EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson, Sawyer, Spann, Whitt,
Absent: Siekman, Wunder
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2002
1.0 Call to Order (Miller)
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:04 pm.
2.1 Gallup Workshop
Miller announced that both he and Logan-Peters would be attending the Gallup workshop on the 5th of September. He stated they would report back to the committee at the next meeting.
2.2 Budget Cut Announcements
Miller reported that Chancellor Perlman will announce his proposed budget cuts on Tuesday, September 10th at 11:30 am in the City Campus Union Auditorium.
3.0 Chancellor Perlman/SVCAA Edwards/VC Owens
3.1 Follow Up on Senate Meeting
3.1.A. Division of Continuing Studies
Chancellor Perlman stated that he met with employees of the DCS before the announcements were made regarding cuts to the division. He reported that Assistant Vice Chancellor Jim Main and Assistant Vice Chancellor Arnold Bateman are currently in charge of the division. He noted that Dean Swoboda has been temporarily assigned to work on projects for cooperative extension. He stated that Main will be assigned to work on the closing of the hotel operations and to assist areas of the division to become self supporting. Bateman will work through the distance education program and infrastructure to determine how much should be retained. He pointed out that he has not received any reports yet so he does not have an idea of the specifics of the cuts.
Miller asked what the hotel building will be used for. Chancellor Perlman stated that a possible plan would be to use the building to house the School of Natural Resource Sciences. He noted that the current construction project for the school does not currently have enough funding to support the building of a new facility. He stated that with the available funds, the hotel rooms could be changed to faculty offices and laboratories could be added on to the back of the building with the funding that is currently available for the SNRS project.
Chancellor Perlman reported that other options for the use of the building would be to house the Statistics and Biometry department. He pointed out that there is a question of how much space would need to be retained in the building for conferences.
Miller asked what the savings will be from the cuts to the division. Chancellor Perlman stated that the division currently receives $1.8 million in state funds. He noted that it is hoped that half of this could be saved. Miller asked how many people will lose jobs as a result of the budget cuts. Chancellor Perlman stated that he is unsure at this time because of the complexity of how the division is managed. He pointed out that one of the tasks of Main will be to determine what business functions can be cut and which need to remain.
Chancellor Perlman stated that the Academic Planning Committee has been informed of the proposed cuts. He pointed out that if the APC should reject his recommendation, and he agrees with their decision, the division can be restructured. He noted that long term reservations to the hotel will need to be discontinued.
Fuller pointed out that it appears that the decisions to cut the division are final since the Dean has been given a different assignment. Chancellor Perlman responded that this is not necessarily the case. He noted that he does have the prerogative as Chancellor to reassign Deans.
Miller asked if the hotel was going to be closed, regardless of the budget cuts. Chancellor Perlman stated that it is an issue that the campus has been looking at for some time. He noted that the location of the hotel away from the downtown area, the lack of a liquor license, and the decrease in the number of conferences being held there have not made it very viable. He pointed out that the hotel situation in Lincoln is now much different than it was a number of years ago.
Sawyer asked if there was consideration of turning the hotel into dorms. Chancellor Perlman stated that it would be easier to turn the rooms into faculty offices, in part because the codes are not quite as strict for office space as for living space.
Bryant asked if distance education was going to survive. Chancellor Perlman stated that it would be supported, although not as much as previously, and that there would probably be changes in the way that it is managed. Fuller asked about evening programs. Chancellor Perlman stated that they will probably be mainstreaming these courses into the departments. Miller asked if there was any possibility that parts of the distance education program would be privatized. Chancellor Perlman stated that he did not think this would happen.
Spann asked if the process of creating and distributing distance education courses would be streamlined. Chancellor Perlman stated that this would occur and that one less division would be involved in the process.
Bryant asked why the former Dean of the division was being given an assignment with cooperative education. Chancellor Perlman noted that President Smith asked Vice Chancellor Owens to take a leadership role in extended education. Chancellor Perlman pointed out that the other campuses have little coordination in this area and Swoboda, who has expertise in the area, will work with VC Owens to establish this leadership. Bryant asked if the IANR Liaison Committee has been involved in these decisions. VC Owens stated that they have not been involved yet, but will be soon. He noted that he must give a report to President Smith on the 30th of September on this issue. He pointed out that UNL needs to be careful not to violate its land grant mission with this project.
Chancellor Perlman reported that the general budget framework is now available on the web (http://www.unl.edu/pr/chancllr/20020904budget/) He noted that he was pleased to be able to announce at the Senate meeting that no tenured faculty would need to be cut at this time.
3.1.C. Merger of Teachers College and the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences
Sawyer stated that it is crucial for the faculty of the two colleges to interact and be involved in the merging of the colleges in order for it to be successful. He suggested that it would be helpful if the process was being overseen by one Dean.
Miller asked whether the newly created college will fall under the jurisdiction of SVCAA Edwards or Vice Chancellor Owens. Chancellor Perlman stated that the basic relationship of the colleges will not change. He pointed out that 43% of the faculty members of the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences have appointments through the Institute while the rest reside in Academic Affairs. He noted that he hopes the faculty will be actively engaged in conversations regarding the merger. Sawyer pointed out that it is important to create a title for the new unit that will pull both of the colleges together.
Peterson stated that he spoke with a member of the College of HRFS who was quite upset about the merger. He pointed out that it may be a challenge to get the faculty on board and involved with the merger. SVCAA Edwards stated that he did not believe that person was representative of the college. He noted that Dean Kostelnik has spoken individually with faculty and met with them in small groups to discuss the merger and to listen to the concerns of the faculty.
Wolf asked if there will be an effort to involve people in other colleges, such as Arts & Sciences, who work in similar areas. Chancellor Perlman stated that he hopes other areas can be affiliated with the new college. Whitt stated that there is a concern in some departments that their unit could be decimated if faculty members were moved to the new college because of the interest of their research work. Chancellor Perlman stated that he realizes these are real issues that need to be confronted. He noted that this indicates how these areas of study are widely dispersed throughout the campus and how there is a need to create a unit that could address and focus on these disciplines.
SVCAA Edwards stated that Dean OHanlon has been planning to step down for some time. SVCAA Edwards noted that Dean Kostelnik would become Dean for a three year term. He stated that after the three years there would be a review of her leadership. If the review indicates that there needs to be new leadership, then changes would be made.
3.2 University Professorship Committee
Chancellor Perlman reported that he needs to appoint, with the consent of the Executive Committee, two faculty members to the University Professorship Committee. He noted that this committee reviews and recommends university-wide endowed professorship. He stated that he would like to appoint Ken Price, English, and Svata Louda, School of Biological Sciences, to serve on the committee. Sawyer moved and Bryant seconded approval of the appointments. Motion approved. Chancellor Perlman reported that up to 10 new professorships have been added this fall.
3.3 Update on Antelope Valley Project and Effects on Parking
Chancellor Perlman stated that the university has been able to get $8 million from the city and the Antelope Valley Project which will help replace parking on campus. He reported that the Natural Resource District has given the university a piece of property on 14th street where a new facility will be constructed for the transportation department. He pointed out that the transportation department will become self supporting, which may require some increases in their fees.
Chancellor Perlman stated that the new dorm slated to be built on 17th and Vine will replace a parking lot. As a result, the construction costs must cover the cost of replacing the lost parking spaces. He pointed out that as a result, the 14th & Avery street garage will be built with no cost to the permit holders. He stated that this garage will hold approximately 430 stalls, although this could possibly increase depending on costs. He stated that he believed in the long run, the university will have a net gain of approximately 650 stalls. He noted that most of the parking spaces lost to the Antelope Valley Project will occur on the north side of campus. Logan Peters asked if the new dorm will have a parking lot. Chancellor Perlman stated that it would not, but that parking would not be far away.
Whitt asked if the Antelope Valley Project was on track. Chancellor Perlman stated it was on track although not all funding has been secured. He reported that the intramural fields by North 33rd Street and Leighton are already under construction. He stated that the first noticeable signs of the project on campus will probably not be seen until next year. He stated that traffic on campus should not be greatly impacted by the project.
3.4 Update on Progress of Climate Survey
Chancellor Perlman reported that he met with the Deans and Directors and gave them a sample of the university-wide figures from the survey. He stated that the university-wide data will be displayed during the 3rd week in September. He pointed out that data on departments will not be made public. He stated that members of a department will see the data on their department, their college, and the university as a whole.
Chancellor Perlman stated that he is asking chairs to discuss the results with their department. He stated that facilitators will train chairs in how to start discussions in the departments. He pointed out that the issue is not the questions that were used on the survey, but problem areas they try to address. He stated that the departments should identify two questions that they would like to work on for the year. He noted that the overall score of a department has correlation to the performance of the department.
Peterson stated that while he is supportive of what the Chancellor is trying to accomplish, he pointed out that the scores of the survey will be incorrect because some people did not realize that their responses should be based on their departments, not the overall university. Chancellor Perlman stated that without the survey most departments would never hold the conversations that need to take place concerning the issues addressed in the survey. He stated that the overall score is not that important if there is an indication that a problem exists in the unit. Peterson stated that this should be explained to the departments. He noted that it would be helpful if there was clear communication to units that only two questions should be worked on during this academic year. Bryant pointed out that it would be helpful if departments could communicate that they have a disagreement with the results. He noted that there is an element of concern that chairs will be held accountable for the results of the survey.
Chancellor Perlman stated that chairs would not be evaluated based on a one time score. He stated that he will see if chairs hold discussions and develop a plan to have the department move forward. He pointed out that he will have a conversation with the Deans to make sure that all units work on the same level.
Spann asked what the overall response was to the survey. Chancellor Perlman stated that there was a 73% response rate. Whitt asked how facilitators were selected. Chancellor Perlman stated that they were selected through conversations with various people on campus. He noted that the facilitators will be trained to initiate conversations and to keep the discussions moving. He stated they will suggest to chairs how to keep the dialogue flowing. He pointed out that they will not be involved in the department discussions.
Logan Peters asked if the facilitators were dispersed. Chancellor Perlman stated that they are spread throughout the campus. He pointed out that the chairs will know the total data for the department but they will not know of individual responses or whether the person is faculty or staff. He stated that a department must have five members in order for there to be a report from Gallup on it.
3.5 Status of Quality Indicators
Chancellor Perlman stated that the baseline data will be published during the third week in September. King asked how the quality indicators are supposed to make them better professors. SVCAA Edwards stated that the indicators can show things like graduation rates and whether improvements have been made in this area and in the area of retention of students.
Wolf asked what investments will be made in improving the graduation rates. SVCAA Edwards stated that a number of things are being implemented from the Noel Levitz report. Whitt asked if there has been improvement in the freshmen retention rates. SVCAA Edwards responded that there has been improvement and that 79-80% of freshmen students remained at UNL last year. Wolf asked what factors may have made a difference in the retention rates. SVCAA Edwards stated that the Levitz team is trying to determine the specifics of the improvement. He noted that improvements occurred when the admission standards were implemented.
Wolf asked how complete the report is. Chancellor Perlman stated that they are done with the recruiting phase of the report and that the Levitz team needs to make one more campus visit in order to complete the section on retention.
Wolf asked if non-traditional students were focused in the report. SVCAA Edwards replied that he does not know if there was a specific category dealing with this. He noted that transfer students were focused on. He stated that as a result of the report, a half-time coordinator has been created to assist transfer students.
Miller asked how the learning communities were doing this year. SVCAA Edwards stated that 420 freshmen, in addition to the honor students, were enrolled in learning communities. He noted that 1/3 to ½ of freshmen students have some clear connection to some part of the university. Spann noted that freshmen were the students who needed the most attention, yet they are often put into large classes with little instructor contact. He pointed out that senior faculty who teach those large classes should be rewarded for their work.
3.6 Early Retirement Package
Sawyer stated that departments and colleges should be given a clear set of guidelines on how to deal with the early retirement package. He noted that a letter should be signed which indicates the specific assignments that will be given to the part-time faculty member. He pointed out that the criteria for extension of the agreement should also be clearly defined. Chancellor Perlman stated that he would discuss this with the Deans. SVCAA Edwards pointed out that a signed contract will need to be created between the department and the retiring professor.
3.7 Outside Employment Form and Bylaw 3.4.5
DiMagno stated a recent mailing concerning the outside employment form has caused some confusion about whether there has been a change in the policy regarding work outside the University. Chancellor Perlman stated that there has been no change in the policy. SVCAA Edwards stated that in particular, any long-term employment relationship requires a form to be filed.
3.8 Issues on the Horizon
King noted that the positions of Dean of International Affairs and the Dean of Graduate Studies have both been changed to a Director or Associate Dean position. He stated that a faculty member has concerns that this occurred because women were hired to fill these two positions. SVCAA Edwards pointed out that both of these positions had searches conducted under their present title. Chancellor Perlman noted that no filled position was downgraded.
4.0 Approval of 8/28/02 Minutes
Spann moved and Whitt seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 Report on Board of Regents Meeting
5.1 Distribution of Diversity Report
Miller distributed copies of the 2002 Diversity Report. He stated that UNO showed the most gains in the report. He noted that UNL made some gains. Peterson pointed out that the increase at UNL was only for faculty and that little other gains in diversity were made. Miller reported that the program statement for the 14th & Avery Street garage was approved as well as the construction of a new dorm at 17th & Vine Streets. He noted that the early retirement proposal was also approved.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Executive Committee Goals
The committee discussed the goals identified at the Executive Committee retreat. Miller stated that he will get a draft of the goals to the committee for them to discuss at the next meeting.
7.0 New Business
7.1 Quality of Undergraduate Experience
The committee agreed that they would like to discuss the undergraduate experience at UNL at upcoming meetings.
7.2 Probation Policies
Spann stated that the probation policies should be reviewed. He asked that the issue be placed on the next agenda.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:09 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, September 11th at 3:00 pm, in the Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Secretary.