EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson,
Sawyer, Spann, Whitt, Wolf, Wunder
Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:04 pm.
2.1 Hooding Ceremony and Graduation
Miller announced that the hooding ceremony will be held on December 20th at 3:30 pm in Kimball Hall. He reported that graduation will take place on December 21st at 9:00 am.
2.2 Examination of Bylaw
Miller asked Fuller if she would examine the bylaws to determine how an emeriti professor can become a member of the Senate. She agreed and Spann stated that he would help. This will be completed by Mid-November.
3.0 Approval of 10/16/02 Minutes
Peterson moved and Whitt seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
4.0 Unfinished Business
4.1 Report on APC Hearing
Peterson reported that Siekman presented the main case for the extension faculty at the APC hearing and that the presentation was well received by the APC. Fuller noted that the press highlighted the AAUP issues raised at the hearing. She pointed out that although the Chancellors decisions do not become final until November 11th, people have already been given notice of their termination. She questioned whether this might be considered a violation of due process and Wunder agreed with this concern. He noted that the Chancellor should be made aware of this action.
Miller stated that he felt the APC was sympathetic to the committees case for retaining the two extension faculty members slated to be terminated. Fuller pointed out that the Chancellor stated that there were four unidentified academic programs that would have been cut if the budget cuts had been higher. She noted that with this current action, the administration may be positioning itself on how it might deal with faculty and staff, given possible budget cuts and the resulting potential program cuts in the future.
Wolf suggested that the Senate contact AAUP to see what has happened nationally regarding universities that have fired or are considering letting go tenured faculty. He wondered whether other universities are terminating tenured and tenure-track faculty. It was suggested that Professor Bob Haller, English, would be the person who could contact AAUP.
Bryant asked what specific policy statements the Regents have made regarding termination of tenured faculty.
4.2 Response to Administrative Staffing Report
Wunder stated that while the Chancellors response was of varying accuracy, we should accept the numbers that the Chancellors staff provided. The committee agreed to send a letter to the Chancellor regarding the response. He stated that APC would like a copy of the report done by the committee.
4.3 Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women
Wolf suggested that the committee remind the Chancellor that the web link to the Commission is under the Chancellors web site, states that the Commission exists to enhance the status of all women at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and that the Commission exercises a vigorous role for all women at UNL. Wolf reported that one of the charges of the Commission is to advocate for female staff. Sawyer noted that the size of the commission is 18 members. Wolf reported that he was unable to locate the original charge creating the Commission. He suggested that the committee might need to see the original charter. Wunder stated that the Executive Committee had raised the concern about timely commission appointments to the Chancellor but it is his and the Commissions responsibility to resolve other issues.
5.0 New Business
5.1 Senator Chris Beutler
Senator Beutler met with the committee and discussed the current financial crisis. He distributed data summarizing general fund appropriations for fiscal years 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. He noted that the 2001-2002 budget saw an increase of 4.3% from the previous year but the 2002-2003 fiscal year budget saw an increase of only 1.3%. He pointed out that if nothing is done to offset budget problems, the state will have a $461 million deficit in the next fiscal cycle.
Senator Beutler stated that if the temporary tax increases were extended, there would still be a $240 million deficit. He noted that the last special session cut a total of $209 million from the budget.
Wolf asked what other revenue issues Senators were discussing. Senator Beutler stated that the federal government is interested in the states taking more responsibility for homeland security but not much money is being provided to the states to do this. He noted that the special session will focus solely on the technicalities of the death penalty. Miller asked if there were any revenue enhancement measures being considered for the next regular session of the legislature. Senator Beutler stated that the casino gambling bill will be discussed as well as the highway trust fund. He noted that there is some discussion regarding the restructuring of state government, including higher education.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:04 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, October 30th 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.