Executive Committee Minutes - June 2, 2004




Present:          Beck, Bolin, Bradford, Buck, Fech, Flowers, Shea, Signal, Stock, Wunder


Absent:           Alexander, Peterson, Scholz


Date:               Wednesday, June 2, 2004


Location:        Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace


1.0       Call to Order

            Beck called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m.


2.0       Announcements

            No announcements were made.


3.0       Approval of 5/19/04 Minutes

Stock moved and Flowers seconded approval of the minutes as amended.  Motion approved.


4.0       Faculty Salary Comparison Data

Beck noted that Peterson sent an email message with information on the faculty salaries of UNL’s peer institutions.  She noted that the salary figures provided cover the 2001-02, 2002-03, and 2003-04 years.  She pointed out that the information indicates that UNL is still lagging behind its peers in terms of faculty salaries. 


Beck stated that the salary information was provided by Dr. Nunez, Director of Institutional Research and Planning.  She pointed out that Peterson has concerns that the salary information was not calculated the same way as it has previously been done so the figures may not be accurate.  Beck stated that Peterson will be contacting Dr. Nunez to verify the accuracy of the figures. 


Beck stated that the figures indicate that the difference in salaries is greater this year than in previous years.  However, she pointed out that the salary figures do not include UNL’s deferred salary.  She stated that including the deferred salary would decrease the difference in faculty salaries between UNL and its peers, although this decrease would not be significant enough to bring UNL up to the level of its peers.  Beck noted that Peterson will be contacting members of the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee to discuss the figures. 


Buck pointed out that the peer institutions were in a budget crisis similar to UNL and still UNL lags behind in terms of faculty salary.  Beck stated that Peterson will provide more information after the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee meets. 



5.0       ES Courses

Beck distributed a list of ES courses that are currently accepted by all of the colleges.  Wunder noted that only five social science courses were approved by all of the colleges.  Flowers noted that the same is true under section H – Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. 


Flowers asked how the courses were originally approved to be on the list.  Wunder stated that it was up to the colleges to decide whether to approve of disapprove course(s).  Beck noted that anyone wishing to get a new course on the list could solicit each college to get approval.  Wunder pointed out that most colleges have not reviewed the list in many years and some courses may no longer qualify as ES courses. 


Beck questioned why the Elementary Education program is listed separately from other programs in the College of Education & Human Sciences.  Buck stated that it may be due to the fact that some courses are required by the state.  She noted that the list of required courses is updated continually by the state.


Beck asked if the list could be useful when the proposed revisions to the ES courses are discussed.  Wunder stated that the list seems to show some slanting by colleges in the courses selected.  Flowers pointed out that some of the cross-listed courses are small and are taught only once a year. 


Signal asked what percent of the listed courses are accepted by all colleges.  Beck stated that she did not have that information.  Flowers asked if it was possible to obtain selected information from the list.  Beck stated that she did not have access to a database list of the courses and would be unable to obtain selected information without one.  Griffin stated that she would check to see if the campus has a database on ES courses. 


Beck stated that she has been doing some further thinking on the ES/IS reform issue and a database would be helpful to see if there are other options to the current list.  Shea noted that providing other possible options could be helpful in persuading colleges to accept revisions to the ES program.  Wunder stated that some colleges are reluctant to approve the proposed programs because they feel that there could be negative economic impacts if credit hour production should drop.  Shea noted that some of the arguments being made are not in the best interest of the students.  Wunder pointed out that funding at UNL is not based on enrollment figures.  Shea stated that officially this statement is true but the implied message in some colleges is that enrollment does have an influence in the amount of support a department or unit receives. 


Beck stated that she would like to see information on how other universities deal with ES courses.  She noted that she will bring this up for discussion when Peterson can attend the meeting. 






6.0       Unfinished Business

6.1       Update on Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Procedures to be Invoked for Significant Budget Reallocations and Reductions

Beck stated that she is hoping to have the preliminary ad hoc committee review the historical files by July.  She noted that the members of this preliminary ad hoc committee are herself and Professors Scholz, Shea, and Rosson. 


Wunder asked when the students will be joining the committee.  Beck stated that they will be involved in the work of the committee in the fall semester since many of them are not available during the summer. 


7.0       New Business

            7.1       Invitation to New President

Beck asked if the Committee should invite incoming President Milliken to meet with the Executive Committee after he begins work on campus.  The committee agreed that the invitation should be extended. 


7.2       Executive Committee Meeting on June 16th

The Committee agreed to cancel the next meeting on June 16th because too many people will be out of town to have a quorum.


7.3       New Document Request Format for Promotion and Tenure Files

Beck noted that a new documentation request form for promotion and tenure has been distributed to departments.  She noted that this new form will be used beginning in 2005-06.  Shea asked if this is a required form and whether faculty members were consulted when the form was being revised.  Buck stated that the form is only being required by Academic Affairs.  She pointed out that the new form looks almost identical to the current form. 


Wunder pointed out that the new form provides a greater opportunity for faculty members to be more involved in the process.  He noted that the faculty members in a department should have a say in who receives promotion and tenure.  


Shea noted that the form looks to be an improvement over the current form but he questioned the process that was used to get the form revised and implemented.  He stated that he is concerned that faculty members were not involved in the revising of the form.  Fech questioned whether the form is a work in progress or whether it is finalized.  Shea stated that faculty members need to be involved in the process if procedures which have direct impacts on faculty members are changed.   Stock pointed out that faculty members do not need to be involved if the changes to procedures or processes are minor. 


Bolin stated that the new form is an attempt to provide some consistency to what is needed for the promotion and tenure process.  She pointed out that there has been a lot of inconsistency across the campus and the form hopes to alleviate some of the confusion created by the inconsistencies.  Beck stated that she assumes that more evidence could be added to a promotion and tenure file later if needed. 


Wunder stated that the candidate statement regarding the portion and significance of the candidate’s work is a new requirement.  Buck stated that this is really not a new requirement.  It is just worded differently from the current form.  Shea pointed out that not all disciplines can easily provide this kind of tangible evidence.  Stock stated that it is perhaps a way to streamline all of the work that is required for the promotion and tenure file. 


Shea stated that the overall direction of the form is good in that the intent of the form is to provide some kind of uniformity to the process.  He pointed out that making the process uniform across the campus is consistent with the argument that calls for tenure to reside at the campus level (UNL). 


Wunder noted that the form indicates that annual evaluations must be included in the documentation.  He pointed out that some departments are not conducting annual evaluations.  Buck stated that annual evaluations must be conducted yearly if the faculty member is not tenured. 


7.4       ARRC Report

Beck noted that Peterson attended the final report of an ARRC investigative committee.  She stated that there has been no response from President Smith regarding the case although the deadline for a response has passed.  She pointed out that the lack of response from the President is out of compliance with ARRC rules.  She stated that she believes the President needs to respond to the President of the Academic Senate in a case such as the one involved.  She stated that she would check to see if this is correct. 


7.5       Non-tenured Research Assistant Professors

Shea stated that there is concern that non-tenured research assistant professors and other non-tenured faculty members do not receive the same privileges as tenured faculty members.  He stated that some non-tenured research professors have been informed that they do not qualify for research support.  He noted that many more people are being hired on these lines but they are not being given equal stature.  He pointed out that there should be some guidelines regarding these positions. 


Beck asked if these people are on soft money.  Shea stated that some are while others are not.  He noted that some of these people are required to get funding to pay for their own salaries.  Wunder asked whether research assistant professors are in violation of what the Board of Regents approved when they explicitly stated what the classifications are for faculty members.  The Committee agreed that the Bylaws should be checked to see if this is true.


Beck noted that Western Michigan University just granted tenure to all faculty members regardless of whether they are on tenure leading lines or not.  She stated that this is an example of tenure being expanded rather than reduced at a university. 


The Committee agreed to discuss the issue of non-tenured faculty members with the Chancellor at an upcoming meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:47 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, June 30 at 2:30 pm.  The meeting will be held in 201 Canfield Administration Building.  The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and Pat Shea, Secretary.