University of Denver
May 7, 2004
President Giles opened the meeting at 12:10.
Opening comments: Provost Bob Coombe will not be with us because of a scheduling conflict with the Diversity Summit.
The minutes were approved pending necessary corrections.
Giles reported that the executive committee debated re-opening the evaluations and decided to do so to encourage additional responses. Two years ago, the evaluations yielded 149 responses, 168 last year, and 120 this year. The survey will be open through this Sunday. Giles asked senators to encourage colleagues to participate. He reported receiving interesting e-mails expressing an unwillingness to use the electronic evaluation process for various reasons, ranging from lack of trust to lost passwords. He encouraged thorough discussion regarding the process, its usefulness, and appropriate questions for future evaluations.
Potter reported that the divisions have completed reviews. The committee of senators who will conduct the final reviews will meet during the week following the last Senate meeting. Sixty applications, totaling roughly 660,000, were submitted. Dennis Barrett asked who writes the negative letters. Potter said the committee will decide who will write the letters. The committee has not addressed that issue yet. The source of data for the letters comes from the evaluations and the senate committee. Bill Anderson asked if the divisional representatives evaluators met yet. Potter said they have not but e-mail conversation has taken place to determine the best use of time when they do meet.
The chancellor met with the executive committee for lunch prior to the roundtable. Giles thought it was pretty well attendedwith between 35 50 faculty present. The chancellor was pretty frank in his remarks regarding the Denver Post Holtzman article. The chancellor was not pleased with the article in general. His comments were similar to those made by Provost Coombe at the April Senate meeting. Giles invited comments from senators who attended. The chancellor was asked about the three most significant accomplishments and the three most disappointing issues during his years of service. First on his list was the beautification of the campus, noting an award that the university received from the American Institute of Architects for most improved campus. Cathy Reed noted that the award was announced in the Denver Post. Chancellor Ritchie also noted the Cherrington Global Scholars program, the national hockey championship, and the way we do athletics, noting specifically the suspension of a key player despite the possibility that it might cost DU the championship. The chancellor mentioned two areas of disappointment: diversity; he feels we have not come close to his personal goals, not only ethnic diversity but in all realms, and campus ethics. Someone specifically asked about the honor code. He doesnt think it has been implemented as far and as effectively as it should. Barrett noted that the chancellor did not mention a third disappointment. His hope for the future is improvement in writingin the whole area of communications. Giles characterized the exchanges as a fruitful discussion.
Executive Committee/Senate Committee meetings with Provost and Vice Chancellor for Business and FinanceLeon Giles
The executive committee of the Faculty Senate and the appropriate committees have met with Vice Chancellor Woody and Provost Coombe.
Highlights: Du is in great shape fiscally. We are operating with a surplus again this year. Significant funds were transferred from surplus to the physical plant. DU does not budget anything for the physical plant for maintenance or on-going expenditures. The surplus is estimated at 10 million. Dave Cox thought it might be closer to three million.
Deposits for first-time students stand at 1,120. Margaret Whitt noted that we have a record number of Boetcher scholars12, more than any other university in Colorado. Giles added that not many years ago, we enrolled none. He further reported that extensive discussion has taken place on the academic affairs side regarding faculty salaries and how that is administered, noting the modest merit pools. Coombe talked through various deans, unnamed, on trying to deal with faculty salary compression issues. He discussed trying to explore innovative ways to help new faculty to deal with mortgage. Nothing definitive has been suggested. He thinks we have a pretty full plate with academic initiatives. The provost wants to ensure the success of the Marsico initiative and Global Scholars Program. Barrett added that he raised the question regarding mortgage; Coombes response in part was that the senate could submit a plan. Giles and Barrett think the ball is in our court. Giles asked whether some younger senators might sit on financial planning and/or personnel to address these issues. Ved Nanda commented that he remembers the 1980s when he suggested that the Law School secede from the university when things were not going well financially. He thinks the meeting with the chancellor was uplifting. DU is not a rich university. We do not have a great endowment. Tuition alone cannot address salary needs. He feels very strongly that the provost wants to see the academic side of the institution succeed and that faculty are appropriately rewarded and their research effectively supported. He thinks the chancellor talks about buildings, but somewhere we need to have consistent trust for trustees and those who know the university well. Our academic units need to be well endowed in order for the university to have the kind of reputation we want. Nanda sees the trend as positive and feels good about it, as well as the uplifting meeting. Cox said Financial Planning has had good meetings regarding budget. We have a level of financial responsibility that is commendable. He agrees with Nanda regarding the endowment. If we are going to move to another level, funds cant come from tuition increases but must come from other revenue streams such as endowment. Giles asked if it is the will of the senate that we refer to committee the concern of mortgage assistance?
Motion: It was moved and seconded that the issue of mortgage assistance be referred to the appropriate committee. Andy Divine suggested joint committee of the personnel and financial planning committees.
Giles addressed the discussion regarding the feelings of disenfranchisement within the faculty. He reported that Provost Coombe thought the senate could make a contribution by coming up with ideas about how to engage or re-engage faculty. There are many difficult questions with multiple answers. He thought the senate should refer this concern to committee as well. Ron DeLyser commented that there might be a link between faculty disengagement and low administrator evaluation response rate. Gordon Von Stroh noted that only one additional person signed up to be a graduation marshal. He suggested at attending the ceremony is a way to show honor and respect for our students. Whitt added that another reason for the low administrator evaluation response may be the way questions are written. Do we need to rethink the questions we are asking about administrators? Giles said it is a much bigger job than anyone thinks it might be. Whitt said this institution rewards scholarship primarily, teaching minimally, and service not at all. Giles agreed that there is an uneven reward structure.
W Policy RecommendationLeon Giles
Giles reported that the proposal was badly brutalized in the Graduate Council meeting for two reasonsa tuition reimbursement policy conflict and a desire, particularly among deans, to take a harder stance related to student performance. The two-week withdrawal period allows easy course shopping. The proposal will be discussed this afternoon at the Undergraduate Council meeting. Von Stroh commented that it would affect waiting lists.
DeLyser said that the issue regarding courses that meet only once per week is not a legitimate concern because students have enough information on the syllabus to make a decision regarding the course. Dean Saitta asked if there is another representative on the Undergraduate Council who feels strongly and would like to take on the concern; he encouraged that person to come to the meeting. Divine said its a good example of how the council system works. We had an idea. We thought it was a good idea. We found that there were financial concerns that might make it infeasible. Cathy Reed said it was proposed because we want students to be competitive for graduate applications. The W mars their records. An extended period allows students to make informed decisions about courses and professors from information not available on the syllabus. Von Stroh said that issue was dismissed. DeLyser said that is a student perception. Reed expressed concern that money considerations outweigh student concerns. Potter asked Reed how she might respond to concerns that it prevents students on wait lists from enrolling in a course. Reed said that is a reasonable concern. She had a number of students who are upset about this and wanted to address their concerns. Additionally, as a grad applicant evaluator, she is concerned about the negative impact on students.
Divine raised the concern that there is no delineation between a 2nd week withdrawal and an 8th week withdrawal. That is what motivated his support.
The senate will lose a third of our senators in the coming year. Chairs of departments have been informed of which senators need to be replaced or re-elected. At the next meeting old senators come to vote; new senators come to be introduced. We also need to elect several officers:
Editor of Faculty Forum nominees: Margaret Whitt
Member at Large of Executive Committee
DeLyser: For the Personnel Committee, he, Arthur Best, and Sheila Summers Thompson continue to meet regarding evaluations. The next provost conference will address this issue. They are forming a planning committee to work on the conference. He seconds Nandas comments regarding the Provosts best interest of faculty. Giles added his second, and described the provost as having a no nonsense view of faculty responsibility. The provost expects faculty to be productive. He clearly is an academic administrator.
Longbrake: Financial Planning will meet one more time to draft a cost of living and salary analysis to have that ready for the next senate meeting. He hopes to provide provost support for salary initiatives.
Anderson: The Academic Planning committee will meet once more before the last senate meeting.
Saitta added the comment that it is fine to hear rosy financial picture and great to have a provost dedicated to faculty, but there still seems to be a real need for faculty to be very vigilant to see how funds are being administered and to gauge the duplication of programs that might drain resources. He suggested we think about mechanisms and processes that regulate what we do on the academic side. He also suggested consideration of the President factor. There still is a real need for faculty as a group to be vigilant about whats going on at DU.
Giles called for other business and received several suggestions: Strengthening UPAC, getting good representatives on the senate, the G-9 (G-11) group should play an important role in overall governance structure.
Adjournment: President Giles adjourned the meeting at 1:25.
Reminders and Announcements
Provost Reception for University authors (books) Friday, May 14th (3:00 5:00) p.m.)
Final Senate meeting for this academic year Friday, May 28th.