Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee and Senate Chairs Meeting of April 18, 2003

Meeting of USM Senate Chairs with Chancellor and CUSF Executive Committee
USM Office
April 18, 2003

USM Faculty Senate Chairs Present
: Dr. Randall Rhodes, FSU; Dr. Morad Eghbal, UB; Dr. Barry Handwerger, UMB; Dr. Arthur Huseonica, UMUC; Dr. Cheryl Miller, UMBC; Dr. Steven Kronheim, UMUC (University Advisory Council); Dr. Rolande Murray, CSC; Dr. Kent Cartwright, UMCP; Dr. Charles McKenzie, SU; Dr. Norma Holter, TU; Dr. J.Court Stevenson, UMCES.

USM Representation: Dr. Ruth Robertson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Dr. Nancy Shapiro, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

CUSF Executive Committee Members Present: Dr. John Collins (UMBI), Vice Chair; Dr. Vincent Brannigan (UMCP), Vice Chair-Elect; Dr. David Parker (SU), Chair.

Dr. Collins called the meeting to order promptly at 10:00 am. Each of the Senate Chairs introduced themselves and spoke briefly about issues of concern at their institutions.

UMCES: Not able to compensate for budget cuts by raising tuition. Worried about future budget cuts. They are coping with a new building.

UMCP: Also concerned about budget cuts.

CSC: The campus is excited and hopeful about their new president. The faculty senate is moving toward being an independent body. Changes in the faculty handbook are needed. It is difficult to get faculty involved in the senate. CSC will change its name, probably to Coppin University or Coppin State University.

UMBC: There is a great deal of frustration, depression on the part of the faculty. Tuition has been raised 5%. Two to three day furloughs have been imposed. While faculty salaries are stagnant or decreasing, the salaries of top administrators continue to increase.

FSU: The faculty are upset that, due to a gag order that had been imposed on their president, they learned about upcoming furloughs by reading the 'newspapers. The faculty accept the necessity of furloughs, but there is a great deal of anger about how they are being applied (e.g., having furlough days during Spring break). The amount of money saved by furloughs is relatively small.

UMB: The campus is coping relatively well with budget cuts, although the president wont reveal any details of his budget cut plans. The Faculty Assembly has finally come into existence as the first independent governance body in the School of Medicine. UMB is unique because of its diverse funding sources and low tuition income. Clinical income is decreasing. Funding from the NIH, way up in recent years, is beginning to level off and there is fear that it will soon start to decrease. Cutbacks in state funding are a very serious problem.

TU: There is pressure for the campus to grow, but no resources for growth have been provided. There is overcrowding, for example converting rest rooms into faculty offices. Things are at the breaking point due to deferred maintenance, lack of supplies and obsolete equipment. Although the presidential search has apparently come to a successful conclusion, emotions are still high from recent outrages. The presidential search process was badly flawed.

UB: Lobbying efforts on behalf of the USM budget were admirable, but the new Governors staff has no understanding of the devastating effects of budget cutbacks. Unfunded homeland securitymandates, for example having to keep track of foreign students, are causing problems. There is no strategic plan for the future. In general, UB is having problems similar to those of TU.

UMUC: Coping with budget cuts has been a challenge, but the administration, supported by the faculty governance system, remain committed to serving UMUC's students. Faculty governance at UMUC, since its inception two years ago, has made tremendous strides and is represented in all decision making committees. A discussion was initiated about how faculty at Maryland's institutions are compensated for participation in governance activities.

SU: Budget cuts uncovered some cracks in the shared governance process, but now its agreed that faculty should be involved in budgetary decisions. Some faculty are willing to take furlough days to help prevent layoffs.

The Chancellor arrived at 11:15 am. Following introductions, the discussion began with the Chancellors opening remarks. He summarized where we are in the legislative process and how USM is trying to influence the process. The new Governors staff are inexperienced. The slots issue has been very divisive. USM has become somewhat of a ping-pong ball. The USM lobbying effort has been very effectiveat putting out a simple message and getting everyone on message. Grass roots efforts also made an impression. Lobbying efforts will be reevaluated for more effectiveness next year. A special session of the legislature to resolve the current budget impasse could help USM, because the legislature acts as a bufferfor USM. Governor Ehrlich could delay balancing the state budget until the end of the 2003-2004 fiscal year, then roll over the deficit into 2004-2005, creating a total deficit of close to a billion dollars. Now is not a good time for high-profile public lobbying, but USM is working behind the scenes. There has no sign of backlash from the legislature in response to USMs lobbying. A general discussion followed, with the Chancellor responding to questions from the Senate Chairs.

The Chancellor left at 12:45 pm. While his presence at the meeting was greatly appreciated, most participants were not greatly encouraged about the future of USM. It was generally felt that the Chancellor, perhaps understandably in view of the ongoing budget crisis, was somewhat out of touch with governance problems at the campus level.

Dr. Collins said that, in the absence of the CUSF secretary, he had taken some brief notes during the meeting that would be used to prepare draft minutes. Dr. Parker encouraged everyone to repeat and expand their lobbying efforts for next years legislative session. Dr. Brannigan suggested that the Senate Chairs consider having an additional meeting in Annapolis next year during the session.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm