Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of September 16, 2003


Council of University System Faculty Meeting

University of Maryland College Park

September 16, 2003

Present: Francis Alt (UMCP), Pat Alt (TU), Alcott Arthur (CSC), Zane Berge (UMBC), Don Boesch (USM), Vince Brannigan (UMCP, ExCom), Bill Chapin (UMES, ExCom), Joel Cohen (UMCP), John Collins (UMBI), Gertrude Eaton (USM), Robert Gardiner (UMCES), Mike Garner (SU), Stephanie Gibson (UB), Irv Goldstein (USM), Art Huseonica (UMUC), Steve Jacobs (UMB), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), John Lombardi (FSU), Marci McClive (FSU), John Organ (BSU), Anjali Pandey (SU), Dave Parker (SU), Doug Pryor (TU), Lee Richardson (UB), Martha Siegel (TU), William Stuart (UMCP), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), Jay Zimmerman (TU)

The meeting was called to order shortly after ten o’clock. After all members present had introduced themselves, the minutes of the June meeting were approved as distributed.

Because of conflicting schedules, greetings from the campus occurred at various times throughout the meetings. They are summarized here. The budget cuts that occurred during the last academic year and during the summer have left all the campuses with budgetary problems not resolved by the increases in tuition. The first priority of all of the campuses has been to preserve academic programs, but it is not clear how that will be possible next year. There is a scheduled 2.5 percent merit raise (but no extra funding to cover it), an anticipated increase in the cost of health insurance and other benefits, coupled with the ever-present problems of credit creep, extended time to graduation and the public perception that educational costs are gratuitously increasing much faster than inflation. We need to be documenting the effects of the current budget cuts on our work with students.

The Chair announced that Lee Richardson will be representing CUSF at the AAAC for the coming year. Mike Garner will represent us at the BOR Finance Committee. Our own committee chairs will be Lee Richardson (Legislative Affairs), Pat Alt (Academic Affairs), Francis Alt (Faculty Affairs), Mike Garner (Administrative/Financial Affairs) and Art Huseonica (Elections).

In reports on the meetings of other bodies, we learned that the Board of Regents is in the process of changing some of its committee structure, reflecting the presence of six newly selected Regents. The Chancellor's Council has been concerning itself with the questions of handling military leave for faculty and staff and with policy for drug and alcohol abuse. The AAAC is concerned with questions of faculty workload/courseload and the idea of trimesters advocated recently by a member of the Board of Regents. The BOR Finance Committee meeting was dominated by discuss of the budget cuts. In particular, there seems to be some thought toward saving another 2% of the state-supported operating budget through efficiency measures. It is not clear how OCR formula funding will fit into the overall picture.

From the report of the USM (Boesch, Eaton, Goldstein), we learned that, even if the legislature finds additional funding through slot machines, there will be no cost of living raises again next year. We all will need to be proactive in getting the public to understand how our workload is considerably greater than our classload (doing good documentation may help), and to understand that the coming baby boom bump in our enrollment is incompatible with the recent decreases in state funding. Similarly, we need to get across the idea that the No Child Left Behind legislation will require the stronger preparation of more teachers, something difficult to do in a time when the budgets to support higher education are constantly being cut. There will be an orientation this year for new department chairs. Marci McClive and Gertrude Eaton will be organizing the activities for this orientation.

The agenda for the September 19th meeting of the Senate Chairs with the CUSF Executive Committee is still sufficiently flexible that Vince Branigan, who is organizing the meeting, encourages us to send him relevant items. He also reported that he, together with Lee Richardson, is continuing the process of organizing faculty to service as legislative liaisons. The details will become available after the matter has been discussed with the Senate Chairs at the September 19th meeting. We will also need to be constructing FAQs on the topics about which we wish to communicate with the legislature so that we can all be speaking with one voice (and in a way that is suitable to our audience).

Under old business, it was announced that a draft of the proposed document on Appeals to the Chancellor and to be Board of Regents (for incorrect actions of the Presidents) is available. It will be discussed with the Senate Chairs and then brought back to us for further discussion. We approved in principle the proposal for the development of Legislative Liaisons to work in cooperation with the USM, the Presidents and the Senate Chairs. We also approved the formation of an ad hoc committee for 'propaganda' to work on the materials needed for our spring legislative campaign.

Under new business, Martha Siegel encouraged us to look carefully at the AAAC Workload document and to send comments to her. Dave Parker will be presenting a full version of the ART Policy clarification proposal later and is also soliciting suggestions. We should all scan the Financial Exigency policies of our campuses so that we know how they might be applied to faculty positions. John Organ reported on the general faculty dissatisfaction (at Bowie State University) with the actions of the President there in his appointments and in his dealings with the faculty. Alcott Arthur reported that the Coppin State University Senate will be meeting to discuss the difficulties with the graduate program in Criminal Justice there.

During lunch, the CUSF committees met. Legislative Affairs will be concentrating on developing fact sheets and FAQs for the legislative effort. They recognize the necessity for coordination with the Presidents and others who might be concerned with the consistency of the UM voice. Academic Affairs will consider K-16 and Thorton Commission questions, MHEC, workload questions, and the responsible conduct of research. Faculty Affairs will consider appeals of presidential actions, the workload/teachingload question, the ART document, salary comparisons and the selection of peer institutions. Administration and Finance will consider resource development, efficiency/effectiveness and calendar questions. We also recognized the need for good written descriptions of the general work and duties of each committee.

The meeting was adjourned shortly after two o'clock.