UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 21 October, 2002




I. Roll - The following faculty senators were absent: Baldwin, Black, Burger, Calculator, Conroy, Craycraft, Elmslie, McCann, Miriam, and Stine. Excused were Trzaskoma, Tucker and White. Mark Rubinstein, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, attended part of the meeting.

II. Minutes - The minutes of the last senate meeting were approved unanimously, with a modification so that the fifth sentence of item V will read: "Any UNH student, faculty, staff, or faculty emeritus with a valid UNH library card and a Boston Library Consortium card, which is obtainable at the main desk in Dimond Library, will be able to check out books at any of the libraries in the consortium; and the books may be returned later at any consortium library, not necessarily where they were taken out." The minutes then state that "Undergraduate students would need to demonstrate a specific scholarly research need, in order to qualify for a consortium library card."

III. Communications from the Chair - The senate chair said that the senate's Research and Public Service Committee expects to confirm the committee's chair next Monday. One charge for this committee was to find out if the Intellectual Property Policy will be an active part of the contract negotiation process. The faculty union has confirmed to the senate chair that the union expects to negotiate issues regarding the Intellectual Property Policy during these contract negotiations, and thus the above charge for the Research and Public Service Committee has been completed. The Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program met last week and is actively working on its charge, although the committee has not yet chosen a chair. The senate chair asked that Faculty Senate committees report to the senate whenever any charge is completed.

IV. Update on the Master Plan - Mimi Becker, the senate's representative to the Master Plan Steering Committee, asked that faculty members contact her regarding any issues, concerns, goals or objectives that faculty feel the Master Plan Steering Committee should consider. The steering committee has completed the search process and will nominate a consulting firm to help implement the Master Plan revision process. This firm has had extensive experience with university master planning throughout the country, and the university is now negotiating the details about the scope of services and the data-gathering phase of the process. This master plan is to cover the core campus, Thompson School, and also the adjacent lands used by the university for academic purposes; and the plan is to be completed in one to two years. The Durham town planner is a member of the steering committee. Please send input to Mimi Becker at mlbecker@cisunix.unh.edu. A senator suggested that the walking-campus concept should not drive the planning process.

V. Update on Enrollment and the Student Body - Mark Rubinstein, Vice Provost for Academic Achievement and Enrollment Services, said that the total enrollment at UNH is up to 13,026 students, which is a seven percent increase since 1998; and so space needs are high. A student body of 13,000 was considered an optimal three-to-five-year target (in 2000) for the physical plant of the university, and thus the university has reached its short-term enrollment goal and does not expect to increase enrollment further in the next few years. The plan is to enroll 2,550 to 2,600 freshmen each year. The first-year retention rate is 84.7 percent, and this is relatively high among peer institutions. Most students who leave UNH say they do so for personal reasons. The demand for housing is a product of both the large freshman class and the desire (and need) by many continuing students to live on campus rather than rent apartments off campus.

Since 1997, undergraduate enrollments in COLSA and SHHS have gone down, while Liberal Arts and WSBE have increased their enrollments. More undeclared Liberal Arts students are staying in Liberal Arts. Students of color have increased from 3.2 percent to 4.2 percent at UNH. The percentage of female undergraduates has decreased from sixty to fifty-seven percent, and the percentage of freshmen who are New Hampshire residents is down slightly. There is also a slight drop in the mean class rank; and more high schools (accounting for twenty-two percent of our enrolled freshmen) will no longer provide class rankings. In addition, grade point averages in all high schools have tended to rise. The Scholastic Aptitude Test score mean is down slightly, to 1104 from last year's 1109; but that is within the range of the last ten years. UNH has held its merit-based scholarships constant and has seen some erosion in the university's ability to attract the best students; and so the university plans to make some adjustments in that area.

In response to a question, Mark Rubinstein estimated the UNH student graduation rate over four, five and six years and said that he would look up the actual figures and send them to the senate office for inclusion in the minutes. The four-year graduation rate for UNH baccalaureate candidates is about fifty-three percent; the five-year rate is sixty-eight percent; and the six-year graduation rate is approximately seventy percent. These figures compare favorably to our New England land-grant institution peers and to the national average for all public institutions. The graduation rate for UNH's Asian students is sixty-five percent, for black students sixty-six percent, for Hispanics sixty-one percent, and for white students seventy-one percent. About ten percent of the enrollment at UNH comes from outside of New England.

A few UNH students have been home schooled or took the General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Although some students may not graduate from high schools in Massachusetts, because the students have not passed or have refused on principle to take the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) testing, the assumption at present is that UNH students from Massachusetts will have passed that test. As time goes on, this assumption might be reviewed; and if so, this issue will be brought to the Faculty Senate. UNH competes with the state land-grant institutions in New England and tends to be stronger than the University of Maine and about the same as the University of Rhode Island. UNH has the next to highest resident tuition rate, second only to the University of Vermont; and UNH also has a high non-resident tuition rate.

VI. Update on the Faculty Luncheon - Elizabeth Hageman said that the October 11 faculty luncheon was enjoyable and useful for the ten faculty members, of whom four were new faculty, four were established faculty members, and two were senate representatives. The meeting was adjourned.


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