UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on the proposal for a School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering


on the Proposal for a School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering

1.  Motion presenter:   Art Greenberg

2.  Dates of Faculty Senate discussion:   4/30/2012 and 5/7/2012

3.  Rationale:  (See the reasons in the motion below.)

4.  Motion: 

The Faculty Senate accepts with gratitude the report of the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee on the Proposal for a School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, as presented by committee Chair Christina Bellinger on April 30, 2012, and makes the following motion.

The Faculty Senate moves against approval, at this time, of the Marine School proposal revised April 9, 2012, for the following reasons:

(1) The idea of a Marine School was under discussion for at least four years.  UCAPC and the senate’s Agenda Committee requested throughout the 2011-12 session a complete budget including but not limited to details about projected revenues and costs over time.  UCAPC received a response to that request on Friday, April 27; and the Agenda Committee chair first saw that budget on Monday, April 30.  The senate cannot be expected to meet its responsibility for shared governance without sufficient time for reasoned consideration and discussion of complete budget proposals.  Eleventh-hour responses run counter to meeting our responsibility for reasoned deliberation and, thus, impede adequate opportunity for shared governance.

(2) Consistent with the budget issue addressed in (1), a proposal must be in complete and final form for proper consideration and cannot be a work-in-progress until the end of the academic year, so that there can be proper vetting of the proposal.

(3) The Marine School proposal does not incorporate the budget discussed in (1) in its narrative and, thus, does not address the concerns raised by UCAPC about budgetary clarity, transparency, and thoroughness, as elucidated in the senate motion on the proposed Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools.  (See the motion on the interdisciplinary schools proposal, condition 1.)

(4) A review of the budget received by UCAPC on April 27 does not include provision of the impact of cluster hires on the colleges.

(5) The practice of joint appointments and cluster hires that locate tenure track faculty in colleges creates the possibility, if not the likelihood, that those locations are mere “place holders” for faculty whose duties are primarily in the school.

(6) The proposal’s statement that “Promotion and Tenure processes for jointly supported positions will follow existing policies” is questionable since circumstances for faculty whose duties are primarily in the schools but who are located in a department are different from those specified in existing policies.  The practice elucidated in (5) leaves ambiguous how the usual promotion and tenure process will work according to existing policies, since the faculty members’ primary duties will occur outside the colleges and departments and, thus, leave the colleges and departments with minimal adjudicative roles in that process.  (See item 5 and item 3 of the motion on the proposed Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools.)

(7) The role of the Graduate School through its Graduate Council and dean in adjudicating graduate programs is conspicuous by its absence and, thus, does not address UCAPC’s recommendation on the proposed Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools as elucidated in item 2 of the motion on the proposed Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools.

(8) In view of the concerns raised in the UCAPC report (Part 1.II, para. 1), schools should only be located in colleges or institutes, not in administrative units such as Academic Affairs or the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research.

The Faculty Senate respects the legitimate aspirations of the faculty involved in the Marine School proposal.  The Faculty Senate recognizes that the proposal herein rejected was prepared in the absence of a clear established policy on schools, leading to frustration on all sides.  Nonetheless, only a complete and timely proposal, effectively addressing the policy and above concerns, can be effective in establishing a school and minimizing future conflicts among stakeholders (colleges, institutes, departments, etc.).

Once an Interdisciplinary Schools Policy has been approved and accepted for the university in accord with the conditions set in the Interdisciplinary Schools Motion, the Faculty Senate would welcome resubmission of a Marine School Proposal which complies with that policy.

5.  Senate action:  passed with 32 ayes, 7 nays, and 1 abstention.

6.  Senate chair’s signature:  Larry Prelli

Forwarded to:  President Mark Huddleston, on 5-30-2012

Forwarded to:  Provost John Aber, on 5-30-2012

Forwarded to:  Lisa MacFarlane, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, on 5-30-2012

Forwarded to:  the college deans and the director of the Thompson School, on 5-30-2012


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