Council of University System Faculty
General Meeting: Friday, March 14, 2008
University of Maryland, Baltimore, Saratoga Building
CUSF Members Present (18):
Joyce Shirazi (UMUC, Secretary), Deloris James (UMUC), Bill Chapin (UMES), Bill Stuart (UMCP, Vice Chair), Martha Siegel (TU, At-Large), Edyth Wheeler (TU), Julie Zito (UMB), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), Zane Berge (UMBC), John Collins (UMBI, Chair), Lee Richardson (UB), Alcott Arthur (CSU, At-Large), Paul Flexner (SU), Mike Garner (SU), Monika Gross (BSU), Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU), Kim Rotruck (FSU), Gerry Wojnar (FSU)
Irv Goldstein (USM, Senior Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs)
Call to Order
John Collins called the meeting to order at 10:00 am and introduced Julie Zito, CUSF member and past President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Faculty Senate, who brought greetings from the UMB President, Dr. David J. Ramsay. Julie Zito discussed several issues including a question from John Collins regarding the lack of UMB CUSF members at the current CUSF meeting. Julie Zito noted that the general feeling is that issues discussed at CUSF meetings are not relevant to UMB, so UMB CUSF members do not attend. She proposed teleconferencing to allow others to participate in all CUSF meetings. Julie Zito mentioned that it would work as a motivator, but added that it is expensive. Paul Flexner suggested a teleconference meeting at least once per year. Irv Goldstein suggested that IVN is useful as well, however oftentimes IVN users prefer to be together. Joyce Shirazi noted that audio conferencing (dial-in) meetings are standard at UMUC. Bill Chapin suggested that CUSF develop a plan for what we can do next year regarding teleconferences, audio conferencing or IVN. Bill Stuart noted that if we are going to do it, then we should make it later in the CUSF meeting schedule.
The February 2008 CUSF Meeting Minutes were approved after Mike Garner made a resounding motion to have them approved.
Senior Vice Chancellor’s Report
Irv Goldstein began his report noting that Governor O’Malley has been very supportive and that he understands the importance of Higher Education to the State of Maryland. USM won the fight for enrollment money and we will receive the full cost of enrollment funding. We also won the battle that mandated E and E savings, and now we do not have to give back E and E money. However, there will be a $6.8 million cut for the system. Now the budget goes to the House. Two days ago Delegate John Bohanan, the new Chair of the House Appropriations Committee who took P.J. Hogan’s place, cut all but $700,000 out of the $2 million allocated to the USM Center at Hagerstown (USMH) and moved it to be used by many centers including the Southern Regional Center. John Bohanan represents southern Maryland, which has a regional center with about 11 schools including Johns Hopkins. Chancellor Kirwan acknowledges that USM will not abandon the Western Regional Center at Hagerstown. The Chancellor and P.J. Hogan spent yesterday discussing it. The key part is that the amount of money is targeted at one institution (USMH) and it takes a big chunk out of their budget. It really impacts the city of Hagerstown. USM is working with Senator Mike Miller on this.
Zane Berge: Wouldn’t you have to lump the cuts together and divide them out like that?
Irv Goldstein: In recent years, we have not had cuts targeted at particular institutions. In this case, it is currently targeted at a particular program.
Kim Rotruck: I recruit people for all of the educational programs at Hagerstown. This is so detrimental and it could cost us a lot of students at this point. They will go to Shepherd University, Hood College, etc.
Irv Goldstein: I couldn’t agree more. Nursing was going to double this year at Hagerstown, for example.
Martha Siegel: Isn’t John Bohanan the Chair of the Finance Committee for Higher Education?
Mike Garner: Norman Conway is the overall person in charge of finance, right? ‘And MHEC has its own budget?
Irv Goldstein: Yes
Rahim Ashkeboussi: I thought USM had its own budget and that is it. What’s the logic?
Irv Goldstein: A legislator can put in the budget that he does not want a specific program. John Bohanan says that USM in western Maryland is over funded and programs at the Southern Regional Center in southern Maryland are under funded.
Kim Rotruck: Is there any way that the home institution (FSU) can save it?
Irv Goldstein: This just came up on Wednesday. We are working with our legislators and we have not accepted the cut.
Kim Rotruck: It was already in the Hagerstown newspaper.
Legislative budget bills are still being submitted. There have been many bills submitted about textbooks. Senator James Rosapepe says that any money made on textbooks is a kickback. However at UMCP, they use the money for student services. There are also some serious faculty issues, such as demonstrating that 30% of a new edition of a textbook is new. MHEC may assign a committee to study textbooks with faculty and others involved in the process.
Senator Joan Conway’s duplicate program bill is still around. It is not expected to go anywhere. There was a big federal hearing about HBCU’s, where the HBCU’s discussed the damage done to them via duplicate programs. They stated that the Office of Civil Rights is not doing their job.
Other pertinent bills include the bill that does not allow the use of standardized testing for college admission, which is referred to as the SAT Bill, and the union bill for graduate students and adjunct faculty. The SAT bill was killed and the union bill was beaten at about 26 to 3. UMCP pointed out in their strategic plan how they will change the treatment of their graduate students.
Martha Siegel: The adjuncts added themselves to the bill to allow unionization late in the process. The plight of the adjuncts is something that we really need to be concerned about. We need to be prepared to see more and more of this type of legislation.
Bill Stuart: Is this adjunct “teaching” faculty?
Irv Goldstein: Yes
Rahim Ashkeboussi: Was this bill for the graduate students at UMCP only?
Irv Goldstein: Devin Ellis, Chair of the USM Student Council and Laura Moore, President of the UMCP Graduate Student Association were promoters of the bill. UMBC graduate students were against it.
Rahim Ashkeboussi: It seems UMCP graduate students are going to get special treatment.
Irv Goldstein: That is up to the individual campus. The campuses will be told that they have to deal with it, as well.
Julie Zito: The workloads are completely different in the sciences versus say liberal arts.
Irv Goldstein: Yes, I agree that the workloads are very different. I would like to see us solve it internally.
Julie Zito: Maybe it should become a Senate issue.
Irv Goldstein: Delegate Brian Feldman introduced a four-year tuition bill, where tuition stays the same for the student for the entire four-year period. We expect to see numerous other bills related to tuition
The Governor is very interested in the production of STEM scientists and STEM teachers. Dr. Kirwan has been asked by the Governor to Co-Chair a major task force on what should be done by the State with June Streckfus, who serves as the Executive Director of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. They will look at Best Practices, such as the ones used in NY. In NY they put ads in the paper, asking things such as, “Are you good at math and not happy on your job?” They give them school money and the teachers must stay at least 5 years. That program has produced 731 new math teachers. It is very expensive but it works. The Austin U Teach produces many teachers as well. It is a good program, but expensive at approximately $3 million per year.
Kim Rotruck: I was hoping that we would come up with something like the Hope Scholarship for going into these programs.
Mike Garner: Is the 2% COLA still alive and the 2.5% merit, (which is in the campus budget not the Governor’s)?
Irv Goldstein: Yes, but we cannot guarantee the COLA as that is a choice made by the governor and legislature late in the session. We fought in the legislature last year to ensure that the COLA was not limited to specific pay levels.
John Collins: A faculty member should be assigned to the P-20 committee.
Irv Goldstein: It is the Governor’s choice and you need to ask P.J. Hogan how to approach the Governor.
Martha Siegel: What are the working committees in the new P-20?
Bill Stuart: We do not know if they will roll over from P-16. The future is uncertain.
Irv Goldstein: The Governor is actually chairing the new P-20 group and working at the meetings http://www.gov.state.md.us/pressreleases/080211.html.
Bill Stuart: I anticipate skirmishes for the next four years.
John Collins: Concerning the New Chairperson’s Workshop, the date is Wednesday, April 30.
Julie Zito: What is the New Chairperson’s Workshop (NCW)?
Irv Goldstein: This group has asked us to help them with what it is like to be an academic leader. It was cancelled last year due to low demand. Topics covered at NCW include information on CUSF, perspectives of Department Chairs, budgeting, legal aspects of higher education, lunch together, mentoring faculty exercises, faculty workload and how workload is measured.
John Collins: I do not think I should do the welcome.
Martha Siegel: I will agree to give the 15-minute welcome speech from CUSF. There were comments given at the last NCW and we need to take those suggestions into consideration.
Bill Stuart: Who are the new Chairs?
Irv Goldstein: ‘Fall 2007 and spring 2008. It should be the people making academic decisions.
Julie Zito: How will you present this? Are you concerned about widget counting and leaving with the same views that they came in with?
Irv Goldstein: My presentation is about relationships with faculty. Then you have legal issues, etc. There are some very serious legal issues, such as harassment, etc. I don’t think there is much on bean counting.
Bill Chapin: It is faculty centered and it seems to do them “good”. It is centered on the point of view that you would find in this room.
Martha Siegel: Many Department Chairs do not know the roles and rules, i.e. reporting back, etc
Julie Zito: One striking thing is town hall, but is it really top down?
Rahim Ashkeboussi: Is there an effort to change the roles of Department Chairs?
Irv Goldstein: It depends on the campus.
Rahim Ashkeboussi: The Chair seems to be moving away from being faculty.
Bill Chapin noted that the Membership and Rules Committee emailed questions to all CUSF members. However, based on the voting at this meeting, the questions were resolved as follows:
Question #1 – Should not adjust CUSF member numbers
Question #2 – No decrease rule for CUSF members per institution
Question #3 – Leave the member number for a quorum at 15
Question #4 – Attendance record is not considered or required for voting
Question #5 – Absentee ballots, proxy ballots will require further investigation
Question #6 – Continue with trickle down in election procedures (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)
Question #7 – A verbal statement will be made by each candidate and a written
statement will be sent to the appropriate CUSF Membership and
Rules Committee person
Question #8 – All voting for CUSF Executive Committee members will be done in
Candidates for the 2008-2009 CUSF Executive Committee are as follows:
Chair Bill Chapin, John Collins
Vice Chair Martha Siegel, Bill Stuart
Secretary Joyce Shirazi
At Large Rahim Ashkeboussi, Monika Gross, Bill Stuart,
Joyce Tenney, Jay Zimmerman
Deloris James: CUSF Committee Chairs should be invited to Executive Meetings.
Zane Berge: Are Executive Committee meetings open?
John Collins: Yes, everyone is welcome and they have been invited in the past.
Martha Siegel: Maybe we should have a nominations committee that sets a ballot, etc. It is very difficult otherwise.
Bill Stuart: ‘A good suggestion so that we can get on a roll again.
Bill Chapin: The scrambling this month was because the CUSF Chair cancelled the CUSF Executive meeting this month. In earlier years, we had a plethora of candidates.
CUSF Chair’s Report
John Collins noted that the Faculty Senate Chairs meeting with CUSF and the Chancellor will be held on Friday, April 18, 2008 from 9:30 am to 2 pm at USM in the Chancellor’s Conference Room. The Chancellor will be there from 11 am to 1pm. Closing the Achievement Gap and the VSA will be the topics. Representing CUSF will be the CUSF Executive Committee, the Academic Affairs Committee and the Chairs of the Legislative and Faculty Affairs Committees. Bill Stuart noted the Senate Chairs were very unhappy about the VSA presentation at the previous meeting and did not have a chance to ask questions about it.
Paul Flexner noted that ORP participants do not get credit for accrued sick leave and that family and spouses are not eligible for healthcare upon retirement unless you have 16 years of service for you and 25 years of service for your spouse. The aspirational institutions have a 12% contribution by the institution to the ORP, but we are at 7% for retirement contributions. Paul Flexner continued that the USM institutions gave contingent faculty benefits but they did nothing for us. It turned a conflict in our face. We did not request that, and we were sidetracked. Rosario van Daalen says that we may get 2% more (bringing the institutional contribution to 9%), but to get to 14% we have to put in the extra 5%, for example. Martha Siegel stated that money for the contingent faculty appealed to their conscience and the money did not come from USM, but from the individual schools. However, ORP is system wide money. Martha Siegel suggested that we not bring up the topics of ORP contribution and TIAA CREF at the meeting with Senate Chairs unless we have already discussed them with the Chancellor. Bill Stuart agreed that we have found that if anything gets done, it requires a buy-in of the Chancellor. Bill Chapin added that the Chancellor was sympathetic about the accrued sick days. Normally this would be a good year because it is an election year. ‘But this year it is not the case.
John Collins asked all committees to state their highest priorities.
The two highest priorities for Faculty Affairs were given as follows:
1) Gather information from campuses via the Freedom of Information Act
2) Differences between the ORP and the State Retirement Plan
Mike Garner said that there is a difference between the two plans. In 1990, when the State changed the retirement plan, they changed tuition remission, etc. In 1990 there were such horrible conditions for funding education. Martha Siegel stated that we need a procedure or a brochure so that new employees will know the differences. Rahim Ashkeboussi added that FSU told him when he started that the State Retirement Plan would not be with him if he did not get tenure. So of course he went for TIAA CREF. Paul Flexner said that he will try to cobble something together, but that it would not be perfect. Kim Rotruck gave him a copy of the old sheet with the comparisons between the State Retirement Plan and ORP, which she just happened to have with her at the meeting. She asked why they dropped graduate school in tuition remission, and stated that it is not part of her package. John Collins added that tuition remission should cover attending any school in the system. Mike Garner answered that tuition remission is treated as revenue and expense. To us, we do not have to pay taxes, but that is the way the university has to account for it. Mike Garner reiterated that it is revenue once, but expense twice. Bill Chapin noted that graduate education is not really equally distributed among all the institutions. Rahim Ashkeboussi added that the other problem is that they have also raised fees, and that he has to pay for the dorm and food for his daughter, but he is only getting remission for the tuition. Paul Flexner suggested that we note our most important faculty affairs issue and then present it to CUSF by April so we can send something to them by May. Deloris James said that the faculty needs to be involved with the initiatives, i.e. P-20 and closing the achievement gap. Martha Siegel stated that the person who is the representative to these working groups and committees should be ours and that Deloris James is the MHEC rep, but not CUSF. We should be sending an additional delegate. That person should come back to this group and return this information. Deloris James acknowledged that the person to do this should be Patty Cossard.
Student Research Day
Monika Gross stated that the Student Research Day presentations were over at 6 pm. Overall the presentations were mostly scientific and there was a large room for all of the posters and other material. The Chancellor came by at 5 pm, but Monika Gross noted that she did not see any legislators. She added that Patty Cossard did a lot of work and it came off nicely. Martha Siegel said that her students stated that no legislators came. However John Collins said that Senator Mike Miller, USM BOR Chairman Clifford Kendall and others came by. There were 49 posters, which is probably a record. John Collins’ suggestion for the future was to have something for the participants to eat in the afternoon. He also noted that there was a competing reception with alcohol across the hall. Bill Stuart stated that the purpose in doing this is for the legislators, and what we are really doing is saying look at the great things that your students are doing. This is the way to get folks down and this is the way we get some benefit. Kim Rotruck said that she thought graduate projects were okay, but the person who came from FSU’s Graduate School was told that he should not have been there. She noted that we absolutely need to say “undergraduate” Research Day in the future. Monika Gross said that graduate projects were not appropriate because we want an even playing field.
Lee Richardson stated that we need to keep at it or there will be some faculty limitations, i.e. faculty giving notice. People should look at this textbook bill and send in comments. He also noted that the bill can be vetoed. John Collins and Deloris James mentioned that MHEC/FAC spent time on their recommendation for textbooks at their last meeting. At that meeting they were very active and they were able to write a very concise 5-sentence FAC statement. Bill Stuart added that people who pass this legislation will probably watch to make sure that we do not ignore it.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 2 pm.