Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Executive Committee and Senate Chairs Meeting of February 6, 2004


Combined Senate Chairs / CUSF Executive Committee

USM Headquarters – February 6, 2004

Present:, Vince Brannigan (UMCP, CUSF ExCom), Bill Chapin (UMES, CUSF ExCom), Joel Cohen (UMCP), Gertrude Eaton (USM), Mike Garner(SU, CUSF ExCom), Stephanie Gibson (UB), Irv Goldstein (USM), Art Huseonica (UMUC), Steve Jacobs (UMAB), Brit Kirwan (USM Chancellor), Randall Rhodes (FSU), Lee Richardson, (UB), Martha Siegel (TU, CUSF ExCom), Court Stevenson (UMCES)

The meeting was called to order shortly after ten o’clock.

Discussion of the proposed Policy on Appeals of Campus President’s Actions that violate Board of Regents or Institutional Policy revealed that the campus Senates wanted to be part of the process, but also supported the possibility of further appeals off-campus to CUSF or some other body in limited circumstances. There was also general agreement that the results of the appeals would generally end up on the Chancellor’s desk.

A discussion of merit pay for this year revealed some campuses with much faculty input into the decision process and some with virtually none. There was also a division about whether, in view of many years of no pay increases, the merit should generally be distributed relatively evenly or perhaps should be reserved primarily to reward merit that has occurred during the period when no merit funds were available.

Discussion of the matter of faculty evaluation of administrators revealed a similar disparity of procedures and perceptions. Only FSU had a fixed procedure for annual evaluations for most administrative levels. Some campuses organize evaluation around survey instruments while others appoint committees for the task. Some campuses were formerly much more active in such evaluation but have given it up because the value did not seem to be worth the considerable effort. Evaluation of Presidents by faculty seems to be almost everywhere nonexistent.

The currently available Issue Papers, prepared to allow intelligent discussion with legislators and others outside the university about university issues, were distributed and discussed. Suggested corrections and adjustments should be sent to the Executive Committee.

Similarly, knowledge of the testimony of institutional Presidents at the hearings in Annapolis for each campus is a good source of information for discussions with legislators. Lee Richardson will be organizing access to these as the text versions become available.

The student research show in Annapolis will present about thirty-five poster presentations (selected from about seventy applicants from across the system). This presentation for legislators needs the support of all campuses in helping to insure a large and suitable audience.

Chancellor Kirwan spoke on the anticipated level budget funding for the next year (unfortunately with about eighty million dollars worth of unfunded mandates). Several bills have been introduced in the legislature that would cap tuition increases in return for a guaranteed percentage increase in state funding for the university system. Some are more favorable to us in either recognizing increases in enrollment or in returning some of the extreme cuts of previous years, but there is no clarity as to which version will succeed. All institutions will have to continue finding way of demonstrating efficiency and effectiveness, and must deal carefully with the legislative understanding of faculty load.

The group agreed that it would be good to have a third session later this spring with the CUSF Executive Committee and the campus Senate chairs.

The meeting was adjourned at about one o’clock.