UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 9 October, 2000




I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Afolayan, Becker, Conroy, Denis, Draper, Halstead, Jago, Macieski, McCann, Messner, Russell, Tucker, and VonDamm. Absent as work to rule were: Archer, Ashwell, Bornstein, Carr, Christie, Dolan, Garofalo, Hageman, Hall, Krysiak, Malarte-Feldman, Planalp, Schiller, Simpson, Slomba, and Stine. Excused were Hiller, Kaye, Reid and Trowbridge.

II. Communications with the president - The president said that enrollment management has now been turned around and that the enrollment process is working well. The freshman class is what we had hoped it would be. Private fund raising is also proceeding very well, and $65,000,000 has already been pledged out of the capital campaign's goal of $100,000,000. Regarding the internal budget model, through which we attribute money to the units and assess their costs, the reserves have grown substantially as a result of allowing departments to accumulate funds over more than one year. An informal agreement has been reached in collective bargaining, and progress is being made towards a formal agreement. After the contract is signed, work will need to be done on the collective bargaining process and procedures, so that future negotiations can be more timely and collegial. The president said that the Board of Trustees has agreed to competitive salaries for all employees. She added that the university must do more sophisticated marketing studies for staff salary levels than in the past and said that she expects to see increases in many staff salary categories.

The vice president for financial affairs met recently with members of the Faculty Senate's Finance and Administration Committee, and the president expects that this committee will share the information with the senate as a whole. The university's budget has somewhat more flexibility now than in the past. Research funding continues to grow by eight to ten percent per year and now is higher than the funding for instruction. The university plans to review licensure, copyright and patent policy. The former president of Hadco will advise the university on public relations and marketing for one year. The university's faculty emeriti have contributed generously with private gifts. The university remains seriously underfunded by the state, and only fifteen percent of the university's budget is state funded. Student debt continues to grow. The university is asking the state for a six-year commitment for the capital budget.

A professor expressed concern that, since the contract requires that faculty raises be made on a percentage of salary, older faculty get a much greater monetary raise than do younger faculty who may be doing creative work. Another professor replied that the size of the increment related to promotion has gone up, and so that will benefit good young faculty. A third faculty member said that there is nothing to prevent the president from rewarding a faculty member for special work. The president replied that she looks forward to responding to this debate when the contract is signed.

A faculty member said that in one of his classes he has a student who has difficulty reading and who had very low SAT scores. The professor wonders how this student had been accepted for admission, and the president asked the faculty member to send the information to the president's office for review. In response to another question, the president said that she thinks the university breaks even financially on in-state students. The university spends 22.4 percent of tuition dollars on financial aid, and most of the university's financial aid is based on merit. The federal government provides funds based on need, such as for the work-study program. A professor suggested a review of expenses such as athletic scholarships.

Another professor said that sometimes a student who turns out to be extremely good had not initially been given much financial aid and that there is little provision to change that situation in the junior and senior years. The president agreed that the university has money to attract incoming students but very little to reward good performance. A professor said that, if only fifteen percent of the operating budget comes from the state, do we really need to be a state university. The president replied that, without state funding, we could not support the physical plant of the university.

III. Communications from the acting chair - The acting chair said that, since there is no quorum at this meeting, items E through I on the senate agenda will be postponed. As soon as the contract is approved, he intends to write to the chairs of departments with vacant senate seats, to urge each of those department to choose a representative who will put forward the faculty's views on important academic issues.

IV. Minutes - The acting chair said that two changes have been made to the minutes of the previous senate meeting. Professor Dolan will be listed as work to rule instead of absent, and the first sentence in item two will begin "The president commented on the recent visit of Orlando Taylor, Dean of the Graduate School of Howard University…."

V. Priorities for senate business - A faculty member expressed concern about the fact that, after a student wrote an article in The New Hampshire, on student constitutional rights regarding searches of dormitory rooms, the student was removed from a voluntary position by the university administration. The professor would like the student government lawyer and the university attorney to prepare a brochure that would clarify the university's position on students' rights to free speech, privacy and due process.

The senate's Finance and Administration Committee feels that the Faculty Senate should be informed of how the college units are planning to implement responsibility center management. There seems to be no requirement that a college share any money with its departments, and the use of all funds will be decided by the deans. The senate's Finance and Administration Committee will try to get information on this matter for the senate. A cut-and-dried procedure is not needed, but the faculty should know how each college plans to handle this matter. The provost has instructed the deans to report to him on this, but there are so many new deans that progress is slow. The Finance and Administration Committee has members from each college, and those members could talk with each dean and bring the results to the committee. Then the committee could discuss the issue with the provost if that seemed necessary.

Regarding the proposed changes in faculty nomenclature, a professor commented that most of the document is fairly unobjectionable but that this issue should be part of a wider-ranging discussion that would review information from a prior report to the senate, on part-time faculty. That report was received by the senate and sent to the senate's Academic Affairs Committee which did not act on it. The senate chair agreed that we should review that report. The chair asked if the senate should have a Faculty Affairs Committee to consider that and other matters. The senate can discuss but not vote on items which might relate to bargainable issues. Information on the proposed changes in faculty nomenclature is available on the web, copies were provided at today's senate meeting, and senators are asked to send any questions or concerns to the provost.

The senate chair will ask about the planned process and time line for the review of faculty nomenclature. Apparently the proposal is to do away with eighty-eight percent time. Previously the university said that, with the exception of faculty in residence, only tenure-track faculty could be one hundred percent time. That would be a big change. This is a complicated issue and will impact promotion and tenure. Should the senate invite the provost to discuss this at a senate meeting? What is the basis for these changes? Some felt there was a need for consistency between the colleges and for more flexibility. The senate should have a couple of meetings to take care of prior business and get input from colleagues, before having the provost speak at a senate meeting.

In the fifth year of the Faculty Senate there is supposed to be a re-evaluation of the constitution and bylaws of the senate. The university president has mentioned that there is a consulting group which deals with such issues. A professor replied that, if we are content with what we have, there is no need to bring in a consultant.

Concern was expressed about the lack of any faculty involvement in the university's Academic Standards and Advising Committee. That committee deals with core academic issues, and the committee's minutes are confidential. The professor said that the administration should not object to having faculty membership on that committee, and the acting chair agreed that the senate's Academic Affairs Committee should look into this issue. Senate committees may consider new charges as the need arises.

VI. Adjournment - Today's meeting was adjourned.

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