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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2009-2010 Faculty Senate


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

Present:    Anderson, N. Bacon, Bartle, Benjamin-Alvarado, Bernstein, Bonsell, Boyer, Carballal, D'Souza, Elder, Erickson, File, Haworth, Hayes, Hendricks, Holley, Kercher, Lamsam, Laquer, Marx, Mitchell, Nordman, O'Connell, Paterson, Proulx, Ritzman, Siy, Srithongrung, Tisko, Tixier y Vigil,  Wileman.

Excused:  M. Bacon, Baguyos, Hafer, Johanningsmeier, Lomneth

Absent:     Barone

Dr. Suzanne Sollars passed around a journal for all Senators to sign.  The journal will be included in the 100 year Time Capsules that will be installed in the new College of Business building at the end of April 2010.


I.          The meeting was called to order at 2:02 p.m.

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

As there was no objection, the President proceeded to take up the A&CA and ER&S reports:

A.    Academic & Curricular Affairs Committee:  Senator Hendricks reported the committee met March 31, 2010.  Committee Members Present: Johanningsmeier (Chair), Hendricks (Vice-Chair), Bartle, Baguyos, Mitchell, Morcous.  Guests: Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies Dean Deb Smith-Howell, Dana Richter-Egger, Joe Brown, and Scott Tarry

      The committee first heard a presentation by Deb Smith-Howell, facilitator of the General Education Steering Committee, regarding the Committee's work over the past few years addressing various concerns about the University's General Education curriculum. The Committee, she reported, had worked very hard to create a process by which the University's General Education curriculum can be updated and revised in ways that will make it easier for faculty and students alike to understand and use. After her presentation, the A&CA Committee had the opportunity to ask questions and make a few suggestions about the document which Smith-Howell was asking the committee to endorse. The committee subsequently unanimously approved the following resolution for consideration by the full Faculty Senate. 

      Senator Hendricks moved the resolution for the committee.  After much discussion Senator Bartle called the question, which passed.  Resolution 3016 was then passed unanimously by the full Senate.

RESOLUTION 3016, 4/14/2010:  Endorsing the Recommendations of UNO's General Education Steering Committee

WHEREAS the University of Nebraska at Omaha is committed to being a student-centered institution that promotes academic excellence,

AND WHEREAS the University's General Education curriculum is intended to "ensure that each graduate of UNO possesses certain academic skills, experiences the breadth of a liberal education and develops an appreciation for the cultural diversity that exists in the nation and the world" (Undergraduate Catalog 2009-2010, p. 69),

AND WHEREAS it is important to ensure a high-quality General Education curriculum that is easily understood and navigated by both students and faculty,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of UNO deems it necessary to create a well-functioning system whereby the General Education curriculum can be updated, defined, and modified as needed,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of UNO endorses the principles of, and recommendations made by, the General Education Steering Committee, as stated in the following document:

Proposed UNO General Education Policies and Procedures: 

1.    University General Education Requirements

a.    Definition of University General Education –

                                                 i.    University general education is applicable to all colleges. 

                                                ii.    Individual colleges, schools, departments or units may have additional specific requirements for students.

However, these requirements will not be considered as university general education requirements.

                                              iii.    The courses in university general education distribution requirements will not have any prerequisites beyond

the  fundamental academic skills requirements ( e.g. English 1150 or Algebra 1310)

b.    The university general education requirements structure will remain the same as laid out in the current 2009-2010 catalog (p. 69). The total credit hours required for university general education will be reduced from the current range of 45-51 to 41-47.  This reduction is due to a clarification relating to the inconsistent interpretation of the total distribution requirements (see below) and to be accurate and consistent with what students must do to meet the requirements.   The proposed requirements include:

§   15 credit hours of Fundamental Academic Skills (unchanged)

§  26 credit hours of Distribution Requirements in the following areas.  (Note: Previously the individual minimum for each area added up to a total of 24 credit hours. However, total stated distribution requirements in the catalog were 30 credit hours. This reduction is an attempt to clarify any inconsistent interpretation).

·         Natural & Physical Sciences (8 hours from at least two different disciplines/curriculum designation with at least one laboratory course);


·         Humanities & Fine Arts  ( 9 hours from at least two different disciplines/curriculum designation); and

·         Social & Behavioral Sciences (9 hours from at least two different disciplines/curriculum designation).

§  6 credit hours of Cultural Diversity (may be taken in the distribution requirements).  (unchanged)

§  NOTE: Students may "test out" of the English and Algebra requirements.  (unchanged)

2.    General Education  Steering Committee

 The General Education Steering Committee will consist of one representative from each college who is designated by the college. The process by which a college selects and interacts with its representative is left to each college.

The committee is charged with the following responsibilities:

·         Establishing the definition, criteria and learning outcomes for each university general education area.

o   Criteria will be informed by the campus prioritization of general education learning outcomes.

o   The student learning outcomes will be explicitly stated and available in the general education section of the undergraduate catalog. 

·           Reviewing syllabi and approving courses that can be used to satisfy the requirements of a particular general education


o   Approved courses must receive unanimous consent of the committee membership.

·         Facilitating on-going review, assessment, and modification of the university general education curriculum. 

Recommended by 2009-2010 General Education Committee:

Deborah Smith-Howell, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Dean for Graduate Studies, Committee Chair

David Boocker, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Joseph Brown, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences

David Conway, Associate Dean, College of Education

Shelton Hendricks, Psychology/Faculty Senate, College of Arts & Sciences

Kath Henebry, College of Business Administration

Deepak Khazanchi, Associate Dean, College of Information Science and Technology

Julie Masters, Gerontology, College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Dana Richter-Egger, Director, Math and Science Learning Center, College of Arts & Sciences    

Lisa Sandlin, Writers Workshop, College of Communication, Fine Arts, & Media           

Scott Tarry, Aviation Institute, College of Public Affairs & Community Service


      The A & CA Committee then made final revisions to two resolutions regarding the University of Nebraska's Online Worldwide initiative that are the result of its extensive information-gathering over the past several months. The first addresses concerns about faculty control over marketing distance education programs, and the second addresses concerns regarding how funds generated by distance education programs will be distributed under Online Worldwide.

      The committee has unanimously approved the following resolutions for consideration by the full Faculty Senate.

      Senator Hendricks moved the resolution for the committee.  Resolution 3017 also passed the full Senate unanimously.

RESOLUTION 3017, 4/14/2010:  Faculty Control of How Distance Education Programs Are Marketed:

WHEREAS distance education, and online learning in particular, has grown rapidly at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and in the University of Nebraska system generally, and provides better access to higher education, presents opportunities to increase enrollments, and expands the reach of the University,

AND WHEREAS some UNO programs have worked diligently to develop their online programs in ways appropriate to their disciplines, their education market, and the pedagogical approach of their faculty,

AND WHEREAS the faculty are responsible for the curriculum of the university,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Online Worldwide Initiative of the University of Nebraska should obtain approval from individual programs for any marketing of their online programs,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that websites designed for distance education programs should be allowed to continue under the auspices of individual programs.

      Senator Hendricks also moved the following resolution for the committee, which  passed unanimously.

RESOLUTION 3018, 4/14/2010:  Distribution of Revenues Earned from Distance Education Programs:

WHEREAS the development of online educational programs requires the provision of appropriate incentives to faculty and staff to spend the time necessary to develop and deliver high quality programs,

AND WHEREAS recent changes in the distribution of tuition and fees associated with online courses strongly suggest that the colleges and programs on the UNO campus will receive less per student enrolled than during academic year 2008-2009,

AND WHEREAS restrictions on the expenditure of online program funds has inhibited the ability to expand programs,

BE IT RESOLVED that faculty and programs seeking to develop new online programs or expand existing ones should continue to receive the necessary training and compensation to do so,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in the future, the revenue generated from online courses should be distributed to individual programs in such a way as to encourage and ensure their continued operation,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that restrictions on the expenditure of tuition generated by online courses should be no different than the restrictions on expenditure of other tuition funds.


B.     Educational Resources & Services:  Senator Boyer reported the Committee met March 31, 2010.  Members present:  Boyer, Kercher, Laquer, Siy, Wileman. Member absent: Mitzi Ritzman.  Guests:  Marion Fortin-Wavra, Lanyce Keel.

Senator Boyer moved the following resolution for the committee.  Two students attending the Faculty Senate meeting spoke for the resolution.  Senator Benjamin-Alvarado called the question, which Senator Bartle seconded, the question passed.  There was a call for a show of hands.  Resolution 3019 passed:  21 For, 5 Against, and 3 Abstentions. 

RESOLUTION 3019, 4/14/2010:  To Adopt the Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ) Instrument as the Standard Course Evaluation

WHEREAS in response to Faculty Senate Resolution 2849, the Faculty Task Force to Design a Common Course Evaluation deliberated for more than a year and produced recommendations and a proposed set of questions; and

WHEREAS in response to Faculty Senate Resolution 2937, the Course Evaluation Task Force was formed to pilot an evaluation instrument and to communicate with faculty and administration to ensure the validity and usefulness of the course evaluation tool selected; and

WHEREAS the Course Evaluation Task Force considered the recommendations of the Faculty Task Force to Design a Common Course Evaluation and did a pilot with the recommended set of questions; and

WHEREAS the Course Evaluation Task Force investigated and tested the Students' Evaluation of Education Quality (SEEQ) instrument and recommended that the statistically validated SEEQ be adopted for use in all UNO courses;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate recommends the adoption of the Students' Evaluation of Education Quality (SEEQ) beginning with the Fall 2010 semester, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Course Evaluation Task Force construct standard evaluation reports derived from data gathered through SEEQ that would be helpful and informative for faculty.


Attached are the following documents:

·         University of Manitoba Guide to SEEQ Dimension, (agenda attachment – pages 21-30)

·         Course Evaluation Task Force Summary of Events, (agenda attachment – pages 31-37)

·         SEEQ instrument UNO Form, (agenda attachment – pages 38-39)

·         Resolutions 2849 and 2937 (agenda attachment – page 40)

Testing Center:

      Marion Fortin-Wavra, Director of the Testing Center, provided an overview of  Testing Center services.  Major services include UNO Placement Exams, Accommodated Exams, National Exams, other exams and testing for academic initiatives such as TOEFL, CLEP, the Distinguished Scholarship Competition, and the NCAA Recruiting Exam.  They also provide testing support for the first year experience. They administer about 10,000 tests each year.

      The testing service serves just about every student who attends UNO or hopes to do so as well as many graduates.  Security is very important and they have a secured room to store paper tests.  Most tests are now online so technical support is very important.

      Most of their funding comes from test fees although they do receive a small amount of funding from the University.  Three full-time employees, a student assistant, and 25-30 part-time employees who help administer tests make up the staff of the center.  Open hours are 8 to 5 Monday to Friday.  Some tests are administered on Saturday.  There are no evening hours at this time. 

      The Testing Center works closely with Disabilities Services to administer tests to students who need specific accommodations.  They did 577 accommodated tests last year and 671 the year before.  Each case is different and they must make certain they provide what is needed for the student. If a student in an evening class needs accommodation, they need to set up a time during the day to take the test.

      The Testing Center website provides a lot of information:

ITS Update:

Lanyce Keel provided updates on several projects.

      Restricted Data:  ITS has software that will identify possible restricted data such as Social Security or credit card numbers.  Faculty members will be contacted so that the software can be run on their machines.  If restricted data is found, it will need to be removed.  If it has been shared, it is the responsibility of the person who shared it to inform the people who might be affected.  Locating students who graduated years ago may be a problem.

      Green Initiative:  ITS has developed technology guidelines for going green.  The guidelines can be found on the ITS website:

      Learning Management Systems – An investigation of alternatives to Blackboard was conducted but it was decided to stay with Blackboard at least for now.  Sakai was difficult to use and Moodle was structured so differently that course materials would need to be extensively reorganized.  A report of the project can be found at:   Other systems such as Google Docs and features of the new NeSIS system may make a learning management system less necessary.  Technology is moving so quickly it was decided to wait to see what might be available in the next year or so.

      MAVLink – The project is moving along as expected.  Fall registration opens April 5.  28 million records have been transferred for over 40,000 students.

      Email Alternatives – There may be a university-wide group formed to take a look at alternatives to Lotus Notes particularly Microsoft Exchange.  The group may consist of Faculty Senate Presidents and chief information officers from each of the campuses.  The project is rather uncertain at this time.

Paul Beck Scholarship:

Applications were due Friday, April 2, 2010.  The committee will determine scholarship winners at the April 28 meeting.

Without objection the President returned to the normal order of business. 

III.             Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Elder reported

1.      The Executive Committee and Administration (EC&Admin.) met March 17, 2010.  The meeting began at 2 p.m.  Chancellor Christensen was unable to attend. 

      President Griff Elder noted that the Faculty Senate had passed three resolutions at its last meeting:

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

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

Resolution 3015, 3/10/10:  EPAC Membership.

      The Chancellor, via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 3/11/10, wrote, "The chancellor said (R3014) . . . "needs to be sent to the President as this is a system issue and should be a matter of record rather than a report item."  The Faculty Senate Coordinator mailed copies of Resolution 3014 to the NU President and Board of Regents on 3/16/2010.  President Elder mentioned that the last time resolutions on this subject were passed by all four campuses was about ten years ago.  This resolution just reaffirms the UNO Faculty Senate's position on this subject.  SCV Hynes indicated that the University's response is in the hands of the Board of Regents.

      The group next discussed Resolution 3013, 3/10/10:  Recommended Plagiarism.  Senior Vice Chancellor Hynes asked the Senate to rethink the first paragraph of the Overview, ". . . while individual faculty members are ‘entrusted' with the determination of a violation and its resolution." This isn't referring to individual faculty members being "entrusted," but faculty as a whole.  She quoted the UNO undergraduate catalog (2009-2010, page 56), which she described as being more accurate, "the respective colleges of the University have jurisdiction over procedural matters concerning academic integrity.  Just as the task of inculcating values of academic honesty reside with the faculty, the faculty are entrusted with the discretionary authority to decide how incidents of academic dishonesty are to be resolved."  That task is for the faculty as a body, not individual faculty members, to determine a violation and a resolution of that violation, just as it is for curricular issues.

      SVC Hynes also noted in the second paragraph of Overview,  ". . . but also recognizes the need to present a unified face on the subject of plagiarism and to have consistent application of punitive actions," that the university speaks of "disciplinary actions" not "punitive."  Under Intent, she also took issue with, "When a student misuses sources unintentionally, it is more important to provide instruction than to mete out punishment."  She said that "mete out punishment," would not be the normal wording in a University document.  She suggested that one might "mete out discipline," or even a better word than "discipline."  She stated her appreciation for the references and the Writing Center statement that creates a balance, and that it was a good idea to remind students of these issues.

      She asked if the Senate would go back and take another look at the wording of this  recommendation.  President Elder agreed.

      President Elder gave the group a heads up as to what will be coming from the Faculty Senate in April.  Gen Ed is looking for approval of what that has been doing.  Also the Common Course Evaluation is a topic for the April Faculty Senate agenda.

      They briefly discussed the Students' Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ) instrument, developed by Dr. Herbert Marsh, working its way through the system towards being adopted, with UNO modifications.  There was some concern on the length of this form, but, as it has already been used by about a million students, we should be able to try this form for 2-3 years and then re-evaluate.

      President Elder also mentioned two resolutions concerning "On-line World Wide" that were sent back to a Faculty Senate committee for a few word changes.  He expects those resolutions to be brought back to the Senate in April.  The main issues are roughly: ownership of curriculum and how the fees will be distributed.  SVC Hynes said that everyone on this campus shares those goals, but they also want to be working with the NU President to achieve the goals he has set for this.  It is a complicated situation.  VC Conley added there have been quite a few changes in "On-line Worldwide" in the last few weeks and days, and he would hope the Senate and committee would be aware of them.  It is also an area we should all be careful about.  Senator Laquer asked where those changes could be found, because it wouldn't do anyone any good to respond to something that is old history.  SVC Hynes said that nothing is resolved.  What they are trying to do, in the best possible way, is to find a balance, to enable UNO to continue to be able to make those decisions that are appropriate to make locally.  And not to create an environment where the NU President would feel we've got a lot of conflict, or differing of opinion, or things that are not matching his goals, and where he would feel that the only way to resolve this is for him to decide what the regular model is going to be, what happens with the intellectual property, etc.  So, at a certain level, this is about the politics of On-line World Wide rather than about the substance of On-line World Wide.  Many agree that more on-line delivery of instruction will be part of the future of the academy in this country, and we want to be, as much as possible, on the front end of that.  We are behind as a system, we are behind as an institution, and so the NU President is trying to help us get in front of the line.  We want to help him do that, but in a way that also enables us, as UNO, to respect our local culture and to make decisions locally that will create the incentives, and also the rewards, for doing it, and to continue to do that by not over taxing the regular instruction in the classroom.

      Senator Laquer said he gets a sense of top down, rather than bottom up, information and planning, of On-line World Wide.  There are some programs at UNO that work well and are outstanding in their field, and there is concern that these faculty are being shut out of the decision making.  These are the senate's concerns.  SVC Hynes said the senior administrators at UNO have the same concerns.  She continued that they are trying to preserve those decisions that are best made locally, which includes how the curriculum is presented to the world.

      President Elder reiterated that these topics are just subjects that are coming up in the Senate. 

      The discussion next turned to the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Budget Advisory Task Force, recently formed, to take suggestions from its Budget Advisory Committee.  President Elder said the suggestions from the BAC will overlap with what the Senate Ad Hoc Budget Advisory Task Force's recommendations.  These will be just from the Senate's position.  SVC Hynes noted that UNO's Budget Advisory Task Force is now being incorporated into the Strategic Plan process, because part of our longer term goals is to align the allocation of resources with the Strategic Plan of the university.  Any recommendations from the Faculty Senate would be welcome.

      President Elder announced that Jim Young, Union Pacific CEO and Chair of the NU Capital Campaign, will speak to Faculty Senate and guests here at UNO at the end of March and Mike McGinnis will be speaking before the Faculty Senate May meeting about PKI.

      SVC Hynes was very pleased to report that Scott Snyder has accepted the appointment as UNO's Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activity, effective Sept. 15, 2010.  Scott has been on leave from his position as a UNO Professor in Biology since 2008 while serving as a program director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation.  He has been a UNO faculty member since 2001.   Hynes stated that at the last Regents meeting when research was being reported that we were on track with their expectations, and that she would like to see us exceed their expectations.  She also noted that understanding and discovery (research) is integral to the teaching mission, especially in the 21st century. 

      Senator Boyer asked that a written response be given for Resolution 3011, 2/10/10:  Faculty Development Fellowship Policy.  Senator Laquer asked the same for Resolution 3012, 2/10/10:  Temporary Replacement for Senator Chris Decker.  Both senators noted that while the resolutions were discussed at an EC&A meeting, the Senate office had not received a written response to the resolutions.  SVC Hynes explained that Nancy Castilow, Assistant to the Chancellor, handles all the written responses, and the Senate Coordinator should contact her. 

      Senator Laquer expressed appreciation for faculty being recognized for their promotions at departmental meetings by their Dean for example.  SVC Hynes said that each Dean was asked to handle it as they think appropriate, and she thought that was going well.

      SVC Hynes said that "not everybody who applied was awarded promotion this year".  She said that "if we are assigning people some time to do research and we don't see refereed publications coming out of that, at a level that would be expected in terms of progression that would be expected, then folks cannot expected to be promoted.  Now in this case, maybe not even tenured, depending on the situation."  She continued "in one case for example, this was certainly a faculty member we wanted to keep over time, but it seems that the message had not been fully understood.  The expectations when one is assigned a considerable amount of time to do the research, then we expect the outcome."  She explained that this is a change from last year when she simply went with each department's decision.  She said,"it is not fair to the institution or our future if we don't make sure that we are positioning ourselves for our future."  "We are not pretending we are a Research-I institution, ... we do not give people 3/4 of their time during the semester to do their research."  "There is some reasonable expectations that we have for assigned time for scholarship that go beyond presentations at scholarly meetings.  That's one step of the ladder.  We need to be raising the bar so folks understand that's not what's going to get someone tenured and promoted."   The senators had no issue with these conditions as long as they are spelled out clearly and prominently in the continuing reappointment processes.

      Also discussed was the Sunday OWH Colleges and Careers Special Section and the UNO ¼ page ad, and difficulty of targeting limited advertising funds to where they would do the most good.  There was also discussion on the costs of this atypical winter's storms.  VC Conley said snow removal, plus repair of streets, parking lots and sidewalks, are partially paid by parking fees, and he saw no problem with covering the bills.

2.      The Chancellor's Council met March 25, 2010.

      The Chancellor began by talking about seven days of service. He then mentioned that the Budget Advisory Task Force has been rolled into the Strategic Planning process. Some of our current budget problems are likely to be long term problems. It makes sense therefore, that the University's

budget advisory group be part of a long term process. On the other hand, strategic plans have budget implications. Altogether, this seems to be a sensible move.

      Mollie Anderson, Director of Human Resources, then presented a Staff & Supervisor Training and Resource Program, which is in partnership with BLR ( Randy Sell, Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships, spoke about the changes in student financial aid that result from recent federal legislation. Students will now receive their financial aid directly from the federal government. He raised two issues of concern. (1) The maximum Pell grant is set to rise to $5,500 for the 2010-11 school year, but then remain capped at $5,900 for the next ten years. This cap could become a big problem by year 10. (2) Work study funding is going to be cut by 40%. 

3.      Campaign for Nebraska was presented to UNO Faculty March 30, 2010,  by Jim Young, UNO Chair.

      The UNO Faculty Senate and Chancellor Christensen arranged to have Jim Young, Union Pacific CEO and the UNO Chair for the NU Capitol Campaign, speak to all interested persons at the UNO Student Center on March 30, 2010. Mr. Young gave a quick briefing on the Capitol Campaign. [ redirects to the NU Foundation.] Between 2005- 2014 the goal is to raise $150 million. He considered that to be a low figure. This campaign is about building an educated workforce, engaging our community, and enriching campus & community life.

      Members of the Campaign Executive Committee, UNO Campaign Committee members, and confirmed members of College Cabinets were named. Most members are from the community; Harmon Maher is the only UNO faculty named and is a member of the Arts and Sciences cabinet. The several college cabinets will be soliciting needs from the bottom up.

      There was a quick overview of the progress of the campaign with a breakdown of the current funds raised; $51M for Capital/equipment, $21M for Faculty/Students, and $20M for Programs.

      Young, Chancellor Christenson, and Ms. Lori Byrne, Vice President & UNO Campus Director of Development, took and answered questions for more than half the meeting time. There is a list (menu) of potential needs being established (currently about $350M and growing) that potential donors may select from to target their donations. UNO Campaign and Foundation personnel are encouraging donations that go beyond buildings, including Endowed Faculty Chairs and Professorships (35), and student scholarships (in 2008, 1321 students have received 1604  scholarships). They would like funds to establish "Experts in Residence," doctoral fellowships, and graduate student support. The issue was raised about non-glamorous needs such as increases in seed money for UCRCA and equipment repair funds, both of which have not had permanent budget lines for some time, and new building operation costs. The list is big, and runs the spectrum from day care to parking. The UNO campus has space for expansion on the old Chili Greens property. When asked about building UNO's image and recognition beyond the Omaha area, one activity mentioned was "Road Trips" that have been made to mid-sized towns throughout the state. One advantage that we have here in Omaha is the diversity of job opportunities. Students and their parents are looking forward more to the first job after college graduation that may have been developed through internship experiences in Omaha, or other connections, only available through UNO.

4.      Enrollment Management Steering Committee met April 13, 2010.

      The morning began with a NeSIS update from Mark Goldsberry. Registration started April 1. As of April 13 there are 4,000 students registered for fall. There have been some problems, especially with prerequisites. Note UNL has simply turned off the prerequisite check. At UNO certain departments have wanted to enforce prerequisites (e.g. Chemistry). This has caused problems, especially for summer registration. There is an expectation that when the software is up and running we will be happy with it. But during the transitions there have been and continue to be difficulties. Note that we are the first school in the country to implement Degree Works in Peoplesoft. We are the first school in the country to implement CRM (UNL uses what they used to use, Talisma).

      Next Nora Bacon and Joe Price talked about the English Placement Test. Most universities have a 2 semester English composition sequence. Our placement test places students at the appropriate place in this sequence. There is a 30 minute test on reading comprehension and vocabulary. There is 90 minutes of writing. Currently, there is 2 week turn-around on grading the placement test. The English Department's First-Year Writing Committee has approved a process that they hope will reduce the time needed from 2 weeks to 1 week.

      Roundtable. There is some worrying news on applications and admissions. Graduate applications are down around 10%. Graduate admissions are down around 30%. Undergraduate applications are down around 7%. Undergraduate admissions are down around 9%. This may be a consequence of the transition to NeSIS. But there are probably other factors involved as well.

5.      Written Acknowledgements of Resolutions (& Table):

From the Chancellor via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail on 3/18/10:

·         R3011: Accept as resources and available information allow.

·         R3012:  Acknowledge

·         R3013:  Returned to Faculty Senate for additional language consideration as discussed at the 3/17 meeting with administration.

·         R3014:  Senate responded and sent to President Milliken, etc.

·         R3015:  Acknowledge



F.S. Passed




Sent for Senate Action



In Progress

Final Action/Resolved



EPAC Membership






Domestic Partnership Benefits 



(Senate sent to all on 3/16/ 10)


"Needs to be sent to the President as this is a system issue and should be a matter of record rather than a report item"

(Senate sent to all on 3/16/10)



Recommended Plagiarism Policy




Returned to Faculty Senate for additional language consideration as discussed at the 3/17 meeting with administration.*



Faculty Development Fellowship Policy



 "Accept as resources and available information allow."



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


*3014 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 3/11/10) "The chancellor said  . . .  the second" (3014) "needs to be sent to the President as this is a system issue and should be a matter of record rather than a report item.")  The Faculty Senate Coordinated mailed copies of Resolution 3014 to the NU President and Board of Regents on 3/16/2010.

*3013  (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 3/11/10) "The chancellor said the first resolution" (3013)  "needs to be considered by Terry" (Hynes) . . . (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 3/18/10:  "Returned to Faculty Senate for additional language consideration as discussed at the 3/17 meeting with administration.")

*These changes were made and the committee chair and the principal author found them reasonable.

*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:

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 March 2010 Budget Report.

1.      Ad Hoc Budget Committee:  (Members:  Bartle [Chair], Benjamin-Alvarado, Elder, Hafer, Laquer, and Paterson)

      Senator Bartle moved the following resolution for the committee.  Senator Wileman moved to change #2 to "System Level Reductions," which passed. Senator Benjamin-Alvarado moved, and asked for unanimous consent to add "Therefore Be It Further Resolved" to the final paragraph, which also passed.  The amended resolution passed unanimously.

RESOLUTION 3020, 4/14/10:  UNO/NU Budget Considerations/Suggestions

WHEREAS, "The University of Nebraska at Omaha . . . is a comprehensive university sited in Nebraska's largest metropolitan area. Its distinguished faculty is drawn from the nation's leading graduate institutions. UNO exists for the purpose of providing appropriate educational opportunities, discovering and disseminating knowledge through research and teaching, and offering public service to the citizens of the State, particularly the residents of the Omaha metropolitan area. Through these traditional, interdependent, and mutually-reinforcing functions, the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Omaha enrich the lives of students; advance the frontiers of knowledge; and contribute to the social, cultural, international and economic development of the community, State, and region"; and,

[UNO Mission Statement, Approved by the Board of Regents 05-10-91. ]

WHEREAS, "The University of Nebraska at Omaha is committed to the following broad priorities in fulfilling its mission:

  1. Undergraduate instructional programs based on a strong liberal arts foundation;
  2. Graduate programs, research, and creative activity;
  3. Public service"; and,

[UNO Mission Statement, Approved by the Board of Regents 05-10-91. ]

WHEREAS, the UNO Strategic Plan articulates the following mission: "As Nebraska's metropolitan University, UNO is characterized by its strong academic foundations and creative community relationships that transform and improve the lives of constituents, the region, and the nation"; and, [ ]

WHEREAS, the Strategic Plan Vision asserts: "The University of Nebraska at Omaha will be among the nation's premier metropolitan universities – a university of high distinction with strong academic and scholarly values distinguished by creative relationships with the communities we serve"; and,

[ ]

WHEREAS, the economic and cultural vitality of the City of Omaha and the State of Nebraska depend upon its college educated public; and,

WHEREAS, the University of Nebraska at Omaha should preserve and, where appropriate, even expand the educational opportunities it provides to the citizenry of the City of Omaha and the State of Nebraska; and,

WHEREAS, state spending on higher education, as a percentage of the state budget, has been falling for more than 20 years, and has recently fallen further due to the current recession; and,

[ %20Sources/State%20General%20Fund%20History.pdf ]

WHEREAS, the university has an obligation to meet the educational dreams of our young people; and,

WHEREAS, what is said of Texas and its push for national leadership can be said of Nebraska: it "will not have the state and economy they need if they don't get a lot more people prepared and through college."


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha recommends the Administration for the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Central Administration for the University of Nebraska consider the following:

1.   REVENUES. There are two sides to a budget: revenues and expenditures. Before major expenditure reductions are made, increased revenue opportunities should be fully explored. Specifically, we call attention to these opportunities for increased resources:

a.   Increased enrollments. To do so UNO will need to make more funds available for recruiting.

b.   Tuition differentials for professional programs. These are now allowed. We should seriously consider this option.

c.   Tuition remissions. Where practical, reduce tuition remissions from 100% to 90%, as federal tax incentives are likely to offset this reduction.

d.   Enrollments and tuition increases. A careful examination of the sensitivity of enrollments to tuition increases is needed. If enrollment is not that sensitive, then revenues can be increased by tuition increases. Programs such as the Goodrich Scholarship program and the Thompson Learning Community go a long way to meeting the needs of low income students. This analysis needs to break down the following categories of enrollments:

i.    Upper-division/lower-division

ii.   Graduate/undergraduate

iii. Professional graduate/academic graduate

The analysis should also include a comparison of the tuition level of competitor universities by program.

e.   Scholarships and other tuition remissions. These could be used more strategically to subsidize those students who are more price-sensitive.

f.    Increased graduate tuition. UNO should consider raising these tuitions to the level of UNL.

g.   Increased use of revenue sources. Increase revenue sources that stay on campus (e.g., dual enrollment and online courses) and allow greater flexibility in the use of these funds so they can fund permanent expenditures.

h.   Use of revolving fundsi. Such funds may replace state funds where appropriate.

i.    Faculty research release time. UNO can provide additional incentives for faculty to apply for external funding by creating faculty research release time as seed funding.

j.    Seed funding. UNO should encourage seed funding on a contract basis for grant writing assistance.

k.   Credit Card Fees. UNO should consider renegotiating the credit card fees paid on tuition. Moreover, we might also consider offering a cash discount for tuition.

2.   SYSTEM LEVEL CUTS REDUCTIONS. Reductions at the system level can cushion the cuts at the campus level. While these reductions are not without pain, these offices should be as lean as campus operations. We suggest a careful examination of the return on investment of these programs:

a.   International Affairs.

b.   Online Worldwide.

c.   Programs of Excellence.

d.   Nebraska Research Initiative.

e.   Priorities and Staffing. There are other personnel costs where economies are possible. Specifically, an examination of the priorities and staffing at the system level should be done regularly.

3.   CAMPUS REDUCTIONS. As reductions on campus are necessary, we suggest that careful attention be given to these issues. Careful examination of:

a.   Disparities in operating budgets.

b.   Direct and indirect subsidies in service and outreach activities. Is the university confident these subsidies are merited?

c.   Savings in shared operational expenses with UNMC.

d.   Re-negotiating utility rates with OPPD.

e.   Use of salary savings created by turnover.

f.    Vacant lines. These should be filled as guided by the UNO Strategic Plan. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, more generally, the UNO Faculty Senate is keenly aware of recent discussions concerning faculty workloads. Such discussions raise broader issues such as what sort of university we at UNO desire to be? Increases in teaching loads will naturally put pressure on service and research productivity. Reaching the Chancellor's goals on funded research and doctoral program growth will be all the more difficult if faculty do not have the time to devote to these growth activities. We in the UNO Faculty Senate believe that careful, thoughtful actions can be taken that would improve the incentives in place and ultimately make UNO even stronger.


i "Revolving revenue is generated from activities incidental to instruction, research and public

service. Examples include class and library fees, … clinics and workshop proceeds, testing services fees, and revenue from music/theatre productions." University of Nebraska, General Operating Budget, Fiscal Year 2009-10, p. 1,


IV.             Standing Committee Reports

A.  Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Erickson reported the meeting was held March 31, 2010.  Committee Members Present:  Carballal, Erickson, Nordman, Proulx, and Srithongrung.  Guests: Griff Elder (UNO Faculty Senate President), Loree Bykerk (AAUP President), Bill Pratt (AAUP chief negotiator), Maria Knudtson (AAUP), Janet West (CBA Faculty and AAUP), David Corbin (UNO representative to the University-Wide Benefits Committee and AAUP)


1.   Faculty/Staff Life Insurance Benefit

      Bill Pratt reported that there will likely be a resolution to this problem within a couple of weeks.  There are no formal negotiations going on regarding the issue, but the NU Benefits Office has examined the request from UNO faculty (through UNO H/R) and seems to be relatively close to making a decision.

2.   Contingent/Special Appt/Part Time/etc. Faculty Contract Delays

      The Senior Vice Chancellor's office is currently attempting to standardize across campus (with the Deans) the date(s) when contracts can be issued.  A date tentatively mentioned for this was April 15th.  However, this covers only fulltime instructors, and not part time faculty.  Additionally, the AAUP is allowed to bargain for or represent only specific categories of faculty as defined in the contract (Section 3.3 and following).  Part time faculty are not covered.  Thus, it appears that the Faculty Senate is the only body that will be able to represent part-time faculty in this area or other areas.  The Faculty, Personnel and Welfare Committee will continue to work on this very serious problem.

3.   Faculty Benefits Issues from 2009

      This problem consumed the majority of the meeting time.  Numerous points were raised by all of those in attendance, on each of several very complex problems.  The comments and discussion fall primarily into 4 areas.  One is the issue of communication between NU Benefits Office, the University-Wide Benefits Committee, the H/R offices on the campuses and the faculty and staff.  The second area is the functioning (or lack of functioning) of the University-Wide Benefits Committee.  The third is the problem of employee benefits, generally the long-term disability problem that have occurred here in the past.  The fourth topic of discussion involved the education of faculty (and H/R staff at all campuses in the NU system.


      Griff Elder and the 3 other Faculty Senate Presidents met and discussed communications issues regarding the UWBC.  Griff's report is available upon request.  Bill Pratt recommended that the Faculty Senate push for institutionalizing the functioning of the UWBC.

University-Wide Benefits Committee (UWBC)

      Also discussed at the meeting was the functioning of the UWBC.  At this time, it appears that committee receives information top-down from Keith Dietze and other NU Administrators, and is expected to vote on that information.  The committee does not typically communicate in the other direction (except to vote) or ask for clarification, according to David Corbin (UNO Faculty representative).  President Elder reported that the meeting he attended functioned similarly.  President Elder and the other Faculty Senate Presidents hope that the functioning of the committee can be modified to be more inclusive of actual discussion of issues rather simply voting on top-down problems presented by administration, and that was also part of the meeting with President Milliken.

Employee Benefits Problems

      Keith Dietze (UWBC) provided a scenario spreadsheet that indicates that the costs to faculty who have to go on disability insurance are not as catastrophic as those presented using College of Business examples.  Graham Mitenko, Michael O'Hara, Janet West (all of CBA), and John Erickson developed a set of questions and comments on the spreadsheets and pointed out a number of inaccuracies in them.  The most critical inaccuracy was the cost of COBRA insurance to disabled employees.  The spreadsheets indicated a monthly cost of $401 for COBRA health insurance for disabled employees.  However, that rate is based on the employee being in the active pool, which by law they cannot be.  As soon as they are declared disabled, they are moved into the inactive pool, and then the COBRA rate is $1200 per month.  The spreadsheets also indicate that the coverage is for a single person only and do not take into account spouse or dependents.  Spouse COBRA coverage would be another $1200, and dependents $600 or more.  Those numbers are NOT estimates but are actual costs incurred by 2 UNO (CBA) faculty who this situation actually happened to.  The spreadsheets also indicated that they assumed that the spouse and dependents would enroll for health care coverage at the spouse's employer.  This is a completely invalid assumption because the spouse might not have a job or be unable to enroll with his/her work insurance because of date restrictions.

      Bill Pratt and Loree Bykerk requested copies of the spreadsheet; we will email it to them.  There was extended discussion regarding how this problem could be addressed.  Since the situations occur very infrequently, setting up an insurance pool for only 1 or 2 people is not possible; it does not really fit the definition of a pool.  It is also not possible for disabled employees to remain in the active pool.  Therefore what needs to happen is the ability to offer health benefits at comparable rates of active employees to disabled employees affected by this rare situation.  It might mean asking the active pool employees to contribute a small amount to a fund set up specifically for this purpose.  NU Administration needs to be made aware that these situations have actually occurred.

      Bill Pratt mentioned that another possible problem was what would happen if an employee were to have a disabling health event occur while they were on a ½ pay sabbatical.  Would the benefit paid also be at the same ½ pay basis?  This is a very troubling scenario that the AAUP will likely bring to the next negotiating session.

Education of Faculty, Staff, and H/R Personnel

      Some examples of this problem follow.  LTD insurance is offered in at least 2 options.  One option, the more expensive, goes into effect immediately upon the health event occurring, with no waiting period.  The other LTD option has a 6 month waiting period.  Since faculty have a six month full wages benefit built into the contract it therefore makes no sense for them to select the no waiting period option.  However, at least some (no numbers on this as to how many) opt to buy the more expensive insurance option, because they are essentially not informed about (or of) the issue.  There have also been several cases, in which UNO H/R was not able to help the person apply for receive their appropriate benefits.  There are at least 2 parts to this problem.  First, the faculty need to educate themselves on the best choices for options.  Second, H/R system wide needs to be better informed so that they are able to help employees who need to apply for their benefits. 

      David Corbin reported that Keith Dietze (UWBC) recommended that each faculty/staff representative on campus be made responsible for orienting new hires.  This does not seem to be an especially appropriate idea, given the informal functioning of the UWBC and the more formal education requirements.

      There is some movement on this problem.  Representatives from NU Administration, the UWBC, and the 4 campus Faculty Senate Presidents met to discuss communication problems as well as education problems.  The communication issues were previously reported.  NU H/R offices and UWBC are moving toward recommending appointment of a single person to responsible for educating NU employees statewide regarding benefits.  This may take some time to happen, but it addresses concerns raised in Senate "Resolution 2962, 4/8/09; Amended 5/13/09:  Inform Faculty and Staff of Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance Policy Offsets, Waiting Periods, and Phase-Out Ages"  in 2008/2009.

      Meeting concluded at 3:30 pm.  Next meeting:  April 28, 2:00pm 

B   Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Paterson reported the Committee convened for its monthly meeting on March 31 at 2:30 PM in CPACS 208.  In Attendance:  Senators Jessiline Anderson, Henry D'Souza, Matthew Marx, Bonnie O'Connell, Doug Paterson (chair).  Excused:  Senator Richard Lomneth.  Absent:  None.  Guest:  UNO Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Terry Hynes

      Following upon our meeting with the Vice Chancellor last month, and given the Senior Vice Chancellor's suggestion, the Committee arranged to meet with Vice Chancellor Hynes a second time.  The discussion began upon the Senior Vice Chancellor's arrival at 2:45. What follows are brief summaries of key discussion areas.

      On the subject of the blending of faculty and staff, and the loss of faculty identity, the Senior Vice Chancellor suggested that Faculty Senate should sponsor any faculty campus-wide social meetings.  She was surprised to hear that faculty wanted to have specific faculty social/discussion events. 

      Senator Paterson observed that it sometimes appeared that the administration was not visible on campus.  SVC Hynes suggested that the faculty invite administrators to college faculty meetings. Part of the difference between administrators of the past and our current administrators, she observed, is the current climate in which there is simply no time to have personal, face-to-face interaction with faculty. This is a change of the Academy at large. Things are not the same as they were twenty years ago.

      SVC Hynes was asked if there was a kind of "corporate" style management creeping into UNO administration.  Of particular concern was the communication during the contract dispute.  Senator Paterson asked if the faculty had friends in the NU administration, and that during the dispute even the UNO administration was not seen as supportive. She said that not all UNO faculty belong to the union, so the union does not represent the entire faculty, and that negotiations are just that – give and take.  Limited resources must be aligned with priorities and pointed in the direction she believes the university is going (i.e., "community engagement"). This university is not as corporate as other places she has worked.

      In response to a question from Senator Marx -- "What are your priorities for the university?"  The Vice Chancellor talked at some length about priorities.  It was noted that she mentioned the faculty only once. She believes UNO works well because people work so hard to make it excellent.  Some Senators wondered if this meant Vice Chancellor would like to maximize "efficiency" without driving away talented faculty or creating unacceptable working conditions.

      There was a follow up question:  "How much more do you think faculty can be pushed before they reach the breaking point?"   SVC Hynes said, "I don't know, but I think we're close."  She went on to say that the budget reduction decisions should be made as close to where to cuts will be made as possible, i.e., the colleges. She said, "I am a pragmatist, not an idealist."

      Our discussions concluded amicably at 3:45 PM.

      The Committee discussed the following resolution as drafted by Senator Paterson:


WHEREAS, the UNO Strategic Plan has for ten years guided the basic values of our university; and,

WHEREAS, the Plan articulates three goals:  Student Centered;  Academic Excellence;  and Community Engagement;  and,

WHEREAS, both the Student Centered Goal and the Community Engagement goal explicitly mention both "students" and "community" many times;  and,

WHEREAS, the Faculty is mentioned only once in the Academic Excellence Goal, and that in relationship to serving students; 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the UNO Faculty Senate urges the UNO Administration to direct the strategic planning process to re-visit the second goal and to draw up further language for the goal that explicitly articulates the faculty's role in the University and their value to the strategic planning process and to the University.

Given the length of discussion time with the Vice Chancellor, there was just time to discuss the resolution briefly.  The Senators thought this was a good resolution that needed perhaps just a bit of shaping.  Senator Marx, as well as others, will likely make these edits at our April meeting. However, it is possible that Senator Paterson will not be at the April meeting so arrangements for discussion of the resolution need to be made.

      There being no further business before the Committee, adjournment occurred at 4:10 PM.

C.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator Benjamin-Alvarado reported the committee met March 31, 2010.  In attendance:  Senators Benjamin-Alvarado (Chair), Tisko, Hayes, Haworth, Tixier y Vigil.  Excused: Senator Lamsam.

      The committee discussed the participation of Senator Benjamin-Alvarado in the Faculty Development Advisory Group convened by ASVC Smith-Howell. The primary issues articulated by the group are the following: What can/should we be doing to provide coordinated and intentional faculty development opportunities across the range of faculty responsibilities as well as at various stages of the academic career? The focus areas of faculty development are: teaching; research; leadership; and community engagement.  The critical issue is, "Is there a place where faculty can simply call or refer to to obtain information regarding these elements of professional development?" Specifically, how does the university promote and assess activity in these areas as it relates to faculty development?

      After discussion by the committee we will forward the following recommendations to the Advisory Group: 

1.      The Center for Faculty Development should be reinstituted and set up as a clearinghouse for all faculty where a master calendar of all relevant events and opportunities are documented and available for referral.

2.      The Center (a space within the ASVC's office) could be manned by an experienced faculty member (with release time) with a graduate assistant. This will serve as the central point of contact for colleges, department chairs and faculty to access the resources already dedicated to the pursuit of faculty development broadly speaking. 

      We continue to gather information on the articulation and definition of "Community Engagement" and the "Scholarship of Engagement." The primary objective of the committee's work has been to ascertain various perspectives on these two ideas as they related to professional development at UNO. As a point of departure, the University should be prepared to allow faculty the following:

1.      An articulated matrix of indicators and measures of what constitutes "community engagement" and the "scholarship of engagement."

2.      This will be different faculty within and across all academic units. Additionally, there should be a clear articulation of how community engagement is assessed in relation to faculty performance (RPT) and its impact on the collective bargaining agreement with the AAUP unit at UNO. This provides accountability and transparency to all stakeholders.

3.      Indicators and measures of impacts of community engagement across various communities should be developed and divulged. This requires that the University provide appropriate resources for the collection and dissemination of these efforts through University communications and public relations outlets.

      The extent to which each academic unit is able to create "working definitions" of these ideas is imperative for their success, and it is reasonable that in general they be adopted and respected by the administration in the spirit of "shared governance."

      We are in discussion with a CPACS working group that is developing a "building statement" on community engagement focus on professional development among its  faculty. They will share findings with the PD Committee.

D.    Committee on Rules:  Senator Holley reported the committee met March 31, 2010.

Members present:  Nora Bacon, Timi Barone, Richard Fine, John Hafer, and Lyn Holley, and technical support:  Faculty Senate Coordinator Sue Bishop.

      Nominees were identified for all vacancies on the 30 committees for which the Rules Committee recruits in this two-hour "mega meeting". The rate of response from faculty to the 2010 Survey of UNO Faculty preferences for Service on UNO Committees was slightly higher than in the 2009 survey.  Results of the survey are of critical importance.  Faculty preferences reported in the survey weigh heavily in selection of nominees from the pool of faculty who meet the qualifications requirements for each committee.  The Committee wishes to place in the record its vote of thanks to all faculty members who completed the survey, and to Sue Bishop, Faculty Senate Coordinator for the excellent documents and indexes she provided to support accomplishment of this work.  Prospective nominees for committee service will be contacted by Rules Committee members over the next four weeks.  A full "slate" of nominees will be presented for consideration by the Faculty Senate at the May meeting. 

      Senator Holley moved the following resolution for the committee, which the full Senate passed.

RESOLUTION 3021, 4/14/2010:  (Named) Professorship Review Committee

BE IT RESOLVED, that, due to the resignation of Patrice Proulx from the Professorship Review Committee, the following faculty member is named as replacement for Spring 2010:

      Lourdes Gouveia.


V.                Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.    Academic Planning Council:  Senators  Bartle & D'Souza reported the APC met April 9, 2010.

      The reviews for Department of Philosophy and for Religious Studies, after a lapse of 13 years--postponed because of adverse circumstances--were completed and the reports are ready.  The internal chairs reported that the reviews were very helpful in highlighting the strengths and areas for improvement.  The recommendations point to a future direction of maintaining autonomy as distinct disciplines and balancing the inevitable incompatibilities that are likely to arise.           

      The Blackboard organization to store the self studies, academic review reports, and responses has been set up.  These are available to the members of the Academic Planning Council and others on a need to know basis.  This will eliminate the need to print them on paper.

B.     American Association of University Professors (AAUP):  Senator N. Bacon reported

Chapter Meeting

      The UNO AAUP held its spring chapter meeting on April 1. The main items of business were a report from our lobbyist, Jim Pappas, and a discussion of the recent grievance.


As reported last month, the grievance was a response the termination of a Lecturer.  AAUP President Loree Bykerk summarizes the case as follows:

      In May 2009, a college dean notified a lecturer who had taught continuously at UNO for six years as an instructor and three years as a lecturer that his services would not be needed in the 2009-2010 academic year. The lecturer sought advice from the AAUP grievance officer with whose help a grievance was filed on the grounds that a lecturer is owed a one-year notice of dismissal under of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Senior Vice Chancellor turned down the grievance. Among her reasons was the argument that the appointment to lecturer is a separate appointment from the instructor appointment, hence a lecturer is not owed a year notice until they have been a lecturer for six years or more. AAUP appealed this decision but the Chancellor supported the Senior Vice Chancellor's decision. AAUP then moved to step three which requires bringing in an outside hearing officer agreed to by both the University and AAUP.

      The hearing was held on campus on November 23, 2009; the hearing officer's opinion was delivered to us in February 2010. The opinion supports the AAUP's interpretation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement; the University is required to give lecturers 12 months written notice of termination. He concluded that the University should pay the grievant the 2008-2009 salary, an amount not including the raise he would have earned for the 2009-2010 academic year.

      The Collective Bargaining Agreement does not require mandatory arbitration so the hearing officer's opinion is advisory to the Board of Regents. Their response came to us on March 6th. They rejected the hearing officer's opinion and reiterated the position argued by Senior Vice Chancellor Hynes in the hearing. This position holds that the contract letters offered to special appointments such as lecturers include both the beginning and ending dates of their employment and no further notice is necessary. They assert that, in signing the letter, the lecturer agrees that their employment ends on the date specified.

      In spite of their long service, their departments' scheduling them to teach and publishing their scheduled classes, the contract provisions for raises from year to year, and other evidence that continuing employment is expected, the University asserts that these faculty members are not employed as of the end of the time stated in the yearly contract letter. Furthermore, the Board's response undermines the spirit of the grievance process by rejecting outright the well-argued, thorough opinion of the outside hearing officer. The posture revealed in their response does not bode well for future efforts to settle differences amicably.

   Parties to collective bargaining are required to negotiate in good faith.  The regents' decision to disregard the intent of section as well as the recommendation of the hearing officer, whose role is spelled out in section 5.7.8, raises questions about their good faith in negotiating and signing the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Accordingly, the UNO AAUP has brought this matter to the attention of the national AAUP and will seek legal advice about an appeal to the Commission on Industrial Relations.

Spring Dinner

      The AAUP spring dinner is scheduled for the evening of April 24 at the Upstream Brewery West, 17070 Wright Plaza (171st and West Center Road).   The dinner is open to AAUP members and their guests.

C.     Graduate Council:  Senator Tisko reported the Graduate Council met on March 8, 2010. 

Dean's Report:  The university-wide Executive Graduate Council met on 3 MAR 10.  The Ph. D. in Psychology at UNO was approved.  The Ph. D. in Music at UNL was approved.  The Master's in Public Health is no longer a joint degree between UNO and UNMC; it is a UNMC degree exclusively.  Campuses were asked to consider how to improve "time-to-degree," especially for Master's degrees.  The UNO Graduate Studies office will begin collecting time-to-degree statistics.  A system-wide Graduate College newsletter is now being sent via mail to all graduate faculty on all campuses once per semester. 

      The Graduate Studies office will be collecting information on how graduate assistantships are used in each program. 

      Total graduate applications are down six percent.  The cause may be due to the software for graduate studies applications not working for three or four days during February. 

      Scholarship monies are in the process of being awarded by the Graduate Studies office.

      Two additional university graduate assistantship opportunities (1 EdS/Ph. D. level and 1 Master's level) are available.

Committee A (Policy Committee) Report:  The Graduate Lecturer Option form was updated from the last update in 1974.  A motion to accept the new form was passed by the Graduate Council.

Committee B (Curriculum Committee) Report:  The committee approved five course syllabi.

Other Business:  The Dean is encouraging faculty to contact the Graduate Studies office to place items on the agenda for the spring Graduate Faculty meeting.  The meeting will held on April 26, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. in the Dodge Room of the MBSC.

      To help to clarify the work done by the Graduate Council committees, the Graduate Council was in agreement to begin referring to Committee A as the Policy Committee and Committee B as the Curriculum Committee.

D.    Strategic Planning Steering Committee:  Senator O'Connell reported

Feb 24 Meeting -- The Spring Strategic Planning Forum was held February 12 in MBSC and was deemed a great success with strong participation from faculty, staff, students and members of the Omaha community. Chancellor Christensen thanked the committee for organizing such a successful event and mentioned he received many positive comments from community guests who attended. He also commented on the successful launch of the new UNO Magazine and would like to see something about strategic planning process and events in a future issue

      Event organizers reviewed the feedback forms from the online survey of attendees and distributed feedback data on Goal 3, the new website for the community, and alumni suggestions. Each of the task forces will meet in March to review the information in depth.

      The steering committee discussed the need to reach out to all groups represented on campus to make sure we have a diverse audience and speakers presenting at future Spring Forums. It was suggested a date be standardized so that the campus community will know when to expect it.

Mar 24 Meeting -- The Steering Committee met again on March 24 and began with the Chancellor's update of the 7 Days of Service event, which was favorably reported in The Lincoln Star Journal and on local television stations. The Chancellor will be taking part in several upcoming NU Foundation/UNO Alumni co-sponsored events across the country. CUMU continues to work on a national survey documenting community engagement and what that really means across various campuses.

Neal Topp presented the final revision of Goal 3 task force, which was the result of two years of revising including recent feedback gathered at the Feb 12 Forum. The Goal 3 Task Force also prepared a list of recommendations to be passed on regarding future ongoing revisions. The Steering Committee recommended that the final draft version be forwarded to the Chancellor for his inclusion in the UNO Strategic Plan.  (This final draft is attached at the end of this report.)   

Discussion of Strategic Planning Steering and Budget Advisory Committees.

      Terry Hynes and Bill Conley  reviewed the discussion they have been having to better align the work of the Budget Advisory Committee and the Strategic Planning Steering committee as the plan goes forward. Discussions would be timely since the new budget cycle will begin this summer. The Chancellor hopes this would result in a  "framework" for consideration and implementation, rather than a "formula". The Strategic Plan Executive Committee will meet further with Terry Hynes and Bill Conley and bring more discussion back to the steering committee soon.

      The last meeting of the year will be Wednesday, April 28. Agenda items will focus on report of the Gen Ed Action project and the Data Collection task force report.


The Goal 3 Revision Taskforce recommends the following draft of Goal 3 to the SPSC for approval.

We also make the following suggestions for considerations as future revisions and strategies are considered:

1)      Be open to continuous revision of Goal 3 and Goal 3 objectives.

2)      Consider expanding the introduction to Goal 3.

3)      Assure that objectives are carefully measured.

4)      Strive to make the progress toward meeting Goal 3 be communicated broadly and thoroughly.

5)      Continually refine the definition and concept of "community engagement" following national trends in the area.

6)      Include external, as well as internal, vision in UNO's future community engagement strategies.

7)      Help students understand the value of community engagement for them, the university, and the community.

Goal 3:  UNO will be recognized for its outstanding engagement with the urban, regional, national, and global communities. 

In accordance with our mission, UNO is committed to community engagement. UNO defines community engagement as collaboration between the University and its local, regional, national and global communities for the exchange of knowledge and resources.  As an engaged campus, UNO is fully committed to creating value through mutually beneficial partnerships where information and expertise is shared and applied for the common good.

Sub-Goal A:  UNO will expand its community connections by engaging with partners in instructionally-based academic and educational activities.  By 2015:


1.      Each of the UNO colleges will increase the number of undergraduate and graduate courses with service learning components by 25%. 

2.      UNO will establish dual enrollment course agreements and offerings with all the public school districts in the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium.

3.      UNO will expand its curriculum and transfer articulation agreements with all community colleges in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.

4.      UNO will expect that all students complete a minimum of 20 hours of service or community engaged scholarship, such as volunteering, service learning experiences, and/or internships.

5.      UNO will, in collaboration with schools, businesses, and other community partners, increase the number of joint courses and joint continuing learning/professional development.

6.      UNO will be increase its commitment to working with students, countries, and institutions around the world.

Sub-Goal B:  UNO will increase its research and creative activity that expand and advance the study and nature of community engagement.  By 2015:


1.      UNO faculty and researchers will research, write and publish an increasing number of projects which may be described as "scholarship of engagement."

2.      UNO faculty, staff and students will apply for and be granted external funding for doing scholarship of engagement.

3.      UNO faculty, staff and students will create and disseminate artistic and media projects which add to the existing integration of the scholarship of engagement and actual community engagement in fields such as voluntary community service.

4.      UNO faculty, staff and students will document UNO's community engagement in such a way that the documentation may be used by UNO and other researchers and creative artists engaged in the scholarship of engagement.

Sub-Goal C:  UNO students, faculty, staff and constituencies will engage with our communities through service, involvement and support.  By 2015:


1.      UNO will broaden its presence in the community through engagement in non-academic service areas.

2.      UNO will encourage knowledge, involvement, and support of community engagement opportunities by the campus community.

3.      UNO will establish a process for gathering and documenting service engagement by the campus community.

4.      UNO will increase the involvement of alumni and friends to advance UNO's priorities.

Sub-Goal D:  UNO will provide leadership through developing and expanding the infrastructure, resources, policies, and practices that support the university's commitment to engaging with the community.  By 2015:


1.      UNO will have a Community Engagement Center on campus that provides offices, learning spaces, meeting spaces, and community areas in support of work with community partners.

2.      Working with governance units across the campus and colleges, UNO will embed the culture of community engagement into its evaluation and review systems.

3.      Working with governance units across the campus and colleges, UNO will expand the network of resources for supporting and encouraging local, regional, and international community partnerships.

4.      UNO will establish mechanisms for recognizing excellence in contributions and achievements that advance partnerships aimed at addressing the compelling needs in our community.

5.      UNO will create communication strategies through which campus and community needs and opportunities are articulated and disseminated to internal and external constituencies.

VI.             Old Business

A.    The following  is a point of information, with some minor word changes, accepted by the full Senae without objection:

Revised Plagiarism Policy (Resolution 3013, 3/10/10:  Recommended Plagiarism Policy)

Following is the revised Plagiarism Policy that the full Senate approved at its last meeting, revised by Nora Bacon of Writing Across the Curriculum Committee in accordance with SVC Hynes' suggestions:

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 the faculty 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 disciplinary 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:

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 initiate discipline.  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. March, 2010.

VII.          New Business

A.     "Reach for the Stars" Program:  Senator Mitchell reported that the summer program is on the chopping block due to the budget problems.  She considers it a recruitment tool and students matriculating now can point to attending the program as one of their first introductions to UNO.  The budget problem is the pay for the director, since parents pay for the programs and leaders of the programs.  The issue was sent to the Goals & Directions Committee to look into.

VIII.       The meeting was adjourned at 4 p.m. with announcements.