Council of University System Faculty
Joint CUSF/CUSS General Body Meeting:
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
UMCP, Stamp Student Union, Margaret Brent Room, 2nd Floor
CUSF Members Present:
Joyce Shirazi (UMUC, Secretary), Deloris James (UMUC), Bill Chapin (UMES), Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES), Bill Stuart (UMCP, Vice Chair), Patti Cossard (UMCP), Martha Siegel (TU, At-Large), Jay Zimmerman (TU), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), John Collins (UMBI, Chair), Frank Robb (UMBI), Alcott Arthur (CSU, At-Large), Dave Parker (SU, Past Chair), Bobbi Adams (SU), Paul Flexner (SU), Mike Garner (SU), Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU), Kim Rotruck (FSU), Rodger Harvey (UMCES)
C. Dan Mote, Jr. (UMCP, President), Brit Kirwan (USM, Chancellor), Irv Goldstein (USM, Senior Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs), John Wolfe (USM, Associate Vice Chancellor, CUSS, Chair), Rosario van Daalen (USM, Human Resources Officer, Chancellor's Liaison to CUSS), JoAnn Goedert (MD Office of the Attorney General, Chief Counsel/Assistant Attorney General), Vince Brannigan (UMCP, Professor Emeritus)
Call to Order
Welcome and Introductions
John Wolfe called the meeting to order at 10:00 am and introduced Dr. Dan Mote, the President of the University of Maryland College Park. President Mote highlighted comparisons of the 40 years that he spent in the California University System to how the Faculty Senate works in the University System of Maryland, which he claimed is ideal. He noted that in the University System of Maryland, he meets with the Faculty Senate often and relies on the Faculty Senate. In general, he said, shared governance works well here and issues can be aired effectively. The shared governance at USM brings everybody together to a particular point of view, which results in more consistency for the whole system. His final point was that UMCP is aggressive about sustainability, which affects everything we do.
John Wolfe reviewed the order of the day, initiated the introductions of all meeting attendees, and yielded the floor to Chancellor Kirwan for his presentation.
Chancellor Kirwan noted how momentous the occasion was and noted how happy he was to have this meaningful dialogue with CUSS and CUSF.
What is it that you would like for CUSS-CUSF jointly or individually to be focusing on or doing?
In the short term the advocacy of the budget will be a challenge this spring, our advice and advocacy will be required, and hopefully we can come through this session well. PJ Hogan is working for us, he knows the ins and outs and he is very accessible. It is important for the Chairs of CUSF and CUSS to be connected to him. In the longer term, the three priorities of concern include environmental sustainability as noted by President Mote, closing the achievement gap, and competitiveness (STEM). Chancellor Kirwan expressed hope that our support is there for these three initiatives because they are so vitally important for our system and our nation.
Concerning the issue of shared governance, the structure is good as written into the legislation, but it needs to be effective in practice. It is important that we stay engaged and work together. Getting CUSS/CUSF advice is important as well as continued feedback, to get this to work. Larry Lauer (CUSS) noted that certain USM campuses do not have the appropriate representation.
In response to an offer for questions, Vince Brannigan noted that we need a formal structure just in case we need to respond quickly to budgets cuts. Chancellor Kirwan agreed that we should have this. He elaborated that CUSF is represented at the AAAC meetings, and that Irv Goldstein meets with CUSF three times monthly (AAAC, CUSF Executive Meetings, CUSF General Body Meetings) to discuss any pending issues. Rosario van Daalen is the Chancellor’s representative to CUSS, and she meets with CUSS monthly. Moreover, CUSS Chair, John Wolfe, works directly with Irv Goldstein, Senior Vice Chancellor, in the USM offices.
Please offer your perspectives on the FY 09 Budget prospects and the recently convened 2008 legislative session.
Chancellor Kirwan stated that the Governor has placed a huge priority on higher education. Money is available and he is investing it in higher education. It was worked out in detail on Christmas Eve with a break for Christmas. The Higher Education Initiative Fund (HEIF), which was created by increasing the corporate tax – with $54.9 million for higher education, was a broad change and is a challenge. It is not locked in yet, and it is connected to slots. However, at the moment it is treated as one-time money, because permanence depends on slots. For general funds, which include mandatory university costs, such as utilities, USM will receive an estimated 4% increase. There will be another $16.3 million for USM to hold tuition constant. If the HEIF does not become permanent the State will owe USM about $1 million, for enrollment growth at institutions such as UMUC, BSU, SU and TU. This proposed budget includes $11.5 million to expand enrollment at all public 4-year universities because the State realizes that it has to increase enrollment growth (contingent on general growth if HEIF is not funded). Every institution has some competitiveness issues. The increase from the State through general funds and the HEIF will be a 9.4% increase for USM.
The old adage is that higher education should receive 15.5% of general State funds, including the capital budget. However, this is an old idea. Currently for higher education, we are 16% of the State’s operating budget, not counting capital dollars, and not including a possible COLA. The Governor is cutting State costs by $550 million but we are only cut by $3 million, yet we are 14% to 15% of the State budget. We have clearly gotten the Governor’s attention. He realized that letters, emails, and everything were sent in support of him from us, and he has responded in an impressive way. The HEIF funding was an enhancement, which was not very popular. It would be nice if the CUSS and CUSF would write the Governor a nice letter. As for the capital budget, it used to be $110 million historically. Now we have $180 million for this year. The USM aim for the future is $300 million.
The bad news is that the stock market’s falling is affecting us all and we need to be appreciative and appropriately cautious. The Governor’s budget is actually under the spending affordability. But we will have to work hard to keep the budget working. The State is planning for a 2% COLA.
Bill Stuart: About the $200 million corporate tax, is it right to be counting on that that tax and what is the status of USM endowments?
Chancellor Kirwan: It is possible that there will be some adjustments made to the corporate tax. We have pooled all of our endowments and we had a return of 22%, which was just a percentage point below Harvard University.
Joyce Shirazi: For UMUC, we are a tuition driven institution, will anything be done to compensate for this income that will not come as a result of the tuition freeze?
Chancellor Kirwan: A 4% increase (the $16.3 million for USM to hold tuition constant) is coming from the State for UMUC and the other institutions. We will now drop to 16th in terms of tuition costs. When tuition is raised, it will be on a flat level. If a student graduates in 4 years this year, they will not have seen an increase in tuition
Vince Brannigan: A 4% increase cost of living in this area? We have slid every year regarding the federal workers and others, etc.
Chancellor Kirwan: It is a fair point and we have to look very carefully at faculty and staff salaries.
Martha Siegel: What happens to COLA at the higher end? The State has capped COLA in some years.
Chancellor Kirwan: We have complained and do not think it will be capped this year. Moreover if the budget goes south it may be delayed or diminished.
Larry Lauer (CUSS): Each year we have had a very large increase in our budget. Are there any plans to move forward with the Optional Retirement Plan increase?
Chancellor Kirwan: ORP is a priority, but we have to put it on the table to see if the State will support it. The money has already been allocated i.e., for workforce development. However, it continues to be a high priority which we will have to press with the State.
Larry Lauer (CUSS): I do not see how with all of the increases, that we can not fund this for a couple of million dollars.
Jay Zimmerman: All of your sick leave diminishes when you retire with ORP. Is this going to be addressed?
Chancellor Kirwan: This is something that we will have to work on. It is a good point.
Bobbi Adams: With the COLA and merit issues each year, everybody hired is getting paid more than I am, including new hires, friends, etc. ‘But how long can I stay here if I am getting less than a high school teacher? I am losing ground... getting less and less each year.
Chancellor Kirwan: This is really a difficult thing. You want to hire the best and you want to keep the best. In theory, the department has obligations to go back and correct these issues. The Presidents on the campuses need to be attentive to this. We do not allocate the money on the campuses. I will raise this issue of salary compression with the Presidents.
Joe Hill (CUSS): On the non-exempt side, there is the same issue. Is there merit?
Chancellor Kirwan: There will be an average of 2 ½%. This has been great, especially the compensation insight. You have heightened my concerns about these issues and I plan to address them.
With respect to your three priorities—Closing the Achievement Gap, Competitiveness, and Climate Change—what implications do they present for CUSS and or CUSF in their respective advisory capacities?
Chancellor Kirwan stated that there is a very alarming disparity between achievement and ethnicity, thereafter the fabric of our nation. There is a self interest here because we need a high quality workforce growing on the talent of our nation. This is an issue. John Wolfe and Irv Goldstein brought in some experts to develop some best practices, etc. We sent a letter to every campus and asked them to specify their plans for closing the achievement gap.
A student with low income high ability is no more likely to go to college than a low income low ability student. Our research institutions attract funds at a great rate. Johns Hopkins University, UMCP and UMB are huge powerhouses in our State. We are a power. Maryland has the potential to be the Silicon Valley of 21st century, especially with access to Federal laboratories.
Our graduates are going to industry, especially potential STEM teachers. We are at a deficit. We produce 100 mathematics and science teachers per year, but last year we only had one physics teacher -- from SU. We need 300 or 400 teachers per year. The UTeach Program at the University of Texas Austin is great. The hope is that some members of CUSS and CUSF will become involved in making this happen.
Climate Change (Sustainability)
The university is the ideal construct to address climate change because of education, research, and practice. We should be the model for sustainability. We have great ideas coming off our campuses. All of our Presidents should sign off. Regarding public policy, we have got great resources on our campuses. Maryland is impacted, especially the Chesapeake Bay. Everything sweeps over our area (poor air quality). Moreover, we are dependent on others for our energy.
Patti Cossard: Will there be monies available to address these issues?
Chancellor Kirwan: I think the State has bought into having to pay for sustainable energy efficient buildings. One idea on the table is to create a revolving fund that campuses would apply for based on future savings. We are pressing to make sure funds are appropriated to address energy initiatives. The Governor has a talk planned that will address these issues with that standard. I am on the committee. There will be initiatives coming from the campuses.
Larry Lauer (CUSS): Are the Regents moving on this?
Chancellor Kirwan: The Board of Regents will congratulate all the campuses rather than leading them. I will ask Don Boesch to hold to this because of his experience with advisory committees for faculty and staff.
Larry Lauer (CUSS): There is a teleworker initiative to help with this.
Chancellor Kirwan: They are looking at it in a very high way.
Rosario van Daalen: This is a teleworking agreement that is being worked on at the system and it will analyze who can telework.
Frank Robb: The achievement gap has been narrowed down in South Africa based on targets of achievement.
Chancellor Kirwan: We actually have a goal in mind of 2015 for a half reduction. Campuses will have targets and the Presidents’ evaluations will be based partly on that.
Frank Robb: Pre-Freshman is the way it was addressed in South Africa.
Chancellor Kirwan: Too few are entering college. However, when we admit them, it is up to us to help solve the problem. But correct preparation before is important.
Bill Stuart: Concerning P-20, do you know how the new P-20 will work versus K-16?
Chancellor Kirwan: The Governor will be the Chair with five Co-Chairs. High stakes testing has widened the gap of the 12th year and the 1st year in college. The current test is a 9th grade test.
Mike Garner: I agree with the Green Initiative and the entire state of Tennessee has made progress, also Ball State University. We need a Green Tsar who can work with the entire system.
Chancellor Kirwan: That is one of the things that Don Boesch will be. However, he will be more of a coordinator and facilitator.
Vince Brannigan: Achievement gap, racism, confederate flag issues, etc., have never been sorted out. We need to address and close some of these issues.
Chancellor Kirwan: There have been many collaborative grants with BSU, CSU, and others. Also there have been a number of joint proposals and programs.
Jay Zimmerman: With regard to high stakes testing, every high school district is different. Administering the tests also has us talking about them.
Chancellor Kirwan: I commend math teachers for all the excellent communication across the system. The admissions standards have risen dramatically. But looking at the email notes, mathematics faculty are concerned even about teaching a lower standard of calculus. ‘So the problem is at the high end as well as the low end.
Kim Rotruck: Career changers whohave the mathematics knowledge base cannot afford to leave their paying positions for a year or more to gain employment as mathematics teachers. We need tofinancially support career changerswho wish tomake the switch into education.
Chancellor Kirwan thanked us all and left at 12:01pm.
After lunch John Wolfe introduced Jo Ann Goedert for her presentation.
Jo Ann Goedert - Tuition Remission: definition of dependent
Jo Ann Goedert stated that the operating principle was that there should be no sea change, no child will lose benefits, and there will be an elimination or minimization of any complexity for the institution, under the Tuition Remission Policy. The policy 4.20 says “it permits tuition remission for dependent child . . . as defined in the IRS” http://www.usmd.edu/regents/bylaws/SectionVII/VII420.html . The benefit depends on when the employee started. Differences vary for home institutions, graduate studies, undergraduate studies, etc. There was a two-part test which included the particular relationships, etc.
The student must be a dependent, i.e. no tax files with anyone else, must have less than a certain income, and must be less than 24 years old. The student must make less than the exemption amount. Some faculty members have complained that benefits have been lost by some students, therefore Jo Ann Goedert and the surveyors are going to systematically find out what has been happening at the institutions and analyze it to make it consistent. Survey results will be in by the end of next month.
Vince Brannigan: Who made the decision to not extend the benefit, why?
Jo Ann Goedert: The idea was to make it clear but not to extend.
Patti Cossard: What is the definition of relatives?
Rosario van Daalen: ‘Children, adopted children and step children. Divorce will not exclude students. IRS makes that decision, not USM.
Vince Brannigan: Eligibility is not mentioned in policy. IRS exemption does not appear in the part. ‘Not under the definition of dependent. The support test is referenced, but not citizenship test, etc. IRS dependency is not tied. Nothing in the policy says that we defer to IRS. As for policy, under the policy in 1991 students could get doctorate degrees. Any suggestion that could rule those people out is a change. I resist any change to this. I disagree very strongly with what these policies are. There is nothing that says that we should change our old policy to this existing policy based on IRS.
Jo Ann Goedert: In every discussion that I have heard. We will have a grandfather policy which would include certain other people.
Mike Garner: It is my understanding that you have to provide more than half.
Jo Ann Goedert: The interpretation is if the child has been provided with more than half the support.
Jo Ann Goedert: The divorce agreement determines who gets the benefit. The student can not make more than the $3400 to be eligible.
Jay Zimmerman: Are you saying that my two sons can not make over $3400 per year, if they are going to qualify?
Mike Garner: My students make $20,000 over the summer.
Bill Chapin: Why don’t we just say for a dependent based on IRS, when we last agreed?
Rosario van Daalen: The graduate level courses are taxable.
Jo Ann Goedert: Going back 10 years can be murky. The object of this is to bring clarity.
Martha Siegel: Changes in IRS codes will keep changing our benefit. We need to stay with our own. What concerns me is who is being surveyed? There are people who are just giving up. Not everybody is Vince. How will you contact them to get good information?
Jo Ann Goedert: Have the number of employees getting tuition remission dropped off?
Bill Stuart: Throughout our deliberations, we should not confuse policy and code? All we ask is that changes in IRS codes do not change our benefits.
Jackie Ebber (CUSS): How is the survey being administered? At SU the HR staff has turned over.
Jo Ann Goedert: If we find that institutions can not respond, then we will have to change.
Joe Hill (CUSS): I am confused. It was supposed to be a benefit. Health care dropped, as well.
Jo Ann Goedert: That speaks for more clarity in the system.
David Parker: We are not totally following IRS in other areas. Why not just say that you are eligible if you pay for more than ½ of the support, etc? Are they liable for the tax withholding if they are a child or spouse? Tax is a completely separate issue. There are not a lot of people. I don’t get it.
Jo Ann Goedert: I think that you are minimizing the whole problem. We will go back and look at these things.
Debra Geare (CUSS): Are Contingent II employees eligible for tuition remission?
Rosario van Daalen: It depends on the university
Councils’ Support of USM FY 09 Budget Requests
John Wolfe stated that CUSS and CUSF will write a joint letter supporting the budget. Bill Chapin wondered if the CUSS and CUSF legislative committees could get together to do this. John Wolfe requested that the two representative committees put their heads together and write two separate letters - one supporting the Governor and one supporting the budget.
John Wolfe addressed the issue of supporting staff employees. Judy Sabalauskas (CUSS) asked to have an endorsement of staff involvement incorporated in PADS for exempt employees. Joe Hill (CUSS) stated that some staffers do not get evaluations from their supervisors and that they would like to have faculty to support them in obtaining evaluations. Bill Chapin asked if there should there be a policy. Rosario van Daalen responded that it is there and they still can not get raises. The evaluations should be tools of communication. The employees do not know how they are performing and they are fired. Janice Vienna (CUSS) said that there is a disparity. The evaluations are not done, or not done correctly. Vince Brannigan said that there was a glitch because faculty do not have supervisory responsibility for staff. However, Rodger Harvey stated that was not true, because the employees oftentimes work directly for faculty, especially for research-funded projects. Bill Stuart asked who makes the decisions for raises. Rosario van Daalen noted that sometimes just the supervisor makes the decision. Dave Parker added that the Presidents should make sure that everyone gets evaluated.
Another service commitment concern, as mentioned by Martha Siegel is that attendance at council meetings is important, but for CUSF some representatives we get no support at some institutions. Vince Brannigan said that they do not want you to attend the meetings. Rosario van Daalen added that she has told every CUSS member that they should get reimbursed from the President’s Office. Dave Parker stated that at SU he has never had a problem, because if he needs a car, he goes to the motor pool to obtain it. CUSF members were urged to seek travel funds to CUSF meetings from their Presidents’ Offices.
USM Green Initiative
John Wolfe asked if anyone knew if their presidents had signed on. Bill Chapin responded that the President of UMES had done so, and that the energy hogs are the old buildings because they have higher energy costs. John Wolfe elaborated that if the buildings are green from concept to design, then that is the key. Rosario van Daalen agreed and added that there are some sick, old buildings in the system. Larry Lauer (CUSS) suggested that we write a letter to all of our Presidents regarding the Green Initiative.
Shared Governance Issues
John Wolfe noted that they still need a CUSS representative from Coppin State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Larry Lauer (CUSS) suggested that we need to submit our own report on shared governance. Bill Stuart added that shared governance is not shared, i.e. the Carol Twigg initiative. The faculty had not heard of it. The key word is shared.
CUSS-CUSF Support for Annapolis 101 and Student Research Day
Those interested in helping with Student Research Day were asked to please email Patti Cossard. It will be held on Thursday, February 28. The help that Patti Cossard will need is with tripods, poster boards, etc. Martha Siegel noted that the purpose of Student Research Day is to illustrate to the legislature, the quality of work that our students produce. She requested that each CUSS/CUSF member attend Student Research Day and find at least one legislator to come and see the work.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 pm.