Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee and Senate Chairs Meeting of May 6, 2005

Combined Senate Chairs / CUSF Executive Committee
USM Headquarters – May 6, 2005

Present:, Vince Brannigan (UMCP, CUSF ExCom), Bill Chapin (UMES, CUSF ExCom), Dave Parker (SU, CUSF ExCom), John Collins (UMBI), Irv Goldstein (USM), Steve Jacobs (UMB), B. Carpenter (UMCP), Robert Coffman (FSU), Lee Richardson, (UB, CUSF ExCom), Martha Siegel (TU, CUSF ExCom), Tim Sulivan (TU), Court Stevenson (UMCES)

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

Discussion of shared governance on the campuses revealed that, beyond specific problems on specific campuses, there were some overall trends. Many campuses had suitable shared-governance mechanisms and procedures on paper, but not all of those were carried out well in practice. Similarly, while many campuses were in relatively good shape on shared governance at the campus level, there were considerably more problems reported at the school and departmental levels, perhaps because shared governance at these levels is not as clearly delineated in the BOR documents. Given the inexperience of faculty leaders on some of the campuses in carrying out effective shared governance, consideration was given to the possibility of making available through CUSF campus assistance and advisement on best practices in shared governance, for campuses requesting such assistance, so that the experience of campuses whose shared governance work was currently more mature might be available system-wide.

The current CUSF procedure for dealing with appeals from faculty on the campuses about reported violations of BOR and campus rules by high-level administrators was presented to the representatives from the campus. While there may be further discussion with the AG’s office on the details of this procedure, the ExCom felt that it was important that all campuses were aware of the procedure (and of what sorts of cases were appropriate for reporting to CUSF).

Some concern was expressed that growth initiatives in such places as Shady Grove and Hagerstown must be matched by careful assurance that the faculty employed there satisfied all the requirements for corresponding faculty teaching in the programs on the home teaching campuses, particularly in view of the apparent difficulty of obtaining such faculty in the early stages of some of the programs offered. Degrees offered at these centers are degrees of the offering campuses and so reflect on the quality and credibility of programs on the home campuses.

In the area of the periodic review and adjustment of peer institutions lists for the various campuses, and in the area of selection of dash-board indicators for use by the BOR, there was considerable concern expressed that necessary faculty participation through the shared-governance mechanisms in place might not happen. The administrative appointment of carefully chosen faculty members to assist administrations in these matters is not at all the same thing as shared governance.

Chancellor Irv Goldstein talked to us about the process of reviewing campus Presidents, going on now at Bowie and other institutions. This review includes analysis by a team external to the campus, followed by a report to the Chancellor and the BOR, in addition to internal work by the Chancellor’s office and the BOR.

Within the next year both FSU and UMUC will be looking for new Presidents. Given the diversity of the campuses within the USM, finding candidates who can successfully meet the presidential challenge of dealing with the outside world (and campus teams, including Provosts, who can effectively keep the campuses moving forward) will be quite a challenging task.

Many complicating factors, including the necessity of the campuses to look for other sources of funding (e.g., endowment, alumni) beyond the Legislature (while considering the special situation with the Legislature in an election year), the need for Presidents to do long-term planning for their campuses which are often dependent on the short-term budgeting cycle of the State, the coming bulge in students to be accommodated by the USM, the increasing awareness of the BOR of the complex nature of campus funding, all present sufficient complication to make predictions about future campus directions and funding very unclear.

The OCR situation this year is complicated by the potential ending of the current Maryland consent decree, the limitations imposed by a court decision concerning the University of Michigan, and by the concern expressed by Morgan State University about the planned TU – UB MBA program.

It is clear that the current change in the year for health insurance benefits to have the year for such benefits start in July is causing much difficulty and confusion in arranging benefits for graduate students, in receiving payments for benefits from nine-month faculty, and in coordinating benefit plans with spouses, not to mention the extra burden of increased premiums, increased office visit co-pays and increased payment for prescription drugs.

The schedule for general CUSF meetings for the next academic year is tentatively complete, but must wait for the BOR meeting in June (at which the BOR confirms the meeting times of the full BOR and its committees) to assure that there are not conflicts. We agreed to continue with a meeting between the Senate Chairs and the CUSF ExCom each semester next year, coordinated with the availability of the Chancellor to be present to speak to the group.