Executive Committee Minutes - October 29, 2003




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


Absent:           Alexander, Carlo, Miller


Date:               Wednesday, October 29, 2003


Location:        201 Canfield Administration Building


1.0       Call to Order

            Wunder called the meeting to order at 3:06 p.m.


2.0       SVCAA Edwards/VC Owens

            2.1       Faculty Apportionment of Duties

            2.1.A.  Faculty Evaluations Based on Apportionments

Wunder noted that departments are currently going through the process of reviewing and possibly revising the apportionment of duties for faculty members.  He stated that questions have been raised regarding how faculty evaluations are being conducted based on the apportionments.  SVCAA Edwards distributed a document defining the categories of faculty assignments.  These include teaching, research/creative activity, extension/outreach, service, and administration.  He noted that these categories are based on what the university produces.  He stated that this is an evolving document that is subject to change.  He pointed out that service and administration are the internal work that faculty members do.  He noted that the categories are defined broadly so that they include all of the activities that are related to that field. 


SVCAA Edwards noted that apportionments for each faculty member were to be turned into the Deans by October 17th.  He stated that the Deans have until November 17th to submit the information to his office. 


SVCAA Edwards stated that the principle is clear that faculty members are to be evaluated on what their apportionments of duties are.  He noted that if faculty members teach more courses and their apportionment of teaching is higher, then this is what they should be evaluated on. 


Peterson stated that most of the positions in IANR are defined and that they do not necessarily include all of the five categories.  He asked if it was implicit in IANR that service or citizenship is part of the job definition.  VC Owens stated that service is implicit in the Institute.  He noted that the administration decided that the service area is a minor apportionment that need not be specifically defined in the assignments although in some cases it could be higher.  He stated that heads of departments were supposed to communicate to faculty members their apportionment of duties.  Peterson asked if the apportionment of duties, particularly for service, is fixed or variable.  VC Owens stated that they are variable.  He noted that for most, a 2 to 3% apportionment of service is typical.  He stated that any apportionment in this area over 5% would require the deans to get involved.  He pointed out that there are some people in IANR who do have a high apportionment of service given the nature of their job.  He stated that IANR has been defining apportionment of duties since Hatch funds first came to the University.  SVCAA Edwards noted that the service percentage is typically higher on city campus. 


Peterson wondered whether IANR faculty members are involved in less service or that it is not being included in their apportionment of duties.  He stated that he did not think he had a choice in whether he could change his apportionment of duties.  He stated that he was told that if he gave up a portion of his research activities, he would have to find someone else in his department to do that portion of research.  VC Owens stated that this is correct but that there can be discussions regarding this issue. 


SVCAA Edwards noted that a change in a faculty member’s apportionment of duties cannot be done arbitrarily by the chair.  He pointed out that the Bylaws require that consultation and mutual consent must be met.  He stated that apportionments for most faculty members ordinarily do not change from year to year. 


SVCAA Edwards stated that in order to be on a schedule whereby the apportionment is set for the next academic year, the apportionment will need to be conducted once again in the spring.  He noted that apportionments need to be assigned in advance rather than during the year the faculty member is to be evaluated.


Peterson asked whether a faculty member’s apportionment might change over the course of their career.  He pointed out that there may need to be a gradual adjustment in the apportionments.  SVCAA Edwards agreed and noted that junior faculty members need to be protected from too much service but that this will change over time. 


Beck stated that while evaluations based on apportionments are done correctly most of the time there are several colleges where this is not being done.  She stated that faculty members are being evaluated on things other than their apportionment of duties. 


Wunder asked if the department expectations have changed from department goals to individual goals.  SVCAA Edwards stated that there seems to be a move towards individual goals rather than unit apportionments. 



            2.2       Service on Committees

Wunder stated that it is becoming more difficult to get faculty members to serve on committees.  He noted that in part this may be due to the fact that service is not being valued very highly in departments and colleges.  He pointed out that there needs to be a campus wide discussion on the issue of service.


Peterson stated that he has communicated with the Chancellor about this problem.  He noted that faculty members are reluctant to participate in campus service if they do not get any recognition for their work.  He pointed out that the administration needs to be aware of this problem.


Wunder stated that a big problem is that the most honored and revered faculty members on campus are not willing to participate in service.  He stated that there is a whole class of faculty who will not do service.  He stated that this requires serious attention from the administration. 


Logan-Peters stated that in a recent meeting of department chairs it was noted that faculty members who have higher apportionments in teaching often have difficulty getting tenure and promotion.  She stated that the area of service was not even mentioned.  Whitt pointed out that the Blue Skies Report did not even address the area of service.  Logan-Peters stated that if some of the committees do not function because of the lack of participation, the work will fall upon the administration. 


SVCAA Edwards stated that this is in some ways related to the Wasted Time Committee.  He stated that it is important that faculty members are not assigned or asked to do work that they do not need to be doing.  He stated that while teaching, research, and extension are important, service also needs to be done as well.  Griffin reported that the Committee on Committees is currently in the process of reviewing the various committees to see if some can be eliminated or merged, thereby requiring less faculty time.


Spann pointed out that the category of teaching needs to include administration of classroom equipment.  He noted that considerable time needs to be spent checking classroom equipment in some courses before each class meeting to make sure it is working properly.  He pointed out that there are often no lab assistants or technicians assigned to perform or assist with this kind of work. 


2.3       Implementation of Proposals Made by the Wasted Time Committee

Wunder stated that the Wasted Time Committee is presenting a proposal to the Academic Senate on November 4th and that it will be voted on in December.  He asked what the next step will be if the proposal is approved.  SVCAA Edwards stated that Tice Miller is chair of the committee, but he thought that 3 to 5 proposals would be brought to the Senate.  SVCAA Edwards stated that he understood that the purpose of bringing these proposals to the Senate was to get a sense of the Senate rather than a formal approach of specific changes.  He stated that some of the proposals might need to be approved by the colleges.  He pointed out that the proposals could be changed as they are discussed.  He stated that if there is strong support for the proposals, it will need to be determined where they need approval. 


SVCAA Edwards stated that only one college disagreed with doing faculty evaluations every two years rather than annually.  He stated that the question will need to be addressed whether colleges can make their own decisions on this issue.  He stated that before formal approval discussions will need to be held to address all of the questions on this proposal and any others.  SVCAA Edwards stated that if the Senate approves the proposal the campus could then begin to make changes.


Wunder suggested that there is too much decentralization in some evaluation procedures and that he urged consideration of some kind of unitary approach on evaluations.  He stated that how faculty evaluations are conducted is a good example.  Beck pointed out that a change in faculty evaluations will require a change in the Regents Bylaws.


Peterson stated that in a related matter, the ES/IS committee is hoping to have a concrete proposal to bring to the Senate in December.  He stated that if the Senate approves the proposal, it will be turned over to the colleges for their review. 


SVCAA Edwards stated that some research into the Bylaws will need to be conducted before implementation of the changes can occur  He pointed out that the colleges should have some flexibility but they should not be so totally independent that they are like separate states reporting to the administration.


2.4       Accounting of Programs of Excellence Funds

SVCAA Edwards distributed a sheet which showed that $3,096,375 was given to the identified programs of excellence (excluding 10% for contingency).  He noted that some programs did not spend all of their allotted funds while others spent more than their allocation.  Wunder asked what happened to the unused money.  SVCAA Edwards stated that they tried to encumber the funds when possible but that most of it was used to cover the cost of those programs that overspent their allotted funds.  He pointed out that those programs that over spent will need to take it out of their allotment for the next one or two years. 


Fech asked about the Children, Youth, Schools program only receiving $25,000.  SVCAA Edwards stated that the money was to be used for planning and developing a better proposal to be written.  He stated that as a result, the proposal was rewritten and has recently been awarded a large external grant. 


Wunder asked for clarification on the money given for enhancing undergraduate education.  SVCAA Edwards stated that $200,000 has been added to the UCARE program.  Another $200,000 has been allocated to various programs that deal with retaining students.  He noted that this money is being administered by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.  He stated that $500,000 was given to the J.D. Edwards Program for one time only.  He noted that this money is primarily for instruction.  Beck stated that there has been a lot of discussion on why so much money has been spent on such a small program.  SVCAA Edwards pointed out that the money given to establish the J.D. Edwards Program was a gift, not an endowment.  He stated that the recent economic downturn has had an impact on the outside funding of the program.  Beck asked how many students are in the program.  SVCAA Edwards stated that the program currently has 114 students and that approximately 30 new students are accepted each year.  He noted that the retention of these students is good, in part because the scholarships the students receive require them to stay in the program.  He pointed out that students can change to another program but they will not receive the scholarships associated with the J.D. Edwards program. 


2.5       Teaching Council Syllabus Revision

Peterson stated that the Executive Committee had received a request to approve changes to the syllabus of the Council.  He noted that the changes were made to reflect the elimination of the Teaching and Learning Center which played a part in the Teaching Council.  He stated that the Executive Committee wanted to know what functions the Council now has since some of the responsibilities were eliminated due to the budget crisis.  He noted that the information received from Associate Vice Chancellor Jacobson did not address the questions raised.  He asked what the status of the Council is at this time.


SVCAA Edwards stated that there are three groups on campus that deal with teaching.  He stated that the Academy of Distinguished Professors is in the process of redefining itself so that they become a more active body in regards to teaching.  He noted that the former Teaching/Learning/Technology Roundtable has recently revised itself (and is now called the Instructional Technology Advisory Committee) and probably now has the most distinct role in regards to teaching.  He suggested that the three groups roles need to be defined in relation to the others and some responsibilities might be merged.  Griffin reported that the Teaching/Learning/Technology Roundtable asked the Committee on Committees to endorse them becoming an individual committee sanctioned by the Senate.  She noted that the Committee on Committees felt that some of the work of the Roundtable was redundant with the Teaching Council and they suggested that the Roundtable and Council should be merged.  Peterson asked how this will be resolved.  SVCAA Edwards stated that the responsibility should shift to Dean of Undergraduate Studies Kean.  Wunder asked that the Committee be kept posted. 


2.6       Restructuring of the College of Architecture and Journalism

Wunder stated that there are many issues for these colleges to deal with if they are to be restructured.  Wunder asked VC Owens if any similar restructuring will be done in the Institute.  VC Owens stated that none are on the agenda at this time. 


SVCAA Edwards noted that in the Chancellor’s State of the University Address last year, he mentioned the need for more efficient administration within the colleges.  SVCAA Edwards stated that administration has been discussing this with the Deans of Architecture, Engineering, Journalism, and Libraries.  He pointed out that each college has several small departments with chairs for each one.  He noted that the chairs have all the duties and work associated with being a chair but their departments were very small.  He pointed out that more investment needs to be made in the training of department chairs.  He stated that it would be more efficient to have a college on the model of the Law College where there are no separate departments but there is a Dean to oversee the administration.  He pointed out that it makes more sense to organize small colleges into one unit. 


Logan-Peters asked if the concept of rotating chairs is now gone.  Wunder pointed out that only Sociology in Arts & Sciences has it written in their department bylaws that the chair needs to rotate every five years.  SVCAA Edwards stated that the idea of rotating chairs has largely collapsed under the greatly increased expectations of what chairs now have to do. 


Beck asked if there has been any discussion on merging Animal Science with Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences since the long standing chair of one of them is now retiring.  VC Owens stated that there has been no official discussion yet.  Beck noted that the students have confusion over the differences in the majors between the two departments.  VC Owens stated that he would like to discuss the issue further with her. 


2.7       Director of Financial Operations for Academic Affairs

SVCAA Edwards wanted to address the article in the Daily Nebraskan regarding the Senate questioning this position.  He stated that the position is a result of some downsizing and restructuring.  He noted that his office used to have three Associate Vice Chancellors but they now have only two.  He stated that the Executive Administrative Assistant position that was recently vacated has also not been filled and they are combining some of the duties of the Associate Vice Chancellor position with the Executive Administrative Assistant position.  This position will handle the financial data analysis and budget work of Academic Affairs.  He stated that his office needs to have more expertise on financial issues. 


Beck asked how this position relates to the Interim Associate Vice Chancellor position now filled by Professor Latta.  SVCAA Edwards stated that this is a separate position.  He stated that this position was the Associate Vice Chancellor position formerly filled by Professors Stara and Calhoun.  He stated that Latta works with classrooms facilities and other academic matters. 


Peterson asked if a search was being conducted.  SVCAA Edwards stated that an internal search was conducted but they have decided to expand the search to the region.  He noted that they will be advertising the position in the near future. 


 3.0      Announcements

3.1       Board of Regents Emergency Meeting

Wunder announced that the Regents are holding an emergency meeting on Friday, October 31st.  He noted that the purpose of the meeting was to write and approve a written statement of the qualifications for the position of President.


3.2       November 5th Executive Committee Meeting

Wunder asked if the Executive Committee meeting could begin at 2:30 on November 5th.  He noted that he has to speak at the retirement reception of Ron Bowlin in the afternoon.  The committee agreed that this would be fine.


3.3       Meeting with Professor Potuto

Wunder reported that he met with Professor Potuto regarding the conference meeting on the Alliance for Athletic Reform.  He stated that she reported that the Alliance has not set forth any agenda or goals yet.  Wunder reported that Potuto’s report to him on the conference has been included in the Senators’ packets.  He stated that he asked Professor Potuto if she thought the Senate motion needs to be changed in lieu of the conference.  He stated that she did not feel the Senate motion needed to be changed.


4.0       Approval of 10/22/03 Minutes

Logan-Peters moved and Spann seconded approval of the minutes as amended.  Motion approved.


5.0              <![endif]>Unfinished Business

No unfinished business was discussed.


6.0       New Business

            6.1       Resolution on Salary for New President

Beck distributed a draft of a motion calling for the Senate to oppose a large increase in the salary of a new President given the current financial crisis.  The committee agreed that she should revise the motion.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, November 5th at 2:30 pm.  The meeting will be held in the Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace.  The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and Shelley Fuller, Secretary.