Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee Meeting of October 3, 2005


CUSF Executive Committee Meeting

October 3, 2005

USM Office

Present: Martha Siegel (Chair); Lee Richardson (Past Chair); E.W. Chapin (Vice Chair); John Collins (Secretary); Vincent Brannigan (At-Large); John McMullen (At-Large, via IVN).

Guests: Joe Hill (CUSS Chair); Irv Goldstein (VCAA)

The meeting was called to order at noon.

Dr. Siegel introduced CUSS Chair Joe Hill and said that she had invited him to talk to us about state pension systems. Mr. Hill distributed copies of pension reports that he had presented at today’s Chancellor’s Council meeting. He said that teachers have a better plan, with higher employer contributions, than other state employees do. The poor pension benefits, together with stagnant salaries, make it more difficult to retain and attract high-quality faculty. Dr. Brannigan noted that faculty teaching workloads have increased as well, making it more difficult to get people to serve on committees such as CUSF

VCAA’s report: Dr. Goldstein reported that not much has changed since the last Executive Committee meeting. The budget continues to evolve, in the form of a four-year plan. High consideration is being given to projected growth in enrollment, enhancements, and how to cover overhead costs, especially health and energy costs. A relatively good budget is expected this year, based on initial signals coming from the governor’s office. Cost increases will be 50% covered by the state budget and 50% from tuition increases. UMBI and UMCES, which have no tuition income, are exceptions to this formula. The cost increases for these institutions will be 70% covered by the state.

Campus mission statements have gone out. Dr. Siegel said that she wants to have copies of all of these, and to find out whether the campus senates were involved in preparing them.

OCR summaries have been sent to each campus. Dr. Goldstein is still serving on Committee 1 Chancellor Kirwan has resigned from Committee 2 because of Issue 9, which deals with competition for funds among HBCUs. Issue 9 is not a problem for Committee 1, which deals with academic issues that apply to everybody. Dr. Goldstein said that it is important for USM to have representation on Committee 1. The "Attorney General’s Office" is writing a report on whether or not new programs should be judged on how they may compete with HBCUs.

Regarding the Effectiveness and Efficiency Report, Dr. Goldstein said that Joe Vivona wants to formulate a list of recommendations on how improvements may be achieved. Dr. Siegel noted that the Towson University president is considering going to a trimester system, but this has not yet been discussed with faculty.

Dr. Brannigan asked if there is any downward pressure to finish the substance abuse policy. The answer was "no". Dr. Goldstein then left the meeting.

The minutes of the September 7 Executive Committee meeting were approved without modification.

The draft minutes of the September 21 CUSF meeting, after a few minor changes, were approved for distribution to all CUSF members.

It was noted that community college students can get low tuition when they transfer to four-year institutions, with the difference subsidized by state. This is an incentive for people to start in community colleges. Early access problems were discussed. For example, community college teachers’ salaries are relatively low. Another problem is that many transfer students are not well prepared.

Dr. Siegel led a discussion of goals and memberships f the CUSF Committees.

D. Siegel said that Student Research Day may not be held this year due to a lack of space in Annapolis.

Dr. Collins noted that there are still a number of vacancies in the CUSF membership.

The October 14 meeting of Senate Chairs and the CUSF Executive Committee was discussed. Dr. Chapin said that he would soon send a draft agenda to the Executive Committee. He confirmed that Chancellor Kirwan would be at the meeting.

It was agreed that Dr. Collins would distribute Dr. Siegel’s letter on textbook policy to all CUSF members and Senate Chairs. Note: The letter was distributed on October 3.

Dr. Siegel said that the campus Senates need to have a record of their procedures and policies, and how and when they were approved.

The agenda for the October 20 CUSF meeting in Hagerstown was briefly discussed.

Dr. Brannigan described some proposed changes to the substance abuse policy. It was agreed that CUSF should have the version ready to go, but not formally approved or posted on the CUSF web site.