EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bryant, Fuller, Jackson, Miller, Prochaska Cue, Scheideler, Siekman, Zorn
Absent: Bender, Humes, Latta, Swoboda, Whitt
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2001
1.0 Call to Order
Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:03 PM.
2.1 Legislative Bill 615 Tobacco Settlement
Scheideler announced that one of the first bills to be discussed by the legislature that would impact the University is LB 615 on the use of tobacco settlement funds. She noted that the Appropriations Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee are both working on the bill. Its relevance to the University is in regards to biomedical research funding. Scheideler reminded faculty to contact their state legislator regarding this bill, especially if their legislator is serving on either of these committees.
3.0 Senior Vice Chancellor Edwards
3.1 Prioritization List
Scheideler reported that faculty are happy to see that there will be two forums for discussion of the prioritization list. She stated that she has received feedback from faculty on the list. She noted that some concerns regard the length of the list and another is that colleges had significantly different approaches in determining and formulating priorities (small programs versus broad, interdisciplinary programs). Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff pointed out that no constraints were imposed on the Deans regarding the priorities. He noted that programs were not deleted from the list based on size. Scheideler stated that the message given to faculty was that the process was to identify programs of strength. Bryant pointed out that the prioritization process was billed to the campus as an important activity but that after seeing the list, he thought the faculty no longer feels this way. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff noted that many programs are not on the list. He stated that they trust that the decision process was a collaborative effort between the faculty and college Deans.
Siekman pointed out that instead of the word priorities, the term programs needing additional funding be used instead. Miller speculated as to whether the revision process would result in a shorter list. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff stated that the list would probably become longer. Scheideler suggested that some programs could be consolidated across colleges. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff stated that this is possible if the colleges involved agreed. Scheideler noted that the list is composed of both highly specific programs in some cases, and broad themes in others and that there is a lack of consistency in both the process of determining the priority programs and their listing in the document. Bryant pointed out that it will not be possible to find additional funding for all of these programs and that adjustments will have to be made to the list. He asked for clarification on whether this would take place at the college level. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff stated that faculty would have input into this decision at the faculty forums.
Jackson pointed out that the committee was just told the list would probably get longer while also being told that new funding would be targeted towards the identified programs. He questioned who would be deciding on what programs get funded first. He pointed out that there would be less administrative discretion on where additional funding would flow if the list is shorter. SVCAA Edwards stated that funding is a question that will need to be addressed. He pointed out that currently the funding sources are largely unidentifiable but they would more than likely come from higher tuition due to retention of students, open lines following retirements (salary savings), and private donations. Miller pointed out that listing 102 programs with no identifiable funding leads people to believe that this has been another futile exercise. SVCAA Edwards noted that the funding is real but that it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where it will be coming from. He noted Interim Chancellor Perlman has indicated that the list would have to be further prioritized to determine where funds will be directed. Zorn suggested that a statement be included that states that priorities could change over time. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff noted that the priorities were determined based on what programs need investment. Miller stated that funding should be put into programs that can achieve national strength. He stated that it would be helpful to have a list of what the top ranked, well-supported programs are on campus. Scheideler pointed out that giving funding to programs that are not programs of strength punishes those programs that are successful.
Prochaska Cue asked if they had any projections as to the percent of faculty that will be retiring in the near future. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff stated that they know the percentage of faculty that qualify for retirement but that it would be hard to predict how many will actually retire. Prochaska Cue asked if faculty would have input regarding the use of open faculty lines created by retirements. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff stated that some positions would need to be replaced while other lines may need to be shifted to other areas.
Scheideler stated that it would be helpful to the faculty if they know what the forums hope to accomplish. Bryant stated that it would be helpful if the Deans attended the forums. Zorn pointed out that this process should be a continuing exercise that allows refinement of the list. Bryant asked for clarification on when the Academic Planning Committee will be reviewing the prioritization list. Associate Vice Chancellor Brinkerhoff stated that the APC will be receiving the document in March and will be involved in the process.
4.0 Associate to the Chancellor Howe
4.1 Revisions to UNL Bylaws
Item postponed due to lack of time.
5.0 Approval of 1/24/01 Minutes
Prochaska Cue moved and Miller seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
6.0 Dean of CASNR Search Committee
The committee nominated faculty to serve on the CASNR Dean search committee. The suggested faculty list will be forwarded to Vice Chancellor Owens.
7.0 Unfinished Business
8.0 New Business
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 PM. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, February 7th at 3:00 pm, in the Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace. Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson.