Executive Committee Minutes - October 22, 2003




Present:          Beck, Buck, Carlo, Fech, Logan-Peters, Peterson, Shea, Spann, Whitt, Wunder


Absent:           Alexander, Miller


Date:               Wednesday, October 22, 2003


Location:        Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace


1.0       Call to Order

Peterson called the meeting to order at 3:08 pm.  (Wunder arrived at 4:10 after attending an Academic Planning Committee meeting.)


2.0       Announcements

            2.1       Response to Letter in the Daily Nebraskan on Unionization

Spann stated that he has drafted a response to the letter that was written by Professor Harbison claiming that President Wunder and the Executive Committee were attempting to unionize the faculty.  He suggested that the committee should send the response to the Daily Nebraskan.  Beck stated that it should be sent to all faculty members as well.  Carlo suggested that the letter should include the date and time of the Senate meeting and a notice that the meeting is open to all of the faculty members to attend.  Spann moved that the response should be sent from the Executive Committee to the Daily Nebraskan as well as all faculty members.  Beck seconded the motion.  Motion approved. 


Carlo asked if any other research universities were unionized.  Wunder stated that Professor Haller, current President of the AAUP chapter at UNL, should be asked if he could get a list of these universities from the national AAUP.   


3.0       Tad McDowell, Director of Parking and Transportation Services

            3.1       Impact of Antelope Valley Project on Parking

McDowell noted that the campus has been recently bombarded with traffic and lane closures due to the project.  He stated that Y and W streets were closed due to gas lines that needed to be dealt with and 17th street was down to one lane due to water lines that needed to be relocated.  He noted that the communication has not been as good between the university and the city as they had hoped for.  He pointed out that this is a huge project involving many different organizations.  He stated that the agreement was that the university would be given 90 days notice of the changes but this is not occurring.


McDowell stated that the area lot 10 north of Nebraska Hall has been moved to the west side of the Reunion building.  He pointed out that this is the only faculty/staff parking lot that will be totally displaced or relocated because of the project.  He noted that the area 10 lot east of Nebraska Hall will be partially relocated.  He stated that the other parking areas that will be affected by the project are student parking. 


Peterson asked if there will be a net loss of parking stalls during the construction.  McDowell stated that over 1500 stalls will be displaced because of the AVP but the university is getting money from the project that is being used to build the Avery and 14th Street garage.  He noted that the faculty/staff permit fees were not increased to cover the cost of constructing the garage.  He stated that the university will receive over $1 million from the AVP once it is completed.  He stated that this money will go towards surface lots. 


McDowell reported that students have been complaining more about parking this year.  He stated that next year permits will need to be limited because of the loss of parking spaces due to the project.  He noted that the campus will need to have a discussion to decide how permits will be limited.  He stated that he will communicate with the Executive Committee on every step regarding this decision.  He noted that he will discuss the issue with the top administrators and then will present several options that ASUN and the Senate can vote on. 


Griffin asked if the Cushman property could be used for parking.  McDowell stated that parking looked into this, even the possibility of using some of the buildings for indoor parking.  He pointed out that there would be some structural problems and ventilation problems and that the cost to renovate these facilities would be unaffordable. 


Whitt asked if there was a time line on the traffic and parking changes.  McDowell stated that traffic will be diverted off of 17th and Y streets and that 14th street will be closed north of Holdrege.  He stated that an overpass will eventually be built at 17th and Holdrege.  Peterson asked if this overpass will go over the train tracks.  McDowell stated that it would.  He pointed out that he was unsure of when all of these changes will occur.


Logan-Peters asked if homes in the 14th & Holdrege area will be removed.  McDowell stated that he believed most homes would be saved.  He pointed out that the large parking lot north of Harper Schramm dorms will be lost. 


Carlo asked if all of the changes will have an impact on parking fees.  He asked if there will be any more substantial increases.  McDowell noted that he personally would not like to raise parking fees ever again but additional parking will have some costs.  He stated that at some point fees will go up but he hopes they will be gradual increases rather than the large increase of a few years ago. 


Peterson asked why fees could not be progressive whereby those who make more money pay more for parking.  McDowell reported that the Parking Advisory Committee has looked into this issue and consulted with Human Resources.  He stated that it is difficult to determine what the salary cut offs would be for each particular fee.  He stated that parking fees would be determined by numbers, and not by need.  Shea suggested that fees could be charged on a percentage of what people earn.  He noted this would be more fair and equitable.  Fech noted that it would be similar to how the income tax is based on a percentage of peoples’ salaries.  McDowell suggested that the Executive Committee should have a faculty representative make this suggestion to the Parking Advisory Committee for them to review. 


Spann asked if there have been a lot of complaints about the transit fee.  McDowell stated that he has had only one complaint and that was made at the September Senate meeting. 


Spann asked if the retail space in the 17th & R Street garage was rented out yet.  McDowell stated that they have not been able to rent out the space as originally planned.  He noted that the garage was finished around 9/11 and new business start ups fell.  He reported that the Board of Regents recently approved the space for the UNL police department.  He noted that it would bring in revenue and also provide great security.


Fech stated that there are rumors that students are parking their cars in the 17th & R Street garage for extended periods of time.  He asked if this is correct.  McDowell stated that over a 10 day period, each car that has been in the parking garage has been moved.  He noted that every morning there are approximately 700 – 1200 cars in the garage and that the total number of faculty/staff using it is 52.  He pointed out that the garage has 1,715 parking stalls.  He noted that the Parking Advisory Committee looked into this issue and their response was that parking could be found on the upper floors for faculty and staff. 


Peterson noted that there will be substantial changes in the traffic flows around campus with the AVP.  McDowell stated that facilities will do their best to get people informed as soon as possible of the changes.  Carlo stated that there needs to be notices further south on 17th Street that a lane is closed up ahead.  He stated that currently the notice does not allow enough time for people to merge. 


Spann asked when the Avery garage will open.  McDowell stated that it should be completed around 7/1/04. 


Logan-Peters asked if there has been a decrease in the number of area 17 permits that are sold.  McDowell stated that he is not seeing any real change in the number of area 17 permits being sold.  He pointed out that there are not too many people buying these permits so they do not generate as much money as one would think.




4.0       Approval of 10/15/03 Minutes

Spann moved and Carlo seconded approval of the minutes as amended.  Motion approved. 


5.0              <![endif]>Unfinished Business

5.1       Blue Skies Committee Report (Whitt)

Whitt distributed copies of two resolutions he drafted that address the Blue Skies Committee Report.   Whitt pointed out that no major studies conducted have adequately assessed life on campus. 


Beck questioned why the Executive Committee would want to present a resolution on the report when the Senate has not had the opportunity to discuss it yet.  Shea sated that the report has left out the issue of service.  Carlo noted that departments have not even discussed the report.  He pointed out that if any resolution is passed it should be one calling for departments to review and discuss the report. 


Wunder asked what kind of action the Committee wanted to take.  Whitt moved that his the motion “Whereas the Blue Skies Report recommends that there should be an increased focus on academics during orientation, be it resolved that the Academic Senate of the University of Nebraska recommends that the appropriate bodies responsible for orientation programs for incoming students work with the faculty to discover and implement procedures to increase the exposure of these students to academic values and to familiarize them with the available academic options.”  Motion seconded by Spann.  Peterson asked if the motion should be taken to the Senate.  Buck stated that the resolution should be a given.  Fuller stated that she did not believe in endorsing something that is already being done.  Wunder pointed out that the idea of the Blue Skies Report came from the Academy of Distinguished Professors because they did not feel that teaching was addressed in the 20/20 Report.  He suggested that a copy of the report should be distributed to the Academic Senate members and that it be discussed at the January Senate meeting.  Spann suggested that the Committee should meet with Dean of Undergraduate Studies Kean to see what is currently being done before any motion is put forward.  Whitt and Spann withdrew their motions to support the resolution.  The Committee agreed to invite Kean in for a discussion.


5.2       Climate Survey – Emeriti Professor Brown’s Comments

Peterson suggested that this be tabled.


5.3       ES/IS Review Committee Update

Peterson stated that the Committee has been meeting regularly and they are working on developing a proposal.  He stated that the proposal might include getting rid of the IS courses and narrowing down the number of required ES courses and the list of ES courses.  He stated that some of the members of the Committee feel that the ES courses should belong at the campus level and the IS courses could belong to the colleges.  He stated that the Committee hopes to have a proposal to the Senate by December. 


5.4       Wasted Time Committee

Logan-Peters asked the Committee whether or not they want a resolution from the Wasted Time Committee or just a report to the Senate.  She noted that all of the processes reviewed would need to be approved at the department or college level.  Wunder stated that she needs to ask the members of the Wasted Time Committee what they want to do. 


6.0       New Business

6.1       Report on the Board of Regents Meeting

Wunder reported that President Smith distributed glossy handouts on the State of the University.   Wunder reported that Professor Miguel Carranza, Sociology, has been appointed to the President’s Search Committee. 


Wunder reported that the Board argued over the membership of the search committee.  He noted that Regent Ferlic presented a motion that would allow each Regent to appoint someone to the committee.  He stated that Regent Wilson presented a motion that would clean up some of the language in the Bylaws pertaining to the search committee.  He stated that Ferlic’s motion was dropped due to a tie vote. 


Wunder stated that Chancellor Perlman was selected to be o the search committee and that Regent Ferlic appointed himself as chair of the committee.  Wunder noted that UNL has good representation on the committee with Perlman and Carranza and a UNL student officer from ASUN on it.  Logan-Peters asked if the student representatives have the same vote on the committee as other members.  Wunder stated that to his knowledge she does have the same vote. 


Wunder reported that President Smith stated that there will be a major initiative to bring more Hispanic students to the university.  Wunder stated that President Smith reported that there will be more collaboration between campuses.  The Committee discussed whether this would dilute UNL as the flagship campus or whether it will have little effect. 


Fuller asked if the Gender Equity Report was presented to the Board.  Wunder stated that it was presented.  He stated that he raised some issues regarding the data among our peer institutions.  He pointed out that UNL’s definition includes non-teaching faculty members but the data are being compared to universities that only define faculty members as teaching faculty members.  He noted that this skews the data.  Beck pointed out that AAUP’s data has been left out of the report the last few years.  She noted that the President of the University is supposed to present both sets of data to the Legislature but this has not always been done.   Beck noted that there appears to be an increase in the percentage of women but the reality is that a number of men have retired thereby affecting the proportions of male to female faculty.  She stated that a good gender equity study can be conducted.  She noted that the University of California Medical Center conducted an excellent study that should be looked at.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 pm.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, October 29th 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.