Office of the Vice President

for Administration
 
Professional Advisory Council

Minutes January 9, 2008

Agenda items for the March 12, 2008 meeting need to be submitted to Gerald Hendricks
by March 7, 2008.

The meeting convened at 2:34 p.m. by Paul Pusecker.

PAC members present were:
Member District Member District
Paul Pusecker 1 Catherine Matthews 9
Janusz Murakowski 2  Barry Miller 10
Robin Buccos 3 Derek Dolby 11
Christina Mason Johnston 4 Suzanne Stanley 12
Maria Mullin 6 Steve Dexter 13
Vincent Shipman 7 Deborah Cohen 14
Michael Parisi 8


Substitute: Theresa DeRose #8
Others Present: Maxine Colm, Nancy Wallace, Chris Ulrich and Cindy Delaney

Minutes

The November, 2007 minutes were approved as written.

Old Business

In response to Dr. Miller’s concern regarding the stop sign at the corner of Amstel and Orchard Lane, Mr. Shipman of Public Safety confirmed that the stop sign would remain.

Constituent Concerns
A constituent of Ms. Buccos’s raised a concern regarding cigarette butts accumulating at the West entrance of the General Services Building on Chapel Road. Discussion with UD Facilities over installing a cigarette butt receptacle there has resulted in confusion over whether the area is designated as a no smoking zone. The University’s policy on smoking notes that the interior of UD buildings are supposed to be smoke free, as well as “University-owned vehicles, and at least one entrance to each building.” There is no signage designating “smoking” and “non smoking” areas, so how are UD employees expected to know where designated smoking areas are located? If smoking is indeed allowed at the West entrance to the General Services Building, can we have an ashtray provided that (hopefully) will reduce the amount of cigarette butt litter accumulating in the area? To whom should people report littering on campus, particularly by UD vehicles that are supposedly “smoke-free?” What are the consequences for violating the University’s smoking policy? Dr. Colm stated that we (the University) would work with the supervisor and employee on the violation, warning and discipline. Dr. Colm also stated that Cecily Sawyer-Harmon, Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offer a smoking cessation program. Mr. Grablewski, Facilities, responded with the following statements. We reinforce regularly with our mangers that the trade’s personnel can not smoke in UD vehicles. This information is reinforced to both the trades and union officers regularly. The union officers have supported management in the effort to eliminate smoking in UD vehicles. It is almost impossible to guarantee 100% compliance to this policy. However, teaming with the union leadership we have made great strides toward minimizing non-adherence to this policy. We will continue to work toward the ultimate goal of 100% compliance within the trades.

Another constituent of Ms. Buccos’s inquired about the possibility of using the UD procurement card for hotels when you are out of town on business. Currently you cannot use the procurement card for hotels. The employee has to pay up front, and then have a BER processed. Since there has been problems with BER”s getting backed up, why not allow the procurement card to be used to cover hotels? It seems that there are enough other checks and balances in place to prevent an employee from being able to use the card for personal hotel stays. This would cut down on BER requests, and prevent the employ from having to outlay the initial funds. Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Murakowski expressed the same concern regarding the use of the procurement card for hotels and air travel as well. Mr. Murakowski would also like the ability to use the procurement card for student hotel expenses. Dr. Colm noted that this matter would be discussed with Procurement.

Ms. Stanley expressed a concern regarding the Performance Appraisal process and the pool of funds available. Dr. Colm noted that the pool of funds available has been based on the salary structure negotiated with the AAUP in the Faculty Collective Bargaining agreement. Dr. Colm also noted that she is beginning the negotiation process with the AAUP for the period of July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2011. Dr. Colm stated that Richie Holland would be conducting a series of workshops on the performance appraisal process in February. Dr. Colm also noted that the performance appraisal process was not changing but we (the University) are just reinforcing compliance.

A constituent of Ms. Stanley’s has a question regarding the administration of the 403B plan and the allowance of withdrawing funds due to hardship. Can UD opt not to follow the IRS guidelines? Ms. Wallace responded that the 403B retirement program is regulated by IRS code and we must follow those guidelines. In cases of specific hardships, UD permits withdrawal of employee contributions (only) that are in excess of the required 4% employee contribution for faculty and professional staff. However, specific requirements, must be met. Ms. Ulrich referred to the IRS website and that the 403B follows the regulations/guidelines for the 401(k) plan, consistently. She also stated that documentation of the hardship is required. Ms. Wallace noted that loan provisions on employee voluntary 403(b) contributions are available with TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Investments.

A constituent of Ms. Johnson’s expressed a concern with the lack of guidance and the inflexibility to purchase office furniture and the cost of those purchases through Brennan’s. The constituent wanted to know if the University could provide better web guidance to new employees. Not a series of policies but an actual web page or set of pages to help new employees work with the proper offices and support staff. Can we purchase desks and computer carts through Office Max, Office Depot, etc? If not, then why are we expecting departments to “waste” their money on furniture that is overpriced? If we are expected to purchase through Brennan’s only (or the three others that were listed), then shouldn’t the University be supplementing the departments for this cost. When I worked with the Brennan sales person he advised me that I had no choice in the colors of the furniture, etc. because the University has decided what is allowed. Provide meaningful documents to help staff that have buying power to be more knowledgeable of the options available to them and their staff. Mr. Pusecker responded that the employee should have their supervisor contact Linda Cofran regarding this matter. The University has a contract with these vendors and we are receiving the rates negotiated by the State of Delaware. Dr. Colm will have Richie Holland look into having a web page created to assist new employees with getting started at the University.

Ms. DeRose inquired if the University was considering increasing the mileage reimbursement rate to meet the current Federal regulations. Mr. Pusecker responded that he would speak with Mr. Specter regarding this matter.

A member of PAC inquired about what options are available to an employee when the employee has exhausted their FMLA Benefit. Ms. Ulrich, Benefits, responded, that when an employee is on FMLA the University continues to provide Flex Credit to cover its portion of the benefits cost while the employee continues to contribute his/her portion. In addition, the University also provides disability insurance which provides income replacement for individuals who are totally disabled for a period greater than six months. Additional information about disability salary continuation can also be found in Policy 4-70. Retiree benefits are extended to disabled faculty and professional staff who also meet the age/service criteria for retirement.


Committee Reports:

The Diversity Commission Meeting report for November 12, 2007 was presented
by Dr. Miller.

 

November 12, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Dr. Maloba, the Diversity Commission Chair.

Dr. Maloba restated The Commission’s objective of devoting this whole academic year discussing graduate education at UD, especially the challenges and opportunities of increasing the numbers of minority graduate students in the University’s many graduate programs.

GUEST PRESENTERS
The first presenter was Tom Apple, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Dean Apple informed The Commission that the College of Arts and Sciences has made increasing faculty diversity a top priority. Search committees in the college have been encouraged to aggressively look for potential candidates in several sources, beyond the traditional ones. This same approach can work in attracting diverse graduate students.

Dean Apple made the following suggestions toward increasing the numbers of minority students in graduate programs at UD:
1) Don’t bring in students that will not be successful. GRE scores are not always a good indicator of a potential student’s success in graduate school. The scores can be biased.

2) The graduate program should be designed to be completed in a reasonable time; possibly six years.

3) There should be multi-year stipends, especially for students of color. This would include full tuition and a stipend of more than $14,500 as well as12-month funding.

4) There should be an early evaluation & mentoring network for students of color (underrepresented groups). The mentoring network could consist of a group of upbeat, happy graduate students of color. This group of graduate students could also provide assistance in recruiting new graduate students of color.

5) University graduate programs in almost every college, should establish positive relationships with Historically Black Colleges & Universities. An example of this effort is the collaboration between the University of Delaware and North Carolina A&T running a joint class. Summer research opportunities can also be used with HBCU’s. The Dean reported that there is an alliance with ten HBCUs through the Mellon Foundation. This alliance will become a Summer Institute. The HBCUs participating in this initiative are: Fisk University, Tuskegee University, Prarie View University (Texas),North Carolina A&T, Spelman, Morehouse, Atlanta complex colleges.

Question: How are the graduate units within the college of Arts & Science handling faculty diversity issues? How can the University of Delaware make sure that cultural change is happening? The Dean responded that financial ‘carrots’ could be given to departments to provide motivation for diverse recruiting. Also, potential graduate students can be brought to UD for on-campus visit and preview of the University and its resources.

Lastly, Dean Apple reported that there had been a workshop in graduate school education for chairs & directors. This is part of the continuing efforts by the college to make improvements in the recruitment and retention of qualified graduate students. In September, 2007, the college together with the Office of Affirmative Action and Multicultural Programs sponsored a workshop facilitated by Dr. JoAnn Moody, on good strategies in increasing and maintaining diversity in faculty hiring.

The next presenter was Dr. Deborah Hess-Norris, co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. Dr. Hess-Norris reported that the committee consists of 15 members. One of the issues under consideration by the Strategic Planning Committee is graduate and undergraduate education at the University. The committee has met with faculty, staff, and UD alumni. The Strategic Planning Committee’s final report will be on the website.

Some of the ideas already submitted to the Strategic Planning Committee include the following:
a) The University of Delaware should be supportive of immediate and local community research & scholarship b) UD should establish an International Programs Center that can be used by both graduate and undergraduate students. This center may also provide financial support. c) Provost’s Executive committee has suggested the establishment of a Global Studies Institute. Dr. Havidan Rodriguez, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and a member of Provost’s Executive Committee, stated that a student could conceivably receive a certificate and fellowship from the Institute.

The Commission made the following suggestions to the Strategic Planning Committee: 1) Increase Foreign Languages taught at UD in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures 2) Thoroughly reorganize and expand the Graduate Studies Office 3) Increase the numbers of minorities in administrative positions at UD; in departments, colleges and central administration. 4) Establish a University Multicultural Center to house the diverse student groups. 5) Work toward improving campus climate to enable minority students and staff to feel validated.

NOTE: The last day to e-mail suggestions to the Strategic Planning Committee is December 15.

After the formal business, The Commission had a brief closed meeting.

There was a brief discussion concerning the recent events over the diversity initiative in the residence halls. Dr. Maloba told The Commission that President Harker had expressed his appreciation for the support from The Commission over his decision to suspend the program in the residence halls. The President has ordered for a comprehensive review of this program. A draft statement from The Commission expressing support for the President has been submitted to Vice President Patricia Wilson and the President for review. The statement was drafted by Dr. Maloba and reviewed by two members of The Commission, Dr. Cubillos and Dr. Kwansa. Dr. Colm had also reviewed the draft. All of their suggestions had been incorporated in the statement that been submitted to Vice President Patricia Wilson and the President for approval. If approved, this statement would be released to the UD community on UDaily.

Postcript: The President later approved the statement and authorized it to be released to the UD community on UDaily. The statement was released on November 14, 2007.

The meeting adjourned at 4pm.

The Joint Commissions Meeting report for December 6 was presented by Dr. Miller.

Dr. Maloba called the meeting to order at 3pm. Members of the Diversity Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women introduced themselves.

Dr. Pam Cook made announcements regarding the lecture to be hosted by the CSW/WISE. She also informed the meeting that the Women of Promise dinner had been a resounding success. Lastly, the CSW was scheduled to meet with members of the Strategic Planning Committee which is soliciting for suggestions from members of the UD community.

Dr. Maloba announced to the joint meeting that the Diversity Commission will devote the whole of this academic year to considering graduate education at UD; especially the recruitment and retention of minority graduate students.

On Mentoring Program:
Dr. Cook announced that the current pilot program has nine departments from across the University. The program, originally proposed by the two commissions, is now administratively coordinated from the Provost’s office by Dr. Havidan Rodriguez, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. The Mentoring Program will host a general workshop for all junior faculty in April, 2008.

The general consensus was that more mentoring was needed at all levels, both inside and outside academic departments. As an example, the African-heritage caucus has its own mentoring program.

Climate Issues:
A satisfaction survey was suggested. The central question was: Is this an issue that both commissions should tackle? How would the survey be administered? There was general consensus among the two commissions that the University was in a state of flux right now due to change-over in the administration. Hence, this is clearly not an appropriate period for a survey. There was agreement that the two commissions should wait for the outcomes of the University Strategic Planning Committee. It was therefore premature to hold any survey at this time prior to the release of the report of the Strategic Planning Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.

The Faculty Senate Meeting reports for September 10, October 1, November 5 and December 3 were presented by Mr. Hendricks.

September 10, 2007
Faculty Senate Meeting President Patrick Harker announced the appointments of Patricia Wilson, vice president and chief of staff; Scott Douglass, senior vice president; Michael Gilbert, vice president for student life; and Monica Taylor, vice president of development and alumni relations. Dr. Harker also announced the formation of the Strategic Planning Committee co-chaired by Mark Barteau and Debra Norris. The committee is to meet with members of the University community and others to get suggestions of where the University should go the next few years, as well as to find opportunities that will define the University and to identify priorities. He also announced that plans are being developed for a Delaware Forum to be held in May.
Provost Dan Rich announced that 50 new faculty are at the University this fall. There are 3600 students in this freshmen class (largest ever), 500 transfer students, 300 new students in the associate of arts program and 1150 new graduate students.
Consent agenda adopted - approval of 6 dual masters degrees.

October 1, 2007
General Faculty Meeting Opened with memorial tributes to Dorothy Kennedy and Marvin Sussman. President Harker noted the UD is on he brink of becoming one of the top universities in the country. Harker noted the existing knowledge based partnerships of DBI, Delaware Technology Park and the Avian Biosciences Center are a driving force in economic development in the state. To build on those successes, he invited all to attend a one day conference to be held in Clayton Hall on Nov 2, which will include university, government and business leaders.
Bobby Gempesaw reported on the findings of the Economic Development Task Force. The role of the university in economic development included providing an educated work force, conducting research for a global economy, providing public service related to its mission, providing knowledge transfer, and creating new knowledge and promoting partnerships. The task force found that UD offers top ranked programs, that many partnerships currently exist, and the outreach efforts are wide spread. One unknown result is how many graduates remain in Delaware. Other schools track these numbers, but we have not.

Faculty Senate Meeting An open discussion led by Mark Barteau, cochair of the Strategic Planning Committee, asking questions such as Where do we want UD to be in five years? and How do we want to be perceived?

November 5, 2007
Faculty Senate Meeting Provost Dan Rich reported on the decision by President Harker to halt activities of the residence life educational program.
Rich said the program had as its primary purposes the preparation of students for citizenship and the building of community in the student residence halls. A review of the program was already under way as of this past summer but the extent of the problems with the program was not fully realized until last week. Once the administration became aware of some practices that were not consistent with the objectives, the decision was made to halt the program and conduct a full and broad-based review.
The concerns relate to the materials used in the program as well as the ways the program was implemented. One major flaw of the disbanded program is that it was developed without a review by the faculty. The education of UD students is the responsibility of the faculty and includes the full range of student educational experiences at the University. The program will be reviewed and recommendations will be presented to the senate for deliberation.
Dr. Rich also announced that the Creating Knowledge-Based Partnerships: Challenges and Opportunities conference was held Friday at Clayton Hall. A series of conferences are planned; the next conference is scheduled for March 25, 2008, and another conference is planned for the fall of 2008. As a result of discussions held at the conference, an Office of Economic Development and Partnership and an Institute of Business and Economic Research are planned.

December 3, 2007
Provost Dan Rich discussed The University of Delaware mission statement which was last revised in 1993. Many aspects have changed since then including the designations of Sea Grant, Urban Grant and Space Grant status. There also is currently no mention of graduate studies and there is no recognition that the University is now a major research institution. A new mission statement is being developed and will be brought to the Faculty Senate for comments.
Dr. Rich also presented an historical overview of the University's strategic financial indicators. From fiscal year 1992 to fiscal year 2007, the size of the University's budget has doubled. The largest source of revenue is from tuition and fees. While the percentage of the revenue contribution to the budget from state appropriations has declined the contributions from contracts and grants has increased. Revenue from the University's endowment, investments and gifts has grown from $37 million to $78 million. His presentation can be viewed at www.udel.edu/provost/aca.html.
Senate President Alan Fox reported that a Residence Life council is being formed and will produce a report that will be sent to the Faculty Senate Student Life Committee. Until a new complete program is developed, the Student Life Committee will run the program. The new program will focus on citizenship issues and participation will be voluntary.
A new master's degree in bioresources engineering was approved and permanent status to a master of science in information systems and technology management was conferred.

New Business
None

Announcements
None

Meeting adjourned at 4:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Cindy Delaney
Reviewed by Mr. Hendricks

 

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