UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 25 February, 2013




I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Ballestero, Bromberg, Connelly, Harrist, Kaen, Mellyn, Minocha, Peshkova, Scherr, Shore, and Simos.  Guests were John Aber, Stacia Sower, Diane Foster, Barbaros Celikkol, Sonic Woytonik, and William McKirnan.

II.  Remarks by and questions to the provost – In regard to the discussion the senate will have today about the UCAPC report on the marine school proposal, the provost said that he believes that the work on the marine school proposal has been a good example of shared governance.  The idea for a new marine school was first brought up many years ago, he said; and a proposal was brought to UCAPC last spring.  After the senate passed motions on the interdisciplinary school policy and on the marine school proposal, that proposal was revised; and UCAPC responded to the revised proposal in a timely manner.  The provost said that the recommendations in UCAPC’s current report on the proposal only relate to how to implement the marine school and that he is convinced that a new marine school will be very beneficial to the university.  Such a new school will stimulate the marine programs and make them more visible to the public and to potential students.  He said that UNH has the largest marine program in the region; but the world does not know that; and the university needs to provide a better platform for the marine school and its faculty.  This school is a way of bringing faculty together from a wide variety of disciplines and will express their expertise much better.  He said that the marine school’s reporting lines can be adjusted to conform to the Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools and that it is time for this school to start up.

A senator said that faculty had received a message from Julie Williams on January 30 about a position in faculty development.  Is this a new position, and is there overlap in that regard?  The provost replied that this will be a new position in addition to that of Chris Shea, who is the interim vice provost for faculty development and inclusive excellence.  The provost added that there is an overlap in the title which will need resolution.

III.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that due to spring break the next senate meeting will be in three weeks, on March 18.

IV.  Minutes – The minutes of the last senate meeting were approved with all ayes except for two abstentions.

V.  Report from the Committee on Organization of Other Entities – Stacia Sower of the Committee on Organization of Other Entities presented the committee’s report, on behalf of Robert Taylor, the committee chair.  The number of total faculty was relatively unchanged in fiscal years 2009 to 2013; but tenure-track faculty decreased by 4.8%, while non-tenure track faculty increased by 11.4%.  In the same period, student numbers increased from 14,250 to 15,500.  The ratio of total students to tenure track faculty in those years increased by 14.8%, and the ratio of total students to total faculty increased 10.3%.  Across colleges, tenure-track faculty changes ranged from -9.6% in COLA to 3.7% at UNH-Manchester, while non-tenure-track faculty changes ranged from -5.5% to 27%.  Changes in the ratio of undergraduate students to tenure-track faculty ranged from -5.5% to 32.2%, and undergraduate-student-to-total-faculty ratios changed from -6.5% to 23.6%.  Central administrative positions increased 9.5% from FY 2004 to 2013, and their salaries increased 40.9% in that time.  In addition, there was a large increase in administrative positions from the late 1990s to 2004.  Business Service Center staff decreased from 102.8 to 88.7 full-time-equivalent positions from FY 2004 to 2013.  The BSC staff of the six colleges decreased from 42.2 to 35.4 FTE positions in that period, and other BSC staff decreased from 60.7 to 53.3 FTE positions.  The committee recommends further investigation into (1) the long-term increase in administrative positions year by year, (2) BSC positions year by year, and (3) individual college administrative positions year by year.  In answer to a question from a senator, Stacia Sower said that, if there is an increase in the number of students, one would usually like to see a corresponding increase in tenure-track faculty but that this should be decided by the administration and the faculty in each college.

VI.  Proposal for a marine schoolOn behalf of the Agenda Committee, Todd DeMitchell presented a motion as follows.

The Faculty Senate accepts and approves the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee report on the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering proposal with one exception.  We disagree with UCAPC's recommendation that SMSOE report directly to the provost for a one-year period.  A direct line of report should be established from inception in accordance with the General Schools Policy, which states “Schools will be led by a Director who will be a member of the Faculty of the University and will report through one or more Colleges, Institutes, or through the Graduate School selected to enhance the cross-college and interdisciplinary focus and purpose of the School.”  An SMSOE proposal revised in accord with UCAPC’s recommendations should be submitted to the Faculty Senate for final consideration.

A senator said that the SMSOE steering committee stated that “Reporting to a single college is inappropriate; reporting to multiple colleges is unrealistic.…the Graduate School is decoupled from the research mission and EOS is decoupled from the teaching mission.…only the Provost’s office…can serve as a focal point for reporting for the Marine School.”  Barbaros Cellikol replied that the proposed school reaches across several colleges and that the Graduate School does not have the infra-structure such as classrooms, laboratories and other facilities which will be needed.  He added that an institute such as EOS does not have sufficient curricular and educational aspects.  The proposers of the new school do not want to report to more than one place.  A former dean of CEPS said that he had worked with a joint program in CEPS and COLSA and found that this proceeded well, since the two colleges are well linked and have harmonious relations.  He suggested that the new school might report to EOS, CEPS and COLSA.  Diane Foster said that we have to come up with a structure that will be viable for all of the activities and programs of the new school and that faculty lines will remain in the colleges.

A senator said that the budget proposed for the new school included assumptions such as three percent growth per year for seven years, that this is a large presumption, and that new positions were included as well.  He asked what the basis is for those assumptions.  Barbaros Cellikol said that, if the new school goes forward, the budget results should be better than that and have a very good return in the next few years.  He added that, over the years, the marine researchers have brought in millions of dollars in research grants.  A senator said that, since the school proposers seem to think that in one year they could move to another reporting structure from reporting to the provost’s office, why not wait for a year to start the school.  Barbaros Cellikol replied that the UCAPC suggested a one-year limit on reporting to the provost’s office but that the school wants to continue that reporting structure for much longer.  He expressed hesitancy about reporting to a college with recent reorganization issues.  A senator suggested that one option would be to have one new school report primarily to CEPS, with COLSA as a partner, and vice versa for a subsequent school.  Diane Foster said that the marine school wants to include faculty from other colleges besides CEPS and COLSA.  The senator replied that most of the faculty in the marine school would be from CEPS and COLSA and that EOS also has great interest in the school.  Barbaros Cellikol said that the marine school will pay for itself and added that EOS does not have a mission which is primarily educational.  He said that the marine school should report to the provost, and he asked the senators to support UCAPC’s recommendations.  A senator said that the Physics Department does not think that the proposed school should report to the provost.  The senator added that reporting to EOS seems a good idea and that the EOS director is in favor of that solution.

A professor asked how the finances would be handled on a day-to-day basis.  Would that be done by a business service center?  Memoranda of understanding might decide where the money will come from and go to.  Therefore putting the marine school in a college with a BSC would be preferable.  A senator said that the school proposal should be in accordance with the Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools.  Another senator asked how deeply the model of having a school report to two or more colleges has been explored.  What are the problems with this structure, and why is it “unworkable”?  Barbaros Cellikos replied that decisions such as a new faculty hire would be contentious.  The former CEPS dean said today that, during his tenure as dean, a joint faculty search was done successfully by CEPS and COLSA.  He also asked how thoroughly the marine school faculty has investigated the two-college reporting structure and what are the barriers.  Diane Foster said that the best interest of one college may not coincide with that of another college.  Also, there might be a need to share technicians, instructional technology, webmasters, and so on.

The senate chair said that today’s motion states that the marine school proposal should be revised in accordance with the recommendations in the recent UCAPC report, except that the school’s reporting structure should follow the Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools, and that a revised marine school proposal should then be submitted to the Faculty Senate for final consideration.  Barbaros Cellikol said that the school proposers do not want the exception clause in the motion.  Thomas Safford moved and Barbara White seconded an amendment to delete the last three words of sentence one of the motion and to eliminate all the following wording except for the final sentence.  This amendment would endorse the UCAPC report’s recommendations but would not be an endorsement of the proposed new school.  Passing this amendment would go against a component of the Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools recently passed by the Faculty Senate.  The amendment failed, with a vote of six ayes, twenty-three nays and six abstentions.  The original motion passed with twenty-seven ayes, three nays and five abstentions.

VII.  Report from the Finance and Administration Committee, on RCM III changes – Cheryl Whistler of the Finance and Administration Committee said that the charge was to review data concerning the effect of changes introduced by RCM III and to consider the implications for the university’s academic mission, decision-making procedures (recentralization), class sizes, faculty load, departments' ability to replace faculty who leave or who have advanced in the university, and lecturers/adjunct faculty employment.  The history is that responsibility centered management (RCM) puts decisions about how to use the budget and gives the responsibility for managing allocated funds into the hands of the units.  RCM was implemented in 2001, and the last review of RCM II was in 2009-2010, with recommended changes for RCM III approved in December of 2010 and implemented in fiscal year 2012.  The academic units include the UNH-Durham colleges (COLSA, COLA, CEPS, WSBE, and CHHS) and UNH-Manchester.  Other units include the Library, Academic Affairs, Student and Academic Services, Cooperative Extension, EOS, Research (centers), General Administration, Housing, Hospitality Services and Business Affairs, the Whittemore Center, Facilities, Information Technology, Institutional Accounts, and Athletics.  RCM is a tool for management of funds.  Admittedly RCM is imperfect, and as such it must be adjusted in a timely manner (as when the state cuts our budget) and through periodic review (about every five years).

Goals for changes in RCM III are to (1) simplify assessments by the central administration as much as possible, (2) identify funds for strategic initiatives, (3) implement incentives for revenue growth, and (4) support financial accountability.  Actions taken include (1) adjusting the credit hour weighting and (2) funding the central administration from a direct percentage off the top, with a decrease in salary assessments/personnel and an increase in facilities and administrative (F&A) recovery.  Central administration is now funded from a direct percentage of undergraduate net tuition, F&A recovery, net mandatory fees, room and board revenue, and state appropriations.  This includes 20% of net undergraduate tuition revenue at UNH-Durham and 5% of UNH-M undergraduate net tuition revenue, 20% of F&A revenue, 5% of the program appropriation units’ state appropriation, 5% of mandatory fees room and board revenues, and 5% of continuing education and graduate net tuition revenue.

The F&A return is unchanged at 10% to the principle investigator, was 82% and now is 70% to the host unit of the grant, and was 5% to the vice president for research and 3% for general uses and now is 20% to the central administration.  The credit hour weighting was reviewed against the Delaware Study and allocated based on a two-year average of revenue by units.  The differential weighting is based on the cost for delivering credit hours/courses, including all college costs of support staff/personnel, research and teaching space, etc.  The credit hour weighting for COLSA was 1.0 and is now 1.15, for COLA continues at 0.8, for CEPS was 1.5 and is now 1.55, continues at 1.0 for WSBE and for CHHS, and has decreased for associate of arts programs from 1.0 to 0.8.

How do the changes from RCM II to RCM III influence the bottom line of the units?  The RCM  III model was built on FY09 revenues and expenditures and was developed so that there was minimal change in bottom line allocations to academic units based on changes for funding administration (other than credit hour adjustments).  RCM III was implemented in FY12, with a model run on FY11 in parallel with the RCM II model; but no data is available for either at this time.  These “simulations” allowed the model to be refined so that the bottom line was unchanged for central administration and minimally changed for RCM units except where justified (e.g. CEPS and COLSA).  Although the senate’s Finance and Administration Committee has been unable to get any data, Leigh Anne Melanson says that there is no significant change to the bottom line based on changes in RCM III.  However, there are other factors that have changed the bottom line and greatly influenced the academic mission of UNH.  These factors include (1) the severe cut in state allocations which required an immediate adjustment of RCM to meet important financial aid commitments, (2) loss of significant funds to the Agricultural Experiment Station, severely impacting COLSA, and (3) a university-imposed hiring freeze to deal with the budget shortfall.  Thus the central administration has had the least growth during RCM III due to the hiring freeze rather than RCM changes.

At this time, the senate’s Finance and Administration Committee cannot review data concerning the effect of changes introduced by RCM III or consider the implications for the university’s academic mission, decision-making procedures (recentralization), class sizes, faculty load, departments' ability to replace faculty who leave or who have advanced in the university and lecturers/adjunct faculty employment, because data for FY12 and FY13 are not currently available to the committee.  The FAC recommends that this be a charge for next year.  Does RCM drive down costs for credit hours by using bigger classes or a greater teaching load?  Has RCM forced colleges to use more lecturers instead of tenure-track faculty?

As an indication of class size and work load, the net teaching wage and salary cost per credit hour for the combined tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty at UNH rose 10%, from $150 in 2005 to $165 in 2011, which is a 1.58 annual increase.  The costs in CEPS were higher due to laboratory classes but are dropping and fell 14%, from $259 in 2005 to $223 in 2011.  The percent credit hours taught by non-tenure-track faculty at UNH rose 16%, from 43% in 2005 to 50% in 2011.  That figure for COLSA rose 27%, from 30% in 2005 to 38% in 2011; and the figure in COLA rose 32%, from 48% in 2005 to 63% in 2011.

A senator said that one goal of RCM is to motivate growth; but is there evidence that extra work by faculty is rewarded; and Cheryl Whistler replied that she has not seen any data to show that.  Another senator said that, when computing changes in the net teaching wage and salary cost per credit hour, adjustments should be included for inflation, which has often been 3% per year.  Cheryl Whistler responded that perhaps efficiencies are hidden by the way the data is presented, since the figures are not adjusted for inflation.  In FY 2012 and 2013 the data will show more and more non-tenure-track faculty taking over courses, because there was a hiring freeze for tenure-track faculty.

VIII.  Adjournment – Today’s meeting was adjourned, and additional items on the agenda were postponed.


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