Executive Committee Minutes - November 10, 2004




Present:          Alexander, Beck, Bradford, Fech, Hoffman, Peterson, Scholz, Shea, Signal, Stock


Absent:           Bolin, Flowers, Wunder


Date:               Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Location:        201 Canfield Administration Building


Note:   These are not verbatim minutes.  They are a summary of the discussions at the Executive Committee meeting as corrected by those participating.


1.0       Call to Order

            Peterson called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.


2.0       Chancellor Perlman

            2.1       Strategic Plan

Peterson noted that faculty members will participate in the strategic planning process within their departments/units but he asked how they can play a role in the process outside of their departments.  He asked if the Senate can assist in any way.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he has had discussions concerning how large a group should be present when the deans present their college strategic plans.  He stated that it is important for the deans to hear the other colleges’ plan.  He noted that the Academic Planning Committee will definitely be engaged.  He indicated he was not sure whether they had intended to have someone from the Academic Senate also attend.  (Subsequent to the meeting Chancellor Perlman confirmed that a member of the Senate Executive Committee will be invited to sit in on the hearings.)


Peterson asked when the deans’ presentations will be made.  Chancellor Perlman noted that it will be after March 15th because that is the deadline date for the deans to turn in their plans.  He stated that faculty groups should have a sense of the process and he will try to work it out so they have participation. 


2.2       Enrollment Management Council Report

Peterson asked when the Enrollment Management Council Report will be made available.  Chancellor Perlman stated that the initial report was not drafted in a format that could be distributed so he is extracting their recommendations and will make them available to the community.


Chancellor Perlman reported that there will be a meeting of the senior administrative team to address the Council’s report.  He noted that the Senate will be directly involved in helping to remove some of the barriers that exist for enrolling students. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that issues surrounding enrollment continue to escalate.  He noted that a report from Washington D.C. indicates that states that allow easy transfers of community college students to universities could be eligible to receive a portion of $125 million from the government.  He pointed out that he does not know the specifics of the program but he doubted that Nebraska would qualify. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that dual enrollment programs between high schools and colleges or universities have definite implications for UNL.  Peterson noted that one of the problems with the dual enrollment program is that students receive college credit for a high school course although that course may not be at the same level as a college course.  Chancellor Perlman stated that the dual enrollment program is a reality even though the university may be hesitant to participate in it because course standards are not being met.  He pointed out that the university could try fighting the program but he did not think it is a battle that could be won.  Instead he suggested we might want to be proactive in working out a system for participating in the program.  He noted that since other colleges in the area are participating, we will face requests for transfer of credit from other colleges that will include dual enrollment courses without any assurance we will know that is what they are.


Hoffman asked what percentage of students are transfers from community colleges.  Chancellor Perlman stated that it is a significant amount.  He reported that out of 3200 new students, 700 were transfers from community colleges. 


Peterson reported that the New York Times had an article concerning the written portion of the ACT exam.  He asked if UNL requires students to take this portion of the exam.  Chancellor Perlman stated that it is not required because there is a substantial cost to the student to take this portion of the exam.  He noted that there is pressure to encourage more writing on the ACT exam.  He pointed out that none of our peer institutions require the written portion of the exam.  He stated that no data are available to show whether the written portion of the exam is indicative of success.  He noted that a major writing proposal has been submitted to the Programs of Excellence.


Fech stated that the Metropolitan Technical College is aggressively recruiting high school students.  He stated that a problem may arise for those students who attend the College but then decide that they want to go to a four year school because the College is more vocationally oriented rather than academically oriented.  Hoffman noted that there is a large difference between the accounting courses at the university as opposed to the accounting curriculum at a community college.  Chancellor Perlman pointed out that part of the problem is how much credit should be given to community college courses if they are not as rigorous as university courses. 


Signal asked if there has been any discussion with President Milliken on community college transfer students.  Chancellor Perlman stated that there has been no formal discussion with the President.  He pointed out that the fact that courses at community colleges are less expensive is an issue that needs to be addressed.


2.3       Issues for Visiting Professors and Non-tenure Track Faculty

Peterson reported that some visiting professors have indicated that UNL is not a welcoming place for visiting professors.  He pointed out that these visiting professors will return to their universities with a negative impression of UNL which can be related to prospective students.  He noted that faculty members on non-tenure track lines have raised similar concerns although they may have some other issues.  Hoffman stated that he has heard similar complaints.  He noted that the visiting professors are often expected to do certain work but are not allowed to participate in department events. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that some of the issues being raised may be a phenomenon associated with being a visiting professor.  His own experience at other universities and anecdotes he has heard suggest that we are not the only university that may have work to do on this.  He stated that the administration should try to determine how treatment of visiting professors varies across the campus. 


Chancellor Perlman noted that before he became Interim Chancellor the university conducted an elaborate review of position titles to clarify them for SAP.  He did not know if the university is bound to adhere to these classifications.  He stated that he plans to look into these classifications at some time in the future but right now the campus is busy working on the strategic plan, the Gallup survey, and other matters.  He noted that Professor Poser’s report on personnel practices at the University of California-Berkeley indicate that UNL is behind the times in the area of job classifications and flexibility of work hours. 


2.4       Issues on the Horizon

Chancellor Perlman stated that the administration wants to have open hearings regarding the core values for UNL.  He noted that the Senate might want to engage in more formal discussions on them.  He pointed out that it is important to have discussions on the core values so the administration knows if they need to be revised.


Chancellor Perlman reported that the teaching initiative is on track and an announcement calling for proposals will be made shortly. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that proposals for the Programs of Excellence funds have been submitted.  He stated that the administration is in the process of reviewing the proposals.  He stated that some proposals will need to be refined or developed further.  He noted that not all of the funds have been used yet for this year but he is looking into how they can be used.  He pointed out that the Academic Planning Committee will be heavily involved in the decision process. 


Chancellor Perlman reported that a new deferred maintenance legislative bill was presented at the Board of Regents meeting.  He stated that the administration is looking at buildings on campus that need work.  He noted that some of these buildings are Keim Hall, the old section of the Animal Science building, and the physical science buildings (Brace, Behlen, and Ferguson) as well as Sheldon Art Gallery. 


Chancellor Perlman stated that an effort is being made to have all publications from the campus to look similar.  He noted that the administration wants to see the same logo and colors being used on the handouts.  He stated that the Office of University Communications has created a DVD tool box which has templates for publications.  He pointed out that the effort for similarity is not meant to be confining but the colors being used in the publications should be those of the campus, red and white. 


Beck stated that she spoke with Professor Lauerman, Director of University Communications, regarding the effort to coordinate campus publications.  Beck pointed out to Lauerman that she suspects that most faculty members do not work with a designer when a publication is created.  She suggested that faculty members should be given the DVD tool box kit.  Another suggestion is to have the desired logos electronically available so faculty members can down load them when they are needed.  Beck stated that Lauerman will attempt to get the information to all faculty members.  Chancellor Perlman stated that these are excellent suggestions.  Hoffman noted that most of the PowerPoint presentations made at conferences include the university logo that is associated with the presenter and that having the correct one available would be helpful.


Chancellor Perlman noted that Vice Chancellor Jackson was recently at the University of Oklahoma and observed that wherever you went on campus you were made aware that you were at that university.  He noted that this is not the case here, particularly on city campus.  He stated that East Campus is different because they have a decal on each door.  He stated that the campus will work to coordinate efforts to provide signage throughout the campus.  He noted that podiums will have the N logo on them and other signs will be put into place.  He stated that new signs identifying buildings will start being installed again.  He pointed out that the effort to change the signs was slowed down considerably due to the budget cuts.  


Hoffman asked about the high voltage pillars that are being constructed on the north side of campus.  Chancellor Perlman stated that these electric pillars are part of the new Lincoln Electric System substation that is being built at the site of the old UNL police station.  He noted that this is part of the Antelope Valley Project and the substation will provide electricity to the campus.  He pointed out that work on the new viaduct being constructed with the project will begin soon. 


Chancellor Perlman reported that publicity on the reality TV show has been positive both nationally and internationally.  He stated that the admissions office is very excited because it has been receiving a lot of positive feedback about the show. 


Peterson noted that the anxiety level about the show seems to have calmed down.  He stated that he is not hearing anything further from the faculty regarding the show.  Chancellor Perlman stated that there will more than likely be some comments regarding the show when it is aired. 


Peterson asked if there is some sense that the show could help bring out of state students to UNL.  Chancellor Perlman stated that this is the hope for the show.  He pointed out that there has been an increase in out of state students this past year from 11% to slightly over 13%. 


Hoffman asked if the drop in enrollment at UNL is unique or whether other institutions have suffered a similar decrease in enrollment figures.  Chancellor Perlman stated that Iowa State has closed down a dorm due to a decrease in enrollment but some universities have indicated an increase.


Signal stated that the campus environment could be more inviting and integrative to students if campus projects included the work of students.  She pointed out that many students, such as those in the advertising department, are involved in course projects which the campus could possibly use.  She noted that the reality TV show could have used students interested in broadcasting.  She stated students could feel more included if their work was used by UNL.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he believes some students have been interning with the program. 


Alexander stated that wasting faculty time continues to be an issue.  He pointed out that while it is great to have internal grant funding an enormous amount of time is spent by faculty members to compete for these funds.  He pointed out that not only is faculty time required to complete and submit the application for the grant money but other faculty members must then review the applications.  He stated that over the years too much time has been involved with seeking internal funding.  Chancellor Perlman stated that he did not know if the amount of time involved with the internal grants is increasing but he agreed that a lot of faculty time is required on the grants.  He noted that Vice Chancellor Paul is pushing people to seek external funds but the internal funds are important as seed grants in order to eventually seek those external funds.  He suggested that inquiries could possibly be made to see if a particular research grant has any chance of receiving funding before efforts are made to submit an application. 


3.0       Announcements

            3.1       Deans and Directors Meeting

Beck reported that she attended the meeting for Peterson.  She noted that there was discussion about the $5.3 million gift from Johnny Carson to upgrade the Temple building. 


Beck reported that there was considerable discussion at the meeting regarding coordination of campus publications and the use of the red N logo.  She stated that other versions of the N can be used and secondary logos can be combined with the N logo. Fech asked if the 4-H logo can be used in association with IANR.  Beck stated that it is not supposed to be used.


Beck stated that Dr. Nunez, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, voiced concern over people responding to surveys about UNL.  She stated that he is not concerned with surveys pertaining to faculty members’ disciplines but he is concerned with responses to surveys wanting general information regarding UNL.  Hoffman asked what level of surveys Nunez is concerned about.  Beck stated that Hoffman, and perhaps the Executive Committee, should check with Nunez. 


Beck reported that Executive Memorandum #22 dealing with providing full access to public records at the request of citizens and news media was discussed.  She stated that anyone having concerns about such requests should contact Deb Thomas, Director of Special Projects.


Beck reported that the Bright Line Project on sexual harassment has been placed temporarily on hold because the program cannot be used by Macintosh computer users.  She stated that the company providing the program is working on fixing the problem and it should be available in January 2005. 


4.0       Approval of 11/3/04 Minutes

Alexander moved and Beck seconded approval of the minutes as amended.  Motion approved.


5.0       Planning for Senate Meeting

Peterson reported that a suggestion was made to have David Lechner, Vice President for Business and Finance of the University, speak to the Senate at the December meeting regarding the increase in health care costs.  The Committee discussed and decided that Lechner should speak to the Senate. 


The Committee then discussed the order of the agenda since there will be a lot of business for the Senate to conduct at the December meeting.  Griffin assured the Committee that copies of the motions presented at the November meeting will be included in the packet (except for the revised Procedures of the Academic Rights & Responsibilities Committee which will have reference to their website address). 


6.0       Unfinished Business

            6.1       Letter to President Milliken

Fech asked if President Milliken has responded to the letter sent by Peterson requesting the President to consider reviewing a particular Academic Rights & Responsibilities investigation.  Peterson stated that he has not received a response from the President but will send a message inquiring if the President has received and made a decision regarding the case. 


6.2       January Senate Meeting

The Committee discussed the plans to hold a videoconferencing segment with other institutions regarding collective bargaining during the January meeting.  Signal suggested that in the announcement that is distributed to all faculty members about the meeting that a statement be included that faculty members can submit questions before the meeting if they cannot attend it.  The Committee suggested that the videoconferencing could be taped.  Bradford pointed out that in order to tape the discussion the participants will need to agree to the taping. 


6.0       New Business

            6.1       AAUP/AFCON Conference

Peterson reported that approximately 50 people attended the conference on November 6th.  He stated that Professors Buhman, Genoways, and Sime, whose appointments were terminated due to the budget cuts, spoke.  Peterson noted that SVCAA Couture attended the conference and spoke.  He reported that AFCON gave their annual award to Professors Buhman, Genoways, and Sime.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:53 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, November 17 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 Pat Shea, Secretary.