Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee and Senate Chairs Meeting of October 24, 2003


Combined Senate Chairs / CUSF Executive Committee

USM Headquarters – October 24, 2003

Present: Jim Anthony (TU), Vince Brannigan (UMCP, CUSF ExCom), Bill Chapin (UMES, CUSF ExCom), Linda Day Clark (CSC), Joel Cohen (UMCP), Gertrude Eaton (USM), Mike Garner(SU, CUSF ExCom), Stephanie Gibson (UB), Norma Holter (TU), Art Huseonica (UMUC), Steve Jacobs (UMAB), Brit Kirwan (USM Chancellor), Steve Kronheim (UMUC), Kris Lindenmeyer (UMBC), Dave Parker (SU, CUSF ExCom),  Randall Rhodes (FSU), David Rieck (SU), Martha Siegel (TU, CUSF ExCom), Court Stevenson (UMCES)

The meeting was called to order shortly after ten o’clock.

Reports on the state of shared governance on the various campuses indicated that, although there were a number of campuses with new administrations (and so not totally clear on the future path of shared governance), the vast majority of the campuses reported that effective shared governance was in place.  There were concerns (not at the campus level, but at the level of the schools) from UB and UMAB.  BSU and UMBI were not represented. 

The effectiveness of shared governance is essential if we are to be successful in recruiting faculty as liaisons to legislators so as to transmit the views of faculty directly to our representatives in Annapolis (and also if proposed procedures for the appeal of presidential actions that violate System policies are to use the campus Senates as places to hear appeals and determine which are appropriate for sending on to the Chancellor).  So that all liaisons can be communicating in a way that is consistent from campus to campus and consistent with the efforts of the System, a collection of FAQ’s is being prepared by CUSF.  It may also be desirable to have ‘show and tell’ days presenting student research for the legislators, particularly since students seem to be such effective communicators in Annapolis.

The exact nature of shared governance bodies on the campus varies greatly throughout the system, some campuses with individual bodies for students, for faculty, and for staff, some campuses with a single body for all constituencies, and some with both.   

In an era of few long-time presidents and much concern with budgets, faculty need to give advice based on their own long-term experience at the institutions in matters of the definition of faculty workload / teaching load (particularly what counts as a course unit and dealing with individual versus departmental collective work loads, currently matters of Regents concern), in matters of retrenchment, in the current search for effectiveness and efficiency (also a matter of Regents concern), and in matters of improving deficiencies in current campus and System policies.  Dave Parker presented a first version of an improvement in the University Policy on Appointments, Retention and Tenure, a policy which the Chancellor, the Presidents, the Provosts and the faculty all agree needs correction.

Campus representatives are needed from some of the campuses to the MHEC Advisory Council, to CUSF itself, and to serve as evaluators for the Regents Faculty Awards.

The Chancellor reported that the proposed budget for next year is officially ‘flat’ (no more cuts), but includes more than the usual number of new unfunded mandates.  While this is better news than additional cuts would have been, it raises great concerns, particularly in view of the anticipated growth of the student population by 25% in the next ten years.  Many campuses are making up for the unfunded items through tuition increases (another topic of general concern), something the research-only campuses cannot do.  In the ‘separate list’ (to be funded if there is extra money when the regular budget is done), we will ask for assistance to the research-only campuses, need-based student assistance, funds to reflect enrollment increases, and campus enhancement (to repair the damage of recent cuts).  There is some legislative support for plans that would stabilize the higher education budget, perhaps with increases of 5% each year for ten years, with the condition that tuition would also not rise more than 4% each year.

The Chancellor encouraged our participation in the rewriting of those System policies that now are in conflict or otherwise in need of adjustment. He also announced the formation of a system-wide Advocacy Council, with representatives from the administrations of all the campuses, to coordinate and support our discussions with the legislature in Annapolis.  He urged us to coordinate our own work with this Council and agreed to consider faculty representation on that council.

The meeting was adjourned at about one o’clock.