Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of February 23, 2006

Draft Minutes

CUSF Meeting

February 23, 2006

UMBI, Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB)

Present: Martha Siegel (Chair, TU); Lee Richardson (Past Chair, UB); E. William Chapin (Vice Chair, UMES); John Collins (Secretary, UMBI); Vincent Brannigan (At-Large, UMCP); John McMullen (At-Large, FSU); Patricia Alt (TU); Alcott Arthur (CSU); Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU); Zane Berge (UMBC); Dennis Coates (UMBC); R. Michael Garner (SU); Stephanie Gibson (UB); Denny Gulick (UMCP); John Gustafson (UMUC); Stephen Jacobs (UMB); Rosemary Jagus (UMBI); A. Deloris James (UMUC); Joan Langdon (BSU); Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC); Joyce Currie Little (TU); Elizabeth Mulroy (UMB); Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES); David Parker (SU); Douglas Pryor (TU); Kim Rotruck (FSU); Joyce Shirazi (UMUC); William Stuart (UMCP); Joyce Tenney (UMBC).

Not Present: Marymal Holmes (BSU); Lori Harris (CSU); Robert Scott (FSU, alternate); Memo Diriker (SU, on leave); Paul Flexner (SU); Harry Womack (SU, alternate); Jay Zimmerman (TU, alternate); Paul Thut (UMB); Patricia Young (UMBC, alternate); Frank Robb (UMBI, alternate); Raymond Morgan (UMCES, alternate); J. Court Stevenson (UMCES); H. Rodger Harvey (UMCES, alternate); Frank Alt (UMCP).

Guests: Irwin Goldstein (VCAA, USM); John Wolfe (Associate VCAA, USM); Robert B Kauffman (FSU Senate Chair); Kay Mills (a reporter from National Crosstalk).

Dr. Siegel opened the meeting at 10:00am. She called on Dr. Collins to introduce Dr. Yonathan Zohar, Director of the Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB). Dr. Zohar welcomed the group and gave an overview of the scientific activities of COMB. Dr. Siegel then called for a round of introductions by all present at the meeting.

The minutes of the previous (January 20, 2006) CUSF meeting were approved without modification.

The proposed meeting agenda was presented and accepted. Dr. Siegel informed the group that Kay Mills (a reporter for National Crosstalk, a newsletter that deals with issues in higher education) would be joining the meeting later. Ms. Mills is currently working on faculty workload issues and wants to get the faculty point of view.

The System Report was given by Dr. Goldstein. A big political issue this year is the proposed USM tuition increase. Chancellor Kirwan has presented the USM budget and left it to the General Assembly to debate. He told them that, if USM tuition is frozen, something else will have to be cut. USM’s capital budget and operating budget increases this year are the highest ever. Some new buildings that were requested were given a lower priority than expected or were not included in the budget. Postponement of the new UMB School of Pharmacy building is a particular disappointment. The legislature appears friendly to USM, and USM is working with them to get the best budget possible.

All campus mission statements have received final approval from MHEC. USM’s report to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is complete. The report basically says that USM has accomplished a lot, but there is still more to do. The MHEC Board has approved the report and it will be reviewed by OCR in Philadelphia next month prior to final approval. OCR is expected to visit USM and other Maryland institutions in March and to issue a report in June or July.

The lack of health benefits for contractual faculty (especially at TU, SU and CSU) is being worked on at the highest USM level. Dr. Goldstein will come back to CUSF soon with a plan for solving this problem. Everyone, including the Chancellor, is aware that this needs to be fixed. USM is grateful to CUSF for bringing this problem to their attention.

Military Base Relocations and Closings (BRAC) is becoming a big issue, with expectations of new people moving to Maryland and wanting education, including some non-credit programs. The E&E initiative is going well. The Regents are very impressed by the effort being put in by both USM administration and campus faculty. Cost of textbooks and bookstore issues are being considered by the legislature.

The Chair’s Report began at 11:04am. Dr. Siegel reported that at the Board of Regents meeting in February, she proposed to use faculty salaries as one of the dashboard indicators. The idea was favorably received. Inequities in the optional retirement program are being recognized by campus presidents as a competitive issue in faculty recruiting. Dr. Siegel distributed a draft letter to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Pensions regarding this issue. She asked for, and received, CUSF approval of the draft before sending it. A motion of support was unanimously approved after a brief discussion. It was noted that CUSF and CUSS were cooperating on this.

Dr. Siegel also distributed a letter to Regent Nevins asking that faculty salaries be included as a dashboard indicator. A spirited discussion ensued. A motion of support for sending this letter was unanimously approved, after certain modifications.

Dr. Siegel next distributed a draft resolution on merit pay. There was a spirited discussion. In particular, some felt that merit pay funds should instead be used for COLA. There was a discussion of different campus procedures for allocating merit pay. It was noted that peer review of meritorious performance had previously been approved by CUSF. Dr. Siegel’s suggestion that "peer review" be replaced by "in a process decided by faculty" was agreed to.

Dr. Chapin reminded the group about the upcoming elections for the 2006-2007 CUSF Executive Committee. He asked for nominees to cover all positions. Nominations for Chair must be received at today’s meeting, for an election to be conducted at the March meeting. The current nominees for Chair are Drs. Brannigan, Parker and Richardson. Dr. Siegel will not be a candidate for reelection. At present, Dr. Chapin is the only candidate for Vice Chair and Dr. Collins is the only candidate for Secretary. Nominations for these offices, as well as for the two At-Large positions, will close at the March meeting and voting will take place at the April meeting.

At 11:55am, Dr. Siegel introduced Kay Mills and invited her to talk about the faculty workload issue. Ms. Mills said that she had already interviewed the Chancellor, Regents, campus Presidents, etc, and is now glad to have the opportunity to talk to CUSF faculty (individuals and small groups). She would do this during lunch break.

Dr. Siegel asked the Regents Faculty Awards Committee to discuss changes in procedures during lunch break and to report back in the afternoon session.

The meeting broke for lunch and committee meetings at 12:10pm, then reconvened at 12:40pm.

Dr. Siegel called on Dr. Gulick to report on two initiatives that have been inaugurated by the state of Maryland with respect to pre-college education during the past few months. He said that in November, a Governor's Summit on Science and Mathematics was held to address the increasing recognition by state and local governments across the country that science and mathematics training in the USA is lagging far behind that of other countries. This has resulted in a deficit of teachers in those areas, outsourcing of all kinds of technology, etc. A goal to restructure Maryland's pre-college education in science and mathematics has been set. A central committee consisting of Brit Kirwan, Nancy Grasmik, and other influential educators and politicians has been created. Nancy Shapiro is the main contact at USM. More recently, Maryland signed onto the American Diploma Project (ADP), whose goal is to bring high school mathematics and English training up to higher standards. Several states (e.g., Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, Texas) have already signed on and become partners. The assumption is that each new state (e.g., Maryland) will create new goals and assessments in mathematics and English for high school students - goals that are consistent with those adopted by ADP - within ADP's timetable. Teri Hollander is the main contact at USM. Dr. Gulick noted that the central committees for these initiatives appear to have no working scientists of mathematicians

Dr. Siegel told the group that she had noted her concern about advanced placement exams to the Regents. This has been an issue of concern to AAAC. AAAC is compiling a list of each institution's standards for the various AP credits that it accepts. Siegel maintained that too many students are being pressured to take the exams when they are not ready.

Dr. Siegel thanked Ms. Tenney for taking charge of the Student Research Days in Annapolis. Drs. P. Alt, Thut, and Brannigan also helped with this effort. The students were great, but the presentations were sparsely attended. Dr. Siegel suggested that, in the future, perhaps these presentations might be linked to the higher-profile, annual Annapolis 101" events.

Dr. Siegel called on Dr. Alt to unofficially announce the 2006 Regents Faculty Awards winners. Dr. Alt noted that Drs. Jacobs, Holmes, Tenney, and Stevenson were also on the review committee. She said that there were fewer applications this year, although the quality of the applicants was very high. Some campuses submitted very few, or no, applications. Dr. Siegel noted that reforms in the application procedures (e.g., electronic submission) are needed. She asked that suggestions be sent to Dr. Alt.

Dr. Siegel reported that she had testified before the General Assembly about the pending textbook bill, sponsored by Senator Jacobs. She testified against the bill in the hearing, saying that this is a matter that can best be handled by the faculty. There are many issues here, e.g., some big campuses have book stores that are controlled by corporate enterprises. Another bill now before the legislature would waive state sales tax on textbooks.

Dr. Brannigan reported on a meeting about textbooks that he, Jim Salt of USM, and Nick Aragon (Chair of System Student Council) had attended. They learned that most faculty don’t know what their textbooks cost. Publishers don’t readily reveal textbook prices. He asked whether USM should try to negotiate better prices with publishers, analogous to drug formularies. A lively discussion followed, continuing to 1:40pm.

Dr. Chapin mentioned a situation in one county on the Eastern Shore that asked for advice on how to deal with unprepared students. It has been suggested by some that standards be lowered, which is obviously a bad solution.

Dr. Siegel said she was contacted again by Lee Preston, UMCP Ombuds Officer, who wants to know what kinds of arbitration systems - preceding the formal grievance procedures - are used on the different campuses. He is trying to put together best practices. Dr. Parker has agreed to gather this information from each campus.

Dr. Siegel proposed, and it was agreed, that the date of the May CUSF meeting be changed to the 18th, still at Salisbury. There is a distinct possibility that the June meeting at Coppin will once again be canceled.

Dr. Chapin reviewed the rules for election of the 2006-2007 CUSF Executive Committee. Main points were that only one person per campus may be elected, and that losing candidates for one office can run for another office. Nominations for Chair (Drs. Brannigan, Parker and Richardson) were officially closed.

Dr. Richardson gave a brief report on MHEC-FAC.

Dr. Alt presented a request from the UMB VPAA to revise the human subjects rules.

Dr. Siegel thanked Dr. McClive (FSU) and Dr. James for their work on the USM committee on distance education, and announced that Dr. McClive would report on this at the March CUSF meeting.

Dr. Chapin reminded the group that the Chancellor and the Senate Chairs would be present at the April 18 CUSF meeting at UMUC. It was agreed that CUSF would invite Regent Florestano to one of our spring meetings.

The meeting adjourned at 2:03pm.