Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee and Senate Chairs Meeting of November 5, 2004

CUSF - Campus Senate Chairs Joint Meeting
Chancellor's Conference Room
Elkins Building, Adelphi MD
November 5, 2004

Present: Dr. Zoltan Acs (UB), Dr. Patricia Alt (CUSF ExCom, TU), Dr. Alcott Arthur (CSU), Dr. Vincent Brannigan (CUSF Vice Chair, UMCP), Dr. Robert Carpenter (UMBC),Dr. William Chapin (CUSF Secretary, UMES), Dr. Gertrude Eaton (USM), Dr. Jerry Glover (UMUC), Dr. Irv Goldstein (USM), Dr. Steve Jacobs (UMB), Dr. Britt Kirwan (USM), Dr. Joan Langdon (BSU), Dr. Mike O'Loughlin (SU), Dr. John Organ (BSU), Dr. David Parker (CUSF ExCom, SU), Dr. Arthur Popper (UMCP),Dr. Randall Rhodes (FSU), Dr. Lee Richardson (CUSF Chair, UB), Dr Court Stevenson (UMCES), Dr. Timothy Sullivan (TU), Dr. Joseph Vivona (USM), Dr. Mark Williams (USM).

Dr. Vince Brannigan called the meeting to order and introduced Dr. Joseph Vivona, USM Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, who spoke on the USM budget for the coming year. Although the current level of funding is down only 12% in nominal dollars, it is down 20% in real dollars against expenses. The announced plan for next year is another level-funded budget (again no additional dollars), but it may be necessary to ask the state for more to avoid another year of double-digit percentage increase in tuition, a matter which may provide some legislative sympathy for our needs . (When all of the increased cost of running the campuses must be absorbed on the tuition half of the budget, a five percent increase in the cost of fuels, etc., translates into a ten percent increase in tuition.) Any increase in state support of operating expenses would first have to meet the special needs of the research campuses UMBI and UMCES and of the regional centers since these campuses do not have tuition to rely on. On the Supplementary List, we may request funds for faculty salary increases, for handling the anticipated large increase in enrollment, for OCR agreement funding, etc., but it is unlikely that we will receive anything close to the full amount requested. The matter of health insurance for the coming year is not clear, but it is quite possible that increases in premiums, co-pays, and deductibles may be in the offing.

After all those present made brief self-introductions, the group went through all the items on the agenda with a view of framing relevant questions to present to Chancellor Kirwan upon his arrival. The areas selected (and the corresponding responses) appear below in the discussion with the Chancellor.

Chancellor Kirwan informed us that the E & E plan of the Board of Regents is intended to follow the "Quality, Access, and Affordability" mantra. The individual recommendations may be divided into two classes, first, the academic recommendations designed to allow adjustments in the USM to increase its capacity to accommodate part of the huge enrollment bulge that is upon us (recommendations not designed to save dollars), and second, the administrative recommendations concerning purchasing policy, etc., that are designed to save dollars. Success in this process will depend also on appropriate use of the brand identity of the USM and the willingness of the components to yield some territoriality for the good of the system as a whole.The academic E & E will be sufficient to handle part of the bulge in enrollment, with the expectation that the legislature will then have to do its part also to cover the rest. Presidents and Provosts from the campuses were involved in the process of creating the recommendations, but direct faculty representation was somewhat limited. [It would be helpful if our budget were considered on a per-student basis, as the K-12 budgets are, rather than as an absolute dollar amount, particularly in dealing with periods of rapidly increasing enrollment.] Early response to the E & E proposals from those in Annapolis seems to be quite positive.

On all the individual academic policies, system shared governance through CUSF and campus shared governance through the Senates will be respected. In the matter of twelve credits of non-traditional study, there will be no requirement that any particular student do any of this, but rather that the campus reach such an average, something many campuses already seem to have approached. Determination of exactly what courses are suitable and credible is a faculty decision for each campus.

Eventually there will be some cap on the number of credits that students may take beyond the minimum required for their degrees before higher charges per credit come into effect, but exceptions will be made for remedial courses, double majors, special accreditation requirements, the special situations of transfer students, etc. Again the policy will go through the entire shared-governance process.

Changes in faculty teaching load are to be understood as a conformance to the "middle of the currently approved range" for each campus and not as a ten percent increase for each individual faculty member. More extensive training of those who must do the reporting on faculty load for the campuses has revealed that the recalculation of the numbers for last year on a more accurate basis improved the position of many campuses, some of which are already at or above the middle of their range. Nevertheless, the need to accommodate a large number of additional students by 2010 will likely mean some changes in the standard expectations for teaching, research, service, and advising: it is recognized that faculty members do not have an infinite capacity to expand quality teaching to accommodate more students without at the same time contracting work in other areas of responsibility.

A survey of shared governance on the campuses revealed things generally in good shape except for one campus. The Chancellor indicated that, when there is difficulty with shared governance, representatives from USM do meet with people on campus to discuss the issue (and that success in shared governance is one of the goals set for the campus Presidents each year, the goals on which the Presidents are evaluated).

Concerning the four campuses current under "special consideration", rumors of mergers are just that, rumors: methods of supporting research institutions like UMBI and UMCES without the benefit of tuition need to be found (see Joe Vivona's report above); mechanisms need to be found so that UMUC can support out-of-state expansion (e.g., how do you do health benefits for faculty members in Texas?); paths to help better utilize UB facilities during the daytime (perhaps freshman and sophomore students?) are needed.

The Chancellor strongly supported the concerns of faculty in the colleges of education that recent attempts to dictate course content on a state-wide level was an egregious abuse of faculty rights and traditional faculty responsibilities. He will meet with the appropriate authorities about this matter.
The revisions to the ART policy are now complete.

It was agreed to meet again in early February. [NOTE: That meeting was canceled.]