UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 17 November, 2003




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Bocarro, Burger, Calculator, Herold, Neefus, Niesse, Smith and Townson. Excused were Bocarro, Burger, Calculator, Krysiak, Quinn, and Rentschler. Guests were President Hart, John Aber, David Clark, Doug Bencks, Steve Pesci, and Sam Shore.

II. Communications from the president - The president said that there is talk in Concord about budget reductions. The president also said that she is very pleased with the conclusion of the faculty contract negotiations, and she expressed her thanks to the AAUP leadership team and the administration's negotiating team. She stated that there is a great deal of volunteer community-service work done by students. For example, students recently painted the outside of an entire home in one day. UNH is working on a follow up to the NEASC self study.

III. Communications from the vice president for research and public service - John Aber said that research should enhance the academic mission of the university and that research can be a selected area of academic excellence. Julie Williams, Associate Vice President for Research, spends twenty percent of her time on outreach scholarship, in the provost's office. John Aber is having lunches with young faculty members from different colleges, in order to discuss opportunities for and impediments to research. EPSCOR was set up to increase research in areas under-represented in National Science Foundation funding, and EPSCOR could help a wide range of faculty pursue additional research. In the Office of Sponsored Research, work on supervision of research on human subjects and animals is going well, but help and encouragement for writing grant proposals has been less successful. The office may be restructured so that a person in each college business service center will be knowledgeable about research grants and contracts. The colleges would not need to pick up the costs for this service. Indirect cost return has increased, and that may help to support this plan. The faculty and the business-service-center grant specialists could work closely together. A strategic plan is being prepared, and an expert from MIT gave ideas for enhancing the work in certain areas. Data entry will be done by only two or three people in the future, and some tasks such as thank-you notes may be curtailed. The senate chair asked if there is faculty representation to give input on the re-organization of this office. John Aber said that he would like faculty input for the group that works with principal investigators. A professor asked that overhead monies go to the department level and not stop at the deans' level, and John Aber replied that the deans have control of that process.

IV. Minutes - Jim Farrell moved and Mark Wrighton seconded that the last two sentences in item VII of the 11/3/03 Faculty Senate minutes be amended to read: "A motion to refer requires a one-third affirmative vote. The motion passed with sixteen ayes, twenty-four nays and no abstentions." The motion to amend passed unanimously. Secondly, Jim Farrell moved that item III of those minutes be changed from:

"A senator complained that the minutes of the last senate meeting do not include the names of those who called the question numerous times and the specific number of aye and nay votes taken to call the question each time, the chair asking this senator to conclude his lengthy remarks, and some details of those remarks. The faculty senators approved the minutes of the last senate meeting as is, by a voice vote."

and that the following be substituted:

"A senator objected to approval of the minutes on the grounds that the minutes were incomplete and inaccurate. He maintained that the minutes did not record the names of those who called the question in order to end debate, even though the names of senators making other motions were recorded. Nor did the minutes record the number of votes taken to call the question. The minutes did not record a motion made to limit debate, nor record that the main motion under consideration was voted on without debate. Neither did the minutes record the interruptions by the chair of a senator's remarks, nor record the participation of the chair in the debate while he also served as moderator of the debate. Finally, the minutes did not record that the chair permitted the introduction of non-privileged motions while another senator had the floor. The senate approved the minutes as recorded by a voice vote."

This amendment was defeated by a vote of twelve ayes and twenty-three nays. Then David Richman moved and Mark Wrighton seconded that, in the original wording of item III of the 11/3/03 senate minutes, the word "complained" be changed to "noted" and that the word "lengthy" be deleted. This amendment was approved unanimously. The minutes as amended were approved unanimously.

V. Faculty Referendum - The senate chair said that the Faculty Senate's approval of the Academic Plan and the Discovery Program reinforces the faculty's role in university governance. The Academic Plan was developed by groups that included faculty, staff, students and administrators; and the plan repeatedly asserts that its implementation requires shared governance. Implementation of the Discovery Program requires development and periodic assessment of its various modules by committees of faculty members. At the last senate meeting, motion VIII-M4, which was passed by voice vote, with one nay and no abstentions, stated: "Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate endorses the implementation of the Academic Plan for the Future of the University of New Hampshire and continuing consultation between the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate to ensure that implementation issues are addressed to secure the necessary resources, tools and an institutional culture that will serve to foster achievement of the goals and values set forth in the Academic Plan."

Faculty Senate motion VIII-M5 to refer the decision of the senate to the faculty at large, though voted against by 24 nays to 16 ayes, passed according to the rules in item 3 of the senate bylaws. Accordingly, planning has begun for the faculty meeting. The senate chair wants it to be clear what this referendum meeting is authorized to consider and what it cannot consider. The referral to the faculty as a whole is on the senate's vote on motion VIII-M4. Therefore, what can be considered is the senate's endorsement of the implementation of the Academic Plan and continuing consultation with the provost to ensure that sufficient resources will be secured for the plan's implementation. The senate's endorsement of the goals and ideals of the Academic Plan (motion VIII-M2, passed unanimously September 8) and the senate's endorsement of the adoption of the Discovery Implementation Plan (motion VIII-M3, passed by a vote of 27 to 13 on October 20) cannot be considered.

The plan is for the meeting of the full faculty to be scheduled on December 11 from 12:40 to 2:00 p.m. in the Johnson Theater. As specified in the bylaws, the meeting will be conducted according to the rules of the senate. Therefore, a quorum must be present for a vote to be taken, as stated in item 3C of the bylaws. Ron Gagnon of the UNH Office of Institutional Research says that there are 661 tenured and tenure-track faculty persons in UNH and UNH-Manchester, including Thompson School and the Library. A quorum, therefore, will require 331 faculty members at the meeting. At the request of a senator, the senate chair said that he will ask the provost to attend the referendum meeting. Although the senate bylaws state that a senator may designate another member of her/his department to act as proxy, the bylaws also say that no person may have more than one vote.

After a suggestion that the senate bylaws might be changed to allow a smaller quorum, another senator responded that it is not fair to change the rules for the referendum meeting for which the vote has already occurred. Also, an amendment to the constitution and bylaws would require a two-thirds vote and two-weeks notice. Another senator pointed out that the vote to refer was made on the basis of the issue being of such fundamental importance that a meeting of the faculty as a whole must be called. Although faculty are busy, they have shared-governance responsibilities. Another professor said that the senate will publicize the referendum and hope that the faculty will attend but that, if not enough faculty attend to make a quorum, this could indicate that the faculty are not concerned enough to attend, because they have confidence in the vote their senate representatives took on the Academic Plan implementation motion.

VI. Master Plan - A forum on the Master Plan development was held recently on October 16. Douglas Bencks said that the university needs to plan for growth and changes, in a responsible and efficient way for a twenty-year time span. The Master Plan deals with space, land and infrastructure needs and community relations; and the plan should be presented to the Board of Trustees in April. The plan tries to deal with three campus images: the New England village, the academic village, and the natural resources. The plan must express the academic vision of the university and support the daily life of the 16,120 members of the university community. The plan assumes a growth of one-half percent per year. The Master Plan considers all UNH properties, including the core campus and a variety of outlying properties. The plan also deals with transportation and pedestrian/auto conflict areas. If parking were removed from the core campus, service and emergency vehicles would still be allowed there. The university has 6,450 parking spaces at the present time; and parking garages in A and B lots would help a great deal, if funds could be found for that purpose.

There will be a Master Plan for landscape and walkways. The entire campus would have design guidelines. A focused study was done on fine arts needs, and a new performing arts center could use the Paul Creative Arts Center as a nucleus for a fine-arts center considerably larger than the current one. The senate's Campus Planning Committee chair said that he would like to see the twenty-year Master Plan explained via a number of short-term plans. Also, a suggestion has been made for a people-mover system and for gated parking in B lot. The Campus Planning Committee would like to have more input in the plan. Douglas Bencks responded that phase one of the Master Plan deals with a seven to eight-year horizon and that specific funding requests and plans are being made for this phase of the plan. Funding may come from state funding and from grants, gifts and other sources. The Master Plan will be reconsidered in ten years. The plan that is currently in draft form has had a series of working committees, with representatives from the faculty included in the membership. Senators are asked to review the Master Plan, at http://www.unh.edu/cmp and to forward comments to David Clark and to Udo Schlentrich, Chair of the senate's Campus Planning Committee. This committee will consider the issues and may decide to submit a motion or recommendations to the Faculty Senate.

VII. UCAPC membership - Sam Shore, Chair of the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee, said that the senate motion that formed the UCAPC on 4/19/99 was very specific in describing the membership. The faculty portion of the membership was to consist of a certain number from each college (varying according to the number of faculty in each college); and that membership was to include the following: "a minimum of two members of the UCAPC at any time must be members of the Faculty Senate. They will be the senate chair or that person's designee from the Agenda Committee; and a member of the Academic Affairs Committee." That sounds reasonable; but it is so specific that it is very hard to comply with, when any replacements are necessary. The motion below is needed so that (1) replacing members while following the motion's rules will not be so nearly impossible and (2) the number of members per college will not vary yearly, requiring special consultation with the university office that calculates the number of faculty in each college. The number of faculty listed above per college is about what the formula has produced most often in the past. The new motion would be a much cleaner, simpler system and yet would have almost the same membership.

Mimi Becker moved and Elizabeth Hageman seconded a motion (to include the rationale stated above) that "the UCAPC will consist of 16 members: two tenured faculty members each from LA, CEPS and COLSA, one each from WSBE, SHHS, UNHM and the library, a member of the Faculty Senate's Academic Affairs Committee, a member of the Faculty Senate's Agenda Committee or its designee, the president of the Student Body or that person's designee, the chair of the Graduate Student Organization or that person's designee, the VPAA or that person's designee, and the Chair of the Academic Standards and Advising Committee or that person's designee."

In answer to a question about the membership formula in the original motion, the UCAPC chair said that the current rules state that each school or college with less than seventy-five permanent, full-time-equivalent faculty will have one representative, colleges with between seventy-five and one-hundred-fifty faculty will have two representatives, and colleges with more than one-hundred-fifty faculty will have three representatives. Jim Farrell moved and Frank McCann seconded that today's motion be amended to say that Liberal Arts would have three representatives, which would usually increase the total number of members to seventeen. The senate will consider this motion and amendment at its next meeting.

VIII. Adjournment - The Faculty Senate meeting was adjourned.

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