Executive Committee Meeting
Boulder Faculty Assembly
February 16, 2004
Barbara Bintliff, BFA Chair
Greg Carey, Secretary
Stein Sture, Vice Chair
Mel Branch, BFA Faculty Affairs Committee Chair
Cathy Comstock, BFA AAP Committee Chair
Andy Cowell, BFA Academic Technology Committee Chair
Bob Hohlfelder, Budget and Planning Committee Chair
Mike Preston, BFA Intercollegiate Athletics Cmte Chair
Bill Waite, Academic Affairs Committee
Martin Walter, BFA Student Affairs Cmte Chair
Bill Kaempfer, Associate Provost and VC for Budget and Planning
Stephanie Martin, UGGS/UCSU Legislative Council
Robert Davis, Engineering College Dean
Ric Porreca, Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer
William Kaempfer, Associate Vice Chancellor
Phil DiStefano, Provost
Jefferson Dodge, Silver & Gold Record
Dipankar Chakravarti, Minority Affairs Committee Chair
Mark Dubin, BFA Libraries Committee Chair
David Guenther, BFA Administrative Services Committee Chair
Clayton Lewis, Faculty Compensation and Benefits Cmte Chair
Marguerite Moritz, BFA GLB Affairs Committee Chair
Tom Mayer, Communications Committee Chair
Uriel Nauenberg, former BFA Chair
Jerry Peterson, At-Large Board Member
Gail Ramsberger, Arts and Sciences Council Chair
Lori Seward, BFA Committee on Women Chair
Rodney Taylor, At-Large Board Member
A meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly Executive Committee was held on Monday, February 16, 2004, in UMC room 425. Chair Barbara Bintliff presided. The meeting convened at 3:30 p.m. and adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
There were no minutes to be approved.
B. Chair’s Report
Bintliff announced that one of the BFA committees has asked about sponsorship of campus activities. Last year the BFA passed a resolution stating that it will not co-sponsor groups on campus as it would entail choosing between activities but nothing was stated regarding committee sponsorship. Bintliff suggested the Executive Committee discuss this question in order to clarify the intentions of the BFA at the March 1 meeting in advance of the March 4Assembly meeting. In the meantime she encouraged everyone to consider basic guidelines for committees as to meeting patterns, how best to spend money, as well as the issue of group sponsorship.
Bintliff would be meeting with the Council of Deans on Tuesday, February 17, 2004, to discuss the importance of faculty service and she thanked everyone for suggestions and examples to be used in the discussion.
The Chair has had discussions with the Provost and Chancellor recently and suggested that they both release statements supporting academic freedom, and she believes the Chancellor will do so this week as he understands the importance of support for faculty and academic freedom. Bintliff has also asked that legal counsel communicate the basic provisions of FERPA which state that faculty and staff may not discuss an individual student’s performance. Cowell asked if the clarifying the parameters of FERPA was in response to concern that faculty might speak about an individual student’s performance in the context of academic freedom and Bintiff replied in the affirmative.
C. Special Reports
Chair Bintliff began by welcoming Robert Davis, Boulder campus representative to the steering committee considering consolidation of the UCD-HSC campuses, Ric Porreca, who is on the administration and finance study group, and William Kaempfer of the academic and student affairs study group.
Davis began by stating the James Shore chairs the consolidation steering committee he is currently serving on which has been charged to focus on whether consolidation is economically feasible. Additional questions will address whether consolidation is in the best interests of the students , faculty and staff of the two campuses and whether it will benefit the community, state, and nation. The group will also investigate whether consolidation will create a great urban research university which is one of the major goals behind the effort, and will it “do no harm” or will resources be reallocated away from the Boulder campus as a result. The three committee meetings held so far have been primarily focused on introductions and procedures and a review of the original findings of the group that studied consolidation initially, as well as presentations by hired feasibility study consultants Price-Waterhouse-Cooper. The committee plans to conduct phone interviews with persons at three peer institutions—the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of California at San Diego—which have undergone or are considering a consolidation and the ways they resemble or differ from our institution. The steering committee has had preliminary reports from the two study groups represented here. Complete reports are expected in the coming months and these will enable the steering committee to make a recommendation to President Hoffman.
Davis’ initial impression is that no major roadblocks to consolidation have been raised in the initial reports received. It also appears that the majority of the members of the committees are embracing consolidation as a feasible thing to do. No formal vote or discussion has been carried out and most people are concerned with the issues of implementation of consolidation rather than its feasibility or reasonableness. There are only two members of his committee who are not Denver or HSC faculty or staff. His personal observation, which echoes comments made by Chancellor Byyny, is that it will be costly to have this consolidated university become a great urban research university, one of the major goals of the process. UCD does not have the high level of research that the Boulder or HSC campuses do, so in order to attract research faculty start up packages and salary levels will have to be increased. Laboratories needed for research are also a costly concern. If we assume that the state legislature will not provide additional funding and a major diversion of funding from either the Boulder or Denver campuses is not possible, the question of how to fund this urban research university may mean a significant increase in tuition over time or increasing the number of out-of-state students over instate students, which would also mean the need for on campus dormitories at yet another additional cost.
Hohlfelder asked whether the desirability of the proposed merger has ever been discussed thoroughly. Feasibility is one thing and desirability is another, he continued, but in light of the current budget situation it seems the wrong time to be considering consolidation. Davis answered that the desirability was investigated by the earlier task force and the current task force is examining feasibility questions which concern any major roadblocks that would prevent the consolidation process from moving forward, whereas earlier questions focused on desirability. Hohlfelder asked if the question concerning the uncertainty of our finances as an institution has been raised or considered to be a “roadblock.” Davis replied that the question has not been raised by the consolidation committee. Comstock asked whether it is essential that the consolidation result in a high level institution of research and whether students have been polled as to whether they want a tuition increase. Davis did not know if surveys of students and parents had been conducted on the higher tuition issue, but believed that one of the stated major goals and fundamental aim of the process is the plan to create a major research university. Sture asked whether Price Waterhouse Cooper might recommend that UCB and Health Sciences merge as the commuting distance between UCD and HSC and between UCB and HSC is about the same. Davis stated that this possibility was not on the table to his knowledge. Branch asked when the committee can be expected to make a decision and what the next steps in the process were. Davis believes his committee is to meet five times or through March, and the February and March meetings will be spent receiving reports from the two study groups, prompting the need for additional meetings which would take the committee into April. He imagined that if the answer to desirability has already been established and the answer to the question of feasibility is positive that the next steps and stages would involve the practical implementation of the consolidation process.
Walter stated that the CCHE has never been in favor of duplication of activities over campuses and asked whether a list of what the great urban university activities would be doing is available. Davis stated that he had prepared a list of possible dangers for the Boulder campus or what we should be concerned about in addition to the possible diversion of state funding, and that a marking out of “territory” was one concern. Bintliff had heard that a new task force had been created to consider research without representation from UCB. Kaempfer stated that his group added graduate school to the discussion but not research and he understood there was a third task force. Porreca added that his subcommittee will examine a report based on feasibility with five questions, the first being is there obstacles to consolidation that can’t be overcome. Secondly, is it feasible to combine operational areas, is it feasible to get a single set of policies and procedures, is there an assessment of impacts and opportunities as the process to consolidate the two campuses begins, and what recommendations could be made if an implementation working group were to begin to move the process forward. Nine of the eleven members of Porreca’s study group are either from UCD or HSC with an additional group of twenty-eight staff from the President’s office, HSC and UCD who are operational people. Porreca’s group is looking at six functional areas--accounting and finance, budgeting, facilities management, human resources, information technology, and institutional research--in terms of compatibilities and opportunities to consolidate. Kaempfer reported that his task force had a similar committee structure and the same questions were put to his faculty and student affairs group. Investigative teams are looking into student affairs, faculty affairs, diversity, and library technology. He said he was impressed with the incredibly detailed reports coming back to the task force which looked at such complex issues as consolidation’s impact on student health care.
Cowell stated that if the consolidation plan is to create two world-class universities that it will not serve the interests of the Boulder campus, the citizens of Colorado, or the current students. He added that the BFA should hear much more on the subject, and Bintliff assured him that President Hoffman is scheduled for the March 15 meeting at which time these specific questions could be raised. Hohlfelder asked if any group has been charged with the fiscal feasibility of taking two disparate groups to make one great university. Davis replied that the two study groups are looking at some of the details of merging various systems which could result in some savings overall, but that to raise the level of the university to attract world-class research faculty and create new facilities would of course be costly. Hohlfelder asked if anyone was looking at this, and Davis said it does not seem to be a major focus. Branch said that while it may be feasible to create a merger it is unequivocally not feasible in our current fiscal climate to create another world class university, and added that if the merger does go through we will have essentially two institutions sharing administrative details. Davis responded by saying if UCB wanted to elevate its faculty and its research to world class status it would be faced with the same cost requirements whether or not it consolidated with the Health Sciences Center. In summary, the Chair stated that the Boulder campus continues to have significant concerns about the consolidation of the two campuses and urges that this thorough and in-depth study be completed with particular focus on the true and immediate costs considering the State of Colorado’s financial situation. Davis asked if there was a specific concern he could take back to his committee. Carey asked when a dollar amount would be ready and Davis replied that he didn’t think a figure would ever be available. Comstock was concerned that the students were not being asked about tuition hikes and Davis agreed to bring that back to his committee.
The Chair thanked Davis, Porreca and Kaempfer for taking the time to discuss the consolidation process with the BFA and proposed another discussion on the topic for the future after the BFA has discussed its concerns with President Hoffman.
D. Committee Reports
At this juncture the regular meeting adjourned. Provost DiStefano met with the Executive Committee to review and discuss the Administrator Appraisal Committee Report on Leeds School of Business Dean Steven Manaster.
E. Next Meeting
The next regular meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly Executive Committee will be Monday, March 1, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in UMC room 425. Kent Zimmerman will be the guest presenter.