Faculty Senate Minutes Summary Oct. 22, 2007
November 7, 2007
I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Barcelona, Calculator,
Chavda, Dowd, Lane, Park, Tenczar, and Walsh. Excused were Barrows, Brunet,
Echt, Hamlin, Miller, Robertson and Zunz.
II. Remarks by and questions to the chair – Robert’s Rules of
Order say clearly that a motion may be introduced again at any future session.
Sometimes tabling a motion indefinitely is used with the intention of suppressing
an issue and avoiding a vote on a matter permanently; and so if the senate
wants to table but not to suppress an issue, the senate might state its intention
to revisit the motion in the future.
Many old and new committee charges await the completion of the contract negotiations.
Members of the Agenda Committee note that the university is subsidized to an
incalculable extent by the generosity and good will of its faculty. Generally,
faculty work well beyond rule, always exceeding the letter of their contract.
It is precisely this generosity and good will that is lost to a protracted,
blighting contract negotiation. One manifestation of what is lost can be seen
in the growing number of committee charges that will remain frozen until this
period of work to rule ends.
The Agenda Committee is looking into the guidelines for field trips, and departments
which have field trip guidelines could share the guidelines with the committee.
Due to work to rule, the Agenda Committee has declined to attend a Customer
Service Forum offered by Hospitality Services. Regarding the gas line which
will obtain energy for UNH from a landfill near Rochester, fifty percent of
the EcoLine has been laid, with the expectation of completion before the winter
freeze. In fiscal year 2007, total giving to UNH was 12.6 million dollars;
and that is the tenth year in a row with over ten million dollars in gifts.
Fifty percent of UNH athletes had a 3.0 or higher GPA in the spring semester.
III. Minutes – The senate unanimously approved the minutes of the last
Faculty Senate meeting.
IV. Report from the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee – Larry
Prelli, the Academic Affairs Committee chair, said that the committee has completed
its charge to investigate the process used in the selection and implementation
of a tuition-based model for financing managed study abroad programs. The goal
of this charge was to ascertain whether the process violated the principles
of shared governance as expressed in the motion passed unanimously by the Faculty
Senate on December 12, 2005, and forwarded to the university president on 12/20/05.
The committee reviewed a variety of documents in order to find the salient
facts of the case. The Center for International Education (CIE) provided the
minutes of monthly meetings held by the University Committee on Study Abroad
(UCSA) from September 21, 2005, through March 6, 2007; and various individuals
provided email correspondence and documents related to the committee’s
charge. Additional information about the process was solicited in writing from
former and present directors of the CIE, members of the UCSA during academic
years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, directors of managed study abroad programs during
academic years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, the Office of the Vice President for
Academic Affairs, the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration,
and the Office of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. The Academic Affairs
Committee determined that it had gathered sufficient evidence to adjudicate
the relevant issues.
The committee arrived at two findings concerning the process involved in the
selection and implementation of the tuition-based model. The first finding
is that the tuition-based model became the de-facto policy without prior consultation
with the directors of the managed study abroad programs. This is the “sequential
finding” since it is based on analysis of the sequence of communicative
interactions and other events during the period under review. The formal policy
was adopted by the Dean’s Council on March 21, 2006, and by the university’s
Central Budget Committee on April 4, 2006. The Academic Affairs Committee finds
that the policy had in fact and in deed been implemented prior to those actions.
Documentary and testimonial evidence is consistent on this point.
The second of the committee’s two findings is that interactions between
program directors and administrators focused on how the new policy could be
implemented rather than on whether the model should be implemented. This is
the “pragmatic finding” since it is based on analysis of the substance
of the interactions, to determine the communicative purposes of the exchanges.
When affected faculty raised concerns about the new policy, the administration
of the College of Liberal Arts and of the Office of the Vice President for
Academic Affairs responded by communicating with the faculty and with the UCSA
via email and in meetings. Analysis of the substance of those communications
disclosed evidence of good administrative leadership in their emphasis on how
to implement the model, but there is no evidence of discussions that solicited
or considered opinions from faculty about whether the model should have been
implemented in view of concerns about possible academic consequences. Again,
the documentary and testimonial evidence is consistent on this point.
The committee then set about interpreting what those findings meant in relation
to shared governance and turned to the December 12, 2005, Faculty Senate motion
on shared governance, for criteria to guide the committee’s interpretations.
The December 12, 2005, motion says that “The Faculty Senate is the legislative
body that reviews and develops policy concerned with the academic mission of
the university.” Since study abroad programs are offered as part of the
academic mission of the university, it is clear that it is appropriate for
the senate to review new policy concerning those programs and to inspect whether
the principles of shared governance apply to this case.
Based on the December 12, 2005, motion, the committee identified two principles
to guide interpretation of the findings. First, meaningful shared governance
on a new fiscal policy that could have impact on academics must occur before
the enactment and implementation of that new policy. This is vital, in view
of the relevant portion of the December 12 resolution: “[The Faculty
Senate makes and supports] choices among alternative uses of our limited resources” but
also “emphasizes that the standard by which fiscal decisions must be
judged is their effect on academic goals of teaching, learning, research, artistry,
and outreach, never vice versa.” The resolution sums up this central
principle: “A good budget system serves academic priorities; it does
not define them.” The sequential and pragmatic findings violate this
principle because (1) there was no opportunity for involved faculty to offer
reasoned feedback about the academic implications of the proposed policy before
the policy was implemented and (2) the focus of the interactions aimed consistently
at administering how the new model should be applied rather than assessing
whether its implementation should proceed. This principle gets at the core
of all genuine deliberation about new policy: that discussion must take place
before the actions required of that policy are implemented, so that all interested
parties can together assess possible costs and benefits. Otherwise, as in this
case, there is administration but not the consultation expected of shared governance.
Second, the faculty’s “primary responsibility” is for academic
matters and the educational process. Only under “exceptional circumstances” should
administrative officials or their designees “exercise power of review
and final decision” in ways that are adverse to faculty efforts to exercise
that primary responsibility. However, analysis of the evidence for this case
did not yield any convincing finding that exceptional circumstances existed,
to make quick implementation of the new model necessary. Therefore it is clear
that the sequential and pragmatic findings show that faculty did not have the
opportunity to exercise their primary responsibility. Based on application
of these two principles to the findings, the Academic Affairs Committee concludes
that the administration enacted a process, for implementing the tuition-based
model for financing UNH-managed study abroad programs, which did not enable
the faculty appointed to run these programs to discuss and evaluate the academic
advantages and disadvantages of that model and, thereby, participate in shared
The committee sees this conclusion as an opportunity for strengthening shared
governance in the future. The committee is encouraged by recent administrative
efforts, in the College of Liberal Arts and in the Office of the Vice President
for Academic Affairs, to address concerns raised about managed study abroad
programs. Both administrators and faculty want to see UNH provide excellent
study abroad programs. Administrators and faculty alike appreciate that any
academic program is constrained in part by the way in which it is financed.
All would agree that shared governance involves two parties: the appropriate
administrators and the appropriate and affected faculty, meeting to discuss
issues that require an authoritative choice among alternative actions in pursuit
of stated goals.
As the first motion, Larry Prelli moved and Grant Drumheller seconded that
a minimum guideline for shared governance concerning new policies is that the
process should begin with collaborative discussion of the problem that needs
a remedy. Affected and appropriate faculty should be involved at this initial
stage. The senate leadership can assist administrators with identification
of affected and appropriate faculty to implement this guideline.
The rationale for this motion is to make an explicit shared-governance procedural
guideline for new policy, in order to avoid future problems implementing shared-governance
principles in situations of the kind examined in the Academic Affairs Committee’s
report on shared governance in the case of the tuition-based finance policy
for managed study abroad programs. Consultation about the potential impact
of administrative financial actions on academic programs or education should
begin with identification and definition of the problem of administrative concern.
The Academic Affairs Committee offers an illustration of how this procedural
guideline could be enacted: “For example, if the administration is unsure
whether a fiscal problem relates to academic matters, consultation with the
Faculty Senate leadership will help clarify for both parties what matters do
and what matters do not require shared governance.” Moreover, the guideline
can ensure that affected and appropriate faculty are involved early in the
problem-solving process. Again, the Academic Affairs Committee explains: “If
administrators are unsure which faculty members or groups are appropriate,
the chair of the Faculty Senate can help them find the people who should be
involved in the discussions.” The committee also amplified the centrality
of this procedural guideline for effective faculty governance: “This
guideline is prerequisite for constructive deliberations among administrators
and faculty about alternative perceptions of problems, about alternative possible
remedies, and about alternative financial and academic advantages and disadvantages
of proposed remedies. Without following this guideline insofar as new policy
is concerned, there can be no shared governance.”
After discussion, the mover and the seconder of the original motion accepted
a friendly amendment to rephrase the end of the first sentence as follows: “that
a minimum guideline for shared governance concerning new policies is that the
process should begin with collaborative discussion of the problem, initiative,
and/or issue that needs addressing and/or a remedy”. In order to allow
the usual time for consultation with departmental colleagues, Mimi Becker moved
and Marco Dorfsman seconded a motion to table the amended motion until the
next Faculty Senate meeting. The motion to table passed unanimously.
Secondly, Larry Prelli moved and Charlie Caramihalis seconded a motion that
the Office of the Provost provide a proposal explaining how procedures for
shared governance will be incorporated in the process of analysis, review,
and implementation of the tuition and fees policy for study abroad programs.
The rationale for this motion is that this motion is consistent with the intent
of the October 8, 2007, Faculty Senate motion (# XII-M3) concerning study abroad
fees. That motion states: “The Faculty Senate moves to request that the
University Committee on Study Abroad and the program directors of all the UNH-managed
Study Abroad Programs be asked to undertake a systematic review of the fee
structure changes in Study Abroad Programs, in collaboration with the appropriate
administrators at both the college and university level, and to come up with
recommendations regarding the impact and advisability of such changes.” Thus,
the present motion invites further articulation and clarification of procedures
of shared governance within this review process. The present motion also is
timely in view of the recent administrative decision to view the now current
policy on tuition and fees for managed study abroad programs as an experiment
that will be reassessed after the present three-year trial period, which currently
is in its second year. An integral part of this experiment is the identification
and evaluation of procedures for effective shared governance. Finally, the
motion calls for collaborative action between the Office of the Provost and
the Faculty Senate to further clarify and strengthen the procedures of shared
governance. Today’s first motion offers a procedural guideline for implementing
the principles of faculty governance as articulated in the senate motion of
December 12, 2005. With this second motion, the senate invites the Office of
the Provost to join us in dialogue about shared governance, as that office
formulates its proposal. The Academic Affairs Committee report put the ultimate
objective of this second motion in this way: “Ultimately, our aim is
to arrive at a proposal that will serve as a useful heuristic model (not a
rigid template) for a mutually-held view of procedures involving ‘shared
Senators said that the administration should respond to these motions with
procedures and not abstractions and that the December 12, 2005, motion should
be followed. In order to allow the usual time for consultation with departmental
colleagues, Mimi Becker moved and Rochelle Lieber seconded a motion to table
the second motion until the next Faculty Senate meeting. This motion to table
passed with thirty-two ayes, one nay, and one abstention
Finally, Marco Dorfsman moved and Anita Klein seconded a motion that the Faculty
Senate thanks the Academic Affairs Committee for its report, in fulfillment
of the charge on self governance and study abroad, and commends the committee
members for their extraordinary efforts in completing that charge in a prompt,
exhaustive and reasoned manner. This motion passed with twenty-five ayes, no
nays, and seven abstentions. Today’s meeting was adjourned.