Council of University System Faculty

Executive Meeting: Monday, December 1, 2008

A. Chairman Bill Chapin called the meeting of the Council of University System Faculty (CUSF) Executive Committee to order at 12:40 p.m. on Monday, December 1, 2008 at the University System of Maryland (USM), Adelphi, in the Conference Room. Those in attendance were: Chairman Bill Chapin, Secretary Joyce Shirazi, Past-Chairman John Collins, 2008-2009 At-Large Officers Joyce Tenney and Bill Stuart. Efforts to dial-in Vice Chair Martha Siegel were not successful.

B. The August 2008 CUSF Executive Committee Meeting minutes were unanimously approved. (Moved by Joyce Shirazi and seconded by Joyce Tenney).

C. Last Minute Agenda Adjustments. Bill Chapin noted the following:
1. The budget estimates will come out on December12th and then the Governor and legislature will decide what to do. More than likely (a) almost surely no state merit increases next year, (b) no growth in dollars for assisting students, (c) no growth in dollars for facilities renewal, (d) furloughs back on the table, (e) the campuses can decide on how they do it; this is the hope. The first round of cuts is permanent and is to the base, but the cuts in this second round are not.
2. The CUSF Executive Committee will continue to meet at 12 noon, but in the Conference Room and not the Chancellor’s Room.

D. Reports from Other Meetings -- AAAC, Presidents, BOR Committees.
1. BOR Finance Committee, Presidents Meeting: Joyce Tenney reported from the BOR Finance Committee and they were looking at some of the administrative issues around the ORP’s and updating policies on that. She suggested that this might be the time to bring up the suggestion from UMBC to add in the real estate bond fund and inflation linked bond fund sections of TIAA CREF, as the BOR was looking at ORP administrative issues. Bill Chapin added that we can bring this up at the general body meeting but if they look at cutting our benefits, this may not matter. Rosario van Daalen’s comments turned us off against any additional benefits changes, when she spoke at the CUSF-CUSS meeting last year. Highlights of Rosario van Daalen’s Comments are shown in the Appendix. They also had to review the nepotism policy to make it current. “Family Member” is defined and there is an exception. This was sent to the Presidents and we have it. They will act on it a week from Friday on December 12 and the BOR will vote on it on December 12. The only thing that came up from the Presidents was regarding domestic partners, which was tabled because the domestic partners’ benefits have not started.
2. Bill Stuart’s Meetings: Bill Stuart noted that in general for all the committees, nobody is doing anything. They seem to be waiting for the shoe to fall. Moreover with STEM, it is not clear if students need high powered math or regular math. (a) Education Policy of BOR; deficit issues that need to be addressed; textbook decisions; the textbook submit.
(b) P-20 Committee; Bill Stuart got all the materials. (c) Bohanan Commission; Norman Augustine ran the show. UMCP president was there. All agreed to work in executive committee fashion. TU, UB, BSU complained about the DeVry issues.
3. Bill Chapin noted issues covered in Martha Siegel’s report because she was attending the AAAC meeting. (a) How merit money is handled; (b) UMCP, SU, FSU stressed the importance of faculty input, but no one else wanted to talk about it; (c) Chairs Workshop will be held in either late April or early May; (d) Closing the Achievement Gap; declaring certain courses as bottlenecks, looking at pass/fail rates for some instructors. Bill Stuart added that at UMCP no one wants to chair the committee charged with creating a general education program (CORE) for the university. The UMCP faculty Senate must find someone willing to chair the committee.

E. Agenda for the December 16th meeting at UB; Bill Stuart noted that we should add the surveillance issue to agenda because it is not appropriate on campus.

F. Distance access - IVN at UMCP? Bill Chapin suggested we have IVN access at the UMCP meeting. We should declare that IVN is available. Bill Stuart will have to set it up for an IVN location.

G. Guests atGeneral Meetings: Bill Chapin noted that we need to make plans for possible visits by Joe Vivona, the BOR Chair, and/or Rosario van Daalen to our meetings, just to name a few. Joyce Tenney asked if we are going to have the CUSS-CUSF meeting this year. Bill Chapin noted that he will check with CUSS Chair Larry Lauer.

H. The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

APPENDIX- Highlights of Rosario van Daalen’s Comments
Joint CUSF/CUSS General Body Meeting Minutes (abbreviated)
UMCP, Stamp Student Union, Margaret Brent Room, 2nd Floor
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

C. Dan Mote, Jr. (UMCP, President), Brit Kirwan (USM, Chancellor), Irv Goldstein (USM, Senior Vice Chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs), John Wolfe (USM, Associate Vice Chancellor, CUSS, Chair), Rosario van Daalen (USM, Human Resources Officer, Chancellor's Liaison to CUSS), JoAnn Goedert (MD Office of the Attorney General, Chief Counsel/Assistant Attorney General), Vince Brannigan (UMCP, Professor Emeritus)


Patti Cossard: Will there be monies available to address these issues?
Chancellor Kirwan: I think the State has bought into having to pay for sustainable energy efficient buildings. One idea on the table is to create a revolving fund that campuses would apply for based on future savings. We are pressing to make sure funds are appropriated to address energy initiatives. The Governor has a talk planned that will address these issues with that standard. I am on the committee. There will be initiatives coming from the campuses.
Larry Lauer (CUSS): Are the Regents moving on this?
Chancellor Kirwan: The Board of Regents will congratulate all the campuses rather than leading them. I will ask Don Boesch to hold to this because of his experience with advisory committees for faculty and staff.
Larry Lauer (CUSS): There is a teleworker initiative to help with this.
Chancellor Kirwan: They are looking at it in a very high way.
Rosario van Daalen: This is a teleworking agreement that is being worked on at the system and it will analyze who can telework.
Frank Robb: The achievement gap has been narrowed down in South Africa based on targets of achievement.
Chancellor Kirwan: We actually have a goal in mind of 2015 for a half reduction. Campuses will have targets and the Presidents’ evaluations will be based partly on that.
Frank Robb: Pre-Freshman is the way it was addressed in South Africa.
Chancellor Kirwan: Too few are entering college. However, when we admit them, it is up to us to help solve the problem. But correct preparation before is important.
Bill Stuart: Concerning P-20, do you know how the new P-20 will work versus K-16?
Chancellor Kirwan: The Governor will be the Chair with five Co-Chairs. High stakes testing has widened the gap of the 12th year and the 1st year in college. The current test is a 9th grade test.
Mike Garner: I agree with the Green Initiative and the entire state of Tennessee has made progress, also Ball State University. We need a Green Tsar who can work with the entire system.
Chancellor Kirwan: That is one of the things that Don Boesch will be. However, he will be more of a coordinator and facilitator.
Vince Brannigan: Achievement gap, racism, confederate flag issues, etc., have never been sorted out. We need to address and close some of these issues.
Chancellor Kirwan: There have been many collaborative grants with BSU, CSU, and others. Also there have been a number of joint proposals and programs.
Jay Zimmerman: With regard to high stakes testing, every high school district is different. Administering the tests also has us talking about them.
Chancellor Kirwan: I commend math teachers for all the excellent communication across the system. The admissions standards have risen dramatically. But looking at the email notes, mathematics faculty are concerned even about teaching a lower standard of calculus. ‘So the problem is at the high end as well as the low end.
Kim Rotruck: Career changers whohave the mathematics knowledge base cannot afford to leave their paying positions for a year or more to gain employment as mathematics teachers. We need tofinancially support career changerswho wish tomake the switch into education.

Chancellor Kirwan thanked us all and left at 12:01pm.


After lunch John Wolfe introduced Jo Ann Goedert for her presentation.

Jo Ann Goedert - Tuition Remission: definition of dependent

Jo Ann Goedert stated that the operating principle was that there should be no sea change, no child will lose benefits, and there will be an elimination or minimization of any complexity for the institution, under the Tuition Remission Policy. The policy 4.20 says “it permits tuition remission for dependent child . . . as defined in the IRS” . The benefit depends on when the employee started. Differences vary for home institutions, graduate studies, undergraduate studies, etc. There was a two-part test which included the particular relationships, etc.

The student must be a dependent, i.e. no tax files with anyone else, must have less than a certain income, and must be less than 24 years old. The student must make less than the exemption amount. Some faculty members have complained that benefits have been lost by some students, therefore Jo Ann Goedert and the surveyors are going to systematically find out what has been happening at the institutions and analyze it to make it consistent. Survey results will be in by the end of next month.


Vince Brannigan: Who made the decision to not extend the benefit, why?
Jo Ann Goedert: The idea was to make it clear but not to extend.
Patti Cossard: What is the definition of relatives?
Rosario van Daalen: ‘Children, adopted children and step children. Divorce will not exclude students. IRS makes that decision, not USM.
Vince Brannigan: Eligibility is not mentioned in policy. IRS exemption does not appear in the part. ‘Not under the definition of dependent. The support test is referenced, but not citizenship test, etc. IRS dependency is not tied. Nothing in the policy says that we defer to IRS. As for policy, under the policy in 1991 students could get doctorate degrees. Any suggestion that could rule those people out is a change. I resist any change to this. I disagree very strongly with what these policies are. There is nothing that says that we should change our old policy to this existing policy based on IRS.
Jo Ann Goedert: In every discussion that I have heard. We will have a grandfather policy which would include certain other people.
Mike Garner: It is my understanding that you have to provide more than half.
Jo Ann Goedert: The interpretation is if the child has been provided with more than half the support.
Jo Ann Goedert: The divorce agreement determines who gets the benefit. The student can not make more than the $3400 to be eligible.
Jay Zimmerman: Are you saying that my two sons can not make over $3400 per year, if they are going to qualify?
Mike Garner: My students make $20,000 over the summer.
Bill Chapin: Why don’t we just say for a dependent based on IRS, when we last agreed?
Rosario van Daalen: The graduate level courses are taxable.
Jo Ann Goedert: Going back 10 years can be murky. The object of this is to bring clarity.
Martha Siegel: Changes in IRS codes will keep changing our benefit. We need to stay with our own. What concerns me is who is being surveyed? There are people who are just giving up. Not everybody is Vince. How will you contact them to get good information?
Jo Ann Goedert: Have the number of employees getting tuition remission dropped off?
Bill Stuart: Throughout our deliberations, we should not confuse policy and code? All we ask is that changes in IRS codes do not change our benefits.
Jackie Ebber (CUSS): How is the survey being administered? At SU the HR staff has turned over.
Jo Ann Goedert: If we find that institutions can not respond, then we will have to change.
Joe Hill (CUSS): I am confused. It was supposed to be a benefit. Health care dropped, as well.
Jo Ann Goedert: That speaks for more clarity in the system.
David Parker: We are not totally following IRS in other areas. Why not just say that you are eligible if you pay for more than of the support, etc? Are they liable for the tax withholding if they are a child or spouse? Tax is a completely separate issue. There are not a lot of people. I don’t get it.
Jo Ann Goedert: I think that you are minimizing the whole problem. We will go back and look at these things.
Debra Geare (CUSS): Are Contingent II employees eligible for tuition remission?
Rosario van Daalen: It depends on the university

Councils’ Support of USM FY 09 Budget Requests

John Wolfe stated that CUSS and CUSF will write a joint letter supporting the budget. Bill Chapin wondered if the CUSS and CUSF legislative committees could get together to do this. John Wolfe requested that the two representative committees put their heads together and write two separate letters - one supporting the Governor and one supporting the budget.

Service Commitment

John Wolfe addressed the issue of supporting staff employees. Judy Sabalauskas (CUSS) asked to have an endorsement of staff involvement incorporated in PADS for exempt employees. Joe Hill (CUSS) stated that some staffers do not get evaluations from their supervisors and that they would like to have faculty to support them in obtaining evaluations. Bill Chapin asked if there should there be a policy. Rosario van Daalen responded that it is there and they still can not get raises. The evaluations should be tools of communication. The employees do not know how they are performing and they are fired. Janice Vienna (CUSS) said that there is a disparity. The evaluations are not done, or not done correctly. Vince Brannigan said that there was a glitch because faculty do not have supervisory responsibility for staff. However, Rodger Harvey stated that was not true, because the employees oftentimes work directly for faculty, especially for research-funded projects. Bill Stuart asked who makes the decisions for raises. Rosario van Daalen noted that sometimes just the supervisor makes the decision. Dave Parker added that the Presidents should make sure that everyone gets evaluated.

Another service commitment concern, as mentioned by Martha Siegel is that attendance at council meetings is important, but for CUSF some representatives we get no support at some institutions. Vince Brannigan said that they do not want you to attend the meetings. Rosario van Daalen added that she has told every CUSS member that they should get reimbursed from the President’s Office. Dave Parker stated that at SU he has never had a problem, because if he needs a car, he goes to the motor pool to obtain it. CUSF members were urged to seek travel funds to CUSF meetings from their Presidents’ Offices.