Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of September 14, 2006


CUSF Meeting

September 14, 2006

Towson University

Present: E.W. Chapin (Vice Chair, Acting Chair, UMES), Martha Siegel (Past Chair, TU), John Collins (Secretary, UMBI), Patricia Alt (At-Large, TU), Joan Langdon (BSU), Alcott Arthur (CSU), Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU), Robert Larivee (FSU), Paul Flexner (SU), Roberta Adams (SU, alternate), Joyce Currie Little (TU), Goran Trajkovski (TU), Alan Lyles (UB), Stephen Jacobs (UMB), Elizabeth Mulroy (UMB), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), J. Court Stevenson (UMCES), Vincent Brannigan (UMCP), Patricia Cossard (UMCP), William Stuart (At-Large, UMCP), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC), John Gustafson (UMUC), A. Delores James (UMUC, alternate).

Not Present: David Parker (Chair, SU), Marymal Holmes (BSU), Lori Harris (CSU), Kim Rotruck (FSU), Robert Scott (FSU, alternate), R. Michael Garner (SU), Memo Diriker (SU), Jay Zimmerman (TU, alternate), Lee Richardson (UB), Stephanie Gibson (UB, alternate), Dennis Coates (UMBC), Zane Berge (UMBC), Patricia Young (UMBC, alternate), Frank Robb (UMBI, alternate), H. Rodger Harvey (UMCES), Raymond Morgan (UMCES, alternate), Denny Gulick (UMCP), Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES), Adelaide Lagnese (UMUC).

Honorable guests from the USM Office of Academic Affairs: John Wolfe, Associate Vice Chancellor; Nancy Shapiro, Associate Vice Chancellor; Theresa Hollander, Associate Vice Chancellor; Donald Spicer, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer.

Honorable guests from Towson University: James Brennan, Provost; Timothy Sullivan, Faculty Senate Chair.

The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00am by Dr. Chapin, acting as Chair in the absence of Dr. Parker. Dr. Siegel introduced TU Provost Dr. James Brennan, who welcomed the group and gave an overview of the state of TU. Dr. Siegel then introduced Dr. Timothy Sullivan, Chair of the TU Senate, who welcomed CUSF and thanked them for their work. He was invited to stay at the meeting.

Dr. Chapin called on all those present to introduce themselves.

The minutes of the most recent previous (May 18, 2006) CUSF meeting were approved unanimously, incorporating a small revision suggested by former UMCP delegate Dr. Frank Alt.

It was agreed that certain CUSF-approved documents referred to in the minutes would be linked to the minutes and posted on the CUSF web site.

Chairs’ report: Dr. Chapin reported that progress is being made on providing health insurance benefits for contractual faculty. This is a matter of major concern to CUSF. He said that "listening tours" of the campuses by members of the Maryland General Assembly would be taking place soon. He encouraged everyone to participate in these tours. Dr. Chapin reminded the group about the upcoming accountability initiative. On many campuses with major degree programs, it will be important to demonstrate that they are effective. Faculty need to find a way to address this before legislators do it for us. Regarding the Optional Retirement Program (ORP, provided by TIAA-CREF), Dr. Chapin noted that the State of Maryland contribution is relatively low (7.25% of salary, 47th in the nation) and uncompetitive. He noted that, in Maryland, the Governor proposes the state budget, while the legislature can only cut it. CUSF has proposed that the state ORP contributions be increased to 9.25% over the next two years. We also recommend a mandatory employee contribution of 3%, increased to 5% in the future. Dr. Brannigan said that we need to get data from other schools quickly to demonstrate how uncompetitive USM is. Dr. Flexner noted that much of the needed information can be obtained from TIAA-CREF.

System report: Dr. Hollander announced that Clifford Kendall had returned as BOR Chair. She said that several new work groups had been formed at USM. She reported that the Regents recently had their annual retreat. They were very interested in student outcomes assessment. She described other issues that the regents discussed at their retreat. She said that good progress is being made on providing health benefits for contractual faculty.

Dr. Shapiro talked about efforts to raise teaching standards and outcomes to world-class standards. Work groups have been formed in this area. She noted that we should avoid politicizing this effort. A lively discussion followed, with many participants.

Dr. Hollander reported on the OCR agreement. USM is waiting for their final word. They have not yet visited campuses. Releases from this agreement can be a political matter.

Dr. Wolfe reported on flexibility in tenure-track careers. He also said that MHEC-FAC has three vacancies that must be filled. He requested that notices go out to campuses regarding the Regents Faculty Awards. CUSF delegates were disappointed to learn that Dr. Wolfe wants to make further changes in the Regents Faculty Awards announcement previously prepared and submitted to USM by CUSF.

Starting at 11:25am, Drs. Spicer and Shapiro reported on teaching and learning: curriculum, the Carol Twigg initiative, course redesign, K-16 student teaching and learning, and related issues. Dr. Shapiro said that the Carol Twigg model is very promising. This a partially funded mandate. Significant resources have been committed (about $40,000 per institution). She described plans being developed for course redesign. A discussion followed, with several CUSF delegates expressing reservations. There is concern that faculty will not be listened to during the redesign process.

At 12:08, Dr. Chapin reported on membership in CUSF committees. He asked the Chairs of the three critical committees ( Legislative Affairs, Academic Affairs and Faculty Affairs) to send their membership lists and issues of interest to Dr. Collins. The meeting adjourned for lunch and reconvened at approximately 1:00pm. Dr. Alt gave a status report on the Regents faculty awards. She noted that, once again, we are way behind schedule this year. The Senate Chairs have not been notified yet.

A resolution to thank Clifford Kendall for accepting the Chairmanship of the Board of Regents was unanimously approved. The resolution, crafted by Dr. Brannigan, reads as follows: "CUSF expresses its deep appreciation that Cliff Kendall has agreed to take on again the Chairmanship off the Board of Regents. We look forward to a close and productive working relationship."

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 1:20pm