Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee Meeting of September 8, 2003

CUSF Executive Committee Minutes

USM, September 8, 2003

Present: M. Siegel, V. Brannigan, E. W. Chapin, D. Parker, L. Richardson (from USM: D. Boesch, G. Eaton, I. Goldstein, B. Kirwan)

The minutes of the August Executive Committee meeting were approved as distributed.

Report of the Chair: M. Siegel reported that the Chancellor’s Council had devoted considerable time to the question of military leave: the policy adopted earlier covered the case of staff members but did not fully extend to the case of faculty military leave.

Upon the arrival of representatives Acting Vice-Chancellor Boesch, Associate Vice Chancellor Eaton and Vice Chancellor Elect Goldstein for the USM, the members of the Executive Committee introduced themselves and we turned directly to the reports of the Vice Chancellors.  Chancellor Kirwan joined the group later.

Reports of the Vice Chancellors: 1. The University has been instructed to prepare a level-funded budget for the next fiscal year (but with approximately sixty million dollars in unfunded mandates).  This could result in additional tuition increases of ten per cent or so for the next year.  It is hoped that the Regents, under the leadership of Cliff Kendall, can help convince the legislature to fund some of the mandates so that constant large tuition increases do not become the norm.

2. We find ourselves in a state of transition with a new Governor and five new Regents in addition to the changes within the USM. To deal with the new realities, the Board of Regents has three special working groups:

a. Effectiveness and Efficiency: here the questions concern such matters as faculty load (a topic whose discussion seems to be causing concern on some of the campuses), the willingness to give up some old programs and perhaps merge others to make resources avail for new activities, handling low-enrollment programs as system-wide programs instead of as campus programs, and shortening time (or decreasing credits) to degree (and dealing with the delicate question of double majors, a question which involves some or our strongest students);

b. Resources (discussed under #1 above);

c. USM as a Public Corporation: here the questions are about ending remnants of earlier systems of academic organization, such as ‘pins’ and separate payroll systems with different rules, clarifying the line of authority between the Chancellor and the Presidents, best practices for assisting new presidents in learning how the USM works, and the evaluation of Presidents by faculty and other campus constituencies.

Old Business: 1. V. Brannigan and L. Richardson will consult with Joe Bryce on the current version of the Legislative Action plan, and with B. Kirwan concerning coordination with the community colleges.

Although the case at UMES seems near resolution and while we recognize that tenure decisions rightly must remain with the Departments on the various campuses, we will work to propose clarifications and corrections to the current Board of Regents Policy in the area concerning the termination of tenure-track faculty so as to avoid similar incidents in the future. 

There was considerable discussion of the CSC case.  Outside assistance is being provided to the campus and the Department there to eliminate the problems that led to the difficulties in May. CUSF will work to create a proposed policy allowing appeals by academic departments and shared-governance bodies on the campuses of the decisions of campus Presidents when such decisions appear to violate Board of Regents policy or academic integrity.

New Business: 1. Progress continues in organizing CUSF committees for the new year and in creating correct membership lists, but there are still several campuses which have not elected new representatives to replace those who came to the end of their turns or resigned.

2. Work on agenda for the September 16 Meeting of CUSF and for the September 19th meeting of the Senate Chairs with the CUSF Executive Committee will continue by e-mail.

The meeting was adjourned shortly after two o’clock.