Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of February 14, 2005

Council of University System Faculty
Minutes - February 14, 2005
Coppin State University

Present: Lee Richardson (Chair); Martha Siegel (Immediate Past Chair); Alcott Arthur (CSU); Linda Day Clark (CSU); Marci McClive (FSU); Anjali Pandey (SU); David Parker (SU, ExCom); Harry Womack (SU); Patricia Alt (TU); Douglas Pryor (TU); Jay Zimmerman (TU); Steve Jacobs (UMB); David A. Hardcastle (UMB); Paul Thut (UMB); Joyce Tenney (UMBC); John H. Collins (UMBI); Frank Robb (UMBI); Ray Morgan (UMCES); Court Stevenson (UMCES); Frank Alt (UMCP); Vincent Brannigan (UMCP, Vice Chair); William Stuart (UMCP); E. W. Chapin (UMES, Secretary); Emmanuel Onyedzili (UMES); A. Deloris James (UMUC); Joyce Shirazi (UMUC); Irv Goldstein (USM).

The meeting was called to order at ten o'clock.  Linda Davis Clark, the CSU Senate Chair, introduced CSU President Battle, who brought greetings from the campus

The agenda was approved as distributed.  The minutes of the January meeting were approved as distributed.

CUSF Chair Lee Richardson reminded us that the tuition increases in detail for all the campuses are now posted on the web. We need to be sure that all students on our campuses are familiar with the changes.

Details of possible health benefit cuts (and possible shifts of the burden of paying for health care to employees of up to $900 per person per annum) are not clear, but bear watching.  It may well be a better strategy to let our local legislative representatives know that we oppose such changes (rather than having extended debate about which particular plan we would prefer to be hurt by).

Proposals about academic freedom and its preservation on our campuses were referred to committee for discussion during the lunch period.

CUSF Vice Chair Vince Brannigan announced that the meeting of the Senate Chairs with the CUSF Executive Committee was now postponed until May 6.

CUSF Executive Committee Member Pat Alt reported that work is continuing on the question on a drug-free workplace and on questions of substance abuse policies for faculty.  The good news here is that there is agreement that policy for faculty does not have to mirror policy for staff, given the differing roles of the two groups.  It may be possible to have a system-wide policy that provides general definitions and requires campuses to have policies consistent with these definitions (particularly since some campuses seem to have policies in place). Questions of the punitive vs. rehabilitative aspects of any such policy require more attention.   

CUSF Past President Martha Siegel reminded us that the Student Research Days with the legislators will be conducted on March 1st through March 3rd.  The selection process is working well. It will be important to insure that students who agree to participate actually appear on the day assigned.  It would be good if a sufficient number of CUSF members could also be present.

USM Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Irv Goldstein reported that there will be a 4.8% increase in operating expenses from the state, if the Governor's budget is approved as proposed: the rest of the publicly-reported increase is mostly in set-asides and pass-throughs.  Proposed cuts in the Sellinger formula (which gives a certain amount of state support to private institutions in Maryland) are not clear in their effect, since many of these private institutions have hitherto provided political support for the USM budget since their state support is tied to the USM support. It does  appear, however,  that there is more general understanding in the legislature that past cuts to the USM budget have resulted in quality erosion, and that the BOR E & E measures can be viewed as a positive indication that the USM is taking its cost-saving responsibilities seriously.  The actually results of all this will not be known until the end of the legislative session.  Since Campus presidents do presentations before the legislature and many campuses have special daysin Annapolis, there may be opportunities for some CUSF presentations there.

The presentation at the New Chairs session last month by Bill Spann on calculating faculty workload was sufficiently impressive that the Executive Committee will consider having him repeat it for us at one of our later meetings.

The situation at the regional centers is diverse and complex. While there are questions about the status of UMCP faculty teaching at Shady Grove, it would appear that FSU faculty members teaching there have come from the regular ranks for many years. Irv Goldstein will check any discrepancies. Shady Grove is growing in student numbers and in demand for its programs. The Hagerstown Center's spring launch seems to have strong support from it locally-staffed advisory boards, but student numbers and eventual demand for programs will only become clear in later semesters.  There are difficult questions for all the centers about staffing, particularly concerning what institutions are eligible to take part (e.g. out-of-state institutions?) when the USM institutions are not able to provide desired programs.

The chart now available comparing pension programs for USM faculty is helpful but will require some adjustments before it is complete.  Suggestions in this area should go to Frank Alt.  

Distance Education Reports form the campuses are mostly in and will go to a USM committee run by Joe Vivona and Irv Goldstein.  There is still concern that, although some of these reports came from committees with some faculty as members, the shared governance process was not carried out on some campuses. [Similarly, several campuses reported little to no faculty input and  little to no shared governance input in recent E & E work.] Marci McClive reported that those working on distance learning questions are most interested in learning what is going on now, how distance learning can be managed for the benefit of institutions, faculty and students and not in establishing mandates. Questions arose suggesting the need for a state-wide council in this area. We passed a motion, proposed by Marci McClive, recommending the addition of distance learning as a category for the annual faculty teaching awards.

Frank Alt moved that CUSF strongly recommends that the Office of the Chancellor of USM investigate the feasibility of creating for all faculty a bank of sick leave. The sick leave for this bank will be created from the unused sick leave of those faculty who, upon retirement, are enrolled in optional retirement programs and from those retiring faculty in state pension systems with unusable sick leave. The motion passed.

All members were encouraged to submit to Alcott Arthur or to Bill Chapin nominations, including self-nominations, for the CUSF officer positions for the next academic year.  Nominations for President will be acted upon and closed at the March meeting. Elections for Chair, followed by nominations for the other offices will take place at the April meeting, with elections for the other offices at the May meeting. 

All members were also encouraged to send to Lee Richardson any addition suggestions for his Friday talk at the BOR meeting

The meeting was adjourned at about two o'clock.