Minutes of the Meeting of the Deans Council
Tuesday, November 6, 2007 – 9 a.m.
Warner Conference Room
PRESENT: Finnie Murray, Peter Longo, William Jurma, Kenya Taylor, Janet Wilke, Ed Scantling, Frank Harrold, Bruce Forster
GUESTS: Gordon Brooks, Sherry Morrow, Curt Carlson, Kathy Livingston, Cheryl Bressington
- Gordon Brooks RE Scholarship for Service Project: Gordon Brooks, Director of Nebraska Safety Center, explained the Scholarship for Service Project to the Deans. Sherry Morrow, Assistant Professor, Nebraska Safety Center, was also on hand to help answer any questions.
- Inclusion of the ADA Statement in course syllabi: Bruce asked for clarification on the ADA Statement being included in the syllabi and what the implications are if faculty do not follow this procedure. Discussion was held on how to educate faculty so it is understood how important it is to include this statement in their syllabi. Finnie directed Tami to check with Dusty Newton and Linda Johnson to see if they are including it in their information when admitting new students. Also, an email will be going out each semester from our office with the ADA statement and a note from Finnie.
- Tenured Faculty going to Part-time: Frank had a faculty member inquire about going to half-time but keeping their tenure status. Discussion was held and according to the Board of Regents Bylaws this is not recommended. Also, if they are not a fulltime faculty member they are no longer a member of UNKEA.
- Promotion possibilities for non-tenure track Assistant Professor: Frank had questions regarding the possibility of a non-tenure track assistant professor being eligible to go up for promotion. Discussion was held and it was decided to revisit this topic in the future.
- Use and storage of Social Security numbers: Ed discussed the email received from the Chancellor regarding the Social Security Number Usage Policy. He discussed that the NE Department of Education requires the use of social security numbers. Discussion was held about asking the Chancellor for an exemption and also following compliance for storage and safekeeping so this information cannot be compromised.
- Overload Policy Changes: Finnie explained he had received the following questions from Roger Davis, UNKEA President, regarding the policy changes to the reassign time and overload policy. The questions were all in regard to reassign time:
- What was the rational for the deletion of the language that used to be point 1? This language seems to align well with our culture of assessment. In addition, the colleges have productivity guidelines tied to the reassign policy. How does that relationship change? Answer to 1. The elimination of the original point 1 was based on the fact that the frequency of reassigned time in 1993 was much less than is true today, and the point related to the situation in 1993. In 1993, it was much more uncommon for time to be reassigned than it is today. In fact, today, for many departments, reassigned time to a 3 plus 3 course load is the standard, and faculty do not have to specifically request reassignment in these cases. Requests can still be made and decisions to approve or not are governed by policies that set qualifications for reassigned time within each college. Therefore, the language in point 1 was seen to be out of date and perhaps a point of confusion at this stage of our history.
- Was the discrimination against seniority as a factor reviewed? The idea of giving preference is endorsed. Why is seniority not as reasonable a consideration? Answer to 2. This point was considered, and it was concluded that no change was needed.
- Why delete the old #6 on quality of the department offering? In our assessment culture is not this sort of consideration more important than ever? Was there a rational for this deletion? Answer to 3. The elimination of old point 6 is based on similar logic to that for old point 1: The situation is very different today than it was in 1993, when reassigned time was much less common. At that time, there was a concern that reassigned time might negatively affect the quality of a department’s course offerings, but today, with time reassignment quite common and even the standard for faculty in many departments, the annual review and assessment processes take quality into account, and provide a means of addressing any deficit noted in the academic program of the department. Therefore, this point was seen as unnecessary.
- What was the rational for removal of old #5, that only tenured or tenure track are eligible? Yes, this opens us reassign time for contingent faculty, but is there another factor involved in this? Answer to 4. There was no hidden agenda in opening the possibility of reassigned time to non-tenure track faculty. No other factor has occurred to the deans or SVCAA&SL. There are examples of such faculty receiving release time or having joint positions that resemble such, so the idea is to make it clear that these people are eligible.
- Approval of Minutes: The minutes from the September 11, September 25 and October 9, 2007, Deans Council Meetings were unanimously approved by all present.
- Announcements: Curt briefly discussed dates to go to Norfolk to set up collaborations. Frank reported on the TERREX drill coming up November 14-16, 2007.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the Deans will be on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9 a.m. in the Warner Conference Room.