a report on the graduate assistantships awarded on the campus including program of the students receiving assistantships, costs and cost centers. The differential between in-state and out-of-state tuition is covered by Graduate Studies.

     All programs should have a copy of their grade appeal procedures on file in the Graduate Studies office.

     Psychology doctoral students will be enrolled at UNO in the fall 2010 instead of UNL and present students will graduate from UNO starting in fall 2010.

     Based on the Carnegie classification, UNO is presently a Master's Comprehensive University. With the addition of the psychology doctoral degree, UNO is likely to move to the Doctoral Granting University classification.

     No report from Committee A or Committee B.

VI.            Old Business

A.    Updated List of Newly Elected Senators for 2010-2013: Note* A&S replacement and *External addition:

A&S (4)                                        CBA (1)                                  ED (1)

Maria Arbelaez                             Darryll Lewis                          Peter Smith

Frank Bramlett

Joseph Brown *Randy Adkins    IS&T (1)                                Criss Library (1)

Dana Richter-Egger                     Victor Winter                          Marvel Maring

                 CFAM (2)                                    CPACS (2)                             External Faculty (1)

Cynthia Robinson Moore             Barbara Hewins-Maroney       *John Bonsell

Miles Waggener                            Chris Kelly

VII.         New Business

A.   President Elder announced that Jim Young, Union Pacific CEO and Chair of the NU Capital Campaign, will speak to the Faculty Senate and guests. Mr. Young will give perspective of the Capital Campaign. This will take place on Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 3:30 p.m., MBSC, Dodge Rooms, 45 minute presentation. 

B.    A draft of the Gen Ed recommendation from the AQIP Action Project General Education Steering Committee was attached to the agenda. The Senate discussed it.

VIII.  The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m. with President Elder asking the Senators to note the announcements.