EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bender, Bryant, Fuller, Humes, Jackson, Miller, Scheideler, Seikman, Whitt
Absent: Humes, Prochaska Cue, Swoboda
Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2000
1.0 Call to Order
Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:04 PM.
No announcements were made.
3.0 Interim Chancellor Perlman/Acting Senior Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff, Interim Vice Chancellor McBreen
3.1 Othmer Funds Update
Scheideler asked for a status update on the Othmer Chaires. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff stated that nearly all of the chaired professorships have received matching funds. He stated that a few of the positions have been filled and that the remainder are either in various stages of recruitment or waiting until the matching commitment is complete before initiating recruitment. Scheideler asked if the chaired positions have been equally distributed across the colleges. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff stated that they have attempted to spread the positions equally, but their distribution was also linked to campus priorities. Scheideler asked if any incumbent professors on campus have received an Othmer chaired professorship. Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that no incumbent faculty members have received an Othmer chair, although Othmer funds were used to fund certain designated positions. Scheideler noted that there appears to be some confusion on who is receiving the Othmer chairs. She suggested that information explaining the positions would be helpful.
Latta pointed out that the web page on the Othmer Chairs is not accurate because it does not link the open positions with a job description, although the web page indicates that the link will provide this information. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff stated that he would investigate this problem.
Jackson stated that auxiliary Othmer funds were discussed in an earlier meeting with the Chancellor. He asked for more information on these funds. Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that they are seeking alternative funding mechanism for the construction of the Chemical Engineering building; it is hoped that the alternative funding mechanism will free additional Othmer funds for academic enhancements.
3.2 Antelope Valley Project Faculty Committee
Scheideler stated that the Executive Committee has been discussing the creation and formation of a faculty committee to work on the Antelope Valley Project from an academic perspective. She stated that the committee is trying to determine how they can get interested faculty involved. Interim Chancellor Perlman pointed out that the formation of the committee needs to be well thought through. He noted that the faculty should be willing to work with the community on a number of issues; but that it was important the community was a full participant and partner in this area. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff asked that the committees objective be clarified. Scheideler stated that the committee would work with the neighboring communities on issues of academic interest. She noted that Kent Seacrest reported that those urban universities that were successful in their projects worked directly with neighboring communities. Bryant pointed out that there are different perspectives that have been presented on the AVP. He stated that there needs to be a voice raising concerns about the project, particularly the proposed 6-lane roadway. Scheideler noted that using some diversity funds may help to encourage faculty participation. She stated that the dialogue on the formation of this committee should continue.
3.3 Prioritization Process Update
Various members of the Executive Committee reported on the prioritization process that is taking place within their college. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff noted that the process varies between colleges. He stated
that they have urged the Deans to use the planning processes that are in place within their college. He noted that some of the Deans could be relying on existing plannings. Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that they want the Deans to recognize strategic thinking. He noted that the Board of Regents would eventually have to review and approve the selected priorities. He stated that people would be held responsible for the priorities they identify. He pointed out that the prioritization process is not a rank order but rather a listing of the top 20-30% of the campus priorities. He stated that subsequent new funding would be directed to the identified priorities, and that programs would not receive new funding if they have not been identified as a priority (unless study indicates the new program should be a priority). Scheideler noted that a stronger message should be sent to the Deans on the process. She pointed out that faculty should not feel inhibited to express their views on priorities.
3.4 Issues on the Horizon
3.4.1 Exit Interviews
Scheideler asked how exit interviews are being conducted. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff stated that a form is used. Interim Chancellor Perlman noted that the Bureau of Sociological Research conducts the exit interviews. He stated that he is also writing to faculty member who have resigned or retired in the last year to ask them for input regarding their experience at UNL.
3.4.2 Search for Dean of Fine Arts
Bryant stated that concern has been raised regarding the Dean of Fine Arts search. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff pointed out that all feedback on the candidates would be reviewed. He stated that if people have concerns about a candidate, they need to report this on their evaluation.
3.4.3 Article on UNL
Interim Chancellor Perlman reported that the Omaha World Herald would be running a series of articles on UNL in the near future. He stated that there are some concerns that the articles may use the IPEDS data in a way that indicates that the campus uses its funding to focus on research at the expense of teaching.
3.4.4 Status of 2020 Vision Report
Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that a letter would be sent to all faculty and staff regarding the status of the 2020 Vision Report. He noted that there are some areas that need to be addressed but that overall the report has wide acceptance. He stated that the vision outlined in the report would eventually need Board of Regents approval.
3.4.5 Tuition Policies
Interim Chancellor Perlman reported that the administration is working on a tuition policy and that they are reviewing various models used by other universities. He stated that one of the goals is to make students feel better recognized.
4.0 Approval of 10/25/00 Minutes
Siekman moved and Miller seconded approval of the minutes as amended.
5.0 Unfinished Business
5.1 Evaluation of Administrators
Scheideler reported that the committee has been asked, in accord with the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Administrators, to evaluate the performance of the Dean of the Division of Continuing Studies. The committee discussed whether they should solicit information from senators and faculty who have worked with the Dean. Swoboda moved that the materials pertaining to the evaluation be sent to the Executive Committee and that they meet in a closed session to discuss the evaluation. Motion seconded by Latta. Zorn and Jackson stated that a job description of the duties of this position should be included with the materials. Motion approved.
5.2 Pepsi Update
Scheideler distributed copies of the Pepsi brochure Making A Difference which describes the distribution of the Pepsi Funds. She noted that the President of the Academic Senate is a member of the committee that determines how the funds should be used. Scheideler pointed out that nearly $1 million was not used in the last two years. She noted that Vice Chancellor Jackson, Business & Finance, is making changes in the fund distribution process and that there likely would be a more general call for proposals. Scheideler stated that in the past the Senate has supported using Pepsi funds for bringing in speakers such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu; funds for this use will probably continue to be provided. She noted that they are examining whether they can use the funds to establish 20 scholarships for students of faculty and staff. These would be merit and need-based scholarships. Bender pointed out that no balance sheet was included in the brochure. He asked if the committee could obtain a balance sheet on the Pepsi funds. Scheideler stated that she would get a balance sheet for the committee. Bryant asked if an evaluation has been done on the funds that have been distributed. Scheideler reported that VC Jackson is currently working on obtaining that information. Bryant suggested that some of the funds could be used to support the faculty Antelope Valley Project committee.
6.0 New Business
6.1 UNL Bylaws Update
6.2 Email Policy
6.3 Memo to Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee
Bryant distributed a draft of a memo he will be sending to the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee. He noted that the memo addresses faculty salaries, retirement benefits, and tuition remission transfer. He asked that the committee provide him with feedback on the memo.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:04PM. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, November 8, 2000 at 420 University Terrace, Academic Senate Office. Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.