UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 24 February, 2003




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Baldwin, Barcelona, Burger, Calculator, Elmslie, Frankel, Giraud, Niesse, Pollard, Strait and Ward. Becker was excused. President Hart, VPFA Corvey, Dirk Timmons, and Stephen Pesci attended part of the meeting.

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

III. Communications with the President - The university system has made budget presentations to the state legislators in both the house and the senate, saying that a budget increase of 6.4 % next year and 6.2% the year after is necessary in order to maintain the level of higher education in New Hampshire. The university system will continue dialogue with the governor. In addition, a model of how the KEEP program could be financed without jeopardizing the state's bond rating has been prepared. Students, faculty and staff are asked to be in touch with legislators on these issues. House Bill 55, which dealt with some aspects of affirmative action, was defeated by a large majority. The university is also tracking a legislative bill on municipal services, a bill which would require university building plans to go through local zoning processes, and some bills which would affect student rights to vote.

The trustees have developed a strong core strategy, and the system office has prepared a legislative resource book to help the trustees deal with legislative bills and other issues. The University of New Hampshire has been called the best buy in New England. Consultants have recently presented to the university president preliminary findings on their evaluation of student affairs and academic affairs, and this information will soon go to the deans for their input as well. Eight semi-finalists have been selected in the search for a new provost, and the search is moving along well. So is the search for a vice president for university communications, and initial interviews for that post will be held shortly.

IV. Transportation Committee Recommendations - Vice President Candace Corvey said that the Transportation Committee's goals continue to be to reduce inefficiencies in cost and time, to expand transportation options and capacity, to enhance mobility, accessibility and convenience, to improve the environment, and to support sustainable patterns of development. Faculty may give input to the president on these recommendations before the decision is made in the near future. The history is that, after the preliminary draft in March of 2002 and subsequent community input, the preliminary recommendations were submitted to the president in May; and the final Transportation Committee recommendations were released in February of 2003. The committee, which includes four faculty members, recommended increasing the costs of permits and using a tiered zone system. This plan would need to be negotiated with the AAUP and would not be put into effect for faculty, staff or commuter students until an agreement with faculty was reached. A feasibility study will be done on a parking garage; and emergency ride, carpooling and vanpooling programs will be implemented, as will improved shuttle and transit systems. Tightening of permit requirements and enforcement are underway, as is a mandatory student transportation fee of $35, for transportation services other than parking permits. The recommendations also include completion of the south underpass and improvement of the perimeter road system and traffic flow on Main Street, with special focus on the intersection of Main Street and College Road. The expected revenue from the plan would be about three million dollars, but most of that would be absorbed by capital investments included in the plan. Costs would include a parking garage, charter buses, handivans, bus shelter replacements, better signage and dispatch communications, parking meters, lot resurfacing, bicycle infrastructure, west gateway roundabout, safe rides, etc.

Parking fees would range from $1000 for a reserved space in the core campus, to $200 for a non-reserved space there, to $50 for a non-reserved space in a remote lot, with other categories in between. Annual permits for campus residents would be $450 for resident hall directors and $650 for resident student lots in the core campus and be reduced by $100 for zone two and down another $100 for the remote lots. The prices were set to reduce demand, and the university plans to adjust the prices if the demand is not as predicted. The university hopes to develop satellite lots with free parking and remote shuttle service from places like Pease or church parking lots. Although the cost of the standard faculty and staff parking permits would not increase until the issue is agreed in faculty contract negotiations, other fees would be increased this July 1, including visitor parking, smart card use on meters, student resident parking, summer permits, third-shift employee permits, remote facilities, and departmental and individual reserved spaces.

In the transportation plan, faculty, staff and commuter students would have the same opportunity to purchase parking permits in any zone. However, B lot is in a special category because the faculty contract prevents students from parking there. The university plans to improve signage in order to help visitors on campus. The director of parking services said that he would like to remove the many small parking lots near core-area buildings, in order to reduce traffic on the core campus. The university hopes to increase to every hour the frequency of the Wildcat bus system to Dover, Portsmouth and Newmarket. Professors asked that the schedule include a bus that would arrive earlier than 7:55 a.m. and also bus service to Lee. The university will set up a Transportation Advisory Board to review bus routes and schedules. The university will also consider better bicycle infrastructure and an expansion of the number of bicycles on campus.

A professor said that people who make over a certain amount in salary should pay more for parking permits. Candace Corvey said that the university might consider either this idea or using a percent of salary but that such a system would be very complex, especially if done for all types of permits. A professor suggested increasing the number of floors in the parking garage, in order to cut the cost per space. The university had planned a four-level garage containing 800 spaces but would build it higher if funds were available. Lot A is a likely spot for the parking garage, because it would be near both the Whittemore Center and the train station. A gated system might be considered for parking lots, to prevent unauthorized users. Each applicant for a reserved permit would state the preferred lot, and the reserved spaces in that lot would be distributed on a lottery basis if demand were greater than supply. A professor from UNH-Manchester said that Manchester faculty have to come to Durham for meetings and can now use the permit for both places. Candace Corvey said that the university might provide a book of infrequent user parking passes and arrange a deal with UNH-Manchester in that regard.

A professor said that technicians who visit campus buildings and have to carry instrumentation need to park close to the building. Steve Pesci said that more short-term parking is needed near the campus buildings and that the shuttle service will also be improved by next year. Lot C would perhaps be one-half or one-third for visitor parking, and part of that lot would be for car pools. A faculty member said that, while faculty and staff are usually tied to one building, students move between a number of buildings and that this affects the need for permits.

V. Communications from the Chair - The senate chair said that the faculty lunch coordinators for this semester will be Kelly Giraud and Elizabeth Slomba. The administration has asked that the senate approve the academic calendar for 2004/05; but the fall break is Friday, October 15, rather than on Columbus Day. The registrar proposed this because some faculty were concerned about low class attendance this past Thanksgiving when Monday classes were scheduled on the Wednesday prior to the holiday. However, on 2/25/02 the Faculty Senate had passed a motion that said fall break should be on Columbus Day. Many faculty wanted this because their children are home from school on Columbus Day. Please discuss this matter with your colleagues, and it will be on a senate agenda soon.

The provost has asked the Faculty Senate to set up two groups to study (l) the associate of arts degrees at UNH-Manchester, at the Division of Continuing Education, and at the College of Lifelong Learning and (2) promotion and tenure standards including engagement and outreach and standards for research professors and clinical professors. The Professional Standards Committee will review promotion and tenure standards and make recommendations to the provost's office. Faculty are invited to give input to Tom Laue, who is the PSC chair. An ad-hoc task force will review the associate of arts degrees.

VI. Motion on Educational Forums and Dialog on a War with Iraq - Tom Laue said that, on March 4 from 12:30 to 3:00 in the Granite State Room of the Memorial Union Building, there will be a teach in on the potential war in Iraq. The administration and Student Senate have asked the Faculty Senate to cosponsor with them this and future dialogues. Tom Laue presented two motions which Mark Wrighton seconded; and after friendly amendments in wording and an agreement that Tom Laue would act as the Faculty Senate representative to these events, the two motions were passed unanimously as follows:

The Faculty Senate, recognizing that the current military crisis regarding Iraq affects UNH students, faculty and staff, will, along with the Student Senate, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, co-sponsor the March 4, 2003, Teach in - "Words on War", to be held from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the Granite State Room of the Memorial Union Building

The Faculty Senate, recognizing that the current military crisis regarding Iraq affects UNH students, faculty and staff, will, along with the Student Senate, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, co-sponsor a continuing moderated open dialogue on war and related topics to begin March 6, 2003, and to continue until perceived as no longer necessary.

VII. Adjournment - The report on Forest Park housing priorities will be presented at the next senate meeting. The current meeting was adjourned.

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