Faculty Senate: April 19, 2007 meeting summary

4/27/2007 | By: Staff Report  |

Chair's Report:

  • Chair Guy Hoelzer reported that elections for new senators were in process and encouraged current senators to let constituents know the role of the senate in shared governance and encourage faculty, particularly senior faculty to become involved in senate and committee service.
  • Pam Haney was hired for the ombudsman position and she started this week. Haney, who already had two cases, could be contacted through the senate office. The ad-hoc committee had met to develop policies and procedures relating to confidential research and hoped to have them completed before the end of the year.
  • A town hall meeting with President Glick has been tentatively set for May, 4 2007 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Nightingale Hall. The format would not be lecture style, but dialogue where Glick could move around the audience. And the conversation would be an extension of the one with the senate. The hall holds approximately 600 hundred people and Hoelzer encouraged senators to involve their constituents.
  • Hoelzer reported some of the issues that were discussed at the March Board of Regent's Meeting. Both Community College of Southern Nevada and Western Community College were approved to change their names to drop the word community. President Glick put the University of Nevada, Reno's main priorities on business size cards for the legislature. The two main ones were "hold harmless" and allow the university to keep the incremental increases from tuition. If the legislature agreed to "hold harmless" then the university would not have a decrease in the formula funding for not having met the projected percentage. If the University was allowed to keep the incremental increases in tuition, it would allow the University to have control over the funds. Now all funds go to the legislature and come back in targeted ways.

Request to Approve the Consent Agenda:

Hoelzer explained that the consent agenda was a trial run and he hoped that it would allow the senate complete their business more efficiently and allow more time for discussion of major issues. If there was a concern with a consent agenda item, that item would be pulled and then moved to the regular agenda for discussion and vote. Three items were pulled: 1 (Minutes), 2 (Senate Bylaws), and 6 (Faculty Senate Representation to the Conflict of Interest Committee). Items 3 (Amendments to the University Administration Manual, Prerequisites), 4 (Amendments to the University Administration Manual, Definition of a Major), and 5 (SEEDS Fair Trade Coffee Resolution) remain on the consent agenda.

MOTION: Follette/Gardella. To pass items 3, 4, and 5 on the Consent Agenda. ACTION: Passed unanimously Item 1: Request to Approve the March 8, 2007 Meeting Minutes:

Cindy Kiel would like the minutes amended to show that a memo was sent to the campus explaining that only the classified effort reports were incorrect.

MOTION: Follette/ Skelly. To amend the minutes to include Kiel's request and then approve the minutes as amended. ACTION: Passed, 1 abstention Item 2: Faculty Senate Bylaws:

There was discussion of senate bylaw 4.5 which regarded the length of time that a senator could serve on the senate, and 7.2.1 the process of affirming the chair elect. Gardella would also like the senate to address in their bylaws provisions for handling unruly visitors. Concern was expressed that the revised senate bylaws left a loophole on the time-frame when a chair or chair-elect could serve again. Hoelzer said that he promised not to run and the senate accepted the bylaws being sent to the Bylaws and Code Committee for this to be addressed. Gardella expressed concern regarding the bylaws not addressing potential problems with visitors.

MOTION: Follette/Vogel. To approve the bylaws as written ACTION: Passed unanimously Item 3: Faculty representation to the conflict of interest policy

There was confusion as to whether the senate was voting on the policy or the representation. This vote was to approve the representatives as the policy had been passed by the senate in 2003. The chair of the committee would be Cleb Maddux and the other faculty member would be Fred DeRafols.

MOTION: Parker/Baclawski. To approve Cleb Maddux and Fred DeRafols as the faculty representatives to the Conflict of Interest Committee. ACTION: Passed unanimously. Proposed Summer Reading Program

Hoelzer suggested that faculty look at the University of North Carolina's Summer Reading Program. The program goal would be to facilitate involvement with the students, faculty and staff and get the students started off being academically minded. The incoming freshmen would be given a reading assignment in the spring or summer and told to be ready to discuss the book in the week prior to class beginning in the fall. Either each college could choose a book or all could agree to using a high profile book University-wide. If only one book was chosen, the author could be brought to campus for a colloquium or seminar. Approximately 50 faculty would be needed to conduct this program and would prepare the students to participate in college. Parents could be involved, by reading the book, and hold conversations with their children about the book.

Year End Reports and Recommendations for the Faculty Senate Standing Committees:

Technology Committee:

Report and Recommendation approved by the senate. Recommendation of the Faculty Senate Technology Committee that the senate go on record as supporting adequate ongoing funding from the University to support the Campus Desktop Replacement Program and that the current four-year desktop/laptop replacement plan be changed to a three-year replacement plan. Campus Affairs Committee:

Report and Recommendations approved by the senate. The committee recommends that both search processes and activities of the Professional Development Leave Committee be monitored to ensure further concerns do not arise. Recommended that once the ombudsman is hired the senate take an active role in monitoring the annual evaluations of the person in this position and ensuring that the position is operating to it maximum level of effectiveness. Annual Evaluations for Top Administrators:

The committee concurs with the Morale Task Force's original recommendation regarding these evaluations and recommends that the senate continue to push for this process to begin at the earliest practicable time. Management Training for Administrators:

The Senate should continue to insist that this begin at the earliest feasible time. Communications:

The committee recommends that those in all levels of administration from the president down to department chairs be encouraged to communicate freely and often to all who they supervise. Merit Pay:

The committee reiterates the faculty senate task force recommendation that no one be excluded from merit, except because of promotion.

Administrative Faculty Evaluations:

The committee concurs with the Morale Task Force's original recommendation regarding these evaluations and recommends that the senate continue to push for this process to begin at the earliest practicable time. The Campus Affairs Committee: Suggests that the Executive Committee decide what they wish to recommend to the senate in terms of changing the bylaws to either increase the total number of senators or change the calculation figures utilized to determine apportionment. Non-Traditional Taskforce:

Report and recommendations No. 1 and No. 3 approved by the senate. Recommendation No. 2 would be discussed by the senate at the August 2007 meeting.

  1. Faculty Senate to ask administration to develop system of bridge funding for NTT faculty (for shortfalls/end of funding and for emergency situations such as illness) based on years of service, productivity, track record and other criteria to be developed.
  2. Faculty Senate to ask administration to phase in a system to offer B contract faculty the option of having retirement benefits paid on overload salary.
  3. Charges for committee for next year to include:
    1. continue to identify issues of concern to non-tenure track faculty;
    2. summarize and report findings from survey of academic faculty;
    3. complete surveys of administrative and LOA faculty;
    4. incorporate gender as a variable in examining NTT vs TT/T distribution;
    5. expand membership of this committee to bring new perspectives; and
    6. propose potential solutions to strengthen and support rights and safety net for NTT faculty.

Salary and Benefits Committee

Report and recommendations approved by the senate. (a) The university administration should be encouraged to fund salary equity adjustments in future budget years as a regular policy and to eliminate the age factor in administrative faculty salary assessments as soon as feasible. (b) The NSHE Retirement Plan Advisory Committee should be encouraged (1) to add an investment plan sponsor that provides lower-cost mutual fund alternatives, including a broader selection of passively-managed index funds, than are available from the current three vendors and (2) to make comparative performance data on the investment plans sponsors available to all plan participants. (c) The university administration and BCN Benefits Office should be encouraged to provide Certified Financial Planner services as an employee benefit. (d) The university should develop a general policy on how academic units provide for parental leave for teaching faculty during academic terms, including both guidelines for teaching release for the individual employee and resource commitments for academic units to provide substitute instructors. (e) The 2007-2008 Salary & Benefits Committee should be charged with following these and other issues detailed in the full report presented to the Faculty Senate. Bylaws and Code Committee:

  1. The BCC recommends that next year's charge include a critical review of the recently passed "reconsideration and grievance" procedures in the UNR bylaws. The revisions were done very quickly this winter, and though we believe they are functional, we also believe that some additional work might better provide for faculty needs, for example, is there a role for the Ombudsman in the process?
  2. The BCC recommends continued review of the bylaws templates, to include extracting a template for department bylaws.

Report approved by the senate, and the recommendations approved with a friendly amendment to consider using the term Polices and Procedures as opposed to bylaws for departments which would also change the templates that were recommended to be developed.

Campus Safety Update:

Adam Garcia, director of University Police Services, reported that Police Services and Administration would be dissecting the events of Monday at Virginia Tech and would be looking at ways to improve security and communication. They were looking at Public Address system that would cover the entire campus.


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