Council of University System Faculty

Executive Meeting: Monday, January 7, 2008

USM Adelphi, Chancellor’s Room


John Collins (UMBI, Chair), Bill Stuart (UMCP, Vice Chair), Joan Langdon (BSU. Student Research Day Committee Chair), Patti Cossard (UMCP, Legislative Affairs Committee Chair), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC, Secretary)


Irv Goldstein (USM, Senior Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs), John Wolfe, (USM, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Diversity and Academic Leadership Development, Office of Academic Affairs), Teri Hollander (USM, Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs), Jim Salt (USM, Director of Procurement & Real Property, Office of Capital Planning),  Devin Ellis (UMCP, Chair, USM Student Council)

John Collins called the meeting to order at approximately 12:45p.m.

Student Research Day (SRD)

The new date for Student Research Day (SRD) is February 28, 2008. Up to 22 student posters can be accommodated. Last year there were 18 student posters. The Provosts on each campus will be responsible for distributing the application information on the campuses. February 7, 2008 is the deadline for campuses to submit the applications to CUSF.  John Collins will send a note to the Provosts.  Joan Langdon will notify students directly about the acceptance of their posters on February 14, 2008.  Joan Langdon will also coordinate the booklet for SRD with Lilyann Brown, USM Administrative Assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs. The students presenting posters will receive certificates from the USM Student Council. We must provide the tripods if we want them.  We have a room in the Miller Building, but we must make a request for space along the corridor and atrium on the 2nd or 3rd floors, if we want to position posters along there. Patti Cossard will make a request for that hallway space.


There are several unilateral recommendations for faculty in helping to reduce the costs of textbooks, as noted by Devin Ellis, such as turning their booklists in as early as possible, unbundling textbook bundles, and making no new edition changes.  He noted that new editions are a problem, in particular; and it would be nice if faculty members would state that the publishers make them change the editions due to publishers’ contracts.  John Collins added that professors, especially at Research I Institutions must deal with the publishers’ contracts.  IRB protects confidentiality, therefore this is about to become a nightmare. Bill Stuart said that most of the publishers are foreign owned, in particular German and that we need to look at the electronic sources (peer reviewed), etc.  John Collins said that there are many models for validating internet sources and noted that we have been asked by the Chancellor to put together a white paper on best practices.  Jim Salt noted that ISBN #s and bookstores may become obsolete, yet the publishers say they will make their profits and that’s it. He suggested specialty books and added that perhaps the electronic marketplace can be coordinated to work directly with faculty, as well.  Patti Cossard noted that libraries can provide electronic reserve for one or two chapters, but the publishers are about to start charging per word.  She also mentioned that a study of practice shows that there are some guidelines (favors, for example) that need to be addressed and that many of the university presses have gone out of business. The ones that exist have a relationship with the university. 

The MD tax holiday initiative to include textbooks, school supplies and computers for non-business use was killed last year due to state costs.  However, House Bill 204 (Chapter 295) – Higher Education – Study of the Cost of Textbooks for Higher Education -- passed unanimously in the General Assembly and was signed by the governor. This legislation requires the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) to examine retail prices of textbooks for higher education students in MD and to study factors that impact retail prices of textbooks among other things. It was referred to interim study, which is ongoing. DLS has not completed the study yet. Senator Pinsky has scheduled an informal collection meeting with all parties concerned, i.e. student reps, faculty, bookstores, lobbyists, etc., on the affordability and accessibility of textbooks in higher education for Thursday, January 10, 2008 in the Miller Building.

Joint CUSF/CUSS Meeting

Approximately 60 attendees are expected at the joint CUSF/CUSS meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2008. The Chancellor will attend the meeting and the issues that CUSF and CUSS agreed would like for the Chancellor to discuss at the meeting are as follows:

  1. The work that the Chancellor would like CUSF and CUSS to perform
  2. The current budget/legislative session
  3. The implications of the Chancellor’s initiatives, i.e. closing the achievement gap, STEM, green initiative, for CUSF and CUSS . . . “How can CUSF and CUSS organize to promote the benefits of higher education?”

The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:45 p.m.