UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 2 December, 2002




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Bocarro, Burger, Calculator, Craycraft, Elmslie, Frankel, Lugalla, Miriam, Niesse, Pollard, Tucker, and Ward. Excused were Becker and de Alba. President Hart, Steve Hardy, and Mike Merenda attended part of the meeting.

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

III. Communications with the President - The president received a report from the Provost Search Committee, listing the job description and candidate criteria which were written after discussion with faculty. Position announcements have been placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Black Issues in Higher Education, and Hispanic Outlook; and the committee is discussing the issue with deans and department chairs. The president asks faculty to make inquiries about potential candidates and send nominations to the search committee, so that the candidate pool can have the greatest depth of diversity and talent. The committee plans to identify semi-finalists early in February, do preliminary interviews, and invite some finalists to visit the campus. Recommendations to the president are expected in mid-April.

The university is also looking for a vice president for public relations and marketing, after changing that job from the executive director level to a senior administrative position. The president asks faculty to submit nominations for that position as well. The president emphasized the need for diversity in faculty and administrative positions. In January the president will convene a task force on diversity and equity, in order to look at how we organize searches, what efforts have been successful, and how we can move forward in this area. The president has sent a letter to the current presidential commissions asking them to suggest a chair for that task force.

The president is setting up the new Council on University Communications and Advancement, with Young Dawkins as chair, to help the university be more systematic and successful in its communications and marketing. This will be a policy council reporting to the president. The president has begun to interview some public relations experts, in order to better communicate the UNH message both alone and in conjunction with the university system. The president will have a planning session with Young Dawkins, on getting to know personally alumni and others now, long before the next capital campaign comes up. The university will need to think carefully about where to target capital campaign funds for academic purposes, and the capital campaign must be combined with an understanding about how the capital campaign will mesh with state funding. The president expressed concern about the health care cost increase, which has gone up about thirty percent. She said that the university must face the challenge of continuing to provide services but reducing the growth in health care costs.

The president wants to get to know the state legislators. A professor pointed out that at least two UNH students have been elected to the state legislature, and the president said that she will be in touch with them and also find out if there are other UNH students in the state legislature. The president wants to focus on the legislators from the seacoast region and will have a series of open houses, meetings, and breakfasts with those legislators.

IV. Communications from the Chair - The senate chair reminded the senators to look carefully at the Information Technology Security Policy, give input now, and ask their colleagues to do so as well. Bob Cape, Assistant Vice President for Computing and Information Services, will come to the senate meeting on January 27 and hopes to finalize the Information Technology Security Policy soon after that. Bob Cape has told the Agenda Committee that information technology security is an everyday battle and that, in a recent fifteen-hour period, the university was hit with approximately 650 different worm attempts and 320,000 probes.

The senate chair also asked the senators to review the Academic Plan on the web and give input on that as well. The Agenda Committee will look at the Academic Plan to see what charges for senate committees may be appropriate and will report to the senate on that.

V. Update from Steve Hardy on NEASC - The university is pursuing an alternative self study which will be finished next year. Steve Hardy is chair of the UNH Self-Study Steering Committee; and there are four additional self-study committees: the committee to write the eleven standards, chaired by Victor Benassi; the Institutional Effectiveness Committee chaired by Mike Merenda; the Undergraduate Experience Committee chaired by Sally Ward; and the Committee on Engagement through Research and Scholarship, co-chaired by Roy Torbert and Julie Williams. The latter three committees are the three important themes of the alternative self study which will be useful to the university and which the Self-Study Steering Committee drafted and discussed with the Faculty Senate last spring. Please review on the provost's web site the information on the self study and the committees' goals and charges, and contact the committee chairs with concerns or input. The drafts and recommendations will be discussed with the university community in January for the eleven standards and in March and April for the three themes. The tentative timetable is listed on the web site and includes sending the final self study to NEASC by August 22 and the NEASC team visit from October 19 to 22.

Professors asked how the Committee on Engagement through Research and Scholarship understands and defines engagement. Steve Hardy said that engagement would involve outreach and interaction with citizens, regarding research and/or scholarship engaged in at the university; and he suggested that the senate should ask the co-chairs of that committee to come to the senate to discuss a more complete definition. In order to gain feedback and a better understanding of what the definition of engagement should be in this context, the committee is about to send out a questionnaire to faculty who are identified by their deans and chairs as involved in engagement; and other faculty will be able to fill out the questionnaire on the web site.

VI. Update from Steve Hardy on Graduation Rates of Scholar Athletes - Steve Hardy, the faculty representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, said that each year the university sends academic information about the student athletes to the NCAA as part of the certification process. For the 1995/96 cohort of scholarship athletes, athletes who have grants in aid and participate in certain sports, seventy-seven percent graduated in six years, compared with only seventy-two percent of all UNH students graduating in six years. Last spring UNH was among twenty schools picked by the U.S. News and World Report for the "Top Twenty Honor Roll". Schools were evaluated on their graduation rates, commitment to equity, and competitive record; and only schools which had not been on probation in the last five years were considered. The 2005/06 NCAA certification will focus on a minority opportunities plan, and the president's Athletics Advisory Committee will monitor the Athletics Department. Steve Hardy asked that faculty contact him if they are willing to talk to athletic recruits about academic programs.

Steve Hardy presented the senate with a handout on the graduation outcomes of scholarship athletes, and a senator asked for similar statistics for students who join fraternities and sororities. Mark Wrighton said that he would email Steve Pappajohn to ask if those statistics could be provided. The requesting senator asked that academic standing, expulsions and arrests be included as well.

VII. Institutional Effectiveness - Mike Merenda, the chair of the Self-Study Institutional Effectiveness Committee, said that his committee is evaluating the strategic planning process, responsibility-center-management considerations, and student learning assessment. He is glad that a senate committee is reviewing some aspects of responsibility center management, and he asks faculty to give input to the Institutional Effectiveness Committee on all these issues. In order to evaluate the systems and processes used to sustain and achieve the organizational purpose for the university and each of its budgetary units, the committee will look at planning, resource allocation and assessment. For each responsibility-center-management unit plan, the committee will ask how does it work, what was the intended purpose, what is actually taking place, and are assessment procedures in place to help the unit better manage itself. This is a check on the processes and systems in place in the six academic colleges. The department heads in certain colleges will receive a questionnaire and participate in discussions on these issues. The committee will also review the university administration and how it ties into academics. After defining the issues, the committee will appraise, assess and then make recommendations. The committee intends to do a literature review, find standards and bench marks, and identify best practices. Although each college will have its own culture and differences, the committee will recommend standards and guidelines. The self-study committees plan to work with consultants.

A senator said that he is glad the committee is reviewing the administrative offices; and he suggested that the committee use a zero-budgeting plan to study the costs and benefits of the Intellectual Properties Office and all other administrative offices and that the committee ask how the expenditures of each group can be justified by the income it brings in.

VIII Report from the Senate's Finance and Administration Committee - Harvey Shepard, the chair of the committee, said that there will not be a formal review of responsibility center management until the fifth year, because the administration says that now in the third year of RCM there is not enough data to show trends. A subcommittee has looked at the credit-hour-weighting formulas for each college but recommended no change at this time. The administration assured the senate's Finance and Administration Committee that the Faculty Senate will be involved in the review.

Concern has been expressed about how information gets from the college to the department level. That process is up to each college to work out, and each department should go to the college dean if the department is not happy with the information the department is getting. Funding for the university library has been tied to state funding; but there are concerns that this method is not reliable; and so a new formula has been devised and approved by the deans and will now go to the Central Budget Committee. Another concern is flexibility. The college deans get the funds at the unit level and so have more power and responsibility, but a change is being considered to tax the colleges more heavily in order to get more flexible funds at the university level. A professor responded that such a proposal would be a step backwards. Faculty are invited to review the responsibility center management web site at http://www.unh.edu/rcm.

The senate's Finance and Administration Committee plans to draft a recommendation about the fact that, when a professor becomes a director of a university-wide program, the college continues to pay the full salary and fringe benefits, while the administration contributes only enough to pay a new teacher for the courses. Please send input to Harvey Shepard on the issues being considered by the committee.

IX. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.

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