Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee Meeting with Chancellor and Senate Chairs, January 26, 2007

CUSF Executive Committee and Senate Chairs Meeting
January 26, 2007
USM Office

Present: E.W. Chapin (UMES Senate and Faculty Assembly Chair, CUSF Vice Chair and Chair of this meeting); David Parker (SU; CUSF Chair); Martha Siegel (TU; CUSF Immediate Past Chair); John Collins (UMBI; CUSF Secretary); William Stuart (UMCP; CUSF Executive Committee); John Organ (BSU Senate Chair); William Childs (for FSU Senate); Darryl Mullins (SU Senate Chair); Alfred Guy (UB Senate Chair); Julie Zito (UMB Senate Chair); Mervyn Monteiro (UMBI Senate Chair); H. Rodger Harvey (UMCES Senate Chair); S. James Gates (UMCP Senate Chair); Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC Senate Vice Chair).

Guests: William E. Kirwan, Chancellor, USM; Irwin L. Goldstein, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, USM.

Dr. Chapin called the meeting to order at 10:10am. This was followed by a round of introductions by all those present. Dr. Chapin informed the group that the Chancellor was meeting with legislators and would join us as soon as possible. He also said that Dr. Goldstein had been meeting with MHEC and was expected to join us within the hour.

Dr. Chapin said that the employment of full-time, non-tenure track faculty (FT-NTTs) has become an issue of concern on some USM campuses. He distributed copies of the current USM policies on FT-NTTs. Medical benefits for USM FT-NTTs are now available on all campuses except FSU and CSU. Dr. Parker said that many FT-NTTs at SU and TU are not budgeted to have benefits. Legally, many of them are actually not state employees. A discussion followed.

Dr. Chapin said that there may be as many as nine new Regents appointed this year, and the Chancellor will need to educate them. Dr. Organ said that most faculty simply don't care about the FT-NTTs on their campuses. Dr. Siegel proposed the formation of a non-CUSF ad hoc committee to gather facts and information. She said that every Senate Chair should have the information for their own campuses. This committee would need legal advice. A discussion followed.

Dr. Chapin noted that campus enrollment projections affect budget requests, but actual enrollments are often different from the projections. It is important for the campuses to avoid competing with each other for the same students. Dr. Chapin distributed a handout from FSU Senate Chair Robert Kauffman which said that FSU was not getting the expected number of "trickle down" students who had not been admitted to other UM campuses. A discussion followed.

There was a discussion of the USM regional teaching Centers and the difficulties that sometimes arise when the different campuses send their faculty to teach at the Centers.

Dr. Chapin said that little was known about Governor O’Malley's FY 2008 budget proposal, but noted that Dr. Collins had recently distributed a summary of this budget that had been posted by the Maryland Democratic Party. Dr. Chapin handed out printed copies of this budget proposal and a discussion followed.

Dr. Goldstein arrived at 12:15pm, at which time the meeting broke for lunch and informal discussions. The meeting reconvened at 12:30pm, at which time Dr. Goldstein began a report on recent USM activities. He said there would probably be a 6.8% increase in USM’s operating budget for FY 2008. This will cover all mandatory costs and about half of the projected enrollment costs. This means that there will be a smaller growth than had been requested. The Regents could decide to increase tuition, but this would probably not happen. He said that several new Regents would be appointed soon, and they would presumably be inclined to support the Governor's predilection for a tuition freeze. Dr. Goldstein noted that the USM budget increase will be significantly higher than for other state agencies. He said that there will probably be a 2.5% "merit" increase for state employees, but a possible COLA will be determined later.

Dr. Goldstein said no action was likely this year on USM’s proposed increases in ORP contributions. He said that the Chancellor plans to talk to the new Governor at an opportune time about doing something next year.

Dr. Parker reiterated that there will be seven new or renewal appointments on the Board of Regents. A brief discussion followed.

Dr. Goldstein said that approval the OCR agreement is still pending. A brief discussion followed.

The next item for discussion was the USM Regents Faculty Awards. There was praise for Dr. Alt (TU), who chaired this year’s applicant review committee. Speaking on behalf of Dr. Alt (who was unavoidably away), Dr. Siegel asked for more flexibility in the Regent’s Faculty Awards policies and procedures. Dr. Goldstein said that future review committees, working with CUSF and AAAC, could change the procedures as they saw fit. Dr. Siegel said that the Senate Chairs must take charge of selecting applicants from their own campuses.

Dr. Goldstein informed the group that dual enrollment between USM campuses and the Community Colleges is a high priority issue now. There is a lot of activity in this area, and Nancy Shapiro is heavily involved.

The Chancellor joined the meeting at approximately 1:00pm.

Dr. Goldstein concluded his report with an update to the group on the status of benefits for FT-NTTs. His office is working hard on this. He has asked every campus whether they comply with Regents' policies. The Chancellor and the Presidents have agreed to provide FT-NTTs with health benefits. All except CSU and FSU have already done so, and CSU and FSU will do so by fall, 2007. Recently, the Chancellor and Presidents agreed to look at the issue of retirement benefits and report to the Board of Regents on what they have found and what recommendations, if any, they have. Dr. Goldstein has asked for specific information on how many FT-NTTs on each campus are getting various levels of benefits. He noted that "full-time" faculty status is determined on each campus based on a required teaching load. The requirements vary on the different campuses and in different programs within a campus.

The Chancellor began his remarks at 1:15pm. He said that he has a very positive impression of Governor O'Malley's administration. They appear to be making excellent appointments and are using a very thorough, professional search process. He is pleased that Joe Bryce and other former USM administrators are now working for the State. James Lyons, former BSU president and now the new MHEC Secretary, is an old friend of the Chancellor.

The Chancellor noted that USM has done relatively well this year, with a proposed 8.3% budget increase versus an average of 2.5% for other state agencies. The new budget will cover mandatory expenses plus costs for 1,700 new students. This will be only the second year of funded enrollment growth for USM. The Chancellor has decided not to push ORP legislation this year even though it’s a very high priority. His reasoning is that this needs to be an administration bill, the Governor needs more time to learn about the problem, and money is tight this year. The limited capital budget is a significant problem for USM. The new building at CSU (part of the pending OCR agreement) is very expensive - $120 million. The Governor has promised lots of money for school construction costs, and there has been a big increase in construction costs.

The Chancellor reiterated that USM has not yet heard from the OCR on the pending agreement, and he doesn’'t know when they will.

The Chancellor is very troubled by Senate Bill 29, which says that any new academic program approved after July 1, 2005 (there are about 170 such programs) may be objected to by any other Maryland Institution. That is, an institution may sue MHEC if it approves any of these programs.

The Chancellor said that he will support legislation to provide domestic partners benefits (with priority to same-sex partners). This issue was brought to him by the USM Student Council. He noted, however, that the General Assembly has opposed such legislation in the past.

Following the Chancellor's report, there were brief discussions on the Student Research Day, Annapolis 101, the Carol Twigg initiative, high textbook prices and flexible tenure.

The meeting adjourned at 2:00pm.