Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee Meeting of October 9, 2006


CUSF Executive Committee Meeting

October 9, 2006

Present:, David Parker (Chair), E. William Chapin (Vice Chair), John Collins (Secretary), William Stuart (At-Large) Martha Siegel (Past Chair)

Guest: Irwin Goldstein, Senior Vice Chancellor, USM Office of Academic Affairs

The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00am

Dr. Parker initiated a discussion on educational outcomes assessment, including the Spellings Commission, the Carol Twigg initiative and S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It was remarked that we are now working in the S.T.E.M era. The Spelling Commission seems to be looking for a "one size fits all" magical instrument that gives a grade for each campus that can be used for comparison to all other campuses. The Middle States accreditation process uses a different approach, with 10 to15 different items (e.g., diversity) that establish the "climate" of a place. All agree that accountability, especially measurement of student outcomes, is essential. A problem is that not everyone is using the same outcome measurements.

Dr. Siegel initiated a discussion on planning for the upcoming Department Chairs Workshop

As part of his report, Dr. Goldstein reminded the group that USM’s status with the OCR issue is still undecided. He also noted that new presidents have been installed at FSU and BSU. The new BSU president seems receptive to shared governance.

There was a discussion of the usefulness of SATs and other admissions criteria. SU, like many other campuses, is considering making the SATs optional. A general discussion of learning outcomes measurements continue until about noon.

Dr. Goldstein reported that ongoing labor negotiations with staff unions are moving slowly, due to uncertainty about the 2006 election results.

Dr. Siegel brought up the issue of early retirement, and how this may cause a shortage of faculty in a time of increased student enrollment. Dr. Goldstein said that this not a pressing issue now.

The issue of health benefits for PT-NTT faculty was briefly discussed. One problem is that these faculty don’t qualify for retirement benefits and thus lose their health benefits when they leave employment.

At 12:10pm Dr. Parker announced that he had invited BOR Chair Cliff Kendall to a CUSF meeting, possibly the BSU meeting on November 15. He also noted that Pat Florestano is a very good MHEC Chair, but may not be reappointed after her term runs out next year.

Dr. Parker asked whether USM has policies on (1) the awarding of posthumous degrees, and (2) firing of tenured faculty for cause. A brief discussion followed.

Dr. Collins agreed to stand in for Dr. Parker at the October 17 MHEC-FAC meeting. [NOTE: it was later agreed that Dr. Collins would continue representing CUSF at these meetings for the remainder of the academic year.]

The organization of CUSF Committees was discussed. Every CUSF delegate is expected to serve on at least one committee. Dr. Collins agreed to collect information on CUSF members’ committee assignment preferences and to compile a list of committee memberships and agendas for 2006-2007.

Plans for the October 13 CUSF meeting at FSU were developed. Suggested agenda items for that meeting included Student Research Day in Annapolis, textbook prices, the Regents Faculty Awards and the January 16 Department Chairs Workshop. It was agreed that Dr. Parker would send a letter of concern about textbook prices (similar to one sent last year by Dr. Siegel) to all members of CUSF, CUSS, the Student Council and AAAC.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:00pm.