Council of University System Faculty
General Meeting: Monday, February 11, 2008
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Chasen Room
CUSF Members Present (19):
Joyce Shirazi (UMUC, Secretary), Deloris James (UMUC), Sharon Fratta-Hill (UMUC), Bill Chapin (UMES), Bill Stuart (UMCP, Vice Chair), Patti Cossard (UMCP), Martha Siegel (TU, At-Large), Jay Zimmerman (TU), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), Zane Berge (UMBC), John Collins (UMBI, Chair), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), Frank Robb (UMBI), Alcott Arthur (CSU, At-Large), Bobbi Adams (SU), Monika Gross (BSU), Joan Langdon (BSU), Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU), Gerry Wojnar (FSU)
Irv Goldstein (USM, Senior Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs), Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera (UMBI, President), Teri Hollander (USM, Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs), Kelly Baker (UMB, Graduate Student Environmental Action Coalition, President)
Call to Order
Welcome and Introductions
John Collins called the meeting to order at 10:00 am and Rosemary Jagus introduced Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, the President of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. President Hunter-Cevera welcomed CUSF to UMBI and distributed copies of the UMBI 2007 Annual Report to all present. Dr. Hunter-Cevera discussed UMBI efforts such as standardized treatment for AIDs all over the world. UMBI is also involved in a conference on the benefits of herbal benefits with other institutions such as John Hopkins University and West VA University, where they are trying to bring the best herbal medicines together. UMBI is putting together a new Agricultural and Biotech Center with UMCP, UMES, SU, Washington College and Chesapeake College. One goal is to reduce the usage of pesticides and herbicides, in an effort to try to save the Chesapeake Bay. UMBI work with UMCP has resulted in many new technologies. UMBI leads by partnering in signatory programs. Dr. Hunter-Cevera also pointed out that UMBI is a research institution and not required to train, therefore UMBI is at a crossroads with higher education, and is working more with young children. UMBI is starting early with them, specifically in Biology, which encompasses all of the sciences. Biowheels is a good way to show kids science, even autistic children have related. The power of science is incredible to bring people together. One local high school student working on UMBI stem cell research got a full scholarship to the Stanford University Center for Biosystems in Nanobiology. The power of focus and passion is what the UMBI faculty members have and the more they do in Biotechnology, the better.
Carbon Neutrality Campaign
Kelly Baker, the President of the Graduate Student Environmental Action Coalition began by stating that the Maryland Student Climate Coalition (MSCC) was founded by student leaders representing eight universities from Maryland assembled for a conference at Towson University last year, where they unanimously voted to launch a student-run campaign to push for changes in environmental policies simultaneously at the campuses of all the participating universities. Kelly Baker will be speaking at the next Board of Regents (BOR) meeting, and she asked CUSF to back the carbon neutrality campaign. She elaborated on the following points – carbon footprint, efficiency (green buildings, technology), telecommuting, and clean and mass transportation. We need to protect the environment and set goals that counteract the negative impacts. There must be an increased demand for jobs in this arena. This initiative has already been endorsed by some USM staff, faculty, etc. Kelly Baker asked us to vote on whether the CUSF name could be added in support of Chancellor Kirwan and this campaign.
Bill Stuart: There is no easy fix and this is a complex issue. Do you have a component in the curriculum that addresses that complexity?
Kelly Baker: This is long-term and there is no quick fix. With the ability to monitor how technologies function, we can stay on top with the research and develop a way to think about it pragmatically.
Bill Chapin: We normally see the document in advance before voting on it. (Kelly passed the endorsement letter samples around the room)
John Collins: We already discussed this at the Joint CUSS/CUSF meeting.
Martha Siegel: We need to write something first.
Kelly Baker: We want to see the paradigm shift.
Jay Zimmerman: There can be problems with increasing the efficiency. We may cut carbon, but increase pollution. Overall I support the goals though. There are specifics in the document that I am not sure about.
Irv Goldstein: USM is committed to more green buildings. It is not a statement about particular systems, it is about carbon neutrality.
Kelly Baker: Climate consciousness is the issue. We are asking the BOR tomorrow to head in that direction with the staff and faculty.
Bill Chapin: I want to make a motion that we support the speech that this student, Kelly Baker, will give to the BOR; and to write a supporting letter for the general goals and send it to the Regents.
John Collins: All in favor of Bill’s motion say yes.
Lastly, Kelly Baker suggested that we move textbooks into the electronic era. This would help to reduce the demand on the environment.
The December 2007 and January 2008 CUSF Meeting Minutes were approved. Martha Siegel noted that as written in the minutes, CUSF agreed to send two letters to the Governor, which have not been written yet.
Senior Vice Chancellor’s Report
There was a USM hearing overview of the budget. Several major bills were sent including Senate Bill #49 http://mlis.state.md.us/2008RS/fnotes/bil_0009/sb0049.pdf , which is related to program duplication specifically pointed at UB/Towson. Senator Joan Conway wants each institution to be able to go to court. It is the same bill as last year and very acrimonious. Senator Conway called a meeting of all the parties. Dr. George Reid, the Assistant Secretary-Planning and Academic Affairs under Secretary of the MHEC Dr. Lyons volunteered the offices of MHEC to bring the parties together and try to resolve the issues within the next 30 days. Senator Conway introduced Senate Bill 464 http://mlis.state.md.us/2008RS/bills/sb/sb0464f.pdf , as a follow-up to issues of program duplication.
The lawsuit involves the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education. The plaintiffs include 4 students from Morgan State University and 2 students from UMES. Irv Goldstein will send us a copy today. It lists a number of programs which are considered program duplications and thus HBI’s. The Ed.D program is needed in Hagerstown, Washington County. Could UMCP or FSU go there? Will we get complaints? Those are the kinds of things of concern.
Bill Chapin: How does this impact UMUC, who has systems everywhere?
Irv Goldstein: None, because they are not traditional students.
Teri Hollander: There are many online programs and it is difficult for the issue to be raised. Also UMUC has large programs for the military and companies.
Martha: How did Morgan State University manage to stay out of the system?
Bobbi Adams: Which programs are problems at SU?
Teri Hollander: Exercise Science and Management.
There will be a Senate Bill about adjunct faculty and graduate students which calls for a vote about having a union, whether one must join the union, etc. The graduate students talked to the Senators, but Irv Goldstein was not sure how the adjuncts joined. The most affected campus is UMCP and the Provost spoke favorably about the needs of graduate students who have concerns about insufficient pay, working hours and housing. These are all issues.
Rahim Ashkeboussi: What is the USM position on adjunct faculty and graduate students’ demand on having a union?
Irv Goldstein: We have not yet finalized our position on this issue but will do so before the legislative hearings.
Sharon Fratta-Hill: Most of our faculty members at UMUC are adjuncts. If they really get raises it would definitely make a substantial difference. Will it happen?
Irv Goldstein: If the bill passes, we must be neutral and the individuals must decide how to use it.
Patti Cossard: Proceeding the possible passage of a bill, do we need to make a statement?
Irv Goldstein: We will make a statement at the hearings.
USM is recommended to receive the full cost of enrollment funding. That is a significant break through for us. There legislative analyst is recommending a $6.8 million cut and if that recommendation is accepted it would have a significant impact on us. If we were to receive cuts, the Chancellor noted that the issue of tuition increases would have to be reconsidered. That was a point that the Chancellor made. There is also a recommendation by the legislative analyst to mandate E and E savings. The Chancellor noted that we are the only state agency providing such savings and it would not be fair to mandate them. At the hearings they also asked the Chancellor about closing the achievement gap, nursing programs, etc. They honed in on remediation. Chancellor Kirwan noted that the final exam for leaving high school should be the entry level exam for college.
A list that John Collins gave to Irv Goldstein included the items such as sick leave ORP difference and tuition remission. Irv Goldstein noted that John Collins should ask the Chancellor to address these issues. John Collins wanted to know how we can get some of these big issues resolved. Irv Goldstein stated that John Collins should ask the Chancellor if we can get a group together to get these things done. Irv Goldstein noted that he will help him as well in making sure the Chancellor was aware of these issues, but he recommends a conversation to ask Chancellor Kirwan to explore these issues.
Martha Siegel: We have asked for some data that we have never gotten, i.e. faculty salaries
Irv Goldstein: Send me a note and I will see if I can get it
Jay Zimmerman: I thought we asked the Chancellor at the meeting about ORP differences and tuition remission.
Irv Goldstein: The Chancellor may not be aware of the tuition remission difference.
Bobbi Adams: The issue after the 1990’s became -- only sending our kids to your home institution. It seems ridiculous to only be able to do that.
Irv Goldstein: If you want me to, I will take the three issues here and ask him how he wants to address them?
John Collins: There will be a meeting with the Senate Chairs and anyone else who wants to come. Many of the Faculty Senate Chairs had never heard of CUSF.
Irv Goldstein: I had been at UMCP for 40 years and before arriving at USM 5 years and I did not know much about CUSF either.
Volunteer System of Accountability
A couple hundred of faculty members from across the country agreed on part 1 of the VSA, which is demographics, costs-retention, age, etc., and part 2, which is the method of engagement. They also agreed on part 3, which is outcomes assessments, in certain areas. Can we show that students improve at our institutions? Chancellor Kirwan reached a compromise which includes using part 1 within a year and part 2 within 2 years. However, we are not willing to participate in part 3 unless we know more about the learning outcomes funded by FIPSE, i.e. measuring correlations, pre to post, etc. Moreover, an institution does not have to sign up to provide learning outcome measures until a study is completed and institutions will have four years to decide whether to opt out. We need to do the research before, to see if we need to do anything else. All of our campuses are at different stages and we are all looking at it. Guidance counselors like the first two parts. Martha Siegel added that to say that we are all consistent depends on our missions. Why would teaching to test prepare our students better when we already have accreditation? Irv Goldstein replied that we should wait to see what the data looks like from the research data. VSA has nothing to do with accreditation in disciplinary areas. It is about written communication, analytic reasoning, and critical thinking skills. Let’s find out if it works. If it does not, fine. Irv Goldstein ended by stating that he wanted to make it clear that our campuses have not signed on to learning outcomes yet, but some have signed on for the other two parts.
Irv Goldstein finished at 11:45 am.
CUSF Chair’s Report
John Collins reported that Chancellor Kirwan sent him a letter regarding his CUSF report that he presented to the Chancellor’s Council. John Collins presented the CUSF reports from the Legislative Affairs Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, and other information. In his memo Chancellor Kirwan addressed many points pertaining to the three parts of the Volunteer System of Accountability (VSA). He particularly noted that the outcome assessment part is optional. Other items John Collins noted from the Chancellor’s letter were as follows:
- Do not get upset about the outcome assessment. We can dropout and it can take 4 years before we decide.
- Regarding the Closing the Achievement Gap conference, he stated that each campus had faculty there. The Chancellor also noted that each campus was sent a letter and the request was made for representatives. Moreover, CUSF had a scheduling conflict with the date of the Closing the Achievement Gap Conference.
- He noted that he would be happy to meet with the CUSF Academic Affairs Committee.
John Wolfe gave the CUSF Executive Committee a copy of the CD/DVD’s from the Closing the Achievement Gap Conference at the February CUSF Executive Meeting. It is a three CD/DVD set, with a hard copy of the Power Point Presentations. John Collins will send a copy to everyone who wants one.
He noted that Jay Zimmerman had emailed the Chancellor directly about the Optional Retirement Plan sick leave and that the Chancellor replied that he will try to address it in the upcoming years. Jay Zimmerman told Irv Goldstein that we know these are hard to address and that what we are trying to start is a dialogue to begin to address this. Joe Vivona did an off-the-cuff calculation in previous years. John Collins said that some people say that if you do not use it, you lose it. Bobbi Adams added that otherwise they are mysteriously sick before they retire.
Sharon Fratta-Hill stated that at UMUC, they are trying to find the average salary for adjuncts. How do you move from an adjunct to collegiate faculty? UMUC is unique, but they are still trying to find the average salaries in the USM. Sharon Fratta-Hill is president of the UMUC faculty and still can not get that information. She stated that she was a professor for 30 years and retired, but sick leave does not matter. There are some beltway bandits that teach everywhere, but they want benefits. Deloris James noted that this information is critical. Martha Siegel assumed that the people sponsoring the bill for unionizing adjuncts would have that information. Irv Goldstein noted that he did not think that there is such a thing as an average adjunct faculty. There are many issues and differences, such as Engineering adjuncts versus English adjuncts - many things matter regarding the salary.
John Collins ended by stating that there was a legislative reception that CUSF did not get invited to and they sent us an apology. The USM Foundation, Irv Goldstein, and PJ Hogan noted that it was just an oversight.
Deloris James gave a presentation on a new CUSF newsletter with articles, topics, etc. The intent is to get it out in March, focusing on what we are doing, and the summer issue will show what we have done. John Collins will provide "Greetings from the CUSF Chair". We are open for inside stories. It does not have to stop at a 4-page newsletter. We can include some new photos. Deloris James added that she has requested an article from Martha Siegel with a photo. Bill Chapin already submitted an article. This will be an online newsletter and sent via email, but we can also make hard copies.
Bill Chapin: Could we have a copy to review?
Deloris James: Yes, and I want to know if you like the design. We also want to be inclusive of the different institutions and people of color.
Bill Stuart: Have you thought about blogging? These days people prefer blogging.
Deloris James: This is something I had not thought about.
Rahim Ashkeboussi: Maybe the CUSF website can allow blogging.
Bill Chapin elaborated on the following items in the Membership and Rules Committee Report:
While it has been challenging getting correct numbers of full-time faculty (teaching, research, librarian), with one exception (we do not yet have confirmation from the campus about the numbers for Frostburg), the situation for next fall is now clear: College Park will be eligible for one more representative (a total of 6) and everyone else (with the possible exception of FSU) will continue with the current numbers (as indicated on the CUSF web page). [Remember that, according to our current rules, each campus is guaranteed a minimum of two representatives and that we put in place a cap of six representatives from any one campus, independent of the number of faculty to which a campus might grow.]
Attendance has not been as good as it might this year, partially because some institutions have not named all the delegates for whom they are eligible, but also because some of those named have not managed to be present with any regularity. Can we do better? Should we become punitive?
"The Council will elect annually a chair, a vice chair, a secretary, and two at large members of an executive committee. No more than one elected member of the executive committee will be from a single institution" (Constitution III. 1.)
"The Standing Committee on Membership and Rules, with consent from the Council, will determine the electoral procedures, conduct the elections, and certify the results. Candidates for office may vote but will recuse themselves from the election process." (By-Laws V. 5.1.b)
We agreed at the meeting that the base numbers of representatives that we are working from are those listed in the current CUSF 2007-2008 Roster from the website, the list beginning with "Bowie State University (2 delegates)" and going through "University of Maryland University College (3 delegates)".
Bill Chapin asked CUSF many questions regarding outstanding issues, as noted in his report. Therefore it was agreed that the questions would be posted here in the minutes and CUSF members would email their responses to the questions directly to Bill Chapin at firstname.lastname@example.org within a week of the posting of minutes. The questions are as follows:
1. Since there are now potentially more people being counted on each campus as full-time faculty (e.g., library faculty), should we increase the total numbers of faculty required in the By-Laws to get additional representation at CUSF?
2. Should there be any sort of "no-decrease" rule: that is, if total faculty numbers go down over one of the borderlines, should that institution be allowed to keep its current representation?
3. The quorum for meetings has remained at fifteen (and also a majority of the institutions), despite the growth in the number of delegates as the USM faculty has become larger. Should this number be increased (or replaced by a percentage)?
4. Should we consider changes in the By-Laws requiring some sort of "previous good attendance" (some percentage of the previous meetings over some period) as an eligibility requirement for voting in elections? If so, what about excused versus non-excused absences (and who would determine who is excused)?
5. Should we change the Constitution/By-Laws to allow absentee balloting? To allow balloting by e-mail? Under what special circumstances? What about confidentiality. The committee would like to have wording prepared for any possible changes, so that we could vote on them in the April or May meeting this year so that the changes, if any, could go into effect for next year.
6. Should we continue with some of the recent election practices such as?
a. "Trickle-down" nominations (allowing an unsuccessful candidate for any office automatically to be eligible, if she wishes, to run for any or all of the other offices voted on later, even if the nominations have been closed for those offices);
b. Having candidates making brief statements of the aim of their candidacy (either at the time of nomination or at the time of voting);
c. Determining the intended meaning of "recuse themselves from the election process": most years this has meant that if a person is running for a particular office, she should not take part in the counting of the ballots for that office. Are there other opportunities for trouble or conflict of interest that we can determine? Is it all right for the Chair of CUSF or of the Committee to be in charge of the part of the meeting during which people are being nominated or are nominating themselves if that chair may be running for some office? Is it okay for the CUSF secretary to be recording the names of the people nominated if that secretary is running for some office? [Beyond the above activities, the only thing that the committee ever seems to have done in "conducting the elections" is to try to make sure ahead of time that there is at least one person willing to run for each position, since this is a problem some years. No current committee member has come up with other possible problems, but reportedly, there was some concern expressed in the past. If there is still concern, we need to know exactly what the concern is.]
d. Nominations should probably take place next month in March with elections in April: some years we have used a divided system under which nominations (and so elections) for officers other than the Chair have taken place one month after the corresponding activities for the position of Chair.If there are CUSF members who find strong reasons for doing this otherwise, be sure to respond to this report.
Student Research Day-Thursday, February, 28, 2008
Joan Langdon reported that there were 48 student applicants and 47 posters. All have been reviewed by Monika Gross or Patti Cossard. Everyone can review them, but Joan Langdon could use the help yesterday. Using the rubric, some posters were rejected because students did not give the results. Devin Ellis, Chair of the USM Student Council, will get back to us about space available and how many we can actually display. Last year it was 28 or 29 posters. Joyce Tenney gave the committee a sample letter from last year. We are requesting a short bio, and the posters will be shown from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm, and dinner is at 6:30pm. Advisors, Chairs and many others will be there, as well. Patti Cossard agreed to ask PJ Hogan if www.capwiz.com could be used to invite legislators. Joan Langdon stated that volunteers on the day of the event would be appreciated. Martha Siegel added that parking near the site can be a problem and assistance may be needed with unloading posters, etc. The students must bring money for lunch. Joan Langdon noted that they were going to the Dollar Store to get table skirts, and that if we can think of anything else, to please email her.
Patti Cossard asked if we received the Advocacy plan. She noted that she goes down to the legislature at least once per week and that we could get a daily schedule for hearings on the MD General Assembly at http://mlis.state.md.us/. Patti Cossard discussed Senate Bill 657: "College Textbook Competition and Affordability Act of 2008 that she sent to us and requested comments. As she reviewed the details of the bill, she requested members to report to her the timeline for textbook adoption on each campus. Martha Siegel added that we must address the publishers’ role. Bill Stuart noted that many of us wait until we go to conferences in order to talk to sales representatives. Ordering old editions can backfire if bookstores don’t have enough copies, the professor ends up ordering the new ones later. At UMCP there is no specific policy. Bill Chapin agreed and added that even on our campuses we need to be careful about scheduling and we are vulnerable on some of our campuses. Gerry Wojnar noted that sometimes the instructor evaluation criterion is based on the most recent books. So it counts both ways. Deloris James stated that in the undergraduate programs at UMUC, individual faculty are not involved in selecting books. Martha Siegel expressed that maybe we could look at the policies proposed in the bill. Joyce Tenney added that for #12, put "none" as the comment because CUSF can deal with that. In reviewing the document Bill Stuart also commented on the 10%, 20%, 50% increases and asked "Who are these ambulatory trolls?" Bobbi Adams agreed that we need to explain that at 30% and 50%, it means that we cannot do our jobs. They do not change 30%, why the increase? In Part 12, it does matter who the bookstore manager is. Some campus bookstores make a huge profit. A big part of our problem is the bookstore. John Collins stated that the Student Council Chair, Devin Ellis, says that it is good for the bookstores to make profit because they put the money back into the university. Patti Cossard asked if there were any more specific comments. She asked the final question, if we think it is a good bill, and the answer was a resounding no. Patti Cossard requested that CUSF members email comments on the document and as to what is happening on each campus directly to her. All agreed that it is not a good bill.
The meeting adjourned at 2:45 pm.