UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 24 September, 2001




I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Afolayan, Baldwin, Bornstein, Burger, Denis, Fletcher, Frankel, Halstead, Miriam, Pollard, Simpson, and VonDamm. Excused were de Alba, Draper, and Trowbridge.

II. Communications from the Office of Research and Public Service - Don Sundberg, Vice President for Research and Public Service, said that he looks forward to working closely with the senate's Research and Public Service Committee and to influencing that committee's agenda. His office is working on a partnership theme, including interaction with the Justice Works Group, the Crimes against Children Center, and also state agencies regarding police vehicles. The Office of Research and Public Service is also working with groups on atmospheric investigation, regional modeling, and climate change information and with the New Hampshire Institute on Health Practices. UNH has spun off its first company, Chaoticom, which deals with data compression and encryption. The second undergraduate research conference was held in May, and the new Environmental Technology Building was completed this summer. UNH faculty have received 736 grants, which is a record number. The Academic Planning Steering Committee is entering the implementation stage; and Vice President Sundberg would like to work with the senate's Research and Public Service Committee on that matter, especially regarding items four and five in the strategic plan, which deal with research and outreach.

Julie Williams, Associate Vice President for Research and Public Service, introduced herself and talked about why she chose to come to UNH. Among other things, she was impressed with the growth of research here and with the potential for further progress in that area, as well as with the care and energy going into the strategic planning process. She wants to work closely with faculty to enhance research opportunities. She would like to bring together the parts of the university that work on outreach, including public television, cooperative extension, and the Division of Continuing Education, in order to integrate their activities more effectively into the academic mission. She is also interested in undergraduate research and in exploring ways to interface better with the graduate school. Finally, she will work to enhance the understanding of the citizens of our state regarding how the university's activities serve their communities.

Don Sundberg said that the university is holding a press conference to announce that UNH has received fourteen million dollars to build a new coastal laboratory in Newcastle. The center will work on coastal and ocean mapping and on open ocean aqua-culture. He asks the faculty to collaborate on open ocean policy. He is planning an institute that will cover faculty research from several colleges. He also envisions a closer relationship between the marine and coastal programs and centers. He said that we need to help the citizens of New Hampshire view the university's research as both important to them and available to them. He added that the intellectual property policy is still under development and that his office will work with the AAUP on this issue. Data retention and management are also under review, and the vice president intends to clarify the university's policy statements on that area and also the policies on shipping biological specimens. In addition, he will review issues on ethics and research.

Kathy Cataneo, Executive Director of the Office of Sponsored Research, is working to provide more information to faculty, staff and students, on responsible conduct in research and scholarly activities, which would include data management, mentor/trainee responsibilities, publication practices and responsible authorship, peer review, collaborative science, human subjects, animal research, misconduct in scholarly activity, and conflict of interest. She showed the senate a brochure on the latter two topics. An ad-hoc committee on all the above matters advised the vice president to include hazardous materials management and to form a longer-term advisory committee on these subjects. In addition, Julie Simpson, Regulatory Compliance Manager, gives presentations on protection of human subjects and other issues; and a web-based program of instruction on human subject protections is expected to be ready by the end of the semester.

A professor asked if there has been a review of security measures for biohazards, and the vice president responded that there is a review committee on various hazards and that this committee is constantly looking at these issues. He added that, while UNH researchers know how to handle hazardous materials, a campus is an open place and that review of security policies and practice is a good idea.

III. Communications from the Chair - The senate chair announced that the senate standing committees have elected the following chairs: Ken Baldwin for Campus Planning, Toni Smith for Finance and Administration, Liz Hageman for Library, Steve Bornstein for Research and Public Service, and Jim Farrell for Student Affairs. The Academic Affairs Committee has not chosen a chair, and the senate chair will be the acting chair of the Academic Affairs Committee until that committee selects a chair.

On September 28, the first faculty lunch will be hosted by Ken Baldwin of the senate's Campus Planning Committee. Approximately ten such lunches will be scheduled during each fall and spring semester, in order to update faculty members on current issues and to improve faculty-to-faculty communication, Faculty Senate responsiveness, and the sense of community at UNH.

The senate's Student Affairs Committee will review the UNH Smoking Policy, and there is an Oct. 12 deadline for giving the senate input to the administration. Faculty are asked to send their ideas and suggestions right away to the senate's Student Affairs Committee. On the new Banner finance and human resource systems, the social security number will be the primary identifier, and more staff than before will have access to the information. However, the university can use an alias for any employee who requests one. A professor asked if students also will be given an alias upon request, and the senate chair said that he will find out and that an article will soon be published in the Campus Journal on how to request an alias.

Since viruses and other intrusions on the net are an increasing problem, the university is setting up an Internet Task Force, in order to enhance the security of the network system while safeguarding privacy. The Faculty Senate has a seat on that task force, and the senate chair asked faculty to tell him if they would be interested in becoming a member of that group and reporting back to the senate regularly. Regarding the Presidential Search Committee, the president has agreed that having a representative of the Faculty Senate on that committee is important.

IV. Minutes - The minutes of the May 30, 2001, senate meetings were approved unanimously.

V. Moment of Silence - The senate held a moment of silence in memory of Robert LeBlanc and the other victims of the attack last week. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.

VI. Resolution on the Value We Place on Our International Students and Scholars - Jerry Finn presented a motion from the Agenda Committee as follows:

An effective learning community is one in which diverse members share their knowledge, experience and perspectives to enhance the personal and intellectual growth of its members. In this time of crisis and uncertainty, be it resolved that the senate affirms the value and importance of maintaining an enriching campus learning community through respect for and support of diverse perspectives, a multicultural environment, and culturally competent faculty, staff and students. The Senate further affirms the critical importance to the university of each of our international scholars and students, as their programs of research, teaching and study contribute significantly to the core mission of the institution as well as to promoting an enriching and diverse campus environment. The senate calls for respect and support of all members of the UNH community.

After some discussion, a friendly amendment was proposed and accepted to change the motion to the following:

University faculty value and respect the contributions of a diverse faculty and student body. In light of the September 11th attack on the United States, the senate affirms its support for the presence of international scholars on our campus. In particular, the Faculty Senate welcomes, among others, the presence and contributions of Arab and Muslim students and faculty.

The Faculty Senate condemns the attack on the United States and all acts of terrorism. We likewise condemn any effort to single out innocent Arabs or Muslim individuals for discrimination or blame, or efforts to equate Arab ethnicity or Islamic faith with terrorism.

The amended motion passed unanimously. The senators discussed how they have been dealing with concerns about the recent attack.

VII. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.


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