UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 24 January 2000


          
        			UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
               			      FACULTY SENATE
              
          JANUARY 24, 2000                     		    MINUTES SUMMARY
                                           
                                           
          I.  Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: de la
          Torre, Draper, Macieski, McCann, VonDamm and Williams.  Absent
          as work to rule were Carr, Christie, Echt, Garland, Planalp, Reardon,
          Roh, and Stine.  Excused was Keim.
                             
          II.  Communications with the President - The president said that she
          and the vice president for financial affairs met this morning to discuss
          the capital budget, and the president hopes that the Faculty Senate's
          Campus Planning Committee will invite Alan Braun to discuss details
          of the capital budget.  Recently, UNH has not received a
          proportionate share of the capital budget sent to the system, and that
          situation needs to be addressed.  The university has assessed the
          renovation needs of eighty core university buildings which comprise
          ninety percent of our usable space.  If the Facility Condition Index is
          greater than one, this means that the building has problems.  The
          impact, of the need for renovation, on the learning situation in those
          buildings is also being ranked.  A large number of engineering
          students go out of state, because the engineering buildings here are
          so old.  The projected cost of building repair that is overdue is $176
          million; and yet in the current biennium, the legislature assigned only
          $80 million for the capital budget for the entire system.  The above
          assessment-of-needs figures do not even include the auxiliary
          buildings for which the university is responsible.  The president said
          that there must be a major effort to deal with the university's
          renovation needs, and she asked that some members of the senate
          review the situation carefully
          
          A professor said that he is impressed with the effort that has gone
          into documenting and working for a solution of the renovation needs,
          and he asked that similar effort be put into dealing with the faculty's
          needs.  The president replied that we need a new process for
          collective bargaining, and she added that the administration is trying
          to obtain independent data on how UNH faculty salaries rank with
          those at comparable institutions.  She said that perhaps we can use a
          similar type of documentation and assessment for the operating
          budget, which includes salaries.
          
          President Leitzel said that various long-term academic plans are
          being reviewed to see if their targets are consistent with each other
          and worthy of completion.  The Faculty Senate's Academic Affairs
          Committee chair is participating in this review.  Regarding
          enrollment, February 1 is the deadline for new student applications,
          and we will have a better idea then how this year compages with last
          year.  However, the current estimate is that applications are up by
          twenty-four percent, which includes a thirty percent rise in out-of-
          state applications and an eight percent rise in in-state applications. 
          The quality of the applicant pool looks stronger than last year, and
          concern has been expressed about having sufficient funds for more
          merit scholarships.  Students are attracted to this university by the
          honors program and by research opportunities for undergraduates.
          
          III.  Communications from the Chair - The Faculty Senate chair said
          that the president has decided to move forward with responsibility-
          center management.  She has received written assurances from the
          system office that the units at UNH will be able to carry forward
          funds and also to move funds from one category to another.  The next
          step is approval of RCM by the Board of Trustees.  The Academic
          Planning Steering Committee met last week to work on creating a
          comprehensive academic plan.  The twenty-six members of this
          committee include twelve faculty, among whom are the Faculty
          Senate chair and the chair of the senate's Academic Affairs
          Committee.  The Academic Planning Steering Committee intends to
          meet frequently and have a plan ready in the fall.
          
          IV.  Minutes - The minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting were
          approved unanimously.
          
          V.  Disposal of Property - The Campus Planning Committee, through
          its chair, presented a revised motion on property disposal as follows: 
          
              Many UNH properties, both in the vicinity of the UNH
              campus and across the state, are classrooms of the university. 
              They are used as teaching tools, and as sites for both graduate
              and undergraduate research (and sometimes in collaborative
              usage with UNH Cooperative Extension).  This often involves
              long-term research which cannot be readily carried out on
              other lands not controlled by the university.  As such, these
              properties should not be considered for disposal or change of
              status in any way without faculty assessment of the affected
              properties.  The senate acknowledges that a policy to assess
              the impact of a sale of property exists; however, the
              implementation of that policy is deficient.  The senate calls
              for a clear, written statement of the policy's implementation
              structure, ensuring consultation with affected departments
              and faculty, and continuing to require an academic impact
              statement prior to any action being taken to dispose, or
              change the status, of any university property.  Any advisory
              committee created to deal with real property disposal should
              include at least one faculty member who is also a member of
              the Faculty Senate.
          
          Jim Farrell moved and Steve Bornstein seconded alternate wording
          for the motion as follows:
          
              The university shall conduct an academic impact study prior
              to the disposal or sale of any university property.  An
              academic impact report shall be submitted to the Faculty
              Senate Campus Planning Committee, with copies to the
              Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee.  Such study
              shall evaluate the importance of the property for current or
              future teaching or research.  Academic departments and
              individual faculty, whose work would be affected by the sale
              or disposal of university property, shall be given the
              opportunity to respond to the academic impact report.  The
              Faculty Senate shall offer a recommendation to the president
              on the sale or disposal of the property within 30 days of
              receiving the academic impact study (or, if the university is
              not in session, at the first full meeting of the senate
              subsequent to the issuance of the report).
          
          After much discussion, friendly amendments were made to this
          alternate wording, to change the first sentence to "The university's
          campus planning office shall conduct an academic impact study prior
          to the disposal, sale, or change of status of any university property"
          and to add to Professor Farrell's version of the motion a final
          sentence stating "The Advisory Committee on Real Property should
          include at least one faculty member who is also a member of the
          Faculty Senate".  The senate agreed that changes due to continuing
          timber management would be considered a change of condition and
          not a change of status.  A professor suggested that there should be
          some sort of registry so that faculty members could record which
          pieces of property are important to their research or teaching. 
          Concern was expressed that the Farrell version might require too
          much of the senate's time.  The senate voted on his wording as
          amended; and it failed with thirteen ayes and fourteen nays, including
          the tie-breaking vote of the senate chair. 
                        
          A professor expressed concern about damage done to university
          fields and drainage ditches when a jeep was driven over them for a
          survey.  A faculty member suggested that any motion should
          explicitly include leasing and not just sale of lands.  The senate wants
          all faculty members who would be affected by a proposed change of
          land status to be consulted before any decision is made.  After many
          friendly amendments, the original motion was amended and
          passed with twenty-five ayes, no nays, and two abstentions, as
          follows:
          
              Many UNH properties, both in the vicinity of the UNH
              campus and across the state, are classrooms of the
              university.  They are used as teaching tools and as sites for
              both graduate and undergraduate research (and
              sometimes in collaborative usage with UNH Cooperative
              Extension).  This often involves long-term research that
              cannot be readily carried out on other lands not
              controlled by the university.  As such, these properties
              should not be considered for disposal or change of status
              in any way without faculty assessment of the affected
              properties. The senate acknowledges that a policy to
              assess the impact of a sale of property exists; however, the
              implementation of that policy needs to be clarified and
              formalized.  The Senate calls for a clear, written statement
              of the policy's implementation structure, ensuring
              consultation with affected departments and faculty and
              requiring an Academic Impact Statement prior to any
              action being taken to dispose or change the status of any
              university property.  In addition, faculty should be
              consulted prior to any physical evaluation of university
              property preparatory to such action.  The Advisory
              Committee on  Real Property should include at least one
              faculty member who is also a member of the Faculty
              Senate.
          
          VI.  Thompson School Course Access - If a UNH student takes a
          course at any other accredited school similar to the Thompson
          School, the student could receive credit for the course at UNH.
          However, at the present time there is no mechanism for this to happen
          when a UNH student takes a course from the Thompson School on
          campus; and so the motion, presented by the Academic Affairs
          Committee and distributed with the senate agenda, would eliminate
          that contradiction in current policy.  These courses may be used for
          major or minor requirements only if specifically approved by the
          department granting the major or minor, and the Kinesiology
          Department has stated that it will not approve the use of such courses
          for major or minor requirements.  Some faculty in WSBE and the
          Nursing and Kinesiology Departments wanted the motion to say that
          no action may be taken in this regard if it would negatively affect the
          department's accreditation.  The motion on Thompson School
          course access, which was attached to the senate's agenda, passed
          with twenty-four ayes and three nays.
                             
          VII.  Report on the Status of HHS 798 - Faculty have questioned why
          this course is not offered by an academic department and why the
          teacher is not a faculty member.  The four-credit course is taught by
          Cathleen Grace-Bishop, who is the associate director of Health
          Services.  Faculty expressed concern that the administration is
          starting to teach and to bypass the faculty role at the university.  A
          member of the Faculty Senate's Academic Affairs Committee said
          that HHS 798 does have faculty approval, since the course was
          developed by faculty in the School of Health and Human Services
          and the course went through college-level approval processes.  Some
          courses are taught by non-faculty members and supervised by a dean. 
          Is there a policy on this?  Is one needed?  Could we create a
          mechanism whereby a staff member who qualified to teach a course
          due to his/her expertise could be granted ten percent faculty status? 
          Can a department seek adjunct faculty status for a staff member? 
          These matters could be reviewed by the senate's Academic Affairs
          Committee.
          
          VIII.  Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.
                                                       
          

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