University Senate Links
Date: November 29, 2001
The University Senate reconvened on November 26, 2001 in Room 424 of the Administration Building. The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Holter at 4:04 p.m. Professors Gallagher and Whitman were excused; Professor Cox and Stevens Ratchford were absent; Student members Main and Sharp were absent.
Chairperson Holter introduced President Mark Perkins who had asked to address the Senate.
President Perkins thanked the Senate for accommodating his schedule and changing the date and venue of the meeting. He introduced the newly appointed assistant to the President, Dr. Michael McKinley, who comes from the University of Phoenix. He also announced that the he hopes to announce the selection of the Vice President and Chief Fiscal Officer within a week or so. Also the Search Committee for the new Vice President for University Advancement is in the process of holding interviews and an announcement from that search should come soon.
He then spoke to the issue of the downturn in the national and state economies and its effect on the budget of the University System of Maryland. The System is experiencing a 3% reduction in funding. At present the reduction for Towson University works out to $2,067,000. The University is taking various steps to meet this reduction in revenue including cost containment, a hiring freeze, and area reductions. President Perkins distributed a sheet outlining the reduction and the steps being taken to meet it.
He addressed each of these steps:
1. Cost Containment: the projection of salary savings for this year. This step was implemented even before the official hiring freeze was put into place.
2. Hiring freeze: the University is negotiating to be allowed to decide which positions to freeze. At this point faculty positions and the two Vice-President positions are exempt. The University is also excluding faculty salaries from the calculation for reductions.
3. The University is using as a guiding principle that it will seek to avoid any reductions that will have an effect on instruction. When the new budget is prepared we will plan for permanent reduction distributed across the institution. Care will be taken so as to have no effect on current employees. However, the final decisions will be based on actual legislative action. There is still a possibility that the institution could receive some nominal funding increases in some areas.
4. The University will maintain student instructional support and put classrooms over many other areas.
5. The University will do all it can to avoid layoffs.
President Perkins stated that the University Senate needs to develop mechanisms to work on such issues as this. At present the Senate has no role in any of these decisions, which had to be worked out in a very short time framework. He thanked the Vice-Presidents for their help in these matters, even spending some of their holiday weekend working on them.
He then opened the floor to questions.
Question: Will capital projects be affected? Answer: He sees no effect at this time.
Question: Was Towson cut disproportionately? Answer: No, the proportion was across the board.
Question: Would replacements for retirements in faculty ranks be affected? Answer: Every vacancy is reassessed; there maybe no blind commitment to refilling any given position. However, he noted that in the past several years the University has added 43 new programs with no requests for new financing.
Question: What about an effect on the COLA? Answer: He does not expect the COLA to be affected. Historically the state of Maryland has maintained a good commitment to its people.
Question: Will there be consideration of increasing enrollment to increase revenues? Answer: He would want the advice of the Senate on this. At this point we do not have the physical capacity to increase enrollments.
Question: Is there any discussion of reducing programs in student services? Answer: Vice-President Parker said there is no discussion of this. He also noted that the SGA budget is not a part of this fiscal structure.
Question: What about problems of accreditation in programs where there is a scarcity of full-time faculty? Answer: This is a problem that the Senate and the Council of Deans needs to grapple with. In the past we have used adjunct faculty to make some of these programs work. Provost Jones noted that we have certain programs where accreditation has served us well and we would continue to honor this. Where we have felt accreditation to be critical, we have committed monies there. President Perkins thanked the Senate again for the opportunity to share this discussion. He also thanked the Vice-Presidents and support staff who have worked very hard on these plans. Vice-President Showers also noted that it had been a very collaborative process. Vice-President Parker stated that when we make reductions in one area, we have looked to see what effects there would be on others. Provost Jones stated that the first commitment has been to students.
Professor Siegel inquired about legal commitments to the Office of Civil Rights. President Perkins noted that when he came to Maryland he was surprised that the OCR issues had still not been resolved. There is a figure of $6 million for this.
Chairperson Holter thanked the President for coming to the Senate.
The Senate meeting returned to discussion of Motion 01 /02-4: To approve the Student Academic Integrity Policy.
Professor Connolly and Mr. Reuling distributed new copies of a revised policy. Professor Vatz distributed a paper outlining his concerns with the Multiple Submission Policy.
Provost Jones stated that the faculty needs to be upfront with the students over this issue. Professor Siegel asked that we go through the document page by page.
There was considerable discussion and some minor rewording of various sentences. Most of the discussion centered on the issue of Multiple Submissions. It was agreed to add the words Ňof the instructor(s)Ó after the first sentence.
The question was called and the motion was approved 17-0-1.
Professor Chen thanked the committee for its hard work.
The next meeting will take place on Monday, December 3 at 4:00 p.m. in the regular location.
Professor Davani moved, Professor Chen seconded to adjourn.
James M. Anthony, Secretary
The University Senate usually meets the first Monday of each month during the fall and spring semesters. The Executive Committee of the University Senate invites all interested parties to attend the meetings in the University Union.
Copies of documents relevant to agenda items are available at the Faculty Reserve Desk in Cook Library. Recordings of meetings are located in Cook Library in the Media Resource Services area on the second floor.