Faculty Senate

                                        

March 6, 2008                                                                                                                           Robert C. Voight Faculty Senate Chambers

Vol. 42, No. 12                                                                                                                          325 Graff Main Hall – 3:30 p.m.

           

                                       

I.   Roll Call.

Present:  M. Abler, R. Ahmed, M. Anderson, S. V. Crank, Crutchfield, L. Dickmeyer, J. Heim, K. Hoar, D. Hoskins, K. Hunt, S. Kelly, R. Knox, C. Miller, P. Miller, J. Miskowski, A. Olson, S. Senger, S. Smith, G. Straker, R. Sullivan, B. Udermann, C. Wilson

Excused: A. Loh

 

II. The minutes of February 21, 2008 meeting were approved.

 

III. Reports.

 

            A.   Chair’s Report

Senate Elections

The Senate office received just enough nominations to fill the open Faculty Senate seats for next year, so there will be no election.  The new senators are Rebecca LeDocq (the SAH representative), Deborah Buffton, Georges Cravins, Thomas Gendreau, Jenifer Holman, Bruce Riley, Sarah Shillinger, and Bart Van Voorhis (all at large representatives). 

SEC Activities

Betsy Morgan updated the Senate Executive Committee on a couple of items. 

 

First, as of next year, new faculty hires will be given an initial contract of two years.  Next year, new faculty will have a “formative” review in the spring of year one, but their first “contract” review will be in the fall of year 2 for the next 2 year contract. The next contract review will be in year four for another two year contract, leaving year 6 for the tenure decision.  There is an expectation that departments will provide feedback to probationary faculty in the “odd years” – 1, 3, and 5.  If there are concerns, one year contracts can be given after the first contract review.  Questions on these changes should be directed to the college deans.  

 

Second, the By-law committee has begun to meet.  The official charges are as follows:

  • Determine which components of bylaws are required and recommended.
  • Develop a standard format for required components.
  • Determine a timeline by which all departmental bylaws must be submitted to the dean to be posted on the college website.

The committee is scheduled to present their work to the Faculty Senate by the end of this semester.

 

Volunteer for UW System’s Compensation Committee

Professor Robert Carney has been the UW-L representative on the UW System Compensation Committee. He will be ending his term this spring and we need a replacement.  The committee is charged with providing both anecdotal and hard data to the UW System President for consideration as it relates to developing pay plan recommendations for the Board of Regents. The committee is advisory only. The Committee meets approximately 2-3 times per year. The term is generally for 3 years. Please feel free to nominate yourself or another for this role.

 

B.     Chancellor

The Chancellor was at the Board of Regents meeting and unable to attend.

 

C.     Faculty Representative’s Report

The last Faculty Representatives Friday meeting was held February 29, 2008.

Several UW campuses are working on updating their Academic Mission Statements.  The Regents want five-year plans to give direction to programs.  UW-L plans to have its five year plan ready for the Regents' visit in December of 2008.

 

UW faculty salaries are about 18% below faculty at comparative institutions across the country.  Despite the fact that there is tuition money available for a 1.5% pay increase, these funds may be scooped up by the State to help address financial needs elsewhere in the State.  There will likely be a UW System give-back as well.

 

Concern was expressed over a proposed 2nd transcript, which UW students would compose and faculty would be asked to approve.

 

            D.  Student Association Representative’s Report

No Student Association Report.

 

IV. Briefing:  Jim Leonhart, President UW-L Foundation Board

For the February 1, 2008 Foundation Board meeting, the target of $15 million for the stadium project was met.  Thus, the first stage of the project will begin.  At the February meeting, a target of $3 million was set for the academic building.  About $1.2 million has been raised thus far.  The Board will meet again May 9 to set a target for the full capital campaign.

 

The Foundation will be distributing an electronic video for the campaign and will be meeting with all academic departments.  The goal of the campus campaign is to obtain a high percentage of employee donations to show others that the campus supports it.  Several current faculty, staff and emeriti members are on the Foundation Board.

 

V.  Promotion Tenure and Salary (PTS) Committee Report

Charge to PTS: Investigate previous uses of “star fund” monies and make recommendations for future uses.

 

The UW System determines the guidelines on the use of these funds. 

The current High Demand Faculty Retention Fund Guidelines are listed below:

1.     Those involved in the distribution decision-making process.

The Provost and Chief Business Officer (CBO), with participation by the deans of UW-L’s three academic colleges (Business Administration, Liberal Studies, and Science and Health) determine the distribution of the Faculty Retention Funding.

2.     The distribution methodology used. 

The Provost requires the deans of all three academic colleges to identify the most pressing retention and recruitment needs for faculty in high-demand and/or mission-critical academic disciplines engaged in instructional activities within their respective colleges.  The Provost (in consultation with the CBO) makes the decisions on which of the requests to fund.  Faculty salary adjustments are based upon which requests are deemed most critical to the university.  No funding will be distributed in an across-the-board methodology.  Requests from the deans are submitted for the following retention/recruitment needs: 

▪      Salary adjustment for a faculty member to match an offer from another institution. 

▪      Proactive salary adjustment for a faculty member who has not yet received an offer but who is being actively sought by another institution to apply for a position and where the faculty member’s salary is below comparative market salaries.

▪       Proactive salary adjustment for a faculty member who is below comparative market salaries, is in a high-demand discipline, and who is identified as critical to a department or college. 

▪      Adjustment to augment an existing salary line where the salary offered to recruit a faculty member is not competitive to hire an individual in a high-demand discipline. 

3.     The rationale and/or mission-critical nature of the decision. 

Funding decisions are based upon requests to address the most critical recruitment and retention needs for high-demand faculty or mission-critical academic disciplines.  The following factors are among those most heavily considered in making the decisions:

 ▪     Is the faculty member a well established academic leader or does s/he demonstrate significant potential to become a future leader of the program, department, college, and/or university? 

▪     Does the faculty member play a critical role in an academic program/department that would be very difficult to replace, perhaps as identified by an external academic program reviewer? 

▪     Does the faculty member have significant potential to be recruited to another institution or to seek employment at another institution? 

▪     Is there evidence that faculty members have been lost to other institutions because of below-market salaries?   

4.     The schools/colleges eligible and reason. 

All three colleges at UW-La Crosse (Business Administration, Liberal Studies, and Science and Health) are eligible to submit requests for Faculty Retention Funding.  Each college is required to demonstrate need, based on the UW System guidelines that state the funds should only be expended for high-demand faculty, and/or mission-critical academic disciplines engaged in instructional activities. 

 

When comparing the distributions of finds for the past two fiscal years, FY08 and FY09, most notable was the increase in funds awarded to CLS to better level funding to the three colleges.  It was the feeling of the committee that the new guidelines set forth for the High Demand Faculty Retention Fund and the Dean of CLS requesting more of this fund seems to have resulted in a leveling of the playing field for all colleges for FY09. There is $98,000 in this fund for next year.

 

At the February 29 meeting of the PTS Committee, the committee approved the following recommendation:  

The committee felt that re-visiting the guidelines and distribution would be a prudent standing charge for future PTS committees as this is merely one year to compare.  It may be interesting to note that both the Dean of CLS and the Provost are different this year and may have also had some bearing on the change in distribution.

 

The Senate may want to keep the above mentioned charge as a standing charge.  To ensure that the oversight of these funds by the Senate is not overlooked, it may be best to make some type of change in the PTS bylaws. 

 

VI. Graduate Council 

A.  Recommended changes to Graduate Faculty membership.

Pass

The Graduate Faculty Membership Policy and Graduate Faculty Membership Criteria were approved.

 

The big changes concern the following items:  Full and Associate membership is changed from five-year memberships to indefinite memberships.  This streamlines the process.

Affiliated memberships are intended for one semester only.  If a person wants a longer membership, they should apply for one of the other types of memberships.  There is also a new policy for appeals for disputing graduate faculty membership.

 

B.   Repeat a grade policy for graduate students.   

Pass

A graduate student can repeat up to two courses once in which a grade of C or lower was earned and with the permission of the program director.  The new grade will replace the original grade. 

 

This policy puts UW-L in line with other UW schools and most other graduate schools.  The original grade will still be on the transcript, but not used to compute the GPA.  Students can appeal a denial of permission to repeat a course to the Graduate Council.  This policy limits the number of repeats as opposed to the undergraduate policy.  Currently, when there is a good reason for a repeat, there is not a straight forward policy to address the need. 

 

VII. Report from the Library Committee

Funding for acquisitions and related services has been flat since the 1999/01 biennium.  At the same time, the increasing cost of periodical subscriptions, electronic resources, and books, increasing requests for ILL/Document delivery services, and the decrease in library student worker FTE have put an additional burden on Murphy Library. The financial crisis is forcing the Library to reduce book purchases, cut periodicals, cancel electronic resources, and cut library student worker positions.

 

In addition to the increasing subscription fees for periodicals and electronic resources, new majors and programs have been added since 2001. Due to the increasing number of students and faculty for these new majors and programs and the curriculum expansion, the Library needs to keep up a current, solid collection of materials. In addition, professional associations which review programs require the Library to hold a certain collection of academic journals and resources for accreditation purposes. Yet there has not been additional funding for these accreditation purposes. These trends have added to the Library’s financial burden in acquisitions and related services.

 

Because it is imperative that Library information resources for faculty and student research are adequately funded, the Faculty Senate Library Committee believes it is important to inform the Faculty Senate about Murphy Library’s current challenges and fiscal crisis.

 

Current Status:

Acquisitions Budget

Annual inflation rates have been estimated at 8-10% or higher for library materials. With inflation at approximately 8% each year, the acquisitions budget purchasing power has declined substantially. Because the Library has not had adequate funds to match the inflation rates, the cumulative effect is that a 71% increase would be needed at an 8% inflation rate to maintain the purchasing power equivalent to FY01 for FY08.

 

Increasing Cost for Periodical Subscriptions

The Library has been facing continual price increases for current periodical subscriptions.  Faculty members have made requests for periodicals that Murphy Library has not been able to meet. 

 

Increasing Costs of Electronic Resources

Murphy Library’s e-resources costs have increased for subscriptions. With the libraries budget the number of local e-resource subscriptions has decreased by 20 titles from 70 resources in 2003/2004 to 50 resources in 2007/2008.

 

Increasing Requests for Interlibrary Loan/ Document Delivery Services

Cutting periodicals has put an additional burden on Interlibrary Loan/Document delivery. Interlibrary loan requests have increased 115% in the past four fiscal years.

 

Increasing Library Usage from Growth, Quality and Access Plan

The Growth, Quality and Access Plan is projected to increase Library use among students and faculty. Library use already is increasing. As one measure, the gate count increased over 10% from FY06 to FY07.

 

Declining Book Purchases

Flat budgets largely account for a declining number of book purchases.

 

Decrease of Library Student Worker FTE

Student employment has declined from 12.01 FTE in FY98 to 7.0 FTE in FY07. The FTE has declined because of budget cuts, reduced work study availability, and the increase in minimum wage. Funding has declined from $77,000 in FY02 to $60,866 in FY08. Fewer student employees have impacted library services such as: reduced assistance at the reference desk; a cut in Special Collections hours; longer turn-around times; less innovation with library technologies; not collecting comprehensive assessment data for building usage, etc.

 

Library Committee’s Preferred Solutions:

1.  Request additional funding

Differential tuition funds for library use. The Faculty Senate Library Committee submitted a proposal last and this year to reallocate differential tuitions for library use.  Students at other UW campuses, including the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and University of Wisconsin-Superior, in recent years have approved differential funding to support the university library. While this is not a complete solution, it would help to close the gap.

2.  Request Pepsi Funding from UWL.

3.  Pursue Legislative Funding for 2009/11. This UW System request is in the initial phases.

4.  Look for other University sources

 

Other Solutions to help stem the Crisis

1.  The Library has cut periodicals in the past few years. If the acquisitions budget still remains flat, continued cutting of periodicals is inevitable. Tenure/promotion should not be based on publication in “prestigious” journals. Faculty are be encouraged/rewarded for depositing their intellectual works in Minds@UW (institutional repository) and for publishing in lesser known, open access journals.

2.  To deal with lower book purchases, use rush or “just-in-time” purchasing to meet users information needs. The UW System could do collaborative book bids.

3. Charge fees for document delivery. At this time, there is no charge to UWL faculty, staff, or students for ILL/Document Delivery services. However, if an additional funding source is not available to offset the burden, charges may be instituted for ILL/Document Delivery requests in the future. This option has the disadvantage in making this service less available to library users who lack financial resources to cover the service.

4.  Set the cap for user’s request of interlibrary loan and document delivery.

5.  Reallocate budget from other University sources for Library use for document delivery. 

 

The cumulative effect of an inadequate budget for acquisitions and services since 2001 has resulted in reducing the number of book purchases, cutting periodicals, canceling electronic resources, and cutting library student worker positions. An acquisitions budget increase of $75,000 and $10,000 in student employment are necessary at a minimum in order to maintain the quantity and quality of Library service. It is imperative that immediate steps be taken.

 

The Library Committee wants the Senate to be informed about the problem and also help look for solutions.  Some comments were given by Senate members.

  • Since the Library ties into research, it is hoped that the Library may be able to get some funds from the State Research DIN. 
  • Our list of periodicals could be compared to and shared with other local libraries.
  • If our campus goes above 10,000 students, costs in periodicals would increase.
  • The way money is distributed between book purchases and funds for journals could be examined.
  • Differential tuition could be used to address programs that have large library use costs.

 

VIII. Old Business

 

IX. New Business

 

X. Adjournment

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Susan Kelly