EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bender, Bryant, Jackson, Latta, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Whitt
Absent: Scheideler, Fuller, Humes, Siekman, Zorn
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2000
1.0 Call to Order
Bryant called the meeting to order at 2:37 PM.
2.1 Board of Regents Meeting
Bryant indicated that he, Latta and Scheideler attended the June meeting. Bryant reported on the following issues:
2.1.1 Health Containment
The status and new costs associated with Health Care Benefits will evolve and be developed over the summer.
2.1.2 Peer Per Student State Support
The regents are concerned about and wish to close the gap in peer institution per-student state support. The average peer support level is $14,298/student while state support at NU is $13,481.
2.1.3 Salary Request
The Regents will be making a salary request of 5.22% rather than the originally intended amount of 4.65%. This request will allow the projected 4-year plan to move NU faculty salaries to the midpoint of our peers to move forward.
2.1.4 Retirement Fund
The Regents have elected to make no attempt to raise NUs retirement fund contribution from 7.5% to 8%.
2.1.5 Campus Prioritization Plans
Latta is our representative on this committee. The Regents wish this process to stay on track.
2.1.6 Class Notes and Other Actions
The resolution that requires students to obtain permission prior to selling lecture notes ("University of Nebraska Policy on Recordings and Commercial Distribution of Course Notes") passed. Latta indicated that an active effort needs to take place to ensure that students are aware of their obligation(s).
The action to merge the Agronomy and Horticulture departments was debated and also passed. Several outside constituent groups spoke against the merger; potential savings and efficiencies related to the merger were also discussed. Latta noted that the Revision of the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee Procedures of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was approved. This revision covers, among other items, the responsibility of University Officials to appropriately investigate and act upon acts or allegations of illegal discrimination. In addition, it was noted that the Regents intend to seek outside support for Research and Minority student scholarships.
2.2 Scheideler Meeting with Interim Chancellor Designate Perlman
Bryant reported the President Scheideler had a positive meeting with IC-D Perlman. Perlman indicated to Scheideler that no reallocation process was envisioned for the coming year. In addition, Perlman stated he wants to move forward during his tenure and has priorities in the following areas: a) new student recruitment b) a discussion on the findings of the Life Sciences and Future NE task forces, c) development of a common vision for distance education, d) AARC process review, and to e) encourage the campus to rebuild its political base.
3.0 Travel Contract (Vogel)
[Because of confusion regarding the meeting location, Jim Vogel did not attend]
4.0 Interim Chancellor Designate Perlman
Interim Chancellor Designate Perlman indicated that the Academic Senates priorities seemed worthwhile and that he was supportive. Perlman also indicated he was supportive of strong faculty governance. IC-D Perlman noted that during his August 18th State of the University speech he would outline many of his priorities. Perlman stated that this interim time period would be an opportunity to get things done, especially issues/policies where consensus could be reached. The IC-D outlined several potential priority areas where consensus should be reachable. Perlman indicated that the Life Sciences Report indicated that there was a need to coordinate the Life Sciences in regard to both research & curriculum. Perlman indicated he wants to initiate discussions on how we can move from our current status to where we would like to be (i.e., develop a plan). In regard to the Futures task force, he plans to invite the Deans and the Faculty Senate to solicit faculty comments in the mid-October time frame.
Bryant asked if there were units/offices where the organization was not functioning well and whether there is a process for providing input from the Academic Senate or Executive Committee. Perlman suggested that if the Academic Senate has issues, that it would be ideal to have them ready in July so that they can be addressed in the State of the University address. The IC-D also suggested that issues could be brought to his attention anytime during the year.
Perlman indicated that student retention/graduation rate is an issue/concern he shares with the Board of Regents. UNL currently does not have the numbers it should, but the IC-D indicated that we have the people in place to get the job done. Perlman suggested that the Senate provide input on what mechanism can be established to ensure faculty involvement without overburdening or taking away large blocks of time from other scholarly activities. Miller asked how the current numbers were tracking. Perlman indicated that we need to do better, although the return rates are looking better. Miller asked if information was available regarding why we were losing students. Perlman indicated that he plans to ask that question, and that this information needs to come from students. Perlman suggested that Faculty/Administrators perceptions of how to retain students may or may not be accurate and that we need to interact with students on this issue. Bryant concurred that we need to use students in this process.
Perlman suggested that the Intellectual Property Policy document could use some reorganization/re-writing. He indicated that an email was sent to Central Administration with his suggestions for improvement of the documents organization structure. Perlman noted that once a clearer draft was obtained, he hoped a discussion with faculty could be initiated. The IC-D indicated that he views that 1) Independent works should be owned by faculty, 2) Institutional works (such as class.com) should be owned by NU, 3) Sponsored works should be governed by the sponsorship agreement, and that a default policy should be developed when the sponsorship agreement does not address intellectual property issues, 4) General works, i.e., when NU facilities are used, the University should have an interest, except in regard to traditional academic works [Perlman indicated that clearly granting faculty rights to traditional academic works is an issue that helps the University compete for faculty], and 5) Patient and Software rights should be clarified under the General Works section(s). Latta indicated that she was pleased that Perlman was interested in seeing this issue resolved and that it not be moved forward to the Board of Regents until additional drafts and discussions were held. Miller asked if these issues were different from those faced by other institutions. Perlman indicated that the issues were the same, although different institutions may choose to draft differing policies. He elaborated that as value shifts from tangible to intangible goods, Universities have a unique opportunity as we produce intangible goods (knowledge/information). We need a clear policy so that the University can best exploit this value. Latta noted that while the ownership of the High School curriculum of Class.com is quite clear, ownership rights for curricula produced by faculty is not.
Bryant inquired about the status of Distance Education initiatives. Miller rhetorically questioned why Distance Education was a Great Thing and pointed out that an intelligent, well thought-out plan is needed for its development at the University. Perlman suggested that a plan would be a start, and such a plan should be in full force within 3 years. The IC-D indicated that the global marketplace for distance education has created incentives to move quickly. Bryant pointed out that faculty need assistance in this area and that the student fees structure is an issue. Perlman noted that, in part, the market for distance education will impact the fee structure. Latta encouraged an approach based on the use of technology to bring students closer together and suggested that technology-based instruction should not be all that different between residential and distance education. Miller indicated that some faculty need additional skills, and that students often know more about technology than the faculty. Latta noted that UNL needs to adapt new strategies with IS personnel in order to reach the level of distance instruction sought by President Smith.
Perlman noted that the new budget proposal represents a change in approach. Some significant items, including research enhancements, will be requested from the legislature as separate items from the main NU budget. Latta voiced support for the new budget proposals, but indicated that enhanced research funding should be coupled with increased funding for library services. Bryant indicated that the Senate wants to become more politically involved to serve as an information resource for the legislature. Perlman suggested that we need a coordinated approach with the legislature, but that the Senate should also work with UNLs direct Legislative representative. UNL needs to be sensitive to all its constituencies, including agricultural and urban stakeholders.
The current status of the Health Care trust was discussed. Perlman noted that, as previously discussed in President Smiths email, there would be changes in the insurance plan, including increases in out-of-pocket costs, implementation of cost containment measures, and others. Miller pointed out that this issue could be extremely upsetting to faculty and staff; effective communication regarding these changes needs to take place. Perlman pointed out that many options for holding down costs were likely to be significantly less desirable than those eventually selected. Bryant suggested that the more details communicated about the options considered the better.
5.0 Approval of 6/7/00 Minutes
Bender moved and Prochaska-Cue seconded approval of the minutes. Motion approved.
6.0 Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
7.0 New Business
7.1 Nominee for University ID Program Committee
The discussion/decision regarding a nominee for the advisory committee on the University ID Program was postponed.
7.2 Participation in next APC review of Horticulture/Agronomy
Bryant indicated that Scheideler wanted to make certain that the next APC review of the Horticulture/Agronomy merger include a Senate representative. Jackson indicated that most APC reviews of IANR programs were held in conjunction with federally mandated USDA program reviews.
7.3 Letter to Regents on Faculty Salary Actions
Bryant reported that Scheideler wanted to write a letter commending the Regents on their commitment to increasing salary levels. The Executive Committee concurred that a letter should be drafted.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:39 PM. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, July 5, 2000 at 201 Canfield Administration Building. Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.