UNL ACADEMIC SENATE MEETING MINUTES


City Campus Union Centennial Room
December 3, 1996
President Peter Bleed Presiding


1.0 Call to Order

*President Bleed called the meeting to order at 2:33 pm.

2.0 Announcements

2.1 Pacemaker Award. Bleed congratulated the staff of the Daily Nebraskan for receiving the Pacemaker Award.
2.2 Faculty Contributions. Bleed reported on the status of the Academic Senate's contribution campaign. The Friends of the Faculty Senate account now totals over $2,200 and donations to the Schwartzkopf account are over $1,000. Contributions are encouraged.
2.3 Senate Office Staff. Bleed announced that Peggy Malzacher has been hired to fill the half-time staff secretary vacancy. She will begin her duties in January 1997 and is currently at the University of Nebraska-Kearney campus.
2.4 Big XII Meeting. Bleed reported on his recent attendance, with Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt, at the Big XII conference for academic senate presidents and provosts. The topic of post-tenure review was discussed as well as other academic issues. A new "Big XII Fellowship," will be initiated to stimulate faculty exchanges. Support for six faculty fellowships at $2,500 is planned.

3.0 Interim Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt

3.1 Kellogg Commission. Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt stated that Chancellor Moeser is currently attending a meeting of the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State Colleges and Land Grant Universities. The Kellogg Commission has a three-year initiative with five major objectives: student experience; access; engaged institutions beyond extension; learning society; and campus culture (taking charge of change). Chancellor Moeser has appointed an IANR National Advisory Board. This board will hold their first meeting December 3 and 4, 1996. The charge is to review and propose changes that land grant institutions must make regarding three program areas: molecular biology and biotechnology, natural resources, and outreach/service.
3.2 Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt reported on the status of the search for a new SVCAA. Four candidates are scheduled for interviews before the semester break. There will be open forums and staff receptions which all faculty may attend. The first of these candidates is Daniel Fallon, Professor of Psychology and public affairs in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland at College Park. He will be on campus to interview December 5 and 6. The second candidate is Richard C. Edwards, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, who will interview December 9 and 10. The third candidate is Risa Ileen Palm, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon. Her campus visit is scheduled for December 11 and 12. The fourth candidate is Harvey Perlman, Dean of the College of Law at UNL, who will interview December 16 and 17. Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt stated that two additional candidates are under consideration. Their interviews will be scheduled after these initial four.
3.3 Big XII Meeting of Provosts. Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt provided additional information regarding the Faculty Fellowships that Bleed had earlier announced. These fellowships will begin with the 1997 spring semester and are for a two-week duration with funding in the amount of $2,500. Additional information will be provided to college deans as soon as it becomes available.
Discussion. Wise, College of Law, inquired about faculty involvement in the Chancellor's drafting committee report on fully-promoted faculty evaluations. Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt stated that this document is currently in a very rough draft phase and he has just received comments from the college deans. There will be a full discussion of the document during a future senate meeting. Chancellor Moeser will only report on the progress of the document during the Board of Regents meeting on December 14. Omtvedt stated that Jose, Agricultural Economics, and Ford, English, serve on the drafting committee for faculty representation. Zorn, CBA, stated that several years ago he had debated with Jerry Petr regarding the unionization of faculty. At that time, he argued against unionization because of the tenure system. Zorn stated that he and other colleagues are prepared to change their minds about forming a UNL union if tenure comes under attack at the university. Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt stated that the document currently under construction is addressing the evaluation process of fully promoted faculty only. Roysircar-Sodowsky, Educational Psychology, stated that fully-promoted faculty in her department are concerned with the financial aspects of the periodic review process; specifically, awards for merit. Senior Vice Chancellor Omtvedt responded that he was somewhat surprised because he felt the positive aspects of the evaluation process had been fairly well received by faculty. He invited faculty to contact either Ford or Jose with concerns.

4.0 Committee Reports

4.1 Student Publications Board. Travis Brandt, UNL student and chair, reported on the board's activities highlighted in his report distributed to all senators. Brandt also stated that the Daily Nebraskan was one of only four recipients of the prestigious Pacemaker Award.
4.2 Computational Services & Facilities Committee. Clinton Rowe, Geography and chair, reported on the status of newsgroup subscriptions policy development for alt groups and the status of the university modem pool. Rowe stated that the modem pool will be phased out in favor of independent service providers.
Discussion: Fowler, Curriculum and Instruction, stated that alt groups had been banned years earlier by Doug Gale and should be a dead issue. Fowler stated that faculty need to be concerned about resources for the modem pool. He stated the committee should focus on issues stated in the 1995 CS&FC report such as campus wiring, the chaotic state of some services provided by Information Services and other issues. Chouinard, Mathematics and Statistics, inquired about the possibility of connecting to the net via faculty personal phone line. The benefit of this idea is a one-time expense versus on-going charges. Rowe stated that it is a violation to use personal phone lines from faculty offices.
4.3 and 4.4 University Judicial and Appeals Boards. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs James Griesen and Director of Student Affairs Linda Schwartzkopf presented the report for these two boards. In 1996, both the Judicial and Appeals Boards heard two cases each. The great majority of cases are dealt with administratively, according to Griesen. This process calls for Schwartzkopf to write to the student and have the student come into the Office of Student Affairs to speak with her. If the student does not comply with this request, a block is placed on his or her registration. Vice Chancellor Griesen reported that the Office of Student Affairs has complied with most of the recommendations put forth in a report by the Chancellor's Conduct and Behavioral Standards Task Force. Both he and Schwartzkopf meet with Ken Dewey and Jamie Mediger, faculty and student representatives on the Judicial Board, respectively.
Discussion: Jensen, Psychology, inquired about faculty access to the standards and precedents used by the Office of Student Affairs when handling a case administratively. Schwartkopf stated that these cases are confidential but are discussed with the Judicial Board representatives. Her office is in the process of entering these cases on a database which will produce reports that can be shared with the Judicial Board. The report will include violations and the sanctions imposed. Sartori, Physics and Astronomy, stated that an offense involving violence should not be handled administratively, as recommended by the Conduct and Behavioral Standards Task Force. He asked if this recommendation was being followed. Griesen stated the spirit of the recommendation was being carried out.

5.0 Approval of 11/5/96 Minutes

* The minutes of 11/5/96 were approved as amended.

6.0 Honorary Degree Approval

* Marilyn Grady, Educational Administration and chair of the Honorary Degrees Committee, explained the balloting process for the five candidates nominated to receive honorary doctoral degrees. These ballots, in envelopes marked confidential, were distributed to senators for voting.

7.0 Motion on Periodic Review of Tenured Faculty Document

* Latta, Libraries, stated that the Periodic Review of Tenured Faculty document, submitted by the Senate Executive Committee, had been developed in compliance with university guidelines and bylaws.
Discussion: Coyne, Horticulture, stated that the process of periodic review of fully promoted faculty is unnecessary and is desirable for peer review of those faculty with unsatisfactory performance only. Coyne stated that, present political realities aside, this process is a waste of time and funds for both faculty and the university. Roysircar-Sodowsky, speaking on behalf of the fully-promoted faculty within her department of Educational Psychology, agreed with Coyne's assessment of the process. Bleed called for a vote. The Periodic Review of Tenured Faculty document passed unanimously.

8.0 Motion on Proposed Amendment to the Board of Regents Bylaws

* Sartori presented a substitute motion from the Executive Committee to Wise's motion from the November 5 senate meeting. Wise accepted the motion as a friendly amendment. The motion states; "The Academic Senate endorses the amendment to the By-laws of the Board of Regents proposed by Regent Charles Wilson. our endorsement is predicated on the understanding that, as stipulated in a legal opinion issued by the University's legal counsel, By-law 2.12.2 guarantees the Senate's right to appeal to the Board in cases that involve the status of individual faculty members." Bleed stated this reference to By-law section 2.12.2 is supported by General Counsel Richard Wood in a letter dated 11/27/96.

Discussion. Jensen inquired as to the impact of the Board of Regents bylaws change. McShane, English, and ARRC member, stated that it would eliminate the potential for frivolous appeals from individual faculty members because the right of appeal to the Regents would rest with the appropriate senate committee, i.e., through recommendations of the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee. Harbison, Chemistry, inquired whether both academic freedom and status of tenure were included and, separately, why the senate was not asking for tabling the Board of Regents motion to amend the By-laws given Chancellor Moeser's proposal to present an alternative process of faculty appeal. McShane answered that both academic freedom and the status of tenure were issues for appeal. McShane explained that the Chancellor's proposal is a separate matter. The Board of Regents By-law change only affects the UNL appeals process. The Chancellor's proposal deals with how he will handle appeals. McShane stated that a faculty member's academic peers (the department) should be involved and that off campus peer evaluation is part of the process. Harbison stated that oftentimes the department's recommendations are overruled in tenure cases. McShane stated that, generally, there are procedural problems involved in these cases and that section 2.12.2 of the BOR by-laws is designed to address these. Bleed called for a vote. The motion and friendly amendment passed with some dissent.

9.0 Unfinished Business * No unfinished Business.

10.0 New Business

The meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m. The next Senate meeting will be January 14, 1997 at the Clifford Hardin Nebraska Center, East Campus. Respectfully submitted, Julie Albrecht, secretary.

RETURN to Senate Minutes Index