EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Prochaska-Cue,
Sawyer, Scheideler, Spann, Whitt, Wolf
Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2001
1.0 Call to Order
Byrant called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.
2.1 Blue Ribbon Panel Members
Bryant announced that Robert Works from the Law College, George Redja from Finance, and Sheran Cramer from Family & Consumer Sciences have been appointed to the blue ribbon panel to look at the health care coverage for the university.
2.2 David Lechner, Vice President for Business & Finance
Bryant reported that David Lechner will be speaking to the Academic Senate on December 4th regarding changes to the health insurance. Bryant stated that he will make an announcement to the Senate at the November 6th meeting regarding this visit.
2.3 Eric Lee, Presidential Fellowship
Byrant reported that Eric Lee, Presidential Fellow, was attending the meeting to observe faculty governance. Lee stated that one of his responsibilities during his fellowship is to coordinate the University relationship with the Coordinating Commission for Post Secondary Education. He stated that he will also be planning and coordinating a retreat for chairs and unit heads on recruiting minority faculty. Scheideler asked how he plans on motivating people who attend this retreat given the current budget situation. Lee stated that the emphasis of the retreat would be to provide chairs and unit heads with the skills to identify the process of recruiting and hiring minority faculty.
2.4 Kings Opinion Column in the Lincoln Journal Star
Bryant distributed copies of Secretary Kings opinion column in the Lincoln Journal Star. He thanked King for his efforts. Bryant stated that he has delayed writing a letter from the Executive Committee on the budget issue due to the volume of emails and letters that have been written in support of the University. King pointed out that the legislature needs to hear more support for the university from the general public. Lee stated that Varner Hall is working on organizing grass-root programs in various areas of the state to lobby on behalf of the university. He noted that the budget cut is not really about money but about the quality of service that can be provided to the students and citizens of the state. Prochaska Cue stated that the support of parents would be helpful and that they should be contacted and encouraged to speak out in support of the university. The committee agreed to invite ASUN officers to a meeting to discuss ASUNs plans for opposing the budget cuts to the university.
3.0 Approval of 10/24/01Minutes
Fuller moved and Sawyer seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
4.0 Budget Resolution
Bryant suggested that a resolution be presented to the Senate to acknowledge that the campus would be operating outside of established procedures for budget cuts during Phase I of the budget cutting process. The committee decided not to present the resolution and suggested instead that Bryant make a statement of support for the Chancellor during this time of budget cuts.
5.0 Quality Indicators
Bryant distributed copies of the draft of UNL Quality Indicators. Spann suggested that those members of the Academic Planning Committee who dealt with establishing criteria for determining the priority programs should be involved in reviewing these quality indicators since there are similarities between the two. Wolf noted that a number of items have been left out that could be considered as quality indicators, such as average class size. Sawyer raised the issue of who would be responsible for gathering and analyzing the data. King suggested that SVCAA Edwards should consult with Jessica Johnson, who is involved in assessment, regarding the quality indicators. He pointed out that common information needs to be collected. Spann noted that this will likely place additional record keeping burdens on faculty and staff in many units that are simultaneously undergoing budget cuts and possible reductions in force. Scheideler stated that there have been no discussions regarding whether we are a comprehensive university and how a quality university is defined. She pointed out that there needs to be a general discussion of what the university wants to look like in the future before these indicators could be identified. She stated that by establishing these quality indicators givers the appearance that faculty members are being co-opted into looking at cutting programs. King pointed out that numbers are not going to provide answers on quality. Fuller noted that quality can not be quantified. Prochaska Cue stated that there are no weights to the criteria. She questioned who would determine which indicators are important. She noted that this appears to be part of an undefined decision making process. DiMagno stated that other universities should be reviewed to see how we compare with them and how they look at quality indicators. Scheideler stated that the Chancellor should be informed of the frustration of faculty who have to determine what these indicators are when the faculty and programs are fighting just to survive during the budget cuts. She noted that it would be all right if the indicators were used as a benchmark to improve quality, but there are concerns that the data would be used as a means to cut weaker programs. The committee agreed to discuss this issue with Chancellor Perlman, SVCAA Edwards, and VC Owens at the next meeting.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Retirement Cap
Bryant stated that a resolution has been drafted to present to the unicameral next year that would allow the retirement cap for the university to be removed. He noted that an operating rule limiting the introduction of bills in a short session exists in the Retirement Committee of the Unicameral. He asked that the committee review the draft resolution and notify him if they have any concerns.
6.2 Evaluation of Administrators
7.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:32 p.m. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, November 7th at 3:00 p.m., 201 Canfield Administration Building. Respectfully submitted, Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Secretary.