EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bryant, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson, Siekman,
Spann, Whitt, Wolf
Absent: DiMagno, Sawyer, Wunder
Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:01 pm.
2.1 Deb Thomas, Director Special Projects, Memo
Miller announced that Deb Thomas is seeking a member or members of the Executive Committee to join a group of people being formed to work on upcoming legislative issues and to meet with state senators. He noted that the group is being organized by Ron Withem, Associate Vice President for External Affairs. The first meeting will be held on November 19th.
3.0 Dean Alan Cerveny, Admissions
Dean Cerveny stated that new student enrollment for this year is up 4% from last year. He noted that this increase is for both resident and non-resident students. He pointed out that the freshman class profile (average class rank, ACT scores, SAT scores) has also increased. He stated that he believes this is a result of the increase in admissions standards.
Dean Cerveny reported that the admissions office is already involved in recruiting for next year. He noted that he and his staff will be attending 220 college fairs and visiting 350 high schools this fall. He pointed out that this is the most aggressive recruiting effort UNL has undertaken.
Miller asked if mailings were sent to targeted high school students. Dean Cerveny stated that a different set of letters gets sent out to students in each high school class. He noted that the admissions office now has a new student prospective system which provides essential information to help target potential students. He pointed out that there are over 60,000 prospects each year. He noted that the new system uses both the internet and email systems. He stated that students today rely more heavily on email than other forms of communication as it offers an immediate response and allows a conversation to develop between the admissions office and the prospective student. King noted that this could require a great deal of time. Dean Cerveny pointed out that the admissions office is changing and that following up with students is a critical issue.
King stated that 8th and 9th graders come to campus to participate in various competitions such as the FAA. He suggested that these students should be contacted. Dean Cerveny stated that the more the admissions office coordinates with these kinds of on-campus events, the better it will be for the university. He stated that he is working with Associate Vice Chancellor Kean to make sure the admissions office is aware of the events happening in each of the colleges.
Whitt asked if there were a lot of field contacts. Dean Cerveny stated that there are 16 members of his staff who are out on the road regularly. He stated that his office is working with the Scholarship and Financial Aid office more and they are now doing rolling scholarships. He noted that students are being notified earlier than ever before on scholarships.
Fuller asked if the admissions office was concentrating on Omaha high school students more. Dean Cerveny reported that he is trying to increase UNLs visibility in this market. He stated that he hopes to hold a UNL open house in Omaha that would be a high profile event held annually.
Miller asked if the admissions office concentrates strictly on the Midwest or whether there are people assigned to handle different areas of the country. Dean Cerveny stated that most efforts are in the Midwest but he would like to establish an alumni base across the country so that prospective students could be identified.
Peterson asked how competitive UNL is in regards to tuition for out of state students. Dean Cerveny stated that UNLs cost is a little less than many universities. He stated that his office is particularly interested in recruiting students in the North Chicago, Texas, South Dakota, and Iowa areas. King asked if we might lose students to Canada due to the exchange rate. Dean Cerveny stated that he did not know the answer to this question. He pointed out that the US has a tradition of having good schools.
Whitt asked what percentage of students are in-state. Dean Cerveny stated that 80% of the undergraduate student population is in-state. He noted that they hope to have 30% of the population from out-of-state.
Miller asked what the reaction would be in recruiting if tuition is raised. Dean Cerveny noted that the university should be conservative if it increases tuition rates. He pointed out that a lower tuition rate would attract more students.
Miller asked if admissions had any plans to team up with the Alumni Association. Dean Cerveny stated that they are interested in more partnering with the Association. He stated that he hopes to develop a national program in the future.
Dean Cerveny stated that the new visitors center would be opening sometime this year. He stated that it should become an information center for new and prospective students. Peterson asked if it will be an information center for graduate students as well. Dean Cerveny stated that it will make referrals for graduate students.
King asked what faculty members can do to help with recruiting. Dean Cerveny stated that one of the most important things is for the university to sell itself. He pointed out that telling prospective students what is happening in departments is most effective. Bryant pointed out that there needs to be an easy way to get information about academic programs. Dean Cerveny stated that he hopes to make the great hall of the visitors center a resource center with computer access. Included would be a presentation center.
Peterson stated that there is a need to expand the transfer student program to insure that these students are prepared for classes at the university. He noted that many of them have difficulty because they are not well prepared. Dean Cerveny stated that he appreciates these concerns. He noted that there is a lot of competition with other universities and colleges for transfer students. He stated that there is a Phi Theta Kappa for community college students that he would like to have started here.
Miller asked about recruiting for diversity. Dean Cerveny stated that we need to get into core community based recruiting. He noted that working with local organizations in communities can greatly help with recruiting. He stated that we need to increase the number of students of color visiting campus. Wolf stated that decent programs and a good Culture Center are needed not only to attract students of color to come to UNL, but to stay.
Spann noted that members of the Emeriti Association are interested in helping out. King stated that emeriti professors in other areas of the country might be willing to help with recruiting students.
Miller asked what faculty could do to help out with recruiting. Dean Cerveny stated that having faculty more directly involved in recruiting is very helpful. He noted that the campus tour is the most important part of the visit by a prospective student. He noted that 49% of new students came for a campus visit. He pointed out that it should be 60 70%. He stated that his office is reorganizing the campus visit to make it more attractive to students.
Dean Cerveny stated that he hopes to write a comprehensive admissions report in the near future which would evaluate recruiting efforts. Wolf stated that the Executive Committee has been promised a copy of the Noel-Levitz report but that this has not yet happened. Dean Cerveny stated that he will be presenting some of the information from the report to the Senate on November 5th. He asked that anyone with suggestions or comments should email him.
4.0 Dr. Earl Hawkey, Director, Registration & Records
4.1 Probation Policies
Dr. Hawkey reported that a number of factors are considered when a student is placed on probation. He stated that if a semester GPA falls below 2.0, students will be notified that they are on probation. He noted that the intent of the probation is to give students a wake up call that their grades are slipping. He pointed out that the probation does not appear on a students transcripts. He stated that it is more difficult for students to receive probation during the summer sessions because the grade distribution is higher. He stated that 3.69% of students enrolled in summer classes are put on probation as compared to 6 7% for the spring semester and 10% for the fall semester.
Peterson asked if a student received a C- the first five week session and were put on probation, would probation be removed if that student improved in the second five week session. Hawkey stated that most students take classes in more than one summer session. He pointed out that probation would be based on the total summer session courses, not just a particular session.
Whitt asked how many semesters on probation a student can be on probation before being dismissed. Hawkey stated that three successive terms with a GPA below 2.0 would result in dismissal. He noted that this can be appealed through the Academic Standards Committee.
Spann suggested that probation should be given to those students who really need it rather than just automatically happening. Hawkey stated that the letter sent is very encouraging and is written to make students aware that their grades need to improve. Whitt stated that some letters coming from departmental advisors can be very negative. Hawkey stated that he was unaware that these letters were being sent.
Peterson noted that there are different levels of probation. He asked how many cumulative semesters must be under 2.0 in order for a student to be placed on probation. Hawkey stated that it depends on the number of credit hours taken. He pointed out that more students come off of probation during the summer than get put on.
Miller asked if Hawkey has received any further feedback on the grading system. Hawkey stated that he has heard no concerns this fall. Whitt stated that there is some faculty concern about the C- grade no longer being acceptable.
King complimented Hawkey and his staff on coordinating Blackboard. Fuller stated that the new DAR system is very helpful for advising. Peterson asked if the intention behind this system is to phase out senior checks. Hawkey stated that this is one of the goals of the system. He noted that they eventually hope to make the information accessible to students.
5.0 Approval of 10/9/02 Minutes
Peterson moved and Whitt seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 The Election: How to get out the University Vote
The committee agreed to review the draft email by Wunder urging people to vote. Griffin will contact Associate to the Chancellor Howe to have the email message distributed to the campus.
6.2 Response to Administrative Staffing Report
The committee felt that the report should be discussed with the Chancellor but that it was meant as an internal report, not a report to be made public. The committee agreed to address the issue further at the next meeting.
7.0 New Business
7.1 Report on the Board of Regents Meeting
Miller reported that President Smith gave his State of the University address at the Board of Regents meeting.
7.2 Safety Concerns on Campus
Bryant reported that there is great concern regarding the safety on the corner of 14th & Vine Streets. He noted that the new cross walk lighting system is confusing and causing problems. He stated that another area of concern is the 16th & Q Street intersection. He pointed out that the comments made by Lincoln City Police Officer Petersen in the Daily Nebraskan were offensive. Miller stated that he would contact VC Jackson to express the concerns of the Executive Committee.
7.3 Climate Survey
Bryant asked that the climate survey be a future agenda item for the committee to discuss. He stated that the survey is not being used as a catalyst to foster discussion but as a judgment to which each department must develop an action plan. He stated that some female faculty members are concerned that the survey does not address faculty womens issues because of the inclusion of staff in the survey.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:02 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, October 23rd at 3:00 pm. The meeting will be held in 201 Canfield Administration Building. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and James King, Secretary.