I. Eulogy for Sheila Schwartz (English)
II. Approval of the Agenda for the February 4, 2009 Meeting
III. Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of December 3, 2008
IV. Report of the Faculty Senate President
V. Presidential Search Update (Report No. 15, 2008-2009)
VII. University Faculty Affairs Committee
VIII. Report of the President of the University
IX. New Business
PRESENT: Beasley, Belovich, C. Bowen, W. Bowen, Cagan, Duffy, Gordon-Pershey, Govea, Gross, C. Hansman, Hollinger, M. D. Jones, S. Kaufman, Larson, Little, Meier, Mensforth, Mikelbank, K. O’Neill, Rashidi, G. Ray, Sawicki, Shukla, Silberger, Steinberg, Sterio, Tebeau, Visocky-O’Grady, Welfel, Weyman, Xu, Yu, Zhou.
Bonder, Droney, Hanniford, Heinrich, Markovic, Nuru-Holm, Sadlek, M. Schwartz, D. Stewart for L. Patterson, Sutton, G. Thornton, Vogelsang-Coombs.
ABSENT: C. Alexander, Barrow, Berlin Ray, Dixit, Dougherty for H. Robertson, Goodell, Kalafatis, Komar, B. Ray, E. Rogers, Rom, M. Smith, Tukel, Vonderwell, J. Wilson.
Anagnostos, C. Bailey, Benmerzouga, J. Boyle, Q. Brooks, Drnek, Ghorashi, E. Hill, Legan-Turner, McLoughlin, Mearns, Olson, L. E. Reed, M. J. Saunders, Scherer.
ALSO PRESENT: Dyer, Engelking, Jeziorowski, M. Wells.
Senate President Jerzy Sawicki called the meeting to order at 3:05 P.M.
Professor Adrienne Gosselin delivered the Eulogy for the late Sheila Schwartz. Her remarks follow.
“Sheila Schwartz was a gifted writer who joined the ranks of American Masters with the prize-winning short story collection, Imagine a Great White Light. Published in 1991, the collection won the prestigious Pushcart Press Editor’s Book Award and was listed by USA Today as one of the year’s best books. Her short fiction has been anthologized and has appeared in numerous publications, including the Atlantic Monthly. She was the recipient of numerous honors for her writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1993, an O. Henry Award in 1999, and an Ohio Arts Council Grant in 2005. Her novel, Lies Will Take You Somewhere, will be released this month.
“In Yellow Woman and the Beauty of the Spirit, Native American author Leslie Marmon Silko frames time as a tortilla. It is a notion that has profound resonance for me, a notion that, when pondered, never fails to ignite more venues of possibility than I [or anyone] could ever comprehend at one sitting. Together the words make more than sense and capture a truth far beyond anything I could identify as concrete meaning. What can be grasped is a filament of consciousness, a plumb line from one’s heart straight into infinity, and it is within that framework, along such an axis of time, that I present this remembrance not of my colleague as much as my friend, who I knew before we met and with whom, in tines, I had much to look forward to.
“Sheila and I were both children in post-fifties America, raised in political households in childhoods that spread from post-McCarthy paranoia to the promise of Civil Rights. We were both younger siblings to headstrong sisters and daughters to even stronger mothers. We grew up in homes where women didn’t encourage independence as much as demanded it. We learned at an early age that life was serious, that safety was tenuous and that surviving one’s future depended on knowing one’s past. We both came from cultural backgrounds wherein the halcyon days of youth were filled with politics and history told in bedtime stories that were neither fiction nor fun. In Sheila’s case, they were stories told by family of family, of real people who vanished from real places as the result of holocausts and hatred. Stories of real people determined not to be forgotten by those who would never know them. As Sheila once told me, ‘They made for some interesting dreams.’
“As college students, we were of a generation whose teachers included larger than life figures, prototypes for caricatures of the literary avant-garde. We were fortunate to have experienced their passion, as well as their personalities, fortunate to have been infected by their respect for writing as a means of human actualization. Sheila studied with John Gardner, the author of On Moral Fiction, at SUNY-Birmingham. Gardner’s passion was literature and ethics and writing was an act of responsibility and redemption. Sheila once referred to Gardner as the ultimate teacher, but I would suggest that Sheila was Gardner’s ultimate student, primed by a childhood of listening to secrets destined to share.
“Today, there are students who would say the same of Sheila – that she was the ultimate teacher. I would say that as a teacher, Sheila was a writer who shared more than a teacher that taught. In fact, it was Sheila’s opinion that good students required little instruction. It was her opinion, that, beyond fundamental instruction, what writing students require is discipline and perseverance…but even more essential – that they have something to say. That was the key: something to say. Sheila believed students who had something to say were students with something to work with. And she found such students fascinating: if they had something to teach, she had something to learn. It made for an interesting classroom dynamic. One such student told me, ‘It was as if there was no one else in the room. No other students. Professor Schwartz gave me so much attention it was almost embarrassing.’
“In preparing this address, I found an interview with Sheila and Cleveland writer Mary Grimm conducted in 1999 by Misha Angrist. The topic drifted toward writing and writing instruction. Can writing be taught? Is it a proclivity to develop or a talent with which one is born? This was Sheila’s response: ‘Oh, I think writing can definitely be taught. I think that vision and sympathy for humanity are what can’t be taught. That’s probably the biggest sticking point I find in the classroom, having to deal with certain students who may be fabulously talented but have nothing to say.’
“I believe that Sheila was an alchemist. Her genius was making sense of pain, making meaning from moments large and small, resurrecting values from feelings almost more humane to forget. Her gift as a writer was to translate those things we would rather not feel, see, deal with, or remember into something more, something more than we are, something we can become. It is that quality that made her work haunting, that whisper-question after the last page is closed: ‘If reading changes the reader, how has my writing changed you?’
“In my life, Sheila’s friendship had the same effect as her writing. Every encounter was transforming. We entered a space where time stopped, where we could catch up over blueberry pancakes, where we reviewed episodes of What Not To Wear before a shopping tour of a favorite thrift store. That time extended into the future: there was always something to look forward to. We would have lunch at the Ritz Carlton and re-live the opulence of Northern California like little girls playing dress-up. We would have High Tea with berries and cream. We would talk about writing. There was no such thing as cancer and our mothers would never die. And there is still time. Time is, after all, a tortilla.
“Heart of gold and ice
I celebrate the writer
But I miss my friend.”
Senate President Jerzy Sawicki asked everyone to please observe a moment of silence in memory of our departed colleague, Sheila Schwartz.
Acceptance of the Agenda for the February 4, 2009 meeting was moved, seconded and approved.
Acceptance of the Minutes of the December 3, 2008 meeting was moved, seconded and approved.
Senate President Jerzy Sawicki reported that Senator Steve Duffy attended the January 9, 2009 meeting of the Ohio Faculty Council in Columbus. Professor Duffy provided a brief report to Senate President Sawicki. Senate President Sawicki reported that the major part of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of some governance issues in higher education. A number of points were discussed. Ohio State University proposed that faculty representation be implemented on the Board of Trustees. It turns out that many or most Ohio universities do not have faculty representation on the Board of Trustees like Cleveland State University does.
Senate President Sawicki noted that there was some discussion about the need for faculty representation on critical committees at the Board of Regents (OBOR). The problem is that no one on the Ohio Faculty Council is familiar with the structure of OBOR committees so a suggestion was made to create an Ohio Faculty Council ad hoc committee with the goal to report on the current committee structure at OBOR, investigate the pertinent academic law contained in the Ohio Revised Code, and recommend a feed-back route to the Chancellor from the Ohio Faculty Council. The committee would draft a proposal and its role would be described as a partnership in governance which seems hard to argue against.
Senate President Sawicki stated that the last item discussed in the meeting was related to a suggestion which was made that, when the Board of Regents forwards any new policy to university presidents, they also should send a copy to the Ohio Faculty Council. The policy would then be published on the Ohio Faculty Council web site. The OFC has a new web site within the web site of the Ohio Board of Regents and the URL and address can be found by typing in Google, Ohio Faculty Council. He added that this concluded the report of the Ohio Faculty Council meeting.
Finally, Senate President Sawicki noted that as almost everyone should know, Chancellor Fingerhut will visit our campus on Thursday and Friday of this week (February 5 and 6, 2009) and despite his tight schedule he will find a time to meet with the faculty. There will be a meeting with the faculty tomorrow between 4:15 P.M. and 4:45 P.M. in the Main Classroom, room 105. He strongly encouraged everyone to participate in this meeting and to be engaged with the Chancellor in the discussion about the budget and related issues.
Senate President Sawicki stated that the next item is a Presidential Search Update. He said that he was pleased to introduce Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ronald Weinberg who will provide an update on the presidential search. Chairman Weinberg is also the chair of the Presidential Search Committee. He noted that he is very grateful to Mr. Weinberg for accepting our invitation to visit the Senate and provide us a briefing from the Search Committee. He will provide a short update and will accept any questions.
Mr. Ronald Weinberg thanked everyone for inviting him to visit Senate and he said that he appreciated the opportunity to talk to Senate and update the Senate on what is being done on the Search Committee and, as Senate President Sawicki stated, he would be happy to take questions after his update.
Mr. Weinberg commented that some may have read about what is being done on the web site or may have participated in other meetings and briefings that he has done but he will go back to the beginning and talk a little bit about the goal. It is a very simple goal but he keeps repeating it over and over again because, in any group with a number of constituencies and viewpoints, he likes to try to keep everyone focused and the goal is really simple – to pick and select and recruit the best president for Cleveland State University that we can. He noted that he has been accused of preaching that a little bit at every one of their meetings but he keeps doing it because there is a purpose for doing it.
Mr. Weinberg noted that the process has begun with the establishment of a Search Committee. The Committee has approximately sixteen people, but one was added and there are now seventeen composed of members from the Cleveland State family and that was a significant decision that they made because in many search committees, especially for a public university, they reach to the outside and get community members and political leaders and all sorts of civically involved people. A decision was made to make this pretty much what we call an “internal affair.” There are representatives from the Alumni Association, from the Foundation, from the faculty, from the deans, trustees, and students. They attempted to provide a broad array of viewpoints coming together with the one goal of meeting and achieving that goal of picking the best president for Cleveland State University as a whole. He noted that there are two or maybe three faculty representatives depending on how you cast it. There originally were two faculty, then one member of the faculty received an additional assignment and so another faculty member was added. To get good representation to satisfy what is being done is very important to them and they are making every effort they can to do that.
Chairman Weinberg noted that now from the Search Committee has sprung the retention of a search advisor – the firm of Heidrick and Struggles which is a national search firm which does all sorts of searches but they have a special group or division that does a number of higher education searches. They are experienced in it, they have a great track record, even here in Ohio, and they operate nationally. They have done several searches – Ohio State was one of them and Cincinnati was another. Their reach is very, very broad and they are very knowledgeable and they are very helpful. The role in all of this is to act as an advisor to the Search Committee and ultimately the Board of Trustees. They begin by working to recruit and search for a list of suggested candidates as well as advising on the process and they are very experienced in the recruitment process. Just as much as this involves them hiring someone, it involves recruiting someone because good people always have lots of options.
Chairman Weinberg stated that the next part as they work through this will be the trustees. The ultimate decision and responsibility for hiring the next president rests with the trustees. So it is the search committee that recruits them, vets them and who will make a recommendation of what probably will be a short list – it won’t be one candidate, but it will be a very short list that the trustees will then satisfy themselves and select from.
Chairman Weinberg noted that one of the interesting things about this process is some of the challenges. When he was trying to set the pace and schedule of it, and the schedule they have talked about of having a new president in place at the time that President Schwartz has chosen to retire which is the end of this academic year, the question was how to pace themselves throughout doing this and stay on a schedule but at the same time have opportunities for the key moments of what they are doing. So, he has really talked a lot about moments of truth and there are two or three of them in a search like this. Probably the very first one was the position description. For anyone who hasn’t read it, it is posted on the web site under http://www.csuohio.edu/presidentialsearch. There is a description drafted by a subcommittee of the search committee that includes faculty and deans. It is a very good document. It is designed both for its audience being potential presidential candidates so it talks about the university, and then it contains what has been a continuing exercise in the search committee of talking about and vetting the various criteria that are in the position – bottom line, what do we want, what are we trying to find. For those who will or who have read it, there is one overarching statement which is broad enough to be somewhat obvious and that is a person of accomplishment and integrity and academic achievement. In addition, there are twelve more specific criteria that are in there and they reflect a whole range of the kinds of things that are important to the president of the university and to the university. So, as we go through those twelve, one of the challenges for the Search Committee is really, of course, how to deal with the normal aspiration of anybody going through this. You can get on the list, but just the qualities that would be incredible to have – the person is excellent in this and excellent in that – and you get a position that would be very difficult to find any human being who could do it. One of our Search Committee members described it as looking for God on a good day – it’s not easy.
Chairman Weinberg remarked that one of the interesting things that struck him about it as he went back and reviewed it just the other day, is there is a very heavy emphasis on the ability to relate to the outside world. Now, that’s not a reflection of the fact that we haven’t been relating to the outside world, but the interesting part about it, from his perspective, is that the university is now poised probably to take more advantage and be more assertive in that regard. Over the last seven years during President Schwartz’s tenure, there really were a lot of basic housekeeping things that needed to be taken care of, the easiest of which might be a sign on top of Rhodes Tower or just some of the fundamental things that have happened in the administration and the Enrollment Office and things like that. Now the good fortune we have right now is really to be able to stretch our wings and a lot of that comes through when you read the elements of the position description. Chairman Weinberg went on to say that it has been an interesting challenge. Of the twelve items in the position description, ten of them in one way or another relate to the outward looking mode of a president as well as the internal ability to lead and understand and work with a faculty with respect to what they do. So, all of those things are the people kinds of skills that get involved in this. He added that it is not to underestimate the important and really the hard core subjects that a president has to be able to do like budgeting, which of course, is particularly important in this climate and establishing modes of administration that keep things running and keeping us out of problems and all sorts of things like that. Mr. Weinberg noted that when we look at this, these twelve items, where the Search Committee is right now, form the basis of the lens through which we are examining the various candidates.
Mr. Weinberg noted that obviously he is not going to mention names right now, but the search firm, through examining a combination of submissions and nominations, and their own work in knowing higher education and making contacts to many, many universities all over, had a beginning base of twenty to twenty-five candidates. He is using the word candidates loosely because he understands that there is kind of an official status that someone has when they chose to elect themselves as a candidate and fill out certain forms, etc., but he is taking the liberty and just calling anybody they look at as a candidate. They sometimes call them persons of interest but that is sinister sounding too. They started with a base of twenty-five and it very quickly sorted itself into a list of twelve or thirteen candidates. When he says sorted itself, some of them, for personal reasons, may not have really been up to considering a move to Cleveland, others maybe after a little conversation, it didn’t seem like the right fit. He would say that of the twelve or thirteen people the Search Committee has been considering, ten or twelve of them could do the job; there would be no question that they could be a suitable president. But, his job here is not to pick a suitable president or someone who could do the job, but the good news is that they have had very interesting candidates who come from very interesting universities and have also been at really the final levels of some very, very interesting searches. He added that when someday everyone knows, they would be proud to know the places these people come from.
Mr. Weinberg reported that there are also non traditional candidates and that is always a controversial subject for faculty members and the like and he did want to say, he is very pleased that some of the biggest proponents for us not eliminating non traditional candidates have been members of the university staff, i.e., faculty and deans. He noted that part of the reason for that, he has been examining just that process because he has been intrigued with it, and it springs from the fact that everybody in the university here regards it as so important that they continue to build our reputation, our success, our reach, whether it’s the community, whether it’s in Columbus, whether it’s research dollars, any of the things that are important to taking us to the next step on many of the things, they do involve a reach and so the ability to do that qualifies non traditional candidates to be candidates. Now, he noted that in the discussions, one of the things that comes out very loud and clear is the importance that these candidates hold or their own credentials with respect to academia because that’s what this university is all about; that’s the product – it’s learning, it’s teaching, it’s writing, it’s researching and never for a minute does any of that get lost in the discussions on the part of the candidates no matter what their background and on the part of the Search Committee. So it’s encouraging because that is the product and the recipients of that product are the students and when all is said and done, that’s really what it is all about.
Chairman Weinberg stated that what they are really trying to do when looking at where all of this takes us, is they need to sort out this list of twelve or so criterion and then look at it and look at it through the lens of how the various candidates will be able to perform. Because, when all is said and done, it is not an examination just of credentials for their own sake, we have to be able to have a crystal ball looking into the future and that’s what makes a job like this so daunting. One of the recent presidents who didn’t quite work out so well, was the president of Harvard, he could not have had a better resume – who could have looked better on paper than Larry Summers, but it didn’t work and so it really highlights the trickiness of being able to predict the success of what a presidential candidate will be like. They are trying to do a lot of things. One, of course, is to begin with their history – what are the facts, what’s the history of how they have operated, what was the environment in which they did those things, and how do we think they will adapt to the future. Equally important, when something good happens, everybody says that success has a thousand fathers, and failure is an orphan and so it’s very interesting to try and delve into the things that people were involved in or where they had been involved as a bystander, or were they a leader that could replicate that success at this university. The committee is working with those things. He looks at some of the various elements of what management is all about and a big part of it is the outward looking kind of ability to have a vision, create a vision, sell a vision and relate that to the external communities that are involved. Equally important is the ability to integrate all of the elements of this university and get it working together toward that goal. Another less romantic part of it all is the budgeting, the administration, creating an organized university that can function and get its work done. Those are the various challenges that the committee is facing right now and at this moment in time, the Search Committee is beginning to narrow the list down and sort of look at a short list, at least he thinks they are. He is trying hard to keep it focused there – it is kind of his job as the taskmaster or chairman to keep everybody focused toward getting this list down to a shorter manageable proportion. The good news is that it is hard to do because they have a number of people who could all do the job and ten or twelve are very impressive. They are going to squeeze that list down to a short list and at that point they will begin to get the trustees involved because they will be providing the last step to it all.
Chairman Weinberg said that in the sense of a timetable, they are working on a good list of candidates and meeting with them. Some of them will want to be visible here on campus and are willing to be. One of the things the Search Committee has to be very sensitive to is many candidates don’t want to be visible because either it’s not known or they don’t want to be as viewed in a search if they don’t get to be the ultimate successor. To the extent the Search Committee can and because it’s both of interest to the academic community and of the candidates who are not afraid to do it, they want to be on campus and able to meet. The Search Committee is going to create that and as they work through and have a short list, the trustees will get more involved and he is hoping and really committed by the timetable to really be in the position to announce not only a president, but a president everyone can be proud of that will continue the great work that President Schwartz has done. At this point Mr. Weinberg stated that he would be happy to take any questions.
Senator Beth Cagan asked Mr. Weinberg what he means by non traditional candidates. Mr. Weinberg noted that anything short of a Ph.D. in a classic subject that is taught in a university, they are sort of calling them non traditional; whether that be a law degree, a business degree and those kinds of background. He added that there is a limit to how far a field they are going. Even the people he is referring to as non traditional have university involvement. They have not eliminated anybody per se but they haven’t had any guys who are just sort of pure business guys or pure politicians who haven’t had some connection with academia.
Senator Steve Duffy asked if there were any timelines. You are at a certain point in the game right now, but when is the game over – do you have any sense of that? Mr. Weinberg replied that the timeline he just mentioned a few minutes ago means that we will have a new president by the time that President Schwartz has chosen to step aside. He is hoping to beat that a little bit but he is not committing to it because either people or the newspapers will jump on it and then we will look like we are behind. But, he believes that in terms of where we are now, we are comfortably on schedule. Having said that, Mr. Weinberg noted that they also have candidates they are talking to who are finalists in other offers. There are other universities at the same place we are right now or maybe a little ahead. He said that he is really committed to not letting anyone get away because we didn’t get there. We may not choose them but he is keeping our pace up to the pace of anybody we are interested in.
Senator Rodger Govea wanted to get a little bit clearer on what’s going on with the plans. There are about twelve people now in this not short list and he is in discussion with them. After they finalize and get a short list, what are the specific plans? Are they all coming to campus, will they all be giving presentations, etc. and is a sort of public part of this anticipated? Mr. Weinberg responded that it is their goal with the short list that a couple of things will happen. The Search Committee and the trustees will be vetting them further – the Search Committee down to that short list level. There will be background checks done, referencing going on, and some of that is starting right now. He noted that the ultimate question that Senator Govea was asking right now is will the candidates be on campus and visible. To the extent that the Search Committee can, the candidates will be visible. If someone says that he/she can’t do that, the Search Committee will respect that but they also will be getting the reverse of someone saying, “I would like to meet with the senior staff; I would like to meet with some Deans,” and so to the extent the candidates want to do that, the Search Committee will do its best to make it possible.
Senate President Jerzy Sawicki inquired if there was any preference given to candidates from Ohio who know the area and the region. Mr. Weinberg replied that there was no preference given to candidates from Ohio. He noted that they are not looking at it in the sense that they happen to live in Ohio. On the other hand, they are giving thought to two things: the ability of the candidate to understand the State of Ohio and if they happen to have connections here or fluency in the region, that does weigh positive. The other thing that has happened is that some of the out-of-state candidates have hooks here of some sort – families here, they came from here, etc. In that sense, the Search Committee is but they are not saying, well if somebody doesn’t live here, they are not qualified because we have a number of candidates that would move back and were once in Ohio.
Senate President Sawicki asked if Mr. Weinberg would be able to say what percentage of these twelve candidates come from Ohio. Mr. Weinberg replied that he was unable to comment on that right now but he can say that a number of them have connections in Ohio – either they once lived in Ohio or they have a family here and there is significance to that which means that they are real candidates and we are not just stalking other searches.
Mr. Ronald Weinberg asked Senate President Sawicki why he had asked the question about candidates living in Ohio – he was curious. Senate President Sawicki responded that it is a very important item to know the region, the needs of the region, understanding the dynamics of greater Cleveland and that is why he is asking. If somebody comes from Arizona or Phoenix, it takes some time for anybody to synchronize the environment. Mr. Weinberg agreed that this was a valid point and from that perspective there is a lot of attention being paid to Ohio connections, routes, fluency with the governance and the people living here.
Senator Mark Tebeau was interested in the balancing act with the candidates’ desire not to make their candidacy public and he understands why from a candidate’s perspective that’s a good thing. But why from the university’s perspective is it good to honor that? He was wondering if in fact somebody isn’t willing to make their candidacy public, whether that might actually be a liability if they were hired. They just show up one day and the only people they had interacted with were the Search Committee…
Chairman Weinberg noted that Senator Tebeau had just pointed out something that is very important in their minds. Somehow or other, he doesn’t want to bring a candidate in here under stealth of night; that they don’t want to do. Now take a step back to where we are right now. We have a candidate, for example, where his university would like to discuss renewing his contract and they don’t know that this person is having other discussions. So out of respect to that person, we wouldn’t want to do anything that shows their hand at this point. He stated that the danger for CSU is not just altruism here, of course, but it’s normal respect in this kind of process. The second thing, is when he (Mr. Weinberg) starting doing his own kind of research and learning about conducting a search, so many of the universities that were doing this, one of their candidates would get exposed and would drop out so you don’t want to lose them by embarrassing them that way and then it costs us something. So, that’s the balance and that is why he answered the question as he did. He noted that the best thing for our Search Committee would be to be as open as possible. In his business activities, when he hires somebody, where decisions can be made a lot more autocratically, they sit down and talk to a bunch of people because it has all of the benefits while the questions are being asked. The Search Committee is going to try to do that and he can’t guarantee that in any time frame but they will sure do their best. There will not be a candidate who just appears. He has heard examples of where that happens and it is not good for anybody.
Senator Chieh-Chen Bowen commented that it doesn’t sound like there is a standardized process with this search. The Search Committee is treating each individual candidate with ultimate flexibility. It really depends on what a candidate can do and want to do. She said that she doesn’t know whether it will create problems. Mr. Weinberg asked Senator Bowen to explain what she meant. Senator Bowen noted that usually in a search process every candidate is treated in exactly the same way. Their information is gathered in exactly the same way so that oranges can be compared with oranges, but if every candidate is treated in a different way, than they are gathering different quantity and quality of information. Senator Bowen asked Mr. Weinberg how the final judgment will be made at the end.
Mr. Weinberg replied that it may not sound like that because they are talking about an area of respect and they are treating every candidate differently. If candidate A has announced that he/she is openly searching, then we will respect the wishes of this group and it is their wish to bring the candidate in. If candidate B says, “I really have to remain very confidential and if you can promise me that, I will talk to you” the Search Committee will respect that candidate. He went on to say that when it comes to getting data and trying to be as consistent – he noted that he would rather use the word “consistent” and not “standardized” because he really doesn’t agree that you can standardize. These are different people with different backgrounds and there are different things that the Committee wants to know about each one. One of the things that came up yesterday with respect to what Senator Bowen was saying, was the fact that when we have our second round of interviews, what are the things that we want to ask the different candidates. If we have a standard set of questions to ask each one – there was the sentiment saying, well we will just do that and just have a list of questions. But, what is relevant for candidate A, who may have extraordinary strengths in a given area we don’t need to ask more than that. We know what they have done; we can see it. But candidate A may have weakness in other areas so we need to drill into that to understand that candidate. And, candidate B could be a mirror image where we have to drill down. Mr. Weinberg noted that the ultimate goal here is to predict how that candidate, whoever is selected, will perform ultimately and the committee is trying to look into the future and understand how they will react. With every one of the candidates, there is no perfect candidate. There are some that are just incredible in some areas and some that are not as strong in those areas. So, the committee has to figure out how to educate the search committee and as a group of trustees as to how it will work. At the same time, yes, be as fair and objective as they can and level the playing field as much as they can.
Senate President Sawicki noted that we have an election of one faculty member to the University Faculty Affairs Committee to complete the unexpired term of Allan Silberger who is unable to serve. This term will expire on August 31, 2009. He noted that we have two nominees: Deborah Geier (Law) and Robert Krebs (BGES). Senate President Sawicki asked if there were any additional nominations from the floor. There were no additional nominations. Ballots were distributed.
Professor Deborah Geier (Law) was elected to complete the unexpired term on the University Faculty Affairs Committee. The term will expire on August 31, 2009.
Proposed Revision to the Personnel Policies and Bylaws, Section 8.2.3 Article III, D) Academic Steering Committee (Report No. 14, 2008-2009)
Dr. Gary Dyer, chair of the University Faculty Affairs Committee, noted that this is the second reading for the revision to the Personnel Policies and Bylaws concerning the membership of the Academic Steering Committee. This is taking the section where it states that “three members serve ex officio as voting members on the Academic Steering Committee by virtue of their positions as chairs of”, and revising it to read, “Four other faculty members serve ex officio as voting members on the Academic Steering Committee by virtue of their positions as chairs of the Budget and Finance Committee, the Admissions and Standards Committee, the University Curriculum Committee, and the University Faculty Affairs Committee. These four members serve only during their terms as chairs of their respective standing committees.”
Senate President Jerzy Sawicki noted that this is the second reading of the proposed revision to the Bylaws and asked members to vote. The proposed revision to the Bylaws, Section 8.2.3 Article III D) Academic Steering Committee was approved unanimously by voice vote.
VIII. Report of the President of the University
President Michael Schwartz noted that he had a couple of items to report on. The first item has to do with the proposed State Higher Education Budget. This is the roll out that comes in the Governor’s budget. That is now sent to the House and there will be another budget version of some kind that emerges from the House. It will then go to the Senate and the Senate will have a budget but it will probably be at some odds with what comes out of the House. Then there will be a House Senate Conference Committee and they will be behind closed doors and when they come out, it will be done and by the way, behind those closed doors they will also have to get the Governor to agree to this. So, all he could talk to Senate about today is what’s been rolled out of the Governor’s Office and what it means.
President Schwartz stated that everyone will probably see in one place or another that higher education’s budget went up by six percent. What that means is that the line item in the higher education budget that is called “State Share of Instruction”, which we all called for years, “Subsidy Line”, that this has gone up by about six percent. The question is where did the six percent come from? Well, it came in large part from cutting other stuff in the higher education budget, moving that money into the “State Share of Instruction Line” because that’s the basic support for the institution. It was felt by the Chancellor and by the Governor that maintaining that basic support was a very critical matter and it is. But, here is what happens fairly quickly. We get about $72.5 million currently out of that line and in 2010 it would go to $76.3 million so it would look like we would have gone up by $4.3 million. At the same time, there are two other lines in the budget called “Access Challenge” and “Success Challenge” which have been eliminated and the money from them has been rolled into the “State Share of Instruction” line. So we used to get about $500,000 in the “Access Challenge” and about $3.4 million in the “Success Challenge” which is about graduation rates, etc. but that’s gone. While we had apparently gained $4.3 million from this six percent, we lost about $3.7 million or a little more because of the “Challenges” and so our net increase is $581,000 and that is not six percent. President Schwartz continued stating that in the course of making up this budget, the Urban University Program that keeps a lot of first class programs going in the College of Urban Affairs, has been deleted entirely because the rural programs which affect three or four other institutions have all been deleted as well. But, we lost from the Urban University Program $1.4 million so our net loss is $819,000 just with those considerations.
President Schwartz noted a couple of other considerations. The formula for the distribution of funds from the State Share of Instruction is about to change as he has reported earlier. It will change to a formula based on performance measures. He happens to agree with this – he has been screaming about this for thirty years. Instead of how many butts you put in seats which makes no sense whatsoever, the question is what are the outcomes for those students that we really want to support and pay for in the state? There will be things like four-year and six-year graduation rates, number of courses completed, etc. that will all be calculated now into this new formula. We are unsure about the details of it. President Schwartz said that he is really concerned about it because if graduation rates fail to take into account the characteristics of the students who come to school here – and we have to get compared to the Miami’s of this world, we are going to get hurt real bad. Before this thing shakes out, we are going to see some problems. President Schwartz stated that our best guess is that we could lose $2.3 million on the basis of the formula change. Continuing he stated that our gross loss that we could be staring at is about $3.1 million. He commented that he doesn’t think that it will be that much but it could be close to that figure. President Schwartz noted that there is floating around the idea of a cap on the loss so that we would get 99% of what we had. If that happens, we would be in reasonably good shape. If the cap doesn’t happen, we have a real problem. Generally, he would say that the assembly does not like that kind of an idea. We will see as time goes on how it works. President Schwartz went on to say if that kicks in, we lose about $760,000 and add that to the UUP loss and we have still lost $2.1 million. That is the way this is going to shake out in one way or another.
President Schwartz stated that as everyone knows, as you look at your 401Ks or 403Bs or whatever it is you may have, we’ve lost $4 million in income we normally would budget and we have budgeted that kind of money from investments before, and it won’t be there and it won’t be there again for a long time. We are also guessing, but this is not too bad a guess, that we could be looking at an increase in health insurance costs of fifteen percent. We don’t know that yet, but that is a guess. We also know that we are going to get a rate increase for electric power. PUCO has not yet given us a signal about what that’s likely to be. We are guessing again that it could be twenty percent. We use a lot of electricity around here. Then we are facing a debt service payment for the first time on a project we have in the College of Science in the Science and Research building. So we have some problems. Some of these are temporary, some of these are structural and we will have to deal with them in one way or another, but he wanted everyone to know that with all of this guessing going on, nothing is resolved yet. He has a fairly hard freeze on hiring, travel, use of consultants, and all the usual suspects – all of the things we usually have to do. These kinds of numbers may call for much more than that and it may mean that some of the vacant positions absolutely will not be filled. We will take the money out of those lines but we will leave the lines in place for better days. We will take the money out of the lines in order to meet whatever the problem is here.
President Michael Schwartz commented that this is what’s going on right now. As this goes along, he will report back to Senate again, but he must stress that this is just for openers and where this will go he doesn’t know. Yesterday in Columbus, everybody who had a cut in one place or another had lobbyists that looked liked locusts. It was a really unbelievable sight. We had a couple of lobbyists down in Columbus and the President of Ohio University was down there because of the rural program. There were lots and lots of very concerned people. And, when all is said and done, we did a lot better than most other state agencies. This is what happens when you’re a most favorite nation. You can imagine what happens to others that aren’t quite so favorable.
At this point, President Schwartz offered to respond to questions.
Senator Stephen Duffy agreed obviously the loss of the UUP program will affect Urban. He then asked President Schwartz what the other two challenge programs affect. President Schwartz responded, “The whole place because they are part of the basic funding for the institution. We don’t have to use them for specific programs so it’s not like the UUP.” Senator Duffy commented that it is then just a pot of money that they gave us to spend in any way we want. President Schwartz said, “Yes, to budget any way we want.” He noted that there was some real money around here to protect the State Share of Instruction Line which is the critical one. He added that he would do that too. It’s the basic support. Nobody’s going to walk away from this budget process unscathed – nobody.
Senator Mark Tebeau commented that he has been listening on the radio concerning this talk about tuition increases and that they are being frozen to 2009 and asked, in 2010 would the university consider raising tuition? President Schwartz replied that the governor’s proposal is that next year, which is FY 10, there would be no increase from us and none from the community colleges and the branch campuses and the following year, there would be no increase for community colleges and the branch campuses and the universities might float maybe as much as 3.5%. The six percent figure, by the way, was supposed to compensate for the fact that we didn’t have a tuition increase. He added that this was the motive but tuition increases in the state, to be perfectly candid about it, have done the economy of Ohio as much damage as many things that he can think of because it has discouraged talent development from young people that we need and it has been public policy in Ohio until this governor came to power – to balance the budget on the back of higher education. He’s not doing that and in fact he sees it and understands it very clearly as an investment in opportunity for the future. Maybe a lot more years out than he has as governor, but it’s a wise kind of thing that he is trying to achieve. In the meantime, the universities are going to have to find ways to take very, very thin budgets to begin with and to make them even thinner.
Senator Tebeau asked if the one percent rise in student fees compensates for one percent loss in the state budget. President Schwartz replied that it does not. A one percent in student fees is roughly $1 million.
Senator Andrew Gross commented that for decades in this body and elsewhere he has hammered about comparative data and that some of it gets published in our Fact Book and others appeared in the Chronicle, and the latest issue of which is just off the press shows us as 566 out of 791 rankings in endowments. But, he noted that this is not where he is going. He asked President Schwartz if during the years he has been here, does he have a sense that the ratio of administrative staff to faculty here has stayed stable, declined, or has grown especially compared to other institutions. President Michael Schwartz commented that he can only compare from the place he came from and he would never say that they were fat but, we are pretty thin.
Senator David Larson wondered if President Schwartz had any idea of when the details of the subsidy formula will be known so that he will know just how bad a hit we are going to take. President Schwartz replied that he is dying to know the answer to that himself. He thinks that we are getting a pretty good sense of what the variables will be but what they will be applied to, right now, he doesn’t know.
Dr. Gitanjali Kaul noted that different models have been looked at. There are about ten models and the Regents have to commit to one.
President Schwartz said that it is perfectly possible at the same time because he has heard this story too that they will apply the formula to a percentage of the total but not to all of it.
Senator Duffy inquired what the Regents will do with the rest of it. President Schwartz said that they would probably portion it out on the basis of enrollment. He added that he just doesn’t know.
Senator Rodger Govea commented, with respect to the governor’s proposal, what he is interested in is actually Cleveland State’s position relative to the rest of the other state institutions. He wondered if President Schwartz would say that our position relative to them has gotten better, gotten worse, stayed about the same. President Schwartz replied that without knowing what our position is, it’s kind of tough. He would say that in one respect, we are the same as all the other institutions and that is that none of us knows what the hell is going on. It is hard to say, but he has been around long enough to know that in most of these circumstances the rich get richer. So, he will be watching that with a keen eye.
Finally, President Schwartz stated that he is sure that everyone has read in the popular press about the Wright Center and wants to know what is going on in the university and what has happened. He noted that many are working diligently day and night to get a proposal down to the Department of Development by February 17th that looks intelligently at how you can run one of these great big projects and it is felt that we will be able to do that, and he knows we have to do it because the Plain Dealer has already made a public records request for the document we are going to send down there. We had problems with the leadership with the project and we had a couple of directors who didn’t. While that was going on, we had a certain economic collapse so some of the industry partners in this thing went out of business, a couple of them went out of state, one major partner decided that the person who signed on for some money didn’t have the authority to do that, and we had one of our university partners tell us that the person who signed on for their share shouldn’t have signed on. President Schwartz indicated that was their problem and not ours but that is not the way it works. We had a lot going on here that was really unhappy. Frankly, we set up the proposal down there in the first place that probably over promised the things that we can’t deliver. In any case, the fact of the matter is that he didn’t see it coming. If it happens on his watch, he takes full responsibility for it and everything will be done to repair it but there will be no finger pointing here – it’s pointless stuff. The fact of the matter is he didn’t see it, it was his job to see it, and it happened. President Schwartz stated that in eight years he screwed up a little bit here and there but nothing quite like this one so if you are going to do it, do it right. He apologized to his colleagues for the embarrassment that this has caused everyone and said we will get it right as quickly as we can.
There being no further business, Senate President Jerzy Sawicki asked for a motion to adjourn. It was moved, seconded and the meeting adjourned at 4:15 P.M.
Heidi H. Meier
Faculty Senate Secretary