Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of September 21, 2005


CUSF meeting

September 21, 2005

UMCES Horn Point

Present: M. Siegel (Chair); L. Richardson (Past Chair); J. Langdon (BSU); A. Arthur (CSU); J. McMullen (FSU, At-Large); R.M. Garner (SU); D. Parker (SU); H.Womack (SU); P. Alt (TU); D. Pryor (TU); J.C. Little (TU); J. Tenney (UMBC); D. Coates (UMBC); J.H. Collins (UMBI, Secretary); R. Jagus (UMBI); J.C. Stevenson (UMCES); H.R. Harvey (UMCES); V. Brannigan (UMCP, At-Large); W. Stuart (UMCP); E.W. Chapin (UMES, Vice Chair); E. Onyeozili (UMES); J. Gustafson (UMUC); A. Lagnese (UMUC).

Excused: K. Rotruck (FSU); L. Madden (SU); S. Jacobs (UMB); P. Thut (UMB); E. Mulroy (UMB).

Absent: S. Gibson (UB); F. Alt (UMCP); D. Gulick (UMCP); J. Shirazi (UMUC); A.D. James (UMUC).

Guests: Don Boesch (President, UMCES); Irv Goldstein (USM Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs)

The meeting was called to order at 10:00am. Court Stevenson introduced UMCES President Don Boesch, who graciously welcomed CUSF and gave a brief history of UMCES. He praised Dr. Siegel as one of the most effective and respected leaders of CUSF. He suggested that CUSF could promote more interaction of USM faculty with members of the Board of Regents. Specifically, he suggested that Regents be invited to spend a few hours with faculty as they do their regular jobs.

Dr. Siegel called on those present to introduce themselves and then began following the regular agenda.

The minutes f the May 13, 2005 CUSF meeting were unanimously approved without any changes.

Report from USM: Dr. Goldstein reported that USM has adopted a new, four-year budget planning process. The campus presidents have met with Vice Chancellors Goldstein and Vivona, and later with the Chancellor, over the summer to discuss campus needs. These discussions were very good and illuminating. They included all sorts of issues regarding what the campuses will need to achieve their goals during the next few years. The four-year budget planning process arose directly from these discussions. The plan has been approved by the Regents and will soon go to the legislature and governor for review and approval. The process will probably continue year-to-year, always looking ahead four years.

It is time for the campuses to submit their new five-year mission statements. To eliminate unnecessary work, each campus has been asked whether they plan to change its current mission statement. UMUC’s and UB’s mission statements will definitely change, but UMCP’s may not. Dr. Goldstein asked whether campus people (faculty, senates, etc.) should be involved in this process.

MHEC has two kinds of committees in the process of reviewing OCR statements. Committee 1 deals with academic areas, and helps to prepare a final report to MHEC on what has been achieved in the past five to eight years. Committee 1 also has a staff work group to help them. Committee 2 deals with financial issues, such as enhancing the HBCUs. Do the HBCUs now feel viable and competitive with other institutions? There will be a hearing on the HBCU mission statements. The process will be completed by January, and a final report summarizing the five years will be given to OCR, who will then site visit USM.

Dashboard indicators: The provosts have all seen them, and now Dr. Goldstein will work on them with CUSF. There's nothing new. They were prepared by each campus. They're used to compare each campus with its peers, not to compete against one another within USM. Dr. Siegel noted that most campuses have not seen their dashboard indicators. She also asked who the peers are.

To conclude his report, Dr. Goldstein noted that USM is in the final stages of choosing a new Associate VCAA. This person will deal with diversity issues, workshops for senior administrators, legal issues, audits, contracts and grants, and many other difficult problems.

Dr. Womack reported that class sizes at SU are growing, faculty are expected to teach in the classroom more and more, students are complaining that they’re not getting their money’s worth, while campus budgets and salaries are not keeping up. Dr. Goldstein replied that USM itself is very understaffed. Dr. Chapin asked what might happen if a non-USM institution complains to MHEC about the USM OCR agreement? Dr. Goldstein replied that OCR, not MHEC, decides whether USM is in compliance with the OCR agreement. In response to a question from Ms. Tenney, Dr. Goldstein said that there will be another iteration of the efficiency and effectiveness report, trying to figure out what will be the most helpful and do the least harm. Dr. Garner noted that there is not enough money to attract new, qualified faculty. A lot of existing faculty will be retiring in the next few years, and it will cost a lot (e.g., higher salaries for new faculty) to replace them.

Chair’s report: Dr. Siegel urged all CUSF delegates to sign up for one or more committees. A sign-up sheet was distributed. She urged everyone to check the membership status of their campus and fill vacant positions. She asked everyone to check on their campus mission statements and dashboard indicators (a set of warning lights for comparisons with peer institutions). She noted that CUSS has been discussing recent health insurance benefit reductions, and CUSF should be the same. She suggested that one or more CUSF standing committees work on this issue. She noted that some campuses are not submitting enough nominations for Regents faculty awards. She asked for someone from CUSF to go regularly to K-16 meetings. Some very important issues, (e.g., are the community colleges doing a good job educating their students) are being discussed there. She announced that Stephanie Gibson has agreed to lead this year’s CUSF legislative action activities. Joyce Tenney will organize this year’s Student Research Day. Faculty from some campuses have already been asking if CUSF is going to do this again.

AAAC Report: Lee Richardson report on the September 16 AAAC meeting. There was a very good overview of the budget given by VCFA Joe Vivona. The amount of "discretionary" money is razor-thin. Textbooks cost too much. This problem is being worked on by the provosts. Regent Florestano wants ideas on improving the number of years needed for graduation. In response to a question from Dr. Jagus, there was a long discussion of the value of fund-raising. Dr. Goldstein and others agreed that it is very important. In practice, fund-raising costs should be no more than 15% of the amount raised.

Dr. Alt reported on MHEC. She said they are rather disorganized. Their last meeting was poorly attended.

Dr. Siegel reported that the CUSF report on procedures to report violations of USM policies is acceptable to the chancellor. It was approved without opposition after a brief discussion.

Dr. Siegel asked everyone to read the draft Substance Abuse Policy, and be prepared to discuss it at the October 20 CUSF meeting. Should it be reviewed by the campuses before it goes to the Regents? The BOR has a CUSS policy and are now asking for the CUSF policy. Copies of the 9/9/05 draft of the policy should be distributed to the campus Senates

After a lunch break, Dr. Siegel called on Dr. Parker to give an exposition on academic calendars. Students have made certain requests for changes and for support from CUSF. A long discussion followed. It was agreed that Dr. Siegel would write a letter to the students saying that CUSF is open to further discussion.

Dr. Siegel talked about textbook policy. The Regents are looking at it. Books can be too expensive. Faculty need to do their part to keep costs down and to show that we are sensitive to the problem. A discussion followed, with many anecdotes of problems and solutions. It was agreed that students should not be coerced to buy from campus bookstores.

Dr. Garner complained about the increased costs of prescriptions resulting from cuts in health care benefits. A brief and vigorous discussion followed.

CUSF committees: The Executive Committee will review the sign-up list of volunteers and make some changes as needed. Dr. Siegel noted that members of committees do not have to be CUSF delegates. She noted that some key CUSF members were not present at today’s meeting.

Dr. Siegel mentioned that CUSF should keep an eye on the USM "Centers", e.g., how they are funded, how their treatment compares to centers outside of USM. The issue of early college access for high school students is os special interest to the Chancellor. The Community Colleges are filled to capacity and we don’t want USM to be required to take up their slack.

The meeting adjourned at 2:00pm.