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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

 

The New UNO Senate Review

November/December 2003

Vol. II - - - - - - - - - - - No. 2

O could I flow like thee and make they stream
My great example, as it is my theme:
Though deep yet clear, though gentle yet not dull,
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.
-Sir John Denham

In his praise of the Thames, the 17th-century British poet Sir John Denham cites the qualities of this major river as qualities fit for good poetry--depth, clarity, interesting gentleness, controlled strength, and measured fullness. In certain seasons, these might also be qualities of a successful faculty governing body, and I perceived them in my Senate colleagues as we worked over the past semester. During the fall, the Senate rolled like a mighty river through the hills and valleys of UNO campus life.

First of all, it passed almost the entire fall semester without talking with anxiety about the university budget--a welcome change from this time last year. Instead we had leisurely discussions on a number of other issues that presented themselves to our attention. Among these issues were the search committees for the new Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, the Dean of the College of Business, and the President of the University. The Rules Committee was kept busy finding nominees for all of these. In the end, the Faculty Senate representatives on the first will include Richard File, Philip Craiger, and Theresa Barron-McKeagney. The UNO Faculty representative on the last will be Ethel Williams. (B.J. Reed will represent the Administration.) Other Senate issues included the proposed proposed Happy Hollow Trail, administrative salaries, timely communication between the Administration and the Senate (Resolution 2700), travel support for junior faculty (Resolution 2712), and campus security.

During the October Senate meeting, the Senate created two new ad hoc committees, one on the proposed Emeritus College (Jerry Cederblom, Bill Blizek, Josie Metal-Corbin, and Mary Ann Lamanna) and one on Program Prioritization Review (Anne Coyne, Bruce Garver, and James Carroll). See Resolutions 2698 and 2699. Both of these committees began their work with vigor, and already the Emeritus College committee is planning a spring semester introductory breakfast for senior professors on the UNO campus. The Program Prioritization Committee will take feedback on the prioritization process gleaned from the Senate Retreat in August, make its own investigation, and suggest how the prioritization process can be improved the next time we go through it. This committee has been charged with creating a report with recommendations by the end of this academic year. The members have also been appointed to work on a parallel committee organized by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee under Becky Morris (Resolution 2706).

Also during October, the Committee on Academic and Curricular Affairs reviewed two proposals for new programs: the B.S. in Sociology (Organizational Sociology) and the B.S. in Bioinformatics. The committee recommended support for both new programs although it expressed some concern with respect to funding the Bioinformatics program once its start-up grants have expired. We conveyed those concerns to the Administration. In November, the senate approved resolutions supporting these two new programs. (Resolutions 2710 and 2711).

Perhaps the most comprehensive project for the year is our construction of a new Faculty Handbook. As reported in the last Review, this project has been undertaken by Henry D'Souza and his Faculty Personnel and Welfare Committee, with considerable input from other Senate standing committees and from various members of the Administration. Our office administrator, Sue Bishop, has taken charge of posting the handbook on the web. I am pleased to report that D'Souza and Bishop, who are doing a splendid job, have a working draft already up and running at http://avalon.unomaha.edu/facsen/facultyhandbook/index.htm. In the handbook one will find sections dealing with:

· Colleges and Departments of the University

· Governance of the University (with, for example, a link to the Bylaws of the Board of Regents)

· Terms and Conditions of Employment (with a link, for example, to the AAUP/Regents Contract)

· Rights and Responsibilities of the Professional Staff (with links, for example, to information on "Academic Freedom," "Academic Responsibility," and "Academic Evaluation")

· Fringe Benefits (with links, for example, to information on our medical insurance plan and to the "Employee and Dependent Scholarships")

· University Resources for Teaching and Research (with links, for example, to the Center for Faculty Development and to Sponsored Programs and Research)

· Miscellaneous Topics (with links, for example, for room reservations at the Milo Bail Student Center and at the Alumni Center), and

· Appendices, such as the "General Guidelines on Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure" and the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate.

There is much more on the page, and I invite faculty to discover these resources on their own. We hope this will become an indispensable resource for all faculty and are grateful for all the input and suggestions we have received so far. But it is still a work in progress. Please send any additional suggestions or comments to D'Souza, Bishop, or me.

This semester we thanked Vice Chancellors Mudd and Carrico for their service to UNO (Resolutions 2708 and 2709). We also welcomed two new senators from the College of Arts and Sciences, Frank Bramlett and Robert Smith. These senators replace Boyd Littrell and Jim Carroll. We thank the retiring senators for their service to the senate, and we welcome the new senators to our group. Jim Carroll, of course, will continue to be involved with the senate as our official parliamentarian, a role that he fills with great energy and exactitude.

On December 9th, the Executive Committee and Cabinet with meet with its Creighton counterparts in the Alumni Center to discuss issues of mutual concern. We hope that this will be an opportunity to help build bridges between our two campuses.

Finally, on behalf of the Faculty Senate, I wish you and yours a successful end of the semester and a very happy and safe holiday season!

Greg Sadlek
President