UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from  8 October, 2007

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2007/08 FACULTY SENATE

OCTOBER 8, 2007 - MINUTES SUMMARY      

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Afolayan, Baldwin, Barcelona, Dowd, Park, Tenczar, and White.  Excused were Bachrach, Barrows, Beller-McKenna, Chandler, Chavda, Hamlin, Sample and Slomba.

II.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The administration has held organizational meetings regarding the search for a new vice president for research.  A national search will follow soon, and the president will be in touch with each constituency to develop participation in that search.  At the request of the Agenda Committee, Jeff Salloway has agreed to serve on the ad-hoc committee to implement an on-line alcohol and drug education program.  The Agenda Committee has declined to provide a nominee to the Committee for Instructional Technology, until work to rule is over.  Members of the UNH community are invited to participate in an open dialogue about the University’s fiscal health on October 23rd from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the MUB Theatre 2.  Undergraduate enrollment at UNH is down slightly; but retention is up; and so undergraduate enrollment is working well overall.  The Office of Sustainability Programs now reports to the provost’s office.  The Pathways Program of the Alumni Office is growing.  The office of the vice president for research is developing metrics on research productivity, and faculty could give input on this issue to the senate’s Research and Public Service Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee.  The University Foundation is working on developing a strategic plan.  The search committee for the Dean of the Library has now scheduled on-campus visits for four finalists.  Each will participate in a community forum where faculty and others may meet the candidate and ask questions.

III.  Minutes – The senate unanimously except for one abstention approved the minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting.

IV.  Update from the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee – Larry Prelli, the committee chair, said that the committee has been working on its charge to investigate the process by which the decision was made, regarding a change in the rates by which tuition and fees are charged for Study Abroad Programs.  The committee has looked into the time line of significant events, has gathered information and documents, and has sent out a questionnaire to the interested parties, concerning how the change in policy was made, to have a tuition-based model for financing the Study Abroad Programs.  There has been a good return rate for the questionnaire, and the committee will evaluate and prepare a recommendation.  The senate chair thanked the members of the Academic Affairs Committee for working hard and quickly on this matter of shared governance.

V.  Motion on review of the fee structure in Study Abroad Programs – The senate vice chair said that, at its last meeting, the senate tabled a motion that implementation of the administration's decision, regarding the rates by which tuition and fees are charged for Study Abroad Programs, be suspended until the Academic Affairs Committee has completed its investigation of that decision and has communicated its findings and recommendations to the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Senate has acted on those findings and recommendations.  Today Marco Dorfsman moved and Larry Prelli seconded that:

the Faculty Senate moves to request that the University Committee on Study Abroad and the program directors of all the UNH-managed Study Abroad Programs be asked to undertake a systematic review of the fee structure changes in Study Abroad Programs, in collaboration with the appropriate administrators at both the college and university level, and to come up with recommendations regarding the impact and advisability of such changes.

The rationale for the motion is as follows.  This review is separate from the investigation by the Academic Affairs Committee of a possible violation of shared governance regarding the fee structure changes in Study Away Programs at UNH.  While that investigation will concern itself with the manner by which the fee structure changes were implemented, that review will not primarily address the specifics and the full reasoning behind the changes.  The senate believes that the faculty constituencies most involved in the academic aspects of study abroad should analyze the issues, in order to generate the best possible information on the matter.

A former senate chair said that the Academic Affairs Committee is reviewing how the decision was made and whether it involved a violation of shared governance.  In addition, today’s motion would call for the interested persons and groups to review the merits and practicability of the fee change.  Students in the UNH-managed Study Abroad Programs are now paying the tuition and fees called for in the new policy.  The stakeholders would look into the matter and consult with the appropriate administrators regarding the fee structure.  If these parties come to an agreement, the matter would be resolved; and if not, the senate might consider a response to that.

This motion states which faculty must be consulted about the payment structure.  The motion calls for all of the players to come to the table and not be left out.  When did the change in fee structure go into effect?  Was it implemented at different times for different programs?  Apparently all students in the UNH-managed Study Abroad Programs now pay UNH in-state or out-of-state tuition, even if that particular Study Abroad Program costs significantly more or less than the tuition rate.  In addition, there are UNH-approved Study Abroad Programs which may not be under the same fee policy.  The Academic Affairs Committee may report on the shared governance issue at the next Faculty Senate meeting.  The president and the provost would receive a copy of today’s motion.  Today’s motion passed with thirty-one ayes, two nays, and two abstentions.

After an inquiry was raised as to whether or not a tabled motion could be brought to the floor after a certain interval, David Richman moved and Larry Prelli seconded and the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to take off the table the 9/24/07 motion to suspend implementation of the administration’s decision regarding the tuition and fees charged for Study Abroad Programs.  Then David Richman moved and Larry Prelli seconded and the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to table the motion until the next meeting.  Two former senate chairs said that a tabled motion could be revived at any time or could be left on the table.  The Agenda Committee will review Robert’s Rules of Order and will clarify this matter at the next meeting.

VI.  Adjournment – Today’s meeting was adjourned.                                                                                                                 _______________________________________________________________________________________________

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