EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bender, Bryant, Jackson, Latta, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Scheideler,
Swoboda, Whitt, Zorn
Absent: Fuller, Humes, Siekman
Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2000
1.0 Call to Order
Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:00 PM.
2.1 Interviews with Candidates for Vice Chancellor of IANR
Scheideler reminded the Executive Committee that there will be an interview with candidates for the position of Vice Chancellor of IANR on Monday, September 11th at 11:00 12:00 AM and on Monday, September 18th at 10:00 11:00 AM. Both meetings will be held in the East Campus Union.
2.2 Interview with First Candidate for Dean of Arts & Sciences
Scheideler announced that the interview with the first candidate for the Dean of Arts & Sciences will be held on Tuesday, September 12th from 9:10 9:50 AM in the City Campus Union.
3.0 Michelle Waite, Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Relations
Scheideler stated that the Executive Committee is interested in facilitating/improving the facultys public image. She pointed out that the faculty take their reputation seriously and that they would like to see more positive reporting on the work that they do. Scheideler noted that candidates Jim Hewitt and Mike Foley from the 29th Legislative District will be meeting with the committee to discuss faculty issues in September. Waite stated that every year they conduct a series of visits for new state legislature candidates to familiarize them with the university. She noted that they show campus programs and discuss research issues that they will likely hear in the legislative arena. She pointed out that Ron Withem is the only registered lobbyist for the university system. She stated that she is a legislative liaison and that she and her other colleagues from the different campuses try to put forth the university system agenda. She pointed out that the various support groups on campus will be brought together to help educate them on the university issues that will be brought forth to the legislature. She stated that she may ask for some assistance from these groups to help mobilize individual faculty to possibly contact different senators.
Bryant pointed out that it would be helpful to have the public relations office provide the executive committee with a draft of the issues they feel are important to discuss with politicians. Waite stated that it would be helpful to hear directly from the faculty and the executive committee regarding any items of concern. Miller stated that there is concern that the UNL message is getting lost in the overall university message. He asked if there are any legislative functions or events that the executive committee could go to that would enable them to speak to legislators. Waite stated that she did not know of anything off hand but that she would keep the Senate office informed of any social or political events. Miller suggested that there could be an informal meeting with the executive committee and some of the legislators.
Waite stated that faculty and staff salary raises will once again be a major issue presented to the legislature. She noted that it would be helpful to let her office know of any stories of winners, either faculty, staff or students, that would bring about positive. Latta pointed out that she is concerned with the connotation of the word winners because it denotes there are losers. She noted that the faculty strive to be successful and that the goal of the university is to help people obtain these goals. Bryant suggested that they should be compelling stories, not just success stories. Zorn noted that priorities on campus get distorted because many of the routine but important education activities of faculty are not considered newsworthy. He stated that one of the things that should be pointed out is the number of students who cannot enroll in classes they need to graduate. Scheideler noted that the media has not picked up on the story of how smoothly the university has been functioning in spite of all of the open administrative positions. Waite stated that she is unsure as to whether or not the legislators fully understand the nature of faculty work, the importance of faculty governance, academic freedom, and that the same concerns are being addressed at universities throughout the country. Zorn stated that he would like to see discussions on increased total compensation for faculty and staff rather than just discussions on salaries. He noted that for the same state expenditure, the employees would receive more after tax compensation. Whitt pointed out that one of the reasons why we are losing faculty and administrators is because of the lack of state support. He noted that many states surrounding us receive greater support from their legislature. Bender noted that it is imperative that the legislature understands that the quality of academic programs lies with academic freedom and that we lose faculty because of this issue that then results in over crowding of classrooms due to a shortage of faculty. Latta pointed out that the legislature also needs to understand the impact of technology on teaching; it is an enhancement for instruction, not a way or reducing the need for faculty. Prochaska-Cue suggested that the public relations office could use the Extension Accountability Reporting System to obtain useful information on the work and efforts of extension faculty.
4.0 Antelope Valley Project
The committee discussed the impact of the Antelope Valley Project on the campus and the surrounding community. They suggested that a faculty advisory committee should perhaps be created to review the project more closely. They agreed to discuss the issue with Interim Chancellor Perlman at the next meeting.
5.0 Approval of 8/30/00 Minutes
Prochaska-Cue moved and Whitt seconded approval of the minutes as amended.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Revised Strategic Agenda
Item postponed due to lack of time.
7.0 New Business
7.1 Feedback on 2020 Panel at Senate Meeting
Scheideler stated that she received positive feedback from a number of the Senators on the 2020 report panel discussion. She stated that she will draft the key points highlighted by the panel members for both the committee and the Senate to review. The committee agreed to keep the panel discussion format as one method of providing faculty input on various policy reports.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 PM. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, September 13, 2000 at 201 Canfield Administration Building. Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.