EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bender, Bryant, Fuller, Humes, Latta, Miller, Prochaska Cue, Scheideler, Swoboda, Whitt, Zorn
Absent: Humes, Jackson, Siekman
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2000
1.0 Call to Order
Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:05 PM.
2.1 Interview with the Candidate for Dean of Fine Arts
Scheideler reminded the committee that they would be meeting with the final candidate for the Dean of Fine Arts position on Thursday, November 9th, from 2:00 3:15.
2.2 Letters to Newly Elected State Senators and Members of the Board of Regents
Scheideler stated that she should write a letter on behalf of the Academic Senate to Mike Foley, who spoke to the Executive Committee, and to the newly elected members of the Board of Regents congratulating them on their election. The letter would also indicate that the Executive Committee would be willing to help provide them with information on important faculty issues. The committee agreed that the letters should be sent.
Scheideler reported that she met with Michelle Waite, Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Relations, and Ron Withem, Associate Vice President for External Affairs & Direct Governmental Relations, to discuss University-state legislature relations. She stated that they are considering an ad hoc advocacy committee to establish faculty/staff links with State senators and their staffs. Latta pointed out that it is more effective when the constituents speak directly to their representative. Bryant stated that it has been suggested by faculty members that the faculty should have their own lobbyist. Prochaska Cue suggested that they find faculty/staff to be on the ad hoc committee who are constituents of key legislators. She noted that it is more effective to have a small number of people contact their legislator rather and have a meaningful discussion with her/him rather than a large number of people just calling. Scheideler asked the Executive committee to think of people who would be interested in serving on the committee.
2.3 Sheldon Art Gallery
Scheideler reported that the Sheldon Art Gallery has been moved to the top of the list for building renovations.
2.4 Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee
Bryant stated that he is working on getting the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee (FCAC) together and asked the committee for feedback on the memo he drafted to the FCAC. He pointed out that we need to be aggressive on the issue of faculty salaries if we are to make the mid-point of our peer institutions. Latta noted that administration recognized that the original percentage of increase was set too low to bring us to the level of our peer institutions and that they have adjusted it. Bryant stated that the other issue that the FCAC wants to work on is the retirement cap.
2.5 Chancellors Committee for Award for Exemplary Service
Scheideler stated that the Chancellors office is asking for someone to serve on the Chancellors Committee Award for Exemplary Service to Students. The committee discussed possible candidates.
3.0 Approval of 11/1/00 Minutes
Miller moved and Bender seconded approval of the minutes as amended.
4.0 Faculty Roles Initiative Update (Latta)
Latta reported that the project was developed by an ad hoc group of faculty who attended a conference in January 2000. They subsequently sought and received funding as part of a constellation of projects brought under the umbrella of the Kellogg Leadership Group (a faculty/staff learning community formed two years ago to study collaborative leadership within higher education institutions). The Academic Senate was also invited to sign-on as a co-sponsor, by Latta, the project director. She stated that the funding they received this summer would support the full three years of the project. The first year is focused on an assessment of the status of faculty life/quality of their working environment at the University. She stated that they have contracted with the Bureau of Sociological Research to assist with data collection and assessment. Latta stated that 12 focus groups are being conducted on campus during the month of November. She noted that the feedback gathered from the focus groups would be used to facilitate strategic discussion. She stated that the goal is not to gather information to write a report, but rather to provide the information to the academic community to promote discussions about how faculty work at UNL is supported and rewarded. Latta noted that the second and third year of the projects would focus on engaging the campus community in meaningful discussions on the changing role of faculty. She reported that the Initiative recently brought in a speaker with whom they discussed how to develop a conceptual framework that will allow the development of a meaningful survey, understand change processes in higher education institutions and, in particular, develop collaborative leadership. She stated that the project aims to strengthen the faculty voice in decision-making within the institution, particularly at the unit level, and to foster collaboration between faculty and administration, as an alternative to top-down leadership within the university. Latta noted that they are inviting people from the focus groups to volunteer to participate in subsequent phases of the project such as helping to pilot the survey instrument, telling other faculty about the project goals, and leading discussions of the assessment findings within their academic units. Zorn pointed out that an increasing amount of teaching is now being done by non tenure leading employees at Universities across the country and that this could, in the future, change the nature and role of faculty. Latta stated that this is an issue that they hope to address. She pointed out that this varies from college to college and that sometimes having outside people speak in the classroom is integral to a program. She stated that an evaluation of the resource implications of the changing roles of faculty might be one of the projects outcomes. Zorn noted that other issues need to be addressed, including how much voice these non-tenure leading faculty would have. Latta stated that this is an issue of governance that needs to be dealt with at the local level. Whitt asked if non-tenured faculty would be included in the focus groups. Latta reported that if they have a .50 FTE or greater, they will be included. She stated that she had requested to be placed on the Executive agenda in order to get feedback from the Executive Committee on focus group questions, but that she understood other business had prevented that from happening, so the project team had to get input by other means, in order to keep the project on schedule. Someone suggested email could be used to provide information to the committee regarding progress on the project.
5.0 Unfinished Business
5.1 UNL Bylaws Update
Scheideler distributed the revised UNL Bylaws for the committee to review. She noted that a subcommittee consisting of herself, Herb Howe, Associate to the Chancellor, Jim McShane, Associate Professor of English, and Julie Albrecht, Associate Professor of Nutritional Science & Dietetics worked together on reviewing the revised Bylaws. She pointed out that the Senate would eventually have to approve the revisions. Swoboda asked if once they are approved by the Board of Regents whether they would be distributed to the faculty. Scheideler stated that they would more than likely be placed on the web. She noted that the Executive committee would also be reviewing the Guidelines for Faculty Evaluation in the near future. The committee agreed to review the Bylaws at an upcoming meeting.
5.2 Pepsi Funds - Ledger
Scheideler distributed information pertaining to the distribution of Pepsi funds. She pointed out that $1,135,220 has not been spent. The committee discussed possible use of these funds. Zorn suggested that some of the funds could be used to support academic scholarships. Bender asked for information on who keeps the income from the sale of the Pepsi products on campus. Scheideler suggested that Vice Chancellor Jackson be invited to an Executive Committee meeting to discuss these issues further.
5.3 Evaluation of Administrator Dean Swoboda
Scheideler distributed additional information regarding the evaluation of Dean Swoboda. Bryant stated that he did not feel there was enough information from people who work directly with Swoboda for the committee to make an effective evaluation. Zorn stated that he felt the committee was incumbent to ask for faculty input from those that have direct contact with Swoboda. Latta pointed out that the Executive Committee was not the only group reviewing this administrator. The committee agreed to review and discuss the evaluation at the next meeting.
5.4 Email Policy
6.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 PM. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, November 15, 2000 at 420 University Terrace, Academic Senate Office. Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.