|February 12, 1975||April 9, 1975||
August 5, 1975
August 12, 1975
The role of the Faculty Senate Budget Committee is 1) to provide for campus-wide faculty input into the University budgeting process, 2) to encourage the use of faculty expertise in budget matters, 3) to inform the faculty, through the Senate, concerning budget matters. Both long range and short term aspects of its role will receive the Committee's attention. Specifically, the Committee will continually study budget priorities, THEC formulas, and system-campus fiscal relationships. The primary concern will be policy, along the above guidelines; the Committee is not expected to become involved in the detailed and comprehensive investigations necessary as a basis for budget decisions.If the Senate will approve this report, and in particular item 2) above, the Budget Committee will continue its effective work. Probably, when bylaws changes are suggested at a Spring meeting the Senate may wish to make the Budget Committee one of its Standing Committees.
First, that the Senate approve item 2) above, concerning the charge to the Budget Committee.Respectfully submitted,
Second, that the Senate affirm the principle of "internal cross-cultural enrichment", as defined in item 5) above.
1. Revision of its Master Plan for Higher Education is now being studied by .the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The faculties of the several universities and colleges of Tennessee have been asked for criticisms and suggestions as to the academic aspects of the Plan, and our Senate Committee on Educational Policy was asked by the Executive Committee, at the Chancellor's request, to gather information for transmittal to the THEC. Walter Herndon, Chairman of the Educational Policy Committee, collected substantial material from several Senate Committees and Councils. We gratefully approved Walter's efforts, and I have sent the documents (some 21 pages) to Dr. Stovall, Associate Director for Academic Affairs, the THEC. I expressed the hope that our suggestions for a revised Master Plan would be seriously considered.A fourth item, the matter of faculty action in planning for financial emergency, was discussed at some length. The members present agreed in principle that it is better to plan for an emergency that may not come than to be faced with an emergency and no plan. While, obviously, the Administration is giving much thought and care to budgetary problems (witness the Chancellor's memorandum "to the employees" dated March 6), the educational impact of financial exigency is directly the concern of the faculty. We recognized this concern by deciding to form an ad hoc Faculty Committee on Financial Exigency. The Committee on Committees will select the members and inform the Executive Committee and the Senate. We believe the ad hoc Committee should be relatively large, widely based, representative of tenured and non-tenured faculty, and with both administrative and student membership. Its duty will be 1) to develop procedures by which faculty can examine the educational impact of proposed reduction in programs or personnel, and 2) to initiate measures, such as faculty development, multi-disciplinary activities, etc. which can improve educational output while preserving faculty-student morale. The Committee on Committees will welcome suggestions as to membership in the ad hoc Committee. The latter, when formed, will welcome suggestions as to how its activities can be most effective.
2. I proposed to the Executive Committee that we sponsor a by-laws change, to remove the prohibition against immediate reelection to the Senate. Since my proposal met with almost every kind of response--from shock to apathy?--I withdrew it! Perhaps the time will come when faculty will campaign for Senate seats, "old guard" members will constantly face insurgent challenge, and the need to reshuffle the Senate through forced ineligibility rules ("partial disenfranchisement of the voters") will have evaporated. That time has not come.
3. Ed Pawlak's contribution to the press release on Faculty Salaries and Service was enthusiastically accepted, and he and I were requested to combine his statement with the data earlier compiled by Norm Dittrich's Budget Committee. The Public Relations people are now handling the result.
On August 5, we met with the Chancellor, Vice President Johnson, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Mays, in the Chancellor's conference room. The agenda concerned the Administration's response to two Senate resolutions, the resolution of May 12 requesting the System Self Study Committee to examine the University By-Laws and make recommendations for change if desirable, and the July 21 resolutions prepared by the Fringe Benefits Committee requesting that the Administration obtain a ruling from the Attorney General on the question of the contractual significance of matter in the Faculty Handbook concerning gratuities.2. Financial Exigency: report of that Committee, Approved by the Executive Committee at its Meeting August 12
Regarding the By-Laws resolution, Joe Johnson felt that they were not within the charge of the System Self Study Committee. Questions from the Executive Committee, however, showed that the members believe that the system, especially the relationships between campus officers and their system counterparts, cannot be understood without reference to the By-Laws, which are admittedly inconsistent in some ways with present System-Campus realities. The Executive Committee therefore recommends that the Senate reaffirm its desire to have the Self Study Committee look into the By-Laws and make appropriate suggestions for change. We recognize that the Self Study Committee can do no more than suggest, and that By-Laws changes can be made only by the Board of Trustees. We think the faculty and administration should assist in suggesting changes if they are needed.
Regarding the gratuities issue, Joe Johnson stated that the administration had made strenuous efforts to persuade the Commissioner of Finance and Administration to reverse his determination that athletic ticket and book discounts are gratuities under the bill denying gratuities to state employees unless parts of a written contract. (The bill, after banning gratuities, and excepting contractual, gratuities, adds "and as determined by the Commissioner", a phrase that seems to imply that the Commissioner has discretion as to which defined gratuities can be withheld or granted.) The arguments which had been used by the Administration seemed very convincing upon review but were not accepted by the Commissioner. When questioned specifically if the Administration had asked, or intends to ask, for a ruling on the legality of the Commissioner's decision, the Vice President replied that he had not, and that he believed getting such a ruling, even if favorable, would be counter-productive at State levels. The Committee agreed with the opinion of the Vice President, after hearing him explain it. Both the Chancellor and Vice President Johnson stated to the Committee that faculty members should become more active politically in presenting and defending our professional interests with the legislators. We report this to the Senate and through you to the faculty as a significant and positive response to the Senate's resolution on gratuities. While the immediate outcome of individual or group lobbying by the faculty may not be successful encouragement of this kind of action by the Administration has long range potentiality. The faculty can be trusted to use its political efforts with intelligence, of course; the Senate, informed of issues that affect the faculty, can continue to represent and stimulate.
The report was prepared by the Steering Committee of the F.E.C. at the Committee's request. It contains the items the full Committee had agreed upon, and only slight modification had to be made before the Executive Committee approved the report. It has been distributed at the current meeting.3. The Executive Committee's Unfinished Business
The Senate should understand that the F.E.C. is a unique body, being a faculty group which represents all the division of the Knoxville campus. Its function is to observe what is happening as a result of real or potential fiscal emergency, to encourage faculty input into priority decisions at division levels, to assist the Senate Budget Committee in advising the Chancellor on broad budgetary problems, and to aid the Senate Committee on Educational Policy in considering the efficiency of long term educational goals.
We present the Committee's statement for your information, hoping that the faculty will support and use this arm of the Senate.
It will probably study the problem of proliferation of Ph.D. programs statewide. It will look into the projected computerization of information about the faculty, a means of increasing the efficiency of information retrieval, it is claimed, but also a means of dehumanizing individuals, it is feared. The plan may be implemented, one hears, well before 1984. The Committee may ask the By-Laws Committee of the Senate to take a more active role in the coming year than it did in 74-5; perhaps the new Senate will ask for a critical study of the by-laws, now that nearly three years of trial have elapsed.4. The End
This report closes with thanks and praise from the chairperson to the members of the Executive Committee. Your committee has worked hard and in the main successfully to represent the Senate and to strengthen the faculty's role in university government. The members whose term expires this summer will be missed. They are the University Councilors, Norm Dittrich, Forest Lacey, and Luther Keller, the retiring Vice President, Fred Holly, regular members, Don Williams and Otis Stephens, and the student representatives (who were replaced last spring but whose interest in senate affairs should be acclaimed) Chris Dorian and Bob Horning.