Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of November 15, 2006


CUSF Meeting

Bowie State University

November 15, 2006

Present: David Parker (Chair), E.W. Chapin (UMES, Vice Chair), John Collins (UMBI, Secretary), Patricia Alt (TU, At-Large), William Stuart (UMCP, At-Large), Marymal Holmes (BSU), Joan Langdon (BSU), Rahim Ashkeboussi (FSU), Robert Larivee (FSU), Paul Flexner (SU), R. Michael Garner (SU), Joyce Currie Little (TU), Goran Trajkowski (TU), Lee Richardson (UB), Elizabeth Mulroy (UMB), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), Dennis Coates (UMBC), Patricia Young (UMBC), Rosemary Jagus (UMBI), J. Court Stevenson (UMCES), H. Rodger Harvey (UMCES), Vincent Brannigan (UMCP), Patricia Cossard (UMCP), Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES), DeLoris James (UMUC), Joyce Shirazi (UMUC).

Not Present: Martha Siegel (Past Chair - excused), Alcott Arthur (CSU), Lori Harris (CSU), Kim Rotruck (FSU), Memo Diricker (SU), Roberta Adams (SU), Alan Lyles (UB), Steven Jacobs (UMB), Steven Schwinn (UMB), Mary Johantgen (UMB), Zane Berge (UMBC), Denny Gulick (UMCP), John Gustafson (UMUC).

The group was welcomed by BSU Faculty Senate Chair John Organ, who said that he was very happy about the current state of affairs at his campus. Dr. Organ then introduced new BSU President Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, who welcomed the group and gave an overview of his vision and future plans for the campus.

Dr. Parker called the meeting to order at approximately 10:10am. Following a round of introductions by those present, the minutes of the October 3, 2006 CUSF meeting were unanimously approved without changes.

Dr. Parker spoke passionately about the problem of part-time, non-tenure track (PT-NTT) faculty losing all their benefits, including health insurance, when they leave employment. He is sending strong letters on this issue to all campus presidents. He aims to gather hard data on what is happening on each campus to help make a case to the legislature and new governor for reform. A spirited discussion followed. Dr. Collins suggested that universal health coverage, similar to what is being done in Massachusetts, is needed.

There was a discussion of how administrators should be evaluated by administrators.

Dr. Parker then brought up a pending SU proposal not to require SATs for admissions. There was a general discussion of admissions standards and how they are set on various campuses. In many places the faculty have no role in admissions.

Dr. Parker noted that the CUSF System Appeals Committee, in existence less than a year, is already functioning. He briefly described some due process violation complaints that are currently in process on various campuses. He also mentioned a case in which two SU faculty were fired in their first year without due process. He noted that Vice Chancellor Goldstein agrees that institutions must follow their own rules

Dr. Parker endorsed the retention of Cliff Kendall and Pat Florestano on the Board of Regents Dr. Chapin noted that it would be advantageous not to have the new governor appoint too many new Regents appointed at the same time.

Dr. Parker announced that Dr. Collins would be standing in for him this year as CUSF’s representative to MHEC-FAC. He noted that MHEC-FAC still needs members who represent UB, FSU, part-time faculty and full-time faculty.

The group was reminded that plans for the next (January 27, 2007) Student Research Day, organized and sponsored by CUSF, are well under way. Ms. Tenney said that notices have gone out, they’re ready to go, and are now waiting for applications.

Dr. Alt reported that the Regent’s Faculty Awards Review Committee will probably meet later than originally planned, since there’s plenty of time before they have to make their recommendations to the Regents. The application deadline is December 1. There was general agreement that the $1,000.00 award is not enough.

Dr. Chapin reported on the November 10 meeting of the CUSF Executive Committee with the campus Senate Chairs He was pleased to report that every campus was represented at this meeting. Each of the Senate Chairs introduced themselves and described the state of shared governance on their campus. He noted that the success of shared governance has more to do with people, mainly administrators, than with formal policies. A couple of surprises came up at this meeting. One is that new faculty are being hired without using a search procedure. For example, UB suddenly needs to hire people to teach freshmen and sophomores. They plan to do this by hiring short-term, non-tenure track. Another surprising issue is control of admissions policies. On some campuses faculty are not involved in setting admissions standards. Dr. Chapin noted a general feeling at this meeting that the recent election results would be good for USM. Another issues discussed at the Senate Chairs meeting was expected enrollment increases as a result of military base relocations to Maryland enrollment the BRAC issue was discussed. Merit pay was discussed at that meeting. On one campus the provost passed out a new list of criteria that ignored research and teaching. He mentioned that two appeals processes are ongoing at UMES, involving ample email evidence that procedures had not been followed.

Dr. Parker reported that Vice Chancellor Goldstein and other USM reps were not able to attend today’s CUSF meeting because of a rare conflict with an AAAC (Provosts) meeting. He said that Dr. Siegel was representing CUSF at that AAAC meeting and will report on it later.

There was a brief discussion of USM retirement plan shortcomings and inequities, particularly that the ORP (TIAA-CREF) benefits are too low.

The meeting broke for lunch and committee meetings at noon and reconvened at 1:00pm

Dr. Brannigan reported that the Legislative Affairs Committee would be working with legislators and the Governor to put something into the next budget for better ORP benefits, with a focus on parity in state contributions, possibly including a new employee contribution of 2-3%

Dr. Stuart reported that a report from the K-16 Committee is forthcoming.

Dr. Alt reported that the review of Regents Faculty Awards applications would be done later than usual this year because of the extended application deadline.

Mr. Flexner read some statistics showing that the USM optional retirement pension (ORP) system is unfair and uncompetitive with other states and with private institutions. Many other institutions contribute more generously than USM to ORPs. For example, the Johns Hopkins University contributes 12%. He also noted that faculty could not agree on what their contribution should be.

Before closing, Dr. Parker reminded the group that the next CUSF meeting (December 12 at UMCP) would be our first joint meeting with CUSS. The Chancellor is expected to be present at this meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 1:15pm.