DSJ Suggestions (00oct4mins)



Present:        Bender, Bryant, Fuller, Humes, Jackson, Latta, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Scheideler,

                        Siekman, Swoboda, Zorn


Absent:          Whitt


Date:              Wednesday, October 4, 2000


Location:       201 Canfield Administration Building


1.0          Call to Order

                Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:02 PM.


2.0          Announcements

                2.1    Approval of UNL’s Prioritization Process:  A Framework Document

Bryant reported that the Academic Planning Committee considered and approved the framework document for UNL’s Prioritization Process.  He noted that the APC is concerned with the short time length required for drafting a list of priority programs (due November 15).  He pointed out that some faculty are concerned that, if left up to the Deans, only certain favored programs will be identified.  Latta stated that she has concerns that the department and the college processes are being done simultaneously and that there is no mechanism in place that will allow for adjustments in either program (Department) or University priorities depending upon the priorities identified in the initial drafting.


2.2   Board of Regents Meeting

Scheideler reported that an evaluation of public service report was presented to the Regents.  She noted that the Board looks favorably on faculty/staff public service activities.  Latta stated that information technology was discussed and that there are two issues that may have an impact on the budget planning process.  First, the Universities’ Internet Service Provider (ISP) contract with Alltel expires soon; the going rate for such services is nearly 400% greater than what we are currently paying.  Second, grant funding supporting 1/2 the cost of Internet II will soon expire.  The University may have to pick up this cost.  Scheideler noted that the intellectual property policy was taken off of the agenda and is still being revised.  She further noted that the amendments to the Parental Leave Policies relating to parental leave for newly adoptive parents were adopted by the Board.


2.3   Chancellor’s Cabinet

Scheideler reported that facilities met with the cabinet last week to discuss aspects of the master plan.  She noted that there are concerns regarding the new Visitor Center’s aesthetics.  She suggested that Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management & Planning, Rich McDermott, be invited to speak to the Executive Committee about the center.


2.4   Higher Education Forum

Bryant reported that he attended the October 4th Higher Education Forum.   Similar presentations are planed at various locations around the state to learn what citizens expect and want of their University.  The forum looked at the global market and its impact on the University.  Bryant suggested that these issues be discussed further and that there be discussions with the Senates from the other campuses.


3.0          Interim Chancellor Perlman

                3.1  Prioritization of Programs

Latta asked Interim Chancellor Perlman to clarify the process to be used for identification of priority programs and asked if there is a process for iteration.  Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that the first step in the process is to bring forth suggested priority programs.  He noted that the second step in the process will hopefully allow the detection of themes which may allow similar programs to work together.  Scheideler asked if the document could be shared with the Academic Senate.  Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that it could.


3.2   Update on Administrative Searches

Scheideler noted that a new Associate Vice Chancellor position has been created in the Office of Student Affairs.  She stated that the UNL Bylaws call for the consultation with the Academic Senate whenever an administrative position, above the Dean level, is created.  Interim Chancellor Perlman thanked Scheideler for pointing this out.  He stated that the Office of Student Affairs had no Associate Vice Chancellor   resulting in a great deal of work for Vice Chancellor Griesen and an administrative structure that had many directors reporting directly to the VC Griesen.  To correct the administrative structure, they created the Associate Vice Chancellor position.  He stated that it is more of a position reclassification rather than a new position as the new Associate Vice Chancellor, Barbara Chollet, was already partially acting in this role. 


Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that John Owens from New Mexico State University has been hired as the new IANR Vice Chancellor and NU System Vice-President.  He stated that they are in negotiations with a candidate for the Dean of Arts & Sciences and hope to have an announcement soon.  He reported that airport interviews are currently being conducted with candidates for the Dean of Fine Arts.  The search for the Dean of the Law College is moving at a regular pace and the search for the Vice Chancellor of Research is just beginning.


3.3   Distance Education Goals & Coordination

Scheideler stated that the committee wanted to know where the campus was going and what the plans are to develop distance education.  Associate VC O’Hanlon noted that his office was charged by Interim Chancellor Perlman to develop a distance education action plan.  As a result, they will be conducting four focus group meetings to gather faculty input.  Associate VC O’Hanlon stated that a series of questions will be addressed at these meetings.  He noted that meetings will also be held with each Dean, with existing groups working on distance ed, and with groups assembled by the Teaching & Learning Center.  He stated that his office is currently conducting three studies on distance education issues, including marketability. 


Scheideler noted that the faculty are diverse and asked how he plans to coordinate all of the distance education activities.  Associate VC O’Hanlon pointed out that this will be a tough job and that the first step is to determine our strengths.  Latta asked how his office is interfacing with Central Administration.  Associate VC O’Hanlon stated that he is a member of a NU-Wide Distance Education task force and that evaluating the degree of coordination that will be appropriate between the campuses.  He noted that a major question is what kind of budget plan will enable the university to move forward in distance education. 


Miller asked where faculty could obtain funding for developing distance education courses.  Associate VC O’Hanlon stated that his office has $300,000 each year to provide grants for developing these courses.  Zorn pointed out that there needs to be strong incentives for faculty participation is the development and teaching of distance education courses, since the time spent is usually an overload for faculty.  He stated that there is concern with the lack of quality control in distance education courses and that academic credibility needs to accompany a degree.  He pointed out that it is in our best interest to make sure that quality is maintained.  Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that the issue is much broader and that we need to recognize that the population is demanding these courses.  He indicated that not only must our own distance education courses meet the University’s standards, but so must courses accepted for transfer credit. 


Bryant stated in order to be successful at distance education several issues need to be addressed:  1) Improvement of infrastructure; 2) faculty need to have incentives; 3) we must identify the market we want to create.  Swoboda noted that her department received a grant to purchase equipment to conduct these courses but that there is no funding to pay for the use of the communication lines that will allow them to broadcast the courses. 


Miller asked where distance education is heading.  Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that because this is a new area, no real directions have been set.  He stated that we would have to take calculated risks but that it is important that we continue to move forward in this area.


Fuller asked about the recent buy-in to the Midwest Consortium.  Associate VC O’Hanlon stated that he did not know much about it at this point other than the concept is to have universities share mutual courses.  He stated that a team would come together to produce course modules.  These courses (or modules) could then be used by each participating university.  He stated that tuition would be collectedwhen people take these courses.  Bryant pointed out that there are concerns about the impacts this initiative will have on campus.  He pointed out that in the future, we might need to consider if faculty members, who are not a part of this institution, should teachthese courses and give credit to our students.   Scheideler asked if faculty would have involvement with the workshop.  Associate VC O’Hanlon was unsure as to how this was going to be handled.  Scheideler stated that once information is gathered on distance education, it should be presented to the Academic Senate.


                3.4   Issues on the Horizon

Interim Chancellor Perlman reported that there is $1million for academic enhancement from Othmer funds that will be tied to the prioritization process.  He noted that they want to start dispersing the funds before May.  He stated that he did not have actual figures on the status and use of the Othmer funds, but hat he would like to discuss this with the committee at an upcoming meeting.


Bryant asked Interim Chancellor Perlman about the upcoming change in costs for ISP service from Alltel.  Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that our current cost is only $80,000 a year but that this will be increasing to over $300,000 in the near future.  He noted that we would more than likely need double the capacity in the near future, resulting in a cost of over $600,000; other technology factors may increase costs further.   Interim Chancellor Perlman indicated that there have been meetings with other colleges discussing the idea of blending the demands of all the state government agencies into a package, hopefully reducing costs.  Bryant asked for information on the fundingstatus of Internet II.  Interim Chancellor Perlman stated that he was unsure, but he pointed out that for some departments it is an essential research tool. 


Interim Chancellor Perlman reported that at the Deans’ Retreat there was widespread support for the 2020 task force report, although there was agreement that some aspects of the report need improvement.  He stated that the next step is to ask faculty to determine how they relate to the report.  He noted that we all want to be better but that we also need to be financially self-reliant.  He stated that each department should develop their own strategic plan.


4.0          Associate Vice Chancellor O’Hanlon

                4.1   Distance Education

                4.2   Distance Learning Workshop

                See 3.3 above.


5.0          Approval of 9/27/00 Minutes

Bryant moved and Bender seconded approval of the minutes as amended.  Motion approved. 


6.0          UNL Bylaws Update

Scheideler reported that a review of the UNL Bylaws is nearly complete.  She stated that the committee reviewing the Bylaws hopes to have a two-page summary to present to the Executive Committee and the Academic Senate.   She noted that Professor McShane, a member of the Bylaws Review Committee, suggested that the committee also review the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Faculty to insure that the language is consistent with the Bylaws.  Scheideler stated that this year the Executive Committee and the Senate would need to review and approve changes to the UNL Bylaws, the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Faculty, and revisions to the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Procedures.


7.0          Unfinished Business

                7.1   Draft of Letter to Raise Funds for the Academic Senate

Bryant stated that the suggested revisions are being made to the letter and that a revised draft will be presented to the Executive Committee at the next meeting.


7.2   2020 Report Panel Discussion Summary

The committee made revisions to the summary.  The document will be distributed at the October 10th Senate meeting.


                7.3   Revised Strategic Agenda

                Item postponed.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:04 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 at 420 University Terrace, Academic Senate Office.  Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.