Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of May 12, 2004


CUSF Meeting – May 12, 2004

University of Baltimore

Present: Martha Siegel (Chair),Alcott Arthur (CSU), Marci McClive (FSU), 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), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), John Collins (UMBI), Pat Glibert (UMCES), Frank Alt (UMCP), Vince Brannigan (UMCP), Denny Gulick (UMCP), William Stuart (UMCP), Bill Chapin (UMES), Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC), Gertrude Eaton (USM), Irv Goldstein (USM) 

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

UB Interim Provost Larry Katz brought greetings from the UB campus, discussing the administrative and other changes that have been taking place there.

The April minutes were approved as distributed.

Discussion of the CUSF Calendar for 2004-2005 led to consensus on continuing having meetings during the second week of the month with a rotation of days to avoid repeated conflicts with class schedules. The final schedule will be set up once the Board of Regents’ meeting schedule for the coming year is known. Members were asked to volunteer months at which the meeting might be held on their campus, resulting in the following tentative schedule:

September                  UMUC

October                  FSU

November                  UB

December           UMCP

January                USMO

February            CSU

March                  TU

April                     UMBI

May                      UMES

June                      UM,B

We also agreed that we would not hold the June meeting for the current (2003-2004) academic year.

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

The fixed-amount $752 COLA and the 2.5% merit increase were confirmed for this year, with a clear understanding communicated to the Presidents of the importance of funding these merit increases (and doing this in a way recognizing the meritorious work of current faculty), despite the difficulties of dealing with unfunded mandates.

Nancy Kopp will be chairing the Financial Aid Taskforce.Her familiarity with the University and sympathy with its current difficulties make her an ideal candidate from our point of view.

It is important to let faculty on all campuses know that there is not now (and has not been) any freeze on hiring imposed by the USM, that all such freezes are campus-determined. This is particularly important now that the Legislature has given the campuses more flexibility in position control.While this flexibility does allow campuses, for example, to divide up the line of a highly-paid retiring professor into two new assistant-professor lines, not worrying about ‘pins’ and other such complications, we must remain vigilant to assure that no campus takes advantage of the flexibility to decrease core faculty or weaken the tenure system. This issue will be brought up in a coming meeting of the AAAC. We also need to make sure that campus Senates are aware of the local nature of hiring freezes, the importance of faculty/ shared governance participation in decisions about how academic positions are allocated under the new rules,how local procedures are set up to determine the allocation of merit pay and how we assure continued academic quality in times of financial difficulties.

In the legislative report, we learned that, while the Governor is likely to veto the Frosh bill (exchanging limitations on tuition increases for guaranteed regular increases in state funding), there is good hope for another “no-cuts” operating budget for the following academic year (with the usual caveat about unfunded mandates in “no-cuts” budgets) and some hope for support from the Governor in assisting the USM in getting back on its feet financially.

One of the difficulties with the MHEC FAC, from the CUSF point of view, is that USM representation is often diminished because elected representatives from some of the campuses are not regularly attending. While not all the work done there seems relevant for us, it is important that we know what is going on.These meetings are also a fertile ground for communication with Community College representatives.

Members were concerned about full faculty representation on the subcommittees of the E&E Task force.While  one small subcommittee made up of a couple of Regents, Presidents, and Provosts has fixed membership so that we shall be relying on Irv Goldstein to provide communication from that particular group, the larger committees, one on Distance Learning (with one subgroup working on UMUC-specific matters and one subgroup working on system-wide considerations) and the other on Collaboration (mostly administrative rather than purely academic) might well benefit from faculty representation.Martha Siegel will try to arrange this.

Each year, it would appear that three to five significant complaints from faculty on the various campuses reach the USM level.The management and control problems involved are exacerbated by the presence of many relatively new Presidents and Provosts right now and are often complicated by the roles that lawyers for the faculty involved play.We hope that the eventual approval of the ART policy clarification and ofthe proposed policy for System Appeals to the Chancellor will help smooth this process in coming years.

In the System Report, beyond matters already reported in sections a., c., d., and f. above, Irv Goldstein discussed efforts to keep total student population at the current level for the next academic year.There will, however, be increases on some campuses since the formulae for predicting actual student acceptances of admission offers made by campuses are not exact. There is also the question of how we will handle the huge bulge anticipated over the next ten years in the number of students seeking admission to USM campuses; distance learning strategies may be part of the solution to this problem.

Our Student Research Day, visits by CUSF members with individual legislators, and the public testimony of CUSF leaders this year were effective in promoting positive legislative views of the USM.We are clearly gaining friend in the legislature (and the Chancellor is working to gain us friends in the business community).While we do not yet know what the political agenda for the next legislative session will be, we may know more by the time of the Senate Chairs meeting with the CUSF Executive Committee in September.

Under Old Business,

We learned that the proposed System Appeals to the Chancellor policy will receive consideration at USM this coming Friday.

The ART Policy changes, probably to be considered as a clarification rather than as a policy change, have been approved by the Provosts.The Presidents know that these changes will soon reach their consideration, perhaps at their next Council meeting.

Frank Alt distributed the written version of his earlier presentation on (the lack of) equity in retirements benefits between the two currently available systems.  A committee, consisting of Jay Zimmerman, Marci McClive, Pat Alt, Frank Alt, Joyce Tenney, Joyce Shirazi, Doug Pryor, David Hardcastle, Bill Stuart and John Collins was created for further work in this area.The following motion of Jay Zimmerman was passed:

“CUSF asks the USM to study the issue of inequity in Retirement Benefits as detailed in the Alt report and to come up with a long-term strategy to redress the inequities.  Progress toward producing this plan will be regularly communicated to CUSF.”

Frank Alt  will get in touch with Joe Vivona with specific requests for information needed for our work in this area.

Under New Business, we recognized that CUSF needs to do more work in communicating its activities to the Senates and faculty on the various campuses, and indeed in making itself better known in all segments of the USM.

Gertrude Eaton reported on the Planning Commission for Postsecondary Education in Maryland, led by Calvin Burnette (Acting Secretary of Higher Education), which is in the process of creating the new Statewide Plan. (The document “Issues in Postsecondary Education in Maryland 2004" was distributed electronically earlier.) This blue-ribbon commission, set up by MHEC and the Governor’s office, might benefit from the advice of faculty filling the role of ‘resource people’ for the four major areas of concern (Serving a Growing and Changing Student Population; Providing High Quality, Affordable Postsecondary Education; Meeting Maryland’s Economic and Workforce Needs; Ensuring Maryland’s Commitment to Diversity).Faculty experience could be valuable in providing direction in the process of revising the current Statewide Plan and avoiding the necessity of starting from scratch.Martha Siegel will work on finding suitable resource people able to assist the Commission whose work is moving forward rapidly.

In discussion of the use of interactive long-distance conference facilities such as IVAN (I am not sure this is the right spelling of the acronym)  for CUSF meetings, we concluded that the use of these facilities where available would be of great benefit for the representatives of those campuses located in the more distant parts of the state (so that we may experiment with this in the coming year), but that all meetings should be face-to-face with the interactive facilities used as a supplement.

The meeting was adjourned at about two o’clock.