EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bender, Bryant, Fuller, Humes, Jackson, Latta, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Scheideler, Siekman, Zorn
Absent: Swoboda, Whitt
Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2001
1.0 Call to Order
Scheideler called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.
2.1 Legislative Update Meeting
Scheideler reported that she attended a meeting with Deb Thomas, Director of Special Projects, Office of the Vice President for External Affairs, regarding legislative issues. Scheideler stated that the budget is proceeding forward, the rural initiative effort may carry over to the next legislative session, and the Antelope Valley Project looks to be moving in a positive direction. She noted that Boys Town is requesting that the competitive grant funds obtained from the tobacco settlement be specifically designated (split) between each institution. She stated that LB 308, a bill protesting the direct deposit of paychecks, is also being considered.
3.0 Chancellor Perlman
3.1 Intellectual Property Policy Update
Chancellor Perlman reported that he met with Dick Wood, General Counsel and Donal Burns, Associate Executive Vice President & Provost, to discuss the latest revisions to the Intellectual Property Policy. He noted that they have agreed to include many of the suggestions he made. Humes stated he had concerns regarding the ownership of institutional works. Chancellor Perlman agreed and stated that this section has been addressed. Jackson pointed out that there is concern over the use and definition of specialized laboratory equipment. He noted that the language indicates that even very limited use of specialized equipment could revert the entire projects ownership to the University. Scheideler pointed out that the idea of copyright and patent is not kept separate in the document. Chancellor Perlman noted that all provisions could be preempted by previous contracts and that this particular section will be reworked. He stated that he adopted the Harvard University policy and that he is suggesting that the University use this policy. Latta stated that the language does not make it clear that instructional material put into the academic community via such programs as blackboard, remains the property of the faculty member. Chancellor Perlman stated that instructional material belongs to the faculty member and that if a faculty member departs, they must give permission for the University to use the work but the faculty member retains the copyright. He noted that faculty retain ownership if the work is considered a traditional work of scholarship. Scheideler stated that it would be overwhelming for faculty to try to write disclosures on work they are doing. Chancellor Perlman stated that policies would be needed on how contracts are drafted. He noted that Dick Wood is looking to hire an intellectual property rights specialist to assist faculty and the university. Latta asked if the academic community would be given the opportunity to review the policy before it is presented to the Board of Regents. Chancellor Perlman stated that they should have the opportunity and that he will discuss this with Dick Wood to see that the revised policy is made available for review.
3.2 Prioritization Process Update and Academic Planning Committees Role
Scheideler asked for clarification on the Academic Planning Committees role in the prioritization process. Chancellor Perlman stated that they are asking for the APCs recommendations on the priority list. He noted that the APC would have six weeks to review the effort.
3.3 Issues on the Horizon
Humes stated that there is concern over the increase in President Smiths salary. He noted that the faculty are not given an increase in salary during the year unless they are receiving offers from other universities. Chancellor Perlman stated that the increase in administrative salaries is a result of a study that was conducted after former Chancellor Moeser left. He noted that the study indicated that University of Nebraska administrators were paid well below that of their peers. He indicated that faculty salary levels need to be addressed. He pointed out that in order to retain good people we must get their salaries up to a level that is comparable to other universities.
Search for Vice Chancellor of Research
Chancellor Perlman reported that they are negotiating with one of the candidates for the position of Vice Chancellor for Research.
Construction of Visitors Center
Chancellor Perlman stated that the construction of the visitors center is slated to begin the day after commencement.
4.0 SVCAA Edwards
4.1 Locking of Classroom Doors During Class
Scheideler reported that the Senate office received an anonymous complaint stating that professors are locking the doors to classrooms to prevent late arrivals by students. She noted that the complaint indicated that a state fire code might be in violation with this practice. She asked if there were any policies regarding this issue. SVCAA Edwards stated that there is no policy to deal with this situation. He pointed out that professors have great discretion regarding their classes, as long as no safety rules are violated. He noted that professors have discretion to prevent disruptions; he notes that use of laptops in classrooms is becoming in issue on many campuses and that this might be an issue that UNL will eventually need to deal with.
4.2 Review of Dean Swoboda
SVCAA Edwards reminded the committee that the UNL Bylaws state that any Dean who does not have faculty directly reporting to them, must be reviewed and evaluated by the Senate Executive Committee for his/her 5 year administrative review. The committee then discussed the review of Dean Swoboda.
4.3 Status of Part-Time Instructors
Bryant stated that there are important concerns over issues of benefits and pay for part-time instructors. He pointed out that the committee might want to review this situation to see if we can make improvements in this area. Siekman noted that many part-time employees do not receive any benefits. Latta pointed out that some members of the Executive Committee were part of an ad hoc committee that reviewed the part time faculty workforce.
5.0 Approval of 2/28/01 and 3/7/01 Minutes
Bryant moved and Humes seconded approval of the 2/28/01 and 3/7/01 minutes. Motion approved.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Executive Committee Nominations
Scheideler reported that she has contacted the suggested nominees for the Executive Committee slate and that she is waiting for these people to make a decision.
7.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:58 p.m. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 at 3:00 p.m. in the Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace. Respectfully submitted, David S. Jackson, Secretary.