DSJ Suggestions (00sep27mins)




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

                        Siekman, Swoboda


Absent:          Fuller, Humes, Whitt, Zorn


Date:              Wednesday, September 27, 2000


Location:       Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace


1.0          Call to Order

                Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:07 PM.


2.0          Announcements

                2.1    Dean of Continuing Studies 5-year Review

Scheideler announced that she received a letter from Associate Vice Chancellor Jacobson inviting the Academic Senate Executive Committee’s participation in the evaluation of administrators with campus-wide responsibilities.  Jacobson asked that two or three faculty members be suggested, one of whom will be selected to serve on the review committee as the co-coordinator, to review Donald Swoboda, Dean of Continuing Studies.   The committee suggested names of faculty.


2.2   Antelope Valley Project

Scheideler reported that the Chancellor’s cabinet discussed the participation of faculty in an academic study of the Antelope Valley Project.  She noted that the cabinet was in support of faculty with an academic expertise and interest to be involved with the Antelope Valley Project.  Jackson asked if there was discussion on how this study would be funded.  Scheideler indicated that Diversity Funds may be a source of potential funding for faculty working with the community that will be effected by the project.


3.0          Approval of 9/20/00 Minutes

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


4.0          Draft of Letter to Raise Funds for the Academic Senate

The committee discussed revisions to a draft letter soliciting funds for the Academic Senate.  Revisions will be sent to President-Elect Bryant.


5.0          Jim Hewitt, Candidate for the 29th Legislative District

Hewitt introduced himself and stated that he received his BS and MS, degrees from UNL and that he is nearing completion of a UNL  Ph.D. in history.  He stated that he is proud of the university and feels that it is a great asset to the state and to Lincoln.  He noted that he is an ardent supporter and feels that the viability of the UNL campus must be maintained.  He pointed out that UNL should be the only campus to offer doctoral degrees.  Scheideler noted that sometimes faculty concerns might be different from those of the administration and legislature, particularly in certain research areas.  Hewitt stated that he believes academic freedom is essential.  He pointed out that if a university’s funding is cut back due to a sensitive issue, there could possibly be grounds for litigation.  He stated that the legislature has little control over the Board of Regents.  He noted that he could see some utility in having a Board of Regents that has both elected and appointed members although he pointed out that there are some negatives aspects to this arrangement.  He noted that there will be a tremendous amount of competition for funds from the state this coming year and while there currently is a surplus, there will more than likely be less next year.  Miller asked Hewitt what his thoughts are regarding the exodus of faculty and staff.  Hewitt stated that he believed that most people are leaving to get better pay.  He pointed out that faculty need to be paid in accordance with their peer institutions, especially if the university wants to retain them.  He thanked the committee for meeting with him and pointed out that he wants to be an advocate for the university.


6.0          Unfinished Business

                6.1   Student Absence Policy

Swoboda asked if the proposed resolution drafted by the Executive Committee would be placed in the Schedule of Classes bulletin.  Scheideler stated that if passed by the Senate, we could request that it be placed in the bulletin.  She noted that the new resolution would help clarify the 1983 resolution.  Jackson suggested that language be placed in the resolution requiring that the policy be placed in the bulletin.  Scheideler suggested that there could be a two-prong approach: a resolution to clarify the original policy and a voluntary form to assist in record keeping.  Latta pointed out that the form could mislead students to believe that a faculty member must sign the form.  Scheideler pointed out that this form would not be mandatory and its use would at the faculty member’s discretion.  Jackson suggested that the language “encourage written communication” be included in the resolution.  Latta suggested that language should be added that states that some courses are structured in such a way that they would not be flexible enough to allow absences.  The committee agreed to have Professor Bob Diffendal, Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, meet with them to further discuss the policy.


7.0          New Business

                Latta requested that the Faculty Roles Initiative be placed on an upcoming agenda.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:57 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, October 4, 2000 at 201 Canfield Administration Building.  Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.