Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of October 13, 2006


CUSF Meeting

Frostburg State University

October 13, 2006

Present: David Parker (Chair), Martha Siegel (Past Chair), E.W. Chapin (UMES, Vice Chair), John Collins (UMBI, Secretary); Patricia Alt (TU, At-Large), William Stuart (UMCP, At-Large), Kim Rotruck (FSU), Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU), Robert Larivee (FSU); R. Michael Garner (SU), Harry Womack (SU), Stephen Jacobs (UMB), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), Dennis Coates (UMBC), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), Vincent Brannigan (UMCP), Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC), John Gustafson (UMUC), A. Deloris James (UMUC).

Not Present: Alcott Arthur (CSU), Lori Harris (CSU), Paul Flexner (SU), Memo Diricker (SU), Joyce Currie Little (TU), Goran Trajkowski (TU), Lee Richardson (UB), Alan Lyles (UB), Elizabeth Mulroy (UMB), Steven Schwinn (UMB), Mary Johantgen (UMB), Zane Berge (UMBC), J. Court Stevenson (UMCES), H. Rodger Harvey (UMCES), Patricia Cossard (UMCP), Denny Gulick (UMCP).

Guests: Irwin Goldstein, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, USM; Robert Kauffman, FSU Senate Chair; Dr. Jonathan Gibralter, FSU President.

The meeting came to order at approximately 10:00am. Dr. Rotruck introduced Dr. Jonathan Gibralter, the recently appointed FSU President, who welcomed the group and gave an overview of his background and future plans for the campus. Dr. Gibralter expressed his admiration for the UM system.

Dr. Parker introduced himself, Dr. Kaufmann and Dr. Rotruck to the group, and expressed his regret for missing the September 14 CUSF meeting. Dr. Garner asked Dr. Larivee to comment on the "town and gown" issue (student parties, noise, alcohol abuse, etc.), which was recently featured in the FSU campus newspaper. A brief discussion ensued before returning to the regular order of business.

The minutes of the September 14, 2006 CUSF meets were approved without modification.

Dr. Siegel said that legislation to increase State contributions to optional retirement plans (i.e., TIAA-CREF) are being drafted. She has information on what other institutions are doing.

Dr. Parker said that the issue of definition of dependents for the purpose of benefits eligibility is on hold for now.

Dr. Goldstein announced that Academic Affairs is stretched very thin at this time. Dr. John Wolfe is still hospitalized following his operation, and Joan Marionni has pneumonia.

Dr. Parker talked about the need for USM campus representatives on MHEC-FAC. The CUSF Chair is an ex officio a member of MHEC-FAC, but Dr. Parker’s busy schedule does not allow him to attend their monthly meetings. Dr. Collins will stand in for Dr. Parker at the October 17 MHEC-FAC meeting. [NOTE: it was later agreed that Dr. Collins would continue representing CUSF at these meetings for the remainder of the academic year.]

Dr. Parker discussed the recent course reorganization workshop.

Drs. Parker and Collins briefly reviewed the state of organization of CUSF committees. Some committees appear to be well-organized, while others have not yet formed. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that Dr. Collins will prepare a list of all CUSF committees, their members, and agendas for 2006-2007. All CUSF members are expected to serve on at least one committee.

A brief discussion of the textbook prices issue took place.

Dr. Parker talked about SU’s plan to drop the requirement for SAT in admissions decisions. There was a general discussion of the value of SAT scores. This is a big controversy nationwide.

Drs. Arthur and Shirazi have formed an ad hoc committee to revise the Regents Faculty Award policy. Dr. Goldstein said that the Academic Affairs Office will make any reasonable changes requested by the faculty. It was noted that the application deadline for this year has been extended to December 1. There was a discussion of the need to coordinate the applications with campus annual faculty reviews.

It was noted that, thanks to Dr. Goldstein's efforts, all FT-NTT faculty are now eligible to receive health benefits. Unlike full-time faculty, however, they lose all benefits when their employment ends.

Dr. Goldstein reported that there is some uncertainty about the next budget, due in large part to the upcoming gubernatorial election. Next year's COLA is a major issue of concern.

In response to an inquiry from CUSF, Dr. Goldstein said that posthumous degrees are often awarded if a student dies before matriculation. Generally, that student must have been in the senior year, with sufficiently good grades, and must have registered for enough credits to graduate. Teachers must certify that the student had been doing well enough to expect graduation.

Dr. Parker announced that Dr. Stuart would be attending the October 18 AAAC meeting in Frostburg. AAAC is currently working on a new policy on firing tenured faculty for cause. The termination process can go on for a year, but in some cases it is desired to suspend salary payment during the terminal year. Dr. Goldstein and AAAC are trying to formulate a policy to be used by all USM campuses, but this is not an urgent issue right now.

The System report started at 11:10am. Dr. Goldstein said that USM is waiting for the election results before submitting next year's budget. Two big unknowns are enrollment projections and a possible tuition increase. Dr. Kaufmann noted that FSU is close to Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and therefore are especially concerned about tuition rates for out of state students. Dr. Goldstein said that FSU is not required to charge out of state tuition rates to students from these contiguous states. They can set any rate they want. He mentioned several important national issues that are of great concern, including the Levine report, the Spellings Commission, teacher training and measurement of student learning outcomes. He noted that the Middle States report is coming out soon. He said that USM will provide help for faculty who are interested in the Carol Twigg initiative. He also said that a BOR OCR workgroup, concerned with programs for new populations of minority students due to BRAC, has been formed. There was a wide-ranging discussion of these issues. Dr. Goldstein announced that the Hagerstown and Shady Grove Centers are doing well. They teach third and fourth year students who did their first two years at a community college. Many of these students are low-income, minority, first-generation students.

At 11:45am, Dr. Siegel brought up the issue of tenure flexibility. She mentioned that Dr. Lyles (UB) had gone to a meeting on this topic the previous week. She and Dr. Stuart talked briefly about the dual enrollment/early enrollment issue, which includes questions about quality control and advanced placement. Issues control of quality, class placement (e.g., AP)

At noon, Ms. Tenney reported on plans for student research day. She noted that he campuses provide financial support for this event from their student budgets. The CUSF members expressed their appreciation and approval of the plans.

At 12:05pm, Dr. Parker reported that the ombuds committee is still functioning, and that a complicated case has recently come before them. He reported that there is a new, complicated case to come before the ombuds committee.

Dr. Siegel reminded the group that January 16 is the date for this year's Department Chairs Workshop at USM. Dr. Wolfe can't chair it this year due to illness. Regrettably, Dr. McClive (FSU) is not available this year.

The meeting broke for lunch and committee meetings. The then reconvened, and after brief committee reports, adjourned at approximately 1:15pm.