EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Sawyer, Spann, Whitt, Wolf
Absent: Bryant, Prochaska-Cue, Scheideler, Siekman
Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2001
1.0 Call to Order
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.
No announcements were made.
3.0 Chancellor Perlman/SVCAA Edwards/VC Owens
3.1 Second Year Budget Reductions
Chancellor Perlman stated that he fully intends to follow the Procedures to be Invoked for Significant Budget Reallocations and Reductions during the budget cutting process. He stated that a general budget framework needs to be developed very soon. He noted that he is working on a time frame for implementing permanent budget reductions. He pointed out that for programs this would probably be a three-year time frame.
Miller stated that a faculty member questioned him regarding the newspaper article that stated that faculty would be cut. Chancellor Perlman stated that in his interview with reporters, he responded to their question regarding whether faculty members would be cut by noting that Deans and Department chairs would be making recommendations regarding how they would handle the budget cuts. He pointed out that everything is on the table but he believes the university would be very reluctant to cut faculty and that this would be done only as a very last resort. Wolf suggested that this could be addressed in a follow up email. Chancellor Perlman stated that he would get an email message out soon addressing the budget cuts.
3.2 Quality Indicators
Chancellor Perlman reported that the Board of Regents has charged all of the campuses to develop a set of quality indicators. He stated that UNL is to give their presentation on the quality indicators on December 7th. SVCAA Edwards distributed a new draft of the quality indicators. He stated that the indicators listed represent the university broadly, although the current document does not include engagement and outreach. VC Owens stated that the engagement and outreach quality indicators were still being worked on by directors and unit heads but should be available within a few days. He noted that determining these indicators was a difficult process although there are some areas where quality indicators could be quantified. SVCAA Edwards stated that they wanted to use indicators that would provide information that would help determine if the university is improving. He noted that they tried to focus on outcomes rather than inputs to the university. He stated that they tried to include indicators where data can either be easily gathered or where it already exists. Miller asked if the indicators were local or national indicators. SVCAA Edwards stated that some national indicators have been used as well as some that have come out of AAU.
Fuller pointed out that the indicator regarding the number of multidisciplinary grant proposals submitted indicates quantity and not necessarily quality. SVCAA Edwards stated that this issue was discussed. He stated that it was decided to include an indicator that could show if there is a marked increase in the number of submitted research proposals. King stated that this indicator could show that the university encourages and values these types of grants. DiMagno stated that these indicators define what the institution wants to reward in terms of directing the research of individual faculty members. He pointed out that being awarded a grant is its own reward, regardless of whether one or twenty people receive it. He questioned why having principal investigators from two or more departments is considered a quality indicator. He suggested counting the number of large grants awarded instead. SVCAA Edwards stated that they have grappled with this issue. Chancellor Perlman stated that he sees many opportunities across the campus for people to work on multidisciplinary grants which could be funded, but that does not mean that they want to create an environment that ignores or discourages individual investigators. He stated that this issue may need to be worked on further. SVCAA Edwards asked that further comments be emailed to him.
Miller asked if the document describes what we uniquely do that is not done at other institutions. SVCAA Edwards stated that the six year graduation rate is not relative to private universities. He stated that there is concern about why these figures are that high. He pointed out that there is little or no information regarding why students leave or if they continue their education elsewhere. Sawyer noted that the six year graduation rate could be looked at in many ways. He stated that many of the students may go to school part time. SVCAA Edwards stated that many majors require additional credit hours in order to graduate and that this can not be accomplished in four years. Miller asked if departments have to prove why students need additional credit hours in order to graduate. SVCAA Edwards stated that this is decided by the departments. Fuller pointed out that the indicator does not state whether students can not get the classes they need in order to graduate in four years. Wolf asked why class size or ratio of faculty to students is not included in the indicators. SVCAA Edwards stated that these are considered inputs rather than outputs of the university and the idea was to include outputs. Fuller asked who is going to be doing the record keeping, particularly in the face of budget cuts, to gather the information being asked by the quality indicators. SVCAA Edwards stated that some data have already been collected. Chancellor Perlman stated that colleges should have some of the information already collected.
3.3 How UNL Treats Professors at the Point of Retirement
Chancellor Perlman stated that he does not have this information readily available. He suggested that the committee contact the Human Resources department to learn more about this issue.
3.4 Breakdown of Faculty Salary Increases by Age and Percentage Point
Chancellor Perlman stated that the general university community wanted information regarding salary increases equivalent to the cost of living increase (3%). He stated that he is reluctant to provide more specific information because it could identify individual people since very few people received below 3%. He pointed out that the budget books are now available and that people can check the books if they are interested in seeing how the increases were distributed in their department.
Chancellor Perlman stated that the age issue is much more difficult to deal with and that he has not yet run these figures. He stated that he has concerns that the figures might show that fewer older people received higher increases than others but is unsure of what this would tell us. He pointed out that it raises questions whether this is based on discrimination of age or whether there is some correlation, not one-to-one, but if there could be some correlation between age and productivity. He suggested that a study could be done, similar to the gender study, to determine whether there is age discrimination or whether there is less productivity. Fuller suggested that the same argument could be made regarding gender or minority status. Chancellor Perlman stated that he did not think productivity could be related to gender or minority status but that it could be related to age; however, he stated that this should be tested before any figures are published. DiMagno stated that the problem is that there is no control group so it is difficult to explain any figures. He pointed out that in order to show age discrimination you would have to base it on equal performance. He noted that while it could be done, it would take a great deal of work. Chancellor Perlman stated that he is willing to consider proposals to conduct a study that would provide meaningful information. He stated that the Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women is pressing to have the model used in examining gender equity issues reexamined. He reported that he is writing a letter to President Bryant and Professor Ann Mari May, Co-chair of the Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women, stating that he is happy to appoint a committee to examine the model. He noted that his letter suggests four or five people to serve on the committee and invited other feedback.
The committee discussed the possibility of conducting a study on age. Logan Peters stated that faculty members need to be more aggressive in asking chairs for explanations regarding their salary increases.
4.0 Approval of 10/31/01Minutes
Spann moved and Whitt seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 Unfinished Business
5.1 Fund Raising Letter
Griffin stated that the packets of fund raising letters to work on were ready for the Executive Committee members. She asked that all the stuffed envelopes be returned to her for mailing.
6.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m . The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, November 14th at 3:00 p.m., 420 University Terrace. Respectfully submitted, Karen Griffin, Coordinator and James King, Secretary.