UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 19 April, 2004




I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Burger, Farrell, Gutman, Herold, Kistler, Miller, Mulligan, Neefus and Niesse.  Excused were Giraud and Broussard.  Guests were President Hart, Provost Mallory, David Proulx and Steve Hardy. 

II.  Communications with the president – Recently President Hart had breakfast with the NH State Legislators from Durham, Lee and Madbury, to discuss how UNH might better communicate with legislators.  When faculty testify before the legislature, as experts giving background information or even as individuals or as a result of their work as consultants, this helps the legislators to better understand the work of the university.  The university is looking for more effective ways to make such testimony available and to have it occur as early as possible in the process.  The president asked senators to encourage their colleagues to participate in this effort and to contact her office if faculty are not sure how this should be done.  In addition, every opportunity should be used to remind the legislature of the critical importance to the state of K-12 education and higher education.  Better education of its citizens is an important economic benefit to the state.

President Hart said that both she and the provost have had conversations with the senate chair and vice chair and other members of the Agenda Committee, regarding some faculty concerns over emergency administrative appointments and the joint desire for a clear procedure for emergency searches.  A professor said that faculty have the perception that there has been a series of searches with less faculty input, that the letter from the new COLSA dean asking the department chairs to resign seems inappropriate, and that faculty wonder why the COLSA dean’s appointment was not an interim appointment.  The president said that the provost will include information about these matters in his current letter to faculty.  She said that, in the last year, there have been two major searches that have been emergency appointments:  the vice president for research and the COLSA dean.  She added that a process is being set up to regulate these situations.

III.  Search procedures – Provost Mallory said that, via a letter to the entire faculty, he is responding to issues brought up in a letter by the senate chair regarding concerns about recent searches.  The provost said that he regrets not having consulted further with faculty prior to the COLSA dean's appointment.  The appointment needed to be made quickly, because the sitting dean had resigned and the college was stressed and facing reorganization due to substantial declines in enrollment and revenue.  The provost had asked some faculty for their input, and others had volunteered opinions.  Those faculty gave good support to the new dean's appointment, and the provost asked him to serve a three-year term.  Since then, many faculty have said that their concerns are about the search procedures used rather than about the person chosen.

After talking with the Agenda Committee about this situation, the provost is asking representatives from the senate to design a process for emergency searches for academic administrators.  This process should include a definition of what situations are emergencies, and a faculty group such as the Agenda Committee should decide if a given administrator search qualifies as an emergency.  The provost said that, during an emergency search, faculty such as the department chairs and the senate's Agenda Committee should be consulted about possible candidates.  The provost said that for future searches he now recognizes the need for a careful search process that rests in the Faculty Senate.  A faculty member said that the senate's Agenda Committee sets senate agendas, and he questioned whether the Agenda Committee should take on additional duties in the emergency search process.  The president and the provost responded that they need to be able to consult with the Agenda Committee, because the senate only meets twice a month when classes are in session.  The senate chair has asked Professors Barbara Krysiak, Ed Hinson and Elizabeth Hageman and a faculty member appointed by the AAUP to draft the emergency appointment procedures.

The provost had previously told the new COLSA dean that he could ask the COLSA department chairs for voluntary resignations as chairs.  However, in response to concerns expressed by the AAUP, the provost and dean have decided to withdraw this request for voluntary resignation. A professor asked why all the COLSA department chairs were asked to resign instead of only a few, and the provost replied that the general approach had seemed more democratic.  A faculty member said that department chairs are approved by the dean at the time of the appointment of the chair.  The provost added that the Faculty Handbook states that the president appoints department chairs but that this language may have been superceded by the faculty contract, which says that department chairs are appointed to three-year terms with the approval of the dean. 

At the request of the AAUP, the provost has delayed the onset of the formal COLSA programmatic review under article 14.4.  In COLSA for six years or more, there has been a lot of effort to restructure certain disciplines, in order to improve enrollment and enhance the curriculum.  The biological sciences are changing more quickly than other disciplines but have not been able to agree on a new structure.  Declining enrollments of biology majors at UNH run counter to national trends.  Budget deficits in COLSA amount to approximately one million dollars per year and will require cross-college funds if the deficit is not dealt with soon.  Some departments in the college do not show a loss, but most do have a problem.  The provost said that the university needs to make college and departmental budget data more transparent.  The university should make clear at the departmental level what the RCM picture looks like and therefore what the aggregate situation is in the entire unit. 

IV.  Responsibility center management review – Responsibility center management was implemented in FY 2001 and was to include a review chaired by the provost in the fifth year, which will be AY 2005/06.  The provost said that RCM is a budget management tool to support the academic goals of the university and not vice versa.  In academic year 2004/05 the university will do the planning for the fifth year review.  A draft of the plan for the review will be brought to the Faculty Senate, perhaps via the senate’s Finance and Administration Committee.  The review should consider whether and how RCM may have impacted academic quality, interdisciplinary activities, research and outreach, and decentralized academic activities such as UROP, IROP, and the Honors Program.  The review will also look at whether the model should be refined to improve fairness, simplicity or strategic direction and whether there is evidence that RCM has encouraged cost effectiveness, resource generation, planning and accountability.

In the fall, the provost will form the RCM Review Planning Committee, with representatives from the Central Budget Committee, the Faculty Senate, the Dean’s Council, the Graduate Student Council, and Student Senate.  This planning committee will conduct interviews and hold focus groups and fora, in order to gain as much input as possible, and will collect and analyze data in preparation for the formal review in AY 2005/06.  The provost asks that the Faculty Senate submit to him one or more names of representatives to the RCM Review Planning Committee.  Any questions about RCM review planning should be directed to John Griffith, who is willing to meet with any interested parties to answer questions and receive feedback.  The RCM Review Planning Committee will decide who will be on the group that does the RCM fifth year review in 2005/06.

The provost said that the fifth year review will not ask whether UNH should have a decentralized budget process but rather how to improve the RCM process.  A professor asked why the review should not consider whether UNH should have RCM.  The provost responded that, before the RCM model, budgetary information seemed very difficult to get and also that, at the end of the year, units had to return fund balances to the system office.  Now, units can make long term plans and keep balances past the end of the year.  The provost said that, if faculty wish to discuss the desirability of RCM, they could do so in the Faculty Senate; but he thinks that question was answered in the discussions held in previous years.

V.  Update on athletics – Steve Hardy, who is the faculty representative to the NCAA and also the chair of the UNH Athletic Advisory Committee, gave information to the senate on graduation rates of scholarship athletes compared with other students.  The Athletic Advisory Committee reviews the safety and welfare of student athletes.  The Academic Support Services are staffed by Joanne Maldari and Cathy Leach and offer help with advising, tutoring, study skills, and other issues.  The Life Skills Program is staffed by Matt Drayton and gives help with issues such as substance abuse.  The graduation rates of the athletes listed compare very favorably with UNH students overall, except for one year in which many members of the men’s basketball team transferred due to a disagreement with a coach.  The grade point average of the men’s basketball scholarship athletes is currently 2.85.

A programmatic review was recently performed to look at the number of athletic teams to see if they are in balance with the support services and the facilities.  UNH does have an imbalance, having more teams than average but less support structure.  UNH should consider either cutting the number of teams or adding support services.  The NCAA requires more and more paperwork each year, and at the present time UNH has only one full-time person to keep in compliance with that.  The NCAA website offers information on graduation rates.  On average, women athletes have higher grades than the male athletes.  The NCAA does not require graduation reports for hockey teams (which are lumped in with other sports); but the graduation data for hockey are probably close to those of the other sports.  Athletes use more academic support services than non-athletes; but the NCAA pays for that support; and the athletes are under a great deal of time pressure.

VI.  Communications from the chairThe senate chair said that there is not enough time for this year’s Faculty Senate to discuss fully and vote on all the recommendations of the Task Force on Academic Expectations and Student Behavior.  Therefore, the Agenda Committee suggests setting up an implementation committee, which would be charged with developing the recommendations into specific motions that could be voted on at that time by the Faculty Senate and also with providing oversight on the implementation by other entities. The implementation committee could meet a few times this semester to set priorities and initiate work on some of the recommendations such as those for new faculty orientation and freshman orientation, if the Faculty Senate would vote today on the two orientation recommendations.  The senate chair asked that senators who are interested in working on the implementation committee contact him.  He would also ask the current members of the task force to participate in or recommend members for the implementation committee.  The task force chair said that the task force recommendations already state which entities should put each recommendation into practice.  The senate vice chair responded that the senate will need to charge those entities with the recommendations, via motions from the senate.  The implementation committee would prepare those motions and then bring them to the senate for discussion and a vote.  The implementation committee would also exercise oversight to see that the recommendations are put into practice.  A professor suggested that the senate could adopt the task force report as a working document.  A motion to do so will be included in the next senate agenda.

The Faculty Senate chair said that the Student Senate asks that faculty be careful about choosing new editions of textbooks that differ little from the previous editions.  When new editions are chosen, the students must pay full price for the new versions instead of buying used textbooks at a lower price.  A professor said that old editions are often not available but that faculty might accept both old and new versions if they are similar.

VII.  Minutes – The minutes of the previous Faculty Senate meeting were unanimously approved, with an amendment to change the list of guests by deleting Catherine Clark and adding Jennifer Francque, John Kirkpatrick, and Cari Moorhead.

 VIII.  Academic Calendar – Gregg Sanborn wrote to the senate chair asking for approval of the academic calendars for 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and 2008-2009.  Tim Quinn said that he has reviewed those calendars and that they appear to conform with previous senate guidelines/motions, except that the calendars for 2005/06 and 2006/07 will need to start prior to Labor Day.  The reasons are that Labor Day falls late in those years and that the fourteen weeks of the fall semester must be completed before a prescribed date in December and have the correct number of Mondays and Fridays.  Tim Quinn moved and Mark Wrighton seconded a motion that the Faculty Senate approve the academic calendars for 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and 2008-2009 as stated in Gregg Sanborn’s letter of 3-24-04.  The motion passed unanimously.

IX.  Finance and Administration Committee Report – Christine Shea, the new chair of this committee, said that she has represented the senate at Central Budget Committee meetings.  The Finance and Administration Committee will be involved in the RCM review and is considering the 3/22/04 draft of the review plan and preparing feedback on it.  At her request, the provost and the vice president for financial affairs have agreed that faculty should be more fully involved from the beginning to the end of the fifth year review.  Christine Shea has asked that a significant number of independent faculty members, broadly representative of the entire faculty, be included as members of the RCM Review Committee and that faculty participate in the data gathering phase and in the design of the model, data collection methods, metrics and criteria, as well as in the determination of explanations for any quantitative trends and in the development of conclusions and recommendations.

X.  Student Affairs Committee report – Dot Rentchler said that the Student Affairs Committee considered issues related to plagiarism software, changes in the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, student alcohol use, sexual violence, faculty advising for student organizations, and the role of faculty in freshman orientation.  Perhaps freshman orientation could be extended into the first year.  Many of the issues the committee considered have been dealt with by the Task Force on Academic Expectations and Student Behavior.

XI.  Search committee update – Michael Kalinowski said that the search committee for a new vice provost for academic affairs has received more than seventy applications, mostly from external candidates.  Initial reviews are underway.  The first round of interviews is planned for May 7 and 8, and finalist interviews on campus are expected from May 24 to June 4. 

XII.  Other business – Lisa MacFarlane announced that UNH students have done very well in the  2003/04 Fulbright competition, which resulted in four winners among UNH students and one alternate.  

XIII.  Adjournment – The Faculty Senate meeting was adjourned.

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