UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 22 April, 2002

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2001/02 FACULTY SENATE

APRIL 22, 2002 - MINUTES SUMMARY


I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Burger, Denis, Draper, Elmslie, Fletcher, Frankel, Garofalo, Halstead, Miriam, Nicovich, Pollard, Simpson, and VonDamm. Excused were Krysiak, Tagliaferro, and Trowbridge.

II. Transportation Policy Vice President Candace Corvey presented information on the Transportation Committee recommendations and said that the university would like as much input as possible from all constituencies. After reviewing comments, the committee plans to revise the document by the end of May and present the final recommendations to the president before she retires. The committee has wide representation including four faculty members and is charged to effect a systematic improvement of transportation at UNH. The committee believes that the current system is frustrating and involves poor service, traffic congestion, limited accessibility, and reduced air quality. The committee recommends attacking the problem from many directions; and part of the recommendations would increase permit prices, the number of spaces, and the quality of mass transportation.

A professor stated that affordable parking permits are important and that the price of permits should not be substantially increased. The VPFA replied that current permit prices are much less than the costs which she estimates at $296 per year, including capital costs. She listed the direct and indirect operational costs per parking space per year. A professor said that all of the operational costs on that list are minor except for the entry for parking enforcement and that large item is offset entirely by the revenue from parking fines and permits and thus should not be included because it is a wash. The VPFA said that the budget for transportation and parking balances now but does not include sufficient funds for maintaining and improving the capital equipment. She added that pricing is a means to manage demand. She said that most people will need their cars because of the location of the campus. If approved, the plan would change permit prices for faculty, staff and commuter students to $5 for the satellite lots, $50 for the west edge lot, $150 for the ring lots, $250 for A lot, $400 for core campus (unreserved), and $1000 for a reserved space in the core campus.

The VPFA emphasized the high price charged by Durham businesses for guaranteed parking spaces for students in their lots; but a professor said that a more reasonable comparison would be how much local industries charge their employees for parking, which is nothing. Some other universities charge more for parking than UNH does, but a professor pointed out that the salaries at those universities tend to be higher as well. Some faculty said that parking should not be made a stand-alone budget item but should continue to be built into the infrastructure of the university. The VPFA said that convenient parking is a scarce commodity and should have a high price so that fewer people would use it. A professor responded that the university would not charge its employees for turning on lights and computers and that parking is a similar cost of doing business. The VPFA said that convenient parking for every faculty, staff and student could only be available if the majority of the campus were paved. People now spend too much time looking for spaces. Where is the proper balance? She referred to the faculty/staff telephone survey last spring which indicated a willingness to pay somewhat more for significant improvements. A redesign of the existing transit and shuttle schedule is needed, and more people would car pool if they had access to off-campus transportation in emergencies. Increasing the available housing on and near the campus for students and faculty, building a parking garage, improving traffic flow, tightening parking eligibility and enforcement, and adjusting the schedule of classes to utilize non-peak times are other useful ideas. Some grant funds may be available to help develop fuel-efficient vehicles, but matching funds would be needed.

A professor said that special campus events prevent faculty and staff from parking in their normal areas. The VPFA said that an attempt is made to encourage special events to be held at non-peak days and times and to inform the parking area users in advance of any disruption. The ratio of spaces to permits has remained about the same for years, but many of the spaces have been moved from the core campus to the west edge. There is a great deal of traffic congestion, especially on Main Street; and this congestion delays the shuttle buses. Due to the railroad track, there are very limited options for moving from the east side of campus to the west, and the campus master plan includes two additional tunnels for passage across the tracks. Also, the university needs to better inform visitors about where they may park.

A professor suggested raising everyone's salary by the cost of the additional parking fees and then charging the fees in order to modify the behavior of the people who park. The VPFA said that changes in parking fees would be negotiated with the AAUP before instituting the new fees for faculty, staff or students. The VPFA said that the university hopes to obtain satellite parking on the Portsmouth side of campus. A professor said that a sidewalk from the west edge to the core campus is needed, to improve safety. Another professor said that the additional time that would be required for shuttling in from a satellite lot is very costly. He pointed out also that the increased cost in time and money would be a much more significant part of the income of support staff than of faculty. Information on the transportation proposal is available at www.unh.edu/parking/TPC/index.htm, and this web site has a link for input to the Transportation Committee.

III. Minutes - The 3/25/02 senate minutes were unanimously approved, with the following revisions to the next to last paragraph of item III. The first sentence in that paragraph will be: "A professor asked if the administration would hire any additional faculty and provide other resources needed to teach extra courses required by this program." The next-to-last sentence in that paragraph will be: "Under the proposed system, if courses are taken which satisfy multiple requirements, it may be possible for a student to take one less general education course than in the present; or if multiple-requirement courses are not used, up to two more courses than the currently-required ten might be needed." In addition, the 4/8/02 senate minutes were unanimously approved.

IV. Communications from the Chair - The chair thanked the senators for their input on the presidential search and announced that the new president will be Ann Weaver Hart. University Community Day will be held on April 24, and two university community scholarships will be awarded on that day. The Tobacco Use Policy is now being revised. The World Wide Web Policy has been distributed for input and is under final review. Faculty are asked to submit suggestions for COLSA, CEPS and Liberal Arts faculty to be members of the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee. Only one of those three representatives should be a faculty senator.

V. General Education Study Committee Recommendations - Bill Stine moved and Jeffrey Salloway seconded untabling the motion on the GESC recommendations. The motion to bring the GESC motion to the table passed. On behalf of the Agenda Committee, Jerry Finn made and Ed Hinson accepted a friendly amendment to modify the wording of the original motion as follows:

The Faculty Senate commends the efforts of the senate's General Education Study Committee and supports the basic design of the program. The Faculty Senate moves that a proposed implementation plan be developed by the proposed UNH Discovery Program Committee working in consultation with the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee (UCAPC). An individual to coordinate the development of this implementation plan would be named by the Provost. This implementation plan, along with evidence of adequate resources to support the plan, must be approved by the Faculty Senate before actual implementation may begin, including the disbursement of faculty development money.

A professor said that the colleges should first do an impact study on the recommendations, but another faculty member responded that this would be part of the work of the implementation committee. The senate chair suggested that faculty from the concerned departments should be members of that committee. Saying that the concerns of the faculty should be explicitly expressed in the motion, Jim Farrell moved and Ken Baldwin seconded that the following amendment should be substituted for all but the first sentence of the amended motion:

The Faculty Senate recommends that no further action on the GESC report be taken until such time as a comprehensive plan for implementation of the program can be developed and approved by the Faculty Senate. That plan should include a proposal for addressing problems that arise in academic programs where, because of accreditation requirements and other academic constraints, there are few options for students to do additional general education course work outside the major.

The implementation plan should also include a commitment from the university administration for resources adequate to implement the proposed general education changes. Those resources should include, but are not limited to, new faculty positions in departments where current resource limitations, high student enrollment, high student/faculty ratios, and other factors would create significant obstacles to implementing certain features of the proposed general education program.

The implementation plan should also address potential conflicts between the proposed general education program and the competition for resources inherent in the RCM budgetary model. The implementation plan should be drafted by a Faculty Senate ad-hoc committee, working in conjunction with the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee (UCAPC) and appropriate university administrators.

A professor said that, since other needs and concerns may be identified as time goes on, the above concerns should be included in the record of the discussion but not in the motion itself. In both the Finn amendment and the Farrell amendment, the Faculty Senate would have veto power over the implementation plan. The implementation committee would not have the same membership as the General Education Study Committee. The Farrell amendment was proposed to make sure that the senate and the administrators would not forget the concerns stated in these senate meetings, even after several years have gone by. Mimi Becker proposed and Jim Farrell agreed to a friendly amendment to change the second sentence of the Farrell amendment to: "That plan should include but not be limited to a proposal for addressing problems that arise in academic programs where, because of accreditation requirements and other academic constraints, there are few options for students to do additional general education course work outside the major."

A faculty member said that the Farrell amendment is too specific and limiting. Another professor pointed out that the administration will soon change, since the university will have a new president next year. A professor suggested modifying the Finn amendment to require explicit college-level impact statements and to add as a preamble a digest of all the senate minutes on this matter. A faculty member emphasized the importance of the responsibility-center management considerations and said that, if the Discovery Program were implemented, her department might not be able to continue as a viable major. A professor pointed out that a director is needed to set up the implementation plan. The last sentence of the Farrell amendment says that the senate ad-hoc committee would work "in conjunction with the UCAPC and appropriate university administrators," which could include a person appointed by the administration to work full time to plan the implementation of the Discovery Program.

The Farrell amendment, with the first sentence of the Finn amendment and with the Becker friendly amendment, passed. After discussion of various ways of selecting the members of the Faculty Senate ad-hoc committee, a professor suggested that the faculty's ad-hoc committee be appointed according to the description in the GESC report. The main motion passed and is worded as follows:

The Faculty Senate commends the efforts of the senate's General Education Study Committee and supports the basic design of the program. The Faculty Senate recommends that no further action on the GESC report be taken until such time as a comprehensive plan for implementation of the program can be developed and approved by the Faculty Senate. That plan should include but not be limited to a proposal for addressing problems that arise in academic programs where, because of accreditation requirements and other academic constraints, there are few options for students to do additional general education course work outside the major.

The implementation plan should also include a commitment from the university administration for resources adequate to implement the proposed general education changes. Those resources should include, but are not limited to, new faculty positions in departments where current resource limitations, high student enrollment, high student/faculty ratios, and other factors would create significant obstacles to implementing certain features of the proposed general education program.

The implementation plan should also address potential conflicts between the proposed general education program and the competition for resources inherent in the RCM budgetary model. The implementation plan should be drafted by a Faculty Senate ad-hoc committee, working in conjunction with the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee (UCAPC) and appropriate university administrators.

VI. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.

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