Draft Draft Draft (01oct17mins)



Present:          Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Sawyer, Scheideler, Spann,



Absent:           Siekman         


Date:               Wednesday, October 17, 2001


Location:        Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace

1.0       Call to Order

            Bryant called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.


2.0       Announcements

2.1       Emeriti Association Visit

Bryant reported that Richard Fleming, President of the Emeriti Association, will be meeting with the committee on November 14th to discuss concerns of the association.


            2.2       Meeting with Legislators

Bryant reported that members of the Executive Committee are still trying to meet with State Legislators.  He stated that he would inform committee members of any upcoming meetings.


2.3       Board of Regents Meeting

Bryant reported that the Board of Regents will be meeting on Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th.  He noted that the Board wants to determine quality indicators for each campus and President Smith is scheduled to discuss this at the meeting.  Bryant stated that the committee needs to discuss the issue of quality indicators with the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors at the next Executive Committee meeting.


2.4       Grant Writing Workshops

Fuller stated that she recently attended the grant writing workshop geared towards the Humanities and Arts held by the Office of Research.  She stated that the new Faculty Associate for Research is working on gathering information from other universities on how they do research funding for the arts.  She noted that a number of people attending the workshop were impressed with these efforts since this was the first time that this had been done by the Office of Research.  Fuller stated that the Executive Committee’s role in interviewing candidates for the Vice Chancellor for Research helped to emphasize the need for grant writing workshops, particularly in the Arts & Humanities.  Fuller noted that the University is likely to receive a large grant for the creation of a regional humanities center, which will open up a lot of opportunities for grants.  Wolf stated that an announcement regarding the center would probably be made sometime in November. 


            2.5       Budget Reallocation Committee

Prochaska Cue announced that she has been appointed to serve on the IANR Budget Reallocation Committee.  She stated that the committee will be composed of administrators, faculty, and staff.  She noted that they will be meeting on October 23rd and 30th to begin discussions.


3.0       Approval of 10/3/01 Minutes

            Prochaska Cue moved and Spann seconded approval of the minutes as amended.  Motion approved.


4.0       Health Care Issues

Bryant reported that he spoke with Greg Clayton, Director of Risk Management & Benefits, about the health care plan.  He stated that an issue of concern is the lack of preventative care.  He noted that physical examinations have changed over the last 20 years and that the current insurance does not cover many of the costs associated with the routine exam.  He stated that Clayton reported that the University-wide benefits committee has been unsuccessful in trying to raise the amount of coverage for the routine exam although they have attempted to so for the past several years.  Bryant stated that he suggested that the prescription plan might be improved by going elsewhere rather than through Caremark.  He reported that Clayton stated that the University cannot go with a sole provider such as Walgreens because it is a system-wide plan and many areas of the state do not have a Walgreens nearby. 


Bryant stated that they then discussed retired employees.  He noted that 80% of retired employees buy into the program.  He stated that the blue ribbon panel committee would probably examine the issue of how the current employees are subsidizing the retired employees.  He asked the committee to think about this issue and whether or not the Senate should make a statement to support the on-going program for the retirees.  Prochaska Cue pointed out that the 80% figure may go up over time as there will eventually be fewer, if any, University employees covered under Civil Service.  University Civil Service employees usually choose coverage under Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield instead of remaining on the University’s plan after retirement.  Scheideler stated that it is good to cover the retirees but she pointed out that the panel should review whether this is a practice done by our peer institutions. 


Miller stated that he would like to see information on how the health care funds are being spent.  Bryant stated that increased pharmacy costs have taken a large portion of the fund.  Scheideler suggested that the panel should look at other universities to see what health care plans they are using.  Spann suggested that the panel should look at other employers’ plans as well.  Prochaska-Cue suggested that it would be more valid to review other employers who are self-insured.  The committee agreed that a list of questions regarding health care should be created for the panel to review.  DiMagno suggested that it would be helpful to know what the costs of drugs are so that patients could possibly choose a less expensive drug if it is available. 


The committee agreed to have David Lechner, Vice President of Business and Finance, present to the Senate information on the health care program.  They would like to see figures regarding costs and where the money is being spent.  Scheideler suggested that the members of the blue ribbon panel be invited to the Senate meeting so they can hear some of the concerns and questions of the faculty.  DiMagno stated that it would be helpful to be given a full breakdown of the program going into effect in January so that people can budget accordingly.  Fuller stated that we should know whether the increased costs are associated strictly with medical costs or if administrative costs are a factor as well.  Miller asked whether it would be financially better to get rid of the Caremark program, thereby eliminating another level of bureaucracy.  DiMagno pointed out that there may be a law restricting the use of a single source for pharmacy.  This opinion was seconded by Bryant.  Bryant stated that the questions raised would be pooled and given to Chancellor Perlman for the blue ribbon panel.


5.0       Unfinished Business

            5.1       Retirement Cap

Bryant stated that section 85-106 under the Board of Regents’ authority states that the Board “shall have the power to provide, in its discretion, retirement benefits…subject to the following:  the university contribution under any such retirement plan shall be (I) the rate established by the Board of Regents and not more than eight percent of each university employee’s full time salary…”  He noted that Past President Bleed tried to get the cap removed in 1996 but was unsuccessful.  Bryant pointed out that there is nothing legally to prevent the removal of the cap.  Bryant stated that it has been suggested that the committee try to increase the cap to 12%.  The committee disagreed.  DiMagno suggested that the bill should state that the cap should be set “in accordance with federal law”.  Miller suggested that the committee should get a feel from the state legislators regarding the proposed bill to remove the retirement cap.  Fuller pointed out that the bill is really about not micromanaging the Board of Regents and the University.  Bryant noted that the other Senate Presidents are in support of removing the cap.  He stated that he hopes that a bill could be presented in January. 


5.2       Evaluation of Administrators

King stated that faculty senates or AAUP at other universities conduct evaluations of administrators.  He distributed information, which included actual evaluations and survey instruments, obtained from the web from these universities.  King pointed out that the committee needs to determine whether these evaluations make an impact.  Miller stated that the committee needs to determine what the objectives are and what it is faculty evaluators hope to accomplish.  Sawyer noted that the administrators have information on the faculty and that it would be helpful for faculty to have such information on the administrators, particularly if there is a problem.  Scheideler noted that there has been a great deal of dissatisfaction with the current evaluation process.  King stated that one of the goals of the evaluation is to try to help administrators improve their performance.  Bryant stated that the evaluations could be done if Institutional Research and Planning could analyze the data.  He stated that this issue needs to be presented to the Chancellor and to the full Senate for further consideration. 


5.4       Guidelines for the Evaluation of Faculty for Promotion and Tenure

DiMagno stated that the 20/20 Future Task Force Report indicates that the tenure process will have a greater external component.  He pointed out that some departments typically have external tenure evaluation letters sent to up to 20 external reviewers.  He stated that as a result, departments typically want to ask these external reviewers for letters only once on an individual faculty member.  He stated that he has concern that a person withdrawing from early tenure consideration may send a message to these reviewers that there is a problem with that tenure file, thereby compromising the candidate’s standing in the external community.  He noted that “future consideration without prejudice” can only be guaranteed within the university.  He noted that he would like to see a statement in the Guidelines that makes a faculty member aware that there can be consequences if they should withdraw from early tenure consideration.  Bryant suggested that the committee speak to SVCAA Edwards on the matter since he deals with tenure from many different colleges.


6.0       New Business

            6.1       Budget Cutting Process

Wolf stated that many of the colleges are working on scenarios for budget reduction cuts.  He stated that the colleges need to have information from the administration regarding the process.  He suggested that the Executive Committee should meet with the Academic Planning Committee to discuss the budget cuts.  Bryant stated that he would check to see whether the two committees could meet.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:52 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 at 3:00 p.m., 201 Canfield Administration Building.  Respectfully submitted, Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Secretary.