EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson,
Sawyer, Siekman, Spann, Whitt, Wolf, Wunder
Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:02 pm.
2.1 Board of Regents Meeting
Miller reported that the Board of Regents would be meeting on Friday, November 11th. He noted that President Smith will give his State of the University address at that time.
2.2 Martin Luther King Breakfast
Miller announced that the Martin Luther King Breakfast will be held on Friday, January 17, 2003. The committee agreed that the Senate should reserve 5 seats.
2.3 Coordinating Commission Post Secondary Education Biennial
Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid Report
Miller announced that the CCPE report can be found on the web at www.ccpe.state.ne.us.
3.0 Chancellor Perlman/SVCAA Edwards/VC Owens
Chancellor Perlman stated that he would be attending the Board of Regents meeting to seek the elimination of the Division of Continuing Studies. He noted that the Academic Planning Committee agreed with the elimination. He stated that the employees of the division wanted the decision to be made quickly so that they would know what their status will be since some of them may be rehired. Chancellor Perlman pointed out that there is some uncertainty regarding the self supporting programs given the present market conditions. He noted that the closing of the hotel will need to be dealt with quickly so that a date can be set for discontinuing reservations. He stated that he did not anticipate any problems with the Board accepting the elimination. He noted that if the Board approves the cut, the closing of DCS will move quickly. He pointed out that present plans call for the hotel to be renovated for the School of Natural Resources. Chancellor Perlman stated that the learning centers are still in play and that APC will not address those cuts yet.
3.1 Quality Indicators Report
Chancellor Perlman stated that the report has been issued. He stated that faculty members should contact him if they see aspects of the report that are troubling or if they have ideas on how to improve the report.
Miller asked what the general response has been to the report. Chancellor Perlman stated that the articles in the papers were of a positive nature. He noted that the campus has work to do in order to make improvements for next years report.
Peterson asked why rolling three year totals were given for graduate and undergraduate awards won. Chancellor Perlman stated that the numbers from year to year are not stable. Peterson asked for a reason in the difference in the totals. SVCAA Edwards stated that when the comparisons were done with our peers, there was one category of information that could not be obtained and which had to be left out.
Sawyer asked if there are any links between the indicators report and the climate survey. Chancellor Perlman stated that no correlations have been made. He noted that the quality indicators are university-wide information while the climate survey is based on individual units.
Bryant asked if the elimination of DCS will have an impact on the engagement and outreach section of the report. VC Owens stated it is uncertain what impacts the elimination will have. He noted that the engagement and outreach section is still the most difficult category to deal with.
Wunder stated that he was struck by the lack of students applying for Fulbright awards. He pointed out that undergraduate advisers need to be discussing this and other awards with students since students seem to be unaware that many of these awards are available. Peterson pointed out that informing and working with students to apply for these awards should be done a year in advance. Wunder suggested that sophomores who make the deans list should be informed about the awards.
Chancellor Perlman stated that the next step in the quality indicators is to develop a strategy to make improvements in the numbers. SVCAA Edwards pointed out that aspects of the report may need to be reconsidered because the cost of collecting and entering the data are high. As an example he noted that the number of publications is much higher than he expected. He noted that some colleges have moved far along in the process of developing the list of publications while others have not. He stated that he has concern with the long list of journals and how they would be maintained. He stated that a concern is how to determine what scholarly works would be included from year to year.
Wunder reported that the reaction of colleagues has been sobering but thoughtful. He noted that the report was distributed with the annual report on research. He stated that faculty members were very negative to the research report because of the concern over the cost of the publication. Chancellor Perlman pointed out that the quality indicators report is not a market tool but an internal report whereas the research report goes out to the public. He stated that he did not think the research report was printed with state funds. DiMagno suggested that the research reports could have been downloaded rather than distributed internally. Chancellor Perlman stated that other factors than just cost need to be considered. He noted that there is more permanence to a printed copy.
3.2 Emeriti Association
Miller asked how the Emeriti Association is perceived by the administration and whether the association has a role to play on campus. Chancellor Perlman stated that the association does have a role on campus. He pointed out that he feels that the university has not done enough to celebrate the contributions people have made to the institution. He noted that the members of the association are oftentimes still involved in very interesting things and that they can still contribute to the campus. Wunder noted that the emeriti association members are eager to be helpful to the university. He stated that they have often volunteered to assist with various events on campus.
Wunder stated that the Emeriti Association is concerned with losing office space and being charged by the unions when they hold meetings there. Chancellor Perlman stated that he did not think the unions were charging emeriti for use of the rooms. He noted that he is not opposed to emeriti faculty voluntarily working on campus although he felt that a conversation about this needs to take place at the administrative level first. Sawyer suggested the Chancellor study University of Oklahomas President David Borens Retired Faculty Program and consider whether emeriti professors might be enlisted to augment UNLs instructional mission.
Bryant noted that the Executive Committee would be willing to partner with the Emeriti Association.
Miller stated that he has received many phone calls from older faculty regarding the increase in health insurance costs. He noted that retirees will receive a 13% increase in their fees. Chancellor Perlman stated that when the different premium rates were first set they were based on a larger pool of reserved funds. He stated that things have changed in recent years and that there no longer is a reserve pool. He noted that if actuarial rates were followed, active employees would have not received any increases and retirees would have had to absorb all of the increase. However, the university transitioned the increase over all of those covered rather than putting the increase on one group. He pointed out that all employees are struggling with the increases in health care insurance.
3.3 Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women
Wunder reported that several members of the commission approached him with concerns over the inability for the group to meet due to appointments not being made. Chancellor Perlman reported that he had good interactions and conversations with the Chancellors Commission on the Status of People of Color (CCSPC) and that they all agreed that they were not as active or involved as they should be. He stated that the makeup of the commissions are not consistent with the findings of the Gallup survey which indicates that climate is determined at the local level. He noted that the CCSPC membership does not broadly represent the campus community.
Chancellor Perlman noted that the Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women (CCSW) has a syllabus which states that in March a list of possible candidates will be given to the Chancellor for appointment. He pointed out that he did not receive the list until this September and that there were not enough nominees to complete the roster. He stated that the lack of applicants gives an indication to him that the role of the commission and who it represents may need to be reviewed. He noted that again the role and structure of the commission may be inconsistent with the Gallup process which recognizes climate as a local matter. As a result he has been considering whether it is time to reassess the role of the commission. He pointed out that the syllabus calls for 18 members; however when he attends meetings there are many more people there including two people who are not from the UNL campus. He stated that he is perplexed with what to do with the commission. He noted that he just recently appointed all applicants that were submitted. He pointed out that he needs to have more than a symbolic group.
Wolf asked if the Chancellor thought the commission was not doing its work. Chancellor Perlman stated that he does not know if he and the commission have an agreed view of what their work is supposed to be. He noted that the commission has an agenda but it does not seem to be moving in the direction he would like to see. He stated that the most active thing the commission does is to hold a forum in the spring where anyone can come to testify about incidences that have happened to them. He noted that one of the recent annual reports written by the commission was based almost exclusively on the forum, which did not please the Board of Regents.
Miller asked where the Chancellor would like to see things go with the commission. Chancellor Perlman stated that he has not had a discussion with the group about this yet. He stated that if the commission is to represent the campus, it should have faculty members from each of the 10 colleges as well as some managerial/professional and support staff representatives.
Bryant noted that this is a politically charged issue. Chancellor Perlman pointed out that there is a history to the commission in that it was urged upon the Chancellor by the Board of Regents. He noted that in no way does he want to stifle opinions but he believes it might be time to rethink the purpose of the commission. He pointed out that the Gallup survey indicates that women are more engaged on campus. He noted that the one area in which women rated lower than men was in the category of whether they feel their voices are heard.
Miller asked if there was anything the Executive Committee could do to help with the situation. Chancellor Perlman stated that he would appreciate any ideas on what issues the commission should address, whether it should be reassessed, and revamped. He noted that retention of minority faculty and students is an important issue as well as the tenure clock and its differential effect on gender.
Fuller asked if the Chancellor can appoint members to the commission who have not been recommended by the commission. Chancellor Perlman stated that it is assumed by the commission that he could not, even though it is considered a Chancellors Commission. Wolf noted that the commission has a history with a built in ambiguity. He stated that this creates conflict. Chancellor Perlman stated that he plans on engaging the commission in discussions. He pointed out that he does not want to thwart any efforts for people to voice concerns but he would like to have an advisory group.
3.4 Libraries Contribution to Research Grants
Wunder stated that there is a problem with the libraries being able to maintain journals due to their rising cost. He stated that while there have been announcements regarding the large grants that have recently been awarded to UNL, the libraries are having to cut serials that may be needed by the investigators on these grants. He suggested that the proposals for grants should include providing funds to the library to cover the cost of the periodicals the investigators will require. Chancellor Perlman stated that this is an important question. He stated that he did not know if direct costs could include funding for the library. He stated that it would depend on the grant. He noted that some funds are allocated to cover some of these periodicals.
SVCAA Edwards stated that the main drive in cutting serials is the increase in journal prices. He noted that there has been some discussion about making a special request for funds for Love and the Law library since they are statewide resources and must maintain collections for the state.
Sawyer suggested that the share of indirect costs may need to be increased. Logan-Peters stated that the library is not getting a larger portion of money for the periodicals. She stated that research grants could help to cover the cost of these journals although grants are only for a certain period of time. Chancellor Perlman stated that the issue of sustaining the library is a very serious one.
3.6 Issues on the Horizon
3.6.A. Budget Cuts
Siekman stated that the perception of the University in the western part of the state is not good. He stated that many people see the budget problems as a result of mismanagement within the university. Chancellor Perlman stated that one of the inevitable consequences of budget cuts is the loss of some political support. He reminded the committee that he did not want any budget cuts but that he had to deal with them.
3.6.B. Administrative Growth Report
Chancellor Perlman stated that he wanted to discuss the Administrative Growth report at some time. Wunder stated that the committee needed to discuss the administrations response to the report, but that it would be on the October 30th agenda when the committee meets with the Chancellor again.
3.6.C. Evaluation of APC Procedures
Chancellor Perlman suggested that the ad hoc committee created to evaluate the procedures might want to discuss the outcomes of changing them before they proceed with the evaluation. He noted that some things, such as the definition of a program, are not really procedural matters. He stated that many believe the 1986 procedures gave a greater degree of authority to the APC. He noted that politically it might not be wise to have the consent of the APC to eliminate programs, but in actuality, according to the Regents Bylaws, he has the authority to eliminate programs, with or without the consent of the APC.
Chancellor Perlman cautioned that if a conflict arose over the procedures, the Board of Regents could step in to make the decision on program cuts. He noted that it is important for people to keep in mind what the university will be like at the end of the budget cutting process. He urged the committee to consider the consequences of changing the procedures.
Siekman stated that members of the APC have indicated that they are there only to listen to the concerns of people being cut and that they are not given any other options to consider. He stated that the campus does not know what the alternatives would be if some of the cuts were not made. He pointed out that people are getting protective and defensive of their departments. Chancellor Perlman stated that he believes the APC knows in general what would have happened if other or different cuts had been made. He pointed out that had UNL received a $10 million cut, he would have had to cut four academic programs. He stated that a faculty committee should not have exclusive rights to make decisions on budget cuts because faculty members would have a vested interest in protecting their own areas.
Sawyer suggested that horizontal cuts should be looked at if the budget cuts continue. Chancellor Perlman stated that he is committed to vertical cuts.
Miller asked if a tuition increase has been discussed. Chancellor Perlman stated that it has received some initial discussion. He noted that the Board of Regents is requesting a 4% or $18 million increase to cover fixed costs. He stated that a tuition increase of 11-12% would be needed to cover these fixed costs. He pointed out that if a salary increase were to be included tuition would need to be raised by 20%. He noted that many of our peer institutions are increasing tuition by as much as 20%.
Chancellor Perlman reported that a salary increase may be proposed, but he does not know what to expect. He stated that there could be a 1% increase to be used for special cases. VC Owens stated that most of the faculty he has spoken with in the Institute are not in favor of an increase.
Spann asked if the Chancellor had any timetable in mind for the elimination of chairs. Chancellor Perlman stated that there is no timetable set. He noted that discussions would need to take place within each college before this could work.
VC Owens reported that the Extension division has worked very hard to protect extension educators from being cut. He stated that the administration realizes the unique component the extension educators make to the university and his administration has been very careful not to be oppressive with them. He pointed out that extension educators are not tenured and would only be given a 90-day notice if they were cut. He noted that overall the extension division has been treated fairly with the budget cuts.
4.0 Approval 10/2/02 Minutes
Spann moved and Sawyer seconded approval of the minutes as amended.
5.0 Unfinished Business
5.1 Administrative Increase Report
The committee decided to discuss the response from the administration at the next Executive Committee meeting. The committee decided that the report should not be distributed to the Senate or the press until it meets again with the Chancellor to discuss it.
5.2 APC Voting
The committee discussed whether the Vice Chancellors should recuse themselves from voting on any issues relating to the budget cuts. Wunder reminded the committee that the 1986 APC procedures called for the Vice Chancellors to recuse themselves. The committee agreed that President Miller should contact the Chancellor to discuss this issue.
5.3 APC Budget Hearing
The Executive Committee has been invited to make a presentation to the APC on the budget hearing regarding the elimination of the two extension faculty members. The meeting is set for October 17th at 2:30. Professors Fuller, Siekman, Miller, and Peterson will attend the meeting.
6.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, October 16th 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.