Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of October 20, 2005


CUSF meeting of October 20, 2005

FSU - Hagerstown Center

Present: M. Siegel (Chair); L. Richardson (Past Chair); J. Langdon (BSU); M. Holmes (BSU) A. Arthur (CSU); J. McMullen (FSU, At-Large); K. Rotruck (FSU); R. Ashkeboussi (FSU); D. Parker (SU); H. Womack (SU); P. Alt (TU); J.C. Little (TU); S. Gibson (UB); S. Jacobs (UMB); P. Thut (UMB); J. Tenney (UMBC); J.H. Collins (UMBI, Secretary); R. Morgan (UMCES); F. Alt (UMCP); W. Stuart (UMCP); E.W. Chapin (UMES, Vice Chair); J. Gustafson (UMUC).

Not Present: L. Harris (CSU); R.M. Garner (SU); L. Madden (SU); D. Pryor (TU); E. Mulroy (UMB); D. Coates (UMBC); R. Jagus (UMBI); D. Gulick (UMCP); V. Brannigan (UMCP, At-Large); J.C. Stevenson (UMCES); H.R. Harvey (UMCES); E. Onyeozili (UMES); J. Shirazi (UMUC); A. Lagnese (UMUC).

Guest: Teri Hollander (USM).

Dr. Siegel called the meeting to order at 10:00am.

Kim Rotruck welcomed the group and introduced JoEllen Barnhart, Associate Director of USM Hagerstown, to welcome us. She gave a brief history of the Center and its current status.

After a round of introductions by all those present, the minutes of the September 21, 2005 CUSF meeting were approved unanimously without further revisions.

The system report was given by Teri Hollander, starting at 10:10am. She gave a brief update of the E&E committee, a description of the latest and upcoming BOR activities, and the OCR agreement.

At 10:16am, Dr. Siegel departed from the planned agenda to start a discussion of the draft substance abuse policy. She reminded the group that CUSS had already submitted a substance abuse policy for staff which was approved by the BOR. The BOR is now asking for a faculty policy. Dr. Siegel wants to finish revising the policy and submit it for review by the senates, etc. She is not in a hurry, but wants to complete work on it by the end of the year. Dr. P. Alt led the discussion of the revised policy for faculty. She gave credit to Dr. Brannigan for helping with the revisions and said the policy had been deemed by the CUSF Executive Committee as ready to be considered by all of CUSF. A discussion of specific items in the draft took place, with comments and questions by nearly all those present. It was agreed that Drs. P. Alt and Brannigan, with input from Dr. Siegel, would make further revisions based on today’s discussion, and the policy would be further considered at the November CUSF meeting. The goal is to have a discussion of the near-final draft at the January meeting when the Senate Chairs will be present. The discussion ended at 11:20am.

Dr. Siegel asked for volunteers to serve on the Regents Faculty Awards Committee. Dr. Holmes (BSU) volunteered. Dr. Collins volunteered to serve if needed.

Chair’s Report:

Dr. Siegel reported that she had talked to CUSS Chair Joe Hill about retirement benefits at the last Chancellor’s Council meeting. CUSS is pushing for an increase in the ORP co-pay from its current very low 7.25% to a more equitable 9.5%. Larry Lauer is chairing a CUSS committee that is working on this. Dr. Siegel asked if anyone on CUSF wants to help with this effort. Dr. Chapin suggested that we cooperate with CUSS, but not commit ourselves until we get a feel for how it is likely to be received by the legislature. Dr. F. Alt noted that CUSS is also making a major effort on improving prescription drug benefits. Dr. Siegel agreed that we should cooperate with CUSS on this.

Dr. Siegel gave an update on E&E. She noted that USM staff has been cut and everybody there is working very hard. On the other hand, USM is about to hire a new associate VCAA, who will work closely with CUSF. This is expected to be a very good person who knows the System well. An announcement is expected soon. Dr. Siegel said that we are doing better on E&E, but more needs to be done. Dr. Siegel called on Teri Hollander to tell us about work groups, to include faculty, that will be formed soon. Among the proposals to be considered by these workgroups will be a four-year graduation contract with students, accelerated three-year programs and a trimester system. There will also be a Community College workgroup. Students may be encouraged to get Associate degrees before starting at USM. Dual enrollment of high school seniors with university or community colleges may also be encouraged. Dr. Siegel said that one problem is that Community College teachers are not well supervised. Many of them are high school teachers. On the other hand, most students in the dual enrollment program are among the best students. High school students can’t get financial aid. Some classes are conducted using IVN connections from a USM classroom to one or more high schools. It was noted that lower-income students have lower retention rates in college, even if they were good in high school. A brief discussion followed.

Dr. Siegel said another issue from yesterday’s AAAC meeting is tenure flexibility on the campuses. She called on Teri Hollander, who said that various states have different policies on tenure flexibility. Sometimes faculty are penalized for taking extra time on the tenure clock. Another issue is tuition surcharges for students who take extra courses. Most provosts agree it’s not worth doing because there are few students who do this, and it would be bad public relations for USM. Dr. Siegel noted that there is a pending request is for a 7% budget increase, and an extra ~2% allocated for the costs of having additional students.

Dr. Siegel called on Joyce Tenney to announce the student research day, sponsored by Senate president Miller. Ms. Tenney asked for assistance looking at applications and volunteers to help out in Annapolis.

At 12:03pm, Dr. Chapin began a report on the October 14 meeting of campus Senate Chairs with the Chancellor and Executive Committee. We learned that the state of shared governance varies on the campuses. Mission statements were distributed. Some Senate Chairs had not seen them previously. Sometimes there was no faculty input at all. Dr. Siegel noted that FSU, UMUC and BSU are looking for new presidents. CUSF could encourage a more open process, with faculty from different campuses helping each other, and not letting the regents control everything. Dr. Chapin said we need nominations for a committee to review policy violations. We don’t want the CUSF Chair to be solely responsible for this. Dr. Siegel noted that at yesterday’s AAAC meeting the provosts approved of the process but were nervous about having it on paper since it would then be seen as a policy. She noted that most cases are resolved on campus. In any case, recommendations from CUSF are purely advisory and non-binding. It was agreed to ask Joel Cohen, Dave Parker, Jay Zimmerman and an alternate to be named later to form the committee.

The meeting broke for lunch at 12:20pm and was called back to order at 12:45pm.

Dr. Siegel led a discussion on the high cost of textbooks. There was a discussion of various book-buying practices used by students.

At 1:00pm, Dr. Siegel called on Dr. Richardson to talk about the "Student Bill of Rights" bill which has the support of a few legislators. Drs. Richardson and Brannigan testified against the bill, which subsequently died in committee. It was agreed that we don’t need a formal appeals mechanism to protect student from abuse.

At 1:10pm, Dr. Siegel announced that Marci McLive will coordinate the department chairs meeting on January 20, and that CUSF will also be meeting with the Senate Chairs on that day. She said that CUSF needs to communicate more with department chairs, who make a lot of important decisions, e.g. on extending the tenure clock.

At 1:18pm, Dr. Siegel distributed a list of CUSF committees. She asked that the committee members interact with each other and that their chairs report to CUSF at each meeting. There was a brief discussion of the issues to be worked on by each committee. This was followed by a discussion of how contingent faculty are often not well treated. Their pay is often very low, with no benefits.

Dr. F. Alt gave a brief report on MHEC activities. He reported that MHEC will be issuing a statement on shared governance in MHEC-supervised institutions.

Dr. Siegel said that the faculty workload report was finished and will soon be distributed. The report now lists contingent faculty as well as ladder rank faculty, and shows that some faculty have a very heavy teaching load. This may put pressure on everybody to do more teaching.

At 1:37pm, Dr. Siegel called on committees to meet and report at the next meeting.

The meeting was then adjourned.