Executive Committee Minutes - September 8, 2004



Present:          Beck, Bolin, Bradford, Peterson, Scholz, Shea, Signal, Stock       


Absent:           Alexander, Fech, Wunder


Date:               Wednesday, September 8, 2004


Location:        Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace


1.0       Call to Order

            Peterson called the meeting to order at 3:08 p.m.


2.0       Announcements

            2.1       E.N. Thompson Forum

Peterson announced that the first E.N. Thompson Forum for the academic year will be held on Thursday, September 9th and the guest speaker will be journalist David Halberstam. 


2.2       Chancellor’s State of the University Address

Peterson reminded the Committee that the Chancellor will be giving his annual address to the campus on Friday, September 10th.


2.3       Deans and Directors Meeting

Peterson reported that he will be unable to attend the Deans and Directors’ meetings held on Wednesday mornings because he is teaching a class at that time.  He stated that he will ask President-Elect Beck if she can attend the meetings on behalf of the Executive Committee.  He noted that if she is unable to attend the meetings, he will ask other members of the Committee if they can attend.


3.0       Approval of 9/1/04 Minutes

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


4.0       Unfinished Business

            4.1       Revisions to Teaching Council Syllabus and UNL Bylaw

Peterson reported that Professor James of the Teaching Council, Associate VC Jacobson, Associate to the Chancellor Howe, and Executive Associate Dean Weissinger strongly support keeping the language “or designee” in both the UNL Bylaws and syllabus.  Peterson reported that he spoke with Executive Assoc. Dean Weissinger who felt that she should be able to designate someone to the Council who is directly involved with teaching. 


Shea stated that he has concerns with Graduate Studies administration appointing a designee to the Teaching Council who is a Senior Lecturer.  He believes this trivializes the importance of the Teaching Council and the role of Graduate Studies.  He suggested that an Associate Dean of Graduate Studies would be a more appropriate appointment if the Dean or Executive Associate Dean of Graduate Studies is not available.  Beck agreed and asked how the (current) Graduate Studies designee’s position (Senior Lecturer) gives her the stature to interact in the council’s activities. 


Peterson noted that the Teaching Council is largely driven by the faculty members.  He stated that in the past the faculty members on the Council were the ones to vote on issues.  Bradford stated that the question is whether the designee would be considered a voting member of the Council.  Peterson pointed out that the syllabus indicates that the designee would have voting privileges.  Bradford stated that it is his assumption that only the identified administrator to a committee can vote on matters, not a designee appointed by the administrator. 


Scholz stated that the Council is taking on more importance with the demise of the Teaching and Learning Center.  He pointed out that it is important to have administrators on the Council who can advocate for and/or directly allocate the resources necessary to support teaching improvements.  Peterson suggested removing the language “or designee” but including language that states that a representative for the administrator can attend the meeting but that individual would not have voting rights. 


Beck questioned the language “funds appropriated specifically for improvement of instruction and learning and made available to the council by the Chancellor shall be expended with the advice of the Teaching Council.”  Peterson stated that in the past the Council decided who would receive any funding in support of teaching.  Shea questioned why the Council would need to go back to the Chancellor in order to expend funds. 

Peterson pointed out that the Council no longer has the resources to provide funding in support of teaching. 


The Committee agreed to remove the language “or designee” and return the revisions back to Assoc. VC Jacobson with an explanation for the revision.


4.2       Executive Committee Goals

The Committee discussed revisions to the draft of the Committee’s goals which were determined at the Executive Committee Retreat on Friday, September 3rd.


4.3       Executive Committee Elections

Peterson stated that he has not received any responses to the email message that was sent out to Senators calling for candidates to run for an election to fill the vacant seat on the Executive Committee.  He noted that the College of Arts & Sciences and IANR have the maximum number of representatives that is allowed on the Executive Committee.  He stated that he will make an announcement at the September Senate meeting asking for nominations.  He pointed out that he will state at the meeting the colleges that can still have representatives on the Committee. 




5.0       New Business

5.1       Agenda Items for Meeting with President Milliken

The Committee discussed issues they would like to raise with President Milliken when he meets with them on September 22nd.  Topics include: 

1)         Input by faculty members into employee benefits

2)         Grievance procedures

3)         The President’s perception of what makes an effective university

4)         The President’s priorities for the university

5)         How the faculty can effectively communicate with the administration in Varner Hall.

6)         What the President sees as the role of the Central Administration

7)         How does UNL fit in with the other campuses in terms of being the flagship campus and having fair representation on University wide committees?

8)         What is the President’s sense of balance between the land grant and AAU missions?


5.2       Update on RIF Committee and ARRC Procedures Committee

Beck reported that the committee working on revising the ARRC procedures should be done with the revisions next week.  She stated that Professor Works will then write a cover letter to Richard Wood, General Counsel, and the Senate Executive Committee identifying key areas that have been revised and asking for feedback on the procedures within two weeks.  She noted that the revised procedures will not be presented to the Senate until November. 


Bradford asked if it is possible to get copies of the revised procedures to the Senate sometime in October so they have adequate time to review them.  Beck stated that it will depend on whether issues are raised by the Executive Committee or Wood and whether these issues can be dealt with quickly.


Beck stated that the committee is considering sending out the revised documents electronically.  She stated that they have discussed having the documents out on the web in pdf.  She noted that sending it out before the Senate meeting will hopefully allow enough time for the Senators to review the documents so there can be discussion on them when they are presented at the November Senate meeting.  She pointed out that there will be either an up or down vote on the entire document. 


Beck reported that the RIF Committee to look at procedures for firing people during budget crisis met earlier today.  She stated that the Committee will be contacting ASUN to get two students appointed to the Committee.  She pointed out that at least one of the students will need to attend the meetings. 


Beck reported that the RIF Committee is going to work on envisioning what would be the fairest process for firing people.  She stated that they will be comparing the current rules with the process that they envision.  She stated that she asked SVCAA Couture to meet with the Executive Committee on October 6th to share her philosophy of how a university should move forward programmatically.  She reported that the RIF Committee also wants to look at the University of Maryland where an entire college was closed but with the consent of the faculty members.  She noted that the current procedures and the 1992 procedures have fundamental differences.  She stated that further updates on the progress of the Committee will be made as they continue working on the procedures.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:01 p.m.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, September 15 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.