UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 16 April, 2001




I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Archer, Becker, Bornstein, Denis, Draper, Dusek, Halstead, Hiller, Macieski, McCann, Morgan, Reardon, Simpson, and Stone. Excused were Afolayan, Petty, Shippee-Rice, Smith, Trowbridge and VonDamm.

II. Communications with the President - President Leitzel said that the UNH operating budget which was approved by the House of Representatives includes a five percent increase for each year of the next biennium, but no additional funds are included for critical technological needs. Legislation is proposed for state funds to match private gifts for scholarships, and the capital budget is undergoing discussion and modification. When all the budget bills have been voted on by the New Hampshire house and senate, the bills will be worked on by a joint conference committee and then revisited by the legislature. The president said that on April 20 the university will present a documentary film about the work of Ed and Mary Scheier, who are former UNH faculty members and internationally renowned potters.

III. Communications from the Chair - The senate chair said that the first faculty/trustee luncheon went very well and helped the participants to get to know each other. The president said that she may be able to fund a series of luncheons for small groups of faculty next year. The senate chair presented the proposed slate for next year's Agenda Committee: Dan Reid as chair, Barbara Krysiak as vice chair, and Bill Stine, Tony Tagliaferro and Ed Hinson as at-large Agenda Committee members, as well as Jerry Finn as the past chair of the senate. Biographical materials were distributed. Senators may email to the current senate chair additional nominations, which should be accompanied by biographical material and a statement that the faculty member is willing to serve.

IV. Minutes - The senate minutes for the last meeting were unanimously approved, with a modification to item eight to change "once" to "twice" a year and thus say that "ASAC will also meet with the senate's Academic Affairs Committee twice a year to present a quantitative and qualitative analysis of ASAC's activities."

V. Part-time Faculty and Faculty Title Changes - The provost believes that title changes are needed, because of inconsistencies in how comparable positions have been titled within the university and also among universities. In addition, in some cases current practice here does not seem to conform to current policy. The senate's Academic Affairs Committee has asked for more information on the proposed changes and has not yet received a response. The provost's web site changes frequently. Concern has been expressed about the proposed policy, on the manner and length of time that non-tenure-track faculty may hold a teaching position at the university. Under the new plan, most eighty-eight-percent-time faculty would become or be replaced by lecturers who could be full-time. Originally the draft proposed that lecturers could stay a long time, but this was changed because national AAUP policy specifies that teachers may be employed no more than seven years without getting tenure. The senate's Academic Affairs Committee recommends that more work on the guidelines be done jointly by faculty and the provost's office.

VI. Academic Standards and Advising - The senate's Academic Affairs Committee said that it has drafted recommendations for changes in the policy of the university's Academic Standards and Advising Committee. Currently those recommendations are being reviewed by the provost and Victor Benassi. Many professors believe that faculty members should have an opportunity to respond to a request for a change in a grade or course status and that they should have the option to appeal a change. The senate's Academic Affairs Committee said that faculty should be notified of the reason for a change and have the right to appeal it to the provost. The provost's office is concerned about certain cases in which privacy issues might make it difficult to explain the reasons for a change. A professor responded that claims of privacy issues could be abused and that the teacher might be the only person who could clarify matters.

The Academic Standards and Advising Committee currently consists of six associate deans and five staff members. Some years ago, faculty were members of ASAC; but the committee meets frequently, especially during times when faculty are often not on campus. ASAC says that it contacts the faculty member when the committee feels that input is needed. Changes in course status are sometimes made when a student is raped, contracts a serious disease, or is dealing with the death of a family member. The committee has recently agreed to notify the faculty member when a change is approved. The chair of the senate's Academic Affairs Committee said that he would get a response from the provost's office to the recommendations and bring this to the senate at its next meeting.

VII. Evaluation of Faculty Service - On April 19, 1999, the Faculty Senate approved a motion establishing the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee. This motion said that "Each faculty member of the UCAPC shall normally be given a one-course reduction in teaching load in the third year of his or her term. The Chair will be given a one-course reduction in teaching load for each year of service as Chair". However, the administration did not accept that clause of the motion. The senate's Research and Public Service Committee has reviewed this matter and recommends that, since teaching varies considerably among faculty members of different departments and colleges and from year to year, compensation by course reduction for each faculty member and chair of UCAPC should be negotiated individually with the administration and within each faculty member's department.

This year UCAPC has met infrequently. A faculty member expressed concern that the administration might favor certain faculty in such negotiations. Another professor responded that the department chair would have a good understanding of the comparative work loads of all the faculty in the department and could help with that problem. A professor added that it is not a good idea to leave a senate motion unaccepted, and so the senate should pass the Research and Public Service Committee's recommendation as a motion. The recommendation will appear in the senate minutes, and the committee will decide whether to present a motion on this issue at the next senate meeting.

VIII. Finance and Administration Committee Report - This committee wanted to clarify what would happen, under responsibility center management, to funds received by the units and how monies would be distributed to the departments. The provost has said that funds would be distributed by each college, through a governance procedure determined by that college. The committee believes that the basic governance structure has not been changed although there is now less control by USNH, funding for each college is more heavily based on income generated by the college, and less money is available centrally to help with projects that colleges find they cannot fund. Income may not revert to the department generating the income, but colleges may provide incentives to departments to generate additional income. The Central Budget Committee will review and possibly modify the process next year. The Finance and Administration Committee recommends that next year's senate committee continue to review the responsibility center management process. A professor said that faculty budget lines have been cut in many departments of the School of Health and Human Services, due to the results of responsibility center management.

IX. The Tally Program - Concern exists that the Tally Program may erode faculty privacy and set a precedent for the future. The Tally program was reviewed last year by the Academic Computing Advisory Committee, which has faculty members; and the deans also discussed the plan. The provost said that the Tally Program is being instituted so that the university can have a better inventory and provide better service. He added that the program has been installed on the central administration computers and that the administrators feel comfortable having it on their computers. With this program, the deans can make informed decisions about computer replacement. Because the Tally system has been offered to the university as a test site, Tally costs nothing, except for the labor to install it. The program has been tested for over a year on Computing and Information Services' machines. If the university were to buy the program later, it would cost about ten to thirty dollars per site, multiplied by 3,000 sites for faculty and staff.

A professor suggested that, to do an inventory, the university should simply send out questionnaires to faculty and staff. Some faculty members in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences purchase their computers and software with grant funds and modify and service those items themselves. The Tally Program would require some memory space; and bugs might be a concern, especially on their very specialized computers. Will it always be policy that faculty can opt out of the Tally Program? Terri Winters distributed a fact sheet on the program and said that bugs have not been a problem with this program so far and that the program was presented to the senate's Agenda Committee last July. Some faculty say that they will receive no advantages and that the program is an unnecessary hassle. Concerns were also expressed about how the system might be modified in the future. The provost said that the university needs this program in order to move towards a systematic replacement program for computers.

X. Adjournment - Today's meeting was adjourned.

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