UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 27 January, 2003




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Barcelona, Burger, Elmslie, Frankel, Kies, Lugalla, Niesse, Pollard, and Schlentrich. Excused was Garcia-Rasilla. President Hart, Bob Cape, Roy Torbert, Julie Williams and Sally Ward attended part of the meeting.

II. Minutes - The minutes of the 12/2/02 senate meeting were approved unanimously; and the minutes of the 11/18/02 senate meeting were modified so that the fourth sentence in item VIII will read "For example the Thompson School students' GPA is not recognized as a UNH GPA for the purposes of study abroad, and also the UNH language program requires study abroad but some of the language program's students do not have a 2.5 average".

III. Communications with the President - The state legislative session has begun; and the university system has established a steering committee composed of the presidents, the chancellor, the chair of the Board of Trustees, and Kate Salisbury and Gregg Sanborn, to share information on legislative bills and to work on responses to them. Senator Harrington has resubmitted House Bill 55, which relates to affirmative action; but the university received the text of the bill only two days before it came up for legislative discussion on January 23. The bill was referred to a subcommittee, and the university hopes that the bill will be designated inexpedient to legislate. Another bill would affect Plymouth State College and its relationship with the town of Plymouth, regarding taxation and services. The university is also following other legislative bills such as House Bill 15, on the issue of student voting in local and national elections. The president asks that faculty inform her of legislative bills which might be of interest to the university system. The university is setting up a core group of community leaders and alumni who are willing to speak regarding such bills, including budget bills; and the president would like faculty members to participate in this effort as well. In response to a question, the president said that she would ask that a list of bills important to the university be posted on the university web site. She will also check to see if the text of bills could be sent automatically to the appropriate senate or university-wide committee.

The governor has asked state agencies to prepare reduced budget scenarios; and the university's Board of Trustees will try to make the case that now is not the time to reduce the budget for higher education, because that represents the future of the state. A cut in state funding would be especially difficult for the university library and Cooperative Extension. The legislative hockey event held recently had a very good turnout. Also there was a breakfast held for the Durham, Lee and Madbury delegates, and on March 27 there will be an alumni/legislative breakfast. It is important that the various groups at these events interact with each other. The president will host a series of breakfast meetings in her home for delegates from other areas as well. The university will also hold a series of Cooperative Extension Advisory Committee meetings in different regions of the state, and these meetings are expected to include the legislative delegations in those regions. The university is also discussing with legislators the buildings that were on the KEEP plan for renovation but for which funds have not yet been appropriated.

IV. Communications from the Chair - Faculty senators are invited to attend the hearings for the master planning process which deals with space usage, transportation, buildings and other issues, at 9:30 on January 28 in room 18 of the Memorial Union Building. Senators who are unable to attend may give input to Mimi Becker.

V. Discussion with Bob Cape on Internal Security Policy - The Internal Security Policy includes academic technology, telecommunication and client services, database administration, printing and mail services, finance, and planning. Bob Cape asked the senators for input on the proposed policy, which will apply to each of the institutions of the system. The Acceptable Uses Policy provided guidelines for the user; but the Internal Security Policy would deal on a system level with issues such as security for grades, payroll, and alumni contributions and would try to safeguard access to the campus network, the wide area network and the internet. This policy would provide a code of practice for information security management. Faculty input had been given by a committee chaired by Kent Chamberlin, and this group had said that the policy should prohibit reading others' email or computer files or tracking network access. The proposed policy would clarify responsibilities and best practices and would not provide much change for the computer user. A professor said that the Computer Sciences Department has its own network and wants to be reassured that there will not be interference in how the department operates this network as long as it does so responsibly. Bob Cape responded that the fundamental relationship between Computing and Information Services and the Computer Sciences Department would not be changed.

VI. Discussion with Roy Torbert and Julie Williams on the Definition of Engagement - The Subcommittee on Engagement through Research and Scholarship deals with one of the three focus areas of the accreditation report, which will be prepared for the NEASC team visit in October of 2003. The subcommittee's report, which is now in draft form, will show how the university contributes to outreach and how that is a critical part of its function as a public university. Outreach and engagement also need to be integrated into the promotion and tenure process. The report states that the university has a rich tradition of outreach, engagement and public service. The work on this report is directly linked to the academic strategic planning process, and the subcommittee includes both faculty and administrators.

The subcommittee looked at data from other land grant institutions and conducted a survey to collect data about UNH projects that reasonably fit the definition of engagement through research and scholarship. Engagement is a mutually beneficial collaboration between UNH and community partners, for the purpose of generating and applying relevant knowledge to benefit the public directly. Seventy-one percent of the outreach activities impacts New Hampshire citizens; and the remainder reaches New England, the rest of the country, and other countries. Two thirds of the information produced by engagement and outreach is disseminated directly to the public, and the rest goes to professional audiences. Examples of engagement include the speakers' bureau, the Northeast Consortium, the Women in Science and Technology Forum, the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice, the Lakes Lay Monitoring Project, the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, and artistic performances.

There will be a database of engagement activities available on the website, and this will facilitate a continual assessment of how the university meets its obligations for outreach and improves from year to year, in New Hampshire and beyond. Assistant professors are concerned about how much time to give to teaching, research and outreach and how time for each will count in the promotion and tenure process. The senate chair said that she has met with Bruce Mallory and the provost regarding setting up a task force led by the Faculty Senate, to work on promotion and tenure policy revision. A suggestion was made to have a link for outreach directly from the UNH home page, so that citizens can easily connect with an appropriate outreach provider. A professor said that many faculty contribute to local school boards and planning boards and that those activities should count as outreach; and Julie Williams agreed.

VII. Report from Sally Ward, Chair of the NEASC Subcommittee on the Undergraduate Experience - The university is using the work on the accreditation report to move forward on planning for and evaluation of the undergraduate experience, institutional effectiveness and engagement. The Subcommittee on the Undergraduate Experience decided not to review general education, since that area was revised recently. The subcommittee, which includes faculty, administrators and students, has five working groups which concentrate on internships, advising, student life, international education, and undergraduate research. The subcommittee developed a Blackboard site for the exchange of information and posted a number of reports on that site, as well as external links to other resources. Later this Blackboard site will be open to the university community. The subcommittee invited several faculty members to report on key issues; and it set up surveys to learn about internship activities, advising, capstone courses, and undergraduate research. Work by faculty on advising, undergraduate research and internships should be formally counted during promotion and tenure, not on an ad-hoc basis.

The subcommittee has communicated with the Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program and hopes the Discovery Program will proceed towards implementation. When the three NEASC accreditation subcommittees report to the steering committee, it will put together a draft of a master report; and the Faculty Senate will be asked for its input on the draft.

VIII. Report from Mark Wrighton, on the Hockey Schedule and Final Exams - There is a hockey tournament that the UNH hockey team hopes to participate in this year; but the date of the tournament has been changed from after Christmas to December 20 and 21, with a travel day on Friday, December 19; and final exams will run through December 20. So a few hockey players might need to make special arrangements to take a final exam. Mark Wrighton, a member of the Athletic Advisory Committee, suggested that a faculty member such as himself could accompany the team on this trip in order to proctor the exams or the students might be able to make alternate arrangements with their teachers. A faculty member pointed out that he will be giving a take-home exam which will require the students to have access to the library. Other professors said that faculty should work individually with students to resolve examination problems. The policy which the senate worked on several years ago says that the Athletic Department will make a reasonable effort to avoid such conflicts, and the UNH Athletic Department does not have much choice regarding the dates of this tournament, which is unusually early this year due to the way the calendar falls. In today's senate meeting, professors suggested that the Athletic Department should send a note explaining the situation to the faculty members and that the faculty and students should work together to resolve exam schedule issues.

IX. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.

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