UNL ACADEMIC SENATE MEETING MINUTES

East Campus Union, Great Plains Room

January 15, 2002

Presidents Miles Bryant, Tice Miller and Sheila Scheideler Presiding


 

1.0          Call to Order

                President Bryant called the meeting to order at 2:35 p.m.

 

2.0          Announcements

                2.1       Degree Grade Rosters for Athletes

President Bryant reported that faculty members were surprised to see student athletes’ names on degree grade rosters for the fall semester.  He noted that this practice is being imposed on the campus by the Big 12 conference.  The purpose of this is to insure that student athletes are eligible to play in post semester games.  Bryant suggested that faculty interested in more details concerning this decision, should refer to the December 12th Executive Committee minutes that can be found on the Senate web page.

 

                2.2          Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women

Bryant reported that a Gender Equity Salary Advisory committee has been formed to look at the way in which the university calculates the difference between male and female salaries.  Members of the subcommittee are: Professors Parkhurst, McGarvey, Fulginiti, and Marx.

 

3.0          Chancellor Perlman

                3.1          Issues on the Horizon

Chancellor Perlman reported that the budget reduction process is on schedule.  He stated that the Vice Chancellors submitted their initial recommendations to him on January 15th.  He stated that he will work on the recommendations with the Vice Chancellors over the next two weeks and will present a final set of the recommendations on February 5th.  He stated that he would like to make a presentation to the Senate on the 5th and will give figures and explanations at that time. 

 

Chancellor Perlman stated that he invited faculty members to discuss the link between faculty salary increases and the budget reductions but he pointed out that there will be a number of opportunities for faculty to discuss the issue.  He noted that faculty would be better informed and they would be able to have more in depth discussions on this topic after February 5th.  He pointed out that the Academic Planning Committee would be holding hearings during the month of February on the cuts and that it is possible to present different alternatives at that time. 

 

                Prioritization Programs

Chancellor Perlman stated that the campus needs to move forward on the priority programs.  He stated that a call was made to the identified programs inviting them to submit pre proposals for funding.  He noted that 55 pre proposals were submitted and reviewed by the Academic Planning Committee.  He stated that about 10 programs were identified by the APC and that these programs have been asked to submit full proposals.  He noted that he added 5 additional programs because he felt they are central to the further development of the university.  He stated that a list of the 15 identified programs can be found on the Academic Affairs web page.  

 

Chancellor Perlman pointed out that funding the priority programs is an effort to build the university and to advance the campus.  He stated that he will be involved in conversations with the programs and that he is striving to get the best possible proposals forward.  He stated that he would make budget decisions with funds earmarked for the enhancement of programs. 

 

Chancellor Perlman noted that 44 programs did not make the first cut but he pointed out that this is only the first group of enhancement programs.  He stated that decisions to put programs forward were based in part, on where it was felt that real enhancements can be made.  He noted that some of the programs can apply for grants outside of the university and he stated that the administration is willing to help in rewriting these proposals. 

 

                Quality Indicators

Chancellor Perlman reported that the UNL Quality Indicators were presented to the Board of Regents at their December meeting.  He pointed out that the indicators were described as tentative and that it was explained that discussions with the campus have not been held regarding the quality indicators.  He stated that he hopes to engage the colleges in discussions on the indicators.  He noted that while he is reasonably comfortable with the list, he realizes that they will impose some burden on the colleges and departments to gather the information.  He pointed out that this information should be collected and maintained so that there would be some mechanism to measure success.

 

                Climate Survey

Chancellor Perlman reported that the administration is making progress on the climate survey.  He stated that they have received two proposals from outside consultants who have expertise in this area and who also do training programs on the climate of the workplace.  He stated that he hopes the survey can be conducted during this semester.

 

4.0          Vice Chancellor Griesen - UNL Scholarships

Vice Chancellor Griesen distributed information on the various scholarships and financial aid available to UNL students.  He noted that the majority of the funding for Academic Aid Need Based scholarships and loans came from federal sources.  He stated that the report indicates that the amount of scholarships received by students is low in comparison to other means of financing education.  He reported that the University does have strong benefactors, such as the Kiewit Foundation, which provides over $1 million a year in scholarships.  He stated that UNL campus-wide scholarships for freshmen includes the following scholarships:

 

 Regents Scholarship, which covers tuition for four years provided that a GPA of 3.5 is maintained;

 

                Nebraska Top Scholars, which covers tuition plus $1,500 per year for four years provided that a GPA of 3.5 is maintained;

 

Distinguished Scholars which awards $1,000 a year up to four years provided that a GPA of 3.5 is maintained;

 

David Scholars which awards $1,000 a year up to four years provided that a GPA of 3.5 is maintained;

 

and the Canfield Scholars, which awards $1,000 for one year only.

 

Professor Dillon, Electrical Engineering, asked if the renewal GPA was based on cumulative or yearly GPA.  VC Griesen stated that it is based on the cumulative GPA for the year.  He noted that this is slightly higher than other schools require.  He stated that he is making a proposal to increase the number of Regents Scholarships by 25%.  President Elect Miller asked what is the cost of the Honors Program.  VC Griesen stated that it cost just short of $1 million.  Professor Martikainen, South Central Research & Extension, asked what the retention rate is for students awarded scholarships.  VC Griesen stated that they do not have that information, although he believes it is approximately 70% for freshmen and that the retention rate increases as students progress through the university. 

 

Professor Diffendal, Conservation & Survey Division, asked what efforts the foundation makes to obtain more money for scholarships.  VC Griesen stated that the foundation works to increase scholarship funds and that they have worked to get matching funds to increase the availability of scholarships.  Professor Prochaska Cue, Family & Consumer Sciences, asked if the students are being provided with any financial education that emphasizes the important value of how loans are paid back and the impact of personal finances.  Craig Munier, Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid, stated that students are given information when they leave, in particular, they are presented with alternative ways of paying off their

 

student loans.  VC Griesen stated that the staff also talk to students and will go to classes to discuss finances and the college student.

 

5.0          Approval of 12/4/01 Minutes

Professor Brand, Chemical Engineering, moved and Professor Prochaska Cue, Family and Consumer Sciences, seconded approval of the minutes.  Motion approved.

 

6.0          Committee Reports

                6.1          Academic Planning Committee (Professor Nielsen)

Professor Nielsen reported that the APC was involved in eight academic program reviews and received reports on five program reviews.  He stated that the APC gave approval to the idea of building a second parking garage but not the funding.  He stated that they have asked VC Jackson to present a plan for alternative means of funding the garage.  He stated that the committee recommended three new academic programs and two new centers to the Chancellor for approval.  He noted that the committee spent considerable time reviewing the academic priority program pre proposals that were submitted.  He stated that APC approved 10 of these proposals.  He pointed out that the committee will not have as extensive a review of the full proposals because they will be involved with the budget cut hearings.  He stated that the committee is working on developing the process and schedule for the budget cut hearings to be held in February.

               

7.0          Recognition of Emeriti Professor Bob Brown

The Academic Senate awarded Emeriti Professor Bob Brown with a plaque for his efforts to support equity and social justice at the University. 

 

8.0          Unfinished Business

                8.1          Budget Reductions and Faculty Salary Increases

                President Bryant stated that the floor was open to discussion on this issue.  Professor Martikainen stated, in keeping with the Senate guidelines, he wanted to present a resolution to be considered during the February 5th meeting.  The resolution dealing with the budget cuts proposes  “...that the University of Nebraska Lincoln Academic Senate requests University of Nebraska Administration explore all budget reduction options prior to a reduction in force, including the possibility of minimal or delayed salary increases for faculty and administrative positions at all levels, with both categories of employment to be treated in like fashion.”  Resolution seconded by Professor Bauer, West Central Research & Extension.  Professor Ford, English, stated that the English department met to discuss the issue and had written a statement opposing the use of the faculty salary increases to offset the budget cuts at this time.  The statement declared that “there was some agreement that we might reconsider this possibility when more information is available” and “faculty members questioned the justice and equity of reducing the budgeted raise, as this would impact people differently and in some cases exacerbate both recent and longstanding problems.”  Furthermore, “we cannot continually ask our faculty to shoulder the brunt of inadequate funding of the University of Nebraska and still expect improvements in the quality of education and research.”

 

Professor Keith, Entomology, stated that a number of issues need to be looked at.  He pointed out that people do not want to give up a salary increase but they do not want to see a reduction in personnel that could interfere with the mission of the university.  He pointed out that there needs to be discussion on the subject and that no decision should be made today.  He suggested that the Senate might want to call an emergency session to deliberate further on this issue after the budget cuts are made public on February 5th.

 

Brent Stanfield, ASUN, stated that he appreciated the resolution.  However, he pointed out that the student government supported increasing tuition by 10% in order to help with faculty salaries.  He stated that he believed students would not want to see faculty lose their increase after students supported the tuition increase.

 

Past President Scheideler noted that there needs to be open discussion on the issue.  She pointed out that giving up the increase could have a long-term impact on faculty.  She noted that some programs can adapt to the budget reductions and that programs could be reinstated once the economic situation improves.  President Bryant stated that the resolution would be voted upon at the next meeting.  Professor Keith asked whether there would be an additional meeting next month after the budget cuts are announced.  President Bryant stated that this decision would be made at the February 5th meeting.

 

9.0          New Business

                No new business was discussed.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.  The next meeting of the Academic Senate will be on Tuesday, February 5th at 2:30 p.m. at the City Campus Union, in the Auditorium.  The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Senate Secretary.