Council of University System Faculty
General Body Meeting: Thursday, February 19, 2009
A. Chairman Bill Chapin called the meeting of the Council of University System Faculty (CUSF) to order at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 19, 2009, at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), in the Golf Course Club House.Those in attendance were (30): Chairman Bill Chapin (UMES), Secretary Joyce Shirazi (UMUC), At-Large Officers Bill Stuart (UMCP) and Joyce Tenney (UMBC), Past-Chairman John Collins (UMBI); other CUSF members Joan Langdon (BSU), Alcott Arthur (CU), Mary Mumper (FSU), Kim Rotruck (FSU), Bobbi Adams (SU), Paul Flexner (SU), Dave Parker (SU), Jay Zimmerman (TU), Thomas Krause (TU), Lee Richardson (UB), Meg Johantgen (UMB), Zane Berge (UMBC), Frank Robb (UMBI), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), Rodger Harvey (UMCES), Patti Cossard (UMCP), Sylvester James Gates Jr. (UMCP), Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz (UMCP), William Montgomery (UMCP), Robert Johnson, Jr. (UMES), Sharon Fratta-Hill (UMUC), William Sondervan (UMUC); Senior Vice Chancellor Irv Goldstein; UMCP President Dan Mote; UMCP Assistant President and Chief of Staff Sally Koblinsky.
B. Welcome from the University of Maryland College Park: Bill Stuart introduced UMCP President Dan Mote, who welcomed CUSF to the campus. He stated that he enjoyed the joint meeting last year with CUSS and he introduced Dr. Sally Koblinsky, his Chief of Staff. President Mote explained that he came to USM from the University of California Berkeley where they had no Faculty Senate. He added that this is the great design with CUSS, CUSF, and the UMCP University Senate, and that it works well. Whenever something is tough, President Mote said that he gives it to the Senate. For example, the UMCP 10-year strategic plan is a joint effort with the administration, etc. It is a $2 billion effort. The plan includes post-tenure review and ways of dealing with repeatedly non-performing faculty, if they are not up to standards, etc. President Mote added that the only way to move the institution’s walls is to put money back again for more aggressive initiatives. The plan was sent out to 15000 people all over the United States and they received input from 6000 for re-writes. The vote was 14% to 1%for doing this. The Senate provided the opportunity to do this and provided the basis. President Mote said that is why he has such a passion for the Senate. With furloughs, President Mote noted that he went to the Senate for their input because everyone tends to go along with the Senate. He noted that he appreciates CUSF because it is pretty much the same and works well. President Mote also addressed a story of how rumors get out of control. The rumor, via email, was that two FBI agents had come in and taken a Chinese student. President Mote called his Chief of Staff who knew nothing about the incident. He called the campus Police Chief and then the local FBI office and they knew nothing. He called the FBI headquarters in Washington, and they knew nothing. It turned out that a Chinese student called the police station to determine where the police station was in order to file a report for stolen materials, and the police offered to give him a ride to the station since there were officers nearby, and it was a long walk for the student to get to the police station. That was the incident – a ride to the police station. President Mote said that the moral is that we need to keep things clear and maybe make people aware of what can happen and understand the potential consequences. In response to a question from Bill Chapin regarding the system wide STEM effort, President Mote noted the Governor’s STEM taskforce and the taskforce through USM. He said that there are task forces appointed by the Governor, with 20 people on each task force, and with President Mote chairing the task force for research and economic development. It offers opportunity for research centers. There were 49 proposals and all 20 of the “big shot” types chosen because of their international credits, narrowed it down from 49 proposals to 5 proposals. For the economic development side there is direct economic development, actually creating value by actions, with money to buildup technology infrastructure operations in the system. Nine different institutions committed to a total of 325 companies over 10 years. Other recommendations will be made, as well. The Governor wants “do’s”, which are things that we will do, with action plans, and accountability. The Governor will back action plans that will do things and have results. Congressman Hoyer noted that some Governors will not actually use the money for education, but that Governor O’Malley will use his power to help education. He will reappoint a school board statewide. It will be a good time for people who want to do things. STEM will get a lot of play based on the Governor’s actions. In response to a question about the Bohanan Commission, President Mote noted that there is a $223 million increase recommendation, and that UMCP is committed to recommitting money itself. Bill Chapin added that getting enough money so that we can have enough money for STEM education is important, and that we need to be thinking as a group if there are ways to get money other than asking.
C. Continued CUSF Discussion Regarding the UMCP Strategic Plan: Bill Montgomery noted that the strategic plan came out of the Office of the Provost and that before each committee meeting, parts were being rewritten. Bill Montgomery added that the idea of a strategic plan did not come from the top or the bottom; it came from the middle, via Deans, etc, to give 2% back. One percent goes back to the Dean to use and 1% goes back to the university level. The stronger programs will become stronger. It was calculated based on retirement, etc. The money is a separate fund that goes back. Bill Stuart commented that there is a concern about the wisdom of having a University Senate versus the faculty members in the University Senate vote on this reduction in salary, in addition to no COLA, and then having a 2% unit reversion to the College and to the University is causing a bit of re-thinking. The faculty jury is still out, yet he acknowledged that the percentage vote of 14% to 1% by the Senate last year is astounding. Bill Montgomery added that the 14% to 1% vote last yearwas the Strategic Plan as a whole and not for some of the details which are being worked out this year. He noted that, now that they are down to the nitty-gritty, it may not be the case. Bill Chapin stated that we will be mandated on some campuses to perhaps get some funds together via research, etc. Responding to a question regarding salary reductions as a part of the post-tenure review, Bill Montgomery noted that merit review is mandated by the university each year at UMCP. He added that if there is someone who is doing almost nothing and who does not participate in much research, what do you do, for example? Sylvester Gates Jr. added that they are all cognizant of faculty issues, feelings, etc. He noted for example that this past summer a faculty member told UMCP that he would not teach a class. The faculty member’s colleagues had input and made the ultimate call. Bill Montgomery stated that the main merit review comes from the colleagues and not an administrative review. It is colleagues that are doing the reviewing and writing. Jay Zimmerman suggested an appeal process and Sylvester Gates Jr. agreed and noted the suggestion. Bill Montgomery added that a person would not be penalized if they are not doing their research because they are told to teach more, and noted that there should not be a penalty for additional teaching versus research. Bill Chapin noted that on some campuses, the administrators are making these decisions alone. Rodger Harvey asked if the salary reduction is returned back to the departments and noted that the funding should be used to generate things that can be brought back, and to perhaps increase faculty. Lee Richardson stated that a friend of his was assigned a course in a field that he had not taught lately and he refused to teach it, and they ended his tenure. Lee Richardson added that it was a contract situation, and that his friend learned a few days in advance that he had to teach the course. Sylvester Gates Jr. stated that faculty members would have to show a prolonged pattern of issues over several years, and that they would never lower salary based on one circumstance. Bill Chapin noted that we need to look at this issue of rumors, for example, the UMBC rumor about layoffs. He noted that it turned out it to be a local situation and not part of the Governor’s budget cuts. Bill Chapin noted that it bothers us that people can just say money is tight, but that we need to get accurate information out because it is the best way to squash rumors. Bill Montgomery added that there was a session to work on and try to resolve all of these things including the provision to cut the pay of faculty members. It will be brought to the Senate Executive Committee and then to the Senate in March. Bill Montgomery stated that he thinks they may approve it. He also added that the Vice Presidents and Chairs of the units are non-voting members of the University Senate. Joan Langdon asked how a faculty member could get away with not teaching class for 3 or 4 years. Sylvester Gates Jr. noted that the Senate could not intervene until the Department Chair decided that it was time to do something. At that stage, the Senate Chair was consulted. Lee Richardson added that his friend’s situation may have been a bit more complicated and that he thinks that his colleague finally broke. Regarding post tenure review, Bill Chapin added that basically nothing is being done for anybody. Kim Rotruck asked about tenure mentoring and post-tenure mentoring. Paul Flexner noted that most do it for 1st and 2nd year faculty, and none for post-tenure; they become the mentors. Paul Flexner added that the mentoring system does not include the people that we are talking about.
D. Approval of Minutes: Joyce Shirazi moved for approval of the January 23, 2009 CUSF meeting minutes; seconded by Bill Stuart; approved unanimously.
E. Legislative Affairs: Patti Cossard stated that concerning textbooks, the legislators are not listening to reason. The Senate committee is voting today on the Senate Bill and we need to send something out today. She said that we need to get our voices heard. At the House hearing, many listened to discussions that the onus should not be put on the university system. Patti Cossard stated that we need to follow-up on that and that we have been working on this since last year. She said that the BOR is doing the central part of the Bill and we should submit input to the central part of the Bill.
F. Elections: Alcott Arthur noted that for this February CUSF meeting the floor is open for nominations for the Chair. At the March CUSF meeting, we will vote for the Chair and take nominations for the other officers and vote in April. He added that the only current CUSF officer not eligible for the same office is Joyce Shirazi, because she has been secretary for two years in a row. Paul Flexner nominated Bill Chapin for Chair. Bill Chapin noted that Martha Siegel was absent but will run for an office. Bill Stuart and Joyce Tenney stated that they will run for an office if nominated. John Collins suggested that we talk among each other at lunch, and revisit this topic after lunch.
G. Report from USM Senior Vice-Chancellor Irv Goldstein:
1. Budget; a) Relatively, we have been up to now treated well in the Governor’s recommendations regarding the budget cuts. Two percent of the State budget was cut and USM received 2%. The 1st cut was from the base, and the 2nd cut consisted of furloughs. For the 3rd – we are awaiting the information on the implications of the stimulus bill. We have $16 million for tuition of State money into this and around $9 to $10 million to cover items like bond service and health care, but not enrollment increases for SU, TU, UM Shady Grove, etc. Chancellor Kirwan will not ask the campuses to increase enrollment, but UMUC is largely tuition driven and not driven by State funds. Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is up to now not in favor of recommending a tuition freeze for the fourth straight year. The Governor favors another tuition freeze. We still do not have enough information to understand the stimulus package. Will the money offset Medicare, etc. so that we get money to use for enrollment increases? For example, there is $15 million for parks related to HBI’s. We may be able to get some of that. We use PJ Hogan and Joe Vivona to figure out what opportunities there are in the stimulus package. By next week, we will have a better idea. The legislators do not seem to want to cut us. The Governor and the legislators all care about us but there is no money to enhance us at this point. Sharon Fratta-Hill noted that a tuition increase will help UMUC and that the adjunct professors at UMUC have not had an increase in 5 years. She recommended that UMUC should get a larger percentage of the $16 million. Regarding a question from Jay Zimmerman about the optional retirement plan talk last year, Irv Goldstein confirmed that there is a commitment to do this at some point. Spousal benefits have not gone as well. Domestic partners benefits, however, already made it in the bill this year and it appears to be ready for approval. Later in the spring it should be included in the health benefits.
2. Textbooks; Sylvester Gates Jr. asked why faculty members haven’t written appropriate textbooks at reasonable costs, and noted that this has been done by the Physics Department at UMCP, andthat with online servers they control all their required textbooks in the Physics department. Patti Cossard added that she brought this forth last year, but it is a scholarly education issue and Elsevier and others have big lobbying groups and they raise the costs. Regarding a question from Lee Richardson about slots and money for higher education, Irv Goldstein noted that it is a long- term issue, but we have significant money there. We do not know exactly how much money.
3. Legislature; a) The textbook bill is very serious. We need an email campaign and a telephone campaign. Maryland Senator Rosapepe strongly supports the Senate bill and we are not sure if we can beat this unless we can get a big effort. This is a serious problem. Regarding Hagerstown, no matter how much we explain that the money is needed towards the state developed building, they do not seem to get it. The new programs at Hagerstown are working well, but we still expect a fight.
b) Health Benefits; It appears the Domestic Partners benefits will pass.
c) Unions; The decision not to furlough the graduate students will help us a lot. The bill will be back, but we think we are okay. The nationwide issue of adjunct faculty treatment is still out there.
d) Union Fees; The governor exempted higher education. Our fight is to keep the exemption.
4. MHEC; We are still arguing with MHEC about program duplication issues. The Friends of Morgan lawsuit is still there. MHEC turned down the UMUC Government Program due to Morgan State - meaning they are interpreting online as impinging as well. UMUC Provost Greg Von Lehman, Chancellor Kirwan, and Irv Goldstein will fight this. It appears to us that our HBI’s do not receive the same consideration as Morgan State in program duplication issues. Now we have a new arena on how online courses are to be treated. We are working on a strategy. Meanwhile, out of state institutions such as Kaplan, Strayer and DeVry continue to offer new programs in the State despite UMUC programs. We are concerned about this and programs at Hagerstown.
5. STEM; The two committees are moving forward and seem to be doing a fantastic job. The programs are designed for new initiative money, not internal funding.
H. Elections Continued: Alcott Arthur took questions and comments regarding CUSF elections. William Montgomery nominated Bill Stuart for CUSF Chair. At the March CUSF General Body Meeting, we will elect the CUSF Chair and take nominations for Vice Chair, Secretary, and the two At-Large officers. Regarding the question of how to vote if not present at the meeting, Bill Chapin responded that it is not possible to vote in absentia.
J. Other Business: Patti Cossard announced that the capwiz link will be set up today so that we can comment on the textbook policy. She will draft a cover letter for Bill Chapin regarding the utilization of capwiz for CUSS, student groups, etc. If you are not a MD resident, use the campus zip code.
K. The meeting adjourned at 1:20pm.