Professional Advisory Council
Minutes – November 9, 2011
The meeting was convened at 2:30 p.m. by Mr. Hendricks.
Members excused: Corinn Harrell #6, Laura Slice #10
Mr. Hendricks introduced Corporal Bryan Thomas from Public Safety. Corporal Thomas has been working with the University for four years. He is currently assigned to the Community Resource Unit that provides community outreach programs. They also provide freshman orientation, and offers tips on how students can protect themselves and their property. The Department of Public Safety employs about 50 sworn officers, that comprises a criminal investigation unit, two K-9s, and five squads assigned to Patrol Divisions with five to six officers in each division. Public Safety also has officers assigned to Newark Police Department in their street crimes unit.
Questions and Answers:
There is a growing concern regarding pedestrian and bicycle safety. In the beginning of every year, Public Safety holds a joint operation with Newark Police Department to target pedestrian violations, jaywalking as well as enforcement of bicycle safety regulations. Bicyclists are obligated to follow the same rules of the road as a person operating a motor vehicle. If an officer observes a violation he/she can take enforcement action.
Do you have any interactions with students regarding bicycle rules and regulation? Public Safety started an outreach program last year which aims to educate cyclists on bicycle safety regulations.
A constituent concern was raised regarding pedestrian safety in the congested driveway between Perkins Garage and Perkins Student Center. Corporal Thomas suggests the creation of a safe and clearly-marked pedestrian route through this area.
What kind of evacuation plan and policy do we have for earthquakes, and other natural disasters? Marsha Nickle, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the University will be invited to speak with the group.
Minutes accepted with the following correction: Suzanne Stanley will be replaced by Paul Pusecker on the Grievance Advisory Board.
Constituent concern regarding the $3000 limit for the Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). According to Benefits Services, because FSA are funded with employee pre-tax dollars, the plans are regulated by the IRS. Under these plans (per IRS regulations), there is a risk of forfeiture of funds by both the employer and employee. For this reason, the University has set $3,000 as the annual limit on the Healthcare FSA. In addition, recently-passed Healthcare Reform legislation (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) limits the Healthcare FSA deduction amount to $2,500, effective January 1, 2013. Unless there is legislation to eliminate this restriction, the limit on the Healthcare FSA limit is set to decrease as of January 1, 2013. Additional information about UD Flexible Spending Accounts may be found on the website: http://www.udel.edu/Benefits/flex/flexspend.html
A constituent mentioned that frequently, employees, students and athletes going to the Bob Carpenter Center, drive excessively fast with no regard to student and staff waiting for the UD buses at the South Field House bus stop. The cars do not stop even when students and staff are getting off the bus and attempting to walk to their car. This concern will be shared with Public Safety.
Ms. Miklitz shared her concern regarding the new procedures at the Student Financial Services on how they respond to phone calls. She said that the new system is catered for students and parents but makes it difficult for employees to reach a live person when there is a need to discuss work matters. According to Melissa Stone, Director, Student Financial Services, the main line is catered to student and parents and there are phone lines and emails dedicated to departments who have questions. SFS didn’t advertise the departmental contacts because students could find this and defeat the purpose of having a line dedicated to this function. They are currently working on how to get this out to departments.
A constituent expressed his concern that the situation in Lot #53 has gone from bad to worse and people are complaining that it is often difficult to find a parking spot between 9:30 – 10 AM and also after lunch. A suggestion is made not to resell a spot when someone leaves, which will be the case with those graduating this winter, until the situation is rectified. And then next spring/summer limit the number of tags made available to students. Also, people are wondering how many spots are there and how many tags have been issued. According to Transportation and Parking Services, Central parking permits are not issued for specific lots so it is not a matter of selling fewer permits for Lot 53 as no such permit exists. If Lot 53 is full, then parkers looking for a space should proceed to any other Central lot for parking; if employees need help locating additional Central lots, they should contact Parking Services for assistance. In addition, employees who need to go somewhere during the course of the day should consider walking or taking the UD shuttle whenever possible so they won’t lose their parking space. An additional option is to upgrade to a gated lot permit.
A constituent shared his concern regarding the shortcut that was established spontaneously between McKinley Lab and Dupont Hall to reduce walking distance. The shortcut is unsightly and potentially hazardous. Constituent is proposing a stairway between Wolf and Dupont Hall that would complement stairway at the other corner of the McKinly Lab. This concern has been shared with the campus architect.
Ms. Miklitz suggests color-coding the posts for the blue and red lots near the stadium to make it easy to identify the lots. Right now, the lots are marked with text signs that are not immediately visible. Transportation and Parking Services will continue to look at ways to improve signage and lot identification.
Faculty Senate Report
October 3, 2011
Other items included were a review of the Drop/Add Policy, a resolution to amend the UD Faculty Constitution to increase the number of elected Senators to 60, a resolution proposing a three-year pilot program of adjusting the MWF class times and whether to allow ASL to count for UD admissions. There was an open hearing on September 28 on the ASL issue. The Senate resolved that the UD Faculty Constitution be amended to eliminate the requirement for a regular meeting of the Faculty Senate during January.
November 7, 2011
The topic of students posting class notes on commercial web sites was discussed. According to UD General Counsel, Larry White, this is an intellectual property rights issue. If a uniform policy were adopted, would it be enforceable?
The three-year pilot program of the MWF class schedule was withdrawn. Joerg Busch reported that the scheduling pattern drew concerns from Student Life, Center for Drug & Alcohol Studies, Athletics, Music and others. The committee met again November 1 and expressed a need for more 75-minute time slots. They await response from the Executive Committee.
ASL is adopted as a legitimate fulfillment of a language requirement for acceptance for admission to UD.
Resolved to delete the Engineering Technology major and minor.
Eliminate Saturdays for final exams in Fall and Spring semesters only. The amended resolution passed, however, the item was sent back to committee because of exam schedule overload issues.
Diversity and Equity Commission Report
Ms. Smallwood reported that for this year, the DEC will focus on UD’s Statement of Diversity.
For more information on the Diversity and Equity Commission meeting please check out: