EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, Logan-Peters, Miller, Sawyer, Scheideler, Spann, Whitt, Wolf
Absent: King, Prochaska Cue, Siekman
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2001
1.0 Call to Order
Bryant called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.
2.1 Formation of Subcommittee to Look at Promotion & Tenure Documents
Bryant reported that he will join Professor Scheideler, Animal Science, Professor Humes, Political Science, and Professor Ragsdale, Biochemistry, to review the promotion and tenure documents collected by SVCAA Edwards from each of the colleges.
2.2 Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women Subcommittee
Bryant reported that Chancellor Perlman has requested a list of faculty to serve on the subcommittee to review the gender equity study. He noted that there are concerns with the model that has been used by Institutional Research and Planning in conducting the study, particularly in the area of number of years in rank for faculty. He reported that the Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women will also be providing a list of possible members for the subcommittee.
2.3 Retirement Cap Update
Bryant reminded the committee that the bill to remove the cap on the percentage the university is permitted to contribute to retirement plans would not be presented to the State Legislature until 2003.
2.4 Meeting with President Smith
Bryant reported that the Presidents of the Academic and Faculty Senates will be meeting with President Smith in early January.
3.0 Approval of 11/7/01Minutes
Spann moved and Whitt seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
4.0 Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee Meeting (Miller)
Miller reported that the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee met to begin discussions on faculty salary increases for next year. He stated that the committee is disturbed that the recommendations they made last year were not followed by administration. He reported that the committee is concerned with salaries for lower paid faculty and staff, particularly in light of the recent increases to health care. Scheideler pointed out that many faculty members have been dissatisfied with the salary increase process this year and have taken their complaints to the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee. Wolf noted that in English several faculty members received outstanding evaluations but only received a cost of living raise. Scheideler suggested that the FCAC should raise the idea of negotiating for the minimum standard of living increase. Miller stated that he will work closely with the FCAC to get more data regarding faculty salaries.
5.0 Emeriti Association (Dr. Richard Fleming)
Dr. Fleming, President of the Emeriti Association, thanked the committee for inviting him to speak on behalf of the association. He stated that there are several issues of major concern for members of the association. The first is the cost of health insurance. He pointed out that for two people, health insurance plus Medigap insurance, which helps pay for prescriptions, will cost $500 per month. He stated that he has requested President Smith to appoint a retired person to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Health Care. Fleming stated that the Wisherd foundation account was established to help provide support for emeriti faculty. He stated that in recent years it has been used to help subsidize the cost of health insurance. He reported that the association mailed a ballot to its members to see if they agreed that the fund could be used to help cover the health care costs of domestic partners of retired professors. He stated that the members voted to approve this funding support. He stated that they then checked with the University Foundation to see if the fund would help cover these costs. He pointed out that the fund would allow this support, providing the domestic partner was insured by the same entity. He noted that since the University does not cover domestic partners, the foundation is not able to use the Wisherd foundation to assist in health coverage for domestic partners. Fleming distributed a copy of a letter sent to President Smith, Chancellor Perlman, and the Board of Regents from the Emeriti Association stating that the current university policies prohibit the association from fulfilling the will of its members to provide assistance to Emeriti and partners through the Wisherd fund and calling for the Board to change the university policy regarding coverage of domestic partners. Fleming pointed out that the Wisherd fund can also be used to support research and that the association has provided $1000 research grants.
Dr. Fleming stated that the other concerns of the Emeriti Association deal with parking permits and fees and space allocation. He noted that currently emeriti faculty can park on campus for free. He stated that several years ago there was a proposal to change this so that emeriti faculty would have to pay for parking. He pointed out that lack of parking forces the association to meet off campus. He noted that, in the past, rooms were available in Nebraska Hall for emeriti faculty to use. He noted that they realize that space is limited but they would appreciate it if some office space could be found on campus.
Miller asked how emeriti faculty members are treated by their home departments. Fleming stated that it varies. He noted that they are trying to develop more collegiality between emeriti faculty and departments. He stated that they hope to obtain more information from departments regarding retired faculty. He reported that the association has raised and promoted the issue of having emeriti housing available near campus. He stated that this is still in consideration under the Antelope Valley Plan. He pointed out that emeriti faculty are interested in working and helping the university and such a living arrangement could accomplish this goal. DiMagno asked if retired faculty have access to email. Fleming stated that they can still use the university email. Miller asked how the university could help emeriti faculty and vice versa. Fleming stated that in the past emeriti faculty members have volunteered to give tours around campus. He suggested that departments and colleges should get emeriti faculty involved whenever possible and to make sure they feel welcomed. He discussed the emeriti faculty programs at the University of Oklahoma and at Penn State. Spann suggested that emeriti faculty could be helpful in recruiting students, particularly those who live in other parts of the state and out of state. The committee agreed that they would like to see the video tapes of the programs at Oklahoma and Penn State. Bryant stated that he would write a letter to President Smith asking for a retiree to be appointed to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Health Care. The committee agreed to draft a resolution to the Senate recognizing the associations efforts to promote equity and social justice for the employees of the university, and in particular, to acknowledge the efforts made by Bob Brown in bringing the issue of support for domestic partners to the members of the association. The committee agreed that they should look into available space for emeriti faculty and to discuss with Chancellor Perlman the possibility of incorporating them in the recruitment plan.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Distribution of Executive Committee Minutes
Spann suggested that a message be sent to Senators explaining the process and the legal reason behind the need for the Executive Committee to approve the minutes before they are distributed. The committee agreed that the minutes should be approved before being sent out. DiMagno suggested that an executive summary could be sent after the Executive Committee meeting and before the minutes are distributed. Bryant stated that he would write a brief summary of the meetings and distribute them to senators.
6.2 Quality Indicators
Scheideler questioned why we had to go through the process of identifying quality indicators when some programs are barely able to keep operating with the recent budget cuts. She questioned whether the campus was being co-opted into eventually cutting programs. DiMagno pointed out that the faculty have had essentially no input in developing the quality indicators. He noted that the timing of the distribution of the indicators is such that it provides little chance for faculty discussion and participation. Scheideler stated that the overall comprehensive goal of the university needs to be discussed before quality indicators are identified. Spann questioned whether the Academic Planning Committee has had the opportunity to review the quality indicators. He pointed out that the APC developed quality indicators during the prioritization process. The committee expressed concern that the quality indicators were just a revision of the Nebraska Performance Model and that if adopted, they could be used to make decisions affecting departments and faculty. The committee agreed to discuss the issue further with Chancellor Perlman and SVCAA Edwards.
6.3 Evaluation Process of Administrators
Item postponed due to lack of time.
6.4 Steps in Helping to Reduce the Budget Cuts Partnering with ASUN
Item postponed due to lack of time.
7.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:02 p.m. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, November 28th at 3:00 p.m., 201 Canfield Administration Building. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Secretary.