Faculty Senate Meeting
Guests: Ken Stafford, Vice Chancellor for University Technology Services
Bob Coombe, Provost
Senate President Susan Sadler called the meeting to order at 12:10 pm
Minutes of 2/8/02 meeting provisionally approved pending corrections.
Ken Stafford: Management of Electronic Resources
Vice Chancellor Stafford distributed a "Technology Update handout that detailed changes in computer activity on campus over the past year. He listed:
The 20 most visited DU websites as of from January 2001-January 2002,
Hourly Logons to the DU mail system,
Total Bytes served by the Central DU Web Server,
Total Documents (pages) Accessed,
Unique Web Pages Accessed, and
Unique Web sites that Accessed DU.
According to Stafford, DU's big email day is Valentines Day. He also gave a virus update, and discussed the issue of Spam (garbage email) on campus. DU has tried to implement several "Spam cops," national systems that block sites from Spam. Unfortunately, these have not proven to be very effective, eliminating a good deal of "good" email. Right now, UTS is not doing anything in particular about Spam. It is not yet a serious problem in terms of total bandwidth on campus bandwidth on campus.
The overall trend for UTS is growth. According to Stafford, "It's been an interesting ride" and there are a number of changes coming over the next 18 months.
Don Stedman (Chemistry): Is there a way to de-Spam individual sites?
Stafford: You can block an individual site using Explorer 5.5 or Outlook. Really obnoxious sites can be blocked centrally.
Asked about the current status of the modem pool, Stafford indicated that it remains unchanged for the present. UTS will be removing 1200 former students who are still using DU as free ISP at end of month. The UPAC Committee is investigating moving away from providing modem access. It is very expensive, and not a business we need to be in. Gordon von Stroh (Management) asked about monitoring of email. "What internal systems do you have in place to protect your own people?" He cited the example of a harassment case. Stafford responded that cases like this are referred to University Counsel. Sometimes "it's better not to know." UTS does nothing without legal approval except to block harassing stuff. Filters are in place nowhere but at Rick's Center. Stedman: Thank you for efforts. Cathryn Potter (GSSW) asked if there have been cases where faculty/staff have been accessing pornographic stuff in the sight of others, thus creating a hostile working environment. Stafford indicated that this would be a management issue. UTS would not be involved.
Provosts Report and Discussion: Study abroad initiative, Marsico Initiative, VP Search Provost Coombe discussed DU' undergraduate study abroad program, the Cherrington Study Abroad Program, indicating that a letter has just been sent to students enrolling for fall quarter. The letter first went to Deans Council and to senior staff. In addition, an article appeared in the Clarion. The program will come into play in Fall 2004. Right now the university is building capacity. Currently only 20% of students graduating have had at least one quarter abroad. The intent is to triple that by increasing the scholarship pool to $115,000, based on merit and need. The plan will be refined as we gain experience with larger populations going abroad.
He also spoke about the Marsico Initiative, an RFP that grew out of conversations between the Chancellor and alumnus Tom Marsico. The initiative will support undergraduate education in the traditional academic liberal arts disciplines, excluding engineering and computer science. $10 million has been set aside to begin the process this July. A faculty group was convened last month that is considering ideas for potential funding. The initiative will not circumvent normal governance procedures. The attempt is to create a new image of undergraduate culture. A number of good ideas have been put forth. Obviously the project has a short fuse as funding to begin in July. Marsico is a public initiative. Action will go through normal channels. In times of fiscal austerity, like those we now face, this is a wonderful opportunity.
The search for the VP for Graduate Studies and Research is drawing to a close. Two candidates to be interviewed next week (3/11-15/02): one internal, one external. The schedule will be distributed for interested faculty and staff members.
In terms of fiscal matters, there are no changes since last time. The overall baseline budget is $2 million. Tuition and room and board increases are slated. Cost savings will remain in the base budget of each division. Next year's savings plan will be negotiated in spring quarter. There are no changes in operating plans. Particular areas of concern include insurance costs, specifically health insurance carriers, and general insurance for the university. These will be taken into consideration before the budget is finalized.
Stedman: Is the Study Abroad Program intended to improve retention? Even if retention (persistence) increased 150%, the university would still lose money. Coombe: It is not just a retention venture. It is being done to add value to the undergraduate experience, and to make study abroad available to students who cant afford it, i.e. to make the opportunity uniform. Gross model for costs are based on guesses about participation numbers. Reciprocal ventures with other institutions are planned. $1.4 million is projected to cover hard costs like travel Persistence is important, but Study Abroad is being promoted for financial and academic reasons.
Potter: The Board of Trustees (BOT) funding strategy includes a 5% tuition increase across the board for all programs, including graduate programs, to fund a purely undergraduate initiative. Is this fair? Coombe: This is not the funding strategy per se. Plans are currently uncertain at best, and tuition increases for this purpose are not yet certain Graduate $ are not yet under discussion, although the Chancellor would like to make the opportunity to be open to graduate students as well as undergrads. It is too early to say how the program will be funded. Lisa Conant (Political Science) asked if study abroad initiatives would all be through the Office of Sponsored Programs (OPS), expressing her hope that students would be able to engage with their host countries rather than just with a cohort of foreign students being hosted, i.e. to take classes with foreign nationals. Coombe: Arrangements are up to students and the faculty here. DU has negotiated agreements with other institutions that will host DU cohorts. Other institutional agreements are also in place. There is an emphasis on DU programs that are integrated into the curriculum, rather than on third-party programs. A seamless interface for students is desirable. Gerry Chapman (English): Is the Faculty Review Committee duly constituted and ready to work? Coombe: No. As yet it has had no opportunity to engage. Chapman: doesn't the Provost appoint the FRC convener? Sadler indicated that the committee is constituted and has considered cases this year, although as yet the process has not yet been formalized. She invited Chapman to join the NCR Committee meeting for discussion, following the Senate meeting today.
Ingrid Tague (History) asked about the process involved in the Marsico Initiative. Coombe: The initiative currently consists of an RFP to the Provost and Chancellor that will be approved and sent to Marsico. What is wanted is a brief proposal outlining ideas and images of what we can do. The proposal will need to be considered first by appropriate faculty. Funding is incrementalquarter-by-quarter. No one is seeking to produce hard proposal. Who knows what can happen over 5 years? If the faculty and chancellor are not in accord, the authority resides with faculty. The Chancellor is looking for really different ideas. "What does it take to be the best?" The real issue is what does the faculty at large want to do? This will be an ongoing process, an investment in change and in moving forward. Can faculty engage in thinking about what changes are possible? The questions to be answered are:
What constitutes a marker of success?
Have we spent $10 million so well that we have substantially redirected the way we spend our own money?
There is a potential here for $500,000 per quarter for 5
years, if the faculty can present good, operable ideas. Marsico does not intend
to dictate curriculum, but he can withdraw funding at any time. Dean Saitta
(Anthropology): The Deans on the committee will share the ideas presented
with departmental chairs and faculty. Stephen Perkinson (Art & Art
History) expressed his concerns that the first round of funding might not
be broad-based, because the committee is not truly representative. It is an
idea group and does not represent all the traditional areas of liberal arts;
there may be potential blind spots. Will the current committee stand, or will a
more representative body be formed? Coombe: Right now the idea is to get
something rolling. The Provost asked divisional deans for names. The approach
is "broad brush" and there may be structural concerns. The real
question is how to enhance undergraduate culture, and how to ramp up the
intellectual level of current undergraduate programs. Christian Molidore
The effort here is to enhance undergraduate education while graduate student programs are not being enhanced, although they are paying increasing tuition costs. He indicated his concern that this indicates split between graduate and undergraduate education, with graduate education being conducted "on the side." Coombe: Initially, we have to have boundaries. The dollars are finite. $2 million per year is not a lot of money. Disagree. He also disagreed that DU is not investing in graduate programming. Faculty is being recruited at a level that is appropriate for grad programs, which is much more expensive than for undergraduates. Investments are being made on an ongoing basis that sustain gradate programming. Sadler indicated that she has been encouraged by UPAC vision of possible reallocations in the future. Arthur Best (Law) The Senate should constitute the committees. Coombe: Right now the committee is ad hoc, and consists of all faculty members, except for one staff member. It is an ideas generating/proposal writing group, not a governance group. Senate membership is not an issue since the body is primarily faculty.
Sadler is sitting on the search committee for a Director of Diversity, chaired by Paul Chan, and she reported that candidates would soon come to campus. She also discussed her recent email communication regarding DU's acceptance of a membership to a men's only golf club. She had sent messages to faculty asking for input on the acceptance, since in the final NCAA certification meeting, little opportunity had been provided for comment. The opinion of university administrators is that this is not Title IX issue. Nor is it a diversity issue. It is, therefore, not an issue. Sadler was asked to canvass faculty opinion and to solicit concerns from across campus. Her email garnered 77 letters from concerned faculty: 75 expressing concern about the decision, 2 in support (43 men; 34 women). Perhaps the appropriate process would have been a recommendation from the Senate floor? Sadler, however, felt that the response would be stronger coming from individual faculty members. She met with the Chancellor Monday (3/4/02), and is currently scheduling a meeting with the Director of Athletics to convey her concerns about the decision vis a vis:
Sadler expressed her conviction that the dialog must continue. She will take three recommendations to the Chancellor:
Tom Paskus (Education) suggested that the decision had something to do with the relationship between the person(s) who own the club and the university. Sadler responded that it is best to avoid rumors, that CU, Boulder and various high schools in the area have memberships. It is important that DU try to live up to its stated mission, vision, values, and goals.
Call for continuing or new business: None
The Senate adjourned until April 5, 2002. Committee work groups convened to discuss activities for the remainder of this year, and next year.