34th Faculty Senate

Vol. 34, No. 10

February 17, 2000


I. Roll Call.

Present: Bange, Barmore, Duquette, Grant, Hench, S. Kelly, Kraemer, R. LeDocq, Majak, Monte, L. Nelson, Nyatepe-Coo, Prucha, D. Riley, VanVoorhis, Vogt, Voiku, Wingate

Excused: Heim, P. Taylor

II. Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the February 3, 2000, meeting were approved as distributed.

III. Reports.

A.  Chancellor’s Report:  There was no Chancellor's report.

B.   Provost/Vice Chancellor’s Report:  There was no Provost/Vice Chancellor's report.
C. Chair/Faculty Representative's Report: Chair Bange informed the Senate that the faculty representatives did not get a chance to meet with the President and Vice President of the Board of Regents as planned. The Board meeting went into closed session and ran late. The Chair then brought the senators attention to a document from David Ward on Distance Education Policies that was distributed to the senators. The campuses are being asked to review this document and provide comments before a final draft is taken to the Board of Regents. The Chair has sent two drafts from the document to the CAPS committee to be reviewed. Finally, the Chair informed the senators that the campuses are presenting their new enrollment management plans (EM 21) to the Board of Regents. At the next scheduled Senate meeting on March 2, 2000, the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor/Provost and Chief Financial Officer Ron Lostetter will give a presentation on UW-La Crosse's EM 21 plan to the Senate.

IV.    State of Scholarship and Awards at UW-L - a Report.

Carol McCoy, Chair of the Scholarship and Awards Committee, gave a brief report on the state of scholarships and awards at UW-La Crosse. The committee was charged to look into the scholarships available for incoming freshmen. There are approximately 60-70 freshmen scholarships available. Of these, approximately 50% are for local students. The remaining scholarships are for continuing students and/or students with specific majors. UW - La Crosse is not competitive with our peer institutions when it comes to scholarships for freshmen.

The committee considered various sources to increase the number of freshmen scholarships. These sources included the following:

  • Faculty - through payroll deduction and encouraging retired faculty to support freshmen scholarships. Perhaps departments might consider splitting the dollars currently invested for a scholarship in the major and using part of the funds for a freshman scholarship.
  • Students - identify successful alumni.
  • Community
The committee also had some concerns.
  • Some faculty are not open to giving to scholarship funds.
  • The community is already heavily taxed with other fundraising.
  • There needs to be an awareness created for the need for freshmen scholarships.
The discussion was then opened up for comments from the senators. It was noted that the Foundation gives away nearly $1/2 million in scholarships and a lot of faculty time is involved in reviewing applications for these scholarships. Perhaps it would be useful for the faculty to make a statement to the Foundation concerning the importance of generating more freshmen scholarships. Once donors have determined policies for a scholarship, it is difficult to get them to change. Chair Bange suggested that the committee make a recommendation for the Senate to endorse.

The Chair thanked Carol for addressing the Senate.

V. Proposal from the Academic Program Review Committee to revise our policies and procedures.

Glenn Knowles, Chair of the Academic Program Review Committee, joined the Senate to give a progress report on the committee's work in reviewing the audit and review procedures. A copy of the report was previously distributed to the senators.

Glenn initially informed the Senate that in the past there has been a problem with the quality and quantity of the reviews. The committee felt that the overall objective of the review process is that it should to lead to program improvement. This was what guided them in their discussions. Glenn summarized the revised process and then asked the Senate for feedback on several specific questions.

Is the external consultant concept acceptable to the Senate?
There was a question concerning how the consultant would be selected. Glenn indicated that the committee was looking at the UW-Oshkosh model that has the department nominate possible consultants with the Dean making the final choice. This may involve some negotiation between the Dean and the department. The committee could write specific guidelines indicating that the consultant had to be from out of state or from a national association.  Senators expressed concern that if the department chooses the consultant, it may not be worth the investment. Also, the use of an external consultant may relieve a program from the burden of critical self-evaluation and actually reduce the quality of the self-study. The senators indicated that they are generally in favor of the use of an external consultant, but would like to make it optional, or allow the Dean to decide whether or not one is needed after reviewing the self-study.

How much emphasis should be placed on scholarship? Should there be flexibility?
It was agreed that it is impossible to define a common standard of scholarship. The senators felt that there needed to be flexibility since each department has its own definition of what scholarship is in that department.

Should there be separate guidelines for review of graduate programs?
The senators felt that the guidelines could address the issue briefly, but leave the rigor of the review at the discretion of the Dean.

Should the guidelines be revised to allow multiple consultants?
Again, the senators felt this should be at the discretion of the Dean. In a department with several different programs, there may be a good reason for multiple consultants.

How do we handle reviews for 2000-01?
System gave us a one-year hiatus from reviews in order to look at the process. There is no revised process in place and we are already past the deadline that would start next year's process. It was noted that a couple of programs are currently undergoing accreditation reviews. It was agreed that the accreditation self-study should be used for the review process and these programs would undergo their review next year.

Is the self-study for an accreditation review rigorous enough the serve as the self-study for an academic program review?
The senators agreed that an accreditation self-study should indeed be used in the academic program review.

A final question was asked concerning what the System requirement is concerning the time line for reviews. Chair Bange informed the Senate that the System requires reviews on a 10-year cycle. UW-La Crosse previously was on a 5-year cycle. This new process would put most programs on a 7-year cycle, which is the most common cycle used at the comprehensive universities.  The committee agreed that a 10-year cycle was too long if the review is to help improve academic programs.

Chair Bange thanked Glenn and the entire Academic Program Review Committee for all their hard work.

VI. Proposal from the PTS Committee to address salary compression between the ranks.

Barry Clark, Chair of the PTS Committee, and John Tillman joined the Senate. The report from the PTS Committee was available to senators electronically the afternoon before this meeting.
Chair Bange began the discussion with some comments on the history and facts relating to the proposal. He indicated that UW-System worked hard for nearly a year and a half to secure as much of a raise as possible. The State of Wisconsin is giving most of its employees a 2-2 1/2% raise while we are getting a 5.2% raise. The key component in demonstrating the need for this raise rests on peer comparison nationwide at the rank of full professor. The Chair indicated that although it is not written, there are clear expectations by the legislature, the Board of Regents and System that part of the increase will be used to address issues including compression. In addition, for the first time, the Chancellor has been given full discretion over 1/2% of the pay plan increase. A year ago, the PTS Committee brought a package to address salary compression to the Senate. The Senate approved this package. The proposal would use the entire 1/3 of the pay package available to address compression. The current promotion raises were also added at this time. The Chair indicated that if the Senate fails to pass anything this year, that plan would be implemented. The campus report on this issue must be in by March 1st.

The Chair then turned the floor over to Barry Clark. Barry indicated that John Tillman did a lot of work on this proposal. The proposal is essentially the same as the initial report given to the Senate at its December 2nd meeting with two minor changes. The promotion raises have been indexed to increase at the same rate as the pay plan, and these promotion raises would be effective beginning with those promoted this semester, Spring '00.

Discussion began with a couple of clarifications. It was noted that as written, the proposal would be used beginning this year (FY 00) when in fact it should begin in FY 01 (Item 6 in the report). It was also noted that the wording concerning the ineligibility of faculty receiving the new promotion raises for compression adjustments should suggest some end to this ineligibility. Barry indicated that the proposal calls for a thorough review of the process, including this item, during the fall semester of 2002. Finally, it was stated that the salary compression adjustments would be given in equal dollar amounts, rather than percentage increases, to all full professors.

The discussion on the floor included the following comments/concerns.

  • The use of 25% of the pay plan increase overly taxes the assistant and associate ranks and contributes to future compression in those ranks. Several senators suggested a need to reduce this percentage. It was noted that the Chancellor's 1/2% of the plan already amounts to approximately 9% of the pay plan increase.
  • It makes sense to use salary savings to address compression. Salary savings should be put back into salaries. Chair Bange indicated that in the past, out of necessity, dollars where moved from salaries into supplies and equipment. The percentage of base dollars going into personnel has dropped from 92% to 86%. It is time to stop this trend. It was suggested that perhaps using a percentage of the salary savings makes more sense than a fixed amount since we do not know how much salary savings will be available in the future. One suggested percentage was 50%.
  • Ron Lostetter, Chief Financial Officer, explained how salary savings are generated. He suggested not limiting the additional source of funds to salary savings. Instead, we could simply ask for an institutional contribution to the package from whatever funds are available.
  • There was a concern that this proposal does nothing to address compression problems created by the proposed raises in the bonuses at the associate and professor levels. It was suggested that there should be a better way to handle the distributing of funds. It was indicated that it is not possible to address the problem on an individual basis. These cases need to be handled within the college or department.
  • John Tillman provided the senators with data indicating the lifetime earnings loss due to the 25% taken from the pay plan for five years and the lifetime earnings gain from the promotion bonuses (based on a 2.5% increase in the pay plan each year). The data shows a significant overall gain in earnings with this new process.
  • Concern was expressed that certain colleges would be supplementing other colleges when it comes to the use of salary savings. It was first noted that salary savings does not belong to the colleges. Ron Lostetter then shared some rough percentages of the total number of full professors and salary savings in each college. In general, the colleges have roughly the same percentage of the salary savings as they do full professors. The one definite exception is the College of Business that has no visible salary savings.
  • It was commented that there have been no catch-up raises since 1988 and no significant pay increases since 1989. For these reasons, the 5.2% raise over the next two years is very precious. In addition, the $3000 and $5000 bonuses for promotions create a real problem between recently promoted and newly promoted faculty under this plan. Barry Clark pointed out that this problem will be evened out at the full professor rank since the newly promoted are not eligible for the compression increases. However, this is a problem at the associate rank.
  • It was noted that whatever plan we adopt must not overturn previous merit adjustments. If someone has been promoted in the past, they are meritorious. Thus we have to assume that all full professors deserve the compression adjustments. By giving out equal dollar amounts, the relative salary structure within the rank of full professor does not change.
  • A question was asked concerning why longevity can't be factored in. It was noted that there is no objective way to determine if there is compression based on years of service. The CUPA data does not address this issue.
Due to the lateness of the hour, Chair Bange suggested that we consider postponing the final resolution of this issue until next week.

M/S/P (by show of hands) to postpone the final resolution of this issue until February 24, 2000.

X. Old Business.   There was no old business.

XI. New Business.   There was no new business.

XII. Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:35 p.m.

Rebecca Lewin LeDocq, Secretary