Council of University System Faculty

Executive Meeting: Monday, December 3, 2007

USM Adelphi, Chancellor’s Room


John Collins (UMBI, Chair), Bill Stuart (UMCP, Vice Chair), Martha Siegel (TU, At-Large), David Parker (SU, Past President), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC, Secretary)


Freeman A. Hrabowski III (UMBC, President), Irv Goldstein (USM, Senior Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs), John Wolfe, (USM, Associate Vice Chancellor)

John Collins called the meeting to order at approximately 12:45p.m., and he introduced Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the President of UMBC. President Hrabowski talked about the importance of faculty involvement in the Closing the Gap Initiative, and noted how successful UMBC has been at this because of faculty involvement, i.e., tutoring, mentoring, etc.  He responded to various CUSF questions regarding faculty involvement in closing the achievement gap, before leaving at 12:55p.m.

John Collins briefly discussed the Chancellor’s meeting with the USM Presidents that ended as the CUSF Executive meeting began. An issue of importance, as presented at that meeting by Presidents C. D. Mote Jr. (UMCP) and Donald F. Boesch (UMCES), was the Green Initiative.  President Hrabowski noted that race issues are just as important as the Green Initiative. In the subsequent CUSF discussion Bill Stuart noted that economically disadvantages, however, go across the board.  Additional CUSF discussions continued concerning the closing the achievement gap issues.

Irv Goldstein began his USM report at approximately 1p.m.

Continuing with the closing the achievement gap issues, Irv Goldstein noted that part of the problem is academic preparation. But another part of the problem is that students who come from families with low incomes do not have the same college access opportunities as high income students.  He noted that Secretary Spellings (US Department of Education) said that the best thing to be is “dumb and rich”. He will write a letter stating that each gap is different and he will share a CD with CUSF that shows where best practices were identified.  CSU has a serious issue with college graduation rates but it also gives opportunities to students who would otherwise not have access to college. Data shows some of the following:

  • Males do poorly, whether black or white
  • There are many driving forces of the problem
  • Even after being retained in the second year retention, students do not graduate at the six year mark.  Why are they still leaving?
  • There are many issues and stereotypes

Other questions and the dialogue that followed:

Bill Stuart: Is there tracking of where these students go to?

Irv Goldstein: They dropout and work, but some end-up going to community colleges.  It is a big problem for us.  Strategies must be designed for each campus.

Martha Siegel: President Hrabowski says it works because faculty is invested in it. It is much more of a will of the faculty.

David Parker: The order that comes down will only cover a small group of faculty.  It will not work if it comes from the administration.  President Hrabowski says that we need to get faculty involved.

Martha Siegel: Since none of the faculty were involved in the Closing the Achievement Gap conference, something must be done.

David Parker:  Even CUSF was not involved.

Irv Goldstein: There was a conflict with the date of the CUSF meeting and the date of the Closing the Achievement Gap conference. I had invited CUSF to the meeting.

Martha Siegel: Is there something CUSF can do to help this initiative, i.e. a conference or workshop?

Irv Goldstein: Perhaps we can bring this up at the Chairs’ Workshop.

John Collins: Could we get a copy of Chancellor Kirwan’s Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) presentation at the joint CUSF/Faculty Senate Chairs meeting? We would like to meet with the Faculty Senate Chairs again. Can you arrange it?

Bill Stuart: The Faculty Senate Chairs left upset that they could not vent.
Collins: We used to have two joint CUSF/Faculty Senate Chairs meetings per year.

Irv Goldstein: The VSA measures written communication, analytic reasoning, and critical thinking. Initially there were fifteen different measures and we removed all but three.  FIPSE is funding a pilot project on the student learning outcomes.

Martha Siegel: The problem has to do with what are the student outcomes.

Irv Goldstein: People need to understand what it is and what it is not . . . 4 years . . . can opt out . . . a pilot . . . research, etc.  Fear is perhaps due to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education (Spellings Commission). The problem is worrying about showing or assessing what we are doing.

John Wolfe: Every other state has raised the questions and some are now fine with it, such as NC and TX, whereas CA is not.

Irv Goldstein:  It is an emotional issue.

Bill Stuart: One of the most compelling is that if we do not do something, we are inviting something else more difficult.

Irv Goldstein: Will send CUSF the Power Point presentation (VSA).  As for the budget, we have $45 to $50 million extra for a higher education investment fund that would stabilize tuition, upgrade facilities and invest in workforce development. We are in there with ½ of the corporate income tax. 

David Parker: Anti slots supporters are raising an issue about whether or not the bill is constitutional.

Irv Goldstein: The corporate tax helps us through 2009, but not through 2010.

Irv Goldstein left the meeting and John Wolfe made a presentation regarding the Closing the Achievement Gap Conference.  He noted that each campus was asked to create a team of 10 people, for seven topics as follows:

Session 1 – Leadership (Presidents, Provosts, etc.)
Session 2 – Students
Session 3 – Recruitment (recruitment, transition, and retention)
Session 4 – Financial Aid
Session 5 – Student Services
Session 6 – Academic Services (tutoring, etc.)
Session 7 – Curriculum and Instruction (faculty development, learning communities, etc.)

Bill Stuart: We feel left out.

David Parker: People want to cover their tails.

John Collins: If you had sent this to the Faculty Senate Chairs, would that have been a problem?

John Wolfe: I suggested that we not overload this with administration.

Martha Siegel: I suggest that Irv Goldstein make a strong statement that faculty members need to be involved in the design and implementation, and if CUSF could have any impact, i.e. a workshop.  President Hrabowski pointed out that the faculty members are going to make the difference, and that it is the tenured faculty who should lead all of this.

John Wolfe:  I am on a MHEC committee on the achievement of African American males and there are 7 black males and 6 white women. Yet, the report is going back to the white male power structure, and the same issue applies here. The thing that we need to solve is academics. We must look at bridging the gap from sophomore year to junior year.  Nursing and teacher education have screening mechanisms.  I will distribute a DVD with points of all presentations at the Closing the Achievement Gap Conference. Each campus will receive two and CUSF will receive one. Hopefully, you will have it before the Xmas break.  It is not confidential.

John Collins: I will make copies for CUSF members.

John Collins noted that there are several issues that CUSF has in common with CUSS, i.e. domestic partnership, gender expression, and that we should try to schedule another joint meeting. Diversity and the Green Initiative are also common to both CUSF and CUSS.

Bill Stuart: Diversity representatives use four groups, but not western MD folks.  They are not included in the diversity issue.

John Wolfe: There is a black and white issue, but the euphemism is low income. Asians are off the chart. There is a gap between Asians and whites, etc. We can decide which approach to take for CUSS.   Shared governance is also an issue.

Martha Siegel: It is wise to talk to faculty about it.

John Collins: January 18, we are scheduled to meet at Adelphi. The 18th will now be a joint CUSS-CUSF meeting in Adelphi.

John Wolfe: Concerning the Regents’ Faculty Awards, so far there have been no nominations from TU, BSU, CSU, or UMBI.  The meeting to determine the awards will be on December 20, here at USM. The number of nominations from the other institutions is as follows:



















Martha Siegel: A letter should be sent letting them know that it is a faculty award, to make sure the Chairs are aware that nothing happened and to thank the others that did submit nominations.  Provosts and Faculty Senate Chairs should also receive it.

John Wolfe left the meeting and John Collins addressed general CUSF issues.  Bill Stuart noted that he will pass around his minutes from the Faculty Senate Chairs meeting with the CUSF Executive Committee and the Chancellor.  John Collins asked Joyce Shirazi to have name tents made for all Faculty Senate Chairs for the next meeting. He also noted that we should designate someone else to record the minutes if the CUSF secretary can not.

John Collins  mentioned that for all general body CUSF meetings, standing committee reports will be expected and that he will send out the agenda for each general body CUSF meeting immediately after the executive CUSF meeting.  This will give committees time and notice to work on their reports before the meeting. Martha Siegel noted that she would like to see salary information for professors at each USM institution based on rank. She also noted that another agenda item is the re-evaluation of USM institutional peers.  We need to put together something and she will write it.  Martha Siegel also mentioned that we need a resolution in support of .   Lastly, Martha Siegel noted that she will send the directions to TU to the CUSF secretary. John Collins closed by stating that we all should have received the email message on textbook prices, and that he will send us the corresponding MHEC notes.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:15 p.m.