Executive Committee Minutes - December 11, 2003




Present:          Carlo, Fech, Fuller, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson, Shea, Spann, Whitt, Wunder


Absent:           Alexander, Beck, Buck


Date:               Wednesday, December 11, 2003


Location:        201 Canfield Administration Building


1.0       Call to Order

            Wunder called the meeting to order at 3:08 P.M.


2.0       Chancellor Perlman

Wunder distributed a copy of the Fall 2003 Tenure Density Report.  Chancellor Perlman noted that UNMC has a new category for health care faculty members and no longer offers tenure track positions although it might be possible for a faculty member to opt into a tenure track line.


Wunder noted that there has been a significant decrease in the total number of tenured and tenure-track positions for all campuses.  Chancellor Perlman pointed out that UNO has only had a slight decrease in the percentage of tenured faculty members. 


Miller asked if the decrease at UNL is due to the creation of the lecturer and senior lecturer positions.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he did not think this was a factor in the decrease.


2.1       Foundation Fund Raising for Academics

Wunder stated that the Committee had a discussion regarding the lack of information from the foundation on fund raising that is taking place for academics.  He noted that there is a lot of press about fund raising for the new athletic facilities but little on fund raising for academics.  He stated that it would be nice to see more attention paid to academics. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that he has discussed with the foundation on creating an initiative to raise funds for high priority programs within each college.  He pointed out that fund raising is usually for programs or facilities.  He noted that system-wide most fund raising for academics goes towards scholarships and faculty support. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that each college is developing a list of priority programs for fund raising that will eventually need his approval.  He stated that each college has been given a target figure for fund raising.  He noted that this figure is based on the amount of money that is annually raised by the college multiplied by five.  He stated that the foundation will accept the target figure and then will try to raise the money. 


Wunder asked if the deans were encouraged to ask the faculty about the priority programs.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he did not directly ask them to discuss this with the faculty but he certainly did not dissuade them from it either.  He pointed out that the last time priority programs were identified it was an elaborate process.  He stated that he did not want this to be the case now.  He noted that he does not want to raise the expectations of the faculty that all of the funds can be raised. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that other activities are taking place to improve the relations with the foundation.  He noted that each college now has a representative at the foundation to help raise funds.  He stated that these people are being paid by the foundation.  He noted that there have been some concerns about the representative and how well he or she will know and understand the college.  He stated that both the deans and the foundation have drafted a set of principles to help establish the relationship between the representative and the college. 


Chancellor Perlman reported that the deans will have desktop access to the list of donors to their colleges by January 1st.  He noted that this database will have real time listing with some historical background on the donors. 


2.2       Budget Update

Chancellor Perlman stated that all information at this time is speculative but there is currently a little more optimism.  He noted that the November receipts were as projected and that farmers’ incomes are up.  He stated that there is a quiet optimism about the economy.  He pointed out that the $211 million shortfall includes deficit appropriations such as the refunding of the Lincoln correctional facility.  He noted that the deficit does not consider the funding that Senator Nelson was able to obtain for Medicare. 


Fech asked about the low level waste law suit and what could happen with it.  Chancellor Perlman stated that it depends on a number of factors.  He stated that it could conceivably go to a settlement agreement although this is unknown. 


2.3       Holistic Approach to Recruitment

Wunder stated that he recently was discussing with the admissions office recruitment of students.  He noted that there was a recent event in Omaha to help recruit students.  Chancellor Perlman reported that admissions held an achievement banquet in Omaha to recognize the top minority high school senior students.  He stated that the students were invited based on their overall academic achievement, ACT score, and recommendations from high school counselors.  He stated that these were highly gifted students and approximately 400 people attended the banquet.  He noted that the people who attended the event were pleased to be invited.  He stated that it was a good way of communicating with these students and their parents and that they plan to do this annually. 


Wunder stated that this was an excellent thing to do.  He stated that the admissions department wanted to send a copy of My Antonia by Willa Cather to high school honors students but they were unable to get copies from the University Press.  He stated that the campus needs to work together to recruit students.  He suggested that the Chancellor was the one person who could pull the different units and departments together to work on recruitment.  Wunder stated that obscure reasons should not get in the way of recruitment. 


2.4       Search Committees and University Rules with Reference to the Athletics Department

Wunder asked if the Athletics Department had to adhere to the same rules for conducting searches as the rest of the university.  He asked if the member or members of the search committee have to go through the diversity training that members of other search committees must do.  Chancellor Perlman stated that there are two sets of rules on conducting searches.  He pointed out that the UNL Bylaws has specific guidelines for conducting searches but that they do not apply to Athletics.   He noted that they are certainly subject to federal regulations regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action.  He stated that Athletic Director Pederson has worked with Linda Crump, Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity, Access, & Diversity Programs.


Chancellor Perlman stated that coaches are subject to opportunity hires and that existing assistant coaches can apply for the head coach position.  Wunder stated that some faculty members questioned why the coach that has only been here for a year was made interim over another coach who has been here for several years.  Chancellor Perlman pointed out that there are no rules governing appointments of interims.  He stated that he has not received any email messages regarding the interim head coach although he has received many negative messages regarding the firing of the head coach. 


Chancellor Perlman explained that the reason for firing the head coach before the bowl game has to do with maximizing the opportunity for the person to find another job.  He stated that after January 5th it is more difficult for coaches to find other positions. 


Miller asked when the announcement will be made regarding the hiring of a new coach.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he does not know if Pederson is in the final stages of interviewing with anyone.  Logan-Peters asked if Pederson is the one who decides who will be hired.  Chancellor Perlman stated that some other people would probably be involved in the hiring process and he as Chancellor would need to approve the decision. 



2.5       Salary Increases

Chancellor Perlman reminded the committee that the $600 increase for UNL employees will begin on January 1 for those on 12 month appointments and in March for those on 9 month appointments.  He reported that he did receive some email messages from people who did not understand how the 9 month appointments were paid. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that he was happy to inform the Committee that the salary increase pool would not have to be used to cover increases for promotion and tenure.  He noted that enough funds were available from other sources to cover these increases. 


Peterson asked if employees would receive the remaining amount of the 3.5% increase on July 1st.  Chancellor Perlman stated that the $600 would be considered the base salary increase for satisfactory performance.  The remaining amount of the 3.5% increase would be based on merit.  He pointed out that for some employees, the $600 would be a substantial portion of the 3.5% increase and only the remaining portion could be used for an increase in July.  He stated that the office/service people only have 1.6% left in their salary pool for an increase. 


Peterson asked if colleges should begin their evaluation process as they normally have done in the past.  Chancellor Perlman stated that the deans will be alerted the first of the year that annual evaluations need to be conducted. 


 Carlo pointed out that the Wasted Time Committee made a recommendation to do biannual evaluations rather than annual evaluations.  He asked what the next step in the process would be for this change to be occur.  Chancellor Perlman stated that the Board of Regents would eventually need to take action since the Bylaws state that evaluations are to be conducted annually.  He stated that he is very supportive of not having to conduct annual evaluations but there needs to be discussion within departments and colleges on this issue.  He stated that he believes evaluations should be based on career progression rather than what was accomplished in one year.  He noted that some departments feel that they need to conduct annual evaluations.  Logan-Peters asked if he has discussed the issue with the deans.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he has not discussed it with them but he believes that many of them would be supportive of the change.  He stated that he believes that some of the departments would object to the change. 


Peterson asked if there needs to be a uniform process of when and how the evaluations are conducted.  Chancellor Perlman stated that there is some importance in having a uniform process but some units might need to do things differently.  Logan-Peters noted that the Wasted Time Committee suggested that faculty members could ask for an annual evaluation during an off year. 




2.6       Appointment of Professor Colleen Jones

Chancellor Perlman stated that he has appointed Professor Jones to try to enhance the diversification of faculty members on campus.  He pointed out that she will have no monitoring responsibilities.  He stated that her job is to assist him in developing a network to find minority candidates for faculty positions.  He pointed out that the quality of a candidate is still up to the judgment of the faculty. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that another responsibility of Professor Jones would be to negotiate with the chairs and deans on opportunities of hire.  He pointed out that if resources can be found, the campus would try to hire the candidate if approved by the faculty. 


Chancellor Perlman reported that Professor Jones would also be working on helping to retain minority faculty members.  He stated that she should be considered a resource person for the departments and colleges to use to seek minority applicants.  He stated that he has a lot of confidence in her and that he hopes to see some results of her work in the near future. 


Carlo noted that oftentimes faculty members know of possible candidates for open positions.  He asked if the faculty members should contact Professor Jones directly if they know of someone for an open position.  Chancellor Perlman stated that faculty members should feel free to call her. 


Chancellor Perlman reported that Professor Jones’ position in his office would be .50 FTE and she would still retain a position in CBA of .50 FTE. 


Peterson asked what the long term strategy would be for hiring people of color.  He noted that the International Studies and Ethnic Studies programs do not have their own separate faculty members but instead piggyback faculty off of the other departments.  Wunder stated that strengthening these programs might help to attract and retain faculty of color. 


3.0       Announcements

            3.1       Big 12 Alliance on Athletics Reform

Wunder announced that Professor Crawford, his appointment to the Alliance for Athletics Reform, would be attending the Big 12 meeting in Kansas City on January 14th to discuss athletic reform.  He asked if anyone from the committee wanted to attend.  Logan-Peters stated that she would be willing to attend the conference.


3.2       Dead Week Policy

Wunder reported that he received a phone call from ASUN President Kyle Arganbright about forming a committee of students and faculty members to discuss possible changes to the dead week policy.  Wunder stated that he thinks Dean of Undergraduate Studies Kean should be involved in the discussions.  Spann volunteered to serve on the committee as the Executive Committee representative. 


3.3       Ad Hoc Committee on Reviewing Budget Cutting Procedures

Wunder stated that some members of the former committee need to be replaced, including himself as chair.  He noted that Professor Ambrosius is now a member of the APC and could not serve on the ad hoc committee.  The Committee suggested Professor Craig Eckhardt to replace Professor Ambrosius and nominated Professor Pat Shea from the Executive Committee as chair. 


3.4       Employee Assistance Advisory Board Replacement

Wunder reported that he needs to replace an extension person on the Employee Assistance Advisory Board.  Fech stated that he would send a list of names of possible extension people.


4.0       Approval of 12/3/03 Minutes

Peterson moved and Shea seconded approval of the minutes as amended.  Motion approved.


5.0              <![endif]>Unfinished Business

5.1       Strategies for Proposed ES/IS Changes

Wunder stated that he needs to send a message out to senators asking them to make sure the proposed changes to the ES/IS courses are discussed within their departments.  He stated that he would like to see the motion postponed until the February Senate meeting to insure that all departments have had time to review and discuss the issue. 


Carlo suggested that a more active position should be taken regarding the proposed changes.  He suggested that the Committee should meet with the deans of the colleges to discuss and clarify any misconceptions regarding the proposed changes.  Peterson stated that he would like the faculty to have discussions on it first, than have the deans in for a meeting.  He pointed out that it is the faculty members on the college curriculum, not the deans, who will decide on the changes. 


Wunder noted that the English department has a lot of concerns regarding the issue.  He suggested that he and Peterson should attend one of the English department meetings to discuss the issue further.  Peterson pointed out that each college had a representative on the ES/IS Review Committee and many of them discussed the proposed changes with their faculty members and college curriculum committees.  Spann suggested that there should be a meeting with the chairs of each college’s curriculum committee. 


Fuller pointed out that the curriculum belongs to the faculty and that she objects to having the deans dictating how the college curriculum committee should vote on the changes.  She stated that the Senate should be allowed to discuss and vote on the issue first before any meetings take place with the deans.  Carlo noted that the dean of Arts and Sciences just raised some concerns with the proposal.  He did not indicate how the faculty members should vote on the motion.  He noted that the issue is that there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding that is taking place regarding the proposed changes to the ES/IS courses. 


Fuller suggested that a list of frequently asked questions should be put together and distributed to the Senate.  Logan-Peters suggested that it could be put on the Senate web page. 


Whitt stated that one concern that he has heard is the change to drop the number of required ES courses to eight instead of nine.  Peterson pointed out that each college and department can set up how many courses are required beyond the eight required ES courses so that the total number of credit hours for students to receive a major or to graduate does not change.


5.2       Resolution on President’s Salary

Spann asked about possible changes to the resolution on the President’s salary.  Wunder stated that Professor DiMagno has strong objections to using the word average in the motion.  Wunder stated that there could be amendments to the motion at the January Senate meeting.  Fech stated that the language of the resolution needs some flexibility.  Peterson stated that the Senate should debate the language of the resolution. 


Fech asked whether the open documents law would create a problem in the search for a new president.  Wunder stated that it was a concern when he was on the search committee for a new chancellor.  He stated that some candidates do not want to be identified for various reasons.  Logan-Peters noted that the search committee for the SVCAA has discussed this issue.  She stated that oftentimes candidates the university wants need to be recruited but these people are reluctant to openly apply for the position.  Wunder pointed out that a search company is being used to find a new president.  He stated that this issue of the open documents will need to be watched in regards to the search.


6.0       New Business

No new business was discussed.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:53 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, January 7th at 3:00 pm.  The meeting will be held in 201 Canfield Administration Building.  The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and Shelley Fuller, Secretary.