EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, Logan-Peters, Miller, Prochaska-Cue, Sawyer, Siekman
Spann, Whitt, Wolf
Absent: King, Scheideler
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Bryant called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.
2.1 President Smith to Speak at April 2nd Academic Senate Meeting
Bryant reminded the committee that President Smith will be addressing the Senate at the April 2nd meeting. He stated that he asked President Smith to discuss the budget and, if possible, to speak on the blue ribbon health committee findings. He stated that anyone wishing to have other issues addressed should email Karen Griffin, Coordinator of the Academic Senate, so she can notify the Presidents office.
2.2 Candidates for Provost
Bryant stated that he is participating in the interviewing of candidates for the Provost position which is being vacated by Lee Jones due to his retirement. Bryant noted that there are five strong candidates for this position, four external candidates and one internal candidate.
2.3 Academic Rights and Responsibilities Procedures
Byrant reported that progress is being made in revising the Grievance procedures. He stated that he hopes to have a draft copy of the procedures to the Executive Committee by the end of this semester.
2.4 Speakers Bureau
Bryant reported that the Executive Committee has been asked to submit names of faculty who would be interested in participating in the UNL Speakers Bureau. He stated that anyone interested should contact him via email.
3.0 Chancellor Perlman
3.1 Budget Process for the Next Cut
Chancellor Perlman reported that the legislature may have to go into special session in May in order to deal with the states budget deficit if they do not resolve it during this session. He noted that until the budget situation is resolved, the University is unsure how much of an additional cut it will receive. He stated that no serious reductions in the budget can take place without a process that allows for serious discussions with the faculty. He noted that this process cannot take place over the summer because few faculty members are on campus. He pointed out that a lot of faculty members have contacted their legislator which has resulted in a large variety of senators coming to the defense of the university. Bryant pointed out that Michelle Waite, Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Relations, has done a great job working on behalf of the university and in keeping the Executive Committee aware of particular concerns.
3.2 Distribution of Faculty Salary Increases
Bryant reported that the members of the Executive Committee have different opinions on how the salary increases should be distributed but they all agree that they want to know ahead of time what the final breakdown will be for the distribution of the increases. Chancellor Perlman stated that he is waiting to hear the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committees recommendations. Miller noted that the FCAC will be meeting on April 1st and that he hopes a statement from the committee will be made at that time. Chancellor Perlman stated that information on our peer institutions is still being compiled and that he hopes it will be available so that it can be used to help determine the salary increases. He noted that there have been concerns over last years 1.5% increase for minimum satisfactory performance; however, he pointed out that very few people received this amount and that most people received a raise equivalent to the cost of living increase. He pointed out that the pool for faculty salary increases and the pool for administrative increases are separate. He noted that a lot of administrative positions were filled last year and that the salaries for these positions increased because they were often new hires. He stated that it is an inherent fact in universities that new people are continually hired, often at a salary higher than current employees because of the current market.
DiMagno asked what the rationale is for the administrative control of the faculty salary increases. He pointed out that there is a strong proposal for merit increase, yet the merit increase is determined at the department level, not the administrative level. Chancellor Perlman stated that departments are not homogenous and that some departments have uniformly high achievers. He pointed out that in order to compensate these high achieving departments fairly, the administration needs to be able to distribute some additional funding. He noted that market issues, as well as gender and minority equity issues, also need to be taken into account.
Siekman stated that departments were told by upper administration last year that they needed to give more money to people in their departments, yet they were not given the money by upper administration to do so. He pointed out that in some departments a satisfactory evaluation is considered a great rating and that it should be compensated better than last year. Chancellor Perlman noted that he continues to hear about the diversity of how faculty salary increases are handled in the departments. He pointed out that this in itself is a good reason for the administration to hold back a percentage of the increase. He noted that there need to be some checks and balances to the system.
Wolf stated that one of the major problems last year was with the restrictions that were imposed by the administration on departments. Chancellor Perlman pointed out that there were no restrictions. Wolf stated that the language did not clearly convey that these were just guidelines and were not mandatory. Chancellor Perlman agreed that there were problems with the communication of the guidelines. He stated that the idea was to give chairs and deans a process of conversation that would continue up through administrative lines.
Miller suggested that there should be a uniform system regarding how faculty salary increases are determined. Chancellor Perlman stated that he is supportive of a uniform system but he believes that this is something that the faculty needs to support. DiMagno suggested that department chairs should publish the criteria used in determining faculty evaluations. He stated that these criteria should be specifically stated and that there should be campus-wide criteria. Chancellor Perlman stated that the FCAC should discuss the definition of a campus minimum standard of evaluation. Whitt pointed out that it would be helpful for faculty to know what criteria are used so that they can work towards them. Chancellor Perlman suggested that the FCAC should also discuss how chairs and deans communicate to their faculty on the increases they receive. Miller stressed the need to have good department chairs in place to insure that the salary increases are conducted fairly.
Bryant noted that vacant faculty lines have been a source of funding for increases due to promotion and tenure. He asked if there are enough lines available to take care of the increases generated by promotions. Chancellor Perlman stated that they are committed to promotion and tenure and although he does not know if there is enough funding through vacant faculty positions to address these increases, he stated that the funding will be found.
3.3 Teaching Council
Bryant reported that Professor Brooks, Chair of the Teaching Council, has resigned from the Council. Bryant noted that the Teaching Council has been targeted to take on some of the work of the Teaching and Learning Center. He pointed out that the charge to the council will need to change if their work changes. Chancellor Perlman stated that he needs to have conversations with SVCAA Edwards and VC Owens about the Teaching Council.
3.4 Evaluation of Administrators Report
Logan-Peters reported that the subcommittee working on the evaluation of administrators has been reviewing other institutions evaluation system. She noted that the UNL evaluation system is not as inclusive as those of other institutions. She stated that the best system appears to be the one used by the University of Colorado-Boulder. She reported that the Faculty Senate administers the process at CU with the assistance of the office equivalent to our Institutional Research and Planning. She stated that they give specific guidelines on who can participate in the evaluations and that all of the information is available on their Website. She noted that the evaluations at CU are unsigned but have broader input than those elicited here. She reported that a standard evaluation form is available at CU on the Web although specific language can be added to address the responsibilities of particular administrators. She noted that climate issues are included on the evaluation form. She stated that CU does not alter the comments which are published on the web but the Senate committee summarizes the comments and gives them to the appropriate supervisor of the administrator and to the person being evaluated. She pointed out that there needs to be further discussion as to whether the faculty members at UNL want a new system; if so, a good survey instrument would need to be designed.
Bryant noted that signed evaluations of administrators were not required until SVCAA Edwards came to campus. Sawyer stated that he knows of professors who have suffered repercussions from making signed, critical evaluations of administrators. He asked if the administration is interested in changing the current evaluation system. Chancellor Perlman stated that an evaluation process that does not have the confidence of the people involved is not a helpful process. He stated that he is supportive of an evaluation system that has the confidence of the faculty. He suggested that administrators should be evaluated every three years rather than every year as is done at CU. He stated that the kinds of information published would need to be determined. He pointed out that the publics view of the support that an administrator has within the university can have an effect on the outside support that the university receives. Bryant stated that the committee is not looking to create an adversarial system.
Whitt noted that it is problematical for the Executive committee to evaluate an administrator when they have little contact with that person. He stated a system similar to the one being used by CU would help address this problem. Chancellor Perlman agreed that it is important to receive evaluations from people who have knowledge of an administrators work. Sawyer suggested that results of the evaluations could be kept within the university, perhaps between the Executive Committee and the Chancellor. He pointed out that something needs to be done if an administrator receives numerous negative evaluations. Chancellor Perlman stated that he is supportive of a system that is informative and he encouraged the committee to pursue the issue further.
4.0 Approval of 3/13/02Minutes
Sawyer moved and Logan-Peters seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 Unfinished Business
5.1 Update on Evaluation of VC Griesen
Bryant reported that he has not completed summarizing comments for the evaluation of VC Griesen. He stated that he would ask SVCAA Edwards for an extension so he can hear back from more of the Executive Committee members.
5.2 Nominations for Executive Committee
The committee worked on nominations for the Executive Committee elections that will take place on April 30th.
6.0 New Business
6.1 Distribution of Executive Committee Minutes
Wolf stated that he distributes the final version of the Executive Committee minutes to the faculty in his department. He stated that he has been told that they are grateful to receive these as it gives them a sense of the work that is done by the Senate and the Executive Committee. Wolf suggested that an announcement be made at the Senate meeting encouraging Senators to distribute the minutes. He stated that some of the issues would have more support if faculty were aware that they are being discussed.
6.2 Withdrawal Policy
Spann reported that an incident has occurred whereby a student cannot complete a course due to serious injuries sustained in a car accident. He pointed out that it was too late in the semester for the student to withdraw from the course. He noted that an incomplete requires that a student should have a substantial amount of the coursework completed but in this particular case this requirement was not met. Spann stated that there needs to be some middle policy that deals with judicial withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances. The committee agreed. Bryant suggested that he contact ASUN to see if this would be an issue that they would be interested in working on.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, April 3rd, at 3:00 p.m., in the Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Secretary.