UNL ACADEMIC SENATE MEETING MINUTES
Room 127 Architecture Hall
April 8, 1997
President Peter Bleed Presiding
1.0 Call to Order*President Bleed called the meeting to order at 2:40 pm.
2.0 Announcements2.1 Slate of Nominees. Bleed announced that the nomination process for seats on the Executive Committee and Committee on Committees is now complete. Bios of nominees will be mailed to all senators on April 15, two weeks prior to the April 29 Senate meeting election.
2.2 NBC Reception. Bleed announced that the National Bank of Commerce has agreed to host a reception for new and returning senators directly following the April 29th senate meeting, in conjunction with the reception to honor the recipient of the Academic Freedom Award.
2.3 UAAD/UNOPA/UNL Human Resources Professional Development Seminar. Bleed announced that D'Vee Buss, President of the University Association for Administrative Development, and UAAD Senate Representative, had brought information to the meeting regarding a two half-day seminars presented by Ian Percy. The seminars will be held April 22 and 23. Faculty members are welcome and encouraged to attend these seminars.
3.0 Chancellor Moeser3.1 Ledbetter Report on Campus Climate for Women Athletes. Chancellor Moeser announced that Dr. Ledbetter, Brown University, who was contracted as an outside consultant to conduct a study concerning the climate for women athletes, has completed her report and will present it today at 4:00 p.m. at a public media conference.
3.2 North Central Association (NCA) Accreditation Team. Chancellor Moeser announced that UNL is currently undergoing the accreditation process and faculty will have an opportunity to meet with the NCA team members on April 15. There will be simultaneous sessions on both City and East Campuses at 4:00 p.m. He thanked the faculty who have worked hard to write this report.
3.3 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Certification. Chancellor Moeser said that a first draft report is expected in early May regarding the NCAA certification for the athletic program.
3.4 Sigma Chi Incident. Chancellor Moeser stated that the Sigma Chi fraternity cross burning incident, although unfortunate, has served as a catalyst for improved communication and interaction among the university and Lincoln community. Chancellor Moeser encouraged faculty to find ways to weave into their class lectures topics about human rights and respect for minority groups and to take advantage of opportunities to foster understanding among our diverse campus staff, faculty, and students.
3.5 Nebraska State Legislature. Chancellor Moeser briefly reported that there were indications for a positive outcome to the university budget appropriations process currently before the legislature. However, he declined to comment further until the process is complete.
3.6 Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee. Chancellor Moeser stated that he will be meeting with this committee concerning salary increases, which are expected to be an average of three percent.
3.7 Budget Reallocation Process. Chancellor Moeser stated that he will meet Wednesday, April 9 with the Budget Advisory Committee and the Academic Planning Committee concerning the budget reallocation determination. He noted that the process has been very collegial and demonstrated shared governance at its best.
3.8 Board of Regents. The Board of Regents has accepted the new student technology fee, which will begin at $2 per credit hour and gradually increase to $5 per credit hour over time. The increase is in response to students' requests for 24-hour access to library computer service as well as compatible computer software campus-wide and computer lab service and support. The new fees are expected to generate over $1 million at the $2/credit hour rate.
Discussion. Bleed asked about the status of the Nebraska Research Initiative (NRI) funding. Chancellor Moeser that, in the past, both UNMC and UNL have received the lion's share of these funds and he is confident that this will continue because of their primary research roles. However, NRI grant funds cannot be considered as any type of entitlement and competitive proposals will be submitted and approved on an ongoing basis. Faculty on tenure-track lines who currently are supported with NRI funds will be moved to regular state funded lines.
4.0 Approval of 3/4/97 Minutes* Hostetler, Curriculum and Instruction, moved to approve the minutes from the March 4th senate meeting as amended from a request by Swenseth, Management. Bryant, Educational Administration, seconded. Minutes approved as amended.
5.0 Committee Reports5.1 Employee Benefits. Chair Adams, Libraries, distributed the Employee Benefits Committee report and highlighted their current issues. These included the tight timetable for the medical, dental, and pharmacy bid process, developing a parental leave policy, and long-term disability requirements. Tuition remission for dependents and hiring a benefits counselor are both current and future priorities. Another future priority is to oversee mental health parity developments.
Discussion. Hallbeck, Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, inquired about the $2 million cap over a lifetime for employee health insurance. Hallbeck stated this amount is too small and it should be unlimited. Adams stated that it had just been raised from the previous $1 million amount and negotiating an unlimited amount over a lifetime is unlikely at this point.
5.1.1 Recommendations from the Employee Benefits Committee for implementation at UNL. Bleed introduced McGarvey, Economics, and a Employee Benefits member, and stated that this committee had two proposals that now are brought to the senate as a seconded motion. McGarvey, on behalf of the Employee Benefits Committee, introduced two separate proposals regarding disability leave and parental leave.. The first is in reference to a disability leave policy from section IV.H of the Faculty Handbook. The committee recommends that the following paragraph be removed: b) The amount required, if any amount be required, to pay any substitute who has performed all or any part of the work of the incapacitated staff member. Substitutes shall be selected by the President or the Chancellor, as appropriate. Whether such a substitute shall receive pay for such work performed or be permitted to substitute gratuitously for the incapacitated staff member shall be determined by the President or the Chancellor, as appropriate.
Discussion. Jose, Agricultural Economics, asked how long this disability policy had been in place. McGarvey was uncertain as she had heard conflicting reports with regard to the actual implementation of the policy. However, the intent of the committee is to eliminate it entirely from the document as this qualifier is an infringement of the disability leave benefit.
The second issue is the creation of a parental leave policy for academic employees. Their proposal allows for eight weeks with pay for a female employee (two weeks for child rearing and six weeks for recovery associated with the birth); two weeks leave with pay for male employees who are adopting or whose partner is giving birth; and two weeks for a female employee who is adopting.
Discussion. Jensen, Psychology, took exception to some of the wording. McGarvey explained that they had used a document from the University of Minnesota as a model. Sartori, Physics and Astronomy, asked if it was the intention of the committee to offer the parental leave only to married academic employees. McGarvey stated that no, the leave was not meant to be exclusive. Ferguson, English, stated that paragraph two did exclude lesbians by the wording for eligibility. McGarvey stated that perhaps combining the last two paragraphs might be appropriate and they will have a revised proposal to present to the senate during the April 29 meeting. Bhattacharya, Computer Science and Engineering, asked if the proposed leave would be a benefit requested or automatically granted. Adams answered that the idea is to provide a minimum leave amount for employees.
5.2 Graduate Council. As a representative of the Graduate Council, Associate Dean Ortega stood for questions regarding a previously distributed report from the council. Sartori inquired about the progress of the Executive Graduate Council to implement a separate graduate degree for the UNL campus. Dean Ortega stated this issue had unanimously passed and was now before the Academic Planning Committee.
5.3 Academic Freedom Award. Chair Wise, Law, reported that the Academic Freedom Award committee had received two nominations for the 1997 James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award. The committee was bringing one name forward for a vote of the senate. Parsons, Agricultural Education Communication and Leadership, inquired about the criteria used by the committee to ascertain suitable nominees. Wise stated that there are four criteria the committee uses as a guideline, which she did not have with her at present. However, Wise stated the committee views the nominee's acts in support or defense of academic freedom as a whole over time to demonstrate ongoing significant support of academic freedom.
6.0 Academic Freedom Award Nomination* Wise distributed the confidential ballot for the 1997 Academic Freedom Award nominee. The senate was asked to endorse the committee's approval of the nominee. Ballots were collected after the voting process and will be counted after the meeting.
7.0 Recognition of Senators with Term Completions* Bleed distributed certificates of appreciation to those senators who have completed their terms on the senate. He noted that some senators would be returning and that others who are serving on the Executive Committee and will continue service until April 23, will receive their certificates during the April 29 meeting.
8.0 Unfinished Business8.1 Pending Motions: Committee on Committees. Motion #1: The CoC shall make the necessary changes in the Syllabus of Senate Committees to reflect: 1) the name change of the College of Home Economics to the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences, and 2) the number of colleges from "eight" to "nine" to include the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
Approved by senate.
Motion #2: To permit a member of the Employee Benefits Committee to be reappointed for a second consecutive term. Approved by senate.
Motion #3: To increase the number of alternate members serving on the Dismissal Appeals Committee membership from three to six.
Approved by senate.
Motion #4: The Faculty Salary Advisory Committee shall be renamed the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee. Chouinard introduced a substitute amendment concerning the use of the term compensation and maintaining the word "salary" in the syllabus description. Chouinard added a sentence under the responsibilities section; For these purposes, each faculty member's compensation shall be regarded as including salary and those benefits where that faculty member actually receives clear and well defined monetary value from the benefit. Motion was seconded by Jensen.
Discussion. Zorn, Economics, took exception to the qualifier, "well-defined" as not being arbitrary. Leonard, Southeast Research and Extension Center, a chair of the Committee on Committees who brought the original motion forth during the March 4 meeting, stated she and some other CoC members had misgivings about the original motion which they had been charged to bring forward from Ford, Chair of the Faculty Salary Advisory Committee, regarding striking the word "salary" and the connotation of compensation to benefits. Parsons stated he felt uncomfortable when the senate was not heeding the advice of an economics expert regarding the broad term "compensation" as including both salary and benefits. Ferguson stated that many people do equate compensation with benefits and consider salary as a distinctly separate issue. Hallbeck moved to amend Chouinard's substitute motion to include the word "total" before the term "compensation" whenever it occurred in the motion. Chouinard accepted this suggestion as a friendly amendment. Pederson, Conservation and Survey Division, moved to postpone a vote on the Chouinard motion. Parsons seconded Pederson's motion. The senate voted not to postpone and the discussion was continued. Swenseth asked what the difference would be between the Employee Benefits and Faculty Compensation committees. Mayo, Entomology and member of the Employee Benefits committee, explained that their committee is for both faculty and staff and is concerned with more detailed benefits. Jose moved to amend a sentence from the Chouinard motion. Seconded by Lingren, Family and Consumer Sciences. Motion failed. Members voted on the Chouinard motion with the friendly amendment by Hallbeck. Motion passed.
8.2 Status of Post Tenure Review. Latta, Libraries, a member of the Chancellor's drafting committee for a policy of post tenure review, stated that a nine-member committee has been formed and they have met once. During that meeting, they agreed that their draft would amend the existing guidelines for review and they are currently reviewing a plan from the University of Kentucky. Another meeting will soon be scheduled and they hope to have a draft by the 4/29/97 senate meeting.
Discussion. Jensen asked if the senate would be able to act on the draft at that time and Bleed stated the intent was to do so. Jensen suggests that every effort be made to get the draft document out to senators prior to the April 29th senate meeting. Zorn asked if the group was looking at supervisor recommendation guidelines to avoid the possibility of arbitrary recommendations. Latta stated that is the case. Bleed stated that this committee is being chaired by Dean Darrell Nelson, IANR Agricultural Research Division, and a member of the previous drafting committee.
9.0 New Business
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m. The next Senate meeting will be April 29, 1997 in the Great Plains Room of the East Campus Student Union. Respectfully submitted, Julie Albrecht, Secretary.