EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Beck, Fech, Fuller, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson, Shea, Spann, Whitt, Wunder
Absent: Alexander, Buck, Carlo
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2003
1.0 Call to Order
Wunder called the meeting to order at 3:06 p.m.
2.1 Article in Academe
Wunder reported that the current issue of Academe has an article in it dealing with the impact of the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security on international students. Griffin reported that Ellen Wessinger, Executive Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Harriet Turner, Director of International Affairs, and Peter Levitov, Associate Dean of International Affairs will be meeting with the Committee on November 19th to discuss the impact on students.
2.2 Chancellors Commission on the Status of Women
Wunder stated that he was informed that a gender salary equity report was requested two years ago by the Commission. A task force was created by the Chancellor to develop a model to test for salary equity with regard to gender. The task force delivered its report, but no follow up has ever been taken on it. Peterson noted that it was difficult for the task force to get statistics from Institutional Research and Planning for the report. Beck stated that she was informed that SAP could not pull together the information that is needed and that the model the task force developed was never run or tested for validity. She noted that SAP is not used at other universities because it is not well suited to university environments; it is a corporate accounting system. Furthermore, at least estimate, the amount spent on SAP is close to $27 million compared to the originally estimated $12.8 million. Wunder will contact that the new Director of Institutional Research and Planning to see if the information can be provided.
2.3 New Position in Academic Affairs Office
Wunder stated that a new position, Director of Financial Operations, has been created in the Academic Affairs Office. He stated that there is concern that the position will assume some of the responsibilities of an Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs but that the position will not be filled by an academician. Griffin stated that the position is being classified as a staff Administrative position, but that this does not require that the person be a faculty member. Shea questioned how this position was created and where the authority comes from to make this decision. He noted that departments and colleges are not being allowed to fill open positions but a new one is created in the administrative offices. The Committee agreed to put this on the agenda when they meet with the Chancellor.
3.0 Roch Gaussoin, Chair, Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC)
3.1 Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics
Gaussoin stated that the Coalition was originally formed several years ago by faculty governance leaders of Big Ten Conference schools. He stated that the IAC had previously been reluctant to join the Coalition because of its lack of cooperation with the NCAA. He noted that this has now changed and a joint initiative has been created, the Alliance for Intercollegiate Athletics Reform which is composed of the Association of Governing Boards of University and Colleges, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. Because of this new cooperation, the IAC unanimously passed a resolution that the faculty of UNL should join the Alliance. Gaussoin noted that this may be an opportunity to make some improvements regarding Division I athletics.
3.2 IAC Members Attending the American Association of University Presidents Governance Conference
Gaussoin reported that Chancellor Perlman had sent a copy of a letter to President Wunder asking if the Senate Executive Committee wanted a representative to attend the American Association of University Presidents (AAUP) Governance Conference which is scheduled to discuss the issue of intercollegiate athletics. The Executive Committee felt that the IAC should look into the matter. Gaussoin stated that the IAC voted to send Professor Josephine Potuto as a representative and also one other person from the committee. He noted that the IAC had a thorough discussion and she being the Chancellors representative to the NCAA and her experience with the Knight Commission, that she qualifies to attend the conference. Wunder stated that he met individually with Professor Potuto, and sated that after having this conversation, he felt that she should attend the conference.
Fuller asked if Professor Potuto would be attending the conference as UNLs NCAA representative or as a faculty representative from the IAC. Wunder stated that she would attend as the Chancellors representative. He stated that Professor Potuto, in her discussion with him, felt that the university NCAA representative should meet regularly with the President of the Academic Senate to give reports and updates.
Peterson asked if there was an agenda for the conference. Gaussoin stated that information regarding the conferences can be found on the web at the following address: http://www.math.umd.edu/~jmc/COIA/COIA-Home.html or
Peterson asked if the two representatives from UNL would be there to participate or just observe the conference. Gaussoin stated that the appointee to the Alliance is expected to take an active role. Fuller asked if those attending will represent UNL by their own personal beliefs, the IAC, or the Senate. Gaussion noted that the IAC is composed of a variety of people from across the campus and that he hopes they represent the faculty at large. He stated that the Senate would be the one represented at the conference. Logan-Peters pointed out that she hopes no decisions will be made at the conference without consultation with the campuses.
Miller asked if the Alliance was formed because universities have lost control over athletics. Gaussoin stated that some universities have lost total control over athletics. He stated that the IAC here oversees scheduling but it does not have much say otherwise.
Miller asked what the major issues will be at the conference. Gaussion stated that this first meeting will mostly be informational. He noted that the issue of how to approach the loss of control over athletics will probably be discussed. He suggested that the same representative sent to the conference should be kept as a representative for continuity. Wunder pointed out that the Academic Senate will need to formally approve whether UNL should join the Alliance before it can be decided who should be the representatives. Peterson suggested that this be put on the agenda for the October Senate meeting. Wunder suggested that Gaussoin and Potuto should be at the meeting to answer questions so the Senate could have a full discussion on the issue.
Miller asked who decided to hold the football game on a Thursday evening. Gaussoin stated that he was not sure who made the final decision but he assumed that the television revenues were a factor in the decision.
Wunder asked if the scheduling of the Thursday night football game was brought to the IAC. Gaussoin stated that it was not, even though there is a subcommittee, the Scheduling Oversight Committee, of the IAC who should look at these matters. He noted that the IAC has received complaints from student athletes concerning the hardship this evening away game imposes on them with their class schedules. He pointed out that when the football schedule was approved in June, there was no Thursday evening game. Wunder stated that the IAC should have been involved if there was a change in the schedule. Gaussoin stated that the IAC is looking into the matter and that they will address the issue with the athletic director. Fuller pointed out that faculty members need to insure that student athletes are treated fairly, particularly in regards to their academic endeavors. She suggested that the committee should check with the athletic director to see if he plans on having an evening game each fall semester he was known to do this often when he was at Pittsburgh.
Spann asked what the policy is regarding student athletes missing classes. Griffin pointed out that the Senate approved a policy that 15 hours can be missed during a semester. Spann noted that some studio classes meet only once a week and missing these classes creates a real problem for these students. Spann stated that athletes trying to avoid excessive class absences during the fall and spring semesters have previously taken required classes during the summer when there are fewer conflicts between the demands of athletics and academics. However, the budget cuts necessitating a reduction in the number of summer courses offered, this option is being restricted, putting some athletes in a very difficult position in those majors where classes meet for longer periods but less frequently.
Shea stated that he is concerned that the decision to change the football schedule may not have involved the proper committee. He pointed out that this appears to be an example of administrators not utilizing faculty committees. Peterson asked if the IAC could have vetoed the change in the schedule. Gaussoin stated that if it fell under a violation of the UNL and NCAA guidelines the IAC would be able to do something. Wunder suggested that the IAC take up the matter and keep the Executive Committee informed.
The Committee discussed the problem with post season games conflicting with final exams. Gaussoin pointed out that NCAA guidelines do not cover post season games. Spann suggested that this issue be discussed at the conference. Gaussoin noted that the university can be more restrictive, but not less restrictive, than the NCAA guidelines.
Spann noted that professors receive a lot of notices asking for grade reports on athletes. He stated that the Committee raised the issue with Steve Pederson, Athletic Director, when they met with him in April. Spann suggested that the mechanism for doing this should be changed to expedite the process. Gaussoin stated that some of the reporting is required by the university, some by NCAA. He stated that the athletics department is trying to streamline the process.
Wunder asked if a resolution should be drafted for the October Senate meeting regarding UNL joining the Alliance. Peterson moved that a draft resolution be crafted calling for UNL to join the Alliance. Spann seconded the motion. Motion approved. Wunder stated that he would like to appoint Gaussoin as the faculty representative to the conference.
Beck asked if the person who conducts the audit for Title IX is still the same person as previously used. Gaussoin stated that this person has been let go and a new person has been hired.
3.3 Email Message from University of Missouri Regarding Resolutions on Intercollegiate Athletics
Wunder stated that the University of Missouri Faculty Senate has asked if the UNL Senate has or would consider passing a resolution on the role of intercollegiate athletics. Wunder asked if this is an issue that should be passed on to the Senate for discussion. Spann suggested that it be referred to the IAC to review and recommend. Beck suggested that information could be provided to the Senate on the resolution. Wunder noted that the Committee had many opinions on the issue and stated that it would be placed on next weeks agenda for further discussion.
4.0 Approval of 9/17/03 Minutes
Whitt moved and Peterson seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 October Senate Meeting
The Committee discussed items for the agenda for the upcoming Senate meeting. The Committee agreed to have an open discussion regarding Varner Hall and the Presidents search committee. The Committee suggested that Regent Ferlic be invited to attend the meeting.
6.0 Unfinished Business
6.1 Blue Skies Committee Report and Whitts Follow Up Report
Whitt noted that he was asked this past summer to critique the Blue Skies Report. He stated that he thoroughly reviewed the report. He pointed out that the document is heavily based on only a few databases. He stated that the data relies heavily on the quality indicators.
Whitt stated that many of the recommendations made in the report are rather common sense and should just be accepted. Wunder asked what recommendation was the weakest and which the strongest. Whitt stated that none of the recommendations made were far reaching and creative. He pointed out that most of the recommendations are already being followed or they are not very controversial.
Peterson pointed out that if the recommendation for departments to review courses was taken seriously than some 400 level courses may need to be revised. He noted that there are some 400 level courses that do not require any prerequisites. Fuller stated that departments control their own curriculum but courses should be reviewed periodically. Whitt stated that some professional organizations suggest that courses should be reviewed.
Wunder noted that the recommendation on the land grant research university is very vague. He asked if there was an agenda pertaining to this recommendation. Whitt stated that the agenda is the same as the 20/20 Report. He noted that the Blue Skies Report was created in the same context.
Whitt stated that he did not think the Senate needs to approve or act on the report. He pointed out that service is not really discussed in the report. Beck stated that there seems to be some confusion and blurring of the definitions between research, teaching, and service, and noted that there are implications for blurring the land grant mission.
Miller asked if the report was worthless. Whitt stated that it was somewhat useless and that some daily activities of professors are not even considered in the report. Beck pointed out that Whitts summary did, however, highlight several points of major concern; namely, the points raised in the Reactions paragraphs to sections III and IV.
Shea stated that the report seems to indicate that the campus is trying to go towards a certain corporate model. He suggested that the Senate needs to raise concerns or provide reactions to this move. Wunder suggested that the issue be discussed further at the next meeting.
7.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:14 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, October 1st at 3:00 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.