UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 6 October, 2003




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Baldwin, Bocarro, Burger, Calculator, Gutman, Kraft, Lugalla, Mulligan, Neefus, Niesse, and Salloway. Excused were Dillon, Garcia-Rasilla, Hinson, Richman and Wrighton. Guests were Jennifer Murray, Terri Winters, and Doug Bencks.

II. Communications from the president - The president said that the university is working on completion of the master planning process and that this is a very important issue. The Board of Trustees has asked that USNH examine enrollment projections and tie that into the Master Plan. The president expressed her commitment that family-style housing continue to be available for new faculty and graduate students. Some units in Forest Park were scheduled to be demolished ten years ago. The president is committed to the long-range plan to increase the number of such units and to good day care. In the short term, she is committed to careful planning to avoid gaps of coverage in the available housing.

This week there has been a meeting of the Board of Trustees, a meeting for the Hubbard award to Fred Whittemore, and a meeting of the UNH Foundation. The president said that the university will follow through on the ideas generated at the summit meeting on celebratory behavior. The university is working with the students and the town to provide venues for watching sports events and celebrating responsibly. The president asked the faculty's help with these efforts. A professor expressed concern about the new payroll system which gives less information, and the president said that she shares this concern and will pass it on to the appropriate people. A faculty member asked if UNH will get a baseball team. The president responded that the legislature passed a footnote to the budget, providing $300,000 for baseball at UNH if the university could raise matching funds from private donors within a certain time. The Athletic Advisory Committee is reviewing this issue and the balance of athletics at UNH. The athletics budget is dependent on student fees, private donors and gate receipts.

A faculty member said that the Faculty Senate is considering the Discovery Program and is concerned about having sufficient resources available to implement the program, including new faculty lines if necessary. The president replied that the administration is committed to full implementation of the Discovery Program; and she believes that, if done correctly, the university can reallocate faculty resources and will not need new faculty lines. She said that UNH can reallocate academic resources so that faculty will not have unreasonable teaching loads when implementing the Discovery Program. The provost and the deans are charged with arranging this reallocation.

III. Minutes - A faculty member called the 9/22 senate minutes one sided and wanted to list sentences that he or others had said at the last senate meeting and that were not included in the minutes. For example, on 9/22 regarding Discovery Program implementation, he had asked if Tom Davis could show him any proof that the administration will provide additional faculty lines; and Tom Davis had replied in the negative and added that whether or not the program could be implemented without new faculty is hard to say and that is why a phased-in plan is needed as a test before the senate decides about final approval. At today's meeting, a professor pointed out that the minutes are a summary and not a transcript. The summary minutes include the main ideas expressed by each speaker, and these minutes usually cover about three pages rather than the approximately thirty pages required by a transcript. If any senator believes that a major idea was left out, when the minutes are presented for approval, the senator can propose an amendment to the minutes for the senate to vote on. The Agenda Committee will review the procedure on the minutes, at its next meeting. After discussion, the minutes of the 9/22/03 Faculty Senate meeting were approved as written, by a vote of twenty ayes to nine nays.

IV. Communications from the chair - The senate chair reminded the senators to attend the open meetings with the NEASC accreditation team, in 330 MUB at 3:00 on October 21 and in Manchester at 1:15 on October 20. The Faculty Convocation will be held from 12:30 to 2:00 on October 7, with presentations from Professors Jessica Bolker, Kevin Short, Sarah Sherman and Robert Macieski. A memorial service for Nick Frid will take place at 3:00 p.m. on October 8 at the Community Church in Durham. On October 4, the International Research Opportunities Program held a symposium, at which seven students gave presentations on their summer work. Faculty are asked to email Georgeann.Murphy@unh.edu, for more information about being a faculty advisor in this program,

V. Update from Jennifer Murray, Vice President for Communications - Jennifer Murray said that the Office of University Communications is charged to promote the academic mission of UNH nationally, to improve visibility and understanding of the role of UNH within the state, to work with the UNH Foundation and alumni, and to raise public awareness on engagement and outreach. The university's strategic vision is that UNH will be distinguished for combining the living and learning environment of a small New England liberal arts college with the breadth, spirit of discovery and civic commitment of a land-grant research institution. The Office of University Communications and Marketing will strive to create a distinct identity for UNH, to position it as a leading student-centered public research university, and to support its goals of recruitment, advancement and engagement through integrated and strategic communication focused on the academic programs and faculty and students engaged in discovery and civic commitment. The objective is to raise the visibility and awareness of UNH nationally, regionally and statewide, in order to further the engagement of its stakeholders, increase support, and enhance student and faculty recruitment. Strategic messages include the review and utilization of Discovery positioning and umbrella messages developed by a UNH team, as well as full integration with the Academic Plan and the Discovery Program. The communications office intends to redesign the UNH home page and integrate the other UNH Web sites, to create and execute a media relations plan for telling outstanding UNH stories nationally, to create a graphic standards manual, and to consolidate the management of major external events and programs. By working with the key communications audiences, criteria and objectives, the Office of University Communications and Marketing plans to create a distinct UNH identity.

The name of the communications office will change from University Relations to University Communications and Marketing; the News Bureau will change to Media Relations; and there will also be Editorial and Creative Services and Special Events and Programs. In addition, the university communications group intends to enhance internal UNH communications and to try to have national media outreach affect regional and statewide media coverage instead of the reverse. The Strategic Communications Plan will be presented to the Faculty Senate, the Dean's Council, the President's Staff, and the Council on Communications and Advancement, with finalization expected by January 1, 2004. Faculty are asked to email Jennifer Murray with feedback before October 15. A professor suggested that events should be announced on the UNH Web page for much longer than three days if possible, and Jennifer Murray agreed. Another faculty member said that university communications should focus on events of national and international significance. Professors suggested that this office work closely with the university archives and also coordinate UNH guest speakers for New Hampshire Public radio. Faculty are asked to inform the Office of University Communications and Marketing when faculty participate in media interviews. Communications people in the university schools and colleges share information regularly with the main communications office. A professor suggested that the concept of marketing needs to be muted, in the title of the office. Jennifer Murray said that she understands this concern; but the marketing descriptor is often used in the deans' strategic plans and so it was added to the overall office name after communications, since marketing is integral to what the office does on behalf of the institution.

VI. Update on Forest Park - Doug Bencks, who is the university architect and director of campus planning, said that the Graduate Student Organization sent a letter to President Hart expressing concern about plans to demolish in the near future twelve Forest Park apartment units and the daycare center playground. There is a waiting list for both Forest Park and the daycare center. All of Forest Park is slated for eventual demolition, because the buildings are old and hard to keep in repair. However, the Kingsbury Hall renovation will not involve destroying any part of Forest Park. Some parking will be relocated from behind Kingsbury Hall to near Morse Hall. Doug Bencks said that meetings have been held with the Forest Park tenants since last March and that those meetings will continue. A new underpass is planned under the railroad tracks near Forest Park, and this underpass will make a huge difference in the time it takes to get to the university buildings on the other side of the tracks. Whenever this underpass is constructed, the access road will require tearing down the twelve apartment units; but the apartments would need to be vacated no earlier than the summer of 2004. This possibility was included in the apartment leases.

During the update of the Campus Master Plan, many groups on campus have emphasized how important this housing is and that the number of units needs to be increased. The university would like to increase the number of units and envisions eventually having up to 370 family apartment units. Four potential sites are being considered, each for about one hundred housing units. The Woodside Apartments now used by undergraduate students might become housing for graduate students and new faculty. Other sites are on the Mast Road Extension near the old reservoir, the Leewood Orchard site beyond the New Hampshire Public Television building, and an off-campus site in the Madbury Road area. The daycare center will be replaced and could be included in one of these locations. During construction, dust and noise could impact especially the outdoor play space of the daycare. Doug Bencks said that he does not anticipate any gap in the daycare and that he will work closely with the apartment tenants so as not to have disruption. There may be a gap of twelve apartment units, but people in the affected units could move into other apartments in Forest Park.

A professor said that in the past he had served on a committee on faculty housing and that the committee issued a report but that nothing was done. He asked how we know that this will be any different. Doug Bencks responded that this time the president has made a commitment on these issues. Such a commitment had not been made in the past. The family housing projects are in the Master Plan. If the trustees approve a financial package for these projects, they will be built. Doug Bencks said that, after speaking with the constituent groups, he understands that temporarily losing twelve housing units is hard during the present housing crunch. He added that the university will have to replace housing before tearing down Forest Park as a whole. A professor said that the current Master Plan dates from 1994, and he asked that the plan for housing replacement be put on the web site in the near future. Doug Bencks listed two web sites with master planning information and said that the information from the public forum will be added right away. He said that, on the other side of the railroad track, College Woods will be protected; and the projected road will be built this side of the woods and along the edge of the athletic fields, to connect the new railroad underpass to College Road near the tennis courts.

VII. Update on the Blackboard Program and plagiarism software - Terri Winters discussed the UNH portal project. The campus portal will be a single integrated and comprehensive point of access to information, people and processes based on who the user is and the user's preferences. For example, when logging in, a faculty member would see different options from those seen by a student. Each faculty member can customize and personalize the section for his or her course on Blackboard. It would be possible to have sponsorship on the portal, but the university probably would not do that. Currently over 335 faculty members teach 671 courses using Blackboard, with 11,500 students enrolled. A UNH internet technology identity has been established. All major applications are web based and can be integrated and extended.

Plagiarism software could be added to this project. The hardware is already upgraded, and the course management system will be upgraded in January of 2004. The portal will start at that time and will receive enriched content in the fall of 2004. A common log-in password will be provided for each student by fall of 2004. When the enriched version of the portal is installed, faculty who currently use Blackboard will not need a lot of new training and will be able to learn to use the new features in a thirty-to-sixty-minute session with a tip sheet. Blackboard will not be available during data migration to the new version. Terri Winters and Bill Baber are the project managers. There is a portal subcommittee and web advisory group reporting to the Technology Policy and Planning Group, whose faculty representative is David Townson. Information on this program is shared with the Blackboard users list and the department chairs, as well as through public forums.

A faculty member asked how many of the 11,500 students enrolled in Blackboard courses actually make much use of the Blackboard system. He asked if the university is justified in creating the next level without knowing that students make good use of the Blackboard Program. Terri Winters responded that faculty can require its use and that the portal enables faculty to send messages and give information to students and is a really good tool for the institution to have. Another professor suggested that the program be accessible to anyone without a password.

If plagiarism software is added, students' papers submitted electronically could be checked through the plagiarism software, which would show all the details of the possible plagiarism. The cost for the software, based on the number of students it would cover, would amount to approximately $7,600 for UNH. Different levels of access to the plagiarism software could be set up for students and faculty.

VIII. Adjournment - The senate meeting was adjourned.

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