EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bender, Bryant, Jackson, Humes, Latta, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Scheideler,
Swoboda, Whitt, Zorn
Absent: Fuller, Jackson, Siekman
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000
1.0 Call to Order
Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:03 PM.
2.0 Chancellor Perlman/Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff
2.1 Prioritization of Programs
Scheideler reported that she and President-Elect Bryant met with Professor Jim Lewis, chair of the Academic Planning Committee, to discuss the upcoming prioritization process. She thanked Chancellor Perlman for the letter he sent to the faculty regarding this issue. President Scheideler indicated that there is concern among faculty that they will not have a sufficient opportunity to help determine the campus priorities. Bryant noted that the short time line on this process may meanthat even the Academic Planning Committee will not have a chance to provide adequate input. Chancellor Perlman pointed out that the Deans have not received any information regarding how the prioritization process should take place. He noted that this is not a new process and that program prioritization has been occurring for some time on campus. Scheideler asked how he anticipates having faculty participate in these discussions. Chancellor Perlman stated that it would be done as is normally done for academic planning purposes within each college and the Institute. Scheideler raised the concern that there are faculty who do not trust the current process adequately determines the true importance of certain programs to the institution. The Chancellor reiterated that it is critical that this process not become an exercise that consumes everyones time. He noted that this prioritization process is not a process designed to exclusively surface the best programs, but rather is a more formal means of determining where funding will be placed. He stated that there are some very good programs that will not be on the priority list because they already receive enough funding or are getting adequate funding from outside sources. Miller asked who will make the ultimate decision regarding funding distribution. Chancellor Perlman stated that fund distribution at the Deans level will be in accordance with College/Institute priorities; he would make the decisions for campus-wide resources based on input from academic administrators and faculty (via such groups as the Academic Planning Committee.)
Latta stated that the rhetoric associated with the development of the prioritizationcriteria may have contributed to the issues complexity because it seemed to focus on identifying the best programs. She noted that it did not deal with what programs needed funding. Chancellor Perlman agreed that the rhetoric may have caused difficulty. He pointed out that there is general support for how he has characterized the process. Scheideler stated that the faculty need be informed that if they have concerns, they need to go speak with their Chair and/or Dean. Chancellor Perlman stated he will be working with the APC on the process. Acting SVCAA Brinkerhoff suggested that a short statement be sent to the APC describing how the process will work. Bryant asked what the time line is on the prioritization process. Chancellor Perlman stated that President Smith wants to have the priority programs (top 20%) identified by the end of the academic year.
2.2 Antelope Valley Project
Scheideler inquired if the University is taking an academic interest in the Antelope Valley Project and if so, what kind. She noted that of primary concern is the refugee community and what kind of resources we can offer this particular community within the scope of the project. Bryant pointed out that the university, as one of the partners in this project, has an ethical responsibility to the community. Chancellor Perlman stated that if faculty see any academic interest emerging as a result of the project then they should take advantage of it, although he doesnt believe further technical support for the project is needed. Latta pointed out that the university would be a partner in creating widespread community change in the effected area. She asked how the institution could become a good citizen and embrace the community, making certain that we are doing things to further the mission of the university in partnership with the community. Chancellor Perlman noted that there has been a lengthy process of communicating with the community. He suggested that Kent Seacrest be invited to speak to the Executive Committee regarding the project. Zorn stated that one of the main concerns is to insure that the 48 households that will be displaced by the project are properly reallocated. Chancellor Perlman agreed and stated that this part of the project has been discussed and addressed although he does not know to what extent. Bryant pointed out that we cannot predict how much the community and businesses will be disrupted by the changes that will occur as a result of the project. He noted that with appropriate educational services, it might be possible to help alleviate some of this disruption.
2.3 2020 Task Force Report
Scheideler reported that there was a good discussion at the September Senate meeting. She stated that a number of summary points were made: 1) some of the data used was not accurate; 2) there was a lack of attention to the broad vision of the institution, especially a perceived lack of focus on the Humanities and Arts; 3) implementation of the vision; 4) the definition of excellence; 5) concern with how realistic the report is in comparing us with institutions such as Berkeley and Harvard. Zorn pointed out that while we should all strive to improve, we should have realistic goals to reach. He noted that institutions such as Berkeley and Harvard have much larger resource bases to work with and that unless our resources improve drastically, we will not be able to reach the lofty goals set by the report. He suggested that what we can do is to use the prestigious universities as a model. Chancellor Perlman stated that he agrees with the scope of the report and that it addresses some universal principles such as striving for improvement and recognition of achievement. He pointed out that there are numerous UNL research projects that are in the top of their fields. Miller stated that one of the things we need to do is to advertise more of our distinguished research activities. Latta noted that at the reports core is a discussion of how it is we create a vision for improvement in research and creative activity that is not just generic, but takes our culture into account. Chancellor Perlman suggested that we discuss the next step in the process at an upcoming meeting.
3.1 Peer Review Conference
Scheideler reported that a conference will be held Lincoln on October 13 and 14 in conjunction with the Peer Review Project being conducted by Professor Dan Bernstein. Latta stated that the conference is designed to get all of the campuses working on this issue together to discuss the project and the approaches being used at these institutions. Scheideler asked for suggestions of Senators who may be interested in attending.
4.0 Approval of 9/13/00 Minutes
Miller moved and Swoboda seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 Linda Crump, Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity, Access, & Diversity Programs and Elizabeth Kosier, JD, Mediation Center, Lincoln, NE
Crump announced that the University has contracted with the Mediation Center, at a cost of $37,000, to help resolve disputes resolutions. She noted that funding was provided usingdiversity funds. Kosier stated that there are six Mediation Centers throughout Nebraska. She noted that the Center could assist the university in resolution of disputes, facilitate decision making, conduct training in effective negotiation, conflict resolution and collaboration, and offer consultation on conflict resolution systems design. She pointed out that the Center is a private, non-profit organization. She stated that participation by all parties involved in dispute resolutions or any other process is strictly voluntary. Scheideler asked for an example of how the faculty could use the services. Kosier stated that an example would be if there is a conflict between members of a department. She stated that a team of negotiators would be brought in and a nine-step process would be used to determine what happened, what was the impact, what the problem is, and what are the needs of the parties involved. She pointed out that the people involved are the ones that would craft the outcome/resolution.
Bryant asked if the mediation center could help address diversity needs on campus. Crump pointed out that it could help in many issues but that it is not limited to diversity. The Center could also assist in skill building, educational opportunities, and help deal with climatic issues. She noted that this is a two-year pilot program. She pointed out that the Equity, Access, & Diversity Programs have limited jurisdiction, whereas, the Mediation Center can go beyond these jurisdictions to deal with issues that her office can not address or resolve. Bender asked what mechanism is in place for people to get to the Mediation Center. Crump stated that anyone can contact them. She noted that her office will be marketing information on the Mediation Center very soon. She pointed out that people on campus can contact the Mediation Center directly, rather than going through anyone on campus; names of those participating will not be reported back to the university.
Bryant asked if there is any conflict of using the Center in regards to the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee. Bender, chair of ARRC, stated that he did not believe there is any problem and that he can see the Center as being helpful in some situations. Kosier pointed out that in some cases it might be helpful to have a member from the ARRC serve as a third party in the negotiations. Miller asked if people are protected legally. Kosier stated that they are covered by statutory confidentiality protections. Crump pointed out that the contract does not cover students due to their number; this may change if the office of Equity, Access, and Diversity see that there are benefits to the program. The committee agreed that a presentation regarding the Center should be made to the full Senate.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Revised Strategic Agenda
The committee began making final changes to the revised Academic Senate Strategic Agenda. Further discussion will continue at the next meeting.
6.2 Student Absence Policy
7.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:07 PM. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 at 420 University Terrace, Academic Senate Office. Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.