EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Logan-Peters, Sawyer, Siekman, Spann, Whitt, Wolf
Absent: Fuller, King, Prochaska-Cue, Scheideler, Wolf
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Bryant called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.
2.1 Downtown LincolnTechnology Fair
Bryant announced that C. Edward McVaney, creator of the J.D. Edwards Honors Program in Computer Science and Management, will be speaking at the Downtown Lincoln Technology Fair luncheon scheduled for Thursday, April 25th at 12:00 p.m. Cost per person is $15.00 and reservations can be made on line at http://www.downtownlincoln.org.
2.2 Honors Convocation Ceremony
Bryant reported that the Honors Convocation Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 12th for freshmen with a gpa of 3.6 4.0 and sophomores with 4.0 gpa at the Coliseum at 3:30 p.m. On Saturday, April 13th the Chancellors Scholars, Superior Scholars, Juniors with 4.0 gpa and non-graduating seniors with 4.0 gpa will be recognized at the Lied Center for Performing Arts at 2:00 p.m.
3.0 Nancy Myers, Director of the Employee Assistance Program
The Executive Committee felt that faculty members had to deal with a number of issues which might cause them to seek help from the Employee Assistance Program. Some of these issues are the increasing workload on faculty members, interpersonal problems within departments, downsizing of units, the tenure crunch and trying to maintain a home and family life, mixed messages from administration as to what is expected of faculty, lack of faculty governance in some departments, personal problems, and different criteria for internal versus external grants. Myers reported that faculty demographics from her office show an ebb and flow of all of the issues mentioned. She stated that while there is no consistent trend, a number of issues do surface with specific age groups. She stated that the budget cuts are having a definite impact on people. She noted that since January there has been an increase in the number of faculty seeking help from the EAP.
Myers reported that the EAP has a staff of 3 and that they are there to provide clinical help for all of the 4,000 UNL employees. She reported that the clinical services include brief counseling, assessments, and providing referrals to professional consultants for extended treatment. She stated that the EAP has an employee emergency loan program to assist employees in a financial crisis. It also conducts mediation/conflict resolution and does trauma debriefing for people or units who have been exposed to a traumatic event. She noted that clinical problems treated include addiction, disabilities, workplace harassment, and peer conflicts. Health problems include anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, domestic abuse, and grief.
Myers reported that trends can be seen within different strata of faculty. She stated that senior faculty members often deal with physical and mental health issues, grief loss, career relevance issues, transition to retirement, and a lack of continuing roles for faculty after retirement. Myers reported that mid-career faculty often come in with issues relating to life after tenure and the balance between teaching and research, career relevance and mid-life issues, whether to pursue full promotion, and living in a conservative culture. She stated that junior or tenure track faculty members deal with dual career issues, trying to achieve tenure, lack of collegial support in specialized research areas, cultural issues, balancing work and family life, and for single faculty a lack of community connection and opportunity. She stated that non-tenure faculty deal with issues relating to balancing work and family life, being highly educated faculty members without tenure who cannot leave Lincoln for various reasons, and, for extension personnel, having to juggle the needs of the university and the needs of the counties in which they live and work.
The committee discussed the issue of retirement transition for faculty. Miller noted that the university does not make the retirement transition easy. Myers pointed out that how faculty retire can be a very contentious issue. Bryant asked if the retirement issue is discussed when Myers meets with administrators. Myers reported that it is not often discussed. Bryant pointed out that the universitys system for retiring does not appear to be well organized.
DiMagno asked if dual career issues were a frequent problem. Myers reported that this is a very hot issue. She noted that the budget cuts have really hurt the dual career program, creating long distance relationships. She stated that money for the dual career program is limited although it is still functioning. She pointed out that it is easier to place non-faculty spouses than faculty spouses. Logan-Peters noted that some departments get forced into hiring the trailing spouse. Whitt pointed out that this can lead to a great deal of internal controversy within the department. DiMagno stated that it would be better for the university to provide an honest assessment to trailing spouse by letting him or her know that a permanent position on campus either is or is not available.
Myers reported that the EAP is conducting workshops for supervisors and administrators to help them deal sensitively with laying off employees. Myers stated that they are working with people who are facing lay offs and with those whose workload will increase because of the lay offs. Bryant stated that he would contact SVCAA Edwards and VC Owens asking them to encourage chairs and directors to attend these workshops. Logan-Peters asked if it is better to let someone know ahead of time they may be laid off. Myers stated that it is better to give advance notice if it is clear that someone is going to be laid off. She stated that it is very traumatic for people to learn from the news that their unit is going to be cut. Bryant stated that the committee would discuss with the Chancellor giving early notice to units of impending cuts.
4.0 Approval of 4/3/02 Minutes
DiMagno moved and Spann seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 Discussion of Campus-Wide Calendar
Bryant stated that he wants to discuss with VC Griesen the possibility of creating a campus-wide calendar. He stated that the calendar would inform people of religious or ethnic holidays which could help departments avoid conflicts when scheduling campus events.
6.0 Budget Cutting Process
Bryant stated that the committee would discuss this issue with the Chancellor at the next meeting. He noted that the Chancellor has three options in dealing with the next round of budget cuts: the Chancellor could handle the cuts with the help of the Vice Chancellors, he could galvanize the Academic Planning Committee to do its work quickly, or he could postpone the process until the fall. Bryant noted that it would be difficult to start the fall semester off with budget cuts.
7.0 Unfinished Business
7.1 Normalizing Grades
DiMagno reported that Dr. Hawkey, Director of Registration and Records, will be conducting a pilot study of normalizing grades. He stated that he would report to the committee when the results of the study are completed. Bryant noted that VC Griesen is supportive of normalizing grades.
7.2 Evaluation of Administrators
7.3 Update on City Campus Tuesday-Thursday Class Scheduling
Spann reported that the changes to the starting times for Tuesday-Thursday classes on city campus that were to take effect in the spring 2003 semester were brought to the attention of SVCAA Edwards who was unaware of the changes. He stated that SVCAA Edwards then discussed the changes with VC Griesen and Registration and Records and it was decided that the new schedule would not be used. Spann recommended that the Executive Committee send a letter to VC Griesen and to Registration and Records suggesting that future recommended changes to the scheduling of classes should be brought to the attention of the Senate.
8.0 New Business
8.1 Motion on Distribution of Funds for Faculty Salary Increases
Bryant presented a motion to request that the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee endorse the recommendations made by the Executive Committee to distribute the salary pool as follows: 3.56 to departments and units, .75 to the colleges, and .25 to the Vice Chancellors. He stated that the belief of the committee is that sufficient progress was made last year relative to addressing large compression inequities and market conditions to justify moving more dollars to the departments. The motion also requests that Regents Bylaw 4.6 be followed in arriving at the merit judgments made by faculty departments. Bryant noted that the motion also calls for a minimum 3.0% increase for faculty members who receive a satisfactory performance evaluation. Sawyer seconded the motion.
Miller noted that the FCAC recommended almost the same distribution as last year. He noted that the FCAC discussed the 3.0% increase for satisfactory performance but that it was not considered seriously. He stated that the FCAC thought that the merit increases rest at the Vice Chancellors level instead of at the department level. DiMagno pointed out that control of the faculty budget has changed drastically in recent years. He noted that in the past, departments kept open faculty positions, then they moved to the Deans, and now they are going to the Vice Chancellors. He stated that, through retirements and vacancies, administrators now control 5% of the total faculty pool. He asked why administrators need to redirect a substantial portion of annual faculty salary increases in addition to this 5%.
The committee approved the motion with one abstention. A copy of the motion will be sent to the FCAC.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, April 17th at 3:00 p.m., in room 201 Canfield Administration building. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and James King, Secretary.