EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson, Sawyer, Siekman, Spann, Whitt, Wolf, Wunder
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2003
1.0 Call to Order
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:29 p.m.
2.1 Academic Planning Committee Meeting
Miller announced that President-Elect Wunder would be attending the APC meeting on Friday, March 14th to answer questions on the administrative cost report done by the Academic Senate Office last summer.
3.0 Approval of 3/5/03 Minutes
Wunder moved and Peterson seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
4.0 Changes to Teaching Council Syllabus
Griffin reported that the Committee on Committees has approved changes to the Teaching Council syllabus and forwarded them to the Executive Committee for its approval. Fuller stated that she disagreed with the language appointing the Dean of Undergraduate Studies as a member of the committee when the position has not even been filled. Wunder suggested that it could be approved with that caveat.
Peterson asked why the section dealing with the approval of small grants is being deleted. Griffin stated that prior budget cuts have resulted in the elimination of these grants.
Peterson pointed out that the Chancellor had stated that the Teaching Council would pick up some of the functions of the Teaching & Learning Center. Wolf stated that the Executive Committee should ask SVCAA Edwards what plans he has for the Council. Peterson suggested that the motion be postponed until the role of the Council is clarified. Logan-Peters suggested that the Committee on Committees should decide whether the Council should be kept or abolished. Wunder made the motion to ask SVCAA Edwards what will be the proper scope of the Council. Bryant seconded the motion. Motion approved. The Committee agreed to discuss the issue with SVCAA Edwards when it meets with him on April 2nd.
5.0 Unfinished Business
5.1 Nominations for Executive Committee
The committee discussed nominations for the office of President-Elect and Secretary. The committee agreed that an email message should be sent to all senators asking to contact the Senate office if they are interested in running for a position on the Executive Committee.
5.2 Committee to Review ES/IS Courses
Peterson stated that he liked the charge written by DiMagno for the Committee to Review ES/IS Courses but that he prefers to have more flexibility in the courses that students can take for this requirement. Fuller stated that she is unsure whether the IS courses should be kept. Wunder noted that he revised the charge to the committee and suggested that the committee review the changes at the next meeting.
6.0 New Business
6.1 Meeting with Faculty of Museum Studies
The Executive Committee met with the faculty members of the Museum Studies Program the Chancellor proposed to fire. Faculty members of the Museum indicated that there are 9 tenured faculty members in the program; eight are scheduled to be fired. They noted that the faculty members are scheduled to receive a termination letter in a week or so. They pointed out that faculty members are being given one year notices but that managerial/professional staff and support staff are receiving only 90 days notice. All nine faculty members have their tenure home in the museum.
The Museum faculty members stated that they have all taught, and some are currently teaching, undergraduate courses. They noted that the Museum Studies program was listed as a priority program in the UNL Campus Report dated January 29, 2001. They pointed out that the Museum Studies program is in the top six of one hundred such degree granting programs in the country.
The Museum faculty members stated that without the expertise of the curators and their staff, many of the collections will deteriorate. They noted that 1.9.3 of the Board of Regents Bylaws stated that the State Museum shall be the depository of the University for specimens and related literature documenting the natural history and cultural heritage of Nebraska, the Great Plains, and whatever other areas are deemed suitable. Said specimens shall be maintained as a public trust and curated and preserved in an appropriate Museum division. They pointed out that two of the Museums collections are to be sold. The Executive Committee questioned whether this would be a violation of the Regents Bylaws.
Some Museum faculty members stated that there is not sufficient time for them to either negotiate with another department for a position, or to opt for the retirement phase-out package because the deadline date for the retirement package is April 30th. Logan-Peters suggested that the Executive Committee could ask that the deadline date for the retirement option be extended. She pointed out that the retirement option was developed for this fiscal years budget cuts. She noted that the Museum personnel are being cut from the next fiscal year budget.
The faculty members of the Museum stated that they are to submit their written response to the Academic Planning Committee by March 24th. They noted that they will be given an hour to testify to the APC during the budget reduction hearings. Wunder stated that the March 24th deadline was not fair given that spring break is next week. He noted that one hour would not be enough time for the Museum people to present their case. He moved that the Executive Committee officially request the APC to extend the deadline date for submission of written responses and that the Museum faculty members have more than one hour to give their testimony. Motion approved.
6.2 Press Statement of March 11, 2003
Bryant moved that a copy of the open letter to the Board of Regents, discussed in the press statement made on March 11th, be sent to the Board of Regents. Wunder seconded the motion and stated that a cover letter should be sent along with the statement. DiMagno pointed out that in the cover letter it should be noted that the university has a social contract with the state; low tuition rates are predicated on state support. Peterson stated that, in effect, the state subsidizes the cost of students education, and state mandated budget cuts reduce that subsidy. Motion approved.
6.3 Meeting with Vice Chancellor Paul
Wunder stated that the committee should meet with Vice Chancellor Paul to discuss the decision to fire the tenured faculty of the Museum. Griffin will check to see if the Vice Chancellor can meet with the Committee on March 26th.
6.4 Meeting with ASUN and UNOPA
Whitt pointed out that it is important during these difficult economic times for the Executive Committee to meet with members of ASUN, UNOPA, and UAAD. The Committee agreed that meetings with these groups should be scheduled sometime in the near future.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:41 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, March 26th 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.