2007-08 Faculty Senate March 10, 2008 Minutes Summary
May 14, 2008
I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Afolayan, Barcelona, Calculator,
Chandler, Charpentier, Dowd, Hamlin, Park, Robertson, Walsh and White. Excused
were Barrows, Chavda, Haskins, Hinson, Lieber and Rebellon. A guest was Kevin
Linton from Student Senate.
II. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that,
when there is a communication of possible importance about a previous senate
minutes, the senate chair in consultation with the Agenda Committee would decide
whether or not the matter was of sufficient import to be brought to the senate
and, if so, then the issue could be dealt with as a separate item in the new
senate meeting. The Agenda Committee agreed that, in the future, the default
would be that such communication brought to the senate would be filed as an
appendix to the new senate minutes in which the communication was discussed,
unless the senate decides that the communication would instead be filed in
the senate office.
A selection committee has been formed to recommend an interim vice provost,
and Marco Dorfsman will represent the Faculty Senate on that committee. A professor
asked if the university should even have a vice provost. Another senator said
that the search committee should be able to submit a prioritized list of candidates
and that the administration should make a serious attempt to hire the candidate
highest-ranked by the search committee.
The Deans’ Council has been discussing the expansion of university professorship
awards and a new category of presidential chair awards. An announcement regarding
these awards has been distributed to deans, and it discusses nominations for
the professorships and presidential chairs for fiscal year 2009. Should the
senate participate in these nominations, during work to rule? The awards would
provide extra recognition and money for faculty who excel in their work. Many
senators said that faculty should participate in the nominations, but senators
were concerned about who would decide on the nominees and how much input faculty
would have. Also, a professor suggested that merit pay is a bargainable issue
and that this matter might be a back door to that, using funds which might
have gone into the merit salary pool. Other senators said that the funds may
come from the UNH Foundation and that, if the senate participates in the nominations,
the senate could try to influence the procedure. The selection committee might
decide on the criteria, especially if faculty are on the committee. Funds for
professorships might come with a memorandum of understanding from the donor.
Senators want to know where the money comes from, what the process is for choosing
the faculty, and that the process is transparent and proper. Faculty status
is one of the areas over which faculty have primary responsibility, according
to the Faculty Senate constitution. The senate would like to participate, will
provide two nominees, and will indicate that it wants to have faculty from
several different areas be on the committee.
III. Motion regarding a retiring dean – Marco Dorfsman moved and Larry
Prelli seconded the following motion:
Dean Marilyn Hoskin of the College of Liberal Arts will be retiring from the
University of New Hampshire at the end of the academic year. Dean Hoskin came
to UNH in 1995 and has been an important member of the university community
for thirteen years. She has worked effectively with multiple university constituencies,
and she has served her college very well. Through her vigorous support of the
liberal arts, she now leaves behind a very strong College of Liberal Arts.
She has been deeply involved in fulfilling the university mission; and she
has earned the utmost respect of her colleagues, who will also remember her
wry humor. The Faculty Senate would like to thank her for her years of service,
congratulate her on her achievements, and wish her the best on her pursuits
The motion passed unanimously.
IV. Minutes – Professor Berndtson suggested a clarification of his statement
toward the end of item IV in the 1/28/08 senate minutes, to read as follows:
Question #3 contained in the charge to Presidential Blue Ribbon Panel on Research
asked “how do we ensure that research activities are integrally connected
and supportive of the broader academic mission?” After some discussion
of potential circumstances that could limit integration, one senator stated
that tenure track faculty members have responsibilities for teaching, research
and outreach. Those faculty have the opportunity and are likely to integrate
these activities. In contrast, research faculty and contract faculty may have
responsibilities in only one of those areas. The senator wondered if the more
narrowly-defined responsibilities of such groups of individuals might be one
factor contributing to limited integration of research into the university’s
This change to the 1/28/08 senate minutes passed unanimously.
Professor Greenberg suggested that the second sentence in the last paragraph
of item V in the 2/25/08 senate minutes be changed to: “Faculty senators
thanked the student for coming to express his views, and one professor said
that the delay in the implementation of the Discovery Program, which was introduced
for faculty adoption in the spring of 2001, is significantly due to concerns
about the financial support of the program.” This change to the 2/25/08
senate minutes passed with two abstentions.
V. Motion to retable – David Richman moved and Mimi Becker seconded
that the motion from the 2/11/08 senate meeting, which was tabled until this
meeting, be tabled today until the next senate meeting. The rationale for retabling
until the next meeting is because that motion should be discussed after another
motion on shared governance is discussed at today’s meeting. The motion
to retable passed unanimously.
VI. Motion on mediation – Marco Dorfsman moved and Mimi Becker seconded
a motion as follows:
The Faculty Senate’s business is shared governance and the academic
mission of the university. It is not the senate’s business to get involved
in matters relating to collective bargaining. The senate is aware that the
former is made very difficult by the impasse declared in the latter. The senate
would like to urge both sides, the administration and the AAUP negotiating
teams, to approach the upcoming mediation session on March 13 with an open
mind and flexibility in order to achieve a fair and just resolution to the
After extensive discussion of the pros and cons of such a motion and its purpose
and the purview of the senate, the mover and seconder accepted a friendly amendment
to delete the last sentence of the motion. The question was called, and the
amended motion failed with twelve ayes, nineteen nays, and two abstentions.
VII. Shared governance document in preparation for the president’s visit
to the senate – The senate chair said that the document presented and
discussed in item VI of the 2/25/08 senate minutes has been revised and sent
to the senators as follows:
The Faculty Senate maintains its statutory obligation to ensure that the administration
and the faculty observe the principles and practices of shared governance on
all of those areas over which faculty must exercise primary responsibility.
Shared governance depends upon continual consultation, conducted in a spirit
of mutual trust and good will. To inform is not to consult. Consultation requires
two-way communication. Communication involves informing, listening, hearing
and being responsive to issues as they arise. Administrators at all levels
are bound by the principles of shared governance to consult affected faculty
on all academic matters before reaching decisions and formulating and implementing
policy. Decisions are taken adversely to the reasoned view of faculty only
in exceptional circumstances and for reasons clearly articulated to faculty.
The Faculty Senate may not be able to act as promptly as the administration
might like on new policy during a time when mutual trust and the spirit of
collaboration have become difficult. Any new policy or decision on matters
over which the faculty must exercise primary responsibility will lack legitimacy
until the policy has been approved by faculty--in most cases, by the Faculty
Senate. The Faculty Senate will continue to ensure that the previously agreed-upon
policies on academic matters are followed.
Over the past few years, the administration has attempted to institute new
policy in a number of areas without appropriate shared governance. The areas
where shared governance was lacking include restructuring of the finances of
study abroad programs, field trip guidelines, the College of Liberal Arts dean's
search, the development of virtual schools, the policy on institutes, the management
of the Forestry Program, and earlier stages of the College of Life Sciences
and Agriculture reorganization. In such cases, administrators withdrew from
shared governance by failing to consult the affected faculty before making
their decisions. The Faculty Senate's most important function is to safeguard
Frequently in the issues listed above, faculty have pointed out the violation
of shared governance; and the administration has promised to discuss the matter
further; but the administration has not reverted to the originally agreed-upon
policy during the interim. (In some cases, there were practical reasons not
to do so.) These discussions may last a long time. Sometimes, steps have been
taken to rectify a lack of shared governance, such as when the administration
changed the co-chair of the search committee for the Liberal Arts dean to include
a senior faculty member. Examples of shared governance that worked properly
include the discussion of American Sign Language, some aspects of the development
of the Discovery Program, the composition of the Vice President for Research
Search Committee and the Research Strategic Plan Steering Committee, which
were folded into the Blue Ribbon Panel on Research, and the most recent presidential
A senator asked for the background for the last sentence in the first paragraph.
That sentence comes from the senate’s constitution and also the 1966
Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities (jointly formulated by
the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on
Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges).
A suggestion was made to change the sentence to: “Decisions should be
made adversely to the reasoned view of faculty only in exceptional circumstances
and for reasons clearly articulated to faculty.” Another professor suggested
changing the document’s first sentence to begin that “The Faculty
Senate reaffirms its constitutional obligation….” and changing
the last sentence in the third paragraph to end by saying “function is
to participate in and safeguard shared governance.” A senator said that
the purpose of this document is to provide background for an affirming statement
that the president might be able to sign on shared governance.
A senator said that, if no agreement could be worked out on shared governance
matters, charges might be sent to senate committees to confirm, in preparation
for a possible motion of no confidence, whether there have been clear violations
of shared governance. A professor asked what the background is to justify all
the items listed in the third paragraph. An Agenda Committee member said that
those items are ones on which the senate has been working during recent years.
References to senate minutes and other documents will be prepared for those
items. A senator suggested that the Faculty Senate should prepare annually
and publicize a report on the state of the academe. He added that faculty morale
has suffered enormously as a result of the impasse in contract negotiations
and that this affects the academic mission of the university, but he asked
how do people outside of the university know that?
A professor said that there are no algorithms for shared governance. It is
not formulaic. Another professor suggested deleting the last two paragraphs
in the document; but a senator said that shared governance is a consultative
process, that the third paragraph gives some examples of failed process, and
that we need to address those issues. The fourth paragraph also gives examples
of areas where shared governance has worked well. The document is a working
paper and a departure point for discussion. The document can be useful as background
for the president before his visit to the senate. The senate unanimously approved
that the Agenda Committee should revise the document and give it to the president
as a draft, so that he will know what the senate has been discussing.
VIII. Student concerns – Kevin Linton, who is the chair of the Academic
Affairs Council of the Student Senate, said that, at a previous Faculty Senate
meeting, faculty senators had suggested that students could give a presentation
with equal fervor to both the AAUP and the administration, to urge them to
agree on a contract, and that he will do so next week. He added that Student
Senate will be working on issues including the Discovery Program, space allocation
in the Chemical Engineering Department, charter van service, and work to rule.
IX. Adjournment – Today’s meeting was adjourned.