Faculty Assembly Minutes
September 29, 2009 (Approved October 20, 2009)
I. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Dr. Chapin at 11:00 a.m.
II. Approval of the minutes of previous meeting(s) already distributed electronically]. Minutes were approved with no changes
III. Reports from committees and representatives to other bodies
A. State budget / furlough issues and questions: further cuts coming – the state budget is terrible and getting more so. The most recent budget cut would have been 7.8%, but the chancellor negotiated with the legislators and got it reduced to 2%. It has left us at the point of furloughs. The furloughs are being called a temporary salary reduction. They are reduced slightly over the next 19 pay periods. If they are declared furlough they would have to take all the money out on that one day. There was shared governance consultation in making this decision. There are some problems with dates for midterm and final grades. We are not done with cuts. Another $300 million is probably going to be cut; the total by the end of the year will be $1.5 billion. They are forecasting a $2 billion shortfall for the 2010/11 fiscal year. The governor has worked to have no tuition increases. Instead of a 4% increase tuition the governor has been putting extra money into the budget so we would not give increases.
B. Challenges to on-line programs – University of Maryland University College has a new totally online Master’s program, they have protested the approval of the program. It was sustained by MHEC, but they can not offer it in Maryland. If you are thinking of designing online programs, be sure to check what Morgan offers so that they can not log a protest against out programs.
C. Representation across the Bay – We are represented at the Advisory Council for MHEC. Dr. Ali Eydgahi is the represent. Dr. Chapin has been representing us to CUSF. Dr. Robert Johnson also is a representative. Dr. Chapin is at the end of his term. Dr. Chapin was nominated. The motion passed. Dr Chapin will remain the faculty representative for an additional three years. Representation is based on the number of people in the college. University College has 90,000 students worldwide 45% of their students are minority and there is no achievement gap within 1% up or down.
D. The legislature has mandated that all schools must have pornography policies. The Reagents has hired someone to do this. He has crafted a version of the policy for the Reagent’s.
E. Bookstore and book purchase. – The Reagent’s passed their own policy. The legislature did not adopt their recommendations. The result is that we will have to write bookstore purchase policies with the goal of reducing cost for our students.
F. USM will be one campus smaller in July UMBI is being abolished and their faculty distributed to other campuses.
IV. Re-constitution of committees and representatives for the current year: old committees to continue on for the present – Dr. Chapin announced that the people who were on the committees last year are still on the committee.
V. Old Business – Dr. Mark Williams mentioned that items d and e below (tenure and promotion document and faculty handbook) are actually old business not new business
VI. Items for this year and New Business:
A. Summer school,[Challenges: fiscal( treated as auxiliary enterprise, few dollars for teachers, problems with financial aid for students); uncertainty (will classes go? Can enrollment be coordinated earlier, especially for freshmen needing to repeat courses), relationship to Board of Regents’ mandates] Solutions will be dealt with at a future date. Summer school is being done well at UMES in the sense that everyone is doing their job according to the current rules. They do not work well for some of our students and faculty. We don’t know which courses will go until after the course begins. So students tend to go to other institutions where they know they will be able to take the course. A change needs to be made so they kids no before they leave after spring semester. Summer school is an auxiliary enterprise in the State of Maryland. The campus must run on its own. The dollars coming in have to cover everything, not just our salaries. For some campuses summer is a cash cow. One problem we have is that so many of our students are on financial aid. Summer school courses are not included in financial aid packages. Faculty are currently paid about $2,000 to teach a summer course. If faculty were paid 1/10th of their salary, that might be an incentive for them to teach summer courses. This is also a retention issue. If we could get students to take courses again during the summer, they would not be so far behind in the fall. There is a board of reagents mandate which requires that student’s get to the point that they have done at least 12 hours of their courses outside the traditional classroom for example online course, courses taken at other schools, courses taken outside of the country. Dr. Charles Williams reported that they need to know exactly what the students want to take as opposed to what people would like to teach. It would help to talk to people in the fall about not only what they want to take in the spring and the summer.
B. Remedial courses – need to do serious thinking about the Remedial classes. ENGL and MATH 101 classes have been increased by 20%.
C. General education, for the last three or four years there has been a committee. This really needs to be completed. The current system is full of challenges. We find ourselves with students who are taking remedial as well as general education classes to get their 12 credit limit. In the past almost all departments have declared classes general education to boost their statistics. This will not be able to continue. Dr. Williams reported that they do have a document with all the competencies which will be rolled out this year.
D. Tenure and promotion document, - DR. Charles Williams (Vice President for Academic Affairs) stated that we have a document which has gotten to the president’s office. We are currently working under the 1989 document. Once it gets through the president’s office it will have to go across the Bay to central administration, then when approved it will be returned to us. For this year, we will be using the 1989 document for those going up for promotion and tenure
E. Faculty handbook - this is an ongoing problem. Several attempts have been made to write a new version it needs to include all system-wide policies as well as campus wide policies. The Reagents have over 300 policies. Need people to volunteer to get this going. We need to have some paper versions as well as online versions. Faculty need to be able to look at the requirements for promotion and tenure document when they came, not just what they have been changed to. Dr. Charles Williams reported that a handbook committee really needs to be formed. The faculty should be heavily involved in it.
F. No additional announcements were made.
G. Dr. Mark Williams mentioned the mandate for midterm grades do on the last day of mid-term week, this creates a problem for anyone scheduled to give a mid-term on Thursday or Friday as well as grading it and getting the grades posted. Dr. Williams suggested that it might be better to have them due after we get back. Dr. Charles Williams stated that they will take it into consideration. Please try to work to completing grades and the days specified in the recent memo. Dr. Chapin requested that we check with the Registrar’s office to see if making the mid-term grades due later would be a problem. If it was not a problem last year, we would urge that Dr. Charles Williams consider that. Dr. Chapin will check with the Registrar’s office to find out what happened with the grades in spring semester.
H. Next faculty meeting will be Tuesday, October. We will for the foreseeable future be meeting in the Library Auditorium.
I. Dr. Chapin brought about the number of people who have been complaining that the shelves are very bare. You should be receiving regular contact from your library liaison so that you can let them know what your department needs in the Library.
VII. The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.
Anne Driscoll, Secretary Faculty Assembly