EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Sawyer, Whitt,
Absent: Peterson, Siekman, Spann
Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2002
1.0 Call to Order (Miller)
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:06 pm.
2.1 Donation to Schwartzkopf Foundation Account
Griffin announced that a donation of $9,500.00 was given to the Schwartzkopf foundation account. She stated that the donation is a gift from the Hazel L. Smith estate. The Schwartzkopf foundation account supports the activities of the Academic Senate. Miller stated that he will announce the donation at the October 1st Senate meeting.
3.0 Ryan Wilkins and Michelle Schrage, ASUN
Schrage reported that Wilkins was unable to make the meeting due to a class conflict. She reported that the ASUN will be sponsoring a debate between the two candidates (current Regent Charles Wilson and Tony Ojeda) for the District 1 seat on the Board of Regents. She stated that the event will take place on Tuesday, October 1st at 7:30 pm in the City Campus Union Auditorium.
Schrage stated that the students are happy that the budget cuts did not affect any academic programs. She stated that students are concerned that more budget cuts would result in elimination of academic programs. She reported that students are alarmed at the large amount of money cut from the summer sessions budget. She pointed out that many students rely on summer session classes so they can graduate on time.
Schrage reported that a particular concern for students is the possibility of another tuition increase. Miller asked what the reactions of students would be to another tuition increase. Schrage stated that all students are concerned, but it seems to have greater impact for current students who are used to paying a certain amount for tuition. She pointed out that an increase is a real pull on everyones pocket. Wolf stated that some students are comparing the tuition at UNL with community colleges. He noted that increasing the tuition rate continues to price whole groups of potential students who simply cannot afford it out of receiving an education. Bryant suggested that the university should check into trying to increase financial aid.
Wunder pointed out that UNL was able to avoid major catastrophes for a few months but that future reductions could result in academic programs being cut. Schrage stated that the ASUN was happy to hear the Senate supports academic programs. Sawyer suggested that the Senate and the ASUN should work together in January to try to avoid further cuts. Schrage stated that the ASUN is planning to hold a huge rally in January to support the university. King asked what the catalyst will be to get that to happen. Schrage stated that if the university gets hit hard again with budget cuts then students will come out to support the university. She stated that the students need to be proactive. She reported that all of the senators of ASUN will be involved in working to get students involved in opposing further budget cuts.
Wolf suggested that the ASUN and the faculty could work on reviewing and revising the procedures to strengthen the Academic Planning Committees role when dealing with cutting academic programs. Wunder stated that the current procedures are fine for now because no academic program cuts have been made yet. He pointed out that this may very well change in January. He noted that it is important for the APC to have a strong voice in recommendations made regarding academic program cuts. He stated that the Senate is organizing a committee to take a careful look at APC procedures and that because the Senate and ASUN must both approve procedures for APC that involve reductions-in-force, ASUN might appoint several student members to this committee. Schrage said she thought this is a good idea and would work to appoint student members.
Schrage stated that the ASUN plans to urge students to attend the APC hearings on budget cuts. She stated that ASUN wants students to know and understand that they have a voice that needs to be heard by administrators. King suggested that the ASUN should continue to keep bus transportation for students an issue. He reminded Schrage that the ASUN needs to keep in touch with the east campus students.
Bryant asked if students care much about the research being conducted at UNO on stem cells. He pointed out that it is being made into a major campaign issue in one of the Board of Regents elections. Schrage stated that students have strong opinions on either side of the issue and will voice their concerns. She noted that the ASUN hopes to educate students regarding the Regents election.
4.0 Approval of 9/4/02 Minutes
Bryant moved and Wolf seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 Budget Cuts
Miller asked King what the reaction was to the budget cuts on east campus. King stated that most people thought the Institute would be hit harder then it was with the cuts. He stated that the cuts are providing Dean Dickey with the opportunity to restructure Cooperative Extension. He noted that there is concern over the next round of cuts and what will be eliminated. He reported that he has heard that the research office might change some people from a 12 month appointment to a 9 month appointment. He noted that academic programs were left untouched on east campus.
Wunder asked about the merger of Conservation & Survey with the School of Natural Resources and whether the head of Conservation would take over as director of SNRS. King responded that he was unaware of who will become director of the school. Wunder asked about the hotel and whether it would be a suitable facility for the SNRS. King stated that if renovated it should be a good facility. He pointed out that laboratory space will need to be added for it to be used by the school.
DiMagno reported that the Chemistry department was unaware that the Chemistry branch library was going to be cut. He stated that he would like to get information on how the branch libraries were selected for termination. He pointed out that many faculty members work on research grants late in the evenings or during the weekends when Love Library is unavailable for use. He stated that perhaps the closing of the branch libraries would eventually be replaced by a science library. He noted that top research institutions all have branch libraries in connection with their Chemistry departments. He pointed out that not all journals are available on line and often faculty members need articles from years past which are only available in print.
Logan Peters stated that not even the library staff knew of the cuts to the branch libraries. She pointed out that positions will need to be sacrificed in order to create the storage facility that will house all of the materials from the branches. She noted that these are long-term savings, not immediate savings. She stated that a donor would more than likely have to be found in order for a science library to be built. Griffin asked when the libraries would be closing. Logan Peters stated that they would not be able to close until the storage facility is built.
Wunder asked if the two professors cut were untenured. Bryant reported that they were on tenure track lines. He noted that both have been given other positions within the university. Wunder pointed out that it is important to hear from the extension faculty members concerning this latest round of cuts. He noted that extension seemed to take the largest cut out of IANRs pool.
Miller pointed out that some of the budget cuts presented an opportunity to close things that no longer fit into modern technology. He noted that on-line courses have made parts of the Division of Continuing Studies and the learning centers outdated. Fuller pointed out that the people in western Nebraska are being greatly impacted by the services being cut by the university.
Wolf asked if there was a way that the committee could its voice to calling for a repeal of LB775 which is giving huge amounts of state dollars to large corporations. Miller stated that between now and January the faculty need to be politically involved. Bryant asked whether the group should have lunch with some senators. Miller suggested inviting some senators to speak to the committee.
Bryant noted that it is important for the committee to find out what kind of changes will be made with summer session classes. He stated that the committee needs to follow up on putting salary caps on faculty who teach summer courses and on eliminating administrative stipends.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Executive Committee Goals
The committee continued to work on revising the goals for this year. Suggestions were made and another draft of the goals will be sent for review.
Wunder stated that the committee must take the lead at getting more faculty members to attend graduation ceremonies. He pointed out that many citizens of the state of Nebraska attend these ceremonies and it is important for the faculty to be involved with graduation. Fuller suggested that chairs should be required to attend.
7.0 New Business
7.1 Probation Policies
7.2 Undergraduate Experience
Wunder reported that the Starbucks coffee shop that was set up in Oldfather is now being operated by Pepsi. He stated that Pepsi complained that it was a violation of their contract to have Starbucks, or other companies, competing with their business. He suggested that the committee needs to discuss the Pepsi contract with VC Jackson. Griffin stated that the committee will be meeting with VC Jackson on September 25th and that this could be an agenda item.
7.4 Gallup Workshop
Miller reported that he and Logan Peters attended the Gallup workshop on the climate survey. He noted that the climate survey is based on a survey developed by Marcus Buckingham.
Logan Peters reported that the facilitators were trained for two days. She noted that the facilitators will work with the chairs on how to maintain and continue discussions on the survey. She stated that each chair is required to hold a discussion with his or her department and will need to focus on two issues.
Miller pointed out that we are the first university to be doing this study. DiMagno pointed out that the faculty and staff were not informed that they were rating their own chair. Fuller suggested that the committee should ask the Chancellor what the cost is for doing this survey.
Logan Peters pointed out that some questions cannot be dealt with at the department level because they are really campus-wide issues, called elevated issues. Miller noted that the database of information on this survey is based on corporations. He pointed out that faculty are more like independent contractors than employees of a corporation.
Fuller suggested that a future agenda item should be the implication of the land grant mission shifting from UNL to the UN system.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:02 pm. The next meeting of the Academic Senate Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 at 3:00 pm, Academic Senate Office. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Secretary.