Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of January 16, 2004


CUSF Meeting – January 16, 2004


Present: Martha Siegel (Chair), David L. Parker (Past Chair), John Organ (BSU), Alcott Arthur (CSU), Lori Harris (CSU), Marthe A. McClive (FSU), R. Michael Garner (SU), Patricia Alt (TU), Jay Zimmerman (TU), Stephanie Gibson (UB), Lee Richardson (UB), Steve Jacobs (UM,B), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), John Collins (UMBI), J Court Stevenson (UMCES), Frank Alt (UMCP), Vince Brannigan (UMCP), William Stuart (UMCP), Bill Chapin (UMES), Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES), Art Huseonica (UMUC), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC), Irv Goldstein (USM)

The meeting was called to order at ten o’clock.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as adjusted. The current CUSF roster was passed around for final corrections and adjustments.

The CUSF Executive Committee will meet on February 6 with the Senate Chairs and the Chancellor. We are all urged to be sure that our Senate Chairs or their representatives are present.

The ART document is still in process since the changes made in it make it difficult to create a straightforward red-lined version.

Lee Richardson attended the Presidents Council meeting this month. Much of their work was done in a long closed session, but the Presidents are enthusiastic about our student research show, and conditionally approve of the idea of faculty visiting legislator in Annapolis, and seem concerned about Efficiency/Effectiveness, questions of time to degree, and questions of faculty load. The Presidents will shortly be attending the Board of Regents retreat, planning to deal with present difficulties and considering how to manage their campuses under various future scenarios. We are still having trouble getting the data we need for comparing expenditures at USM institutions with the expenditures at our peer institutions.

Lee Richardson also attended the AAAC meeting at which there was again considerable concern for the Efficiency/Effectiveness question. There is also consideration of requiring special permission (or special payment) for student course loads outside the 15 to 18 credit range, possibilities that are complicated by the presence of part-time students and by concerns with student time-to degree.

Irv Goldstein presented the System report, filling in details on many of the above topics. Attempts at improving efficiency and effectiveness may include more collaboration across campuses, more common policies in financial matters, etc. Difficulties with improving time to degree are exacerbated by tuition increases, student changes of major, possibilities of limiting credits per semester, and the presence of more and more non-traditional students. Not all campuses are current in perfect accord with the BOR policy on faculty course load, and some that are in compliance find themselves at the extreme end of the scale, perhaps because of changes in the nature of the institutions in the time since the policies were established. The current system of reporting exceptions to course load does not effectively reflect either the large number of faculty with overloads or the large number of courses covered by non-tenure-track and part-time faculty. A return to a recognition that course load is really a departmental concern rather than an individual faculty concern might help.

The budget situation for the coming year is complicated by the presence of about eighty million dollars in unfunded mandates, including merit raises, increased costs for insurance and utilities, and expanded debt service. Legislative proposals that couple regular increases in state support for the operating budget and annual recognition of the expanding number of students to be served as a part of the base budget with limitations on tuition increases may be of help. The USM campuses will try to provide four-year estimates of college costs for students and their parents, but any such estimates must assume a corresponding rational and regular adjustment of the state-supported part of the operating budget.


John Organ reported on his meeting with the people from the USMO concerning the difficulties about appointments and expenses at BSU. These problems have not yet reached resolution.

David Parker agreed to make an ‘explanatory document’ to facilitate a speedier review of the ART document whose processing has been disappointingly slow.

There is still some confusion and lack of agreement concerning the proposed Systems Appeals Process document. Appeals should come from faculty to campus Senates (or equivalents), should involve only questions of violation of BOR policy or of campus policy based on BOR policy. If the Senates find that the faculty appeals have merit, the Senates will pass the appeals on to the Chancellor/BOR for consideration and action. The situation is less clear for appeals not validated by campus Senates: such appeals might well come to the CUSF Executive Committee if the appellant faculty member so desires (or might just die). There are also difficulties when Senates are not active during the summer, when Senates are not totally independent, etc. A motion to accept the ‘B’ version of the documents proposed was eventually tabled. A committee of four (Garner, Brannigan, F. Alt, Stuart) was appointed to consider this matter further with the goal of having a final version available by next month’s meeting.

We had lunch with the ‘new’ Department Chairs who were also meeting at USMO. Martha Siegel had met with them earlier in the day.

Vince Brannigan discussed our planned legislative actions. We will need a permit for the March 15 rally. After our February 16 meeting in Annapolis, we will be meeting with our own legislators, Senators and Delegates. If we have suitable fact sheets to work from, we may succeed at putting faces on the issues of importance to us.

Martha Siegel reminded us of the Student Research Day on February 23. It is important that, in addition to the students and their poster presentation, we have faculty present to assist with the process (and that we make sure that the legislators come). The students are our best advocates in the appeal for reasonable funding of the USM campuses.

The process of Faculty Evaluation of Administrators is uneven across the campuses. Bill Chapin will gather information on the current situation so that we can suggest best practices and perhaps a more uniform way of assisting in this process.

The meeting was adjourned at about two o’clock.