Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee Meeting of March 6, 2006


CUSF Executive Committee Meeting

March 6, 2006

USM Office, IVN Room

Present: Martha Siegel (Chair); E.W. Chapin (Vice Chair); John Collins (Secretary); Vincent Brannigan (At-Large); John McMullen (At-Large, via IVN).

Guests: James Sansbury (Associate Vice Chancellor, Financial Affairs, USM); Lee Richardson (Past Chair); A. DeLoris James (UMUC).

Dr. Siegel called the meeting to order at 12:40pm. She introduced James Sansbury, whom she had invited to talk with the group about tuition remission for employees of the USM campuses. This is an important benefit for everyone, both faculty and staff. Any proposed changes in this benefit should be reviewed by CUSF, before they are acted on by the Regents. There is concern about changes in benefits which may result from changes in IRS rules, but Mr. Sansbury said that this would not happen. Dr. Brannigan took issue with this statement and a lively dialog ensued. The major problem is the definition of qualifying dependents under IRS rules. This is a complicated issue. It was agreed that Mr. Sansbury would work with CUSF (and possibly CUSS) to quietly work out the new policy. He assured the group that USM has no intention to reduce tuition remission benefits. The group thanked Mr. Sansbury and he left the meeting at 1:10pm.

Chair’s Report:

1. Dr. Siegel went to today’s Chancellor’s Council meeting. Much of the discussion was on HB1634, which mandates parity in academic programs. This is an issue of particular concern to USM campuses which are located within a thirty-five-mile radius of Morgan State University.

2. Money has been budgeted on the campuses for a large number of students who have yet to be identified. There will probably be bigger classes, increased teaching loads and a greater number of unprepared students. Campus presidents are under pressure to recruit new students.

3. It appears that $19 million in "found money," arising from a decreased number of prescriptions filled by USM employees, may be used to fund a tuition freeze for 06-07. This could have disastrous effects in future years.

4. Dr. Siegel reported that she had presented the CUSF merit pay statement to the campus presidents. The presidents listened, but had no comments or questions.

5. Dr. Siegel encouraged everyone to look at bills pending before the General Assembly and consider testifying at legislative hearings. The pending Reading Legislation is one of the more significant bills.

7.Dr. Siegel said that she had invited Donald. Spicer, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Information Technology and USM Chief Information Officer, to the March 13 CUSF meeting to speak about the Online Learning Strategic Plan. Marci McClive (FSU) and DeLoris James have worked on the USM committee on distance education. Online teaching will be needed to help with the influx of new students, since there will be a shortage of classroom space. Faculty should have a say in how distance learning is carried out

The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:00pm.