Executive Committee Minutes (00may17mins)

Executive Committee Minutes


Present:          Bender, Humes, Jackson, Latta, Prochaska Cue, Scheideler, Siekman, Whitt


Absent:           Aguilar, Bryant, Fuller, Miller, Zorn


Date:               Wednesday, May 17, 2000


Location:        Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace


1.0       Call to Order

            Scheideler called the meeting to order at 2:35 PM.


2.0       Announcements

            2.1       Board of Regents Meeting

Latta reported that she attended the meeting for President Scheideler.  She noted that two important issues were discussed at the meeting:  1) the approval of the license agreement with Class.com and 2) the presentation of the Student Information System. 


Latta stated that the license agreement with Class.com relates only to the high school courses being offered.  She pointed out that the question of whether university courses will be offered by Class.com was raised.  She noted that we had been assured by our administrators that the contract will be written in such a way that only high school courses can be offered.   She pointed out that Earl Scudder, the lawyer who was involved in the writing of the contract, indicated that they envision university courses being offered in the future.  She reported that she stated at the meeting that the intellectual property guidelines that govern the high school curriculum are very different from the intellectual property guidelines that govern university courses.   She pointed out that every one of the high school courses that were written for Class.com was done by an individual who was under contract with the Division of Continuing Studies.  She noted that this is different than the curriculum materials faculty develop under their own initiative while employed by the University for the purpose of teaching students.  Latta reported that there was also discussion on whether or not Nebraska residents will pay the same tuition costs for Class.com courses.  She noted that the contract allows for a 5% decrease of tuition rates. 


Latta reported that a presentation was made to the Board providing an upodate on plans to implement a common Student Information System for the NU System.  She noted that there are two components of this project:  selecting a portal system that will provide the common interface, and selecting a next generation SIS data management system.  She noted that she is working this summer with others from the UNL Teaching/Learning/Technology Roundtable and information services to implement Blackboard Enterprise edition 5, one of the systems that Central is considering using to provide the common SIS portal interface.  UNL has already purchased a site license for this product, which is an upgraded version of the couseinfo software already being used extensively by faculty at UNL.  She noted that it is a delivery mechanism for electronic course materials.  She stated that she has discussed on previous occasions with Walter Weir, Chief Information Officer and Director of UN Computing Services Network, they discussed the need for getting faculty input into the SIS process.  After discussing the need for faculty input further with him, prior to the Regents meeting, he agreed to add to his presentation to the Board of Regents the possibility of including a faculty member, appointed by the Academic Senate, to each of the two decision making groups that will work on policy making and system functionality. 


In other items, Latta reported that the parking garage at 17th & R was approved.  She stated that Interim Vice Chancellor Lewis, Business and Finance, had mentioned to her after the meeting that two or three additional floors may be added to the garage depending on the available funds.  Siekman asked if there will be contracted retail space in the garage?  Latta stated that the retail space  can not be contracted outside of the University but would be used as outlets for campus services.


3.0       Approval of 5/3/00 Minutes

            Siekman moved and Latta seconded approval of the minutes as amended.


4.0       Update on Travel Contract

            Scheideler reported that the travel contract has been signed as of May 1, 2000 although there has been no communication to the faculty of this date as of yet.  She stated that there will be a grace period that Business and Finance hopes to have completed by October 1st.  She noted that Travel and Transport is the company that the agreement has been made with and that they will have two websites available for people to use.  The contract calls for Travel & Transport to provide prices that are comparable to the lowest published fare.  She pointed out that faculty are concerned with the contract not being flexible enough to accommodate their needs.  She reported that the Business and Finance office will limit employee voucher claims if they do not use Travel & Transport.  After that, they will not process the voucher for payment.  Latta asked whether the concerns faculty raised previously about international travel have been addressed?  Scheideler stated that Travel & Transport are to handle international travel as well.  Jackson asked about the concern of forcing people to stay over an additional night to obtain a lower airfare?  Scheideler reported that she believes this is no longer being considered.  She stated that they will be getting a 10% discount with United and a 15% discount with TWA.  She suggested that Jim Vogel, Director of Business Operations, meet with the Executive Committee to give a presentation on the travel contract and that he do the same for the full Senate at the September meeting.


5.0       Input Into Future Nebraska Task Force Report

            Scheideler suggested that the committee needs to work on how we can aid faculty response to the Future Nebraska Task Force.  Latta stated that the task force very much wants to get faculty input on both the university-wide level and also at the unit level.  She pointed out that the response has to be a coordinated response.  She suggested that the committee may be able to structure a mechanism for providing feedback.   Planning for this will continue through the summer so that a Senate sponsored event to gather input can take place in the fall.


6.0       Unfinished Business

            6.1       Review Pepsi Funds

            Scheideler noted that the original Pepsi contract indicates that the designated uses of the funds are broadly defined.  She indicated that the contract does indicate that the committee membership is composed primarily of administrators although the Academic Senate and ASUN are allowed a representative to the committee.  She noted that the original endowment is $11 million, although it is only the interest on this amount that is being spent.  She pointed out that there is no stipulation in the contract that part or all of the principle cannot be spent.  Latta asked if only part of the principle is spent, would the remaining balance be left in the foundation?  Scheideler reported that this is correct.  She stated that she has concerns on the process of how the money is spent since a proposal was not really developed by the Senate for this year.    Latta pointed out that proposals had been reviewed by the committee in the first year of the contract, and a proposal was submitted by the Academic Senate for speakers.  Although funded, the Senate never expended the money, so last year she approved use of the Senate speaker funds to help bring Archbishop Desmond Tutu to UNL.  Scheideler stated that she was not informed of the meeting until several days before it was scheduled which did not allow any time for the Senate to put a proposal together for the use of the funds for this upcoming year.  Latta pointed out that she was unaware that we were forfeiting future funds for academic enhancements when we agreed to use the funds to bring in Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  Scheideler pointed out that the Pepsi representative did not understand why the endowment is not being spent.  Scheideler stated that she did not understand why it has not been opened up for proposals to be submitted.  Jackson suggested that a group could be set up to review proposals if the advisory committee did not want to perform this task.  Scheideler stated that there are two concerns, one is to retain the $25,000 for speakers and the other is that these funds are not being opened up for campus input.  The committee agreed to discuss the issue further with the administrators.


            6.2       Letter to Interim VC Lewis on Reduction of Services

Scheideler distributed a draft version of the letter being sent to Interim VC Lewis concerning his May 3rd  memo on reduction in services.  She noted that cutting back on basic sanitation needs is not an option and that this letter will provide a paper trail documenting faculty/senate concerns.    The committee agreed to list the other concerns such as the cuts to landscape services and quick pay to the letter.  Latta pointed out that there is concern that these and other  business cuts in actuality are being passed on as additional costs to the colleges and units which also took direct cuts in their operating budgets.  Scheideler suggested that the committee meet with VC Lewis to discuss this issue further.


            6.3       Search Committee for Chancellor

            Jackson pointed out that the UNL Bylaws states that the Academic Senate has final approval for selecting faculty members to serve on search committees for administrative appointments.  Latta noted that the Board of Regents Bylaws, which takes precedence over the campus bylaws, states that the final decision on a search committee for a Chancellor resides with the President of the University.  Scheideler noted that upper administration wants us to provide list twice as long as the number of faculty needed to serve on these administrative search committee.


7.0       New Business

            7.1       President Smith’s Task Force on Administrative Attrition

Scheideler reported that President Smith will be forming a task force to look at administrative attrition.  Latta noted that although it is not entirely clear what process will be used to establish the membership of this committee, President Smith has indicated that he is interested in obtaining potential names of faculty to serve on the task force.  Scheideler stated that the task force will be looking at the competitive salary problems, environment problems, normal turnover and other issues.  The committee suggested potential faculty members.


            7.2       Lotus Notes

Jackson reported that a task force of UNL departmental computer support employees has been set up to advise the Lotus Notes System Administrators regarding system operations and upgrades.  He pointed out that there is no intent to include faculty members on the task force.  He stated that he has concerns that they will not be getting feedback from the people that actually are using the system and how changes may impact them.  He pointed out that it should be conveyed to them the need to gather input from the campus community.  Scheideler suggested that we should inquire how the Computational Services and Facilities Committee can interact with them.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 PM.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 at the Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace.  Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.