May 5, 2011
TO: UNR faculty and staff
FR: Eric Herzik, Faculty Senate Chair
RE: Results of Faculty Senate vote on curricular review proposals
The Faculty Senate met yesterday in special session to consider proposals linked to the latest round of curricular review. We considered recommendations from all phases of the curricular review process: the Provost’s proposals, departmental responses, college responses (and votes) and recommendations from the Faculty Senate Curricular Review Committee. The details for proposals emanating from each phase of the process are available through the Faculty Senate webpage.
We considered 5 specific proposals. Two proposals originally presented by the Provost were pulled from consideration at earlier stages of the process. (In the document below, these would have been proposals three and four.) Stated below are the specific motions considered by the Senate, which come from the Faculty Senate Review Committee. In one instance – Theater and Dance – an alternative motion was made and approved. The results of the Faculty Senate votes are as follow.
Recommendation for Proposal 1: The Faculty Senate should approve the adoption of Alternative Proposal A prepared by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (labeled as Plan 2 in the UNCE Response) with the exception of its proposal to move UNCE to the NSHE system level.
Approved by a vote of: 19 Approved 9 Opposed 1 Abstained
UNCE proposes that it be moved to NSHE, in order to better collaborate with all NSHE institutions. This proposal assumes that operations and maintenance (O&M) funds of about $700,000 would not be charged against its $2.2 million budget. More specifically, this alternative proposes to eliminate the Assistant Dean/Assistant Director position as well as the state 4‐H specialist and an unspecified number of classified positions. It also recommends the creation of 10 state‐supported specialists positions at 0.75 FTE (instead of 0.80), with the option of faculty supporting the remaining 0.25 FTE of their salaries with grants. This alternative also proposes the retention of 15 state supported extension educator positions at 0.90 FTE, with the option of faculty funding the remaining 0.10 of their salaries with grant funding. One extension educator position (Southern Nye County) would be converted to a classified or administrative position. In those counties where the only 4‐H staff person has been funded partially or fully by state funds, UNCE proposes retaining enough state funding to bring the position up to 0.51 FTE. The proposal also requests incentives to help meet the targeted shortfall number, through a voluntary separation agreement that offers a lump‐sum payment equal to half the annual salary, as under some circumstances this results in mutual benefit for the university and the faculty member.
Recommendation for Proposal 2: The Faculty Senate should approve the adoption of the Provost’s proposal to reorganize and downsize the Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology
Approved by a vote of: 20 Approved 7 Opposed 2 Abstained
The Provost proposes reorganizing the Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology (NBMG) as a program within Department of Geological Sciences & Engineering (DGSE) and to reduce their state budget from $2,108,907 to $1,000,000 in FY13. The core statutory and programmatic functions of NBMG and the State Geologist would be preserved. Externally‐funded research activities, including externally funded faculty and staff would be retained. The Provost states that while NBMG provides an important public service function, it is not closely connected to the ability of the University to fulfill its teaching and research missions.
Recommendation for Proposal 5: The Faculty Senate should approve the adoption of the CLA planning committee proposal, keeping the Theatre program but eliminating the Dance minor.
Rejected by a vote of: 4 Approved 25 Opposed
Alternative Recommendation for Proposal 5: Move to accept the department proposal saving dance and allowing a reduction in FTE rather than voluntary pay cuts for Dance faculty.
Approved by a vote of: 28 Approved 1 invalid
In response to the Provost’s proposal, department personnel developed a counter‐proposal that would reduce the size of the department budget by 33 percent but still retain the B.A. major in Theater and minors in Theatre and Dance. Specific elements of the proposal include:
With respect to the Dance program, the counter‐proposal from the department:
The proposed changes are estimated to reduce the cost of the Theatre major by 31%, to $193,476, and reduce the cost of the Dance minor by 37% to $103,344. The net effect would be to reduce the cost of the Theatre and Dance department from $894,962 to $604,493
Recommendation for Proposal 6: The Faculty Senate should approve the adoption of the proposal of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, except without the voluntary salary reductions and without the M.A. program.
Approved by a vote of: 25 Approved 4 Opposed
In response to the Provost’s proposal, the department developed a counterproposal that would maintain the B.A. major and minor in French, while reducing state‐funded expenditures by $188,821. The proposal also argued in favor of keeping the M.A. because eliminating it did not save any money. (This aspect of the proposal was not approved by the Senate) The budget reduction is achieved primarily through a combination of voluntary salary reductions (not approved by the Senate vote), position reassignments, and the elimination of temporary instructors.
Specifically, the department plan includes:
The department counterproposal retains academic degree programs in French and reduces the cost of running the program by an estimated $188,821, a savings of at least 41% ($188,821/$464,676). The actual percentage saving is significantly higher than 41% if the cost of supporting temporary instructors is included in the calculation.
Recommendation for Proposal 7: The Faculty Senate should endorse the MOA between the Provost and the Dean of Libraries.
Approved by a vote of: 28 Approved 1 invalid
A description of the MOU is available for download.
Following consideration of the specific curricular review proposals, the Senate considered three additional recommendations and voted to approved them as a sense of the senate. These proposals relate to the overall working of the curricular review process.
Additional Recommendation 1: Laid‐off tenured faculty should have priority over untenured faculty for other positions for which they are equally qualified, with some accommodation for the need to retool when changing job responsibilities. Approved by a vote of: 25 Approved 3 Opposed 1 Abstained
Additional Recommendation 2: In general, non‐tenured faculty positions should not replace tenured or tenure‐track faculty positions as a way of achieving cost savings, unless an academic program is being significantly downsized or reduced to a service capacity only. Approved by a vote of: 26 Approved 3 Opposed
Additional Recommendation 3: All faculty in programs affected by curricular review should be informed of the possibility of voluntary separation packages and those proposals by specific individuals should be accepted if they are mutually beneficial. Approved by a vote of: 29 Approved