UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 9 September, 2002




I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Burger, Elmslie, Frankel, Marx, McCann, Merenda, Pollard, and Seidel. Excused were Morgan, Niesse, and Trzaskoma.

II. Communications with the President - President Hart announced that Provost Hiley will resign as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs on June 30. The president remarked on the provost's distinguished career. The president plans to set up a search committee and would like input regarding the process, the composition of the search committee, and issues related to the provost's role at UNH. She asked senators to discuss this matter with their colleagues and respond to her on email at ann.hart@unh.edu. She will initiate a national search, and a suggestion has been made that the search committee might have a dean and a faculty member as co-chairs.. The president also announced that, if the trustees approve, Vice President for Student Affairs Leila Moore will take a professional leave of absence and that Kevin Charles, the assistant vice president for student affairs and director of Health Services, will take over as interim vice president for student affairs. The president would like to enhance coordination between the offices of student affairs and academic affairs, and she will take this opportunity to reevaluate how those offices are organized. She would like input on this subject and a careful dialog on the search process.

A main purpose of the review of the Academic Plan is to improve the academic experience of the university's undergraduates and graduate students. The president said that it is important for the university to have a nurturing student support process and for undergraduates to engage in creative work. The UNH Discovery Program proposal came out of this planning process. The president would like to ask the candidates for the above positions their ideas for this program.

The president is reviewing the freshman pledging policy, in order to improve the academic success of freshmen pledges. The provost and the vice provost will work to improve the monitoring of that process. Each of the sororities and fraternities should have a faculty advisor, and senators are asked to encourage their colleagues to agree to advise a fraternity or sorority, especially one to which they belong. A faculty member suggested and the president agreed that the orientation process should include information on the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program.

The president said that the faculty are the intellectual heart of the university and that the university must be committed to competitive faculty salaries. She added that UNH is a very efficient and entrepreneurial university. UNH needs to build community support across New Hampshire and the country more effectively. The president has postponed the search for a new director of university relations, in order to include candidates with a fuller understanding of this process. The university is starting to plan for the next capital campaign. UNH has forty thousand living alumni in New Hampshire and needs to build friendships and support groups with those alumni. The president will try to attend the Faculty Senate meetings this semester.

III. Minutes - The 5/6/02 Faculty Senate minutes were unanimously approved.

IV. Communications from the Chair - The faculty senators who attended the summer coffee meetings suggested some good issues for the senate chair to discuss with the president. Also, the chair and other faculty attended a meeting with the Board of Trustees to talk about faculty concerns. These faculty discussed with the trustees the need for a collegial contract process, one which does not cause turmoil or damage to the university. Health benefits will be an important issue. The Faculty Senate wants to focus on its mission and have faculty take concerns about collective bargaining issues to the faculty union. The mission of the Faculty Senate is expressed in the 1966 Joint Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, which asserts that "The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process." The Faculty Senate should review and develop academic policy, and the Academic Plan is now being updated and implemented.

As directed by last year's Faculty Senate, the Agenda Committee has put together an Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program. The president and the provost would like this program to be implemented soon, and the senate chair has told them that sufficient resources for the program are a very important issue. The members of the ad-hoc committee are Professors Tom Davis, Karen Graham, Steve Pugh, Joanne Curran-Celentano, Richard Messner, Frank McCann, Louise Buckley and Kim Babbitt, and this is a balanced mixture of former members of the General Education Study Committee which recommended the Discovery Program and of other faculty who had some concerns about the program. The ad-hoc committee will meet on September 20 to discuss the charges, elect a chair, and make plans to meet with the provost.

The senate chair has suggested to the president and the provost that there should be a faculty award to recognize service within the university, in addition to the award for service outside the university. The chair has sent to the senators the list of senate standing committee members and also the committee charges. The Agenda Committee has chosen chairs pro tem/conveners for each senate standing committee this year. The committees should plan to bring their charges to the senate throughout the year, not only at the end of the spring semester. The parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate is Mark Wrighton.

Senate appointees regarding the Master Plan are as follows: Mimi Becker to the Steering Committee for the Campus Master Plan, Dan Reid to the Campus Master Planning Committee, Mimi Becker to the Working Group on Land Use, John Ernest to the Working Group on Space Allocation, Dave Howell to the Working Group on Housing, and Fred Short to the Working Group on Landscape and Ecology. Please check with your departmental colleagues and give input to those faculty members.

V. UCAPC Slate - The Faculty Senate unanimously confirmed Professors Dennis Bobilya, Chuck Zercher, and David Andrew as new members of the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee.

VI. Motion to Remove Senate Seats - The Faculty Senate unanimously approved a motion to change the list following item 4 of the Faculty Senate Bylaws which says: "For purposes of Faculty Senate membership, the following academic departments are eligible to elect senate members. The Agenda Committee is responsible for monitoring this list annually." Then a list is given of all the UNH-Durham departments, the library, Thompson School, and UNH-M Humanities and UNH-M Sciences. The motion is to remove from this list Engineering Technology and Medical Laboratory Science.

The rationale for this motion is that the Engineering Technology Program has moved to UNH-Manchester and become part of the Sciences Division of UNH-Manchester. The senate some time ago considered representation for UNH-Manchester and decided to consider each of the two UNH-Manchester divisions as equal to a department for representational purposes. Medical Laboratory Science was a UNH department until last August, when it moved to COLSA and became a program within the Department of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, which has a senate representative.

VII. Motion to Select Standing Committee Chairs - This summer the Agenda Committee discussed the organization and efficacy of the standing committees of the Faculty Senate. There was concern about the continuing difficulty of finding senators willing and able to assume an effective role as chair of each committee and concern about the resulting limitations on the work of the committees. Therefore the Agenda Committee agreed that it should take a more proactive stance in the recruitment, orientation, and support of senate committee chairs in the summer preceding the academic year. The Agenda Committee moves that the Faculty Senate Bylaws be changed to allow the Agenda Committee to appoint chairs to each of the standing committees during the summer. The motion would change the first and last sentences of item 2A of the senate bylaws to read, "In the summer of each year the Agenda Committee will appoint members to senate standing committees, after receiving indications of committee preferences" and "The Agenda Committee will appoint a chair to each of the standing committees." This change will strengthen the senate, so that committee chairs can take part in more of the planning process, help choose their committee members and charges, participate in a summer orientation, be ready to lead from the first senate meeting, and contribute to more efficient and effective standing committee deliberations and recommendations. The change to the first sentence of item 2A is just to conform to the actual practice of appointing members to senate committees in the summer rather than in May. The motion was approved with thirty-six ayes, one nay, and two abstentions.

VIII. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.


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