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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

2013-2014 Faculty Senate


___________________Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 2 p.m., Mahoney State Park, Main Lodge_____________

Present:    Adcock, M. Bacon, N. Bacon, Bragg, Casas, Cast-Brede, Chmidling, Harden, Harder, Hill, Holley, Huq, Lewis, Mahoney, Means, Meglich, Mitchell, Morris, O'Neil, Parnell, Petrow, Ritter, Scherer, Siy, P. Smith, R. Smith, Sobel, Sollars, Stergiou, Surface, Wileman, Williams

Excused:   Beard, Chen, Kwak, Mei, Prisbell, Stack, Tiller


I.      The meeting was called to order   at 9:00 a.m. as President Meredith Bacon welcomed the Senators to the annual retreat.  All senators introduced themselves, etc.  Parliamentarian James Carroll gave some explanations of Robert's Rules of Order as they pertain to Senate meetings.

II.     The Minutes of May 8, June 5 (EC&C), and July 3 (EC&C), 2013, were approved as submitted.

III.    Officers' Reports

A.    President's Report:  Senator M. Bacon reported

1.      Senate President's meeting with Chancellor was held July 15, 2013.  The entire fairly short meeting was devoted to the Peter Kiewit Institute situation. Chancellors Perlman and Christensen will present their report at the September Regents meeting. However, I was given to understand that UNO's suggestions are not received as compatible with UN-L's Engineering ambitions. Chancellor Christensen is working closely with the metropolitan area's business and engineering community to best serve the interests of students enrolled in UNO-based engineering classes.

2.      Executive Committee & Administration meeting was held July 17, 2013.  Senator Holley reported:

a.       Faculty Senate Topics:

·         PKI Issue:   Chancellor Christensen noted that PKI is an Engineering issue and Engineering is not a UNO Program.  He and JB Milliken and Harvey Perlman had been asked to develop a plan to resolve the issue by September.  A recommendation being considered is to re-institute an Advisory Committee for that program that would be co-chaired by UNL and UNO.  Chancellor Christenson further is conferring with salient community organizations, knowledgeable university regents, parents and students, as well as gathering statistics to develop the "metric piece" of this conversation.  He will update us in his remarks at the Faculty Senate retreat. 

·         Increased Latino/Latina Enrollment:  VC Reed and his administration team share our concern about ability to meet the increased need for "seats" and to maintain quality instruction, which includes meeting the special needs of first generation Latino/a students.  Deans and directors have been asked to monitor enrollments closely and, when sections have to be added for which faculty are not available, administration will help meet costs of hiring part time faculty.  Support services such as the Writing Center also are being monitored and strengthened, and bilingual advising staff are being added whenever feasible.

b.      Chancellor's Topics:

·         The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor appreciatively noted year-to-date increases in enrollments and student credit hours. Graduate enrollments have experienced the largest percentage increase. 

·         Proposals under consideration that will impact international enrollments include a College of Business arrangement with sister universities in India and Austria (student pay 150% tuition), and other formats based on the model used by UNK with Japan in which a "third party" pays tuition at 100% the current rate. 

·         Much of the growth in student credit hours has been on-line – which does not translate into a need for more classrooms.

3.      Board of Regents meeting was held July 18, 2013. President M. Bacon reported

 (see also

other than  perfunctory approval of  Interlocal Cooperation Agreements with the City of Omaha for the Center Street campus  UNO projects were absent from the formal agenda.

      Mary Niemec, Associate Vice President for Distance Education and Director of Online Worldwide, gave a presentation on  distance education which, the senate presidents had hoped, would inform us about MOOCs and the memorandum of agreement with Coursera. It did not. Perhaps she will be more enlightening at the Faculty Senate Retreat.

4.      Deans Forum Summary:  As of August 13, 2013, it has been updated to June 6, 2013

5.      Written Acknowledgements for Resolutions:

On August 8, 2013, Nancy Castilow, Assistant to the Chancellor e-mailed the following:

            Thanks, I will clear as many as I can.  See responses below.  On the five others, I know discussions were held on the submission of grades, MOOCS and shared governance but do not know the outcome of those discussions.  I'll be back in touch.

  • 4079:  checking
  • 4080:  checking
  • 4081:  checking
  • 4082-4091:  support
  • 4092: checking
  • 4093-4102:  support
  • 4103: checking
  • 4004: Support

And later that same morning:

  • 4079:   Cannot support as the granting of academic credit is under the purview of the faculty, program and college
  • 4080:   Support
  • 4081:   Support
  • 4092:  Support the resolution to continue to clarify Shared Governance definitions between faculty and administration.
  • 4103:   Support


Thanks for putting that together.  Didn't realize we were that far behind, although I know JC and the Faculty Senate President and Executive Committee discuss and he provides verbal feedback.

2012-2013 Resolution Action Table
(Action Pending and Current Resolutions)






Admin Accept

Sent for Senate Action



In Progress

Final Action/Resolved



Permanent Replacement for Library Senator



Chancellor Supports



Fall 2013 Submission of Grades



Chancellor Supports



Presidential Appointments (a-e)



Chancellor Supports



Standing Committee Vice Chairs



Chancellor Supports



Chair of the Cabinet



Chancellor Supports



Faculty Senate Secretary/Treasurer



Chancellor Supports



Faculty Senate Vice President



Chancellor Supports



Rules Committee Chair



Chancellor Supports



Standing Committee Chairs



Chancellor Supports



University Committees  (a-j)



Chancellor Supports



Campus Committees (a-g)



Chancellor Supports



Membership of 2013-2014 Faculty Senate Standing Committees



Chancellor Supports



Revised Shared Governance



Support the resolution to continue to clarify Shared Governance definitions between faculty and administration.



Appreciation for President Peter Smith



Chancellor Supports



Appreciation for Faculty Senate Liaisons



Chancellor Supports



Appreciation for Chairs of the Standing Committees & Chair of Cabinet



Chancellor Supports



Appreciation for Secretary-Treasurer Meredith Bacon



Chancellor Supports



Appreciation for Vice President Winter



Chancellor Supports



Appreciation for Outgoing Senators



Chancellor Supports



New Faculty Senate Members



Chancellor Supports



Replacement of CFAM Senator



Chancellor Supports



Replacement of LIB Senator



Chancellor Supports



Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON)



Chancellor Supports





Submission of Grades (B)

(& amended)



Chancellor Supports





Submission of Grades (A)

(& amended)



Chancellor Supports







Cannot support as the granting of academic credit is under the purview of the faculty, program and college




Criminal Background Checks at UNO




Not supported.  As with Resolution 4073, which I opposed, in part, because of its reference to all  NU campuses, I also believe this to be a safety issue for which we have legal and fiduciary responsibility.  In summary, the absence of some form of background checks for persons employed on campus seems in opposition to best practices.



Amended Resolution 4054 on Criminal Background Checks




The Chancellor cannot support and would like to discuss this resolution at today's Faculty Senate Exec. Committee / Administration meeting.



Determine Contractual Implications of Background Check Policy

(w/participation of bargaining unit and Central Admin.)



The chancellor acknowledges receipt of the resolution and has provided the legal opinion requested.*

(UNO Faculty Senate is not satisfied with this response.)



Shared Governance




Not supported. Chancellor's Comment: "While I continue to be an advocate for shared governance, I will not support 3079, as I am unable to support any resolution which defines the role and responsibilities of the University's governing board, the office of the chancellor, or other administrator, which is outside the purview of the Faculty Senate."



UCRCA Funding


X *


*3079(From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 4/15/11:  Not supported.  Chancellor's Comment:  "While I continue to be an advocate for shared governance, I will not support 3079, as I am unable to support any resolution which defines the role and responsibilities of the University's governing board, the office of the chancellor, or other administrator, which is outside the purview of the Faculty Senate.")

*3073 (From Chancellor Christensen via Nancy Castilow in an e-mail sent on 1/24/11:  This is a university issue, not a campus issue. The senate can choose to forward to Varner Hall for further action or consideration.)

*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.)

*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.")

6.      Treasurer's Report:  Senator Holley gave the July 2013 Budget Report.

IV.     Executive Committee:  Senator Surface moved the following resolutions for the Executive Committee:

A.    RESOLUTION 4105, 8/21/2013: Appointment of Parliamentarian 

BE IT RESOLVED, that according to the Constitution of the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska, Article IV, the senate president appoints Jim Carroll the parliamentarian of the 2013-2014 Faculty Senate.

Passed Unanimously.

B.     RESOLUTION 4106, 8/21/2013: Temporary Replacement for Education Senator

BE IT RESOLVED, the UNO Faculty Senate accepts the temporary resignation of a College of Education senator, Phyllis Adcock, for Fall 2013.  John Hill, as runner up in the most recent College of Education election, will temporarily replace her 8/21/2013-12/31/2013.


C.    RESOLUTION 4107, 8/21/2013: Deadline for Fall Grades

BE IT RESOLVED, that the deadline for Fall semester grades be seven calendar days after the scheduled final exam date in classes with exams scheduled before December 17 and ten calendar days in classes with final exam dates on December 17 or thereafter.

Passed with one against.


At 10 a.m. the Senate recessed for presentations:

1.   Mary Niemiec Mary Niemiec, Assoc. V. P Distance Education and Director, Online Worldwide:  (MOOCs and MOU with Coursera).

2.   Victor Winter, Chairperson:  Faculty Senate Ad hoc Committee/MOOC Task Force:  (MOOCs).

3.   BJ Reed, Senior Vice Chancellor, discussed Academic Priorities, the Enrollment Management Plan (and Retention), Marketing and comments, Academic Planning, Research Support ($20,000-30,000 in seed grants to faculty for OASA, etc., Workload (aligned with strategic goals of teaching, instruction, etc. (policy has not been updated since 1991).

4.    John Christensen, Chancellor, noted that the Fall enrollment is up 3%, the number of students not declaring ethnicity shows an 88% increase, housing is full, the Arena project (private funding:  city, state, county, NRD, MUD, etc., involved), PKI plan (ENGG., collaboration with SVC Reed, [2] UNL/UNO Deans, and PKI director regarding funding, scholarships, etc., partner with Chamber of Commerce (supply and demand, skillsets for grads, etc.), and, finally, Faculty/Staff contributions to UNO enrollment and retention.

After periods of questions and answers the Senate broke for lunch at 11:50 a.m.


The meeting resumed at 12:45 p.m. with a continuation of

IV. (cont.) Executive Committee:  Senator Surface moved the following resolution for the Executive Committee

D.    RESOLUTION 4108, 8/21/2013: Appreciation for Dr. Harold M. Maurer, M.D.

WHEREAS, Harold M. Maurer, M.D., has served with distinction as Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center since 1998, during which time UNMC has prospered and grown in status both as an educational and as a research institution, in no small part thanks to the tireless efforts of Chancellor Maurer; and

WHEREAS, during his tenure as Chancellor, collegial cooperation between UNMC and UNO has increased both educationally, for example in the graduate programs in Public Health and Biomedical Informatics, and in research among faculty and students in the spirit of the University of Nebraska Strategic Framework points 2.b.iii life sciences emphasis, and 4.c intercampus and interdisciplinary research collaboration; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Maurer's record of achievement mirrors those ambitions expressed in UNO's Strategic Plan – student centeredness, academic excellence, and community engagement – particularly those which provide access to the core competencies of the University of Nebraska to local populations, utilizing locally available assets;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha congratulates Dr. Maurer on his myriad achievements as chancellor of UNMC, wishes him well on his retirement, and hopes that his transition to full time fund raising for the new Cancer Center will prove as successful as his tenure as Chancellor.

Passed Unanimously.

V.      Non-Senate Committee Reports

A.    AFCON: 

The AFCON president sent a letter which was distributed to all Senators regarding Garcetti v. Ceballos case. Senator Lewis was asked to look into the case.

B.     Safety Committee:  Prof. Laquer (7/22/13)

·         September 13, 2013:  Active Shooter Functional Exercise (Drill) at Mammel Hall, with Omaha Police.  Inside and outside evaluators.  Might be 2 hours.

·         Youth Safety Policy

·         Behavioral Review Team:  there will be an on-line form for faculty/staff to fill out to bring up concerns.  A team will then evaluate the concern.  Possible presentation for Faculty Senate meeting?


The meeting was recessed at 12:55 p.m. for the standing committees to break out and discuss their goals for the coming year.

The meeting resumed at 1:30 p.m. with New Business and then committee reports.


VI.     New Business

A.  Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs:  Senator Petrow reported

      At the retreat we decided our first goal is to review the program proposal for the Master's Degree in Information Technology.
We have other goals to address, which we did not rank order in importance.  They are:
-  Discuss the use of dual enrollment funds
-  Track the use of TLC monies
-  Discuss the limit on the number of 8xx5-level courses that can count toward a degree
-  Discuss the lack of health insurance for GAs
-  Discuss the immunization requirements for on-line students
-  Discuss transfer credits, broadly speaking
-  Discuss transfer credits from MOOCs
      Also, a faculty senator suggested we ask Institutional Research (Effectiveness) if they can distribute grade distributions for the university, colleges, and departments.

B.    Committee on Educational Resources and Services:  Senator  R. Smith reported those present: Robert Smith, Patrick O'Neil, Jeanne Surface, Melissa Cast-Brede. Absent: Tom Brag, Wikil Kwak.

1.   One goal for the ER&S Committee for the 2013/14 academic year will be to conduct the evaluations of the Beck Scholarships and the tech-fee proposals.

2.   A second goal will be to establish a coordinated advising system between the Office of Financial Aid and the various academic units, at the college or department levels, for students in the SAP program.

C.    Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare:  Senator Wileman reported

1.      Present were Senators Scherer, Williams, and Wileman. Senator Harden had been at the retreat, but needed to leave before the FP&W meeting.

2.      Items of interest for this year include these:

a.       Pre-emptive financial alternatives for faculty who want to ensure they have sufficient means of paying for COBRA ( -- which is titled "FAQs about COBRA Continuation Health Coverage"coverage) of covered family members should they have to go on long-term disability.

b.      Availability of short-term drop-off parking near buildings (particularly the library) and the increasing costs of parking.  This includes discussion of the rationale behind disallowing parking in surface lots for faculty who pay extra for parking structure access.

c.       Availability of payment to new full-time faculty hires prior to the end of September in their first year of employment, as this is often a financial surprise to these persons.

d.      The Garcetti v. Ceballos finding, in particular its significance for UNO faculty.  It is unclear what form our results may take.

e.       Teaching load allocation for those doing honors and other undergraduate   research mentoring (readings, research, etc.). FUSE cannot and does not deal the inequity in this allocation.

f.       Insurance and parking costs for adjunct faculty. In particular, should the university offer discounted insurance and parking for such faculty?

g.      Potential confusion on the maternity leave policy.

h.      Continuing concern over the impact of the university web page redesign on organizations (colleges and departments) without well-funded full time staff to develop (or redevelop) web pages. What support can these organizations expect for redeveloping their web pages?

i.        The need and potential for private "quiet spaces" in buildings for faculty  "escape" from noise and interruption. The faculty study area in the library is such a facilty, but on a larger scale than is needed in other buildings.

3.   Initial investigation of "b" will be undertaken by Senator Scherer.  Initial investigation of 2.2 will be undertaken by Senator Williams.  The status of  "a" will be investigated by Senator Wileman.

4.   The committee was asked to provide two nominees from the committee for the    faculty grievance committee. We selected Senators Prisbell and Harden for    these.

5.   The committee meeting schedule for the year was drafted. To accommodate the  members, it was decided the committee would meeting at 2:30 PM on the following dates:

             (No September meeting)
             October 30, 2013
             November 20, 2013
             (No December meeting)
             January 29, 2014
             February 26, 2014
             March 19, 2014
             April 23, 2014

   Meetings will likely take place on the Pacific Street campus.

D.     Committee on Goals and Directions:  Senator Mitchell reported the Committee met to organize for the semester. Carol Mitchell will serve as the Committee Chair for the first semester.  Ziaul Hug was elected to serve as Vice-Chair.  All members of the Committee were in attendance. The Committee did not determine any specific issue to work on this semester but did talk about the impact of MOOC's and the comment by Chancellor Christensen  about more students than usual who are choosing  not to indicate ethnicity on forms they complete. 

      The Committee will determine the issues to be worked on at the next meeting on September 25th.  The meeting will be held in RH 406.

E.     Committee on Professional Development:  Senator Casas reported

·         Suzanne Sollars has agreed to serve as the vice-chair for our committee.

·         We will explore a number of themes this year including:

o   Meeting with representatives of UCAT and UCRCA to discuss priorities and any new initiatives for this AY

o   Meet with Scott Snyder to discuss the various research funding mechanisims (FUSE etc.) to measure use, establishing "friendlier" deadlines, boosting applications, etc.

o   Discuss possibilities for establishing new research and teaching facilities.

o   Continue to discuss the newer technological tools and best practices for traditional and distance education instruction

o   Explore funding for conference travel. Inconsistent across colleges and often faculty are paying out of pocket. Can there be additional funding that could be created (like UCAT) for attending research/creative activity conferences?

o   Keeping abreast of the developments on the special MOOC task force. Peter Smith has said that he is willing to serve in a liason capacity for the faculty senate. Explore this possibility.

F.    Committee on Rules:  Senator Mahoney moved the completion of Resolutions 4094, 4101 and 4102for the committee.  All passed.

Completion of the following Resolutions (from volunteers at the 2013 Retreat)

3.      RESOLUTION 4094, 5/8/13 & 8/21/13:  Campus Committees Resolution (a-g) (completed)

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following be appointed to Campus Committees as designated: 

a. Academic Planning Council (APC)

BE IT RESOLVED, that the following names go forward as the Faculty Senate's representatives to the Academic Planning Council from the Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs and the committee on Goals and Directions each for a one-year term from 05/8/13, through 05/14/14:

      Beth Ritter, Committee on Affairs Goals and Directions;  
      Wai-Ning Mei, Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs.

f. Strategic Planning Steering Committee

BE IT RESOLVED, that one member of the 2013-2014 Faculty Senate Goals & Directions committee will be appointed to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for a one-year term from 05/8/13, through 05/14/14:

      Carol Mitchell.  

4.      RESOLUTION 4101, 5/8/13 & 8/21/13:  Standing Committee Vice Chairs  (completed)

BE IT RESOLVED, that according to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska, Article VI, Section 1, the standing committees have met and selected the following vice chairs from their continuing members:

      Nora Bacon, Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs
      Patrick O'Neil, Committee on Educational Resources and Services
      Matthew Harden, Committee on Faculty Personnel and Welfare
      Carol Mitchell Ziaul Huq, Committee on Goals and Directions
      TBA Suzanne Sollars, Committee on Professional Development
      Jeanette Harder, Committee on Rules     

5.      RESOLUTION 4102, 5/8/13 & 8/21/13:  Presidential Appointments (a-e)  (completed)

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate President appoints the following as designated: 

a.      AAUP Executive Committee (American Assoc. of University Professors)

BE IT RESOLVED, that the senate president appoints the following senator, who is also an AAUP member, as the senate representative for a one year appointment from 05/9/13, through 05/14/14, to the UNO Chapter of AAUP, to replace Dana Richter-Egger, whose term has expired:

            Nora Bacon.

6.      And add the following two names to the Faculty Grievance Committee September Ballot:

And one member of the Faculty Senate Faculty Personnel and Welfare committee will be elected from the following TWO nominees to replace Marshall Prisbell, whose term has expired, as the Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee representative for a one-year term from September 16, 2013, through September 15, 2014:

Marshall Prisbell,
Matthew Harden.

VII.   The meeting adjourned at 2:10 p.m. with announcements.

VIII.  Announcements

A.    Faculty Breakfast:  Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 7:30-9 a.m., MBSC Ballroom (RSVP Donna Hathaway)
B.     EC&A Mtg:  No Meeting in August
C.    EC&C Mtg:  Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 2 p.m., ASH 196
D.    Faculty Senate Mtg:  Wednesday, September 11, 2013