UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 26 October 1998



I.  Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent:  Connors, 
Niman, Pugh, and Sohl.  Excused were Brinker, Draper, Gaudette, McNamara, 
Miller, Morris and Walsh.  Four members of the Preparing Future Faculty 
Program from Howard University were guests at part of the meeting.

II.  Discussion with the President - President Leitzel announced proposed 
program reductions and said that they can be reviewed on the Academic 
Affairs web site.  Some of the budget reductions are not yet firm and 
will be decided later when more information is in hand.  She will meet 
shortly with the trustees and will discuss the budget reduction plan and 
also domestic partner benefits.  The university has recently been awarded 
almost eighteen million dollars in federal funding for research.  UNH is 
able to attract federal, industrial and private funds but needs more 
state funding.  The university has requested a five percent increase in 
its operating budget plus two percent more for instructional technology. 
 
The University of Massachusetts cut tuition but increased fees; and it 
substantially increased financial aid.  A professor proposed that we tell 
the legislators that UNH is losing students to states which give better 
support to higher education.

III.  Communication from the Chair - John Crosier of the Business and 
Industry Association will speak to the Faculty Senate on November 9 in 
the 1925 room of the Alumni Center.  Deb Winslow will be the Faculty 
Senate's representative on the General Education Committee.  The 
Senate's Academic Affairs Committee and Finance and Administration 
Committee will meet with the vice president for financial affairs to 
review the responsibility-centered management proposal and would like 
input from faculty on this issue.  Concern was expressed that many 
crucial details of responsibility-centered management are not known.  In 
response to a question on whether the decision on responsibility-centered 
management has already been made, the Senate chair asked senators to 
express their concerns to the two Senate committees and said that he 
assumes the chairs of those committees will bring a motion on this to the 
Faculty Senate.  The Faculty Senate now has a web site where its minutes, 
agendas and other information are displayed.

IV. Minutes - The minutes of the October 12 Faculty Senate meeting were 
unanimously approved.

V.  Budget Shortfall - The Senate chair said that he will distribute to 
the senators the comments made by the Agenda and Academic Affairs 
Committees regarding the Provost and Deans' recommendations to meet the 
budget shortfall and also the President's letter to the Provost 
responding to those recommendations.  The academic impact statement by 
the Senate's Agenda Committee and Academic Affairs Committee tried to 
take a university-wide perspective and to protect general education, 
faculty and the library.  Also the Agenda Committee reminded the Deans of 
the need for formal review by the faculty of proposed program cuts and 
also asked that all faculty vacancies which will remain unfilled should 
be strategically chosen.

James Farrell read a statement expressing his disappointment at reading 
in the press that the President has approved budget reductions, before 
the proposals have been provided to the Faculty Senate for its discussion 
and input.  He expressed concern that the administration has apparently 
used the academic input statement, written by the Senate's Agenda 
Committee, to imply that the Faculty Senate had endorsed the cuts.  He 
stated that the Faculty Senate's constitution says that "The Faculty 
Senate will be the legislative body that reviews and develops policies 
concerned with the academic mission of the university".  He claimed that 
the Senate chair had given assurances that the Faculty Senate would see 
and discuss the recommendations before they were approved by the 
President.

The Senate chair said that he had not made such a statement.  In response
to a comment that so far this year the Senate has not voted on any 
motions but just listened to presentations from administrators, the chair 
said that, traditionally, charges are given to Senate committees in early 
fall and that, while the committees are reviewing the charges and 
preparing motions, administrators are invited to talk with the Senate.  
He pointed out that confidentiality was imposed by the administration as 
a condition for the Agenda Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee 
being allowed to review the recommendations and give early input.  
Responding to a question about what effect the Agenda Committee and the 
Academic Affairs Committee had on the budget recommendations, the chair 
said that, when changes in general education were proposed, we asserted 
the Faculty Senate's right to decide on general education requirements 
and the President agreed.  Also, we expressed concern for tenured faculty 
and about proposed changes which would have a university-wide effect.  
The two Senate committees which wrote the impact statement did not 
endorse the budget reductions but commented on them.

A senator said that the imposition of confidentiality is unwise and 
prevents the Senate from having input early enough in the process to 
affect the outcome.  He added that, during the presidential search, the 
President had said that her administration would be very open with the 
faculty on all issues.  A motion was made and seconded that a special 
meeting of the Faculty Senate be held on Monday, November 2, in 314 
McConnell Hall to discuss these issues.  A friendly amendment was made to 
change the motion to refer to an emergency meeting of the Senate.  If 
this motion passes, the joint meeting of the Senate's Academic Affairs 
Committee and Finance and Administration Committee with the Vice 
President for Financial Affairs, to review the responsibility-centered 
management proposal, will have to be rescheduled.  Concern was expressed 
that some proposed budget cuts were removed from the final 
recommendations and that confidentiality was a protection for the people 
and programs which were removed from consideration.  A vote was called, 
and the motion passed with one nay.

At the request of senators, Young Dawkins, who had been invited to make a 
presentation on the UNH Foundation at today's Senate meeting, said that 
he would be happy to return at another time for that purpose.  The 
senators will discuss the budget matters today and, at the end of this 
meeting, reconsider the motion on the emergency meeting.

Great concern was expressed that, when decisions are made in small 
groups, information is lost.  However, if the press had gotten hold of 
proposed cuts which were later removed, damage could have occurred to the 
programs involved.  A senator said that he compliments his colleagues on 
getting as much out of the budgetary process as they did but that we 
should try to change the process.  Another faculty member proposed that 
the Senate could keep confidentiality in the same way the Dean's Council 
and the committees did.  However, any faculty member has access to the 
tapes of the Senate meetings, and the Senate minutes are put on the 
Internet publicly, unless the Senate should decide to change those rules.

We should make it clear that the academic impact statement by the Agenda 
Committee and the Academic Affairs committee was not an endorsement of 
the budget recommendations and that the Faculty Senate does not endorse 
the budgetary cuts that were proposed.  We should say that, although the 
Faculty Senate has an advisory role only, the Faculty Senate should have 
timely input on all academic matters.  Academic programs cannot be 
discontinued without a year's review by faculty.  The Agenda Committee 
reminded the Deans about this process, and the President agreed.  The 
Senate chair was quoted in the press recently as saying that the state 
should better support the university.  A motion was made and seconded to 
cancel the emergency meeting next Monday.  The motion was defeated with 
eleven ayes, 1 abstention and 23 nays.  The emergency meeting will be 
held on Monday.

VI. Adjournment - Today's meeting was adjourned.


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