Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of December 15, 2004

Council of University System Faculty

Minutes – December 15, 2004

University of Maryland College Park

Present: Lee Richardson (Chair); Martha Siegel (Immediate Past Chair); William Davidson (BSU); Marian H. Harris (BSU); Joan Langdon (BSU); Alcott Arthur (CSC); John C. McMullin (FSU); Marci McClive (FSU); Anjali Pandey (SU); Harry Womack (SU); David L. Parker(SU, ExCom); Patricia Alt (TU, ExCom); Douglas Pryor (TU); Stephanie Gibson (UB); Alan Kreizenbeck (UMBC); Jonathan Peters (UMBC);  Joyce Tenney (UMBC); John H. Collins (UMBI); Frank Robb (UMBI); Frank Alt (UMCP); Vincent Brannigan (UMCP, Vice Chair); Denny Gulick (UMCP); William Stuart (UMCP); E. W. Chapin (UMES, Secretary); A. Deloris James (UMUC); John Gustafson (UMUC); Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC); Joyce Shirazi (UMUC); Holly Stadtler (UMUC); Gertrude Eaton (USM).

The meeting was called to order at ten o’clock.

UMCP Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Bill Destler brought greetings from the campus.

The agenda was approved as distributed.  The minutes of the November meeting were approved with editorial adjustments.

Gertrude Eaton presented an extensive USM report on E & E issues, the work of the BOR, tuition and budgetary issues and the question of the regional centers.

The approval of the workload policy by the full BOR should be considered a good success.  In its recent meetings, the BOR has been considering the advisability of ‘dashboard indicators’ for monitoring the status of such data as minority achievement, recruitment yields, etc.  If this resulted in less time spent in producing more extensive reports, it could be of benefit to all the campuses.

Consideration at the BOR Educational Policy Committee continues on many of the E & E items discussed in earlier months at CUSF.  For the proposed policy for additional charges for students to take large numbers of credits worth of courses beyond their degree requirements, there seems to be considerable difficulty in getting the details correct in a usable and acceptable way. This Committee is also considering the end of the OCR oversight period, the BOR role in the Middle States accreditation processes and how this year’s round of unfunded mandates can be paid for.

The status and funding of the Regional Centers is proving to be a complex and difficult topic, particularly in cases in which teaching at a centered is divided between USM and non-USM faculty. Clear definitions of exactly what a Regional Center is, how academic credibility (e.g., maintaining the requirement that at least 50% of all faculty at such centers be full time) can be assured, how such centers relate to local community colleges (teaching, financing, competition, politics, etc.) could facilitate setting up centers that properly meet the needs of the communities, yet do not overstrain the resources available.

Given the lateness of the Governor’s budgetary process and the work of the legislature in December (possible veto override), it is not likely that tuition for the fall will be set until late January or early February.

Questions concerning the current wording of the rules for Regents’ Faculty Awards, apparently excluding faculty working outside the United States, were referred to the Faculty Affairs Committee, for a report by the next CUSF meeting if possible.

Frank Alt Proposed the following motion which was approved unanimously:

“CUSF strongly recommends that the Office of the Chancellor of USM make readily available to all faculty a comprehensive, plain language document disclosing all issues related to retirement plans and benefits with comparisons.  This document must fully articulate the advantages and disadvantages of each type of plan including health benefits and costs available to retirees.  Each campus must be required to present this document to each faculty member at their campus.”

The Chair was authorized to work on any final editorial adjustments to this motion before forwarding it to the administration.

During the reports from CUSF members on recent events, we learned:

The MHEC-FAC meeting on December 14 had better CUSF representation than in the recent past.  The question of the TU-UB joint MBA program arose at that meeting.  While there is BOR support for the program, a final decision in the matter is complicated by claimed considerations of competition with programs at HBI’s in the Baltimore area;

b.     The next six-month cycle for health-care decisions may be a prelude to extensive increases in costs to faculty at the beginning of the fiscal year in July, a time when many faculty are off-contract.  Consideration of this matter was referred to the Legislative Affairs Committee;

c.     Now that the Student Research Day will be taking place on March 1-3, we have a little more breathing space for dealing with the applications.  All CUSF members need to encourage participation from their campuses and also invite their legislators;

d.     The CUSF decisions concerning the Regents Faculty Awards are now complete.  The awards themselves will be made in March.  Consideration of combining the BOR ceremony giving these awards with that for staff awards is a consideration for future years, but received little support from those present;

e.     The Faculty Workload Report seems to be morphing itself nicely into an acceptable final form.  Better campus reporting of data reveals that most campuses have already reached the ‘midpoint of the allowed range’ criterion;

f.      Work toward a Lower Division Initiative at UB continues, but how this will play with the community colleges and where the needed resources for such an extensive change would come are unsure. It is critical that UB faculty continue to play their traditional role in determining academic policy in any development that takes place;

g.     Plans for the Department Chairs Workshop for January 20  are well under way, although the usual delays in determining exactly who will be coming from each campus are present. CUSF will be having a joint lunch with the Chairs.  [Your Secretary is to be demonstrating his split personality by attending both meetings simultaneously.]

h.     Shared governance at UMBI reportedly is currently lacking in policy and approved structure, a particular difficulty for a campus that, since it does not have tuition-paying students, has had more financial complications in recent years than campuses that have been able to make up for some of the deficiencies in state support through tuition increases.  Here and on other campuses at which shared governance is not as strong as is desirable, CUSF can provide consultancy, particularly at a time when E & E efforts, sometimes pictured as decrees coming down from on high, appear to be used to weaken the faculty share in governance.

i.       The meeting of the CUSF Executive Committee with the Senate Chairs will be scheduled for February.

During the lunch period, we specially recognized Patricia Smith, the widow of Carl Smith, a long-time CUSF member and member of the Executive Committee. 

In the afternoon, the System Appeals Procedure, distributed earlier, was unanimously approved.  The Chair will forward this CUSF Procedure to the Chancellor for his information.

The meeting was adjourned at about two o’clock.