UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 26 January, 2004




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Annicchiarico, Broussard, Burger, Calculator, Farrell, Gutman, Herold, Lugalla, Miller, Neefus, Niesse, and Stone. Excused were Black, Cioffi, Gumprecht, Kalinowski, Laue, Mennel, Pescosolido, and Wrighton. Guests were President Hart, Bruce Mallory, Julie Williams, Cameron Wake and Dave Howell.

II. Communications with the president - The Central Budget Committee and others who deal with university budgeting are considering plans in case of a budget rescission from Concord. The committee will be guided by principles of efficiency, centrality, quality, and potential for future excellence. This semester, the university has begun the process of designing the review of responsibility center management, in order to make sure that critical issues such as the library, Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Public Television will be carefully considered. The president would like the Faculty Senate's Finance and Administration Committee to work with the Central Budget Committee in this effort.

President Hart said that, in order to talk with faculty in small groups about current issues, Provost Mallory will schedule breakfast meetings with junior faculty and the president will invite the more senior faculty to receptions. The president would also like to encourage faculty to participate in the study sessions on diversity. She said that diversity has been growing over the last few years and that we want to continue that momentum. The university's statements on diversity have not been revisited in a long time. As part of the academic planning process, a study circle dialogue has been initiated by the provost and others, in order to develop a new set of statements in relation to inclusion. The president asked that senators invite their colleagues to participate in the study circles.

III. Communications with the provost - Provost Mallory asked that faculty talk to students about how to celebrate sports events such as the super bowl. Faculty want students to succeed at UNH and thus to celebrate responsibly, in order to avoid suspension and other possible consequences. The town believes that Main Street should be kept open so that emergency vehicles can pass, except on rare, pre-planned occasions when emergency vehicles are posted on both sides of the town.

The president intends to formally initiate a programmatic review of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. According to article 14.4 of the faculty contract, the Programmatic Review Committee membership will include three faculty from COLSA, three faculty recommended by the senate's Agenda Committee, and one person appointed by the president. The faculty in COLSA have been working for many years to reorganize the discipline, majors and programs in COLSA, in order to align with contemporary scholarship and to adjust to enrollment declines in some areas. The biological sciences have changed greatly. Formal notification of the programmatic review will be sent to the faculty union and to the senate's Agenda Committee, and the programmatic review committee will be asked to prepare recommendations for the president.

As a result of the Michigan court decision and regulations on financial aid, the president asked the UNH faculty to articulate the compelling interest of the university in having more diversity. There is an educational benefit that arises from having more diversity; and in order to justify targeted financial aid, faculty need to affirm this. These matters could relate to women in the sciences and also to racial diversity. The university needs to meet the judicial and statutory regulations and also make sure that the campus climate for our students is welcoming. The provost's office will provide pertinent reading materials and a place for dialogue. The provost will also engage a consultant on this issue. The study circles on diversity should work up a shared definition of what we mean by a diverse campus. The consultant will provide information on the practices and results in other universities. Both students and faculty are invited to participate in the study circles.

IV. Communications from the vice chair - The Board of Trustees has recently released a policy on the system-wide effect of disciplinary suspensions and expulsions, and copies of this policy were distributed in today's senate meeting. The faculty referendum meeting was held on December 11, to consider the senate's motion endorsing the implementation of the Academic Plan and continuing consultation between the provost's office and the Faculty Senate. The discussion at the meeting was useful. Eighty-eight faculty attended, and 331 were needed for a quorum. Therefore the senate's 11/3/03 motion endorsing implementation and continuing consultation will stand. The cost of the referendum, not including salaries, was approximately five hundred dollars.

The senate office emailed the senators asking them to review the Wireless Air Space/Spectrum Policy and also the information on protecting the UNH campus from a large volume of infected email messages. Please ask your colleagues to review the draft of the wireless policy at www.unh.edu/cis/wpdoc.html and send their comments to dave.townson@unh.edu by February 16. Professor Townson will compile the input and forward it to the CIS working group. The policy is scheduled to take effect on March 1.

V. Task Force on the Associate of Arts Degrees - The task force chair, David Howell, presented the report of the task force and said that the report should be submitted to the senate's Academic Affairs Committee for review. The task force looked at the Associate of Arts programs at UNH-Manchester, the Thompson School, the College for Lifelong Learning, the Division of Continuing Education, and the New Hampshire Community Technical Colleges. The task force considered centrality, quality, demand, cost, and the availability of other programs. The task force recommends that the UNH-Manchester Associate of Arts program continue unchanged. The task force also recommends that the Division of Continuing Education Associate of Arts program be continued and strengthen by implementing certain changes. These include adding evening and weekend courses, a significant number of which should be taught by tenure-track faculty; removing the non-traditional requirement for enrollment; publicizing that Associate of Arts program concentrations are available in all disciplines in which the university has minors; increasing the advising and academic support services; and instituting an active recruitment program.

If these changes cannot be implemented, the task force recommends that the DCE Associate of Arts program be phased out and the following actions taken. First, consider activation of a pre-admission program outlined in the 10/3/03 memo, in order to provide a small number of non-traditional students a structured way to prepare for baccalaureate admission. Second, aggressively pursue formal articulation agreements with New Hampshire Community Technical Colleges across a broad range of programs, to facilitate transfer into specific majors. After discussion of the report, a motion to refer it to the senate's Academic Affairs Committee passed unanimously.

VI. Update on initiatives to improve communications with traditionally minority schools - Julie Williams said that the office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service has been working to develop a collaborative relationship with a historically black institution of higher learning in North Carolina. The UNH Academic Plan states that UNH will seek more diversity. The collaborative program will focus on education, research and outreach scholarship in earth and environmental sciences and marine programs. Cameron Wake said that the basis of the collaboration will be real partnerships with mutual benefit and common interests and institutional commitment. Steps include assessment of research strengths, institutional commitment and support, a focus on quality rather than quantity, getting and staying connected, and long-term future collaboration. The plan is to work with the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research, the Minority University Space Interdisciplinary Network, the Network Resources and Training Sites Consortium, and other groups for infrastructure and financial support.

UNH made a decision to collaborate with one partner, the Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. Proposals have been made to agencies; and the hope is to work with NASA, NOAA, the Department of Defense, Northrop Grumann and the National Science Foundation. A workshop is planned for March of 2004. These efforts should be mutually beneficial to UNH and Elizabeth City State University. A professor remarked that the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences also has a connection with a university in El Salvador.

VII. Minutes - The final portion of the first sentence of the second paragraph in item VI of the 12/1/03 senate minutes should be modified to say that "…Thompson School has seven programs, including several technical and applied business management courses which make the COLSA designation not a good fit." The next-to-last sentence in the fourth paragraph of item VI should say that "A professor said that Thompson School students are UNH students, but people do not realize that because of the numbering system." The minutes of the 12/1/03 Faculty Senate meeting were unanimously approved, as modified.

VIII. Adjournment - The Faculty Senate meeting was adjourned.

Click HERE to return to the main Faculty Senate Minutes page.