Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of April 18, 2006


CUSF Meeting

April 18, 2006


Present: Martha Siegel (CUSF Chair, TU); E.W. Chapin (UMES Faculty Assembly Chair, CUSF Vice Chair and Co-Chair of meeting); Lee Richardson (Past CUSF Chair, UB); David Parker (CUSF Chair-Elect, SU); John Collins (Secretary, UMBI); Vincent Brannigan (CUSF At-Large, UMCP); John McMullen (CUSF At-Large, FSU); Patricia Alt (CUSF At-Large-Elect, TU); William Stuart (CUSF At-Large-Elect, UMCP); Frank Alt (UMCP); Alcott Arthur (CSU; alternate for Fred Medinger, CSU Senate Chair); Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU); Zane Berge (UMBC); Dennis Coates (UMBC); Memo Diriker (SU); R. Michael Garner (SU); Sylvester J. Gates (UMCP Senate Chair-Elect); Denny Gulick (UMCP); John Gustafson (UMUC); H. Rodger Harvey (UMCES Senate Chair); Marymal Holmes (BSU); A. Deloris James (UMUC); Robert Kauffman (FSU Senate Chair); Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC); Joan Langdon (BSU); Joyce Currie Little (TU); Mervyn Monteiro (UMBI Senate Chair); Elizabeth Mulroy (UMB); Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES); Alfred Raider (UMUC University Advisory Council Chair); Kim Rotruck (FSU); Philip Rous (UMBC Faculty Senate Chair); Joyce Shirazi (UMUC); Timothy Sullivan (TU Faculty Senate Chair); Joyce Tenney (UMBC); Paul Thut (UMB).

Not Present: Michele Demanche (UMES Senate Chair); Paul Flexner (SU); Stephanie Gibson (UB); Lori Harris (CSU); Stephen Jacobs (UMB); Rosemary Jagus (UMBI); Raymond Morgan (UMCES, alternate); John Organ (BSU Faculty Senate Chair); Maarten Pereboom (SU Senate Chair); Douglas Pryor (TU); Frank Robb (UMBI, alternate); Robert Scott (FSU, alternate); J. Court Stevenson (UMCES); Harry Womack (SU, alternate); Patricia Young (UMBC, alternate); Jay Zimmerman (TU, alternate); Julie Zito (UMB Senate Chair).

Honored Guests: Nicholas Allen, UMUC Provost; Irwin Goldstein, USM Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; William E. Kirwan, USM Chancellor; John Wolfe, USM Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Diversity Initiatives and Academic Leadership Development.

Dr. Siegel called the meeting to order promptly at 10:00 am. She introduced UMUC Provost Nicholas Allen, who welcomed the group and gave an overview of UMUC’s activities and mission. He said that shared governance is four years old at UMUC. The faculty, staff and students each have their own governance groups and elect representatives to the UMUC University Council. He is pleased with the results of the recent review of UMUC. He answered a few questions from the group.

At 10:20am, Dr. Siegel called for a round of introductions around the room.

The minutes of the March 13, 2006 CUSF meeting were approved unanimously without changes.

At 10:25am, Dr. Siegel called on Dr. Chapin to conduct elections for the 2006-2007 CUSF Executive Committee. While the voting was taking place, Dr. Siegel called on Dr. Collins to review and summarize the proposed CUSF By-Laws changes, which were then approved unanimously without further discussion. The revised By-Laws, which do not need to be approved by the Board of Regents, will be posted on the CUSF web site.

Dr. Siegel began the Chair’s report with a discussion of the pension and COLA situation. Much dissatisfaction was expressed with the latest COLA/merit pay outcome. Dr. Siegel is putting together a letter to the Regents, Chancellor, etc., describing CUSF’s position. Dr. Wolfe suggested that faculty demonstrate the economic impact of their contributions in order to have a more significant effect on members of the Maryland General Assembly. He noted that faculty work affects many people, not just the faculty themselves. CUSF delegates noted that the Chancellor and campus presidents did not seem to speak up for the faculty on this issue.

The Chair’s report was briefly interrupted to announce that Dr. Chapin (UMES) had been reelected Vice Chair and Dr. Collins (UMBI) had been reelected Secretary for another year. Dr. Chapin reminded the group that the candidates for At-Large members of the 2006-2007 CUSF Executive Committee were Drs. Pat Alt (TU), Coates (UMBC), James (UMUC) and Stuart (UMCP). It was noted that a majority vote of the 29 CUSF delegates present would be required for election. Drs. Alt and Stuart were elected on the first ballot.

At 11:05am, Dr. Siegel introduced the issue of benefits (especially health benefits) for non-tenure-track (NTT) instructional faculty. Dr. Wolfe took up this topic, as well as the issue of tenure track flexibility, e.g., extending the clock to as long as ten years, stopping the clock, and exit-reentry for child care.

Dr. Goldstein joined the meeting at 11:25am and began his report a few minutes later. He talked about the recent legislative session and the political activities of this election year. A question has arisen as to whether USM’s commitment to civil rights would continue. The OCR was supposed to visit USM this spring but they haven’t done it yet. Dr. Goldstein mentioned the "Hug bill," the Carol Twig issue and health benefits for NTT faculty. His report concluded at 11:45am.

At 11:50am, Dr. Pat Alt was called on to report on proposed changes to the policies and procedures Regents Faculty Awards. Her committee recommends that there be a faculty nominating committee (e.g., a subcommittee of the faculty senate) for each campus, rather than leaving this to presidents and provosts. A wide-ranging discussion of the proposed changes continued until 12:15pm. They were approved in principle, with the understanding that minor further changes were still needed. The matter was tabled so that people could get their lunch and begin their discussion with the Chancellor (who had joined the meeting at noon).

Following a short break for people to get their lunches, following a round of introductions, the Chancellor began his remarks at 12:35pm. He thanked everyone for their service on CUSF and the campus Senates. He noted that he was feeling the effects of a cold, and conveyed an apology from Regent Nevins, who was too ill to attend the meeting. He said that USM had enjoyed great success in the recently concluded session of the Maryland General Assembly. USM received a 12.5% increase in general funds, the largest in its history. He noted that this figure does not include the COLA for USM (and other State) employees, which would bring the total increase to 14.5%. The capital fund was also larger than expected. He said that the Effectiveness and Efficiency initiative had created a lot of good will in Annapolis. In addition, the USM budget requests were well aligned with legislative priorities such as enrollment growth.

The Chancellor mentioned that membership in the Board of Regents was in a state of flux. The Governor’s two new appointments were not confirmed by the Senate. Regents Hug and Rosapepe would be leaving on June 30, while others would be continuing on an interim basis.

The Chancellor next talked about employee benefits. The State will continue to pay 80% of the health insurance costs, but last year there was a large increase in co-pays. He said that the COLA cap is a "difficult" issue, and that we must work harder next year to impress upon the legislators that the resulting salary compression is lamentable. On the issue of ORPs, for which the State pays only 7.5%, (nowhere near the 11-12% national average) he said that he will propose a phase-in of 1-2% per year until we match the national average.

The Chancellor noted that the legislators gave a lot more money to the HBCUs this year. He also discussed the ill-advised tradeoff between tuition and health benefits. Funds to cover a one-year tuition freeze for in-state students became available because fewer prescriptions than anticipated were filled due to the inability of many employees to cover the higher co-pays enacted last year.

At 1:10pm, the Chancellor asked for questions from the group. Dr. Brannigan emphasized that (1) cuts in prescription drug insurance were paying for next year’s tuition freeze, and (2) USM faculty salaries have eroded significantly compared to federal workers and peers in other institutions, at the same time that the efficiency and effectiveness initiative has increased faculty workloads. In response, the Chancellor mentioned that USM has made significant progress toward bringing USM faculty salaries to the 85th percentile compared to peer institutions. Dr. Brannigan then pointed out to him that this percentile was based on mean, not median salaries, and is skewed by the salaries of newly hired faculty and a small number of highly-paid faculty. Dr. Garner emphasized that salaries for most USM faculty are stagnant and that no one in USM seems to be doing anything about it. He noted that, while USM gets a 14.5% increase, faculty get 2% or less. Dr. Coates asked the Chancellor what his priorities are. In response, the Chancellor said that his main priority was to build high-quality institutions. It was agreed that this requires more effort to attract and retain good quality faculty.

Dr. Siegel brought up the question of five-year presidential reviews (conducted in addition to the annual reviews conducted by the Chancellor). The five-year reviews would be done by other presidents (or retired presidents). The reviewers are supposed to meet with the "executive committee" of the campus senate, among others. In response to a question from Dr. Langdon, Dr. Goldstein said that Dr. Wolfe would be spending most or all of his time on diversity and leadership issues. Dr. P. Alt asked about the periodic review of Provosts.

At 2:00pm, Dr. Siegel thanked the Chancellor for coming in spite of his illness. He thanked the group and said it was a useful discussion, then left the meeting.

It was then agreed to bring the Regents Faculty Award report off the table. After further discussion, it was agreed that the report be approved in principle pending adjustments by Dr. P. Alt and the Executive Committee.

The group expressed its appreciation to Dr. Gustafson and UMUC for the excellent arrangements and facilities provided for the meeting. Dr. Siegel urged everyone to come to the May 18 meeting at Salisbury University.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30pm.