EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Sawyer, Scheideler, Spann, Whitt, Wolf
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:07 p.m.
2.1 Meeting with President Smith
Bryant reported that the Academic Senate Presidents met with President Smith. He stated that discussion focused on domestic partner benefits, the budget forecast for the next biennium, the budget shortfall, and the libraries on the four campuses. He noted that the report on domestic partner benefits was favorable and that there was good discussion on the topic. He stated that the discussion on the libraries addressed coordination among the libraries on all four campuses and serial cuts. He reported that President Smith stated that there is already good coordination among the libraries. Logan-Peters pointed out that the Deans of the Libraries on all four campuses meet every four weeks and that the inflation rate on serials is the major factor in discontinuing subscriptions to them.
2.2 Budget Reduction and Faculty Salary Increases
Several committee members stated that they are receiving a number of email notices from fellow faculty objecting to the resolution that was presented at the January Senate meeting.
3.0 Vice Chancellor Jackson
3.1 Pepsi Fund
VC Jackson reported that the market value of the Pepsi Quasi Endowment Fund, as of November 30, 2001, was $12.58 million. She stated that currently there is an annual income of $675,000. She noted that the Pepsi Quasi-Endowment Advisory Committee recommends how the income should be spent in the following categories: student scholarships, campus/student life initiatives, community service & outreach initiatives, food service operations, facilities support, academic enhancements, diversity commitments, athletic & recreational activities, campus ID technology, and Title IX support. The advisory committee consists of the Vice Chancellors, the Chair of the Finance Department, the Vice President for Finance at the University of Nebraska, the Director of Development at UNL, the Associate to the Chancellor of UNL, the Director of Athletics, the General Counsel of the University of Nebraska, a representative from Pepsi, the President of ASUN, and the President of the Academic Senate. The advisory committee makes recommendations to the Pepsi Quasi-Endowment Committee which consists of the Vice Chancellors and the Chancellor of UNL. This committee makes the final decision on how the Pepsi Funds will be spent.
VC Jackson reported that the Pepsi Fund was used to support two major programs last year: UCARE Undergraduate Research received $400,000 or approximately 60% of the income, and Student Scholarships received 36% of the income. The remaining 4% was used to support programs from Student Affairs. VC Jackson noted that the structure of the committees and the designation of funding categories were established in the original contract with Pepsi. Scheideler asked what other programs were funded last year. VC Jackson stated that there was one time available funds from income that had not been previously spent. She stated that these funds went to support the School is Cool Jam, the Lied Center Marquee, the Campus Recreation Ropes Course, and Athletics Capital Projects (the womens soccer field). Scheideler asked if the Peer Review of Teaching project was funded by Pepsi money. VC Jackson stated that the fund initially provided some money for this project. Miller asked how the UCARE money is spent. VC Jackson stated that it primarily goes to paying undergraduate students for conducting research with faculty. She noted that there are approximately 200 students currently involved with UCARE.
DiMagno asked what happens to the $12.5 million principal once the contract expires. VC Jackson stated that the money would remain with the university. She stated that the university could either spend the principal or could continue to keep the endowment and use the income generated by the fund. Whitt asked for clarification on the definition of a quasi endowment fund. VC Jackson stated that donors typically specify that only the income generated from an endowment can be spent. She noted that a quasi endowment states that the principal, as well as the income, can be spent by the institution. DiMagno asked if the university could spend the principal now and whether there is any outside pressure to spend it. VC Jackson stated that the principal could be spent now but there is no outside pressure to do so. She pointed out that the issue is whether to keep the principal so it can generate income to support programs like UCARE and scholarships, or spend it and not have any further income to support programs. DiMagno asked if the type of expenditures could be changed once the contract expires. VC Jackson stated that she was unsure. DiMagno asked if the committee structures extend beyond the time of the contract. VC Jackson stated that she believed the advisory committee would continue to make recommendations.
Wolf stated that there are concerns with how the money is made available to the campus community. He pointed out that there are no competitive application processes and no guidelines or calls for proposals. VC Jackson stated that when the one time money was available the advisory committee decided that they could either spread out the money to a lot of people or they could limit the number of programs that would receive the money, thereby providing a larger grant. Wolf noted that the funds could be used for diversity. He asked how campus organizations involved in diversity could obtain Pepsi funds. VC Jackson stated that the Vice Chancellors could solicit their units. Wolf pointed out that some organizations could be overlooked by the overseeing Vice Chancellor. Whitt suggested that a call be sent out to all faculty for proposals. Scheideler stated that this was done in the first year of the endowment but she stated there were problems because the scope was too broad. She stated that the committee was not satisfied with the results. She noted that the faculty have the perspective that they cannot have access to the funds, even if they have goals that fall within the specified categories. She pointed out that this causes resentment and makes people feel that the decisions regarding the funds are made by the administrators. VC Jackson stated that there is no committed structure in place regarding how the money is requested. She pointed out that the current practice could be changed. Scheideler pointed out that the funds should be used to benefit the whole campus. Spann pointed out that people do not like the idea of a monopoly which generates income that appears to be a slush fund for the administrators.
DiMagno asked if the target is to grow the endowment into a large permanent fund. VC Jackson pointed out that the income was not spent the first year but that the current policy is to spend the income every year. She stated that the goal is to spend money to support the campus. Miller asked if there was a way to insure that faculty get some voice in the use of the Pepsi funds. VC Jackson stated that she will pass along the issue of non access to faculty and student groups. Spann asked if there has been any discussion of what to do with the funds once the contract expires. VC Jackson stated that there has been no discussion. She pointed out that there are still 7 years left on the contract and that the committee feels that the UCARE program and scholarships are very important and should be maintained. Bryant asked how the committee would react to proposals for funding from the campus. VC Jackson stated that she would discuss this with the committee to identify a process for a call for proposals. Scheideler pointed out that all campus entities should have access to the funds and that they need to be distributed fairly. DiMagno suggested that people should be aware of how much money is available for funding and Miller suggested that the campus needs to be aware of the categories in which the money can be spent. Bryant asked if there was anything that the Vice Chancellor would change in the contract if possible. VC Jackson pointed out that the university received a great contract and that no other university has one similar to it. She stated that she does not know that it could happen again. She noted that once the contract expires, they will competitively bid again for another Pouring Rights Contract but it is uncertain whether another contract would be written that is as beneficial to the campus as the current one with Pepsi.
3.2 Parking Garage
VC Jackson reported that she went to the Academic Planning Committee for approval for building another parking garage on campus. She stated that the APC has requested that alternative funding for the garage be explored, that other areas for surface parking be reviewed, and inquiries be made about whether the state fair grounds or the baseball stadium parking could be used. She stated that the Parking Advisory Committee has had discussions on these topics. She noted that they are looking at alternative funding such as longer term financing but she pointed out that bond markets are not very interested in financing parking garages. She stated that they have talked to the people at the state fair grounds who stated that they would consider leasing their parking lots. She noted that one of the issues associated with this parking is busing people from the state fair grounds. She stated that the neighborhood surrounding the ball park has voiced considerable concern against stadium parking being used for students during the off season. She noted that while they have exhausted all other alternatives, they are not ready to go back to the APC. She pointed out that parking, at this time, is not as much an emergency because of the timing of the Antelope Valley Project. She stated that they are reviewing the AVP time schedule and trying to determine how some of the parking lots would be affected. She pointed out that some lots would be lost permanently while some would be lost temporarily for construction equipment.
VC Jackson stated that she is well aware of the sensitivity towards increasing parking fees. She stated that parking is currently not a problem and that it is hard to suggest the need for another garage today. She stated that they are currently in a holding pattern and are closely watching the Antelope Valley project and counting available stalls. DiMagno asked if they know to what extent the market has pushed people to seek parking arrangements outside of campus. VC Jackson stated that they do not have any numbers. She noted that this is the first year they have not turned anyone away for a parking permit. Miller asked how a parking garage could be built without increasing fees. VC Jackson stated that it could not be easily done. She noted that if parking fees had increased slowly a number of years ago there would have been money saved to help fund the building of a garage. She stated that part of the problem is that two parking garages have been erected within a short period of time. Miller inquired about the retail space for lease in the new parking garage. VC Jackson stated that they turned the space over toward the student union and that a convenience store is to open sometime at the end of March. She stated that they are hoping to get other businesses to rent space and that the intent is for the leasing fees to help pay off the bonds on the garage. Miller asked if the garage is fully used. VC Jackson stated that she does not know if it is used to full capacity but she has heard that people are pleased with it and that the shuttle buses are working well. She noted that it was used for football parking. Bryant noted that the committee will be meeting with Stan Campbell, Director of Campus Recreation, to discuss the long term goals of campus rec and their impact on surface parking. Whitt asked if there were discussions with city or state officials on mass transportation. VC Jackson stated that they have talked with StarTran but that the problem is that StarTran does not have the funding to expand their hours. She stated that there has been some discussion with the city about building a parking garage on the south side of the city.
4.0 Dr. Early Hawkey, Director of Registration and Records
4.1 The New Grading System
Dr. Hawkey distributed information relating to the distribution of grades in undergraduate classes from 1978 through the Fall 2001 semester. He noted that the new grading system did not create much of a difference in the overall grading of students. He pointed out that while the mean grade for this past fall semester was 3.05, the number of students receiving grades in the A range (includes A-, A, A+) increased. He noted that the average gpa for the fall semester for seniors and juniors was slightly higher while the average gpa for freshmen and sophomores was slightly lower than the previous semester. He pointed out that the information indicates that there has been a classic pattern of grade inflation over a period of time. The committee speculated on what could be the cause(s) for this inflation. Wolf asked if the information on the grade distribution was going to be publicized. Hawkey stated that Professor Lauerman, Director, University Communications, would be issuing a press release and that he is scheduled to meet with the Daily Nebraskan about the grading system. Whitt stated that there are still concerns with the C- grade as it is not considered an acceptable grade for a students major. Scheideler asked if the grade distribution at UNL was similar to other universities. Hawkey stated that it is very similar to the other schools in the Big 12. Whitt pointed out that the information shows there is no need to revert the grading system to its original form. The committee discussed possibly having Dr. Hawkey present the information at an upcoming Senate meeting.
5.0 Approval of 1/6/02 Minutes
Spann moved and Wolf seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved
6.0 Unfinished Business
No unfinished business was discussed.
7.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:03 p.m. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, January 30th, at 3:00 p.m., 201 Canfield Administration Building. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and James King, Secretary.