Office of the Vice President

for Administration
 
Professional Advisory Council

Minutes July 7, 2008

Agenda items for the September 10, 2008 meeting need to be submitted to Gerald Hendricks
by September 3, 2008.

The meeting convened at 2:36 p.m. by Paul Pusecker.

PAC members present were:
Member District Member District
Paul Pusecker 1 Catherine Matthews 9
Charles Garbini 2  Ian Janssen 10
Robin Buccos 3 Derek Dolby 11
Robin Crawford 4 Steve Dexter 13
Glen Loller 6 Nancy Smallwood 14
Robert Urian 8

Excused: Gerald Hendricks #5, Vincent Shipman #7
Substitutes: Substitutes: J McDermott #5, Melissa McDerby #12
Others Present: Nancy Wallace, Human Resources; Maxine Colm, Richie Holland, Tom LaPenta, and Cindy Delaney

Minutes
The May, 2008 minutes were approved as written.

Guest Speakers
Nancy Wallace spoke with PAC members regarding the change in the criteria for Retiree Benefits, Policy 4-103. Due to escalating costs for post-retirement health care benefits a committee comprised mostly of faculty was formed in November 2005, to study the issue and recommend changes for cost containment. The committee proposed a change in the University’s current eligibility requirements for retirement as one means of curtailing rising health care costs. The proposal was accepted by the administration, incorporated in the recently ratified AAUP contract as of July 1, 2008.

Old Business
Captain Grimes would like to clarify an item reported in the minutes of meetings from the March PAC meeting. The item was from the Parking Advisory Committee report where a new commuter gate permit option would be available for the academic year 08-09. The cost of the gate control permit for the commuter gate was stated to be, "$328, which is 70% of what an employee pays for a gated lot". The wording was reported accurately. However, I need to clarify that the cost is 70% because the permit is good for the academic year (Sept. - May). The employee gate permit is good for the entire year (Sept. - August) and therefore cost more. Would you please let the PAC reps know the difference in the cost of the commuter gate and employee gate is due to the expiration date of the permits.

Constituent Concerns
A constituent of Ms. Buccos’ wanted to know what the compliance rate was across campus with the 2008 Professional and Salaried Staff Performance Appraisals. Mr. Holland with the Office of Human Resources reported compliance is currently at 85%, compared to 35% last year, and we are still receiving forms.

Another constituent of Ms. Buccos’ wanted to know if any progress has been made regarding the use of purchasing cards for travel related expenses? This constituent is located on the Lewes campus and does not have access to the UD motor pool vehicles. When the constituent makes arrangements to rent a car for UD travel the constituent is not permitted to use the UD pro-card. The constituent has to pay all costs up-front personally and then is required to submit a Business Expense Report (BER) for reimbursement. Mr. Holland responded that the University is in the process of hiring a new director for Procurement and a new Assistant Vice President for Finance who would be reviewing the current procedures and policies.

A constituent of Ms. Buccos’ inquired about a statement in the May 7th meeting minutes regarding not increasing the mileage allowance. The constituent stated that in view of recent skyrocketing gas prices, will the University now consider an increase in mileage allowance? Mr. Holland responded the University will be increasing the mileage allowance from 42 cents to 55 cents.

Ms. Matthews raised multiple issues about poor signage on the Clayton Hall/Hollowell Drive. Ms. Matthews indicated that the stop sign near the circle is hard to read as the paint has worn off on the asphalt and there is no street sign. She mentioned that a number of people have complained to conference services staff that cars speed through that drive and there is not enough signage to warn on-coming pedestrians. She also mentioned that there is a temporary sign on the sidewalk that blocks the view of drivers leaving Clayton Hall. Captain Grimes responded that the Public Safety staff is in the process of painting the parking lots and some of the issues Ms. Matthews raised have already been addressed. A street sign is present as is the stop sign. Captain Grimes indicated that Public Safety would do more painting of stop lines and will address an area of lot 7 that needs better driveway visibility. Regarding the concern raised about the need for enforcement of speed limit and failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and roadway; Captain Grimes advised that he would notify shift supervisors and he would send a note to Desk officers advising of the concern and asking for enforcement. ELI will be contacted as it appears many of their students walk in the roadway around Clayton hall. They will be asked to be careful and to use sidewalks where present.


Committee Reports:

The Diversity Commission Meeting report for May 12, 2008 and June 9, 2008 were provided by Dr. Miller.

The President’s Commission to Promote Racial and Cultural Diversity
May 12, 2008 - 2:00-3:30 pm

MEMBERS PRESENT: Maxine Colm, Norma Gaines-Hanks, Richie Holland, Virginia Thomas, James Flatley, Barry Miller, Kathleen Pohlig, Ali Poorani, Havidan Rodriguez, Barbara Williams, Kim Zitner, Susan Lee, Terry Whittaker, Francis Kwansa, Kassandra Moye, Jorge Cubillos, Ardeshir Faghri, Barbara Williams

MEMBERS EXCUSED: David Pong

Announcements:

Dr. Maloba thanked the Commission members for attending the Latino/Hispanic and African American Students of Distinction ceremonies. Both of these ceremonies were very well attended. Parents and friends of the students have sent several messages of appreciation.

The June Diversity Commission Meeting will be in the President’s Room of Blue & Gold and Connie will be in touch regarding the details. To prepare for that meeting, Dr. Maloba would like members of the Commission to forward to him: 1) any ideas that they would like to be included in the annual report; 2). Ideas/issues that the Commission should tackle next academic year.

The Diversity Task Force has been constituted and is functional. The Co-Chairs are: Dr. Araya Debessay (Accounting) and Dr. Margaret Andersen (Sociology). The Task Force provides a major opportunity for the Commission to influence the debate on Diversity at UD. The Task Force deals with issues and concerns that have been a major concern of the Commission for a very long time. In the fall, the two Co-Chairs of the Task Force will hold discussions with the Commission on matters related to Diversity. Dr. Maloba urged all members of the Commission to participate in discussions on Diversity around campus coordinated by the Task Force with various constituencies.

At the recent African American Students of Distinction Ceremony, President Harker stated that what he is looking for from the Diversity task Force are concrete ideas on how to move the Diversity agenda forward at UD. In their messages of appreciation, many parents who attended the event paid special attention to the President’s remarks.

Dr. Maloba also informed the Commission that the Faculty Senate will vote on the student life education initiative that was suspended last fall. He urged any Commission member able to attend this faculty meeting to do so as a gesture of support for the recommendations under consideration.

Agenda – Guest Speaker – Dr. Nancy Targett

Dr. Targett announced that the College of Earth and Marine Studies now has an undergraduate component, with current enrollment of 49 undergraduate students. She indicated that the profile for the College currently reflected the following: For undergraduate students: 6 of the 49 students are underrepresented minorities; 18 of the 115 at the graduate level are minority students. For faculty: 4 of the 46; and 7 of the 59 are minority. Some of these are U.S. citizens and others are foreign nationals.

Dr. Target noted that while the college is not very diverse, the real issue is: why don’t we have more minorities going in the field of earth, atmosphere and ocean sciences? What is going to be done to improve this situation? According to Dr. Targett, there is no single answer. She suggested the best way forward is a multipronged approach.

For the last five years, the college has hosted a graduate student symposium. This symposium has been expanded to include students from Delaware State University (Del. State). The college has also encouraged graduate students to consider faculty from Del. State as possible external committee members for their doctoral committees.

The college also consciously highlights the work done by minority students. Minority alumni are also invited back for graduate student symposia.

The college has also developed a number of research partnerships with historically black colleges – Del State is one and the other one is Lincoln University. The partnership at Del State includes both graduate and undergraduate students. The one at Lincoln is primarily for undergraduate students; it is funded by the Department of Energy. For the last ten years the college has also brought in one or two summer interns to campus. This program has ended, but a new one has taken its place at Lincoln University. It is funded by the National Science Foundation. The new program sponsors about 5 students and is broader in scope than just Marine Science. The hope is that these students will be encouraged to go to graduate school in this general field of Marine Science.

Discussion

What do students need to have attained in order to get into the graduate program?

Dr. Targett stated that the usual minimum requirements are: a 3.0 or above (GPA) and a GRE score of 1200 or higher. Typically students have 1200 GRE’s or higher, although exceptions have been made for students who have done extremely well at the undergraduate level but have not scored very well on their GREs. The College looks at the quality of work that students are capable of.

With respect to virtual classrooms, a Commission member noted that many people in urban areas have no concept of Marine Studies except visiting an aquarium. A program developed for this group of potential students would be very beneficial. Dr. Targett liked this question and promised to bring it up at the Ocean Leadership meeting.

Dean Targett concluded her remarks stating that although the college is small, it has a global footprint, from the North Pole to the South Pole and to the depths of the oceans.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 pm

The President’s Commission to Promote Racial and Cultural Diversity Meeting
June 9, 2008 – 12:00-1:30 pm
President’s Room – Blue & Gold Club

MEMBERS PRESENT: Maxine Colm, Norma Gaines-Hanks, Virginia Thomas, James Flatley, Barry Miller, Kathleen Pohlig, Havidan Rodriguez, Kim Zitner, Susan Lee, Terry Whittaker, Francis Kwansa, Kathleen Pohlig

MEMBERS EXCUSED: David Pong, Jorge Cubillos, Richard Holland, Kassandra Moye, Ali Poorani, Barbara Williams

WELCOME

Dr. Maloba opened the meeting by thanking everyone for their hard work this year, and for attending the monthly Commission meetings. He also thanked everyone for sending him their suggestions as to what areas the Commission should concentrate on next fall.

Dr. Maloba asked members of the Commission to send to him their suggestions for items/issues that need to be included in the Annual Report. This report is circulated widely; to the administration, faculty, staff and all potential employees of UD. It is a record of UD’s efforts in the critical area of Diversity. A draft copy of the Report will be ready at the end of July.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The dates for the Commission meetings for 2008/2009 are as follows:

September 8, October 13, November 10,December 8, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, and June 8. No Meeting in January

The date for the Louis Redding Lecture is March 12, 2009 at the Trabant University Center Theatre. Members of the Commission are encouraged to let Dr. Maloba know of any suggestions they may have of a good guest speaker. This year’s lecture, delivered by Prof. Frank Wu, was a tremendous success. We would like to achieve the same, or better, level of success for next year’s lecture.

Students of Distinction Ceremonies for 2009

Latino/Latina – Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 2-4 Clayton Hall

African American – Sunday, April 26, 2009 from 2-4 Clayton Hall

AGENDA

This was the annual lunch/general meeting of the Commission. There was no formal agenda.

DISCUSSION

Speakers to the Commission for next academic year [FALL]: Several members of the Commission had written to Dr. Maloba indicating their preference to invite the newly appointed Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Prof. Debbie Hess Norris, to the Commission in early part of the Fall Semester. This suggestion was endorsed. Hence Prof. Debbie Hess Norris will be invited to speak to the Commission in September on her plans to reformulate and reshape the graduate office, and the general question of the coordination of graduate studies at UD. These questions are relevant to the Commission’s interest in increasing the enrollment of minority students in graduate programs at UD.

Student Caucuses have not made presentations to the Commission for quite some time. Many have expressed a strong interest to do so and share their concerns and suggestions on matters relevant to their constituencies. The Commission agreed to invite Student Caucuses for a meeting during the Fall Semester. The Professional Staff Caucus will also speak to the Commission in the Fall Semester. In December 2008, the Commission will hold its customary joint meeting with the Commission on the Status of Women.

Dr. Maloba said that the critical issue on the agenda for the Commission for next academic year is to remain informed of the work of the Diversity Task Force. The Co-Chairs of the Task Force, Dr. Araya Debessay (Accounting), and Dr. Margaret Andersen (Sociology) will come to the Commission meeting in September. Dr. Maloba requested all members of the Commission to spend some time during this summer thinking about the issues they would like the Diversity Task Force to consider.

The Commission has a major stake in the work of the Diversity Task Force. Dr. Maloba emphasized that when the Co-Chairs come to the Commission meeting in September, he would like members to speak freely and directly to them. He will provide a brief summary of the concerns and suggestions of the Commission, but the bulk of the meeting will be devoted to direct interaction between members of the Commission and the Co-Chairs of the Diversity task Force.

The Commission would like, at some point in the future, to have a campus climate survey. It is hoped that this matter can be revisited after the Diversity Task Force renders its report in December, 2008.

Some Questions for the Future:
  • The Commission expects to be more pro-active in the future. Although it will participate in the activities of the Diversity Task Force, the Commission remains separate from the Diversity Task Force.
  • How will the Commission redefine its central mission in light of the activities of the Diversity Task Force? This matter is not yet settled.
  • The Commission has a lot of accumulated information on questions of Diversity at UD. We hope that the Task Force will work closely with the Commission as it deliberates on the next chapter of Diversity at UD.
  • The Division of Student Life will come to the Commission in spring, 2009 to talk about diversity in the dorms and campus life.
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm

New Business
The Steering Committee members of the 2008-2009 Academic year are as follows:

Paul Pusecker, President

Glen Loller, Vice President

Gerald Hendricks, Secretary

Derek Dolby, At-large

Catherine Matthews, At-Large

Robert Urian, At-Large

The Grievance Advisory Body members for the 2008-2009 Academic year are as follows:

Glen Loller, IT-Network and Systems Services

Catherine Matthews, Office of Conferences

Charles Garbini, Material Science

Steve Dexter and Vincent Shipman will remain on the body.

The PAC University Committee members for the 2008-2009 Academic year are as follows:

Commission on the Status of Women - Robin Buccos

Commission to Promote Racial & Cultural Diversity - Ian Janssen

Dining Services Committee- Glen Loller

Faculty Senate Observer - Gerald Hendricks

Parking Advisory Committee - Robert Urian

Transportation Services Committee - Derek Dolby

Announcements
Mr. LaPenta announced that Personnel Policy 4-90, relating to Professional Termination of Appointment/Notification will be on the PAC agenda on September 10, 2008. The policy has been modified and will be immediately applicable to professional employees hired on or after August 1, 2008. The new policy will not be applicable to current professional employees until January 1, 2010.

Meeting adjourned at 3:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Cindy Delaney
Reviewed by Mr. Holland

 

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