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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2010-2011 Faculty Senate


Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 2 p.m., MBSC Chancellors Room

Present:    Baguyos, Barone, Bernstein, Bonsell, Bramlett, Carballall, Decker, Erickson, Hayes, Hewins-Maroney, Kelly, Kercher, Laquer, Lewis, Lomneth, Maring, Marx, Matache, Melanson, Nordman, O'Connell, Proulx, Rech, Richter-Egger, Ritzman, Robins, Robinson, Siy, Smith, Winter, Zand

Excused:  Anderson, Bartle, Hendricks, Mitchell, Waggener

Absent:     Srithongrung


Presentation:  Mary Lynn Reiser, Strategic Planning Steering Committee 2010-2011 Co-Facilitator


I.         The meeting was called to order at 2:25 p.m.

II.        The January 12, 2011, Minutes were approved as written.

III.       Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator Laquer reported

1.      The Executive Committee and Administration (EC&Admin.) Meeting was held January 19, 2011.

a.       Chancellor Christensen reported that the Governor's budget recommendations are just the beginning of the process, not the end.  The Governor recommended the University get a basically break-even budget.  The legislators will now do their thing.  There will be a final report in May. We must not become complacent.

      There is a Budget Forum scheduled for Thursday, January 27, 2011, 10 a.m., in MBSC.  There will be more Forums during the semester, but will be scheduled at varying days/times.

b.      Review of Resolutions Reiterated and Passed at the January 12, 2011, Faculty Senate Meeting: 

i.        RESOLUTION 3020, 4/14/10:  UNO/NU Budget Considerations/Suggestions (Reiterated for continued consideration in the current budget climate)

Chancellor Christensen appreciates the Faculty Senate input. 

ii.      RESOLUTION 3073, 1/12/11:  Employee Plus One Benefits

      Chancellor Christensen noted this is not a decision that can be made at UNO.  This resolution should be sent, by the Faculty Senate, to Varner Hall for consideration or further action.

iii.    RESOLUTION 3074, 1/12/11:  Summer Schedule (2011)

      There was much discussion on this resolution.  The Faculty Senate's position is that the new Summer 2011 schedule will make it difficult for class instruction, by making the number of days fewer and the periods longer, especially by going from a 7 week to 6 week session.  SVC Hynes noted that it is not just a general software issue, it is a NESIS/PeopleSoft problem, which is system-wide.  The Administration wants to support an environment of flexibility, but last summer there were 48-52 different Summer sessions, and NESIS just can't handle that.  SVC Hynes said there can be no changes now to the Summer 2011 schedule.  CH Christensen suggested that the Faculty Senate develop a Senate sub-committee to discuss this problem.  Perhaps there can be changes/recommendations made for Summer 2012.  It was suggested that the following administrators be invited to this subcommittee, so they can help explain the complications involved:  AVC Wallace, Dir. of Records & Registration Mark Goldsberry, Assoc. Dir. of Records & Registration Allison Junker. 

c.       Other

i.        Graduate Enrollment Decline

      AVC Smith-Howell noted that in Fall 2010 our Graduate Programs headcount was down 204 (6.7%), SCH was down 292 (1.7%), and UNO had much higher decreases in applications, admits, and enrollment of Graduate students.  One of the things they are carefully watching is that while overall enrollment this past fall was down, it was not down significantly. Although not final, for Spring 2011, it looks like we will be down 146 (5.2%) headcount and SCH down 351 (2.1%), applications are down 20%, admits are down 14.3%, and enrolled is down 6.3%.  One of the things they are noticing is that they are doing a lot better converting the admits to enrolled.  There are fewer part time students and fewer non-degree students.  For Fall 2011 we are up 20% in applications.  And there have been Graduate students already admitted for Fall 2011. 

      UNO has just changed its Basic Carnegie Classification to "DRU:  Doctoral/Research Universities" institution [].  We are now in a smaller pool of universities, from 400 to 88.  This will effect Graduate enrollment.

      There is now a faculty committee, drawn from the Graduate Program chairs, and a Graduate Council that is focused on recruitment, marketing and promotion of Graduate education at UNO.  Hugh Reilly, Communications, Paul Burns, Counseling, and AVC Smith-Howell will be attending a conference this semester that is focused on recruitment and promotion of Graduate Education.  They will likely be doing some workshops here at UNO after attending the conference, and probably will be bringing something back as a consultation. 

      There are three subgroups that will focus on such things as internal analysis of promotional materials from Graduate Programs at UNO.  Right now Graduate Programs promotions and advertising are not coordinated and are all different.  We must think long term, but also address needs as they come up.  The goals are to increase awareness of the scope and quality of UNO Graduate Programs to local, regional, and national audiences, and increase the number of Graduate students, as appropriate, for the specific program and institutional capacity.  We are developing a campus wide plan for recruitment, marketing, and promotion of Graduate Education that each program can plug into.  AVC Smith-Howell has developed a new multi-touch communication plan from the time and application is entered until enrollment.  There are a series of things that now occur when a student has been admitted, such as an admittance packet with degree works, then a postcard, then an electronic communication, and, in the summer, communication to everyone who has been admitted but have not registered, etc.  The various units can go in anytime and access the process to see where each applicant is in the application process. 

      UNO has over 2,800 graduate students, we have 45 Masters Programs, 5 Doctoral Programs that are housed exclusively here at UNO, one that has a specialization in cooperation with UNL, and we are a doctoral research institution.  A packet is being created for Deans, chairs, graduate program chairs (GPCs), etc., consisting of a set of fact cards / quick facts, for every graduate program, to pull out when questions are asked when someone is out in the community.

      UNO is also studying the roles and distribution of graduate assistants. The GPCs, chairs, directors, and Deans were asked for information about their graduate assistants and programs.  They were asked for average SCH for 5 years, average number of majors for 5 years, average number of degrees for 5 years.  Institutional Research pulled the academic department indicators so every graduate program could be compared side by side.  The next step will be a report of the response to a series of questions.  Also, job descriptions and responsibilities in Graduate Studies are being analyzed to determine gaps both for efficiency and response. 

      There is some one time money to be used, and AVC Smith-Howell wants to be very responsible with the distribution of it.  Some will be used for the aforementioned Spring conference.  She also has given out mini-grants.  She wants the programs to have a consistent message/theme. She also wants to use some of that funding for a digital catalog, which would be more helpful to UNO's programs and to potential students.

      The "market driven" data (for Recruiting/Enrollment) mentioned by AVC Wallace at the

January 12, 2011, Senate meeting was drawn from undergraduate information.  They look at students, where we are getting the students from, what the yield is, at MSEP (Midwest Student Exchange Program), areas that we can go into, how we utilize MSEP, how others utilize it, purchasing ACT scores, to attract both high academic students and other pools of students, like military.  All is looked at and analyzed in order for UNO to spend the money in the best manner to get the best possible yield. 

ii.      AVC Smith-Howell noted that the focus of the Strategic Planning Forum, scheduled for February 4, is on Academic Excellence.  One of the panel presentations is going to be organized by AVC Scott Snyder, focusing on research and scholarship across the campus.  There will be two different types of supporting materials, one, focusing on a report out of Digital Measures, the other, will have a digital presentation of book covers, magazines, etc., of UNO Faculty.

      SVC Hynes addressed the issue of how UNO can increase the communication and visibility of Faculty Research and Creative Activity productivity, especially in terms of our web site, and to do so on a consistent basis.  On the Academic and Student Affairs web site she would like to have a section where we have a place for that kind of thing, such as when members of our faculty are recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally, because of their overall accomplishments, which, in some cases, includes their research and creative activity, as well as professional participation. She also wants that place to show the record of faculty scholarship, whether in research or creative activity, journal articles, juried work recognition, etc. 

iii.    Dean Gail Baker is still working on a report on Strategic Communications at UNO. 

iv.    Regarding the fire at Allwine Hall late in 2010, VC Conley reported that, of the two transformers down there, one has been reconfigured, and they were able to get rid of the generator. 

2.      Chancellor's Council was replaced by the Budget Forum on January 27, 2011.

3.      Budget Forum was held January 27, 2011.  Discussed were:

Planning, Activities & Process (SVC Hynes & VC Conley)

·         Phased Retirement Option for Faculty

·         Full-Time Equivalency Reduction Program (125 down to 120 CH)

·         Program & Services Review

·         U-Wide Efficiency Committees

·         Revenue Growth & Enrollment Update

·         Budget Timeline

Note:  Slides are available for this forum.

This presentation and questions were recorded (in Flash format) but that is not yet available. 

Prior fora are at

4.      Board of Regents Meeting met January 28, 2011.

Morning Session


      Speaker Mike Flood expressed an appreciation for the partnership in this state between higher education and the Legislature.  He noted last summer's work under LR 542 looking at a 10% budget reduction across all state agencies [LR 542 Listing of Options December 2010,].  He identified 5 major issues before the legislature.  1) Budget.  In Early March will be the Legislature's preliminary budget.  At the end of April will be the only Forecasting Board Report that really matters.  In Early May the Legislature's budget will reach the floor and must be finished by May 15.  This year what is different is that there are about 20 budget related bills changing statutory governmental programs that must be passed to allow some budget reductions along with the substantive budget bills.  2) Redistricting.  April 1 is when the final census data will be available.  3) Commission of Industrial Relations (CIR) [] Several bills to change the CIR have been introduced.  There is a lot of discussion now; by March 15 the potential outcome will be clearer.  4) Roads.  5) Child Welfare.  Flood was pleased with the Governor's Budget.  Would like to learn more about the Virtual High School.  The proposed internship program with the University's assistance will help keep more young people in the state following college graduation.  Small towns also must do their part in providing after work activities to keep youth attracted to the small towns.  Flood commended the University Leadership for making tough decisions over the last several years.  The Legislators recognize that the University, state and community colleges have already had several tough budget years (flat) so they are comfortable with this flat budget as opposed to cuts. 

      Ron Withem, Associate Vice President for University Affairs and Director of Governmental Relations provided a legislative update from his perspective.  He noted the proposed $25M funding for 2 buildings for the Innovative Campus.  The funding for the Virtual High School goes to the Department of Education, not the University, and the Independent Study High School will be the key partner.  President Milliken provided background that the Virtual High School is an outgrowth of the Race to the Top Federal initiative, and is particularly needed to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines.  The Independent Study High School has been around for 80 years and is fully accredited by North Central.  The current course offerings have been converted to digital format.  Milliken believes that the Governor's passion for this idea is that in small rural schools it is more difficult to attract and keep math and science teachers at the upper levels (and for AP courses).  This will allow those students to take the advanced courses and then be able to compete with students from Omaha and other larger communities across the country.  A regent noted he heard a news story that this could also be used by poor inner city schools with limited course offerings.

      Withem continued noting a potential change in the funding for Need Based Aid.  The LR542 report recommended suspending the program; this would use Lottery funds (doing well) to replace some of that funding for a year or so.  The $1B shortfall was bridged by flat funding for K-12 instead of a projected increase, reduced spending on Medicaid and aid to local governments, and tapping some of the cash reserve fund.  The legislative hearing date for the University's budget is March 1.  Several bills were introduced on the behalf of the University: 

      LB372 [] allows the issuance of certificates in upper level programs, which the Coordinating Commission had felt were not allowed according to the statues. 

LB630 [] will provide licensure for certain professionals at UNMC, which is now required by insurance companies for coverage. 

      LB 249 will allow a waiver for a liquor license to the current 300 ft halo around campuses, the intent is to support economic development. 

      LB555 involves the CIR ["Eliminate Special Masters and other provisions of the State Employees Collective Bargaining Act"].  Joel Pedersen, General Counsel was asked to explain this bill further.  Two items have been requested.  One involving removal of the Special Master proceeding, the other adding specific criteria for university and post secondary institutions with a goal to address what is loosely referred to as "ability to pay."  A regent asked if cost-of-living would be included in that process.  Pedersen noted that comparable programs would be considered, and then proximity, Midwest as compared to the east or west coasts; but the bill as of now does not address cost-of-living specifically. 

      LB380 [] revisits the requirement that originally 2%, now 1% of the cost of buildings be added to an annual depreciation / maintenance fund.  This will remove the requirement that non-state aided projects (for example athletics) contribute to this fund.  This will relieve those donors from contributing to state facility maintenance.  There was additional discussion on the need to pay attention to maintenance; this process was originally added when deferred maintenance costs grew so large that a special appropriation was required to catch up.  These contributions have been suspended during the economic downturn, so there may be a cliff effect of unfunded need.  When these charges are resumed the cost will be on the order of $10M annually.  Milliken noted that independent of state law it is important to allocate funding for the necessary maintenance and operations of university facilities.  Regent Hawks suggested this be added to the business affairs committee agenda for 2011.

      LB414 [] would allow carry over of unspent state funds into the next biennium. 

Other bills with potential impact include LB657 which would repeal in-state tuition benefits at the universities for aliens not lawfully present in the U.S. 

Several additional CIR bills are being considered along with a constitutional amendment introduced by Senator Nelson "to repeal the Industrial Relations Act and the State Employees Collective Bargaining Act; to prohibit public employers and employees from collective bargaining and from strikes, slowdown, or other work stoppage…" [LB664].  

   Chris Kabourek, Assistant Vice President for Budget and Planning had slides that repeated the two earlier presentations.  He summarized the University budget and state funding.  The trend of state funding has been flat for 5 years.  Adjusted for the Higher education price index purchasing power has decreased.  Last fall the total university requested an increase in the operating budget for the next biennium of $26M, not including salary increases.  The governor has recommended $3M.  The major items in that $26M included a 10% increase in health insurance for $12M, 5% increase for utilities ($5M) and $5M increase for the 1% building depreciation assessment.  With the depreciation assessment proposed to be suspended, the shortfall is $13M (and if reinstituted in 2014 that assessment would be an additional $10M annually).  A 1% salary increase adds $11M to the shortfall over the biennium.  A 1% increase in tuition raises $4.3M over the biennium.  Reallocations are therefore still necessary in order to maintain access and affordability, number one goals in the Strategic Framework.  Milliken highlighted two points.  First, the University budget has been flat for five years now.  Second, most employees have not had a raise for two years now, which is not sustainable with the need to remain competitive.  Still there will need to be reallocations. 


      Mike Foley, State Auditor reported that for the third year the University "received a clean unqualified audit opinion, the gold standard."  The management letter will be forthcoming within 60 days. 

David Lechner, Vice President for Business and Finance provided a Financial Update.  By the measures provided, the University is in good shape.  The NU foundation assets are included when making comparisons to other universities since many of their equivalent foundations are not separated as is Nebraska's.  The Bond Rating is Aa1, one step below Aaa, and in the midpoint of the Big 10.  This means that interest rates for bonds are very favorable.   There are no off-balance sheet obligations as exist in other universities (retiree health care obligations for example). 


      Linda Pratt, Executive Vice President and Provost discussed graduation rates.  These are based on a cohort of incoming freshmen.  The standard measure is six years based on IPEDS methodology.  UNO's six-year graduation rate has increased from 37.2% to 44.7% between 2003 and 2008 while their peers have been nearly steady at about 40%.  UNK has also increased from 49% to 59% as compared to their peer group at 51%.  UNL however has increased their rate only 61.6% to 63.1% while their peers have increased 4% in the period to 69.2%.  The lagging performance at UNL prompted a lot of discussion.  As would be expected, higher entering ACT scores lead to higher graduation rates.  Another factor used to explain the differences was a higher rate of working off campus for pay at UNL than their Big-10 peers.  Factors that are applicable to UNO include college readiness, parents with college experience, hours worked, and others.  There is a need to work more closely with high schools, to improve counseling and academic advising in the university, to improve financial support, and provide learning communities and academies.  Retention is higher in learning communities, but they are labor intensive and expensive. 

      Sarah Thompson, Associate Dean, College of Nursing Nurse presented a proposal for a new Practitioner Degree – Doctor of Nursing Practice.   This degree is similar to the Pharm. D. with 80+ credits post-baccalaureate or 33 credits post-masters.   Nationally 51% of academic health centers offer this degree.  Practitioners are expected to alleviate the doctor shortage predicted for family practice physicians and to reduce the stress on rural physicians.  DNP graduates still need to work under the guidance of a physician; Chancellor Maurer indicated that state law would need to be changed to expand the scope of practice. 

      The status of Voluntary Retirement Programs was presented by President Milliken, Chancellor Perlman, Chancellor Christensen, Chancellor Kristensen, and Chancellor Maurer.  Milliken noted that this process had been approved by the board in 2003.  Other universities have been using tenure buyout programs to help redirect resources to new priorities. 

Chancellor Perlman noted that at UNL 30% of those eligible took advantage of the offer.  He acknowledged that they lost some talent.  The distribution was across the university, with no single program significantly impacted.  Next year will be a challenge without the human and financial resources.  The deans are figuring out how to make it work and faculty are stepping up to teach a little extra where needed.  Perlman noted that they rejected no applications, though they did delay the departure date in a case or two. 

      Chancellor Christensen acknowledged Perlman's assistance, and then distributed an executive summary of UNO's plan to the regents.  Christensen noted he intended to continue UNO's three year phased retirement plan in place now for almost 10 years with 14 faculty currently in that plan.  Criteria are age 62 with tenure and 10 years continuous service.  []  There are 89 eligible faculty from the 320 currently tenured.  There is a salary cap of $85,000; the median of the eligible group.  If 20% of those eligible (i.e. 18) take advantage of this, then UNO will need to invest $350,000 to maintain academic coverage in the short term.  This is about a $2M program, and about half that will need to be reinvested in the academic enterprise and in future priorities.

      Chancellor Kristensen said UNK will be rolling out their program in March.  Their maximum exposure is $3.8M, with roughly one third of their tenured faculty eligible at age 62 with tenure.  That is a huge amount of the teaching capacity at UNK.  They had considered waiting until next year, but with UNO's announcement they are now going forward. 

      Chancellor Maurer noted that UNMC was very different with only 36% tenure density.  New junior faculty may cost more than the senior faculty that they are replacing.  They also have clinical productivity to consider. 


      Governor Heineman's Economic Development Planning was presented by President Milliken and Richard Baier, Director, Nebraska Department of Economic Development.  The Talent and Innovation Initiative was based on a study by Battelle Research which found that the state had invested $144,000 for P-16 education, and that if 20% of Nebraska graduates left the state that was a significant investment loss.  There are four components.  The Nebraska Internship Program will increase the number of Nebraska college students undertaking internships with qualifying private businesses with a budget of $1.5M each year for 2 years.  The internship must pay at least minimum wage, with a 100% match by the business.  Students would work between 200 hours (12 weeks) and 1000 hours (52 weeks).  The Business Innovation Act will provide grants to support research, innovation, and development with a budget of $7M.  The Angel Investment Tax Credit Act will provide refundable state income tax credits to qualified investors in certain early stage companies with a cap of $5M.  Finally the Site and Building Development Act will help develop quality industrial sites and buildings across the state ($3M). 

      A presentation on the status of Rural Initiative Planning was made by President Milliken and Ronnie D. Green, Vice President, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  A new Institute for the Rural Future (formal launch in March-April 2012, the 150th university of the Morrill Act) is needed to implement the goals identified over the last 10 years.  The intent is to leverage resources from all four campuses.  An executive director and additional "pillar" directors are needed.  The seven pillars are "Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership" (assisted by the Nebraska Business Development Center at UNO and others from the other campuses not listed here and for the following); "Community Planning and Development" (UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service); "Education and Youth Development" (early childhood education – university-wide); "Rural Health and Nutrition;" "Agri/Ecotourism and Recreational Development;" "Rural infrastructure (Peter Kiewit Institute); and "Rural Legal Practice and Policy" (UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service).  A think tank is planned for April to identify resources needed to establish a meaningful footprint in community planning and rural development.  A National Conference on the Rural Future of the Great Plains is planned for late October 2011. 

Afternoon Meeting

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Vice Chairperson McClurg was elected first, followed by Chairperson Whitehouse. 

KUDOS were presented to Tammy Goldsberry, University of Nebraska at Omaha and others from the other campuses.

      The Regents approved the Elimination of Summer Commencement ceremonies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for 2011 without discussion. 

      On the Academic Affairs agenda, the regents approved the UNO Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training and the Master of Arts Degree in Athletic Training, also without discussion. 

      On the Business Affairs agenda, they approved the Program Statement and Budget for the Peter Kiewit Institute Remodel at UNO, and the Room Rates for Scott Village, Scott Court, Maverick Village and University Village for the 2011-12 Academic Year at UNO. 

      All other items impacting the other campuses were similarly approved without discussion or dissent. 

      Another item of interest in the distribution to the regents [] but not discussed in the meeting  is on page 160 TENURE DENSITY Fall 2010.   UNO has 338 tenured professors with an additional 99 on the tenure track.  The percentage has increased over the last 10 years, and is about the same as at UNL. 

5.      Faculty Senate Presidents Meeting was held January 28, 2011.

      The four Faculty Senate Presidents met with Keith Dietze, Director of University-wide Benefits; David Lechner,  Vice President for Business and Finance; Ed Wimes, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources.

      Dependent Eligibility Audit will begin about February 1st with an e-mail to all active and ancillary employees to expect a letter to their home address (U. S. mail) from Chapman-Kelly, Jeffersonville, Indiana. [Note the website redirects to and a new name "hms Employer Solutions".  Their audit guide is at .  Only the Chapman-Kelly name was used at the meeting.]  The letter will also clearly show the connection to the University and will list the registered dependents.  Employees with no dependents will not receive this letter.  If any dependents are no longer eligible then there is an amnesty period where the employee can correct that information.  The eligibility guidelines are the same text as in the Nuflex documents.  Around March 4 a second (updated) personalized letter will be sent out with a request for documentation of the dependent status.  Copies of birth and marriage certificates or other documents will need to be supplied by the employee to Chapman-Kelly.  Employees have 60 days to send in that information.  The company has had lots of experience with this process and when there are missing documents they have a way to manage that possibility.  Any needed appeal process goes through Keith Dietz's office.  The program is then scheduled to wrap up in early June.  Documents received by Chapman-Kelly are to be destroyed when the audit has been completed.  Future Dependent Eligibility Audits should not be necessary as new employees will need to provide their documentation when hired.

      Problems with LB37 were brought up [].  The bill is "to provide requirements relating to access to information by the Legislative Performance Audit Section and the Auditor of Public Accounts."  "The section shall have access to any and all information and records, confidential or otherwise, of any agency, in whatever form they may be, unless the section is denied such access by federal law or explicitly named and denied such access by state law." This bill also requires information to be released within four days.  It has the potential to allow access to Protected Health Information in the process of auditing health care costs.  Redacting documents to remove the patient name will not work since the costs could then still be cross linked to the Blue Cross Disbursement amounts.  This would be against Federal Law (HIPPA) which prevents information release in a way that could lead to identification of the individual.  If this information was released then the impacted employee could sue the University. 

      Are there going to be increases in employee health insurance costs?  They do not know.  Each year stands on itself based on prior experience.  There is also a projection, and actuarial calculations to develop a total premium so as to break even.  This year there is an added population of dependents in the age 26 and under category that have been added.  Then a decision is made on the relative contributions of the University and the employee.  It was noted that employee costs have held steady for several years.  The VSIP impact is difficult to predict but as a fraction of the total population it is small (100 of 11,000).  Medical rates are less impacted than pharmacy rates since consumption of pharmaceuticals increases significantly in the older population.  VSIP must choose either 18 months of COBRA [] or to join the retiree coverage pool (indefinite membership period) [].  This is an irrevocable decision.  A financial planner is recommended.  There is a need for information to be provided to these VSIP employees []. 

      Having more long term retirement planning and other benefits information available in a public web location and readily maintained was requested.  Not everyone will attend a seminar, or will remember what was presented at one sometime earlier.  If a presentation is made then maybe the video could be saved.  Dietze indicated they would pass this on and that each campus maintains their own information.  I asked why do we have five HR groups doing the same thing with limited resources.  Why not a central place with input from all as to what should be there?  Lechner suggested one site with a variety of buttons, including to the site [provided by the American Institute of CPAs] which provides life stage appropriate information.  Another current source of pre-retirement information from the employer's perspective is 

      It was also noted that generating these sorts of information resources would be difficult given how short staffed we are.  I suggested that perhaps an alternative is to provide a link to other resources that have been developed and are useful and provide a place to start.  There is so much information on the web; it would be helpful to employees to have at least winnowed it somewhat.  We are an educational institution and this is just another aspect of education.  Lechner noted that in his own facility that there was need for more financial literacy education needed (in the context of the reduced social security withholding this year).  They also encouraged contacting the benefits person on the campus with specific questions.  Seminars are good since one question may prompt another's.

      Asked about problems with disability advising in previous years, I was left with the sense that those have been solved.  There is LTD information on the Web.

      Expansion of Wellness benefits was discussed.

      The current basic retirement option contributions of 5.5% employee and 8.0% employer are set by state law. 

      U-Wide benefits committee representation is a Chancellor appointment.  A substitute for when someone would be absent would need to go through there.  Advance notice of meeting topics is not possible since there are changes up until the meeting.  Asked if they can meet 4x/year, it depends on the need and they will look at it. 

      Looking ahead, there are 44 states with significant deficits and $3-4 trillion in pension promises.  This will have a societal impact.  There may be a Roth 403b in the works.  Peer institutions are narrowing choices available to simplify their options.  In February employees should receive customized information on supplemental retirement options.

6.      Deans Forum Summary: As of 1/31/11 summaries to December 16, 2010, Summary

7.      Written Acknowledgements of Resolutions (& Table):  On January 24, 2011, Nancy Castilow, Asst. to the Chancellor, e-mailed:

      Res. 3020 -- The Chancellor has received, read and appreciates the Senate's input.

      Res. 3073 == This is a university issue, not a campus issue. The senate can choose to forward to Varner Hall for further action or consideration.

      Res. 3074 -- The chancellor appreciates the input and sharing of concerns and suggests that the senate may wish to continue to consult with the Sr. Vice Chancellor on the issue. (At the February EC&C this was given to the ER&S Committee to monitor for the Summer 2012 schedule.)

Resolution Action Table

(Action Pending and Current Resolutions)






Admin Accept

Sent for Senate Action



In Progress

Final Action/Resolved



Summer Schedule



The chancellor appreciates the input and sharing of concerns and suggests that the senate may wish to continue to consult with the Sr. Vice Chancellor on the issue.



Employee Plus One Benefits



Senate sent to Pres Milliken, D. Burns, and Board of Regents



This is a university issue, not a campus issue. The senate can choose to forward to Varner Hall for further action or consideration.



Reiterated 1/12/11


UNO/NU Budget Considerations/Suggestions



The Chancellor has received, read and appreciates the Senate's input.




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.

-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.



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






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.)

*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 Smith submitted the January 2011 Budget Report.

IV.      Executive Committee:  Senator Smith moved the following two resolutions for the Executive Committee.  Both passed.

A.    RESOLUTION 3075, 2/9/11:  Resignation of Senator Haworth

BE IT RESOLVED, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee accepts the resignation from the Senate of Dwight Haworth, IS&T.

On January 12, 2011, the Faculty Senate received the following e-mail from Senator Haworth, IS&T:

This semester I am scheduled to teach a course that meets at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  Considering classroom set-up time and North to South Campus commute time, it seems that I will have to depart Faculty Senate meetings at around 3:00 p.m.  This does not leave much time to effectively participate in those meetings.  I request that you find a replacement for me for the Spring semester of 2011, which is the balance of my term.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dwight A. Haworth   

B.     RESOLUTION 3076, 2/9/11:  Replacement for Senator Haworth

BE IT RESOLVED, that Mansour Zand, IS&T, has agreed to complete the Faculty Senate term of Dwight Haworth, which expires May 11, 2011.

V.                Standing Committee Reports

A.    Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Matache reported the committee had worked on the following resolution regarding changing the number of hours for a Bachelors Degree.  Senator Smith moved, with Senator Hewins-Maroney seconding, to send the resolution back to committee for more work.

RESOLUTION:  Supporting Changing Minimum Credit Hours for  Bachelors Degree

WHEREAS, it is appropriate that the citizens of Nebraska be provided a clear and accurate message as to degree requirements at their state universities, and

WHEREAS, there is a developing opinion among educators in the state that 120 credit hours be standardized as the minimum credits required for awarding a bachelor degree, and

WHEREAS, the University of Nebraska at Omaha currently requires 125 credit hours as a minimum for a bachelor degree, and

WHEREAS, university administration has assured the Faculty Senate that a change from 125 to 120 credit hours as the minimum for a bachelor degree will be without significant adverse financial effect upon the university, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that, the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha supports changing the minimum credit hours required for awarding a bachelor degree from 125 to 120 credit hours.

B.     Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator Siy reported the committee met January 26, 2011.  Members present: Maring, Richter-Egger, Ritzman, Siy.  Absent: Kercher, Rech.  Guests: Karen Dwyer, Marlina Davidson

Speech Center update:

      This is the third in a series of information gathering efforts by ER&S on the needs and issues facing the UNO learning centers (Math-Science, Writing and Speech).

      The UNO Speech Center update was given by Karen Dwyer, School of Communication Assistant Director and Basic Course Program Director, and Marlina Davidson, Speech Center Consulting Coordinator.

      The Speech Center is part of the Public Speaking Fundamentals Program and oral communication general education requirement at UNO. The Center promotes excellence in public speaking skills across campus and has two main rooms, the Basic Course Room and the Speech Consulting Room. The Basic Course Room supports the students enrolled in SPCH 1110 (Public Speaking Fundamentals) every semester and other courses that fulfill the UNO oral communication gen-ed requirement. The Basic Course Room helps students in every step of the speech-making process including speech writing, delivery, and evaluation. For example, students are required to drop by the Center to undertake self-evaluation of their in-class recorded speeches. The Basic Course Room has 18 computers used for speech writing and such evaluation. As the Center supports a gen-ed requirement, nearly all UNO students are served (over 2500 students take SPCH 1110 every year). The Basic Course Room is staffed with 8 trained graduate teaching assistants and receives more than 4000 visits every semester.

      The Speech Consulting Room supports all students, faculty and staff with speech consulting and coaching services. Clients can deliver speeches in a recording room and a speech consultant listens and provides feedback in real-time. Consultation is by appointment. The Consulting Room is open 40 hours per week and receives close to 1000 visits per semester. Peak times are near the end of the semester, when most speaking assignments in classes are scheduled. Two consultants (both full-time Speech Communication faculty members) are on staff, each at 20 hours per week. The Consulting Room also assists faculty in integrating speech requirements into their courses (Speaking Across the Curriculum) such as developing presentation requirements, speaking assignments and rubrics. As part of this service, the Center gives more than 20 presentations and workshops across the campus. The Consulting Room also assists the university by providing assessment documentation for the oral communication components of program assessments.

      Speech centers positively impact student learning and experience, as validated by research at UNO and elsewhere. Many studies have linked high communication apprehension (anxiety) to lower GPAs, higher freshman attrition rates and lower graduation rates. The research also indicates that grades improve when students visit a speech center. The quality of the UNO Speech Center has been recognized nationally. The Center's Basic Speech Course recently won the National Communication Association's Program of Excellence Award, receiving recognition as the 2010 top Basic Course -Public Speaking Program in the nation.

      In conclusion, the Speech Center provides a valuable resource for students and faculty and staff. Speech communication research shows that the ability to plan, execute, and analyze one's own speaking performance coupled with constructive expert feedback significantly improves the message's clarity, the speaker's confidence, and overall improvement in speaking competence. The Speech Center also has the advantage of being tied to a gen-ed course, thus nearly all students are aware of its excellent services and many take advantage of the offerings. The Center hopes more faculty can strongly encourage their students to avail of the Center's consulting services, especially when they integrate oral communications into their curricula.

Paul Beck Scholarship:

      Similar to the previous year, the committee decided to award three scholarships for 2011-2012:

1.      One Full-time UNO Undergraduate (for Senior Year) - $1,000

2.      One Full-time UNO Graduate - $1,000

3.      One Part-time UNO Undergraduate (for Senior Year) OR Graduate - $500

   The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, April 1, 2011.

      Undergraduate students must be UNO Seniors next year.  Criteria and applications may be found on the Faculty Senate website:

      Our next meeting will be on February 23, 2-3pm. Steve Bullock will report on the results of the fall semester course evaluations using the new forms. Also, John Fiene and Lanyce Keel will discuss Technology Fee funding priorities.

C.     Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Erickson reported the committee met January 26, 2011.  Present:  Erickson, Nordman, Proulx, and Srithongrung.

Items discussed:

      We discussed two items in this meeting, first a draft of the Faculty Development Fellowship resolution written by Shelton Hendricks, and second, the supplemental questions to the HERI UCLA national faculty survey.

1.   Faculty Development Fellowship resolution

Shelton Hendricks sent the committee a draft of the resolution.  We discussed it for some time before adding a clause to it that refers to the importance of "recruitment and retention" of motivated and high-quality faculty to the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  We sent a copy of the revised draft resolution back to Shelton for his approval and perhaps additional editing.  We expect that the resolution will be presented from the Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs in a later meeting.

2.   HERI/UCLA Faculty Survey

Linda Mannering has been working on deploying this survey since last Fall and asked if the committee would be willing to provide input on the Supplemental questions to the survey.  In particular, many UNO faculty who completed the main survey and the supplemental questions the last time it was administered in 2007, mentioned that it was far too long and time-consuming.  So the idea was to shorten the supplemental survey by removing some of the questions.  However, due to Linda's fall workload, we did not receive the supplemental question list until January 20, and the survey deployment is to be February 1.  So, we met as a committee on January 26 and examined the questions with the idea of pairing down the number of questions.  We came up with a list of 7 questions we felt were important to retain in the supplemental survey.  Our list of questions involved the importance of the RPT process, travel budgets, and mentoring.  Scott Snyder also had a list of 7 research related questions that he felt were important to retain.  Linda also noted that the process was not started soon enough to allow us to edit existing questions or add new questions because of IRB considerations, so we were essentially constrained to only removing questions, which is what was needed anyway.

D.    Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Marx reported the committee met on January 26, 2011.  Members present: Lomneth, Marx, Kelly, O'Connell.  Excused: Anderson, Lewis.

      The committee is working on a resolution defining "shared governance" at UNO, and is would like more input before presenting it.

E.     Committee on Rules:  Senator  Barone reported the Committee met on Wednesday, January 26, 2011.  We worked on documents and a timetable for the upcoming Committee Service Preference survey.  Senator Barone moved the following resolution for the committee.  It passed.

RESOLUTION 3077, 2/9/11:  Annual Committee Reports

WHEREAS the faculty senate has numerous committees that conduct important university business, and;

WHEREAS the faculty senate is frequently contacted to recommend faculty members for university (non-senate) committees, and;

WHEREAS there currently exists no mechanism to insure either kind of committee regularly updates the faculty senate on its important business;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the chair of any committee that Faculty Senate Rules Committee recommends members will hereafter be required to produce a brief summary of the committee's activities and submit it to Faculty Senate Rules Committee before the end of the academic year.  This report should include a list of committee members, a summary of regular, annual activities as described in the charge of the committee in the last twelve months (if any, bulleted), and recommendations for committee activities for the next year (if any, bulleted).

VI.             Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.    Academic Planning Council (APC):  Senators Lewis reported

During the Spring Term 2011, there will be program reviews for

-          Foreign Languages and Language Teaching

-          English

-          CBA (aligned with AACSB accrediation)

Program reviews will take place during the Fall Term 2011:

-          Theatre

-          Art/Art History/Studio Art

-          Creative Writing

-          Gerontology

-          Psychology

An opening meeting with the chairs/directors of these programs will commence on Monday, January 31, 2011.

B.     Graduate Council:  Professor Jeanette Harder reported the Graduate Council did not meet in January due to weather.

C.     Strategic Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC):  Senator Decker reported the committee met January 14, 2011.

(See also )

      The SBAC held its second meeting of the academic year on Friday, January 14th, 2011. The committee spent most of the time discussing the proposed budget Governor Heineman delivered in his State-of-the-State address in early January. The balance of the meeting was spent discussion possible strategies for improving UNO's budget situation and discussing a potential proposal for a faculty early retirement incentive.

The Budget.  Bill Conley, Vice Chancellor of Business & Finance, offered some analysis of the budget and potential implications for UNO. The council was cautioned, however, that any numbers discussed were estimates only.  Assuming the proposed nominally "flat" budget for the university (system-wide) passes the unicameral, this does still represent a "cut" in real terms as university operating costs are still going to increase. That said, the general consensus was that the governor's proposal was much better than had been anticipated.

      At the January 14th meeting, Mr. Conley offered an estimate of the budget implications for UNO. He indicated that UNO would be looking at a roughly $2.1 million shortfall (in real terms) over the next biennium (a figure which assumes a 6 percent tuition increase).

      The council was again cautioned that this figure is a rough estimate. There are many unknowns at this point and the $2.1 million was offered as an "optimistic" scenario at this point. The committee did discuss some of these unknowns. For instance, the numbers could change as the budget is debated in the unicameral and the potential for the Board of Regents (BOR) to re-consider the 6 percent tuition increase in light of the "favorable" budget proposal for the university. The BOR is to consider tuition in its June 2011 meeting.

      There was a Campus Forum on the Budget on January 27th, 2011. Much of what was discussed in the SBAC meeting regarding the budget was presented there as well. However, some of the estimates presented there differed from what we discussed in our meeting, likely based on different assumptions regarding potential tuition increases, etc.

Strategies.  Given the uncertainty regarding the budget numbers, it was generally accepted by the council to continue its efforts at developing strategies to manage UNO's fiscal health assuming continued budget compression from state appropriations.  Building on "Midwest Student Exchange Program's" efforts to bring more out-of-state undergraduates to UNO, the council discussed the need to develop strategies to attract more out-of-state graduate students to the university as well.

Early-retirement proposal.  Terry Hynes, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs,   shared with the council an idea to encourage tenured faculty retirement, based on a recent UNL early retirement pilot program. Details can be found at  Some details of the pilot program were also discussed at the Campus Forum on the Budget on January 27th, 2011.

VII.    Old Business

A.    Summer Scheduling:  Senator Rech reported that the schedule for Summer 2011 cannot be changed, but is flexible.  The Summer 2012 schedule will be revisited.

VIII.  New Business

A.    EC& A Agenda should include

1.      How to improve retention and then ultimately graduation rates addressing all at-risk populations. 

(Prompted by Provost Pratt's presentation concerning UNL at the last BoR Meeting.)

Groups include lower quartile of ACT scorers, lower economic status, first in family college student, the working student, and others.

2.  Change in Carnegie Classification to "DRU:  Doctoral/Research Universities".

·         Is a Press release planned?

·         What will be the impact on the Library to support the expensive resources required of Doctoral programs.  Will additional funding be available?

·         Will adding a Doctoral degree at UNO when there is one in the same field at UNL be an available option?

·         How does this change research funding opportunities in departments without doctoral programs?  For example Chemistry, Physics, Geology and NSF funding for primarily undergraduate institutions (RUI / PUI); REU -Research Experiences for Undergraduates?

·         How does being a Metropolitan University differ from other universities in this classification?  From UNL?

·         If we assume that faculty are working at 100%, and we continue to ask them to do more, what can we then ask them to do less of so that they are not working at more than 100%?

B.     The Voluntary Separation Program was discussed.  The Program can be found at:

IX.     The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m. with announcements.