Faculty Senate

 

March 24, 2005                                                                                               325 Graff Main Hall

Vol. 39, No. 13                                                                                                3:35 p.m.

 

I.  Roll Call.

Present:  Beck, Clow, Cravins, Galbraith, Gendreau, Gongaware, Grunwald, Heim, Hench, Johnston-Rodriguez, Kernozek, Kraemer, S. Krajewski, Maher, C. Miller, Poulton, Ragan, B. Riley, Senger, Shanks, D. Sullivan.

Excused:  Dixon, Majak, Shillinger.

 

II.  Minutes.

There were no minutes to approve.

 

III.  Reports.

Chair Riley announced the senate will review Plan 2008: Phase II at next week’s meeting; a debate between the La Crosse Mayoral candidates will take place March 28, at 7 p.m. in the Ward Room; the North Central Accreditation (NCA) team has scheduled several forums to seek faculty input – the first two dates are Wednesday, March 20, and Tuesday, April 12 (the forums will be held in 259 CC beginning at 12 Noon;  Ron Kind will visit campus on March 31 - additional information will be forthcoming.

 

Provost/Vice-Chancellor Hitch emphasized the importance of attending NCA forums, the first of which was held today.  NCA is a critical accreditation for the institution.  Frankly, without it we are in trouble.  While we have been successful in being accredited, the organization is upping the ante; for a number of years the focus has been on assessment.  Now it must be pervasive on campus, a process that is part of the campus culture that helps us improve ourselves.  Campus forums are a way to examine where we are in the process of getting ready for visit.  The focus of today’s forum was “Is it time for UW-L to revisit its mission statement?”  The next one entitled “Are we budgeting our resources to meet our mission?” is a timely opportunity to participate in process.  The third session is titled “About student learning/teaching… where do all those assessment reports go?”  Provost Hitch invited senators to participate in the process… people serving on subcommittees are working very hard but that is not sufficient – the committee needs departmental input.

 

Vice-Chancellor Lostetter commented on several things – all positive.  UW-La Crosse is having built into it’s base budget $107,808 + fringe benefits for market factors – for retention of faculty.  There are no instructions at this time as to how it will be allocated out to individuals – not tied to pay plan itself.  April 5th is the scheduled ground breaking for new Reuter Hall – construction is short with student occupancy expected fall of 2006.  Regarding the new academic building, the Board of Regents will meet in April to prioritize building construction for 2007-09 and 2009-11.  The positive part of the Governor’s budget proposal are capital projects with an estimated price tag of $430M.  System is very pleased with that amount.

 

With respect to administrative budget reductions – hoped for methodology to skew reductions toward System failed.  First year figures will be based on total GPR fee.  The April 15 Redbook numbers will reflect from a budget perspective what reality will be with respect to what budget will actually be in the fall.  When will the budget be settled is real question.

 

Chair Riley asked if the senate would get a list of the unfilled vacancies targeted to meet budget reductions.

 

Senator Cravins has contacted Faculty Representatives with the inquiry whether or not other Faculty Senates had taken any actions regarding the administrative budget reductions.  To date, he has heard from three and there is not much to report.  Seems our campus is being kept more up-to-date.

 

Joint Planning and Budget passed a recommendation that they will forward to governance bodies urging some kind of response.

 

Senator Senger offered the following resolution for consideration:

 

The Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse finds that the method adopted by the UW System in assigning budget reductions to each campus based upon total GPR/Fee budgets is inconsistent with the intent of both the Governor and the Legislature in reducing the administrative overhead of the UW System.  This intent was clearly expressed through the Legislative Audit Bureau's report of 9/04 and the Governor's condemnation of the UW-System's response to the 10% administrative reduction exercise as reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 11/17/04.  The Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse requests that

 

1.  UW System accept a greater share of the reductions, consistent with the principle that

administrative reductions should occur as far from direct instruction as possible, and

 

2.  Assign campus reductions based upon each campuses budget for administrative operations.

 

The resolution keeps in mind the spirit of what Planning & Budget wanted.  Who does this go to?  Communicate resolution in a number of ways – other campuses, Regents, area legislators, and the Governor.  There is clear indication that the Governor and other legislators were not happy with way System responded.  We do not appear to be responsible.  Cuts need to be made based upon administrative budget.  The senate agreed to postpone action until later in the meeting.

 

IV.  Task Force on Instructional Academic Staff Employment Issues.

Carmen Wilson, Chair of the Task Force, returned to discuss the remaining recommendations within the report.

 

2.       Contracts

a.       Whenever possible, IAS are offered multi-year fixed-term contracts as specified by Wisconsin Administrative Code, University of Wisconsin System/University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Chapter 10.

b.       The “not intended for renewal” clause in fixed-term contracts is replaced. 

3.       Titling and Career Progression

a.       UWL outline specific policies for titling and career progression of IAS.

b.       Actual practices reflect these policies.

4.       Review of Academic Staff. 

a.       University policy about the performance reviews of IAS are more specific and consistent with the expected responsibilities of academic staff, and clearly communicated by HR.

b.       All academic staff are reviewed yearly to assure their classification as instructional or non-instructional remains appropriate.

5.       Communication. 

a.       An IAS web page with links to resources both within and outside of UWL is created. 

b.       A mentorship program for new IAS is institutionalized. 

c.       An IAS Faculty Senate committee serves as a resource and advocate for IAS, and as a source of feedback for HR in its efforts to improve communication.

6.       Workload. 

a.       The teaching load for full time IAS remains at the current level. 

 

Recommendation 2.

IAS rolling contracts were eliminated two years ago.  But another option is similar and that is the multi-year fixed term contracts for up to three years.  Q&A:  Rolling horizon contracts are no longer realistic.  How can we monitor budget positions?  Some contracts are intended for renewal.

 

M/S/P (unanimous show of hands)

Contracts

a.       Whenever possible, IAS are offered multi-year fixed-term contracts as specified by Wisconsin Administrative Code, University of Wisconsin System/University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Chapter 10.

b.       The “not intended for renewal” clause in fixed-term contracts is replaced. 

 

Recommendation 3.

Options are well documented.  Put in place policies that are already in place and charge committee we have created to come back.

 

M/S/P (unanimous show of hands)

            Titling and Career Progression

a.       UWL outline specific policies for titling and career progression of IAS.

b.       Actual practices reflect these policies.

 

Recommendation 4.

Item b. is to address concern that there are a number of academic staff who are hired as regular academic staff – hard to know where they fit especially if duties have changed.

 

M/S/P (unanimous show of hands)

Review of Academic Staff.

a.       University policy about the performance reviews of IAS are more specific and consistent with the expected responsibilities of academic staff, and clearly communicated by HR.

b.       All academic staff are reviewed yearly to assure their classification as instructional or non-instructional remains appropriate.

 

Recommendation 5.

M/S/P (unanimous show of hands)

Communication. 

a.       An IAS web page with links to resources both within and outside of UWL is created. 

b.       A mentorship program for new IAS is institutionalized. 

c.       An IAS Faculty Senate committee serves as a resource and advocate for IAS, and as a source of feedback for HR in its efforts to improve communication.

 

Recommendation 6.

Concern is that majority of academic staff do more than just teach.

 

M/S/P (unanimous show of hands)

Workload. 

a.       The teaching load for full time IAS remains at the current level

 

V.  Unfinished Business.

 

The E-Grading Project.

The faculty senate is in receipt of a copy of the E-Grading Report, which was generated by Diane Schumacher, the University Registrar.  In consultation with an ad hoc faculty advisory group, Records & Registration and ITS undertook an electronic grading project that allows instructional personnel to submit grades on AERIE via the Web.  Following a pilot project during J Term, the next steps in the e-grading project are:

 

  1. To implement final grading via the Web campus-wide for spring semester 2005.
  2. To provide training opportunities for each department during the spring semester.
  3. To expand the project to mid-term grading for General Education courses.
  4. To take action on the following recommendations made by the faculty advisory group.

a.       Establish e-grading as the only method of submitting grades; do not provide a choice between bubble sheets or electronic submission.

b.      Grading is a faculty responsibility, which should not be delegated to another individual.  If an extenuating circumstance exists that prevents the course instructor from inputting grades, the department chair should input the grades.

c.       Require a date of “last record of activity” for NA grades.

d.      The project team should investigate automating the Incomplete Form as well as the process of submitting the forms.

 

M/S/P to approve recommendation 4. made by the ad hoc faculty advisory group.  (unanimous show of hands)

 

Resolution on Administrative Budget Reductions.

Senator Senger offered the following wording in substitution of the second item in his proposed resolution:

 

2) Assign the remaining reductions distributed proportionally between the campuses based upon actual administrative operations budgets as opposed to total GPR/Fee budgets.

 

The resolution (listed below) was approved unanimously.

 

The Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse finds that the method adopted by the UW System in assigning budget reductions to each campus based upon total GPR/Fee budgets is inconsistent with the intent of both the Governor and the Legislature in reducing the administrative overhead of the UW System.  This intent was clearly expressed through the Legislative Audit Bureau's report of 9/04 and the Governor's condemnation of the UW-System's response to the 10% administrative reduction exercise as reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 11/17/04.  The Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse requests that

 

1.   UW System accept a greater share of the reductions, consistent with the principle that administrative reductions should occur as far from direct instruction as possible, and

 

2.   Assign the remaining reductions distributed proportionally between the campuses based upon actual administrative operations budgets as opposed to total GPR/Fee budgets.

 

VI.  Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.