Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee Meeting with Chancellor and Senate Chairs, October 14, 2005


Meeting of CUSF Executive Committee and Faculty Senate Chairs


Present: E.W. Chapin (UMES Faculty Assembly Chair, CUSF Vice Chair and Chair of this meeting); Martha Siegel (CUSF Chair and alternate for Timothy Sullivan, TU Faculty Senate Chair); Lee Richardson (Past CUSF Chair and alternate for Mortimer Sellers, UB Faculty Senate Chair); John Collins (UMBI, CUSF Secretary); Vincent Brannigan (UMCP, CUSF At-Large); John McMullen (FSU, CUSF At-Large); John Organ (BSU Faculty Senate Chair); Joan Langdon (BSU); Alcott Arthur (alternate for Fred Medinger, CSU Chair); Robert Kauffman (FSU Senate Chair); Maarten Pereboom (SU Senate Chair); Robert Carpenter (UMBC Faculty Senate Chair); Mervyn Monteiro (UMBI Senate Chair); H. Rodger Harvey (UMCES Senate Chair); Sylvester J. Gates (UMCP Senate Chair-Elect); Alfred Raider (UMUC University Advisory Council Chair).

Honored Guests: William E. Kirwan, USM Chancellor; Irwin Goldstein, USM Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Not Present: Julie Zito (UMB Senate Chair); Michelle Demanche (UMES Senate Chair).

Dr. Chapin called the meeting to order at 10:00am and distributed copies of the meeting agenda. He noted that all campuses except UMB were represented

Dr. Chapin gave an overview of the meaning of shared governance at USM. He said that campus Senate Chairs should know what their campus mission statements are, whether their campuses have been following it, and whether they have achieved any of their stated goals. He distributed individual copies of the campus mission statements. Some Chairs expressed disappointment that they had never before seen their own campus’ document.

Dr. Chapin said that the CUSF chair sometimes listens to grievances from the campuses, but often the grievants haven’t followed their own campus procedures. Sometimes the campus president has final authority and CUSF cannot intervene. Sometimes, however, real violations of Board of Regents policies do occur. An example of such a case would be a tenured professor who is terminated on short notice. CUSF has recently set up a procedure for dealing with these violations. Dr. Chapin distributed copies of this procedure and promised to send electronic copies in the near future.

Dr. Chapin introduced the topic of high textbook prices. He distributed copies of a letter which Dr. Siegel, at the request of the Student Council, had written asking USM faculty to help keep these costs down. Dr. Siegel spoke briefly, saying that the students were pleased with her letter, and asked the Senate Chairs to distribute copies of the letter to all their faculty.

Dr. Chapin then asked everyone at the meeting to briefly introduce themselves, and for the Senate Chairs to give a brief overview of the state of shared governance on their own campus. It was agreed that these remarks would not be included in the meeting minutes. The Senate Chairs’ remarks were suspended when Chancellor Kirwan and Vice Chancellor Goldstein joined the meeting at 11:08am.

Dr. Kirwan talked about the current status of USM’s Effectiveness and Efficiency (E&E) initiative. He said that there has been a lot of activity on this, and that the efforts have been appreciated by the Governor and Legislature. Dr. Kirwan said he was pleased that USM received a 6% increase in general funds this year. Part of the reason for this success was the environment created by the E&E effort. Dr. Kirwan said that he is not aware how the individual campuses are implementing E&E. He said that the Regents want E&E to continue, now with a greater emphasis on effectiveness than on how to save money. The Chancellor said that we are near the limit of finding new ways to save money that would not be counterproductive. He said that one way to increase effectiveness would be to shorten students’ time to degree. This could be done, for example, by providing the students with better advising to help them stay on track toward their degrees. Advanced placement credits would also help. The next step now is for campus administrative vice presidents to get together with Vice Chancellor Joe Vivona to prepare an agenda, including strategies for the next phase. Dr. Kirwan said that a lot of the activity now will be campus-specific, and faculty senates must help to shape the agendas for future campus E&E efforts. Dr. Siegel expressed disappointment that mission statements on some campuses, including her own, were being developed without faculty participation.

Dr. Kirwan then invited questions on his remarks so far.

Dr. Monteiro asked how the impending change in the status of the Institute for Human Virology (IHV) would affect the future of UMBI. Dr. Kirwan said that he was working directly with Drs. Gallo (IHV), Hunter-Cevera (MBC) and Ramsey (UMB) to develop a proposal for the Regents. An advisory council of outside experts would be appointed to help with this effort.

There were a number of questions about costs, budgets, etc. In response to a question, the Chancellor said that USM was asking the state for extra money to help cover the expected higher heating costs this winter.

In response to another question, the Chancellor said that USM will be proposing to allocate funds according to student enrollment. He will ask the state for extra funds to help support the costs of enrollment growth. Without that funding increase, USM may not be able to take the extra students. He is going to make a big push on this with the legislature.

Dr. Kirwan said that he expects FY07 to also be a good budget year for USM. He hopes for a 7% budget increase next year. He expects a tuition increase of about 5%, perhaps less on some campuses. Dr. Siegel asked if the projected tuition increase is public information. The Chancellor said yes, but the 5% figure is still only an estimate.

Dr. Richardson asked about the effect of election-year proposals on the budget. Dr. Kirwan said that historically, budgets tend to look better in election years, but a possible deficit situation is expected in about two years. Dr. Kirwan noted that USM is now developing a 4-year budget strategy in coordination with the state.

Dr. Kirwan said that there is a national crisis concerning access to higher education and income levels. Low-ability, wealthy people are more likely to be educated than poor, high-ability people. Students with the lowest income are graduating with the most debt.

Dr. Monteiro asked when the frozen fund balance will be unfrozen The Chancellor answered that there is no freeze, but USM needs to keep its fund balance at a certain level in order to maintain its bond rating.

Dr. Gates asked about deferred maintenance. Dr. Kirwan said that the Regents will adopt a new policy that each year the campuses should be spending 2%, up from the current 1%, of their budget on maintenance. This increase will be phased in over several years. It will take about 10 years to overcome the current maintenance backlog.

Dr. Siegel asked Dr. Kirwan whether he agrees that the state contribution (currently 7.25%) to optional retirement programs is too low. Dr. Kirwan said yes, USM has supported an increase to 9.5%, and came close to getting it last year before it died somewhere in the legislative process.

In response to a comment from Dr. Brannigan, Dr. Kirwan said that everyone is disappointed with the recent cuts in health insurance benefits. He said that this is a national problem, and that the state has not begun to address this issue for next year.

Following a short break for participants to get some food, and the meeting continued through lunch.

The Chancellor talked about the Office of Civil Rights ( OCR) agreement. Maryland is one of about 23 states that have been required to make certain changes in order to lift certain sanctions and/or oversight by the OCR. A report is now being developed and it is hoped that the OCR will soon make a favorable decision soon to remove their order. The OCR is looking for a good faith effort to desegregate and have equity of funding. Dr. Goldstein said that an important committee dealing with this issue will meet within the next week. This is a statewide issue, not limited to USM.

Next, the Chancellor talked about early admission to college by high school students, and the role being played by community colleges. Many high school seniors have time on their hands and could qualify for early admission or advanced placement. Some USM campuses have already started teaching courses to high school seniors. The Shady Grove center may be used as a site for some of this teaching. This is a good thing, because students with AP credits can graduate sooner. Ability to pay is a big factor here. Dr. Goldstein noted that federal financial aid is not available for these students. This issue is being worked on by educators.

There was a discussion of what t to do about poorly-prepared high school students, and the role of community colleges in remedial education.

Dr. Chapin asked how campus shared governance bodies can be more involved in budget processes. Many decisions about budgets are made without consulting them. Dr. Kirwan noted that every campus must have a shared governance process and that the campuses have a lot of autonomy. Dr. Chapin asked if it’s proper for faculty to be appointed to committees by administrators. Dr. Kirwan said that it’s acceptable in some cases, but shared governance bodies should be elected by their constituents, not appointed by administrators. Dr. Langdon noted that some shared governance policies exist only on paper. Dr. Kirwan said it was possible to appeal policy violations to the Chancellor said you could appeal to the Chancellor. Dr. Siegel said that CUSF would be glad to try to help in such situations, perhaps by pointing out how other campuses are working. Dr. Kirwan endorsed this idea. Dr. Siegel said that Martha said that academics, not financial people, should be running the campuses. Dr. Kirwan agreed, saying that the provost should be the number two administrator on each campus.

Dr. Chapin thanked Dr. Kirwan for coming to the meeting. Drs. Kirwan and Goldstein left meeting at 1:15pm, and the overviews by Senate Chairs of the state of shared governance on their own campus resumed.

Dr. Organ described the situation at BSU, with emphasis on the faculty’s desire to participate in the selection of their next president and other campus administrators.

There was a long and energetic general discussion of how open a presidential search should be. Some said that the regents will take over the process, regardless of what the campus people think. A discussion followed.

Dr. Rodgers talked about the situation at UMCES. He said that faculty were heavily involved in the development of a 5-year plan for UMCES, and also did an internal evaluation of all the campus administrators. They are about to review their ART policies.

Dr. Raider said that UMUC is new at shared governance but they are making progress. Faculty is represented on the Presidential Search Committee and had substantial input into the position description. All seats in the recent election were contested. They are trying to move from the stage in shared governance where the administration communicates decisions for comment to the stage where faculty are involved in the decision making process.

Dr. Chapin called for a close in the discussion of shared governance on the campuses, and the meeting adjourned at 2:00pm.