Executive Committee Minutes - March 31, 2004




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


Absent:           Alexander, Miller


Date:               Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Location:        201 Canfield Administration Building


1.0       Call to Order

            Wunder called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.


2.0       Chancellor Perlman/Interim SVCAA Brinkerhoff

2.1       Domestic Partners Informal Benefits

Chancellor Perlman reported that he is having his staff check to see which of the informal benefits listed could be provided at the campus level and what the costs would be in providing them.  He noted that allowing domestic partners to have access to medical and dental insurance would be a decision that the Board of Regents would have to make. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that he believed the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in diversity definitions was already being done.  Fech noted that it appears inconsistently. 


Wunder noted that some of the informal benefits were being implemented in some units.  He pointed out that other departments will not grant these benefits if they are not specifically identified as benefits in a document coming from administration. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that he would get back to the Committee on the issue when he receives information that he requested from his staff.


2.2       Administrative Request on Inventory

Wunder stated that he received an email message from a faculty member who is concerned with the request for each faculty member to provide inventory information on all of the equipment, including phones and keys that the faculty member has obtained from the university.  Wunder noted that some colleges have received this memo while others have not.   Spann stated that in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications the request was interpreted as pertaining only to equipment that is taken off campus, such as laptops. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that he has asked Vice Chancellor Jackson to respond to this issue.  He noted that there is a policy that is being drafted regarding disposal of university property but he does not know if the inventory request pertains to this policy.  He stated that he would report back to the Committee when he hears back from Vice Chancellor Jackson.


2.3       Restructuring of Faculty at the University

Wunder reported that he received an email message from a faculty member who stated that the dean of a particular college announced at a college faculty meeting that the university is going towards a model of three sets of faculty members:  tenure track, research, or teaching.  The dean reportedly stated that the non-tenure track faculty members would be paid more than the tenure-track faculty members. 


Chancellor Perlman noted that there are currently three levels of faculty members.  He stated that there are research faculty members who are usually paid from research grants and who are not tenure track.  He stated that the same thing could be done with teaching faculty.  He pointed out that there is no program in place to reduce tenure track lines. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that there needs to be discussion on how a faculty member can be retained who is an excellent teacher but who does not necessarily meet the research qualifications needed to get tenure.   He noted that this process should not diminish tenure or the tenure process but suggested that some kind of contract could be made with the person to retain their services. 


Peterson asked if research professors were considered to have academic rank.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he is unsure whether technically they would be considered as having academic rank.  Peterson noted that there is an assistant professor who has a 1.00 FTE research appointment but who is not on a tenure track line.  Fech asked if this person could be promoted to an Associate Professor.  Peterson stated that he could.  Chancellor Perlman pointed out that many people on research appointments must raise their own salary through grants. 


Bradford noted that faculty members recently had to report information on the apportionment of their duties.  He asked how this required information applies to the faculty structure.  Chancellor Perlman pointed out that the university is required by federal law to provide this information.  He stated that the information gathered on appropriation of duties gives administrators the opportunity to provide different workloads for faculty members.  For instance, people doing more teaching would have their apportionment of duties changed to reflect this.  He noted that former SVCAA Edwards urged deans to think about appointing people according to the apportionment of their workload.  He stated that people’s workload fluctuates over their careers and that their apportionment of duties should reflect these fluctuations.  He pointed out that there are professors who are not actively engaged in research but have not increased their teaching load to compensate for the reduction in their service work even though there is a shortage of professors to teach courses.  He stated that this is an important discussion that needs to occur.


2.4       Salary Guidelines

Chancellor Perlman reported that he is working with Interim SVCAA Brinkerhoff and VC Owens to develop the salary guidelines.  He noted that the average pool for faculty salary increases is 2.65% after the $600 increase that was awarded this spring.  Whitt stated that there are some employees who the $600 increases were actually more than a 3.53% increase for them.  He stated that he has heard rumors that these people are fearful that they will be required to give back any money that is over a 3.53% increase.  Chancellor Perlman stated that this was not true and that they would not be required to give any money back. 


2.5       Update on Searches

Chancellor Perlman stated that VC Owens is scheduled to give him a list of four or possibly five candidates for SVCAA by Friday morning.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he will make personal contact with the candidates over the weekend and hopes to make a quick decision on who to bring in for on-campus interviews.  He noted that the Executive Committee should expect to spend some time interviewing these candidates and he is going to value the judgments of the Committee on the various candidates. 


Chancellor Perlman reported that the Presidential search committee will be meeting on April 6th to begin exploring references on the approximately fifteen candidates for President.  He stated that the committee hopes to narrow down the field to about eight candidates.  He pointed out that the search committee is required to give a list to the Board of Regents by May 15th.  He stated that he is unsure what the process will be once the Board receives the list. 


Logan-Peters asked what the proceedings will be for the campus visit of the candidates for SVCAA.  Chancellor Perlman stated that there will probably be a 2 – 3 day visit for the candidates.  He noted that the process will be conducted similar to previous searches. 


2.6       Resolution on LB 1202

Spann asked the Chancellor what he thought about the resolution passed by the Senate on LB 1202 which wants to restrict publication of applicants’ names for positions at public institutions.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he was unsure because he can see both sides of the issue.  He noted that candidates might pull out of a search if their names are disclosed because of repercussions it could have at their current place of employment.  On the other hand, publishing a list of the candidates might provide information on particular candidates that may not otherwise be found if the name was not published. 


2.7       Budget

Chancellor Perlman reported that an amendment to give the university a larger budget cut failed.  He stated that it is looking like the legislature may not resolve the budget issue by April 15th and may have to take the matter up in the fall.  He noted that the legislature is grappling with how to raise more revenue. 


Wunder asked if the Chancellor would move rapidly on the cuts once he has received notification.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he does not know how quickly he will act on the cuts but he wants to push people to think more creatively on how the cuts can be met.  He stated that he believes the cuts can be done without having direct impact on the academic programs. 


2.8       Gallup Survey

Spann asked when the results of the Gallup survey will be available.  Chancellor Perlman stated that they probably won’t be available until sometime in the fall.


2.9       Child Care

Chancellor Perlman stated that he was glad to see things moving forward on the child care program.  Wunder reported that he received a call from Associate Vice Chancellor Currin stating that Professor Buck was appointed to the Chancellor’s Committee on Child Care.  Buck stated that the plans are to absorb the entire Senate committee into the Chancellor’s committee because the Senate committee has representations from all factions on campus. 


2.10     Equity and Diversity Studies

Chancellor Perlman reported that three studies are being conducted to provide information to the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee.  He noted that these studies are on equity and diversity.  He stated that a gender study was conducted annually until 1999 when the SAP system was installed.  He noted that Dr. Nunez, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, is working on developing a program that will enable him to gather the gender information from the SAP system. 


Chancellor Perlman noted that in reviewing previous gender studies, only 1988 and 1989 reports indicated a statistically significant difference in salary and that was primarily at the Assistant Professor level.  He stated that he knows the current study is in dispute because of the model that is being used but he believes that no significant difference will be displayed when the study is completed.  He noted that the third study will be an outlier study. 


2.11     Future Board of Regents Agenda Items

Chancellor Perlman reported that there will be an agenda item at an upcoming Board of Regents meeting that will deal with the $1.1 million renovation of the upper levels of Seaton Hall.  He noted that the Office of Undergraduate Studies will eventually be moved into this location.  He reported that the real issue facing the campus will be when Avery Hall comes back on line.  He stated that several departments will need to be moved when this occurs and that it will cost money to do this. 


3.0       Announcements

            3.1       Changes to Senate Rules

Wunder reported that he has had a chance to take a preliminary look at the proposed changes to the Senate rules.  He noted that one of the changes deals with nominations to the Executive Committee.  The change suggests that the Committee on Committee become more involved in dealing with nominations.  He reported that another change deals with carrying over motions and stipulations on how to determine a motion as an emergency.  He stated that the changes would make the rules more specific instead of relying on Robert’s Rules of Order. 


4.0       Approval of 3/24/04 Minutes

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


5.0       Unfinished Business

            5.1       Executive Committee Nominations Update

Wunder stated that 11 names were submitted to him by the subcommittee to work on nominations.  He noted that he has contacted 10 of the people and three have stated that they agree to be placed on the ballot.  Griffin reminded the committee that biographical information on the candidates needs to be sent out to the Senate on April 13th. 


5.2       Dead Week Reform Proposal

The Committee agreed that the proposal was well written and made a lot of sense.  Spann noted that he included the current language regarding the options a student may take if three or more exams are scheduled for one day. 


Wunder noted that at a previous Deans and Directors meeting he received very positive responses when he reported that a proposal to revise the dead week was in progress.  He pointed out that the change would probably not take effect until the Fall of 2005 since bulletins are already in the process of being published. 


Interim SVCAA Brinkerhoff stated that he did not see any problems with the proposal.  The Committee agreed that copies of the proposal should be sent to ASUN and Dr. Hawkey, Director of Registration and Records.


6.0       New Business

            6.1       Status Recall Motion

Fech asked what the status is regarding a motion to recall senators.  Wunder reported that the Senate Rules and Bylaws Committee discussed the issue and decided not to incorporate these changes into the Senate rules.  He stated that the Committee will report on this at the Senate meeting. 


6.2       ES/IS Proposal

Peterson reported that Dean Kean is arranging meetings with several colleges to discuss the proposal.  He stated that the College of Architecture and several meetings with faculty members of the College of Arts & Sciences have been scheduled.  He asked that anyone who would like to volunteer to attend the meetings to assist in discussing the proposal contact him.  Beck asked if the proposal was merely being introduced at this time.  Wunder stated that this is correct. 


Peterson pointed out that Dean Kean will also be discussing the Transition Report along with the proposal.  He noted that the target date to complete the consultations is still set for November.


6.3       Gender Equity Study

Beck noted that the Committee had asked the Chancellor to conduct a gender equity study some time ago.  She stated that the Committee asked the Chancellor to run the study using the old model and one using a newer model but to her knowledge no studies have been conducted.  Peterson reported that the Chancellor stated earlier in the meeting that three studies were being conducted.  Peterson noted that there are some problems with the old model but he needs to see a copy of the report to determine what some of the problems are. 


Fuller asked how the studies can be conducted when so much of the salary increases are now based on merit.  Beck stated that rank and merit factors into gender studies as well.  She stated that she would get a copy of the earlier report to Peterson for him to review.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:50 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, April 7th, 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.