Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of April 16, 2004


CUSF Meeting – April 16, 2004

University of Maryland University College

Present: Martha Siegel (Chair), John Organ (BSU), Alcott Arthur (CSC), R. Michael Garner (SU), Dave Parker (SU), Patricia Alt (TU), Douglas Pryor (TU), Jay Zimmerman (TU), Stephanie Gibson (UB), Lee Richardson (UB), David Hardcastle (UM,B), Steve Jacobs (UM,B), Paul Thut (UM,B), Zane Berge (UMBC), Frank Hanson (UMBC), Anthony Norcio (UMBC), John Collins (UMBI), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), Ray Morgan (UMCES), J. Court Stevenson (UMCES), Frank Alt (UMCP), Vince Brannigan (UMCP), Denny Gulick (UMCP), William Stuart (UMCP), Bill Chapin (UMES), Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES), Jim Gelatt (UMUC), Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC), Joe Bryce (USM), Getrude Eaton (USM), Irv Goldstein (USM)

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

Nick Allen brought greetings from the UMUC campus which is celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of its graduate programs.

The March minutes were approved with minor corrections.

The election of officers and other Executive Committee members for the 2004-2005 academic year was held in accordance with the Bylaws, resulting in the selection of the officers listed below. (A motion to reopen nominations for the at-large position was defeated).

Past Chair: Martha Siegel (automatic);

Chair: Lee Richardson (UB);

Vice Chair: Vince Brannigan (UMCP);

Secretary: Bill Chapin (UMES);

At-Large: Patricia Alt (TU), David Parker (SU) 

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

a. The anticipated COLA for the coming year has been turned into a fixed payment $752 (which turns out to be 1.6% of $47,600.) There is now general agreement from the campuses that the 2.5% designated for merit will be used for faculty salaries (and not, for example, for recruitment), and that faculty should have some input into the allocation process. There is, however, no clear consensus across the campus on exactly what merit should mean in the current circumstances.

b. Since the question of Faculty Workload is complicated by the fact that we currently have a definition of course-load in terms of courses taught which clearly reflects only a small part of what faculty do, a new multi-factor multi-metric performance model may be in the works. Such models should be more representative of departmental and campus success and avoid the current emphasis on individual faculty teaching load. Any such model must deal with the varying roles of some of the factors: reasonably high tenure rates help insure academic excellence, stability of departments and expertise for curriculum development, but at the same time reduce flexibility in hiring. Any such performance model is likely to compare USM institutions with peer institutions, perhaps turning on ‘warning lights’ when an institution or department deviates too far from the norm, but the selection of peers is another area in which there seems to be no clear consensus.

c. There seems to be general agreement that, given the success of the Student Research Day this year, planning for that activity in Annapolis for Spring 2005 needs to begin early and carefully to take into account times and days when legislators are likely to be available. Martha Siegel agreed to lead this effort for the coming year.

d. Planning for legislative action by CUSF requires that we start now and do not let work die over the summer since, for example, the first cut of the budget will be created in May. We will need to arm ourselves both with ‘facts’ and ‘stories’ about the individual educational work that we are doing and how the budget changes affect this work. It would appear that there is a good chance for a veto of the Frosh bill which would have exchanged limits on tuition increases for more reliable state funding of the operating budgets (and perhaps not such a good chance to over-ride that veto). See also Joe Bryce’s commentary in the System Report below.

e. The Board of Regents was holding its own meeting at the same time as ours on another floor of the same building. When Chair Siegel returned from giving her report at that meeting, she reported that there was general satisfaction with the non-budgetary items passed by the legislature. The passage of a renewal of the current program approval process (this time with no sunset provisions) will facilitate our development of new programs. The new flexibility approved in the area of position control (faculty ‘lines’) will allow departments to do such things as splitting highly-funded senior lines when a retirement takes place and hiring instead two less expensive faculty members; we must, however, be vigilant to assure that this does not become another vehicle for weakening the tenure system. The BOR also presented their Faculty Awards today, awards that were created several years ago at the instigation of CUSF. There seemed to be enough pleasure with the results that the BOR might consider increasing the dollar amounts of the awards.

In the System Report, while recognizing that the financial situation is not good, Irv Goldstein indicated that we successfully worked together to get passage of the autonomy bill, the extensions of program approval bill (with no sunset provisions) and the position control bill, all discussed above. Further, the capital budget was satisfactory.

Joe Bryce told us that we would probably know the fate of bills that the Governor might veto shortly before Memorial Day. He suggested letting the Chancellor continue discussions with the Governor about this (and about the question of the USM operating budget for the following fiscal year) for the next couple of weeks before we considered taking any action on our own in this area. There are some signs of another year of ‘flat’ university operating budgets in the Governor’s proposed budget for the following fiscal year. Joe Bryce reiterated satisfaction at our success in getting the legislature to approve procurement autonomy for endowments and trusts, continuation of the current program approval process with no sunset provisions, and greater freedom in position control.

Irv Goldstein brought us up to date on work on Effectiveness and Efficiency. He reported that here is a group is working on institutional collaboration as a way to attain E & E, and another group considering on-line learning from the same point of view, while he himself is working with a third group on academic E & E.

Recognizing that whatever efficiencies are created must assure the continuance and strengthening of academic quality, this latter group is studying both what we have done successfully to attain E & E (so that we can make it better known) and also which efforts carried on at one school might be effective at another (e.g., arranging student advising so as to assure graduation without the excessive accumulation of credits while still supporting stronger students who are completing double majors, providing summer on-line courses to help students keep to schedule, combining remedial and beginning regular mathematics instruction so that students do not spend an extra semester doing remedial mathematics only, the Virginia Tech Math Emporium, UMUC cooperation with the community colleges to allow student to earn UM degrees in their home communities.). Reports of successful work on the various campuses can be directed to Chair Siegel. CUSF requested that faculty representation be added the current E & E committee.

It is clear that demographic trends will bring the USM tens of thousands of additional students by the end of the next ten years, something that we cannot handle with current resources and with the current student distribution across the campuses. There will be a BOR-organized enrollment management workshop this summer to address these issues. CUSF also requested that a faculty representative be appointed to the group organizing the enrollment management workshop so that the faculty voice will be clearly present when the workshop is conducted this summer.

Under Old Business,

a. We reconsidered The Document for System Appeals to the Chancellor and the Board. Chancellor Kirwan had expressed some concern about having the entire Senate on each campus as the body hearing these appeals. Martha Siegel presented a revision that would have an elected faculty appeals committee on each campus carry out the actual hearings. We also made modifications to assure that the shared governance ‘anti-retaliation’ rules applied here and to assure that individual candidates disagreeing with the decisions of the campus bodies let the CUSF Chair know of their decision to appeal to the Chancellor. A motion to approve the modified document passed. Chair Siegel will distribute a word-smithed version to us as soon as one is available.

b. A new version of the ART Policy document, this time as a letter of clarification to be attached to the current policy, was presented. A motion to approve the modified document passed after clarifying adjustments to the wording. Chair Siegel will send this document on to the AAAC and will distribute the version with the adjusted wording to CUSF members.

c. The question of equity in retirement benefits seems to become murkier and more complex each time we revisit it. Questions of unequal spousal benefits between the systems, the absence of a ‘sick days’ bank for faculty, differing contributions both by faculty members and the university to the different retirement systems make it clear that some method of providing full disclosure in this area when faculty are first hired and of providing some way of delaying ‘one-way’ choices in this area at a time when faculty do not fully understand the consequences of their decision are essential to assure any sort of fairness. Frank Alt will have detailed documents on this matter for us shortly.

d. Further investigation makes it less clear how much we should become involved in questions of Community College Tenure. The community colleges send us many students, so that we want to be sure that they have a strong faculty core, but the ultimate decisions in this area must reflect the particular circumstances of each community college. This may be a matter that we can learn more about when we organize a meeting community college representatives and CUSF representatives. Since Chancellor Kirwan seems to have excellent relations with the community college presidents, he may be another good source of information for us.

We discussed several calendar matters, including the participation of Senate Chairs at our May 12th meeting at UB, the nature of the June 15th (perhaps 14th) meeting at UMES, and the necessity of establishing a calendar of meetings for the next academic year as soon as possible. All these matters were referred to the Executive Committee.

The meeting was adjourned at about two o’clock.