UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 22 October, 2001




I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Andrew, Black, Churchill, Denis, Frankel, Halstead, Niesse, Simpson, VonDamm and Zercher. Excused were Afolayan, Barcelona, Elmslie, Kies, Merenda, Salloway, Seidel, and Trowbridge.

II. Communications from the Provost - The provost said that the Academic Planning Steering Committee members, including the senate chair and a member of the senate's Academic Affairs Committee, worked last year on planning goals and strategies for the university. Now there is an effort to translate the academic plan into an action plan, to recommend specific steps towards implementation. The provost said that the Faculty Senate will be asked for input on the action plan. The undergraduate experience will be reviewed by a group which is expected to include the chair or a member of the senate's Academic Affairs Committee. In addition, engagement through research and scholarship will be reviewed, and then the steering committee will consider the recommendations of these groups and take the plan to the university community for input.

A day-long retreat was recently held to discuss the vision and values of the university plan and to charge each unit to develop its own responsibility center management plan which would be consistent with the university plan. Since the primary mission of the university is academics, the planning of all parts of the university, even non-academic offices such as grounds and roads, must be guided by the academic plan. Another retreat will be held to work on the communication plan, and a pro-bono consultant will help with this effort.

The pilot study on Tally continued this summer, and installation has been successfully completed in all administrative offices and in two schools or colleges. In only one case did Tally cause a problem on a faculty member's computer, and Tally was removed from that computer. Now the president has set up an Internet Task Force, with a nominee from the senate, to maximize the university's network security while maintaining a suitable level of privacy. The provost said that he will ask each dean to be responsible for providing, in any way the unit chooses, via Tally or other means, the computer information needed.

The provost has revised the policy on faculty nomenclature, in order to improve consistency both within the university and also with other universities. Adjunct faculty would be hired on a per course, per semester basis. Affiliate faculty would not receive compensation from the university. Visiting faculty would have appointments for a maximum of one year, which might be renewable but should not exceed three years. Instructors would be faculty who are hired on a tenure-eligible basis and who have not yet completed the dissertation. Lecturers would be appointed for one to three years, renewable but not to exceed seven years as indicated by the AAUP. The provost said that current employees will be reviewed individually and may be grandfathered; but no new appointments for more than seven years will be made for less-than-eighty-eight-percent-time teachers. The departments will play a significant role in those discussions. A clinical faculty member, such as a field director coordinating internships, would be appointed from one to five years, renewable, and would not be tenure eligible but might be promotable.

The provost said that tenure-eligible positions will always be the preferred mode. The provost suggested that the Faculty Senate might want to decide whether research faculty or others should have representation on the Faculty Senate. The provost said that setting the criteria for promotion is an internal matter for each school and college, and so each unit would specify how its clinical faculty would be evaluated. Consideration may be given to reclassifying less-than-full-time clinical faculty positions as adjuncts. Adjunct faculty do not fall under the seven-year limit. The faculty nomenclature document, through clinical faculty but not including extension educators, has been finalized on an internal basis. The provost's office is reviewing possible changes for extension educators. For research faculty, research must be the primary basis for promotion; but if they teach, that could have some consideration as well. Research is required for tenure, and the AAUP has set a seven-year limit for tenure-track faculty to receive tenure or leave the university. The provost might be willing to discuss creating a small number of positions for faculty in another category such as master teacher. Lecturers would not be required to do research.

Keeping within the Faculty Senate guidelines on transfer of credits, the administration actively worked with the New Hampshire community technical colleges, in order to get courses approved in advance for transfer of credit to the university. A transfer program was arranged which a student can use, if the student's qualifications are sufficient to gain admission to the university. It is in the university's interest to build a cohort of qualified transfer students and to attract them to the university. The provost stated that this program is completely consistent with the university's rules and guidelines for review of courses. The university's transfer officers will meet with the community technical colleges regularly and provide feedback to them as to how their students are doing. Currently most of these transfer students come from the New Hampshire Technical Institute and are doing as well as other freshmen. Faculty at the university talk directly with the technical college faculty, and some productive relationships have been established. The university wants to establish two-plus-two arrangements in nursing, communication arts, psychology and other fields. The provost wants to help the technical schools do that at a very high level and to build into the transfer process a regular review by the university's transfer officers and Victor Benassi, as well as the transfer officers of the technical colleges. The provost said that the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee will have a role in preparing a protocol to monitor that review. The state's community technical colleges have been accepted as candidates for accreditation as institutions of higher education and are working on preparations for visits to decide about that accreditation.

Regarding grade changes not done by the professor, the provost said that he does not know of any such changes from one letter grade to another but that, if anyone could give him specific details about such an event, he would look into the situation.

III. Communications from the Chair - The senate chair announced that the senate's nominee to the General Education Committee is Mark Wrighton. The chair also said that he has received an answer to the question about whether students could have an alias on Banner instead of using the social security number. If a student receives any federal financial aid, no alias may be used. The university tries to collect the students' social security numbers and may obtain them from legitimate sources such as the SAT scores. Students may request an alias; but if the university has the social security number, it will be stored in the social-security-number field in Banner.

The senate chair has met with John Seavey who wants to hold open forum meetings across the campus, in order to talk about the work of the General Education Study Committee. After those meetings, the matter will be brought to the Faculty Senate early in the spring semester. The senate chair also said that the university is now reviewing hazardous material security. In order to limit access, keys to some laboratories are being changed; and other methods are being considered as well. Faculty input in this process is welcome. The senate chair added that in mid-December regular rail service will come to Durham, and a start-up event will be held on December 14 at 12:45 p.m.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees John Lynch participated in an open forum at the Dimond Library recently, and he would be happy to speak with the Faculty Senate. The senate chair said that he would like to invite John Lynch, who is a UNH alumnus, to speak to the senate and would be interested in senator's feedback on that idea.

IV. Minutes - The minutes of the last senate meeting were approved unanimously, with a modification to change item V, paragraph two, the first sentence to: "A professor said that it is hard to do a writing-intensive class with as many as thirty-five students."

V. Network Security - The senate chair said that John Limber will be the senate's representative on the Task Force on Network Security and has agreed to report to the senate regularly on this matter. Kent Chamberlin, the chair of this task force, said that it will recommend policies on network usage, to improve security and to ensure that an appropriate level of privacy is maintained. University servers and computers need to be maintained in a way that will minimize their vulnerability to attacks such as hacking and viruses. Servers and computers should be password protected and have up-to-date virus protection and service packs. Also, computers should not be left on when unattended, especially at night. Servers have the greatest access and thus the greatest potential for harm. The Acceptable Use Policy says generally what should and should not be done on the network but does not provide specific penalties. Updates on the work of the Task Force on Network Security may be accessed on the Academic Computing Advisory Committee's web site at http://www.unh.edu/acac.

There is an increased amount of hacking now, since hacker tools can be downloaded free from the internet, thus enabling even inexperienced hackers to do a great deal of harm. The task force will work to establish guidelines for when and how CIS should take action to ensure network access for acceptable uses, and also the task force will review how these actions by CIS should be reported. This fall the network was crippled by too many users downloading movie videos and audio files; and CIS shut down the video/audio network ports. One possibility might be to allow such downloads only during the low-usage hours of 2:00 to 5:00 a.m. A professor asked that the task force recommend a procedure to educate students that downloading film videos and music may overload the system and cause it to crash, and also the university should better educate all users about needed security measures.

CIS staff are prohibited from reading unauthorized email, and the task force intends to recommend specific procedures and penalties for violations. In addition, the task force will review how email sent to the wrong address should be treated. A professor remarked that digital data can be altered easily and undetectably and that electronic mail is not secure unless it is encrypted. Another faculty member said that, when the policy draft is prepared, it should be brought back to the Faculty Senate for review and input.

VI. Report from the Senate's Finance and Administration Committee, on Responsibility Center Management - In RCM, the academic year income of each unit is a function of the average credit hours in the previous two calendar years, because this is the most recent data available and also because this gives the units more time to plan. Units may fund new programs by (1) using unit reserves which carry forward a previous year's surplus, (2) reallocating existing resources within the unit, or (3) applying for an allocation from the University Fund, which would be approved by the Central Budget Committee via the provost's office. Perhaps in the future there may be a revolving loan fund managed by the Deans' Council and provost's office for academic priorities.

Hold harmless is the term for the university fund allocation made to the responsibility center units annually. This amount is fixed and was determined by subtracting unit expenses from revenues in the 2000/01 academic year. The senate's committee reported that, by December 1, it expects to receive information on how RCM operates within each college. In 2002/03, there will be a general assessment regarding responsibility center management's effects on academic quality; and credit hour weights will also be reviewed, such as the 0.8 weighting for Liberal Arts and the 1.5 weighting for CEPS. In the fifth year, 2004/05, a ten-person RCM committee chaired by the provost will do a comprehensive review of RCM, regarding both the qualitative and quantitative aspects.

VII. Update on Faculty Lunch Meeting - A member of the senate's Finance and Administration Committee said that the lunch meeting hosted by this committee was interesting and suggested new areas of review for the committee.

VIII. New Business - A senator presented to the Faculty Senate chair the written details of an instance of a grade change from a D minus to a B plus without the professor's knowledge, and the senate chair said that he will pass this information on to the provost for review.

IX. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.


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