Council of University System Faculty
Monday, October 1, 2007
USM (Adelphi), Chancellor’s Room
John Collins (UMBI, Chair), Bill Stuart (UMCP, Vice Chair), Alcott Arthur (CSU, At-Large), Martha Siegel (TU, At-Large), David Parker (SU, Past President), Bill Chapin (UMES), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC, Secretary)
Irv Goldstein (USM, Senior Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs),
Patrick J. (P.J.) Hogan (USM, Associate Vice Chancellor for Government Relations)
John Collins called the meeting to order at approximately 1p.m.
Closing the Achievement Gap Conference
Under Secretary of Education Sara Martinez Tucker, and Dr. Clifford Adelman, a senior associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy who worked for 30 years as a senior research analyst at the US Department of Education will attend the Closing the Achievement Gap Conference on November 14. Since the previously scheduled CUSS-CUSF meeting conflicts with this conference, the November 14 meeting at UMUC will be CUSF only. Martha Siegel suggested that the two executive committees meet in November.
New Chairs’ Workshop
The New Chairs’ Workshop may be postponed until August due to low demand. Martha Siegel noted that it is an important activity that USM does with CUSF. Irv Goldstein stated that USM does not have time to organize it in January, but he will consider the spring. Martha Siegel volunteered to coordinate it in the spring, but she would need some guidance. She would like to do it in conjunction with a regular CUSF meeting and will look for a date in the spring. It was agreed that the New Chairs’ Workshop would preferably be done in conjunction with our March 14 meeting at UMB. If that proves difficult, we will try to do it on April 17 (UMBC), or May 14 (SU) at the latest.
Missing CUSF Meeting Dates
There was no date set for the January CUSF meeting. The previously planned January 17 date is in conflict with an AAAC meeting. A motion was made to meet on January 18 by Martha Siegel, and seconded by Bill Chapin. We agreed to meet at USM in Adelphi. The Chancellor’s conference room was reserved for the January 18 full-member meeting. John Collins suggested meeting with the Chancellor and Senate Chairs. Therefore, we need to find a Friday during the academic year when the Chancellor can meet with us. John Collins reminded the CUSF Executive Committee that we need to schedule one or two meetings with the Chancellor and Senate Chairs. Such a meeting should be on a Friday during the academic year when the Chancellor can meet with us. John Collins noted that we can have two meetings with the Senate Chairs. The positive side of this is different semesters make it plausible. The negative is that there may not be new information. If fall is possible, we will have two meetings. If the Senate Chairs are not available, then we will have just one meeting -- in the spring. Martha Siegel checked with the Chancellor’s secretary during the meeting and confirmed that Friday, November 16 is available for the Chancellor to meet with us. Bill Stuart volunteered to be responsible for the room and obtaining the food, etc.
Irv Goldstein began his USM report at approximately 1:15p.m.
It appears that there will be a billion dollar cut by the Governor (proposed), unless it is rescinded by the legislature. However, USM is not included because he believes higher education and transportation are currently very important. There is a 7%-8% proposed corporate income tax with 1/2 of it committed to higher education (½ of 1% equivalent). It is the first time ever for a dedicated source of funds for higher education. This increase is in addition to the USM general services budget, which includes merit, etc. (the cost to open our doors). This is just step one. We also must show why higher education is important and P.J. Hogan is working on that part--- showing the importance of research, USM graduates, a much more educated community, etc. Martha Siegel noted that Annapolis 101 could perhaps help in that effort, given more space and a nice location.
There are three major initiatives that the Chancellor would like to champion. They are as follows . . . closing the achievement gap, competitiveness (STEM), and the Green Initiative.
Task Force on BRAC
MHEC sits on the BRAC task force. UMUC and TU are already involved in Aberdeen.
Grad Student Union
The Grad Student Union has become a hot topic. They are not allowed to unionize and they are trying to push a bill to do so because they are not happy about working hours, etc. The students at UMCP are very active. If the legislature passes a bill allowing this, then it is out of USM hands. There are both pros and cons, i.e. taxes, more tension between faculty and students, graduate and undergraduates, sometimes RA vs. TA could also be a problem of unionization.
Questions/Comments for Irv Goldstein
Martha Siegel noted that the TU graduate students went to the Faculty Senate about parking fees, and got it resolved. John Collins noted that COLA is not a part of our budget proposal and asked when will the faculty workload report become available? Irv Goldstein responded that the next draft will be discussed at the next Provosts meeting and may be ready within the next week or two. Perhaps we can discuss it at the October CUSF meeting. There has been an increase in the number of full-time faculty, but a drop in part-time faculty. Martha Siegel suggested that we have a workshop for the people who develop those numbers.
Irv Goldstein noted that he will be at the October 12 CUSF meeting.
P.J. Hogan joined us at 2p.m. as Irv Goldstein left the meeting. He informed us of his professional background and stressed that higher education has become his passion. He discussed his advocacy plan. He also gave us a handout that addressed this and how our faculty members need to contact their legislators.
Structural Deficit Origin
In 1996 due to boom, we had a 10% income cut. The rate was lowered and personal exemption doubled. In addition, $1.3 billion was given to education (including Thornton Bill), health care costs increased significantly, and the economy slowed down
The Governor has already made many cuts. Now he will work with groups to promote slots, a series of taxes, and other initiatives. Transportation, higher education, and health care are the only groups that will get increased funding.
Also in the Governor’s proposal is $55 million per year that will be added to higher education. Higher education, business & jobs are as important, as is transportation. Higher education is seen as part of the solution to this problem. It represents capital dollars reinvested. Things could be worse; fortunately we are not just looking at raising tuition. The Governor views tuition as a tax on people with lower incomes.
Questions/Comments for P.J.Hogan
Martha Siegel: In a year or two, if they slice the higher education budget, then is this increased funding in danger?
Answer: The $55 million per year is in addition. It is not the general fund.
Bill Stuart: Why is Maryland dismally poor in supporting higher education? We educate folks to work elsewhere. We are sending our best and brightest to other places.
Answer: It was never viewed as a high priority – bloated, fat, tuition can handle it – that is what many legislators thought. Now people have spoken about the importance of higher education and that a high school diploma is not enough. Higher education has a large constituency, but it never really mobilized. Therefore, as faculty, we now need to contact our legislators.
Bill Chapin: How do you discuss facility renewal?
Answer: This is the most neglected piece and in the long run it will cost the state more money. It is an investment.
Alcott Arthur: With the % increases comes greater accountability because of the increases. Is that the case?
Answer: There will definitely be a push for that, which includes increasing graduation rates, etc. There will be stat meetings with the Governor.
Joyce Shirazi: Are we competing with Thornton?
Answer: Thornton is mandated, but we are competing with it.
Martha Siegel: (1) Can you help us get a bigger room/location for Annapolis 101? (2) Is Annapolis 101 helpful?
Answer: (1) Yes. (2) There are five to eight receptions for a legislator to attend on any given day. Our priority should be to contact legislators. The more it happens, the better. For Annapolis 101 we must market it and dress it up more so that the legislators will notice it.
John Collins: Is there a regulation that states that state employees cannot lobby state legislators?
Answer: No. However, we should use personal letterhead, not state resources.
Martha Siegel: Is there anything else that should be done?
Answer: If every group within higher education would do as discussed today and as indicated on the handout, then that would be enough.
The meeting adjourned at 3 p.m.