UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 23 February, 2004




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Black, Burger, Farrell, Herold, Mulligan, and Niesse. Excused were Dillon, Hanson, Krysiak, Quinn, Shea and Stone. Guests were Bruce Mallory, Bob Cape, Petr Brym, Phil Hammond, and Claudia Morner.

II. Communications with the provost - Responsibility center management is scheduled to undergo a review after the fifth year, to start in the fall of 2005. The university has begun to plan what should go into the review, and the administration will ask the Faculty Senate's Finance and Administration Committee to participate in this planning. Then by the end of the current semester, a draft of the plan should be available; and input will be requested next year from many campus groups, so that the review can start up strongly in the 2005 fall semester. RCM is based on five or six core goals, and any review must refer back to those goals. The review should also deal with those aspects of RCM that were not anticipated. RCM should not be a barrier to interdisciplinary programs for example. The provost said that the purpose of the review is to ensure that RCM works appropriately in the future, and he added that the review will not be a discussion about whether the university should have a decentralized budget system. The provost said that the design of the review should include a mechanism for faculty input.

The previous provost, the Deans Council, and Don Sundberg designed a process for university institutes. A set of guidelines were developed and approved, so that certain research entities can be identified as different from the others and given institute status. The deans intended that in the future the university will only have a limited number of institutes and that the institutes will not take on the aspects of a school or college. The Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space has made a formal proposal to become a university institute, and the process requires that various entities review the proposal. Also, Provost Mallory said that Professor Paul McNamara is heading a group working on a statement from faculty on the value of diversity to the university. This statement is needed so that the university can continue to use targeted financial aid.

Regarding the state budget, the latest expectation is that there will not be a rescission in the state appropriation to the university in the current fiscal year. The university is scheduled to receive a three-percent increase for fiscal year 2005. If the university were to receive only flat funding in that year, this would have the effect of reducing funding to programs, since certain expenses will increase and are not in the control of the university. The review of COLSA is now under way, and representatives from the Faculty Senate have been named as members of the joint review committee. A formal letter announcing the review was sent to the AAUP and the Faculty Senate, and COLSA faculty will receive a similar letter in the next few days. The provost said that the review committee will not recommend significant changes to occur in less than one year, that the process will probably take twelve to fourteen months from now, and that it will include financial analysis. The COLSA Joint Review Committee will consist of three faculty representatives named by the senate's Agenda Committee, three faculty from COLSA, and Leigh Anne Melanson who is appointed by the President's Office. Faculty will pose the questions that the review committee will consider. There will also be an external review of the biological sciences by the end of this spring.

In addition, the administration is working with other units which have short-term budget shortfalls. For example, in CEPS a hiring freeze has been instituted for tenure-track faculty, including on-going faculty searches. It is difficult to raise tuition further, because the UNH tuition is high compared with other similar universities. A professor said that the senate's Academic Affairs Committee would like to applaud the appointment of Lisa MacFarlane as the new director of the Honors Program. The provost said that he will also report soon on the leadership of the Discovery Program.

III. Wireless policy - Bob Cape said a draft UNH policy has been prepared to manage wireless and frequency spectra use and that the policy can be reviewed on line at http://www.unh.edu/cis/wpdoc.html. The Wireless Spectrum Policy Committee is a sub-committee of the Technology Policy and Planning Group and includes faculty, technical experts, service providers, and administrators. The committee has prepared this plan in order to prevent conflicts and also establish guidelines to deal with those which occur. Since many types of devices may use wireless technology, the potential for conflict is high. The plan also deals with potential security risks when wireless access points interact with wired networks. The draft policy begins with a rationale and then discusses recommendations in sections E, F and G. Those who wish to establish wireless services must register and clear their plans with the appropriate central authority before any funds are expended. Installation and management of wireless services connected to the UNH network would be provided by UNH Telecommunications, and exceptions to this must be approved by the UNH Technology Policy and Planning Group.

UNH will maintain a web page that includes the wireless policy, educational material on wireless issues, and contact information for a central authority on these matters. Devices and installations that are in conflict with this policy must be removed within one budget cycle (twelve months). However, the policy adds that, if any devices or installations actively cause problems, the owner must discontinue the use immediately or work with providers to resolve the problem in a timely fashion. Campus clients should report problems to the CIS help desk, at 2-4242. Devices that may cause problems include cordless phones, microwave ovens, and certain lights and access points. Any problems requiring policy interpretation should be brought to the Technology Policy and Planning Group, which will consult with UNH leadership and interpret the wireless policy.

Suggestions for the draft policy have included making it more readable, providing timely access for temporary wireless needs, changes regarding external vendors, and providing a mechanism by which a department might install, operate and maintain its own wireless service. Temporary installations might take one week and would cost two hundred dollars for installation plus five dollars per day. Long-term pricing is available on the telecommunications web page at http://www.unh.edu/telecom/data/wirelessrates.html. There are now about thirty wireless access points on campus. Departments or colleges would fund wireless in their spaces, and CIS may be able to fund wireless in some shared spaces. At the present time, wireless connections may be slower and more expensive than wired connections, and so wired connections are preferable in many situations. There is no wireless service in the student residence halls, and new university buildings will continue to need wired connections until technology advances further. Professors expressed concern that, if wireless connection were available in classrooms, students might not concentrate on the classroom instruction and also bandwidth problems might occur which could interfere with the instructional presentation. Bob Cape said that the university could explore this issue in a pilot situation, to see what kind of control might be made available to instructors. Technology evolves, and the policy may need adjusting as time passes. The Master Plan does not refer specifically to wireless policy. The draft wireless policy should be reviewed by many representative groups for input. When a final draft is prepared, the Technology Policy and Planning Group will review it and then take it to the president for approval as university policy.

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

V. Communications from the chair - The senate chair announced that the senate's representatives to the COLSA Programmatic Review Committee are Karen Graham, David Richman, and Barbara Krysiak. Also, the February 13 Campus Journal has published a correction expressing regret that an article in the February 6 Campus Journal had incorrectly stated that the Faculty Senate supported a communications framework. The correction states that "while the strategic communications framework was presented to the Faculty Senate by Vice President Jennifer Murray as part of an overall communications update, there was no action requested of or taken by the senate."

VI. Library Committee report - Lynn Kistler, the chair of the Library Committee, reported on three charges to the senate's Library Committee. The first charge was to review the effect of responsibility center management on library funding. As of this year, the library has been operating under a new RCM formula, in order to have a broader funding base. Total revenues have increased and are sufficient to meet the continuing collection obligations for periodical subscriptions and staffing. Any new subscriptions have to be balanced by dropping other subscriptions. However, many of the computers are old and in need of replacement. The university librarian said that the library can continue with the new funding formula until the upcoming overall RCM review. Secondly, the library distributes its resources to the UNH colleges based on historical numbers but is redefining that formula based on the cost and use of the materials. When the distribution formula has been defined, the library will bring the proposal to the Faculty Senate for input.

To accommodate Kingsbury renovations, in January the engineering, mathematics and computer science branch library moved to the back of New Hampshire Hall for the next three years. Some less-frequently-used materials were moved to the basement of Dimond Library. Also, the UNH library has formed a committee to determine the effects on library activities of the USA Patriot Act, under which the government could demand access to any library records. The committee will consider whether or for how long records should be kept, to protect the confidentiality of the library users.

The UNH library is meeting with other New England land-grant colleges and universities to consider joint implementation with shared resources for the use of dSpace, which is a digital institutional repository that captures, stores, indexes and redistributes in digital formats the intellectual output of a university's research faculty. Also, Infotrieve is a document delivery and table of contents alert service which allows library patrons to order single articles from journals, to be delivered by postal mail or electronically, and tables of contents to be delivered electronically. This service might replace the need for certain journals at a fraction of the cost. In addition, Virtual Catalog provides a single, searchable catalog of books from libraries in the Boston Library Consortium. Books ordered from those libraries will be received in two to five days.

Some students have expressed interest in extending library hours to provide a place to study after midnight. The students are more interested in a study room than in accessing the entire library facility, but the library does not have an area that can be easily isolated from the rest of the library. The library has already cut Sunday hours in order to save money, and it is not clear if late hours are more important than additional Sunday hours. The library will survey students and faculty from March 20 to April 16, to assess if there is broad support for longer hours, and will inform the senate's Library Committee of the results. Today the senate unanimously approved a motion that the senate has heard and understood the Library Committee's report.

VII. Adjournment - The Faculty Senate meeting was adjourned.

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