FACULTY SENATE MEETING
November 4, 2008
Present: Chair Martin, Secretary Kellner; Chair Elect Overton, Provost Nielsen, Senators Anson, Bernhard, Boone, Edmisten, Fahmy, Fleisher, Franke, Havner, Headen, Hemenway, Hudson, Levy, Lindbo, Murty, Poindexter, Poling, Ristaino, Roberts, Williams
Excused: Parliamentarian Corbin, Senators Domingue, Helmut, Scotford
Absent: Senators Ambaras, Auerbach, Carver, Genereux, Honeycutt, Khater, Kocurek, Kotek, Lindsay, Muddiman, Ting
Visitors: Betsy Brown, Provost Office; P. J. Teal, Secretary of the University; Marcia Gumpertz, AVP, Faculty & Staff Diversity; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Rebecca Rufty, Associate Dean of the Graduate School; Duane Larick, Interim Dean of the Graduate School; Terri Lomax, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies; Margaret Lamont, Assistant Professor of CHASS; Rhonda Sutton, Director, Office of Post Doctoral Affairs
1. Call to Order
Chair James D. Martin called the fifth meeting of the fifty-fifth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
Welcome and Announcements
Chair Martin announced that a volunteer from the Resources and Environment Committee is needed to serve on the Campus Safety Committee. Senator Fleisher volunteered to serve.
Chair Martin announced that there would be some revisions suggested to the academic tenure policy and the policies for dealing with faculty. Given the nature of the policies and the revisions he would like to create a special subcommittee to work on revisions to the academic tenure policy. Anyone interested in participating should contact him.
2. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 5, October 21, 2008
A motion passed to approve the minutes.
3. Remarks from Provost Nielsen
Provost Nielsen commented on the budget.
General Administration is going to create a new committee on non-tenure track faculty to discuss personnel matters related to non-tenure track faculty. They will also consider what the ideal mix of tenure track and non-tenure track faculty is in a university. Provost Nielsen would like the Chair of the Faculty to make a recommendation on the selection of a suggested committee representative from NC State.
Provost Nielsen reported that NC State is now officially in a 4% holdback by the Office of State Budget. The Governor’s Office had anticipated a 1.2 billion dollars deficit by the end of the year and so the 4% holdback and money from the rainy day fund is designed to cover this.
Planning for the 2009-2011 biennium. The chief budget person at General Administration has no idea what is going to be asked for or what is going to be needed. Provost Nielsen stated that he thinks there will be some percentage of a cut coming next year.
Provost Nielsen reported that the same formula that was used to budget graduate tuition remission last year would be used again this year.
Provost Nielsen reported that the state has professorships that are funded two-thirds by private money and then matched one-third by state dollars. There are forty-three of those professorships that are backlogged awaiting the state-matched money.
Provost Nielsen stated that we spend a lot of time talking about the process for getting new degree programs through General Administration and passed by the Board of Governors and then instituted. There is still a lot of talk about how to do it, especially at the graduate level, but much less concern at the undergraduate level. The Board of Governors is interested intensely in doctoral degrees and the creation of new doctoral degrees. “That interest in general is good for us, because we are one of the two big doctoral degree providers.”
Provost Nielsen stated that the process that we are talking about probably has some improvements that might move things along faster at some stages; and then it gets to a point where it is going to slow it down, especially for doctoral degrees, but in general, it is a good thing for us that there is going to be additional scrutiny on the development implementation of doctoral degrees because there is concern about how it relates to the missions of the various institutions. We are nowhere close yet to having the regulations in place that are actually going to make this happen.
Provost Nielsen stated that as part of UNC Tomorrow, they (NCSU) have been asked to send over a compiled list on behalf of the university of all degree programs that we have in cue at General Administration, new ones that are in process at the university and, additionally, new degree programs that we might want to begin moving through over the next three years or so.
Senator Murty asked about positions that would be affected by budget cuts.
Provost Nielsen stated that the expansion budget for next year already has in it requests for additional money for professorships, but you may recall that President Emeritus Spangler created ninety plus professorships that will be matched by state appropriations, and that is a priority in the budget request. The first set of moneys that will be appropriated each year is enough money to cover the sixteen or so (professorships) that are supposed to become available in that next year and that is going to happen for five years.
Senator Fleisher wanted to know if there is any uniform policy at this point regarding filling of new faculty positions or is that being decided on a college-by-college basis?
Provost Nielsen responded that they have been encouraged so far, and it has been accepted both from the Governor’s Office to the System, that we take all the cuts flexibly, so there is no rules that have been sent down. No decisions have been made at the university level about how we are going to take cuts.
4. Introduction to the Office of Post Doctoral Affairs
The Office of Post Doctoral Affairs was created August 1, 2008. The office is housed in the Graduate School on Centennial Campus (Research III) and it was created as the result of a recommendation from a task force that was convened in 2003-04 by Dr. John Gilligan. Drs. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin and Rebecca Rufty co-chaired the task force.
Dr. Sutton, Director of the Office of Post Doctoral Affairs, reports to Dr. Rebecca Rufty, Associate Dean of the Graduate School. There are a total of 313 post docs at NC State and the vision for the office is to enhance, support and promote the postdoctoral experience.
Dr. Sutton stated that professional development is an important component of their mission, so she has two programs scheduled for November, one being tomorrow -- a panel discussion with four assistant professors, three from NC State and one from Meredith. There will be another program on December 14, and in the spring she is planning a three-hour workshop on the fundamentals of teaching.
Senator Murty complimented Dr. Sutton on the program and noted that he spent almost five years as a post doc.
Senator Levy commented that this is something we have been looking for a long time. He suggested to Sutton that they (Office of Post Doctoral Affairs) get the GSA to communicate with Post Doc Organizations to interface and give advice to those graduate students in their last year and those that are looking for post docs.
Senator Williams wants to know if there are data available on where the post docs go once their appointments end.
Sutton stated that on the career resources site, there is information on where to look for jobs. She thinks it would be important to follow them, because ideally she would like for them to have an interest in coming back, or maybe provide a workshop or seminar. To her knowledge, she doesn’t know of any data that exist.
Dr. Rufty stated that they are not currently tracking them but one of their goals is to see where their post docs go.
Senator Fahmy thinks the creation of the Post Doctoral Office is very timely. He headed graduate programs for ten years in a department that was very active in research and he found during that time that many (faculty) tended to go to post docs, rather than to graduate students (for assistants) because they found that they get their money’s worth with post docs more so than with the graduate students.
Senator Fahmy thinks we should be wary of this in making sure that there is the right balance.
He noted that you have to be very careful, that you are not only here to produce research, but also to educate students.
Senator Headen stated that post docs are primarily grant funded with a close relationship with the PI of the grant. He asked how do you work with the PI jointly with the post doc?
Sutton agreed and stated that was one of the thoughts she had when she decided to create a faculty advisory committee is that she needs to understand better faculty. She stated that she is here to support the endeavors and not to get in the way of them.
Dr. Duane Larick, Interim Dean of Graduate School announced that they have a combined meeting of the Graduate Operations Council and the Research Operation Council to start that discussion and November 24 is the first meeting of that advisory group. “We need to partner not just with the post docs but with the faculty that are training the post docs,” Larick said.
Senator Edmisten stated that it seems, on the other side of the balance, some professors may want to get their money’s worth out of post docs, but on the other side there is a cluster of post docs available --and maybe you shouldn’t be producing as many graduate students in that area.
Senator Williams stated that Mollie Broad raised this issue, so he asked, “Did GA do a study of post docs?”
Response: We did not do that study, but several professional organizations have looked at that and the duration of postdoctoral appointments. The numbers have increased on average, so that there is a longer period between degrees. That is the reason why we set this five-year limit for the post docs, so they don’t become permanent docs.
Dr. Rufty said, that is one of the things they plan to look at. As of last year, there was a post doc making fifteen thousand dollars a year at this university. Somebody needs to be an advocate for the post docs, even though there is a rule and a guideline that they cannot be hired for fewer than thirty thousand. People at the departmental level may not know that they can (not) actually appoint people for fifteen thousand dollars a year. We want to make sure that post docs are being treated fairly and they are in a professional track. We need to make sure that it is a learning experience, and by definition a post doc is a scientist or a researcher in training, and it is part of their career path. Rufty went on to say that you can be a research associate forever, since they do not expect to be getting ready for the professorship, so we want to make sure that the campus understands that distinction.
Senator Ristaino commented that she has had a number of post docs in her lab over the years, along with graduate students and the post docs are part of a team of scientists in the lab. She has tracked all of her post docs that have gone on into various professions and they are still her colleagues out there, sending students back to her laboratory or they might be sending money from a position in terms of grants, so having a team in a well-balanced lab with undergraduates, post docs, and graduate students is really the way laboratories need to be functioning. In terms of this office it would be nice from the faculty standpoint to have potential positions advertised on the website.
Dr. Rufty stated that this office really is literally a place where information comes if you are looking for a post doc or if a student that is about to graduate is looking for a post doc. Rufty said they plan to pull all that information in for that website for view, and the applicants themselves can learn about granting opportunities and positions.
5. Review of Copyright Regulation - REG01.25.03
Senator Paul Williams, Chair of the Resources and Environment Committee reported that the committee met with Peggy Hoon and reviewed their draft proposals and there were two major issues that arose.
The wording has been changed starting in section 188.8.131.52 where it pertains to externally contracted work. It stipulates clearly that anyone that enters into an agreement with someone from outside is obligated within that contract to see to copyright, but in the event that the contract is silent on intellectual property ownership, the other provisions kick in, so Peggy Hoon and Suzanne Weiner worked on the language so that ambiguity doesn’t prevent someone from coming to campus and having the university try to claim it has copyright.
Direct cost, with respect to net revenues -- that is the basis for royalty payments --, originally
included the same kinds of items that we went through with the patent policy, but there was a tag-on at the end that said “in any under covered overhead “ so that was an issue because you can’t have direct cost to include overhead and nobody knew what “under covered overhead” actually meant, so the copyright committee at their meeting deleted that. Both of the issues that the committee raised have been addressed in this revised policy. Senator Williams recommended that the Senate endorse the policy.
The motion passed unanimously to accept the policy.
Chair Martin reported that there is a second policy having to do with the residency appeals procedure --- who gets to deal with the appeals of a student’s residency. The policy changes the responsibility process from the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Programs and Academic Affairs. The Academic Policy Committee voted to approve the policy.
Secretary Kellner moved to accept the policy without a formal vote. The motion was seconded and passed.
6. Old Business
Effect of Budget Cuts/Investments on Instruction, Research and Service
Chair Martin stated that he wanted to hear from each of the colleges today. We have to decide where we are going to go with the information that is being collected. I think the goal today is to hear from the various college delegations and then try to categorize the four to six broad areas which, based on the feedback that is coming in, I think we are going to be able to identify some of the broad categories, and then we will try to get some specifics out of those broad categories.
Chair Martin stated that another issue to think about is, when programs are eliminated, how that is going to be done. What are the criteria for total elimination? That is going to be the next step of some of our conversation. Today, we would like to focus on what are we learning about, specific examples about impact of the budget cuts on instruction, research, and service. I already know that there was some question on whether or not we forgot extension. The feedback that I get is extension is part of instruction, research, and service. I don’t think we always need to use the same wording to mean that, and I think it is very important for us to recognize that our cooperative mission requires that we have things to extend if we are going to have extension. I think the instruction, research, and service combines all of that and that shouldn’t be seen to exclude extension, any more than it excludes any other facet of what we do.
Senator Lindbo said, as an extension person, he degrees. He thinks extension is a formal part of his appointment to take research and bring it out to the public. He thinks it is important and that it is listed as a separate entity.
Chair Martin noted that the Faculty Senate is not ignoring extension.
Feedback on Effects of Proposed Cuts in CALS (Senator Hemenway’s presentation)
Extension—Loss of positions are important to extension and other areas. Many of the positions have teaching appointments within extension and they will affect teaching that is needed for students as well as for information flow.
Technician salaries may have to be written into grants, but many of the funding sources will not allow this. Already we are dealing with reduced federal and state allocated funds in applying for grants, and the climate is very poor for funding, so in some additional sources for extension funding, the monies are restricted in terms of how they can be used, so if we run out of money in our grants, we run out of money in our departments.
Loss of retirements has already led to increased responsibilities for remaining faculty, which also decreases the time for available grant writing and other types of things that are needed to really focus on helping the university grow.
A common (message) that was received is that proposed cuts and possible additional cuts in the future will end flexibility in maintaining the current level of extension efforts, and that will preclude the ability to respond to emerging (situations) which is an important component for extension.
The state travel moratorium will severely affect extension efforts that provide key programs and assistance to large numbers of North Carolina citizens.
The on campus professional development programs that are provided through extension will also be affected. Reductions in operating budgets may reduce the amount of up to date handouts needed for participants in these workshop as well as to the constituency in the state.
Impairment in the ability to help North Carolina constituency is very detrimental and at a time when economic downturn is also placing tremendous pressure on government and private sectors so North Carolina citizens will need more help in dealing with jobs, income, taxes and planning.
Teaching—decreasing numbers of sections available, which obviously is going to cause an increase in class size. This will create difficulty for non majors as well as majors to take the courses that are required. The obvious effects of that, in addition to a burden on advising, will be a burden on completion time for graduation. There is a concern that increased class size obviously you will have less interaction between faculty and students. You will have decreased attendance -- in many cases, it will affect the type of exams we give, so faculty will resort to multiple-choice answers, so you might not have the opportunities to really test what students know.
A lot of non-faculty positions, which provide primary teaching roles and support, is another obvious one.
Loss of teaching assistants for increasingly larger sections—also our students will end up being at a significant disadvantage in applying to graduate and professional schools if they are having trouble completing their programs in the time they need as well as having the courses they need by a certain time to apply to these programs and an end result would be a reduced competitiveness of our students for their target professions.
Research ---some of the extension concerns is that we are either going to be paying for SPA salaries from a grant or perhaps lose them all together.
Loss of SPA/EPA salaries—positions will place additional burden on faculty to absorb laboratory maintenance tasks
There will be reduced ability to work on risky projects that could have a high payoff. Many times faculty have technical staff do pilot studies or they have them work for preliminary data that are required for grants and so it will cause the research programs to be somewhat less competitive because it will be harder to get that information.
There would be reduced funds for graduate student support from foundations; reduced funds to departments, leading to using grants to pay for infrastructure items. We already have reduced staff support and in some cases almost none, so that would be reduced further in all likelihood, which would also not help if you are also cutting other positions that help make research, as well as all the other activities on campus.
The increased burden on the grant budgets will result in less money for graduate student funding and education.
Tuition and health insurance cost have already been added to the grants; this has increased substantially the cost for a PI to take a graduate student. The conversation has already arisen about the choices faculty have to make -- if they have so much money, they are better off with a post doc than a graduate student. There is a fear that the graduate student will be the first one to go, so there may be many fewer graduate students recruited and trained, which means there will be fewer graduate students available to serve as teaching assistants.
There will be a major reduction in the ability to provide research training for undergraduates because if there are limited funds and limited people there for training, that will not trickle down to the undergraduates.
The other point was that reduced funds would hinder progress for new faculty appointments, which will also weaken both training and teaching programs at the departmental and university level.
Lastly was advertising and hiring of new faculty to expand some programs at a time when vacated positions are frozen in existing programs that already provide a commitment to high quality education for undergraduate and graduate training. So there is a concern that new positions are being filled and others are being cut.
Morale and University Culture
Impermanence in existing positions as faculty retire or seek employment elsewhere will lead to decreased morale that will be difficult to restore. It is important for faculty to know what administrative cuts are being done and whether the university as a whole will be better served by opposing more cuts on administrative things or by reducing department budgets that will directly affect teaching, extension and research.
There is concern about administrative growth and possibly staff growth. There was concern about hiring of more administrators to the office that oversees grant spending—it is not clear though how the FA money is appropriately spent by the university. A perceived message was that there was a lack of concern for students and faculty regarding the integrity of programs. Several people said there was a need for strategic cuts and strategic planning at this point. Several people mentioned there was a lack of transparency that undermines the faculty and students who have a right to know how these decisions are being made and who is making them. There was a perception that the faculty has little voice in the process and is ignored if they voice concern or disagree, and the last point was loss of trust in the university.
These are comments received from fifteen or twenty emails.
Secretary Kellner wanted to know how many positions have been cut so far related directly to the budget decision?
Senator Hemenway responded that she doesn’t have those numbers.
Secretary Kellner stated that everything that has been heard has been in the future tense and these proposed college plans haven’t even been finalized yet by the deans. All of the things described will happen only if something else happens. I think that if the Faculty Senate had a way of actually knowing what was actually being cut and what has actually been cut -- because for the most part I’m saying it hasn’t happened yet and a lot of things might happen, but haven’t happened yet. At that point, when and how will the Faculty Senate get accurate information about what does happen when it happens, so that we can have accurate information, not about what might happen, but what has happened and what the impacts of that are.
Chair Martin thinks history needs to be looked at since this isn't our first budget cut. (Others may follow.)
Senator Fleisher commented that he had ten bullets (concerning priorities in Veterinary Medicine) and the one that he got the most frequent response from the faculty was, we don’t know yet. We are still in the stage of talking about how we are going to deal with this. We are bringing it to the dean but ultimately the dean is going to decide what the priorities are, so most of what I sent out is what could happen. There were a few things that have already happened, but for the most part it was things that could happen.
Senator Fleisher stated that there are a few things that have been cut, such as teaching innovation grants that are going to be cut. Positions have been frozen, which could have some severe impacts in the next few years, but again it is hard to say. Perhaps the issue that troubled me the most is the one regarding the laboratory animal resource facility at the College of Veterinary Medicine. That is also because I am the chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, so we oversee all the animal use at the university and the LAR facility is the only Association for the Assessment & Accreditation for Laboratory Animal Care approved facility at NC State, which is sort of the gold stamp for the best care that animals can receive at an institution. We are approved but the approval process occurs every three years. We are coming up for reassessment this spring so we have some issues that I didn’t know how I was going to deal with financially, before all of this started, and quite honestly, I don’t have a clue now what we are going to do about improving the finger bars, so that we don’t run into an issue with reaccreditations and ALAC when they come to visit us.
Chair Martin stated that the College of Veterinary Medicine’s staff issues, just like CALS staff issues, fit under the big heading of these staff issues, but it also deals with accreditation and so that is a real big issue. He said, “Senator Kellner’s question is absolutely right, how do we get actual data on what has been cut?”
Senator Williams stated that the College of Management is in an unusual situation because of their history. They have a lot of vacant positions because they were a college created by the department that got cut in half and then got cut into two thirds, so they have been under resourced faculty-wise since the day they were created out of the department from CHASS. They had twelve positions. They have two faculty and a non tenure track position that they were going to hire and they are probably going to lose two of those, which means they have accreditation issues as well, because they are up for AACSP accreditation next year and there are within those accreditation requirements certain percentage requirements of how much has to be taught by academically qualified, professionally qualified people. At the moment his department doesn’t have enough academically qualified people, so they don’t meet one of the standards. So it’s an issue for them in terms of not having enough of the academically qualified people potentially get to their accreditation standard.
Senator Headen stated that a scenario is that you are going to have larger sections, you are going to have more teaching per faculty, the morale is going to go down, and it’s going to become more difficult.
Senator Williams stated that one of the conditions of the creation of the college (Management) was it was designed to help rationalize management education on this campus. We don’t do that now. We limit our enrollment. We emerged out of the old Ag Business Management Program and look at the enrollment in that program now. There are 400 students because they can’t get into the College of Management and there is a lot of students in Engineering and Textiles, for whom the college was created to help, that are not able to do it now because we are not growing fast enough to accommodate our own majors, so we are almost recreating the same circumstance we had that effected the creation of the college in the first place -- that is what past cuts have done. They have hurt students in other colleges because they can’t get into our courses.
Senator Edmisten stated that he already didn’t have any money to do his extension job and he was taking money from his research and now he has to move that to new expenses so it is really hard to capture the total effect.
Chair Martin stated that he agrees that it is hard to capture, but being hard is not an excuse for us, right? We are going to just complain about cuts. We have to roll up our sleeves and try to grapple with explaining that which is hard. That is the story of how you accommodate your extension. I know most legislators don’t comprehend the extent to which we fund a lot of our external service out of our own pockets, so that is part of what needs to be told.
Senator Headen stated that there seems no way out of the box of cutting permanently 4% and possibly another 4% while holding constant quality or programs now. He asked, “How do you get around that?”
Provost Nielsen stated that he started a conversation yesterday morning with the Vice Provost and there are a number of things we have to do. We have to reduce some things. We have to centralize some things. We have to decentralize some things. We have to outsource some things and eliminate some things. “I started a conversation with him yesterday about what criteria would you use to judge programs for elimination. There are just some bodies we are not going to be able to serve any more and choosing who those bodies are is not something we like to do.”
Senator Hudson—I’m really nervous right now because at the last Faculty Assembly meeting I raised the issue that we were cutting a lot of writing courses and at that point I thought that was the case since that was what I had been told. We are being really nervous about numbers right now and I’m a little concerned that that had something to do with my having raised that in the Faculty Assembly. I would like to put it on the table and if we need to talk about that, we can talk about that. I did not give an interview to that reporter in the News and Observer.
Chair Martin stated that he does not think that is an issue.
Senator Hudson stated that she also thinks the conversation about criteria for what we are going to cut is a whole lot more interesting than discussions about what is going on in the colleges. In CHASS everyone is discussing cutting travel. The best recommendation that I think, and this is obviously subjective, that came out of CHASS came from the Department of Foreign Language and Literature is a lot of information from this great person who talks about cutting energy cost. Do you walk around in your colleges and see lights and monitors on any time, day or night? How much does that cost? Also, during the winter having the air conditioning blasting, and heat in the summer. There were people saying that with the budget cuts they would have to buy supplies out of pockets.
Senator Anson stated that the operating budget is now so low in CHASS that faculty feel conflicted because they need to pay to realize the requirements in their own SMEs. If they want to attend a conference they must pay 1500 or 2000 dollars out of their own pockets. For several years the faculty in my department had $300 travel allocations and now that's gone. They cannot call their editors on the phone if the editors are in another state because they are not allowed to make long distance phone calls. They cannot travel to conferences in order to realize the requirements of their SMEs, which are saying you need to be intensive in your research efforts, and those are contexts where you learn, where you chat with other people and develop opportunities. There are different kinds of software that people have to pay for out of their own pockets or else it affects their research. If we were to imagine a scenario in which we lowered our expectations in the SME’s because people were not able to engage in their research, then we are moving ourselves into a position of mediocrity; we can’t support the research effort. And that is in CHASS where some faculty are just working with text and library materials; I can’t imagine what that is like in other colleges that have much more lab and infrastructure for research. Once you lower those operating expenses you are diminishing opportunities for research and driving down the entire research and scholarship effort in the institution.
There is very little grant money in CHASS. Our college is not grant intensive so we could not rely on other sources of funds for things like travel to professional conferences, so that is the story that needs to be told--that you cannot have a research extensive or intensive college without some degree of this discretionary money unless you are willing to pay out of pocket like most people are doing. They are sometimes paying five to ten thousand dollars of their own salary in order to realize research efforts.
Chair Elect Overton stated that the other thing that she was interested in was how transparent this is at the faculty level. I think some of the budget meetings that I have been to as Chair Elect and the budget forums, the stuff coming from GA to the Provost to the Colleges are sort of transparent, but once it hits the deans to the department -- I don’t know what the culture is across campus. It was only yesterday we had a meeting where the department head said, the dean told me we need to lose X amount of dollars. Okay faculty, where are we going to get it? So it has come from the deans to the departments.
Chair Martin asked, how many have heard, Faculty, what are we going to do?
Chair Elect Overton stated that information has come down, deans have distributed it to department heads, and you have had faculty meetings, and then you are not sure yet which of all of these things are going to happen.
Senator Fleisher stated that they unanimously voted to cut all faculty salaries by 5% so they wouldn’t have to lay off any SPA employees. His understanding is that that is not a priority that the dean is considering using right now.
Senator Hudson asked did they have the option to do that.
Senator Fleisher responded, we did.
Senator Fleisher stated what they were presented with was that this is all the money coming into our department, and this is where all the money goes, and this is how much money we have to cut. Then they talked about how could they cut that much money. He stated that there was a universal sentiment that they didn’t want to cut any SPA positions, so most of the money is faculty salary.
Senator Headen stated that he thinks it is true, that in his college (Management) deans have budgets and departments don’t.
Senator Williams stated that his department (Accounting) has foundation money and private money such as MAC fellowships come from private money. They budget that money and decide what they are going to spend it on. They receive appropriated money from the dean.
Secretary Kellner stated that he attended an English department meeting where people complained and finally I got rather testy and I pointed out that they had not attended the budget forum meeting and all of their questions were either answered there or could have been answered by the presenters. I imagine this is as transparent a situation so far as it could possibly be, and that indeed when you reach the level of deans and heads, the reason things become cloudy is that that is where decisions have to be made on the basis of information that they just don’t have yet, and on the basis of decisions that have not yet been made – “have not yet been made” being the crucial issue all along here. It does seem to me unfortunate for people to get up and complain about transparency problems, because I think it is our responsibility to note that we have here real efforts to be transparent about information that actually exist. You can’t be transparent about information that doesn’t exist yet.
Senator Hemenway stated that they had their faculty meeting Friday to discuss what they would put forward as their response (to proposed cuts) and she assumed that a lot of people that responded to her has probably already had that discussion with their faculty, so the comments were based on what they were anticipating could be. “I think the transparency issue was perhaps directed in both directions that you are talking about, but also maybe transparency in how the university addresses the cuts that may not be directed at faculty and staff, but more administrative cuts and where are the cuts being made there as well.”
Senator Williams stated that there are financial statements for every college and every department and for all the money that his department controls they get a report at the first faculty meeting in the fall. There is no reason the dean can’t provide you with it -- here is the budget for the college and this is what it was spent on. Charles Leffler can tell you where every dime in this college goes and where it came from and we ought to demand that information. That is the real transparency and until you have that information, you really can’t sit down and have a rational conversation about -- did the dean do the right thing or did he not do the right thing.
Chair Martin stated that we have to do some grouping together and then we have to feed back and assign some writing of some ideas. I have talked to Steve Keto and I have asked him to see if we could have a copy of what they have submitted in the past. If we could see a copy of what has been submitted in the past I think it will help us thinking about the audience to whom we will write.
One of the biggest action items I have heard today is specifics, specifics, and specifics. What actually has been cut?
Senator Havner stated that someone in Engineering suggested a 10% reduction in administrative personnel, and another suggestion was to take Mary Easley off the public payroll.
Chair Elect Overton stated that the process is ongoing right now. The deans are supposed to get things back to the Provost this Friday and they are supposed to say where the money is cut from. Can we get that report? It would be interesting to see how the deans communicate this back to the Provost.
Senator Levy introduced the suggestion of a resolution that makes a formal request that the Senate receive copies of the budget-cut reports that are to be provided to the Provost prior to the end of this week. The motion to accept such a resolution was passed.
Chair Martin stated that the sense that he gets is that the Faculty Senate requests of the Provost a copy of the reports submitted by the deans of the respective colleges outlining how the budget cuts will be taken.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 5 p.m.