Cleveland State University

Faculty Senate

MINUTES OF THE MEETING
OF THE FACULTY SENATE
December 6, 2000

 

PRESENT: Aquila, Barbato, J. Bazyk, A. Benander, W. Bowen, Boyle, Dieterich, Doerder, Dunegan, Dural, Falk, Flechtner, Flynn, Frew, Govea, B. Green, Gross, Hartnagel, Hemann, Hollinger, Jeffres, Kellogg, Konangi, Larson, Mahmud, Mastboom, Matthews, McCahon, McLoughlin, Meiksins, Miracle, Misra, Neuendorf, J. Nolan, Nuru-Holm, Quigney, Rahm, Ramsey, Reinhart, A. Schwartz, M. Smith, Steckol, Tewari, Van Ummersen, J. Webb, Wheatley, Whyte.

ABSENT/EXCUSED: Buckley, Chung, Dillard-Mitchell, Forte, Gorla, Keating, Konstantinos, Orendi, Sanders, Shah, Sparks, Spicer, Steinglass, Thornton, Tumeo, Valencic, Vallos, Wadhwa, J. Wilson.

ALSO PRESENT: E. Brennan, Lupton.

 

Senate President William Bowen called the meeting to order at approximately 3:05 P.M.

 

Dr. Bowen informed the Senate that Mr. Ronald Rutti, a reporter from The Plain Dealer, was present today. The Senate gave its approval for Mr. Rutti to attend the meeting.

 

I. Approval of the Agenda

 

Acceptance of the Agenda for December 6, 2000 was moved, seconded, and approved.

 

II. Approval of the Minutes of the November 8, 2000 Meeting

 

Acceptance of the Minutes of the November 8, 2000 meeting was moved, seconded, and approved.

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III. Update on Planning and Budget (Report No. 16, 2000-2001)

 

Dr. Arthur Schwartz noted that he will be reporting monthly to Senate on what is going on with the Planning and Budget Committee. The Committee has been meeting on a regular basis. The initial work that started last month at about this time ended up in a document being prepared that will be the guiding principles for budget activity for the 2002 year. That document was circulated to all the Deans, Department Chairs, and Administrators reporting directly to the Provost. Subsequently, at the request of the Committee, that document was also sent to every faculty member as an e-mail attachment. Professor Schwartz produced a transparency showing nine of the twelve principles that are guiding the budget actions. The first five have to do with management of the current budget situation. The next seven have to do with planning for the future. The models have been prepared with different scenarios and the models are based on a one percent enrollment decline, a two percent enrollment decline, or a three percent enrollment decline with a tuition increase of six percent. Using the one percent figure, it is estimated that there will be a projected deficit of $5.1 million going into the next year. And, if enrollments decline, it will be more. The cuts and changes that will be recommended are predicated according to the principles in the document. One of them is that monies from the non-instructional side are going to be shifted more toward the instructional side. The goal is preservation or enhancement of teaching. It (teaching) would not be a targeted area. The Deans and Directors have been requested to make plans. Those plans were due in last Friday. They are undergoing discussion and each College has targeted figures. In addition to the plans from the Deans and Directors, there are a number of studies going on to do comparative data analyses of staff levels of support services in the Registrars, Bursars, Student Aid, and Admissions Offices to find out if indeed we are using the money in the best way. There are analyses going on in terms of part-time monies, released time monies, and other administrative costs to try to cut those down if possible without having to go into anything programmatic. At this point, plans are tentative and everything is subject to revision pending Spring enrollment. The Committee continues to meet and will be getting figures and data from the different constituencies.

 

Professor Thomas Flechtner asked if the Dean's plans submitted on Friday are going to be shared with anybody else other than the Provost and the Committee. Dr. Schwartz responded that the Dean of Arts and Sciences shared her plan with the College Advisory Committee. He doesn't know if there is a policy regarding each and every College. So, if you want to see what was put forth from the College of Arts and Sciences, either through the Chair or one of the four people who were on the College Advisory Committee, he is sure it will be made available.

 

Professor Paul Doerder asked if the plans submitted are being reviewed according to those criteria. Dr. Schwartz replied that they are and there is oversight. That was the specific question he had about it. There is tinkering going on and adjustments are being made. They are not cast in stone; they are plans.

 

Professor Kenneth Dunegan noted that Dr. Schwartz only spoke about projections with deficit enrollments. He asked if there are any plans for budgets if enrollments increase and why are we only planning for declines in enrollment? Provost Jay McLoughlin responded that based on our history, the last couple of years we have either barely been even or down. We could run at even or plus one or plus two, but based on our past five-year history, that hasn't been the case. This is a conservative estimate.

 

Professor Joyce Mastboom asked if there was any sense of when the decision is going to be made as far as which plan to go with. Dr. Schwartz responded that he did not know at this time. He would think not till after the first of the year. The Dean of Arts and Sciences told the faculty that this was going to be in flux for at least a couple of months.

 

Dr. Barbara Green inquired if any analysis has been done as to how we got to commit $5 million of recurring obligations when there was no money for them and to make sure that this is not repeated. People made continuing obligations when they had no assurance of the money being there. That seems to be a form of fiscal suicide. Professor Schwartz commented that his impression from the discussions in Budget Committee meetings is there is a consensus that we have to move it to the permanent lines and then have oversight to stop continual things happening like this again.

 

Dr. Green noted that those items have in fact been reviewed to make sure that there really was input. It is one thing to spend more money than I have and then the next year you give me more money to take care of what I have committed myself to buy. Have these items actually been reviewed to make sure that we want them to continue? Dr. Schwartz responded that he didn't know about the formality or extent of them but his understanding is that all things had to be justified ultimately to the Provost for continuation.

 

Professor Doerder wondered then if this is where the $5 million comes from. Regarding those that the Provost had decided, were there $10 million of recurring obligations and a review reduced it to $5 million? Provost McLoughlin replied that the number was higher. He remembers last Spring when he asked the Deans and the other people that reported to him how much they thought they needed. It totaled $12 million. We got down to the items that the Deans and Directors were routinely coming and counting on the Provost to fund out of vacancy savings and other sources of funds. For example, paying for the periodicals in the Library; research funds; start-up funds; paying for the printing of the Graduate Catalogue. This is a very conservative list of items. It includes nearly $1 million for part-time instruction beyond what is in the budgets of the Colleges. He is working with the Deans to see if that figure can be trimmed down to a reasonable level. This is a conservative list. He has been working on it since last February. He is sure of the numbers and he is sure of the items. People keep on asking him for the same items again and again. There was a certain reality check to all of this too. It isn't a wish list. The wish list is much larger.

 

Professor Schwartz noted that he will keep reporting to Senate. As he gets a better understanding of budget matters, he will hopefully be a little more articulate on it.

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IV. Admissions and Standards Committee (Report No. 17, 2000-2001)

 

Dr. Bowen informed the Senate that Professor Chet Jain, the Chair of the Admissions and Standards Committee, could not be at the meeting today. Professor Wendy Kellogg, a member of the Committee, will present the Committee's proposal.

 

Professor Wendy Kellogg presented the Admissions and Standards Committee's proposed amendment to the Academic Calendar. Recent changes in federal guidelines governing financial aid in terms of student withdrawal set a 60% semester cutoff. The proposed amendment would standardize our cutoff date with that date. We are a little bit earlier now and thought that was a bit confusing to students and didn't want to put them in a bad situation unnecessarily.

 

There being no further discussion, Dr. Bowen called for the vote. The proposed amendment to the Academic Calendar placing the withdrawal deadline date at 60% of the term (the end of the ninth week) was approved.

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V. University Faculty Affairs Committee (Report No. 18, 2000-2001)

 

Professor Edward Brennan, Chair of the University Faculty Affairs Committee, presented the Committee's proposed amendment to the Personnel Policies, Section 8.1.2 F) 1.k) (PP 17). He noted that this is really a housekeeping matter in order to align the "Green Book" and the CSU-AAUP Union policy. The Committee checked with the College of Law, since they are not under the Union, to be sure they would have no difficulty with the date change. The Law School had no objection. The change is to align the January 15 date for advising about promotion and tenure decisions to the April 15 date.

 

Professor Flechtner asked if every faculty member whose letter of appointment had a January 15 date on it has now been decided upon. Dr. Brennan responded that if the Senate changes it now, he assumes it would go into effect this coming 2001. Provost Jay McLoughlin reported that there is one faculty member this year. In addition, Dr. Shorrock had informed him that because someone was on maternity or sick leave, we might have the last two next year. Dr. William Shorrock confirmed that there may have been one or two people. Dr. Flechtner asked if the faculty may be confused by changing this date. Dr. Shorrock noted that certainly when they got their written letter -- no.

 

There being no further questions or discussion, Dr. Bowen called for the vote. The Senate approved the University Faculty Affairs Committee's proposed revision concerning promotion/tenure procedures and time lines.

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VI. University President's Report

 

President Claire Van Ummersen reported on exciting news about several faculty and students at Cleveland State. Professor Catherine Hansman, College of Education, has been selected as a Cyril O. Houle Scholar and awarded a $40,000 grant for her research project entitled, "Power and Learning in Mentoring Relationships." Dr. Hansman directs the Adult Learning and Development Masters in Education program. The Cyril Scholars Award is intended to support emerging scholars who will make a significant contribution to adult education. This program is actually funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

 

President Van Ummersen reported that for the fourth consecutive year, a Cleveland Marshall College of Law student team will represent Region Six, which includes all of Ohio and Michigan Law Schools, in the final rounds of the National Moot Court Competition. This is the first time a team from the same school has represented Region Six in four consecutive final round competitions. Professor Stephen Werber serves as the faculty advisor and Cleveland Marshall will be represented by third year students John Mugnano and Amy Renwald.

 

President Van Ummersen reported that on Friday, December 1, 2000, the Urban College honored Professor Emeritus Thomas Campbell by naming the new exhibition gallery in the new Urban building for Dr. Campbell. He was, as most of you know, the founding director of the Institute for Urban Studies which was the forerunner of the Urban College.

 

President Van Ummersen noted that Professors Robert Sollod and Mark Ashcraft of the Department of Psychology had a letter entitled, "Evaluations Have Value" published in Academe. In that letter, they advocate that student evaluations of faculty teaching is a valid indication of teaching effectiveness.

 

President Van Ummersen noted that Professor Schwartz has already reported on the activities of the Planning and Budget Committee. She reported that next week the Board of Regents will be releasing a report to the Governor on the performance of universities on a number of factors that the Governor asked for last year. That report will be available on December 13, 2000. It will display these factors by institution and will, in some ways, compare the performance in a number of areas where we overlap with students from one institution to another. We are now able to track students at least within the public sector if they begin somewhere else and end up at Cleveland State or if they start at Cleveland State and end up somewhere else. That certainly helps things like graduation rates for our institution and for all institutions in the State as well.

 

A Senator inquired if that report would be on the web. Associate Provost Marie Zeglen noted that, as part of the plan for releasing the document, the Ohio Board of Regents web site is going to have a section. President Van Ummersen said that it will be put on e-mail so everyone can get the report.

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VII. Senate President's Report

 

Senate President William Bowen noted that a memo from Gary Meszaros, Director of Auxiliary Services, was distributed today as people came in to the meeting announcing a Faculty Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday, January 30, 2001. More information will be coming on that.

 

Dr. Bowen stated, with the possible exception of the budget, the next most important challenge we face is to find administrative leadership for the University who, among other things, will understand and respect faculty governance. In this regard, the report he will make today is really about administrative leadership.

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Provost Search

 

Dr. Bowen reported that to his understanding, the decision was made jointly by President Van Ummersen and the Board of Trustees to continue with the Provost search that is going on now and, if possible, hire a new Provost before bringing a new President on board. Three candidates came to town for interviews last week. Dr. Bowen said that he appreciates and congratulates the Search Committee and Dr. Njeri Nuru-Holm, Rosemary Ramsey, Lily Ng, Glending Olson, David Forte, Jane Zaharias, Norman Krumholz, Helen Tien, and Steven Lake. He met all three candidates and was duly impressed. Everyone has done a real service for Cleveland State and a job well done. On the basis of consideration of written and verbal feedback, e-mail, phone calls, and a great deal of discussion, the Search Committee yesterday recommended to President Van Ummersen to gather additional information on candidates Chin Kuo and Peter Frick. The Search Committee has recommended that we keep on probing into the possibilities with these two candidates. They may or may not come back to campus. If there are any questions, Dr. Njeri Nuru-Holm has agreed to answer them. He noted that asking questions about the details of individuals should be avoided. Whatever we say here will go on the public record and we want to make sure we respect the privacy of all parties involved. Dr. Bowen advised Dr. Nuru-Holm that if she felt uncomfortable giving answers to any of the questions, she should feel free to defer any of them till later.

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Presidential Search

 

Dr. Bowen reported that yesterday he received a memorandum from David Hill, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, regarding the composition of the Presidential Search Committee. It was addressed to voting members of the Board and it began by assuring them that the decision of who will serve as the next President of Cleveland State University is theirs alone. Objectionable as that may be, under the laws of the State of Ohio, it is factually correct. The Search Committee will, after it does its job, present several candidates to the entire Board for review and selection. The Committee will be chaired by Mr. Vir Sondhi. Mr. Hill selected Mr. Sondhi in no small measure because of Mr. Sondhi's equanimity. Otherwise, there will be three other Board members on the Committee including Tim Cosgrove, Sally Florkiewicz, and Sam Miller. Mr. Hill selected these four in an effort to represent the different views of the Board members and to get the Board to buy into the search process. In Mr. Hill's view of the University at this juncture in time, it is vital that enhanced contributions to the University's future come from the business sector and from the broader civic community. He selected four members to represent these interests: Christopher Connor, Chairman and CEO of the Sherwin-Williams Company will represent the business sector; Catherine Lewis, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Foundation will represent the philanthropic sector; Myron Robinson, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland; and Judge George White, Executive Director of the Cleveland Browns Charities. According to Mr. Hill, participation by these individuals will help to get the new President well connected with the relevant constituencies. From within the University, Mr. Hill appointed Steven Lake, President of the CSU Student Government and himself (Dr. Bowen). Dr. Bowen make it clear that he accepted the appointment only after the Academic Steering Committee agreed to have him do so.

 

Dr. Bowen reported that Mr. Hill has said that there will be a broader-based Informal Advisory Committee selected to advise Mr. Sondhi during the search process. He (Mr. Hill) will probably appoint another faculty to that committee. Dr. Bowen noted that he tried to get some clarification from Mr. Hill regarding the role of the Informal Advisory Committee. Mr. Hill mentioned that the committee might have input into the defining characteristics and qualifications desired in a President and could possibly get involved in interviews and communications. Professor Bowen commented that he could not get Mr. Hill to commit to any definite statements regarding the role or composition of that Committee. His understanding of Mr. Hill's rationale is that the external participants will get the President well-connected and will also get influential people throughout the area vested in the University. Dr. Bowen reported that Mr. Hill also stated repeatedly that he thinks one faculty member and one student representative can duly and fully represent the University's core constituencies. Mr. Hill argues that we can organize and communicate extensively within the University to obtain full and complete input into the job description and then full and complete interaction and dialogue with the candidates.

 

Professor Bowen stated that he strongly disagrees with Mr. Hill on the point that one faculty member is adequate. He (Professor Bowen) has pointed out to Mr. Hill repeatedly in phone calls and in a letter to him written on behalf of the Academic Steering Committee the rationale for increased faculty representation. His letter stated that the faculty is the most enduring constituency of the University and is uniquely positioned to contribute meaningfully to the selection process for three reasons. First, faculty members are experienced and qualified to evaluate academically related resumes. Second, the presence of adequate faculty representation sends an unmistakable message about the faculty involvement in terms of the affairs of the University. Third, for the past thirty years in each Presidential search, there have been two faculty representatives. Bowen's letter said that the Steering Committee agrees with Mr. Hill's rationale regarding the desirability of having the larger community buy into the University but that this does not and should not be taken to preclude adequate faculty participation. His memorandum appointing the search committee was apparently his response to the Steering Committee's letter.

 

Dr. Bowen said that he wants CSU to become a great University. He shares the anger and the frustration that comes from the feeling that he is powerless to do much of anything at this point to make it so. These feelings notwithstanding, he has no choice but to go along with the process. We, as a faculty, have no choice but to go along with the process objectionable as it may be because in comparison to not going along with the process, this way the faculty is in a better position to influence the deliberations. We will also be demonstrating to the Board that we are willing to work with them and that signal will come back in the future to help us. Regardless of how we go about it, our collective self-interest lies in the recruitment of a President who can build the needed partnerships with the business community, the civic community, our faculty, and the administration of each college. It is a big job but if it is not well done, then we are all going to lose. We need faculty participation in the process to insure that we recruit the talent we need and then attract the needed talent to our University. The important questions now are what does the Board, and more importantly, what does the faculty want the next President to do? What direction do we want the University to take? What characteristics and qualifications should be used in writing the job description. How can we most effectively organize to insure that faculty members' perceptions of what to look for in the next President are meaningfully expressed in the process. These are the pressing questions we face now. In his role as Senate President, Dr. Bowen expects to set up an "Internal Advisory Committee" and to initiate numerous discussions amongst the faculty. If Senate members have any thoughts about the characteristics and qualifications that are necessary and preferred, they should be organized and sent to Professor Bowen through e-mail. With the holidays coming up and the possibility that Mr. Sondhi will have us meet to write a description for the search during the holidays, it may be that time is of the essence on this point.

 

Finally, Dr. Bowen recognized and reiterated his strong feelings of confidence that he and that we, as a University, are up to the challenge of finding and attracting new administrative leadership of the sort that we want. He sees a proud future at Cleveland State University in his mind in which people here love their jobs, feel pride in their jobs, and are having fun and are optimistic about the future and positive about the present. He sees a University that is gaining legitimacy and it is getting a better and better reputation with a shared sense of organizational progress in which people trust one another and respect one another and feel enthusiastic about belonging to the Cleveland State University community. That is the sort of outcome we seek right now; that is where we need to lead the University. Dr. Bowen asked the Senate to bear that outcome in mind when members discuss how to respond to the situation.

 

Professor Surendra Tewari asked if the Board of Trustees has decided by what time we will have a President in place. Dr. Bowen responded that he has not heard anything about a formal deadline.

 

Professor Tayyab Mahmud commented that his recollection of the last meeting and his understanding is that the decision of the Steering Committee was to request that Dr. Bowen send the letter to Mr. Hill that he did send and that we reserve the right to discuss what our response would be in light of the response of the Board. Now that we have gotten the response, it would be time to fashion our response. Professor Mahmud's recollection is that the Steering Committee's approval of Dr. Bowen sitting on the Search Committee was never decided. So, Professor Mahmud would like to correct the record.

 

Professor Santosh Misra asked if there is any consideration being given for an interim President. Dr. Bowen responded that when he talked about that with David Hill, Mr. Hill said that he would ask President Van Ummersen to remain in place either until there is a new President found or until June 2001. Dr. Bowen noted that he responded to Mr. Hill that it seemed that the chances of finding another President by June are rather small and Mr. Hill's response was, "Then we will go to Plan B." That was the end of the conversation.

 

Professor Andrew Gross noted that his recollection from the Steering Committee meeting in question is somewhere half way between what Professor Mahmud stated and what Professor Bowen stated. But it is immaterial at this stage. The key question he would like to address to Dr. Bowen is whether or not he sent a copy of the letter that went to Mr. Hill to the other members of the Board. Also, is it possible to wait for their reaction and hope that there could be an additional faculty member on the Committee. Dr. Bowen responded that he did send a copy of the letter to Mr. Hill to the other Board members. Dr. Bowen commented that as far as getting another representative on the search committee, "It won't happen." Dr. Gross stated, "Then we have to go on."

 

Dr. Dunegan noted that Dr. Bowen had not mentioned a representative from the staff. Dr. Bowen responded that there are no Deans or staff represented on the Committee. Dr. Dunegan asked, "Doesn't the staff represent the largest group of people in the University except for the students?" Referring to the description of the Provost search, Dr. Dunegan noted that Dr. Bowen had used the term, "finding someone on a limited time basis or limited term basis." Dr. Dunegan asked Dr. Bowen, what that meant. In turn, Dr. Bowen asked Dr. Nuru-Holm to comment.

 

Dr. Njeri Nuru-Holm reported that there has been some discussion with the President and the Board. While there has been no firm decision, should we arrive at the point of an offer, the Board is very aware that a multi-year contract would have to be offered for anyone to be willing to come. Any multi-year contract would be with the understanding that a President could, in fact, buy out one year of that contract. For example, if there were an offer of a three-year contract, most likely it will take a year to find a President. If we are lucky, we can get a President within a year, but most likely for someone to physically arrive on this campus, it would probably be a year. Any new President would not immediately eliminate a Provost. A new President would take at least a year to learn the institution and learn the relationships, perhaps longer. Minimally, a Provost would be in place for two years. If things are working well, maybe another year. If there were an issue under those circumstances, it would be a one year buy-out so one would know up front when we make the offer what the worse case scenario would be and what the cost would be to the institution based on salary and benefits for that type of scenario. Dr. Nuru-Holm went on to say that she has no idea what multi-year contract has been considered or at least put up for discussion.

 

Dr. Green asked if this person would be given tenure so that even though he would be Provost and then bought out for a year he would still be here. Dr. Nuru-Holm responded that the issue of tenure certainly would go through the regular process of anyone seeking tenure at the institution.

 

Professor Mahmud came back to the Presidential search issue and pointed out that time is of the essence. The silence on the issue is deafening. He would like to first read the wonderful last paragraph of the letter that was sent on behalf of the Steering Committee to Mr. Hill which states: "The University has gone through some trying times in recent months and the aftermath still surrounds us all. The faculty has shared, and continues to share, the attending pain and tribulation. We believe that moving our University to a position of stability and excellence requires that all concerned should work in concert. Nothing less than partnerships between all constituencies of the University will ensure securing our shared objectives. It is in this spirit that the Steering Committee suggests that the Board of Trustees bear in mind the guidelines of the AAUP, functional utility of meaningful faculty participation in deciding upon the nature of faculty representation, and historical precedent in the Presidential Search Committee." Professor Mahmud went on to say that the response to this letter is utterly inadequate. At the minimum, this letter, to his mind, required a response to Dr. Bowen concerning the issues raised. As far as the substance is concerned, it should be unacceptable to the faculty given the light in which this communication was done. Instead of silence, we need to take some action because time is of the essence. It will be very important as different sections of the faculty come together on this one. We sat here quietly when people who knew better likened our efforts with this dysfunctional administration as being an assault on tenure. We sat here quietly when those who knew better likened those efforts as being uncivil and lacking decorum. He would hate to see a repeat of that.

 

Professor Mahmud stated that the Board of Trustees have the right to appoint a President and we have the right not to participate in that process. The professoriate is the heart of the University and he has often heard that the Board of Trustees don't understand education. Last year they showed us they don't understand money either. It is interesting that we never raised the charge that the financial crisis of this University happened "on their watch." We directed all of our attention to the administration and absolutely spared anything towards the Board. This is no way either in form or substance to treat the professoriate. He would strongly urge them (the Board) to reconsider their decision. If not, the faculty should decline to participate in the search process. If the Board of Trustees are looking for somebody who bonds with the business community, so be it. We would prefer that somebody is there who bonds also with the University and with the faculty.

 

Dr. Gross indicated that he is in 95% agreement with what Professor Mahmud had said. But, on the last point, he begs to differ. It would not be productive; it would be counter productive to call for a boycott here. Basically, the Board is in charge and they have the legal right to do what they are going to do. To do a boycott would be counterproductive to the faculty.

 

Dr. Kellogg commented that she agreed with Dr. Gross. It seems that through all of this turmoil, we do have opportunity. We don't know what is going to happen. In going forward at this time, more than in the recent past, there is an opportunity for something different. She is not enamored of the Board's decision or any of that. She is as frustrated as any of the faculty. Faculty should be engaged in every way we can be and make the point that we do want a different kind of relationship.

 

Professor Mahmud stated that not to participate in the search is also our legal right. Secondly, he wishes he shared the confidence because the confidence has to rest on some foundations. These actions don't lend themselves to the confidence that he wishes he could share. Noting the silence in the room, it also occurred to him that the issue needs to be discussed more in different sections of the faculty. He is mindful that maybe there are other reasons having nothing to do with the Presidential Search which may be coming in the way. He is particularly mindful that Union negotiations are going on. He speaks as somebody who is a union man in heart and soul and is among the very few who voted to join the Union in the Law School. But, he is also one who is mindful that not everything in the world is within the purview of concerns of the Union. He would hate to see that either the Union or Arts and Sciences or any other section of the faculty let Union concerns affect our collective position of this issue. In that spirit, he suggested that faculty talk and then come together on this issue.

 

Dr. Peter Meiksins reported that the issue of the composition of the search committee for the President came up during the interviews with one of the Provost candidates. There was a lull in the conversation and the Provost candidate asked what we thought should happen. Should we be hiring a Provost? Should we be hiring a President? Both the candidate and the people assembled in the room said that a Presidential candidate coming to a campus would expect, through the search committee, to meet the various constituencies of the University. For that reason, it is misleading for us, as a faculty, to participate in a search which in no way represents the constituencies. We send the wrong message to that candidate. If anything, we send a message to that candidate to the effect that we are a weak faculty which was unable to gain significant representation on the search committee; that our administration is so devastated that they could not get a Dean on the search committee; that there is no representation of the staff of the University on the committee; and, that in effect, we are coming into a situation where there is no such thing as faculty governance. Obviously, he hopes that is not the case. It is important for faculty to indicate to the Board that we are not prepared to participate as tokens in a charade of a search. This is not a real search conducted in a way that is normally done on most university campuses.

 

Dr. Rodger Govea responded to Professor Mahmud with regard to the question of the Union. He said that the CSU chapter of AAUP believes in AAUP principles and certainly we are going to stick to those with regard to an official position. The Union has not taken a position. There really isn't any statutory provision for the Union to do so. We are not going to be part of some "deal," if that is what he (Professor Mahmud) is implying. He is very sorry and apologized to the Senate as a whole. Whatever choice we make, it is going to feel awful. There is no good choice we have in the matter. If we say we are going to participate, we will give the appearance that we are buckling under -- that we are surrendering. If, on the other hand, we refuse to participate whatsoever, then we are cutting off our "only" possibilities of communicating in the process and it will be seen as a rather juvenile act of non-compliance. There is "no way out" in terms of looking good. Having said that, he feels that we are going to have an awful outcome no matter what we decide. He noted that Professor Mahmud was correct about what the Steering Committee never said. Upon reflection on this, he doesn't see any alternative to at least going on with the participation that has been granted knowing that it is going to be misinterpreted; knowing that it is going to make it look like we are, in fact, surrendering. Whatever we choose, it doesn't matter.

 

Dr. David Larson responded to Professor Mahmud. One, there is no connection between the Union's negotiations and this search. There are members of the negotiating team at today's meeting that can support that. They have never been connected in any executive committee meeting that he is aware of. They are not connected in any other way. Secondly, the "Red Book" that Professor Bowen quoted from, which sets up the standards for presidential searches, is from the AAUP which essentially invented faculty governance and we stand by those principles. We are as dismayed by the proposed composition of the search committee as anyone else is within our organization. We have quite different views from different members as to how it should be most effectively dealt with. This is not something in which the Union or Arts and Sciences is trying to impose some sort of uniform behavior. He added that the Union thinks the faculty should find its own way.

 

Professor Dianne Rahm indicated that she is concerned about how faculty might look if there is no faculty representation on that committee. Not in terms of how we would look to the Board, but rather how we would look to any perspective Presidential candidate. The faculty need to have an opportunity to express their opinions. It would be better, of course, to have more than less opportunity, but it would not be wise to throw away half a loaf if all that is offered to us is half a loaf. Rather, we could take that as an opportunity to begin a dialogue and to make sure that faculty on campus have the opportunity to add to that dialogue should anybody come to campus then and talk to the wider groups.

 

CSU student, Mr. Jerry Strothers, commented that as a student of the largest group of people on this campus, he really feels very upset with only one person to represent them. He doesn't think the student population will be as cordial to this idea of only having one person represent the biggest group of people who make this university. Having only one person represent us (students) is a travesty. The Board is throwing it up in everybody's face and it is time to let them know that they can't do this to us anymore.

 

Professor Mahmud commented that when we talk about options, it is an easy way out to draw them in stark opposite ends. He doesn't believe that faculty only have two options -- either to buckle or not to be there. The challenge for the faculty of the University precisely is to talk and to come up with other options. There may be four other options. We, at the minimum, have to make a decision whether it is even worth pursuing other options that there may or may not be.

 

Dr. Frank Aquila agreed with student representative, Jerry Strothers. As someone said, we are in a situation of "cutting off our nose to spite our face." What's being done is probably going to be the one thing that will unite this faculty. "Sign on." Take one position because every faculty will finally get angry for what's being done. They (the Board) are sending us a message. They are probably trying to slap us on the hand. Let them because it will work to our advantage in the long run. Plus, the new President needs to see how things are. He or she will be intelligent enough to realize what's going on.

 

Professor Gross stated that it would be appropriate for Dr. Bowen to have an ongoing dialogue with the other members of the Board besides Mr. Hill and to voice the view that an additional faculty, an additional student, and representatives of the staff and administrative leadership should be on the search committee. If we get the majority of the Board members, they can overrule Mr. Hill. Dr. Bowen agreed with Professor Gross in principle, but stated that in reality, this just isn't going to happen.

 

Professor Donna Phillips informed the Senate that it is the prerogative of the chair of the Board of Trustees to name the search committee. That is in the Board's Bylaws.

 

Dr. Bowen informed the Senate that he will get the Steering Committee together next week in order to formulate a response on behalf of the Senate both to the non-response of Mr. Hill to the letter sent to him by the Steering Committee and also concerning the sense of the discussion in Senate today.

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Resolution Regarding the Presidential Search: (Report No. 19, 2000-2001)

 

Professor Jeffres offered a resolution by the Caucus of the College of Arts and Sciences. He noted that it essentially continues the discussion but gives it a form that members can agree or disagree with.

 

"With the understanding that faculty governance is at the core of any respectable institution of higher education, the Cleveland State University Faculty Senate objects to the presidential search committee appointed by the Cleveland State Board of Trustees.

 

Faculty participation has been limited to only one member of the faculty, and the Board did not allow the faculty to elect that member. The formation of this committee thus violates two traditional principles in higher education that have been observed at Cleveland State for decades: 1) that faculty participation should reflect the centrality of faculty to the mission of the University; and 2) that faculty should collectively determine the individuals representing them in this venture.

 

With this objection in mind, we encourage the designated faculty representative to report regularly to the Senate, and to communicate faculty opinions to the Board, regardless of the Board's receptivity to faculty input. The Senate also affirms the claim that faculty support is essential to the success of any University President, and that a successful search is predicated on adequate faculty participation."

 

Professor Gross asked, "If the resolution passes, what weight will it carry in Professor Jeffres' view?" Dr. Jeffres replied that first, he hopes it will give some formality to the faculty objections rather than reading it as a report or in the President's comments. Secondly, he would hope this means that the voice is listened to and that anyone who comes in for an interview recognizes the problems with faculty governance here at the institution. Beyond that, he indicated that he didn't know. He felt that Professor Govea said it very well before he left -- we are "between a rock and a hard place."

 

Professor Mahmud stated that it would be fair to characterize this as the "buckle option" because that is how the operative paragraph of the resolution reads. He just wanted to be clear on that or did Professor Jeffres have something else in mind?

 

Dr. Green said that it is not a question of "buckle." The question is that the Board of Trustees can do what it pleases. This is a message to candidates coming in here and that is the greatest leverage we have. Get a message across to potential candidates for the presidency that the faculty are on record as objecting to the method of the committee being set up. The candidates ought to make sure, then, that they in some way can get to the faculty to get support from the faculty. There are other ways of doing this. One can insist upon meeting with faculty constituencies -- Faculty Senate representatives; talking to them, insisting on having input from faculty then after meeting with them and making sure that the faculty has that response before accepting the position. We have two possibilities. One, the Board has in fact decided that it doesn't care what the faculty think and would like to hire somebody who can "shape up" the faculty and do what the Board wants the faculty to do without any consultation with the faculty. Dr. Green stated that they can do that. If they do that, we need to know. There are other responses at that point. Second, have a President who will in fact work with the faculty constituency. That is what this is indicating. And, faculty are on record as objecting in such a way that any potential candidates will know the faculty is on record as objecting.

 

Professor Mastboom commented that it is not an issue of what the Board will do. It is irrelevant. Of course, they are the Board of Trustees. If we buckle to them all of the time, neither Bill Bowen nor she have to be representatives on the Board because it would be irrelevant. We assume that somehow we can influence the Board otherwise there is no point. In that regard, making some kind of influence can make some sense, but we are going to have to submit to having one faculty representative on the search committee. In principle, Dr. Mastboom agreed with the notion that faculty shouldn't participate at all.

 

Professor Dunegan proposed a friendly amendment by adding another paragraph to the resolution that states: "Therefore, the Faculty Senate would like to request that the composition of the search committee be expanded to include an additional faculty member, an additional member from the administration, and student body." Dr. Bowen asked for a second to the original motion. Dr. Jeffres suggested that the amendment should say additional representatives.

 

Professor Mahmud made a friendly suggestion. It may be useful for whatever we do with the third paragraph to also refer to whether it reflects on the selection process and that there are AAUP guidelines about participation in the selection of a university president and a significant one of them being that the representative of the faculty will be elected by the faculty. At some point, it may be useful to have that language in that paragraph. Lastly, we keep emphasizing the powers the Board of Trustees have, and keep somehow out of sight what power we may have. Usually people operate in situations, unionized or otherwise, who don't have tenure but somehow find power. He noted that what amuses him are the people in high positions which are secure positions but constantly somehow find that they are powerless. We should explore what may be avenues and resources of our power and then see whether it gets us anywhere or not.

 

Dr. Andrew Miracle agreed with Dr. Green's assessment of the situation. His concern at this point is with attracting high caliber quality candidates for the position so that the selection can be made among individuals who are not only qualified but would be willing to come. The candidates that we might prefer are certainly going to seek out information meeting with those various constituencies on campus. It is totally unreasonable not to assume that this would occur. He would be a concerned about the kinds of messages that we, as the most visible representatives of the faculty, make to those individuals. They are going to be aware of the current situation and they are going to be aware and informed about the kinds of issues that exist in faculty minds. So, he is a little bit concerned that faculty make a statement that, in effect, is a challenge to the Board rather than concerning our efforts on working with the candidates or potential candidates for this position.

 

Professor Jeffres commented on the relation over content and communication. You can get into a disagreement over who is in charge and who has the power, but the point here is not the relationship. He would like to focus on the content. We are focusing only on the relationship here. The other concern is, even though it was pointed out earlier about the AAUP and the bargaining unit, none of that has been involved here. The minute you mention it, in the mind of some of the Board members, it does -- it brings that into play again. He wishes the negotiations were over with so it didn't get into the midst of this. No matter what we do with our best intentions, recognizing that we are talking about the faculty and faculty who have given good chunks of their lives and who are the least transient stakeholder in this institution, we will still be perceived as negotiating in that sense. This is the point. The concern is getting good leadership and we need to focus on that.

 

Dr. Dunegan read a draft version of his friendly amendment. The concluding paragraph would read: "Therefore, Faculty Senate requests that the Presidential Search Committee be expanded to include additional representatives from the student body, the faculty, the staff, and the administration." Dr. Jeffres accepted the friendly amendment.

 

Professor Meiksins responded to Professor Gross' comment. It is not a good idea to get into a confrontation with the Board or with anyone in this context. But it needs to be acknowledged that we did not create the confrontation. The Board threw down the gauntlet to us by constructing a committee so composed. We are, therefore, "peg-faced" as Dr. Govea said -- an unpleasant choice between sitting there and allowing ourselves to be effectively insulted or at least indicating that we know that we have been insulted by saying so. He went on to state that he fully welcomes the idea that faculty should continue to negotiate and try to develop a relationship with the Board and try to increase the membership of the University's constituencies on the Board. It serves no useful purpose for us to passively sit here and assume that somebody else, the faculty, this unnamed morphous mass, will get angry and finally rise up and say something. If we, the faculty's representatives do not get angry and express that anger, what makes you think someone else will?

 

Professor Surendra Tewari commented: "Express your anger but don't hurt yourself in that process."

 

Dr. Bowen asked if the Senate was ready for a vote on calling the question. The Senate approved. Dr. Bowen then called for a vote on the motion as amended. The motion was approved with Professors Mahmud and Miracle voting against it.

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VIII. New Business

A. Professor Mareyjoyce Green brought to the Senate's attention a bulletin from the Cleveland Lumberjacks team that had been posted on campus. It reads: "$6.00, beer, plus women, plus pucking equals Jack's hockey." Professor Green asked the Senate to say that if this inappropriate kind of advertisement is not discontinued, people will simply cancel their season tickets to the Cleveland Lumberjacks. The holiday season is coming up and we don't need any encouragement for the use of alcohol and women don't need to be related to this. Just simply say this is totally inappropriate and we will cancel season tickets to the Jacks. Other schools are now trying to discourage binge drinking, both privately and publicly, and we don't need to be losing more students to DUIs.

 

Professor Mahmud proposed a motion condemning the Lumberjacks' advertising. (Report No. 20, 2000-2001) Professor Flechtner seconded the motion. The motion was approved.

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B. Resolution Regarding the Provost Search (Report No. 21, 2000-2001)

 

Professor Jeffres moved a Resolution regarding the Provost Search offered by the Caucus of the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

"The Faculty Senate of Cleveland State University requests that the Search Committee for the University Provost be extended to allow the consideration of new candidates.

 

Ideally, when a University has both of its top administrative positions vacant, it is preferable to complete the Presidential search before attempting to fill the position of Provost. A Provost should be selected first only if the candidate is truly outstanding. In order to find such a candidate, the Senate believes it wise to conduct an extensive search. We therefore advise the Search Committee to extend the search to the consideration of new candidates."

 

The motion was seconded by Professor Flechtner.

 

Professor Mahmud noted that many of us have long felt that this is a waste of time and a waste of money. This search should be stopped until the Presidential search is done because we are running into the kinds of questions that came up before. Who in their right mind would want to take this job? The best answer he got was that we have already spent this much money, which was reminiscent of some other affairs in the University last year. He would strongly suggest that we take a more forthright position and say what we mean. Ideally, the President should be in place and he or she should then have the opportunity to have his or her cabinet in place and that is what we should say. Sort of dodging here and there leaves a muddy message.

 

Professor Meiksins spoke in favor of the resolution. He hopes the extensive search takes a very long time indeed because he shares Professor Mahmud's sentiments. He is very concerned that we are actively contemplating hiring a Provost on the assumption that we will probably have to buy the Provost out to the tune of a six figure salary in the middle of a financial crises. It doesn't strike him as a particularly prudent way of handling our resources. So, he certainly supports the idea of extending the search. He would certainly be open to a proposal to put it off indefinitely pending the hiring of a President.

 

Dr. Gross stated that he was tempted to speak against the motion basically because if we can find somebody who is good enough and courageous enough to take the post, then we should accept that person. But, more importantly than speaking to the motion for or against, he asked to hear from Dr. Nuru-Holm on her view of this motion.

 

Dr. Nuru-Holm responded that first, the Provost search is still in process. The Committee hasn't made a recommendation. The Committee is still examining the candidates that are in the pool and have not come to closure on that. If we talk about a long extension, we are, in fact, stopping the current search and picking it up at a later time and most likely living with an interim position for two years. Second, the committee has not proceeded on the basis of an assumption of "buying out" anyone. She was giving the Senate a hypothetical situation. There is certainly no intention and there is no offer or no decision of what a multi-year contract would be. We certainly were all surprised that the President accepted another job. The candidates who were in the coffer came in with the understanding that we did have a sitting President. They did not come forward as courageous individuals under a very difficult situation. It changed mid-stream. As a result of that change, we did lose one individual for that specific reason. All of the candidates were, in fact, contacted related to remaining in the search at this particular time. Dr. Nuru-Holm stated that the situation should continue and see where it lands us. We haven't brought it to closure. It may fail. She has no idea at this point. The Committee is still collecting information and has not recommended final candidates at this point.

 

Professor Gross remarked that what Dr. Nuru-Holm is saying though, in effect, will vacate the two viable candidates because they are going to put her on the spot wanting an answer within a definite period of time. In effect, that will mean that they will say no because they don't want to be on hold.

 

Dr. Nuru-Holm replied that she expects the information the Committee is gathering will be in this week and the Search Committee will meet again next week. The Committee will consider all of this information and, at that point, determine what they are willing to recommend to the President. The train is not going to stop running because we have interim people in place. There are very serious decisions being made at this University now. We are all going to have to live with those decisions. There are serious financial decisions that are being made, and there are Dean searches that are going to continue. We desperately need some stability. If we can produce a viable candidate out of this pool, she would urge the support to continue to do that. She is very uncomfortable with continuing in a very unstable position for the possibility of two more years. Someone is going to have to live with something on one end. Deans are appointed and then you are living with those Deans or do you get in now and have the opportunity to have some influence on the decisions that are being made now? That would serve the greater good of this University.

 

Professor Mahmud asked for clarification. Dr. Nuru-Holm had mentioned that only one candidate had dropped out because of the change in the atmospheric conditions. The understanding is that three of the six candidates have dropped out. Dr. Nuru-Holm replied that the Committee had two individuals drop out of the search. When the Committee had screening interviews, they identified six candidates and two pursued. One individual dropped out before President Van Ummersen announced her leaving. That candidate was a sitting Provost and decided that what he actually wanted was a Presidency. One individual was lost specifically because of the change. He was not willing to continue in the search due to those circumstances.

 

Professor Mahmud noted that this still leaves one unaccounted for. Dr. Nuru-Holm replied that the Committee had decided not to bring in another candidate.

 

Dr. Larson commented that he sees this resolution as advice to the Committee. The crucial sentence is, "A Provost should be selected first only if the candidate is truly outstanding." The Senate is saying that it isn't enough that we have perhaps a marginally viable candidate when all of the investigation has been done. The Senate would rather live with an Interim than to have a Provost who is not a truly outstanding candidate. If this resolution is passed, it then becomes needed advice given the shortness of time in which the Committee is working as they are reviewing the candidates they are already looking at. Therefore, it is a very useful resolution and he supports it.

 

Professor Jeffres noted that we have lived with interims for a long period in administrative positions so we have a track record of that and there is no need to rush the judgment.

 

Dr. Vijaya Konangi agreed with Professor Mahmud. He proposed an amendment to the last sentence as follows: "We therefore advise the Search Committee to suspend the search." Period. Professor Mahmud seconded Dr. Konangi's amendment to the motion.

 

Dr. Bowen asked for discussion on the amendment. Dean Karen Steckol noted that if we change it to suspend the search, that is an inappropriate sentence because we are saying to the Search Committee to suspend itself. Professor Mahmud noted that the last three sentences would have to be removed. Dean Steckol went on to say that some things would have to be changed in order for this to make any sense. They didn't constitute themselves.

 

Professor Mahmud noted that the following sentence should be added following the words, "attempting to fill the position of Provost.": "The Senate suggested that the search be suspended." Dr. Bowen noted that then the last three sentences would not make sense. Professor Mahmud stated that he is clarifying it. The amendment means to strike the last three sentences and insert the sentence he just proposed.

 

Dr. Bowen stated that the proposed amendment would state: "We therefore advise the Search Committee to suspend the search." Professor Mahmud asked for leave to redraft the resolution to reflect that. Everybody understands that in the interest of time, we can proceed with it or we can draft it right now.

 

Professor Meiksins noted that the last paragraph should be deleted. The first sentence should read: "The Faculty Senate of Cleveland State University requests that the Search Committee suspend the search for a Provost."

 

Dr. Bowen noted that only one sentence is needed.

 

Professor John Bazyk felt that it needed a little more. Suspend the search until when? Dr. Jeffres remarked, "whenever."

 

Dr. Bowen called for a vote on the amendment. The amendment failed. Dr. Bowen then called for a vote on the original resolution. The motion passed with a vote of 17 for the resolution and four against the resolution.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:40 P.M.

 

Arthur H. Schwartz

Faculty Senate Secretary

 

/velb

 

 
 

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