Annual Report of the University Committee
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Charles F. Matter, Chair
The most enduring focus of the University Committees work over the past year was addressing the several compensation problems faced by the faculty. In fact we brought our first proposal to this body a year ago. As we all learned, this is a complex issue fraught with knots that are nearly impossible to untie. After many hours of discussion with senators and others, and several revisions of our proposal we produced the proposal this body endorsed at its last meeting of 1998-1999. Your vote was very significant to us. Whether the proposal you endorsed and we forwarded to the Chancellor will have a significant impact on faculty compensation is yet to be seen.
Another major focus of the committees work was the exciting prospect of reconceptualizing the expression of our core values as a University. For us the discussion began on a very snowy night in January when the committee met with the Chancellor for an open discussion about the university. Although the ideas we discussed that night were not fully formed and in significant ways different from those the Task Force has developed, there is a clear link between them for us. Following that meeting, the committee spent many hours discussing the future of the University and the ideas that could shape it. The conversation became much broader in the Spring when the Chancellor provoked others to reexamine the university and what it could be. We spent a substantial amount of time discussing the concept of a compelling idea that could shape the future of the university. We were also very involved in the formation of the task force and two of our members served on it.
Another distinctive aspect of the committees work this year grew out of our contact with the Faculty Representatives to the UW-System from other UW campuses. Through them we learned that the nearly independent relationship here between the University Committee and the other major committees (e.g., Personnel Council, Academic Affairs Council, etc.) is not the norm on other campuses. It is often the case that such bodies regularly report to and have discussions with the equivalents of our University Committee and Faculty Senate. To explore this approach, we arranged to meet with many of the major committees (AAC, Personnel Council, Committee of Six Full Professors, Research Council, Faculty Development Council) and discuss the issues of greatest concern to those groups. Since these discussions were very informative on both sides, the University Committee concluded that it should maintain regular communication with these committees.
A major task of the committee was the Senior Administrators Performance Survey process. We spent many hours reviewing the results of the survey and meeting with the administrators to discuss those results.
As is conventional for the University Committee, we reviewed and responded to a myriad of reports and proposals from a diversity of sources on campus. Included among these were the proposed code change for Interdisciplinary Chairs, the proposal to Integrate four committees into the Student Affairs Committee, the proposal of the Task Force on Student Evaluation of Instruction and Courses, the UW-Green Bay Diversity Plan 2008, the report entitled "Campus Life for the 21st Century", and the FAIRNIS (Functional Analysis and Institutional Review of Non-Instructional Support) report.
The committee also requested other groups to develop proposals to address issues of concern to the faculty. In response to faculty concerns about the rights of those who develop curricular material for use on the internet, the University Committee established an ad hoc group consisting of Professor Clampitt, Provost Cohen, Professor Galaty and University Counsel Spielmann to develop a draft policy relating to ownership, use and control of copyrightable materials. The document they submitted was well received by the committee. It would lay a good foundation for protecting intellectual freedom and the rights of the faculty. The committee also requested that the General Education Committee examine concerns expressed by unit leaders, among others, regarding academic standards and the potentially conflicting expectations of faculty and students. The GEC submitted a thoughtful preliminary response, and will continue to explore these issues in the coming academic year.