UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 6 November, 2000




I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Bornstein, Christie, Denis, Draper, Halstead, Hiller, McCann, Planalp, Reardon, and VonDamm. Excused were Farrell, Garafalo, and Trowbridge.

II. Communications with the president - As a follow up to discussion at the previous senate meeting, the president presented information on the number of degree-seeking students compared to the total faculty full-time equivalents, for the last six years from 1994 through 1999, and said that the ratio has changed a little but not much. She also showed the comparison of degree-seeking students to total tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as the percent of UNH classes with enrollments of under twenty and over fifty students. Those two types of classes have both increased only slightly during those six years. In response to a question, the president said that she will supply similar information on the percent of UNH classes with over one hundred students and with over one hundred and fifty students.

The university is developing materials and strategies for approaching the legislature regarding the university's budget allocation. This year an outside advertising agency is preparing materials aimed at conservative and moderate republicans in the legislature. One theme for the capital budget is "Pay now or pay more later". A theme for the operating budget is that the university system is the economic engine of the state. Members of industrial advisory boards will be asked to speak to legislators, and the student advocacy group will also participate in this effort.

Two bills have been prepared, only one of which will be chosen. The first bill is to fund the university for a six-year period, and the university would manage its own priorities. This request includes funds for work on six university buildings and also access under the railroad. If the first bill does not succeed, the second bill would ask for two-year funding as in the past. The governor's office has also been working on these matters. The operating budget request is for a five percent increase overall in each of the next three biennia, in addition to a critical needs request for technology. The president has a busy speaking schedule throughout the state and also meets monthly with the local legislators. Action needs to be taken to fund the Granite State Scholars Bill, which was passed last year but not funded and which was to provide state matching funds for some contributions to the UNH capital campaign.

III. Communications with the chair - The senate chair said that Provost Hiley has been invited to the next senate meeting, to talk about faculty nomenclature, and senators are asked to review the nomenclature document on his web site. Mark Rubinstein came to the last Agenda Committee meeting to discuss enrollment and admissions qualifications. He gave some interesting information and proposed the possibility of a faculty advisory committee on admissions. The Agenda Committee invited him to come to the Faculty Senate, to answer senators' questions and receive input on the proposed committee.

Chancellor Reno would also like to come to a senate meeting and may be invited to the first meeting in the spring semester. Senators are asked to give suggestions on issues they would like him to address. A senator said that the chancellor should discuss the issue of the university's unique role as the state's research university. Another professor asked that the chancellor talk about changes in the role of the chancellor's office. The senate chair said that the chancellor has referred to the institutions in the university system as being like a choir with people singing to the same music but with different musical parts.

The Faculty Senate's representatives on the ROTC Board of Governors are Frank McCann and Chris Reardon and to the Academic Computing and Advisory Committee are Robert Macieski and Bill Stine. Carole Barnett will be the senate's representative from WSBE to the General Education Study Committee. The chairs of the Faculty Senate standing committees are Raelene Shippee-Rice for Academic Affairs, Todd Gross for Campus Planning, Ken Appel for Finance and Administration, David Kaye for Library, Tony Tagliafero for Research and Public Service, and Jim Farrell for Student Affairs. The University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee will soon have its first meeting and will review curricular issues that affect more than one school or college.

IV. Minutes - The minutes of the last senate meeting were approved unanimously.

V. Senate committee reports - The Academic Affairs Committee has gotten input from last year's committee members and will prepare a recommendation to the senate regarding motion IV-M7 passed by the Faculty Senate in May, 2000, and the president's letter of response to that motion, which dealt with academic approval of courses and instructors. Secondly, the committee will meet with Neil Vroman soon and prepare a recommendation to the senate regarding a faculty representative on the Academic Standards and Advising Committee. The Academic Affairs Committee will also monitor the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee and report back to the senate periodically. The Academic Affairs Committee will prepare a survey to department chairs, on the numbers and effect of part-time faculty on academic standards; and the committee asks for input on the questions for that survey. In addition, the committee will consider what needs to be done regarding changes in faculty titles, after the provost speaks on this issue at the next senate meeting. The committee is providing the following representatives to other committees: Barbara Krysiak on the Academic Strategic Planning Committee, Robert Simpson on the Writing Committee, and Piero Garofalo on the General Education Committee. The Academic Affairs Committee also discussed interdisciplinary minors and four-credit courses.

The senate's Finance and Administration Committee plans to gather information on responsibility center management and its effects on departments within the various colleges. The deans will have a great deal to say about how funds will be distributed to the departments, and faculty would like to know how that will differ among the colleges. The committee is also interested in the system of taxes and overhead for grants. This system assumes that all grants have a standard overhead, but some grants do not and are still taxed the same as the other grants.

The Campus Planning Committee agrees with the administration that deferred maintenance is a major concern. The committee is interested in parking, transportation, the loop road, and the railroad underpasses and also in clarifying which lands are used for research and teaching. The committee wants to revisit the possibility of a parking garage and above all would like to make clear the decision-making chain of command on campus planning. Some professors would like the wildcat bus service to go towards Lee. Faculty expressed concern about Moore fields, which is actively used both for teaching and for agricultural programs but is being considered for a soccer field for commercial use. The current use of lands should be clearly documented and reviewed before any changes are considered.

The senate's Library Committee will review the possibility of giving the library faculty a seat on the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee. The senate's Research and Public Service Committee will invite Don Sundberg and Bill Dalton to discuss two documents on intellectual property rights and on retention of research data. The Student Affairs Committee may look into the episode of the Stephen Callahan room search and letter to the editor. A professor expressed concern about how crowded students are now in the dormitories, until the planned new dormitory is built. Many upper class students are choosing to stay in the dorms because of good computer access and the tight housing market. A faculty member suggested that the committee might review the use of profanity on student evaluations.

VI. Reliance on part-time faculty - Concern was expressed that many part-time faculty who are well qualified are paid very little. Part-time faculty are not required to do research, student advising, and public service; but they teach relatively more class hours instead. A professor said that sometimes chairs hire part-time faculty without any input from the full-time faculty. This professor also mentioned that there are a number of staff members whose main function is teaching. Another faculty member stated that some departments have a large number of part-time faculty who really work full time and who have a voice but not a vote in departmental matters. Guidelines should be set up so that students have sufficient contact with full-time faculty.

A professor asked what percent of part-time faculty are used to cover sabbaticals and what percent fill semi-permanent positions. The provost's office is preparing data on this matter. There is great variation among departments and colleges in their use of part-time faculty. Some are needed so that adjustments can be made when student enrollments change; some are required to fill in for the temporary absence of full-time faculty; and some are experts who do not want to work full time at the university. However, faculty are concerned about well-qualified part-time faculty who work many hours at low pay on a semi-permanent basis and who also do not have access to professional development.

A professor said that we should ask the provost at the next senate meeting how the proposed change in faculty nomenclature would affect this matter. The proposal may eliminate eighty-eight-percent-time faculty. Faculty do not want responsibility center management to lead to lower academic standards and more reliance on part-time faculty, and the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee is supposed to monitor this. We need data on how and why part-time faculty are used and their salary levels compared to those of full-time faculty, as well as what benefits and perquisites the part-time faculty can receive. Some part-time faculty receive funds for a professional conference if they are continuing at UNH and the expenditure will lead to improved teaching. A professor said that it is the responsibility of faculty governance to craft general principles on such matters, although there must be room for variation among the departments. The senate's academic Affairs Committee will prepare survey questions for the departmental chairs and will send out the survey, perhaps with the help of the Office of Institutional Research.

IX. Adjournment - Today's meeting was adjourned.

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