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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2010-2011 Faculty Senate



Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 2 p.m., MBSC Chancellors Room

Present:    Barone, Bartle, Benjamin-Alvarado, Carballal, Elder, Haworth, Hayes, Hendricks, Hewins-Maroney, Kelly, Kercher, Laquer, Lewis, Lomneth, Maring, Marx, Melanson, Nordman, O'Connell, Proulx, Rech, Ritzman, Siy, Smith, Srithongrung, Waggener

Excused:  Anderson, Bernstein, Decker, Matache,  Mitchell, Robinson

Absent:     Baguyos, Bramlett, Erickson, Richter-Egger,Winter 


Presentation:  Ron Withem, NU Assoc. Vice President & Director of Governmental Relations


I.          The meeting was called to order at 2:17 p.m.

II.        The Minutes of October 13, 2010 were approved as written.

III.      Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Laquer reported

1.      The Enrollment Management Steering Committee met October 12, 2010.

A summary of the September meeting was distributed. [ EMSC_Summary_100914.pdf ]

      Linda Mannering gave a report on Drop-Out Statistics and costs, citing a report in The Chronicle .  State and federal governments spent $9 billion over the 5 year period of 2003-2008 on first time freshmen students who do not return for a second year at the college where they first enrolled according to a report by the American Institutes for Research .

      In Nebraska the amount of state money spent on first-year dropouts is $57.6 million, and the amount of Federal student aid is $9.3 million (38th and 37th in state rank respectively).  The report does not look at why these students dropout.  The technical appendix suggests that the actual numbers are uncertain due to limits on the data available; in that part-time and returning students are not counted, and a student who transfers is still counted as not continuing.  Family economic circumstances clearly have an impact, but are not available to improve their estimates.  Because the first-time full-time students are the only ones tracked, UNO looks poor with a graduation rate of 41%, now up to 45%.  About 30% of the first-time full-time freshmen students transfer to graduate elsewhere, but are not counted here.  The difficulty is that only 1/3 institutions report their transfer-out rate. 

      In addition to the site with simple but not explained statistics, there is College Portrait  which reports data for 350 public institutions in a common data format.  It provides both accountability measures and a portal directing students to locally maintained pages for more in depth information, and is therefore a more useful site for recruiting.  Representing the longer term progress of students is shown here, where transfer-out students can be identified as was not the case at College Measures.  Google Analytics are being used to identify the origins of site viewers. 

      Mannering also presented Institutional Research two surveys taken by the Office of New Student Orientation of 252 entering freshmen and 91 entering transfer students for fall 2010.  [Links pending; scans: Freshman_survey_Fall_2010.pdf, Transfer_Student_survey_Fall_2010.pdf ]  The low survey response rate needs to be improved, and may in part have been due to a two month delay with the email link to the on-line survey following their orientation.  The response rate (12 and 10% respectively) could be improved if the survey was performed at the end of Orientation.  The statistical significance of the numbers may be low due to the low numbers.  Students are interested in community engagement.  They want to be involved, and there is interest in learning communities. 

      How to motivate people to complete the surveys was discussed, along with who to survey.  Currently entering students, then seniors graduating (was 90% but now it is at 30% since it is now voluntary) and then an alumni follow-up several years later. 

      AVC Thomas asked who drops out?  It appears that those who do not have the sort of support that is available in the Thompson Learning Community and Goodrich programs drop out.  The question then is how to help that group.

      National Merit Campus designation.  UNO would like to join a group of colleges and universities by enrolling at least 7 National Merit semifinalists for three years and paying a nominal fee.  Strategies to get there need to be developed.  When semifinalists and their parents visit campus they need to have VIP treatment, meet with faculty of programs that they are interested in and deans.  We need to showcase what we have.  Even if not on their primary college listing they should be phoned and congratulated on their award.  Another option is to get the semifinalists involved with UNO faculty on a summer research project between their junior and senior year. 

      AVC Wallace distributed the group's responses to last month's 5 questions on Recruiting and Retention Tools, and areas needing improvement for Recruiting and Retention.  [ EMSC_Recruiting&Retention_101012.pdf ]

      Information on Spring Graduate Admission Statistics was distributed by Dean Smith-Howell via email.  Some programs are down substantially.  Applications for Spring 2011 are below 2010 and 2009, but more like 2007 and 2008.  It is important that we think strategically about recruitment, admission processing and retention of current students.    [ GraduateEnrollment2010.pdf,  GraduateEnrollment_10-1-10.xlsx ]

2.      Board of Regents met October 14-15, 2010.

      The Business Affairs Committee met on Thursday afternoon.  There were presentations on the Haymarket Park Indoor Practice Facility and expansion of the UNL Stadium by AD Tom Osborne.  The stadium should then seat an additional 5000; the increased revenues would then pay for the expansion in addition to donor funds.  Some of the space would be made available as office and labs for faculty research.

      VP Lechner presented an update on the University Health Plan.  The health care trust represents $110 million in expenditures per year.  The self insured plan has 11,400 employee members and 24,000 covered lives.  Private sector partners help operate the plan;  Blue Cross Blue Shield managing administrative claims, Caremark is one of the top 4 or 5 in the nation also administers claims, Wells Fargo handles the money and Milliman is an actuarial firm which helps set our prices.  Between 1999 and 2002 they realized that expenses were increasing 10-20%/year; an unsustainable rate.  The reserves were going down.  Another analysis presented in 2002 was a what if the state provides 3% increase each year while health expenditures increase at 15%  per year found that by 2013 all the annual increase in state funds would then need to go into health costs, an unsustainable circumstance.  Also in 2002 they identified that in 2004 there were 5.3 active plan members per non-active plan member; in 2014 the ratio would be 2.7, and in 2023 it would be 1.8.  That cost burden would not work.  The OPEB (other post employment benefits) hidden liability was $189 million, and to pay that off would cost $17 million per year forever, equivalent to a 10% tuition increase at that time.  In 2001 and 2002 an advisory committee of faculty, staff and retirees recognized the problems.  Promises to retirees would not be able to be met.  A separate pool was subsequently created for the non-actives.  Prices were aggressively set using actuarial information and the loss experience of the university to set rates, deductibles, and co-pays.  Plan design changes were made by changing stop loss and drug co-pay amounts to impact user price rather than taxing everybody.  Additional communication educational efforts were made.  This change was recognized in a Best Practices Recognition by Jane Wellman and the Lumina Foundation for Education where Lechner will make a presentation on this topic Nov 17.  The alternative would have been to have a large actuarial accrued liability for post employment benefits.  State universities in this situation include the University of Missouri for $450 million and Michigan State for $850 million.  Missouri needed $47 million per year for 20 years to pay off their liability, but they only had a budget of $23 million this year.  The Michigan State liability is 116% of payroll.  The actions taken by the Board and the University in 2003 mean that the current plan is operationally sound and has good reserves.  There is still a 10% annual increase in health care claims.  In the current year medical has been flat, but pharmacy is up 20% and is a major concern.  Since 2004 reserves have accumulated to the point where now there are about eight months worth.  State funded increases for health care have been the primary source of those funds.  There are sufficient funds in reserve so that if in one year there are several major claims then it will not be necessary to go back to the legislature and ask for additional aid to pay those claims.  Three of the last four years there has been no increase in employee costs, only a 4% increase in 2009; compared to 2003 to 2006 where the increases were 6%, 26%, 7%, and 11%.  The current low rate of increase is appropriate when employees have not received very good raises.  Between 2003 and 2010 the employee contribution has increased 56%, while the university contribution has increased 85%.  The annual premium cost (family coverage) in 2010 is $2,508 employee and $11,820 employer for a total of $14,328.  In comparison the Kaiser Family Foundation survey (July 2010) of PPO plans family coverage shows the university is comparable: $3,823 employee and $10,210 employer for a total of $14,033.  The university no longer purchases re-insurance for an amount above the current $108 million in claims to $120 million possible.  A Monte Carlo simulation four years ago found that there was a 0.01 likelihood of occurring, so it was discontinued, saving $150,000/year.  The question of reestablishing this re-insurance policy is considered annually.  Regent Ferlic noted that in order to have good bond ratings, adequate reserves are important, and for hospitals 150 days is typical. 

      Lechner closed in discussing risks.  The first challenge is health care reform.  It is unknown how many 26 year olds and under will come onto the plan January 1 (it could be as many as 1500).  It does not matter if they are a dependent on the tax return.  If there is already family coverage that will be more of a problem for the university than if the employee needs to pay a larger premium in moving from employee or employee and spouse to add the dependent.  The lifetime maximum is not a problem.  The current plan is grandfathered; which means that increases of changes are limited if the grandfather status is lost, and then a new set of federal rules apply.  The weighty preventative current "pocket" covers a lot of things that a normal plan will not do which is a concern.  The W-2 insurance cost was postponed Oct 12, where the insurance cost was to appear on this year's W-2.  The form was released with the box on it [potential imputed income could then be taxed].  An additional cost to the university is the generation of a 1099 form for every supplier of greater than $600 in services or materials.  In 2013 Health Care reimbursement (tax sheltered) limits will be reduced to $2500 from $5000.  That remaining $2500 may also be subject to FICA.  Providing electronic information to [health care/insurance] exchanges will be an unknown administrative burden, given the current experience with the reporting of expenditures of ARRA (stimulus) funds with one way for federal and another way for the state.  There will be a 0.9 increase (62%) increase in the Medicare tax for individuals earning more than $200k.  In 2014 Health insurance exchanges will be in place.  Current plans will be un-grandfathered and we will cover what we are told to cover.  Management ability will be lost.  Essential benefit packages will be what will be insured.  Budget challenges are coming forward.  The benefits portion of the budget ("bucket") is $110 million, and is composed of 49% health care, 24% FICA, and 27% retirement.  The big challenge going forward is avoiding cannibalizing that portion of the budget.  If we are in a health exchange situation where health care costs are dictated to us as a percentage of salary, then everything is defined except for retirement which is a concern.  As it is they are working to be sure people are ready for retirement, and to cannibalize that portion would threaten the future security of the employees.  Some future design decision options include defined contribution; here is what we have to offer in terms of benefits, and it then becomes the individual's decision on what to do with that "bucket" of money (i.e. fund retirement or health care costs), because the size of the pie needs to be controlled.  Other organizations are going to employee only, which he would not like to see.  Family subsidy has been there forever, and that is likely to be challenged.  Increased "disease management" and use of "health coaches" are areas that are becoming more active since by investing funds here then future costs may be controlled.  Get coaches to help people control their diabetes or other diseases in the top 8 or 10.  Chancellor Maurer commented that the future has to be prevention.  Most companies in the Omaha area are looking at incentives for prevention.  If the employee participates in a certain number of things, then there is a financial benefit from it in reducing the premium, which hopefully will change behavior and reduce the costs.  Regent Whitehouse asked if there were good wellness programs on the campuses.  Maurer indicated that at UNMC and the Hospital with Simplywell they have saved dollars with incentives.  Regent Ferlic noted that business was doing these things.  Whitehouse noted that while budgets are tight that this is an area that should be looked at and could be money well spent.

      Lechner then had a presentation on student housing at NCTA (Curtis).

      The Academic Affairs Committee began with a presentation on the Interdisciplinary Informatics Program by Dean Hesham Ali, UNO.  The program was approved last spring and had its official opening a few weeks ago.  Ali explained that there were two parts.  First what is meant by interdisciplinary informatics and the programs in this new school and second how this is a new model for higher education with ties to the community, industry, and integration of higher education into society.  Higher education is undergoing a change. There is information overload.  To draw students to lecture before was to help them find facts.  Now they need to be drawn by the process of discovery.  Students are different, interested in service learning, in research up front and are from diverse backgrounds.   The gap between the academic world and the real world (industry) is narrowing.  New terms such as student focused, project based learning.  Internships are more than answering the phones.  IT (Information Technology) overlaps many areas today including business and arts.  UNO is not too small to lack resources, and not too large to have lots of inertia. Twenty first century universities need to be adaptable; the survival of the fittest.  The role of IT is to advance the different disciplines of IT, and also to find ways to integrate IT with various disciplines and industries.  It is difficult to break barriers with the "silo structure" of universities.  IT advancements occur all the time. A current challenge is health care and medical records; the single place where IT has had the most success is in billing, not in health care helping the patient get better.  There are changes on the way with health care informatics and others; development is one thing, integration is something else.  Integration has to be more than two faculty in different areas that just happen to be friends working together.  Interdisciplinary informatics is a cycle which requires reaching out, integration, and development.  This cannot occur at the expense of fundamentals in computer science and management information systems which are the roots.  Information technology is the trunk, and the branches of interdisciplinary informatics then can expand to include Information Assurance, Bioinformatics, Public Health Informatics, and Collaboration Science among others.  When this change started UNO was one of 7, then 13 universities; now there are nearly sixty in the U.S.  Some fit in the models of iSchools or information schools focused on emerging IT areas.  Others are cSchools focused on large computer science units.  UNO is one of a few that could be considered an icSchool which provides a balanced winning formula but is demanding.  In Nebraska there are programs between the four campuses.  The size is just right for collaboration big enough for the expertise and small enough to connect.  

      The School has three academic programs; Bioinformatics, Information Assurance, and IT Innovation that allows the student a wide variety of subjects to choose from when no one would be large enough on its own.  There are also three interdisciplinary entities:  the Bioinformatics Core facility, Collaboration Science, and Public Health Informatics.  In addition to their core faculty, they also have affiliate faculty not just from the university but outside who collaborate.  A variety of collaborative research groups have been formed, including Bioinformatics, Collaboration Science, Community Wireless Networks,  Data Mining in Business applications, Information Assurance, Information Technology for Development, IT for Assisted Living, Public Health Informatics, and Swarming Distributed Robotic Agents.  These projects are attracting funding from large governmental agencies to local business, are attracting students, have an impact nationally and in the classroom and in the community.   They have in common their diversity.  Department of Defense funding has provided partnerships with local K-12 schools for robotics.  The interdisciplinary aspect attracts a diverse student population, not just the traditional white male.  It is also attractive to international students and the development of international partnerships for student exchange.  There is also an impact on economic development.  Chancellor Maurer commended the collaborations and the existence of the Bioinformatics Core facility that can be used by everyone.  Today in order to have a large grant funded, you have to have a bioinformatics facility to help analyze the data. 

      Kristin Yates then presented information on enrollment and the Strategic Planning Framework metric 1.b.i that the university shall increase its overall enrollment by 1) 1.5% annually, and 2) maintain a retention rate of 80% or above for undergraduate students.  NU-wide total enrollment has increased 10% since 2005 and 1.8% since 2009 to 49,904 students.  NU-wide undergraduate enrollment has increased 2.7% since 2009.  By campus, UNO was at 2.4%.  For First-time Freshmen, UNO was down 1.4% following a large increase in 2009.  Graduate enrollment NU-wide is down 2.1% and down 7.6% at UNO.  Nonresident enrollment is up in comparison to resident NU-wide, and or undergraduates, first-time freshmen, and graduate.  The UNO metropolitan advantage program is up 12% over 2009.  For international students there is an increase to 3,018 students from 136 countries or 8.7% NU-wide, undergraduates are about half the number with 1,528 students from 99 countries. The top 10 countries are China (950), India (326), Japan (174), Saudi Arabia (159), Malaysia (121), S. Korea (99), Nepal (97), Canada (44), Brazil (42), and Germany (40).  There is a gain in FTE students (FT + 1/3 part-time enrollment) of 2.1% to 42,497 and a 2.3% increase in credit hours to 596,497 over 2009 NU-wide.  Milliken noted that the numbers of international students is a record, and up substantially from last year and will be issuing a press release [ ].  They add diversity to the university and to students' experiences.  "Global engagement is one of the priorities of the University of Nebraska Foundation's Campaign for Nebraska."  There is a global market for talent and the University needs to be sure they continue to attract the best possible faculty and students.  UNK Chancellor Kristensen noted that 10% of their students were international and that it made study in Political Science more real to the American students when a classmate had lived under another system.  Sharing cultures in the dorms and intramurals is another advantage to Nebraska students.  Chancellor Maurer noted that UNMC is one of ten universities where Chinese Ph.D. students are funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council.  Chancellor Christensen related being in Malaysia; meeting graduates from the 1970s who are now leaders in government and business, and that those connections are useful to have.  Maurer also noted that due to the Strategic Framework metric, the enrollment at UNMC has increased to 3500, a record, and was likely to continue to increase with the addition of the College of Public Health, and Nursing increases.  The medical school expects to grow from 123 to 135 and 140 students.  He did note that some there thought that 3000 students was too many, but even with the increases quality had been maintained.  UNO Chancellor Christensen addressed the reduction in first-time freshman, and that there may need to be another number tracked.  The Avenue Scholars, a population of at-risk students begin at Metropolitan Community College, and then later transfer to UNO.  Another trend in metropolitan areas is that some students are dual enrolled, thus not full time on either campus. 

      The other framework criteria report was that 80.8% of the NU-wide freshmen were retained from 2009, meeting the 80% criteria.  The provost's office then recommended that these metrics (1.b.i) be carried forward. 

      Some discussion involved measuring typical student retention versus returning adults.  Another was as to how to increase the college going rate in Nebraska. Milliken noted that there was no direct metric except to increase our own enrollment by 1.5% per year.  The university has joined in P-16 goals where one is 90% high school graduation rate and then moving Nebraska into the top 10 college-going states (Nebraska is now at 18th or 19th).  Chancellor Kristensen noted another way to look at the retention would be by ACT score, which would then allow peer comparison about value added.  Similarly by minority students and residence groups.

      Additional reports were noted that had been distributed with the packet .  Addendum IX-D-4, Strategic Framework report on Top 25 Percent Enrollment pages 105-107 and Addendum IX-D-5, Strategic Framework report on Nonresident Enrollment, pages 108-108.  In addition there is Addendum IX-D-6, the Fall 2010 Enrollment Report, pages 111-120 [see the attached NU-wide Enrollment Report Fall 2010.pdf abstracted from the larger agenda link above.]

      Pete Lipins made a presentation on Assessing Student Outcomes which addresses the Strategic Framework item 6.g "Provide accurate and transparent information to the public about college costs and student learning and success outcomes."  The results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found little difference in the results for UNO as compared to an urban set of peers for either first-year students or seniors.  Categories (made up from several questions) include "Level of Academic Challenge," "Active and Collaborative Learning," Student-Faculty Interaction," Enriching Educational Experience," and "Supportive Campus Environment."  (No differences were observed for either UNL or UNK either from their peer group.)  Specific questions provide other information.  UNO has the largest fraction if their student population working 20+ hours per week for first year (30%) and seniors (54%), and are greater than the NSSE average.  Another question finds UNO to be the lowest fraction of the population for students preparing for class 20+ hours per week at 13 (first time) and 12% (seniors), lower than the NSSE average (20 and 23% respectively.  What is not clear are students studying less since they are working more, or because they are not taking as many classes.  UNO senior student satisfaction appears to be slowly increasing (criteria "Would attend this institution if they started over again," 80%; "Rated their entire educational experience as good or excellent," 84%; and "Reported that other students were friendly or supportive," 72%) but no standard deviation is available to determine if it is significant or if differences between UNO, UNK or UNL are significant.  Licensure exam pass rates at UNMC are above or at the national rate.  UNL Bar exam rates also exceed national levels.  A brief report was made on UNOs's progress with AQIP.  Some concerns were expressed as to whether students take these surveys seriously, their expense (reduced by only conducting the surveys every three years), and their value.  

      The main BoR meeting took place Friday Morning, Oct 15 at UNO.  KUDOS were given to Esther Scarpello Human Resources Fringe Benefits Manager from UNO, and to others from the other campuses. 

      The Program Statement and Budget for the Community Engagement Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha was approved unanimously.  During the discussion, Regent Hassebrook expressed a concern about the ongoing costs of new buildings, and that given budget cuts this is something that they (BoR) should keep an eye on.  As they build new buildings they need to recognize what that is doing to the core budget for operating and maintenance costs.  He indicated that that had been discussed in this case based on a conversation he had had with Chancellor Christensen.  Regent Phares said that campuses should expect to be questioned on this in the future.  Regent Crabb said that he and the student body were really excited about this project.  Regent Schroeder noted that during a Business Affairs committee meeting, that there were no new personnel to be added and the costs were only physical operational costs. 

      The Board also approved the establishment of the Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, student housing for the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, a new Indoor Practice Facility at Haymarket Park, the Program Statement and Budget for East Stadium Improvements at UNL, and the mediated settlement agreement with the Big 12 Conference and member institutions regarding the economic consequences of UNL's withdrawal from the conference. 

3.      The Executive Committee and Administration (EC&A) met October 20, 2010.

      Resolution 3057 was completed and passed, and Resolutions 3060-3064 were passed at the October 13, 2010, Faculty Senate meeting.  Chancellor Christensen commended the Senate for appointing good people.


a.       The academic programs have all been asked to do a Focused Program Report.  Criteria has been established and there is a two page document which was included in a Center for Faculty Development folder/handout distributed at the October Faculty Senate EC&C meeting.  Those criteria are a combination of criteria used in the NU system in about 2000, and criteria that have been developed by one of the national leaders who does program reviews around the country.  This is the opportunity for programs to make their case for contribution of mission of strategic priority  within the goals and framework of the university system.  This charge came directly from the NU President and was transferred directly from the Board of Regents.  The 2000 criteria were felt to be too stringent and there was a need to have more flexibility.  SVC Hynes is also relying on the Deans, and wants to attain a holistic picture, not a priority order.  She also noted that the Academic Program Review process will try to be held within one academic year, with self studies done early in the fall with the aim being to have the visits by the committee in late fall or early January.  Those reports will be returned in early spring and then the units will have a month or so to review.  That will leave time to have her and the Dean come back to the unit before the end of that academic year to talk about what happened in their process.  Steve Bullock is now the coordinator for this process.

b.   Research Productivity and effective use of Research Assigned Time:  SVC Hynes, who is looking for excellence, feels that they are using the same criteria as at the Dean and university level.  Faculty who are not doing research should not have assigned research time.  There is no entitlement to assigned research time. Deans are looking for output of research.  There needs to be a return on the investment.  There is much variation, applied differently across different units.  Workload breakdown should be thought of in terms of 100%.  Those teaching larger classes could have their SCH production as a percentage of their workload.  One department uses a certain test for their assessment of student learning.  The Board of Regents is looking for a product and a return on investment.

c.   Regent Ferlic had some comments on the types of research that he saw appropriate at UNO when he spoke to the Faculty Senate last week.  We need to keep educating the Board of Regents, and others, on the types of research UNO does.  It appeared he felt that research at UNO is thought to be measured as community engagement, while the reality is that research at UNO is slowly growing as funding grows, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, involving much more than "just" undergraduates and/or community engagement.  It was suggested that UNO needs to tell its story better.

d.   VC Conley said there will be a Health Risk Assessment (HRA)again this year in November  People will be asked to take their time to complete this survey (last year about 36% of UNO completed the survey, about the same as systems-wide).  The incentive will stay the same as last year's.  Part of the reason for the low response may be that the additional benefit was not tangible to most participants.  It was suggested that risks could be managed through wellness programs.  The HRA is a tool that the institution and the individual can benefit from.  Feedback is essential, so that our voices can be heard.

e.   Refinancing the bonds for HPER has been looked at.  There is a Bond Council that studies such things.  There are many reasons why there is no opportunity to refinance the bonds now, but they are always being studied. 

f.    Utility rates have also been looked at.  With OPPD being a political subdivision of the state, its rates are set by their Board of Directors, and rates are established for all customers based on its class of usage.  Legislative changes would be required to change the rate for UNO.  There is an option for that.  UNO and UNMC could go on a single meter, and then try to negotiate a rate for that single fee.  But the costs of getting that single meter are very, very expensive. 

            On the MUD side you have some of the same situation.  We could do a direct purchase of natural gas, but there is no where to put it.  We could do a negotiated/lock-in-rate, but with the volatility of rates, it probably reduces our flexibility more than enhances it.  So people are looking at it, but right now it is not a good idea. 

g.   The Maverick Branding process feedback, on the "O", has been very, very positive.  It will be a slow process, probably a 5 year process. Tim Kaldahl is talking with Central Administration as to what the requirement is for our campus to have a secondary logo.  Lincoln, the Med Center, and Kearney have done secondary logos. 

h.   On November 18, 2009 we asked where were the pictures and plaques honoring outstanding faculty and researchers that were in the Student Center before the Summer 2009 renovations.  These were for the Distinguished Award for Research and Teaching Awards recipients.  VC Conley and SVC Hynes said they are not forgotten, but still in storage, waiting for a place to be designated to display them.  It was suggested that there also be a place on the UNO web site to display them, either revolving one at a time, or as a grouping.

i.    Current Committee work in the UNO Faculty Senate was communicated:

  • Our committees are working on a Domestic partnership resolution in concert with the other three campuses.
  • Research has begun on a total smoking ban on campus.
  • Another committee has noted substantial progress on campus toward sustainability goals.  VC Conley appreciated that those efforts had been noticed.
  • Efforts to improve Faculty Development resources are in progress with AVC Smith-Howell.

j.    Scott Tarry has agreed to represent the Faculty Senate on Scott Snyder's Conflict of Interest committee.  A formal resolution will be made in November.

k.   Any undergraduate student who is eligible for a Pell Grant is also eligible for reduction of the Child Care fee at the UNO Child Care Center through a grant from the US Dept of Education.  This would be for a portion of the $40,000 grant. 

l.    Chancellor Christensen said NU President J.B. Milliken commissioned Deans from similar colleges to work together, also the Academic Officers and the Business Officers, to work together to try to discover possible efficiencies or redundancies.  Those groups have met and have been meeting.  President Milliken read through all of the recommendations and thought there were 6-12 that might have immediate feasibility with respect to system benefit, and he wanted those ideas to be explored further.  So he is generating a list of those 6-12 recommendations.  Chancellor Christensen believes they will reconvene and work as groups, but not just in similar groups, to work on those recommendations.  One of the ideas, from several groups, was to have a mandated 120 credit hour graduation requirement.  Many groups were continuing to meet on their own and had found it very beneficial to have a regularly scheduled meeting. 

m.  The first Budget Forum for this Academic Year will be held November 18, 2010, at 10 a.m.  During the course of the year there will be other Budget Forums held on different days and times to make it as convenient as possible for as many people as possible.  Chris Kabourek will give whatever update there is on the budget situation from a university perspective.  Then Ron Withem will speak for 5-10 minutes on legislative affairs and how we, as members of the community, both faculty, staff and students, can help tell our story better to the decision makers.  VC Conley and SVC Hynes will speak about the UNO Budget Task Force, now under Strategic Planning.  They have met for the first time and hope to have one more meeting before November 18.  Then the Budget Forum will be open for a questions, comments, suggestions, etc.  There will probably be three Budget Forums scheduled this year, one towards the end of the legislative session, and then one in May when there is some sense of what President Milliken and the Board are thinking about. 

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

4.      President Milliken & the four Faculty Senate Presidents met October 29, 2010.  President Laquer reported a few highlights of that meeting.

5.      The Chancellor & the UNO Faculty Senate President met November 3, 2010.  Again, President Laquer reported a few highlights of that meeting.

6.      Deans Forum Summary: Web includes September 2, 2010, Summary

7.      Written Acknowledgements of Resolutions (& Table):  On October 14, 2010, Nancy Castilow, Asst. to the Chancellor, wrote in an e-mail:

The chancellor acknowledges Res. 3057, and 3064, and accepts Res.3060, 3061, 3062, and 3063 for action.

Resolution Action Table

(Action Pending and Current Resolutions)






Admin Accept

Sent for Senate Action



In Progress

Final Action/ Resolved



Replacement for Senator Maria Arbelaez (A&S)



Chancellor Acknowledges



Student Services Ad Hoc Committee



Chancellor Accepts



Replacement on University Committee on Research & Creative Activity (UCRCA)



Chancellor Accepts



Replacement on Named Professorship Review Committee



Chancellor Accepts



Strategic Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC)



Chancellor Accepts





Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee (October  13,2010 results of  ballots sent to all full time faculty)





Chancellor Acknowledges




Instruction on the Ethical Use of Print and Online Sources in Academic Papers




*Chancellor acknowledges that the subject matter is primarily an Academic Affairs issue and has asked Vice Chancellor Hynes to respond as appropriate.



Recommended Plagiarism Policy





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

-to be considered by SVC Hynes, who will share it.



Parking Issues (Events Calendar)






Regarding Stem Cell Research




F.S. sent to all on 1014/09



UCRCA Funding






"Shots Fired: When Lightning Strikes" Video



Senate in-progress following report



Park-and-Ride/Park-and-Bike System of Transportation or Other Transportation Alternatives


Senate Working on






Instruction on the Ethical Use of Print and Online Sources in Academic Papers




*Chancellor acknowledges that the subject matter is primarily an Academic Affairs issue and has asked Vice Chancellor Hynes to respond as appropriate.



Electronic Communication






UNO Disaster Planning


Senate to Comm



Return to Senate for further work



UNO Child Care Center


Senate Deferred



2009 Retreat Item


*3033  (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 5/27/10:  "While he is supportive of Res. 3033, he acknowledges that the subject matter is primarily an Academic Affairs issue and has asked Vice Chancellor Hynes to respond as appropriate." )

*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 4/21/10:  Relative to the minor language changes on 3013 (Plagiarism), the chancellor indicates that he would like Academic Affairs to share the policy with  the academic deans at an upcoming meeting.)

*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)

*2961 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 4/0/09:  "The chancellor acknowledges receipt of the resolutions, but suggests that the Senate may want to make a call to Central Administration to inquire about the existence of the U-Wide Benefits Committee, under whose auspices, this might normally fall.  There may be no need to establish a separate task force if this committee, or a subgroup, is active, and would entertain an examination of the existing disability benefit procedure.")

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

*2944 (From the EC & Admin Mtg 1/21/09: The Chancellor supports the concept in Resolution 2944 on funding an UCRCA budget line but opined we wouldn't get it during the years of budgetary problems.)(6/10/09 Nancy Castilow wrote for Chanc. Christensen: "One clarification related to  Res. 2944, dealing with ongoing support of the UCRCA budget.  I said that I was open to the concept and supportive of continued funding of the UCRCA budget, albeit we would need to review its  funding during times of budget constraints, as we do with other such programs.  The decision to fund and how much to fund remains the purview of the Office of Academic Affairs.  I did not opine that the UCRCA budget line would automatically see no funding during years of budgetary problems.")

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

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

(From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 2/20/09: Acknowledge receipt of resolution and list of faculty educators to Assoc. VC Wade Robinson.  Robinson reports that presentations to large campus groups is essentially completed with no further presentations scheduled. No additional action required.)

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

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.)

*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: 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  Benjamin-Alvarado presented the October Budget Report.

IV.      Standing Committee Reports

A.    Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Bartle reported the Committee of Academic and Curricular Affairs met on October 27, 2010. Present were Professors Carol Mitchell, Jeremy Baguyos, Yong Cho, Dora Matache, and John Bartle. Prof. Shelton Hendricks was excused to attend the meeting of the Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare on the issue of Faculty Development Fellowships.

      The Committee considered the proposed Ph. D. in Exercise Science proposed by the Faculty of HPER. This proposal was initially advanced three years ago, and has the support of a wide-ranging group from several UNO departments, as well as units at UNMC and Creighton University. The program was also reviewed by two external reviewers and in response to their comments, was modified to provide greater flexibility for the students, consistent with national trends. The program will have four tracks in the areas of Physiology of Exercise, Biomechanics, Motor Development and Control, and Physical Activity. It is expected that all doctoral students will be full-time students funded by external grants. Two minor errors in the proposal were corrected. The Committee then voted 4-0 to approve the proposal.

At the full Senate meeting Senator Bartle moved the following resolution for the committee. It passed unanimously.

Resolution 3065, 11/10/10: Proposed B.S. degree in Public Health:

WHEREAS the growth of the field of public health has created a strong demand for credentialed professionals in this area,

AND WHEREAS there is currently no such degree in the State of Nebraska,

AND WHEREAS Faculty in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation are well qualified to offer this degree,

AND WHEREAS UNO currently has the resources available (faculty, staff, lab space, and library resources) to offer this degree,

AND WHEREAS the proposal is consistent with UNO's strategic plan, the University of Nebraska strategic framework, and the comprehensive statewide plan for post-secondary education,

AND WHEREAS the College of Education has presented a sound financial plan to fund this proposal,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha concurs with the HPER Faculty and College of Education faculty who have previously endorsed this proposal, and recommend to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska that the BS degree in Public Health be established.

      Then Committee then considered the proposed B.S. in Public Health proposed by the Faculty of HPER. Previously the undergraduate program focused on community health. This is an update and reform of that program to meet the needs of the developing market for public health professionals. Six new courses are currently going through the CCMS approval process. The School added a faculty member who teaches in this area, and their undergraduate advisor is qualified in this area. The Committee voted 4-0 to approve the proposal.

At the full Senate meeting Senator Bartle moved the following resolution for the committee. It passed unanimously.

Resolution 3066, 11/10/10: Proposed Ph.D. degree in Exercise Science:

WHEREAS Faculty in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation are well qualified to offer this degree and it will be the only one of its kind in the state, offering students opportunities for educational advancement that they do not currently have,

AND WHEREAS the curriculum is sound, offering four tracks that provide flexibility to students, consistent with the curriculum design at the best programs,

AND WHEREAS UNO currently has the resources available (faculty, staff, lab space, library resources and external funding for doctoral assistantships) to offer this degree,

AND WHEREAS there is strong demand for the degree, not only for academics, but also from hospitals, research organizations, and clinics,

AND WHEREAS there is strong support from UNMC and Creighton University for this degree, and the proposal has undergone rigorous external review,

AND WHEREAS the College of Education has presented a sound financial plan to fund this proposal,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha concurs with the HPER Faculty, College of Education faculty and UNO's Graduate Council who have previously endorsed this proposal, and recommend to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska that the Ph. D. degree in Exercise Science be established.

      The Committee then heard from Student President/Regent Michael Crabb who is working with SOLP to present a lecture series modeled after the TED Talks that will be called "Talking Outside the Box." These will be short talks on interdisciplinary topics by faculty nominated by students. There will be one talk each fall and spring semester, probably on Wednesdays at noon. At this point the idea is still being developed, and Michael will provide more information closer to the time of the first talk. He asked us to inform the faculty at that time.

      There being no further business, the Committee adjourned at 2:58 pm.

B.     Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator Siy reported the meeting was held October 27, 2010.  Members present: Kercher, Maring, Rech, Richter-Egger, Siy.  Excused: Ritzman.  Guest: Lanyce Keel.

      The ER&S committee met with Lanyce Keel who provided some updates from Information Services (IS).

      Email replacement. After the university-wide Email Task Force recommended using a cloud-based solution, another university-wide committee was formed to draft the requirements for this solution. A Request-For-Proposal has been sent out to solicit bids. While there appears to be some pressure to go with Microsoft Exchange, UNO has been making a strong push for a Google-based solution. It is not clear when the decision will be made. It is also possible that the different campuses may go with different solutions, although a recent survey conducted by the UNO Technology Resources and Services committee indicated that a large majority would prefer to have a common university-wide directory of faculty, staff and students, which would be facilitated more easily with a common email solution.

      Vendor ethics. In connection with a recently settled lawsuit on Dell (concerning faulty capacitors on Optiplex machine in 2003-2005), it was noted that there is a whole state-wide process which vets the vendors. With regards to the Dell issue, UNO was notified when the problem surfaced and the effect on UNO was minimal.

      Obtaining site licenses for software. Campus-wide site licenses are mostly paid through Technology Fees. To obtain department- or college-wide site licenses for discipline-specific software, proposals can be written to use the tech fee funding.

      Blackboard upgrade. An upgrade to a new version of Blackboard is planned for next year as the support for the current version will expire soon. More details on

      Desktop virtualization. IS is looking into desktop virtualization technology, where software is running from centralized hardware systems and user PCs essentially become terminals. This would make it easier to standardize the available software applications and to deploy new software versions. The problem is that virtualization works best when there are uniform applications. We discussed the wide range of platforms that IS had to support as some faculty want to have the latest updates while others insist on staying with old versions of Windows. It would be desirable to narrow this range by setting some minimum system requirements for all faculty, staff and student computers. A possibility is to require that everyone meet some minimum level of computer competency.

      Strategic Planning. IS is in the process of conducting strategic planning. Among the questions being discussed is how IS can best support education given the diversity of student needs (full time vs. part time, on campus vs. distance, wide range of technical competence). More updates will be provided next year.

      Our next meeting will be on November 17. Prof. Nora Bacon will provide an update on the Writing Center.

C.     Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Proulx reported the meeting was held October 27, 2010.  Present:  Carballal, Erickson, Melanson, Nordman.  Guests: Shelton Hendricks, UNO Faculty Senate A&CA Committee; David Corbin, AAUP

Items discussed:

      The entire meeting was consumed discussing possible negotiating items for the AAUP.  Note that the first negotiating session had already taken place on 10-26-2010.  The committee and guests discussed the following items.

1.      Faculty Development Fellowships (FDF) policy

It was noted that the decision to offer only a full year half pay option seems to not really be a budgetary decision.  The option will not really save the University money, as others have noted.  Offering only a full year option for FDFs generally makes faculty recruitment and retention more of a problem, since fewer faculty will be able to afford to apply.  The FDF policy is a part of the AAUP contract, but the policy is very permissive in terms of what it allows the administration to do. It appears that the issue is not going to be on the table for negotiations in the current session, so Faculty Personnel &Welfare will probably work jointly on the problem with Academic &Curricular Affairs.

2.      Tenure clock pause for pregnancy or tenure clock pauses for other reasons, and pregnancy as disability.

There IS language in the contract now, and the tenure clock can be paused for both maternal and paternal pregnancy and related complications, as well as for other reasons.  However, there is much confusion on the issue not only on the part of faculty and college level administration, but also from H/R.  Faculty have been given conflicting or incorrect information, on one hand, while (real or not), there is the sense that some faculty may have somehow "gamed" the system to their advantage.  There is also the "stigma" attached to tenure clock pauses for any reason.  This means that the faculty, administration and H/R department all need to make themselves more aware of the actual policies versus beliefs about the policies, and also about how the policies are applied by college level administration and interpreted by H/R.  Complicating this problem is that tenure can only be paused for disability according to the current contract, so that means in order to qualify, pregnancy must be defined as a disability as well.  In addition, faculty and staff coverages are different, adding yet another complication.  Education seems to be the best approach to this at the present time and FP&W will attempt to draft a resolution calling attention to the problem.  The issue may become a negotiating item at some point if and when the language defining pregnancy as a disability can be changed so that pregnancy is not defined as a disability.

3.      Faculty and Staff memberships in HPER

a.       Development of a pool of funds to subsidize faculty and staff membership in HPER is currently on the negotiating table.

b.      Wellness may be on the negotiating table at some point.  Some means is needed to make Wellness dollars more accessible to Faculty and Staff.

4.      Benefits issues as continued from last year

                     i.  Some contract benefit items from last year by the University Wide Benefits Committee are tabled because of budget and other problems.

                     ii.  Faculty contribution to pool for disabled faculty

It IS possible, but the UW Benefits Committee does not want to do it as a general rule.  Most of the committee agree on this and it will not likely gain much other support unless the issue can somehow be pushed a bit more.  FP&W will discuss this at a later meeting.

The meeting ended at approximately 3:10pm.

Next meeting: 11-17-2010

D.    Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Marx reported the committee met on October 27, 2010.  Members present: Lewis, Lomneth, Marx, O'Connell. Excused: Anderson, Kelly.

      The committee reviewed documents pertaining to "shared governance," including the Faculty Senate Constitution, the AAUP Contract, and the Higher Learning Commission's website in order to gather information on specific definitions of "shared governance." A discussion followed in which the committee attempted to understand how "shared governance" works at UNO. Does "shared governance" mean that faculty have an active role in creating policy or do faculty work only in an advisory capacity? If it is only to advise the Administration, is it actually governance? The conversation quickly led to many other related areas, such as academic freedom, the role of Faculty Senate in defining "shared governance," and the role of the AAUP in negotiating "shared governance."

   The committee decided to proceed in three steps:

1)      Prepare a short document highlighting the definition and description of "shared governance" at UNO for easy reference during these discussions.

2)      Invite David Corbin, Janet West, and/or Bill Pratt to the next committee meeting to discuss what the union understands about shared governance.

3)      Consult with the Cabinet to determine if other committees are working on this issue and would like to participate in the discussion.

   The meeting adjourned at 3:10. The next meeting is not yet scheduled, as the university is closed on Wednesday, Nov. 24th for Thanksgiving Break, and the availability of guests has not yet been determined.

E.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator Benjamin-Alvarado reported the meeting was held October 27, 2010.  In Attendance: Senators Benjamin-Alvarado, Hayes and Winter.  Excused Absence: Senators Bramlett, Haworth and Robinson

      The College of Public Affairs and Community Service, under the direction of Associate Dean Sara Woods has been working with faculty from the college for the past year to assess the impact of the "scholarship of engagement" (SOE) on faculty development, especially as it pertains to issues and questions related to reappointment, promotion and retention. To that end, CPACS has invited Dr. Diane Dobernick, Michigan State University to make a presentation to our faculty regarding MSU's experience in adopting language related to the scholarship of engagement. This presentation will be open to all UNO faculty and administrators, and CPACS invites all to attend that event.  It will take place Friday, November 19th. in the CPACS Commons, Room 132 and 132 D at 1 p.m. This is an important opportunity for Faculty Senate representatives to better understand and assess the impact of SOE in their respective colleges, and to take this information back for further discussion in their respective colleges and departments. It is generally agreed among the faculty and administrators who have been working on the questions related to the SOE that its interpretations will necessarily be done at the college and departmental level, and that the process will be faculty-driven as there have been no administration-driven recommendations or mandates regarding the SOE, other than to state that it is an important component of the university's mission and outreach.

      Senator Winter raised some important questions at the last Faculty Senate meeting after the presentation by Regent Randy Ferlic. Two things were readily apparent from Regent Ferlic's presentation: first, he does not really know the scope and extent of research activities presently at UNO; second, and perhaps more problematic, is that Regent Ferlic is either not aware of or completely disregards the basic resource needs (structurally and materially) that makes research possible, or that basic and/or applied research only takes place at UNL or UNMC, with only a couple of exceptions. Obviously, there is significant work that must be done by UNO to correct this misperception. This has been consistently echoed by the administration ("we have to do a better job of telling our story"), but it points to the need for a more concerted effort to communicate the scope and trajectory of research at the institution.

      The Professional Development Committee will be inviting Scott Snyder, UNO's recently appointed associate vice chancellor for Research and Creative Activity, to the November committee meeting, to discuss his vision for UNO faculty.

F.      Committee on Rules:  Senator  Barone reported the committee met October 27, 2010.   Present: Barone, Bernstein, Decker, Hewins-Maroney.  Excused: Smith, Waggener

1.      The Board of Regents recently required each campus to develop conflicts of interest policies, procedures and reporting structure.  SVC Hynes has charged this new committee with meeting the BoR requirements.  The committee will identify broad categories of conflict of interest, develop structures to minimize conflicts of interest within the UNO community, and develop mechanisms to mitigate conflicts of interest should they arise. The committee will be broadly comprised of representatives of the faculty and administrative staff from across UNO. Scott Snyder and Harmon Maher will co-chair the committee.

      Dr. Snyder has requested that a current or recent member of the faculty senate serve on this committee to provide insight from the Senate's perspective.

            RESOLUTION 3067, 11/10/10:  Conflict of Interest (COI)

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following faculty member be appointed to the new Conflict of Interest (COI) Committee requested by AVC for Research & Creative Activity, Scott Snyder, for a term of one year (10/1/10-10/1/2011):

      Scott Tarry. 

2.   The committee discussed one year replacements for Dr. Timi Barone and Dr. Harvey Siy on the University Committee on Technology Resources Services and Planning, since its meeting time conflicts with Faculty Senate Cabinet meetings.  Dr. Mark Leonard has indicated a willingness to serve in this capacity.  The committee is still trying to identify another willing faculty member.

 3. Dr. Chris Decker volunteered to contact Dr. Bill Corcoran to ascertain his interest in serving on the commencement committee.  Dr. Corcoran has indicated his willingness to serve in this role.

4.   The committee reviewed the UNL Faculty Senate Committee Report Template and discussed how it could be modified and put into use at UNO as a way of improving shared governance through better communication. We will be bringing a resolution on this issue forward after we have finalized some details. 

V.     Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.    Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON):  Senator Mitchell wrote that the meeting was held October 9, 2010 Meeting at Eiseley Library, Lincoln, NE

(The following are the pertinent notes from the meeting of AFCON.)

      Linda Parker convened the meeting at 10:20 a.m. with introductions of those present.

      TREASURER'S REPORT: The Treasurer's report dated October 8, 2010 was reviewed and filed for audit. Balance on hand for October 8, 2010 is $4,707.06, including a $2,000.00 grant awarded to AFCON by the Kurz Foundation.

      SENTINEL:  The next issue of the Sentinel will feature the AFCON annual meeting on the front page in lieu of the President's report. McMurtry will get the labels to Haller so he can get the Sentinel out as soon as possible.

      LEGISLATIVE REPORT/STUDENT EXPRESSION BILL: Wagner, Parker, Haller and Adair will meet with Senator Haar on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 to discuss next steps for a student expression bill. Moshman may also be able to attend and will contact Adair to confirm.

      With board approval Adair will testify on November 5, 2010 regarding LR 431, which examines how private sources of money given to public institutions should be disclosed. Adair will send a draft of her testimony by email to the board before November 5.

      ANNUAL MEETING: Wagner updated the board on the AFCON annual meeting plans. Adair will do the citations for Senator Haar and Legislative Aide Tom Green. Parker will bring AFCON brochures. McMurtry will be in charge of registration. Haller will be in charge of the actual award plaques. Other AFCON board members offered to assist on the day of the meeting wherever needed.  Wagner will invite members of the Legislature's Education Committee to the program. Mitchell will contact Lisa Dale to see if she is now able to accept an AFCON award for her support of academic freedom at Benson High School. (Dale was nominated for the award at the September AFCON meeting.) Mitchell will contact Doug Paterson to see if he will provide the citation for Dale. Adair will moderate the panel discussion on student expression that will follow Frank LoMonte's remarks.

      NOMINATING COMMITTEE: The nominating committee has secured candidates for 2011 AFCON officer positions. Further nominations will be accepted at the November AFCON board meeting, and ballots will be mailed out or emailed to AFCON members in the next edition of the Sentinel.

      MEMBERSHIP REPORTS: Moshman will be writing a blog for the Huffington Post that will discuss how the First Amendment does not protect academic freedom. Moshman will contact AFCON members when his blog appears.

      Meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.


The AFCON ANNUAL MEETING will be Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.  at the Beacon Hills Restaurant, Lincoln. The AFCON Board of Directors will hold a short meeting after the annual meeting is adjourned.

B.     Academic Planning Council:  Senators Bartle and Lewis reported the APC met on November 2. Three follow-up meetings from the Spring 2010 reviews were held recently to finish the review process. These included Religion, Philosophy, and Mathematics. In November and December, three programs will have their site visits: Chemistry, Physics, and Geography/Geology/ Environmental Studies. Then in the spring the following programs will have their site visits: Foreign Language and Language Teaching, Music, Theatre, Art/ Art History/Studio Art, and the College of Business.

   The Committee also discussed the following issues:

  • The possibility of changing the Self Study Guidelines to be more consistent with AQIP categories and questions,
  • The importance that external representatives be qualified in the broad range that is sometimes required in these reviews. This may some time necessitate two external reviewers.
  • The importance that reviewers be experienced in program reviews.
  • Potential changes in the time line to move the process up so the reviews would be completed by the end of the spring semester.

C.    American Association of University Professors (AAUP):  Senator  Mitchell wrote:

  1. Contract negotiations timetable for the 2011-2013 contract can be viewed on line at the AAUP website.
  2. The Chapter meeting will be held on November 4th at 2:30 PM in the MBSC Council Room.
  3. The Executive Committee meeting will be held on November 5th at PM at CPACS.
  4. The Fall Chapter Dinner will be held on November 12th at 6 PM at Field Club.
  5. The AAUP Executive Committee meeting will be held on November 19th at 3 PM at CPACS - 3PM.

D.    Commencement Committee:  Senator Laquer reported the meeting was held Wednesday, October 20, 2010.  The meeting was chaired by AVC Thomas Wallace.  Attending were Dean Baker, AVC Rita Henry, Castilow, Kosel, Kaldahl, a representative of SAC, Fiene, Welch, Goldsberry, Brad ? - a representative of student government, Dean Smith-Howell, Dean Boocker, K. Malone, Laquer, and possibly others.  FS President Laquer attended due to the short notice and insufficient time to identify a permanent faculty representative. 

      A short history of UNO Commencements was reported by Jim "Wally" Welch and Mark Goldsberry.  Graduations from 1990 to 2000 were held at Aksarben; summer graduations were in the Field House.  Since 2000 all graduations (3/year) have been held downtown at the Civic Auditorium.  MECA subsequently took over from the city.  That facility is aging.  An outside company provides the Drapery and Carpet.  There is a 3-page checklist.  Campus security provides for some of the security.  The move to Friday graduation happened after leaving Aksarben when there were Saturday date conflicts at the Civic around 2004.  By not having to pay staff overtime for Saturday it was cheaper, and nobody complained about the day change.  The ceremony was shortened, speakers were discontinued until the only speaker was a student.

      Moving graduation to the Quest Center is not easy since the date cannot be guaranteed (it is sold to the highest bidder), and the cost is three times greater than the Civics' $5,000 to $6,000/ceremony.  The Civic has a lower demand, thus no conflict.  The Mid-America center was not considered since it is in Iowa.  

      Other options have been under discussion with Student Senate, Deans, and Cabinet.  Wallace presided over a change in the number of graduation ceremonies from three per year to one at his prior institution.  This December's graduation will be the last at the Civic.  Students are more concerned about replacing December than August, since August graduates may walk graduation in May if they are within 12 hours of graduating. 

      December graduation would still occur in the Colleges, and the Deans agree with that.  December international students may have already left the city and so would not have the opportunity to walk. 

      Historically 37% of graduating students do not participate (41% in December, and 44% last August).  Total attendance in May is around 7,000. 

      The final decision has not been made, thus this committee.  The purpose is to develop additional ideas.  No additional money is available, reducing the number will allow reallocation of funds to be used to make the remaining ceremonies better.  Very few schools have three per year now. 

      To be better one goal is to make it an "event," big and memorable in line with other life milestones such as marriage and the birth of a child.  Allow people to plan a year in advance.  Another goal is to bring it back to campus.  Students would prefer it to be on campus; they never had any classes at the Civic/Quest.  People go onto restaurants and family gatherings and never come to campus.  By highlighting the campus, the bookstore would be open and food and other activities would be available and would help make it special.  The Deans would hold individual college ceremonies, for example Business at Mammel Hall.  In designing criteria it would be nice to maximize participation, connect to campus, and personalize the event.  It was noted that Faculty participation is poor and this could help to change that.  Dean Smith-Howell raised the question of how to honor the Graduate students, to have them all together is significant and would have a greater community impact.  The main campus graduation ceremony would need to be on the Football field.  It is necessary to reinforce the culture of academic success, and celebrate it.  A speaker of magnitude would help make the ceremony special. 

      Some concerns that need to be addressed include weather, where the A&S College would have their ceremony – Sapp Field House is the only location large enough, and its acoustics are a concern.  Strauss holds 475.  Other schools have three smaller graduations on one day, each 2 or 3 hours apart.  A question on graduation scripts was answered that there are many readily available.  Some students are concerned about the rental cost of their cap and gown.  If an arena is built on campus (Center street?) would that could accommodate the ceremony.  Finally, where to park the cars of the 7000 plus visitors needs to be considered.  There are clearly tradeoffs that need to be considered.  Details need to be answered to satisfy the Deans.  Splitting A&S into three (Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences) to fit into smaller venues was not well received by Dean Boocker.  Some students' concern about the loss of August is that then the celebration occurs either well before or after the task is done; the celebration is then anticlimactic.

      A Freshman convocation is being considered for their first fall, also as the first of a pair of bookends; the second being graduation.  This would then help convey the emphasis on academics, and not on parties and games. 

      [Note: additional discussion continued but this correspondent had another higher priority meeting to attend at the end of the hour.]

E.     Graduate Council:  Professor Jeanette Harder wrote:  (UNO Graduate College has 45 graduate programs, 8 doctoral programs, 19 graduate certificates, and 3,000 graduate students).  Website: .  Graduate Council met on October 11, 2010

Issues discussed:

  • Graduate Studies is working to address improved recruitment and promotion of UNO graduate degrees. Would like to remind programs/departments to update their websites, especially in regard to applications (link to: Would like more programs/departments to move to rolling admissions, if possible.
  • Applications and enrollments appear to be dropping; we are noting increased competition from area institutions of higher education.
  • UNO expects to achieve the Carnegie classification of a "doctoral-granting institution" soon.
  • Finalizing the UNO Graduate Catalog soon – will be available online with a limited number of copies going to programs/departments.
  • DegreeWorks is now up and running.

Committee on Policy & Planning (formerly Committee A)

  • Working on appeal procedures for academic matters; grade appeal procedures were updated last year.

Committee on Courses, Programs, & Evaluations (formerly Committee B)

  • Approved PhD in Exercise Science.
  • Approved concentration in Sustainability in Business Administration.

Important dates

  • Fall Graduate Faculty meeting, December 6, 2010 @ 2:30, MBSC, Dodge Room (name and location were changed)
  • Elton S. Carter Graduate Honors Reception, March 16, 2011 @ 5:00, MBSC, Ballroom
  • Spring Graduate Faculty meeting, April 25, 2011, @ 2:30, MBSC, Dodge Room

F.      Strategic Planning Steering Committee:  Senator O'Connell had a short report on concerns with the proposed wording for Goal 2, but said she would prefer to wait until next month to write a complete report, as there are still things pending.

1.       Strategic Advisory Budget Committee (SBAC):  It was reported that the committee has held its first meeting, and it was thought that there will be anothe4r meeting yet this semester.



•  Terry Hynes, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs

•   Bill Conley, Vice Chancellor, Business & Finance


AAUP: David Corbin                        Information Systems: Lanyce Keel   

Alumni Association: Lee Denker        International Studies: Merry Ellen Turner

Athletics: Ann Oatman                       NU Foundation: Lori Byrne

Chair/Director: John Bartle                 Staff Advisory Council: Mary Dunn, Molly Handke

Deans: Gail Baker, B. J. Reed            Student Affairs: Thomas Wallace

Facilities: John Amend                       Students: Ankit Agrawal, Diana Petersen

Faculty Senate: Chistopher Decker    Task Force Support: Steve Bullock, Angie Sargus

Human Resources: Mollie Anderson   University Relations: Tim Kaldahl

VI.             Old Business

A.    Bell Tower Challenge was held October 20, 2010.  UNO Faculty Senate won in two Faculty/Staff categories:  most cans stacked and most enthusiastic!!  The stackers were Carol Mitchell, Dana Richter-Egger, and Matthew Marx.  Cheerleaders and can rounder-uppers:  Karen Hayes and John Bartle.   

B.     Resolution 3013, 5/12/10:  Instruction on the Ethical Use of Print and Online Sources in Academic Papers.


Resolution 3033, 3/10/10:  Recommended Plagiarism Policy

      Admin. Tech. Sue Bishop was directed to forward these two resolutions to Rita Henry to be published where ever other University Policies (like Academic Honesty) are found.  Such places include the Student Handbook, catalogs, web page(s), etc.

VII.          New Business

A.    It was announced that Faculty Senate President-Elect nominations and election will be held at the December Faculty Senate meeting.  A list was attached to the agenda, and available at the meeting, of those senators eligible to run for President-Elect.

B.     President Laquer announced NU President J. B. Milliken will Speak at the December 8, 2010, Faculty Senate meeting.

C.     Faculty participation in Facilitated Conversation regarding UNO Marketing Communications Strategic Plan was encouraged.  President Laquer received the following e-mail on November 9, 2010:

Chancellor John Christensen has asked Dean Gail Baker to develop a comprehensive communications strategy for UNO.  She will have a report and recommendations to the Chancellor in January.  UNO's Center for Collaboration Science is working with Dean Baker to develop sessions that gather existing opinions regarding UNO's image, position, strengths, and opportunities.  There will be a limited number of sessions--essentially focus groups-for chairs/directors/deans, staff, faculty, and students. Your assistance by participating OR  identifying and encouraging  Faculty  participation would be greatly appreciated.    The facilitated conversations will be held in the Mammel Hall 302.  There is a limit of 18 participants for each session.  Participants should  contact Nita Armendariaz (554-2232 or to reserve a seat.  Faculty  are invited to attend the following session: Wednesday November 17, 2010, 1:00 - 2:30, Mammel Hall 302

VIII.       The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m. with announcements.