Minutes of General Faculty meeting
September 9, 2003
Room 481, Newcomb Hall

Members Present: Lynda White, Derry Wade, Elaine Attridge, Lotta Lofgren, Bill Keene, Jean Collier, Robin Kuzen, Jennifer Bauerly, Prue Thorner, Jann Balmer, Mary Abouzeid, Chris Milner (12 members present). We had a quorum.

Members Absent: Donal Day, Robbie Greenlee, George Hashisaki, Greg Strickland.

The meeting was opened by chair Lotta Lofgren at noon. The agenda was approved.

I. Chair’s report: (a) Money left from last year ($208) is rolling over to this year’s budget. The current balance is 2367.15. Lotta asked for a planned expenditure outline for the year. Lotta and Lynda will try to do that based on last years’ expenditures, but all committees need to alert Lotta to future known expenses for the coming year. (b) The General Faculty Council has heard from Leonard Sandridge concerning salary issues. In a letter to Leonard, Lotta expressed concern that in discussions about faculty salary raises the BOV appeared to be defining "faculty" as teaching faculty without including in the discussion administrative and professional faculty, and that such restrictive distinctions may have been the cause of the smaller raises the administrative and professional faculty have received in the recent past. Leonard assured us that all faculty are included in the BOV’s deliberations. Leonard also assured us that all faculty will be included in the 2.25% across the board in raises this year, although Deans may have leeway about their allocations. (c) Ed Ayres has been invited to speak at the October meeting and has accepted; Anda Webb has been invited to the December meeting. We’re hoping that Jay Scott, Assistant Dean of Finance from the Medical Center, might come to a meeting in February to fill us in on the specials situation, needs, and requirements of general faculty in the Health Sciences Center. (d) Lotta reminded subcommittee chairs to keep sending committee reports to GFC members before the meetings so that we can free up time for issues that need discussion and decisions. She also reminded everyone that she is an ex officio member of all committees and needs to be informed of committee meetings.

II. Possible Joint Committee with Faculty Senate: Lotta has discussed the possibility of a joint General Faculty/Faculty Senate committee with Bob Davis, Chair of the Faculty Senate. She and Davis are recommending the creation of standing sub-committee made up of six members (three from each organization) elected to a two year term to discuss and promote issues of concern to both groups. It was determined that the GFC representatives shall consist of one member of the administrative/ professional faculty, one of the teaching faculty, and one of the research faculty. The committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to both groups and shall not supercede the authority of either group. The committee will elect a chair to serve for one year; the chair will be elected by the members of the committee on a rotating basis from each of the organizations. Each set of committee members will report back to the parent group. The consensus was that this new committee would be a good thing for the GenFac, although the GFC reserves the right to call back its members at any time if the committee does not seem to fill a useful function or work within the parameters of its charge. The chair of the Faculty Senate is invited to speak at every BOV meeting; this new committee would provide the GenFac input into that meeting. A motion was made to create this joint committee. The vote to approve was unanimous.

III. WFPA’s Offer of Money and Request for Award Sponsorship: Prue Thorner had contact with Sharon Heyka, former treasurer of the WFPA (Women’s Faculty and Professional Association), a group no longer in existence. She asked if we would take over their funds and their awards for outstanding women in the University community. Since we represent all general faculty, it would be difficult to accommodate this request. The council agreed that this would not be in our best interest; several members suggested that Sharon consider giving the funds to the Women’s Center.

IV. Meeting Sites for spring: All fall meetings are scheduled for Newcomb Hall, but spring meetings will take place across Grounds. The following are suggestions for meeting sites: the Miller Center (January), Health Sciences Center (February), Athletics (March), E-School (April); Sponsors Hall (May). Members of the Council from these schools/sites will be working to coordinate the upcoming meetings. Please offer suggestions for other meeting sites at upcoming GFC meetings.

V. Update on the Web Page: Lotta thanked Jean Collier for all her work on maintaining and updating the website and for the creation of links to records, articles, and other sites. Jean asked that we keep her posted on anything new. She plans to create future links to news articles about and relevant to the general faculty.

VI. Annual report: Lynda thanked committee chairs for their help with the report. Lotta asked if it was ready to be submitted to the web site. All agreed that it was.

VII. Benefits Survey: The report was brought to the floor by Lynda White and Lotta Lofgren regarding the results of the benefits survey of part-time faculty. We had a 49% response rate from the 478 part-time faculty who were sent the survey. Lotta reported that 70% of the Medical Center part-timers think the program for flex-time employees is adequate. Only 16.9% of faculty and staff who do not receive health benefits find the benefits package adequate. Lotta further reported that the cost ranges of insurance are phenomenal. Self-insured people can pay up to $800/month, for example. Lynda reported that the communication issues regarding benefits have not improved over the past ten years. Many part time faculty and staff do not know what benefits they have or are entitled to, even though there is now an HR website with this information listed. During this discussion, the fact that part-time faculty paid by the Health Sciences Foundation can buy into the benefits package became known. This is a completely new understanding on our part. We want to investigate this further. Final point: this survey did not tell us all we need to know. It was suggested that we continue this investigation by updating the participants on the results of the first survey and asking them a few follow-up questions. Jann Balmer suggested that the new joint Faculty Senate/ GFC committee should poll the entire faculty on how many full time members of the faculty would consider going to part time if they had health benefits.

VIII. Prepare Questions for Ed Ayers: We brainstormed questions for the upcoming visit of the Dean of Arts and Sciences to the Council. Lotta will in the next couple of days get a draft of these questions out to the members for their approval.

IX. Committee reports: (a) Phil Gates reported that the bylaws were updated in May; faculty members should please review. (b) Prue Thorner reported that the reception for General Faculty is being held on September 19th at the Art Museum. She asked for volunteers for our information booth. (c) Lotta thanked the committee heads for getting the reports to us before this meeting. (d) Bill Keene reported that the Policy Committee met and reviewed the draft policy, finding that the policy is still unclear concerning the issue of ECE. A message was sent to Laura Hawthorne and the Provost that we need to meet with her and the Provost to clarify some vital points concerning the ECE.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:45.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Abouzeid