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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

 

SENATE ANNUAL REPORT

MAY 2007 - APRIL 2008

President Scott E. Tarry

The UNO Faculty Senate is pleased to provide a report on its activities over the past year. In addition to the resolutions passed by the Senate, which are noted below, the Senate also engaged in discussions and deliberations about a number of on-going issues that are worthy of note. First, representatives from the Senate participated on the Chancellor's Task Force on the 12-month Campus Concept. The broader Senate monitored the work of the task force and discussed the issue at a number of its monthly meetings. The Senate also monitored and discussed the use of MyMAPP for annual reports and the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) process. Both the 12-month campus concept and the use of MyMAPP remain on the Senate's agenda for the coming year.

The following resolutions were passed by the Senate this year. Resolutions from the Rules Committee and the Executive Committee concerning the appointment of faculty to various university committees are not included in this report. The full text of all resolutions passed by the Senate this year can be found on the web at www.unomaha.edu/facsen/archives/

Resolutions Passed by the UNO Faculty Senate 2007-2008

Resolution 2892, 11/14/2007: Campus Bake Sales

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate strongly urges the Chancellor of this University to promptly and emphatically reverse the recent action by his administration which prohibited the use of bake sales as a fund-raising mechanism for student organizations.

Resolution 2893, 11/14/2007: Incorporating Energy Efficiency in New Campus Construction

BE IT RESOLVED that we urge the administration to contract with consultants that would help show us ways to incorporate these concepts in any new construction on campus and that preference would be given to architectural firms that would consider these energy efficient elements in their design,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Resolution be communicated to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska prior to consideration of any new construction on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Resolution 2894, 12/12/2007: Family-friendly/gender neutral Restrooms

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha strongly recommends that all newly constructed campus buildings and all renovations of existing buildings provide for family/gender neutral/individual privacy restroom facilities.

Resolution 2896, 2/13/08: Opposing LR233CA

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha affirms its support for programs and policies that serve the broad and legitimate interests of the state by providing educational opportunities to all of the state's citizens; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha believes the consequences of the proposed amendment to the Nebraska Constitution will include the elimination of lawful strategies for engaging underrepresented groups in higher educational opportunities as well as a real reduction in the economic and social benefits that accrue to the state as a whole; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Faculty Senate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha opposes LR233CA and urges members of the Legislature to vote against it.

Resolution 2897, 3/12/08: Policy in Student Civil Leave:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the University of Nebraska Omaha adhere to the following guidelines on Civil Leave

  1. When a student receives a call to Civil Duty, he or she will notify the course instructor no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled date of duty unless specified differently by the instructor on the syllabus.
  2. The instructor will allow the student an excused absence from the course on the day(s) required for Civil Leave.
  3. Upon request of the student, the instructor will ask the class for another student to take notes during the period of Civil Leave.
  4. If Civil Leave occurs during a critical period in the course (exam; in-class graded assignment; group project; participation-required day), the instructor will work with the student to determine if the missed day(s) will likely have a negative impact on the student's grade and whether the assignment or exam can be accommodated at a later time.
  5. If Civil Leave causes an extensive loss of class time for the student or will likely negatively impact the student's grade or learning experience, the instructor and student will determine whether it is best for the student to receive a grade of'Incomplete' or 'Withdrawal' for the course.
  6. If a grade of Incomplete is chosen, the instructor and student will formally document the procedure required to complete the course.
  7. If a grade of Withdrawal is chosen, the student will receive a prorated refund of tuition and fees paid for the course.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a policy on Civil Leave will be included in the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Catalogs.

Resolution 2899, 4/9/08: UNO Child Care Center:

Therefore be it resolved that the Faculty Senate strongly urges the Administration to explore the possibilities of incorporating a -laboratory school as an addition to the existing childcare facility, and

Be it further resolved that a professional oversight committee composed of faculty in Developmental Psychology and the College of Education's graduate Pre-K3 endorsement program be established to oversee the proposed establishment and eventual operation of a laboratory school as part of UNO's childcare facility.

Resolution Regarding UNO Disaster Planning:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate urges the Administration of this University to develop contingency plans to continue operations in alternate facilities on and off campus in the event that some natural or manmade disaster has degraded the normal functioning of the University's physical facilities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Advisory Committees of the several Colleges be consulted regarding the equipment, supplies, capabilities, and facilities that are required for some minimum ability to offer a limited number of courses under extreme, adverse conditions, and that the Administration consider the following items until said consultations can occur:

  • Prepare a list of the courses that would continue to be offered for different sets of circumstances, ranging from the loss of a single building to the temporary loss of the entire campus.
  • Prepare a plan for communicating with students and faculty regarding alternate classroom sites and times; said communication plan should include the possibility of internet failure.
  • Prepare a plan to provide alternate on-campus classrooms (such as the Sapp Fieldhouse) should a single building be rendered unfit for use for a significant length of time.
  • Prepare a list of possible off-campus sites that can act as temporary lecture classrooms, including such possible sites as Crossroads Mall, Qwest Center, Metro Community College, College of St. Mary's, Creighton University, and area hotels, and the contractual requirements for said usage.
  • Prepare a list of basic classroom items that would be needed and how to procure them. These items should include as a bare minimum smart carts, chalk or marker boards, chalk, markers, chairs, and desks.
  • Prepare a plan to provide photocopying services to faculty.
  • Prepare a plan to provide alternate student support services such as financial aid, transcripts, work-study, and so forth.

Standing Committee Annual Reports

Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs (Chair, Senator Sollars)

Members: Senators Edick, Gershovich, Morcous, Mordaunt, Reames and Sollars.

Resolution 2897 passed to change the policy regarding Civil Duty absences of students.

Examined the issue of plagiarism policy in the classroom. Worked with Lanyce Keel from ITS on the use, piloting and potential policy regarding Blackboard's Safe Assign plagiarism detection tool.

Continued monitoring of the Dual Enrollment Program. Concerns were expressed relative to student diversity and faculty commitment time. A major need is consistency in policy across Departments.

Student Senate again presented their Resolution requiring faculty to record grade appeal policies on each course syllabus. A&CA requested more information. No further information was forthcoming, so A&CA set aside the request.

Considered a proposed B.S. degree in IT Innovation. More information needed before a resolution can be drafted.

Recommended for 2008-2009 A&CA:

  • Continue monitoring Dual Enrollment
  • Consider policy on the use of Safe Assign
  • Examine issue of faculty time involved in community service and distance education programs.

Committee on Educational Resources and Services (Chair, Senator Boucher)

Goals for the Past Year (2007-2008):

  • Monitor the progress of the Course Evaluation Faculty Task Force by having an ER & S committee representative attend meetings.
  • Invite guests to future standing committee meetings from the different resource areas for current updates and information (i.e. library, computer services).
  • Assess and coordinate awarding the Paul Beck Scholarships.

Accomplishments during the Past Year:

  • The committee met with Lanyce Keel from ITS to discuss updates in computer and technology services to faculty. In particular, faculty was asked for their feedback to Blackboard upgrade planning and use of features, notified of the availability of automated test scanning, and Safe Assign pilot testing.
  • The committee met with Dean Shorb from the Criss Library to discuss the library renovation and other services for faculty and students.
  • Senator Parnell attended Course Evaluation Faculty Task Force meetings, and provided updates to the committee and Faculty Senate.
  • The committee determined award amounts and selected Paul Beck Scholarship Award winners.

Possible Goals for Next Year:

  • Follow-up on computer and technology services, particularly results from the Safe Assign pilot, use of automated test scanning, etc.
  • Invite Dean Shorb for an update on library renovations and services.
  • Continue to assess the status of the Paul Beck Scholarship fund itself (amount available), and coordinate awarding the scholarships.
  • Follow-up from the Course Evaluation Faculty Task Force final report, notably the possibility of implementing on-line course evaluation.

Committee on Personnel and Welfare (Chair, Senator Hewins-Maroney)

The committee explored a number of issues important to the UNO faculty. The committee's accomplishments as well as the issues which will carry over into next year are listed in the following table.

ISSUE
STATUS
Faculty Mentoring On-going
U.S. Academic Culture Workshop/Conf On-going
Endowed Professorship Funding Completed
Regents' Policy for Emeritus Faculty Completed
UNO Emeritus Faculty and Telephone Directory Completed
Family-friendly/Gender Neutral Bathrooms Resolution Proposed and Passed (will evaluate periodically)
Model/Laboratory School and the Recruitment and Retention of Faculty Resolution Proposed and Passed/On-going
Chancellor's Proposed 12-Month Concept On-going
Faculty Parking New

Committee on Goals and Directions (Chair, Senator Hugh Reilly)

Goals for Past Year

  • Help formulate plans for any potential campus-wide crisis
  • Prepare a report on alternative energy sources for future campus use
  • Look at tuition and fee structure, especially its impact on minority and economically disadvantaged students. Areas of focus to include: Goodrich program, Minority Student recruiting, Relationship with Metropolitan Community College, working with "Bright Futures."

On-going Committee Work

  • Continue to look at the affect that an influx of new students from both the "Building Bright Futures" and the "Thompson Learning Program" might have on UNO's ability to deliver a quality education for all of its students.
  • Continue to look at the potential impact of Building Bright Futures and the Thompson Learning Program.
  • With the likelihood of a tuition increase for 2008-2009, look at the impact of tuition and fees on UNO's ability to attract minority and economically disadvantaged students.

Committee on Professional Development (Chair, Senator Noble)

  • The committee worked with Institutional Research to develop questions that were added to the UCLA faculty survey. The committee plans to assess and deal with the results of our survey attached to the UCLA survey during the coming year.
  • The committee monitored faculty concerns about MyMAPP and efforts by Academic Affairs and ITS to improve the program. The committee will be involved in the on-going assessment of MyMAPP during the coming year.
  • The committee continues its work on planning/promoting the teaching effectiveness assessment workshop.
  • The committee hopes to build on its efforts this year to create a workshop(s) directed towards mid-career faculty on topics like "appropriate teaching, research, and service expectations in mid-career" and specifically looking at the service expectations.