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4. Remarks of the President, James Cassing.
5. Reports by and Announcements of Special and Standing Committees
of the Senate
The letter from the Provost, dated October 17, was distributed to Faculty
Assembly members and is available from the Provost’s website and
the committee’s website. Professor Talbott said the committee met
last week and would like to get back to the part-time faculty members
who participated in the survey. One issue that concerned part-time faculty
was access to libraries before the term starts to prepare for class. The
Provost explained that regular IDs are linked to the payroll system. However,
the director of ULS is willing to issue temporary library cards to part-time
faculty in the month prior to their being on the payroll. All that will
be required is a letter from the appropriate dean or department chair.
A second recommendation was that part-time faculty be on the mailing list
for programs distributed by CIDDE. Regular part-time faculty were on the
list but not temporary part-time faculty. Vice Provost Blair added that
more part-time faculty are now considered “temporary.” The
mailing list is being revised to include temporary faculty as well. Other
recommendations were on the school or department level and had to do with
grading policies, evaluation of teaching, and the creation of committees
to improve communication among full-time and part-time faculty. The Provost’s
letter indicated that he is sharing these recommendations with deans and
regional campus presidents. Professor Talbott said the committee was pleased
with the results of the survey and plans to repeat it in three to five
Ad Hoc Planning and Budgeting System Evaluation Committee
The PBS members were given 24 statements and had to respond on a five point scale ranging from 1=strongly agree to 5=strongly disagree. Professor Holland felt that the response was slightly more positive than in the 1996 survey, but 15 of the 24 responses fell into the neutral (2.5 to 3.5) range. The responses to five statements indicated various constituencies have the access and ability to participate. There was moderate disagreement that the PBS duplicates other government bodies. There was agreement that the PBS process should continue to evolve. Members of the UPBC tended to respond more favorably to the PBS than members of PBCs in department and responsibility centers. It appeared that members of the Health Sciences were particularly negative about the PBS but, because only 13 responded, it is not clear whether their views are representative. PBC and UPBC members were asked for open-ended comments. Eighteen indicated lack of openness but six found no impediments to information sharing. Twenty-one complained of the ineffectiveness of the PBCs. Nineteen commented on insufficient communication regarding the PBS and fourteen made positive suggestions for improvement.
For the full faculty survey, the committee divided the results between those who had ever served on a PBC and those who had not. Respondents were given a number of statements and asked to respond on a four-point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. To the statement “As a result of the Planning and Budgeting System, I am informed about planning and budgeting in the Provost or Senior Vice Chancellor of the Heath Sciences Areas”, 75% percent of those who had served on a PBC disagreed and 90% of those who had never served disagreed. Responses were nearly the same for planning and budgeting University wide. To the statement “The University’s Planning and Budgeting System gives me the opportunity to contribute to the planning and budgeting process,” 78% of those who served disagreed along with 81% who had not served. On the other hand, 86% of those who had served and 83% of those who had not served agreed with the statement “Open access to relevant information is necessary for participatory planning and budgeting decisions.” Professor Holland said the results indicated the PBS is not working well as a participatory process. Sixty-seven faculty members added open-ended comments, of which only three were clear positive comments. Many commented on the lack of openness in information sharing, ineffectiveness of the system, lack of meetings, and even lack of a PBC. One faculty member commented: “. . .the UPBC is not really central to any comprehensive planning and budgeting that goes on at the University . . . there is no longer a functioning long-range planning and budgeting sub-committee.”
Professor Holland also discussed results of interviews with the Expanded Executive Committee and the Faculty Ex-Officio Members of the UPBC. Three of the committees and the Senate president are represented on the UPBC as ex-officio members. Chairpersons who were not on UPBC had little comment. Instead there was a discussion of the UPBC, which was generally positive. At this meeting, it was also suggested that the Benefits and Welfare Committee be represented on UPBC in light of the importance of the costs of medical insurance. One criticism is that UPBC meets much less often than before. Professor Holland presented a slide that showed the number of meetings of UPBC has declined over time. The Expanded Executive Committee also raised the issue of the lack of a long-range planning subcommittee. The minutes of UPBC published in the University Times are not very informative.
Eight interviews were conducted with chairpersons of PBCs, four from schools, one from a department, one from a regional campus, and two from administrative units.
The committee also had informal discussions with other PBC members. Of the eight units interviewed, four had useful committees, two had marginally useful committees, and two had no functioning PBCs. The lack of PBCs was in administrative areas. Professor Holland indicated that people in academic units have a strong interest in planning and budgeting because they are stakeholders. The administrative units probably do not need PBCs, but the PBS document does not distinguish between academic and administrative units. What the administrative units need instead is outside evaluation since their stakeholders are external to their units.
Professor Holland also mentioned that some schools have an alternative to a PBC, citing the School of Pharmacy as an example. The School of Pharmacy originally had a PBC, but when it began making big changes, the PBC fell by the wayside because of the need for wider participation of faculty. Professor Holland thought that this may be happening in other schools as well and the PBS document does not allow this kind of flexibility.
Professor Holland then distributed the committee’s preliminary “Conclusions and Recommendations,” which are attached to this report. The seven recommendations deal with the following: sharing of information; reporting of UPBC and PBC activities; allowing another committee member other than the chair to represent the committee at UPBC meetings; dropping PBCs for business and administrative units; having deans discuss planning and budget activities with the Provost or Vice Chancellor annually; requiring that the evaluation of deans and chairs include items on the culture of collegiality and openness in planning and budgeting; and having an elected PBC member serve as chair, rather than the head of the unit.
Questions and comments
6. New Business
Josephine E. Olson, Secretary
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