Council of University System Faculty

CUSF Meeting of March 12, 2007

CUSF Meeting
March 12, 2007
Present: David Parker (Chair, SU), Martha Siegel (Past Chair, TU), E. William Chapin (Vice Chair, UMES), John Collins (Secretary, UMBI), Alcott Arthur (CSU), R. Michael Garner (SU), Paul Flexner (SU), Stephen Jacobs (UMB), Joyce Tenney (UMBC), J. Court Stevenson (UMCES), Vincent Brannigan (UMCP), Emmanuel Onyeozili (UMES), John Gustafson (UMUC).

Guest: Irwin Goldstein, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs (USM).

Following friendly greetings from Dr. Emmanuel T. Acquah, UMES Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, the meeting was called to order at approximately 10:25am.

The minutes of the February 15, 2007 CUSF meeting were unanimously approved without any changes.

Dr. Parker= s previously distributed list of suggested dates for the 2007-2008 CUSF meetings was briefly discussed.

Dr. Parker said that the AAAC will meet by teleconference on March 13, and that nothing much of interest to CUSF is on their agenda.

In response to a question from Dr. Siegel, Dr. Goldstein said that there is no general agreement among the campuses on a flexible tenure policy. He said that he would form a committee, consisting mainly of faculty, to work on this issue. He noted that the Chancellor may soon present a proposed policy on benefits for non-tenure-track, full-time faculty to the Regents.

Dr. Goldstein began his System report at approximately 10:50am. He noted that Chancellor Kirwan and Governor O= Malley had developed an excellent working relationship. The Governor doesn= t want to raise tuition or taxes, or do anything that will harm education in Maryland. The last few weeks of legislative activity have been very difficult. The operational portion of the USM budget was cut from $9.4 to $4.8 million. The House eliminated funding for the training of teachers, although the Senate hadn= t acted yet. It= s expected the Senate will vote for smaller cuts, but a compromise committee may halve the difference between the Senate and House budgets. A question remains on what to do about projected enrollment growth. The Chancellor has said that students wouldn= t be admitted without the funds needed to pay for them. The new Regents (Barry Gossett, Thomas McMillan and James Shea) are getting on board. Everyone is pleased that Patricia Florestano, Clifford Kendall and Orlan Johnson were reappointed. The Hagerstown Business College= s application for a four-year business degree was approved by MHEC, but it appears to duplicate a USM program. Several difficult bills are pending. One would change the status of undocumented aliens. Many of these people have lived in Maryland for years, have gone through high school, etc., and yet do not qualify for in-state tuition. Additional difficult bills deal with academic program duplication, collective bargaining, and other issues.

Dr. Goldstein concluded his report at 11:20am. In response to a question from Dr. Stevenson, he said that there had recently been a meeting on the future of the MEES (Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences) Graduate Program, with all interested parties present. This is an interdisciplinary program with more than 200 graduate students. Everyone, including the Chancellor, agreed that the MEES program was very valuable and should be continued.

Dr. Collins reported briefly on recent changes in the MHEC-FAC (Maryland Higher Education Commission Faculty Advisory Committee) By-Laws. CUSF may now officially select any of its members (not just the Chair or Vice Chair) to represent us at the MHEC-FAC meetings. He noted that CUSF could have a greater influence on this body, since, in addition to the CUSF representative, eight of the twenty-two MHEC-FAC seats are reserved for representatives of USM institutions. The current USM members on MHEC-FAC are as follows:

CUSF - John Collins
UMCP - Frank Alt
UMB - currently vacant
UMBC - Anthony Norcio
(BSU + UMES) - Ali Eydgahi [UMES]
(FSU + SU) - Katherine Almquist [FSU]
TU - Pat Alt
(CSU + UB) - Lee Richardson [UB]
(UMUC + UMCES + UMBI) - Rhea Reed [UMUC]

Nominees for election to the 2007-2008 CUSF Executive Committee were announced. As noted earlier, the candidates for Chair are Drs. Parker (SU), Chapin (UMES) and Collins (UMBI). Drs. Stuart (UMCP) and Siegel (TU) are candidates for Vice Chair. Drs. Arthur (CSU), Shirazi (UMUC) and James (UMUC) were identified as candidates for At-Large positions. No Secretary candidates were identified. It was agreed that nominations for all positions except Chair would remain open until the elections take place at the April 17 CUSF meeting. Since candidates for office must not take part in the election procedures, Dr. Arthur resigned from the Election Committee. The remaining members of the Election Committee are Joyce Tenney (Chair, UMBC), Zane Berge (UMBC), Vince Brannigan (UMCP) and Patti Cossard (UMCP).

A discussion of benefits for full-time, non-tenure-track (ft-ntt) faculty began at approximately 11:50am. Drs. Brannigan and Siegel expounded on whether or not ft-ntt faculty are State employees. A spirited exchange of views continued through lunch and ended at 1:05pm. Dr. Goldstein said that the Chancellor was planning to present a retirement benefits phase-in proposal for ft-ntt faculty to the Regents in April, but this was not an ironclad promise. Dr. Goldstein left the meeting at this point. Dr. Parker made some follow-up remarks, and a discussion followed on what to do next. Drs. Chapin and Siegel agreed to draft a CUSF position letter regarding benefits for the ft-ntt faculty, to be reviewed by Drs. Parker and Richardson and then submitted to CUSF for comments and suggestions prior to the Regents' meeting on April 13.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:30pm.