Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of March 18, 2004


CUSF Meeting – March 18, 2004

Towson University

Present: Martha Siegel (Chair), Alcott Arthur (CSC), R. Michael Garner (SU), Anjali Pandey (SU), Patricia Alt (TU), Douglas Pryor (TU), Jay Zimmerman (TU), Stephanie Gibson (UB), Lee Richardson (UB), David Hardcastle (UM,B), Steve Jacobs (UM,B), Zane Berge (UMBC), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), John Collins (UMBI), Ray Morgan (UMCES), J. Court Stevenson (UMCES), Frank Alt (UMCP), Vince Brannigan (UMCP), Denny Gulick (UMCP), William Stuart (UMCP), Bill Chapin (UMES), Jim Gelatt (UMUC), Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC), Nancy Shapiro (USM), Laslo Boyd (MFQHE)

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

Debra Leather, Associate Provost at Towson, brought greetings from the campus.

The February minutes were approved with minor corrections.

A preliminary slate of candidates for CUSF offices was announced. Later in the meeting other candidates were added to the slate.  In preparation for elections next month, the nominations were closed on the following slate:

Past Chair: Martha Siegel (automatic);Chair: Vince Brannigan (UMCP) and Lee Richardson (UB); Vice Chair: John Collins (UMBI); Secretary: Patricia Alt (TU), Bill Chapin (UMES); At-Large: Stephanie Gibson (UB), David Parker (SU), Bill Stuart (UMCP), Jay Zimmerman (TU).

We agreed to follow the usual rules, voting for offices in the order listed and allowing candidates not elected to any particular office to run for any subsequent office if they so desire. With the exception of the Past Chair, no two positions may be held by two persons representing the same campus.

During the Brief Reports of the Chair and Other Delegates, we learned

a. The AAAC discussion of Merit Pay Guidelines revealed wide disparity from campus to campus both in the procedures used and in the understanding of what ‘merit’ should mean.  Although the provosts did not entirely endorse the view proposed by CUSF, they did agree on two essential points: i. Shared Governance input is essential in making the decisions; ii. Whatever funds are available should be used to increase faculty salaries.Similarly, the Presidents understood the CUSF position and were divided on the question of exactly what merit should mean.

b. The question of Faculty Workload is complicated by the fact that we are currently stuck with a definition of course-load in terms of courses taught.This clearly reflects only a small part of what faculty do.Indeed, surveys in earlier years indicated that actual weekly faculty hours of work average between fifty-six and seventy. It is difficult, however, to find a more workable, credible metric and also include the work of non-core faculty, recognize the extra burden that faculty now bear with decreased support staff,  recognize the special work of graduate faculty with their research students, and recognize commonly overlooked areas such as faculty work in the recruitment and selection of new students and new faculty.  Since the student population has grown at a time when faculty numbers have not caught up, it is quite natural that core faculty spend most of their time working with upper-level courses, although this sometimes creates difficulties of public perception of our work.

c. The Student Research Day in Annapolis included thirty-eight excellent presentations.However, we were not very successful in attracting legislators to see their work.  This means that we must give careful consideration to the scheduling of this event (both day and time of day) for next year.

d. Chair Siegel prepared Legislative Testimony, including support for the Busch and Frosh bills offering guaranteed increases in University funding in exchange for caps on tuition increases, which Lee Richardson took to the Legislature.Testimony in now on file in both houses, and was presented orally in one.This also provided a good opportunity to air our viewpoint to the media.

e. The rally on Legislative Action Day did not take place since we could not coordinate sufficient numbers of people to be present.Members were encouraged to take copies of the materials Stephanie Gibson prepared and distribute them among the faculty on our campuses for use in discussions with legislators.

f. The most recent meeting of the MHEC FAC revealed that there is concern about the lack of (and elimination of) tenure on the community college campuses.Given our own interest in the preservation of the tenure system and the realization that many USM students come to us from the community colleges with large numbers of transfer credits, the Alt and Alt committee suggested that we have a meeting with community college representatives (probably initially those who attend the MHEC FAC), rather in the style of our own meetings of the CUSF Ex Com with the campus Senate Chairs, to determine our mutual interests and concerns. This suggestion was unanimously supported by the group.

g. Reports of a possible violation of the procedures for determining the tenure of a tenure-track faculty member at CSC remain under investigation until there is more clarity about just what happened.

In the System Report, Nancy Shapiro informed us that there is a proposal to have the Chancellor’s office to write a letter of clarification of ART policy instead of going through the procedure to get a new version of the BOR ART policy approved.  This proposal was not met with great joy by all the members.

In addition, the Secondary A.A.T. degree has been approved, based on a set of learning outcomes agreed on by University and Community College representatives. 

At the BOR Educational Policy meeting, there was concern about the conflict between huge enrollment increase projections and maintaining quality in view of the current lack of a reliable revenue stream.  There are also still questions about handling community college transfers, particularly of allowing ninety credits of transfer to schools in the USM.

Under Old Business,

a. The Document for System Appeals to the Chancellor and the Board, as presented by Mike Garner, passed unanimously with minor word-smithing.

b. The discussion of the AAAC Time to Degree Document was postponed until the next meeting.

c. (An update on the ART policy appears above in the System Report).

d. We unanimously agreed to ask the FSU Senate to distribute the FSU procedures for the evaluation of administrators to all of the other Campus Senates and to CUSF in order to facilitate further discussion of this matter.

e. Frank Alt led the discussion of Equity in Retirement Benefits.It is clearly important to apprise all new faculty members of the consequences of their choices of retirement plans.  We need more information of the costs of achieving parity in such areas as credit for accumulated sick leave and medical benefits for spouses of faculty before making a statement in this matter.

Under Old Business, Laslo Boyd of the Marylanders for Access to Quality Higher Education spoke of the goals of that group and the necessity of having a permanent, proactive group to speak for the interests of higher education in Maryland, particularly to serve as a legislative voice in time when the university budget is the largest part of the discretionary budget, and so subject to cuts that make assuring continued access to quality difficult.He presented a listing of the principles of this group which will eventually be distributed to all CUSF members.

The meeting was adjourned at about two o’clock.