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May 17, 2019

FSU Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

May 17, 2019

Members Present: Marlene Kim; Steve Striffler; Jessica Holden; Joseph Brown; Caroline Coscia; Jeff Melnick; Ellen Frank; Monique Fuguet; Joe Ramsey; Peggy Walsh

Others Present: Lorenzo Nencioli, FSU Membership Coordinator; Heather LaPenn; MTA Consultant; Cat Mazza, TT Grievance Officer; Sylvia Mignon, Ex Com member elect

  1. Approval of the agenda: Motion to approve agenda. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.
  2. Approval of the minutes: Motion to approve 4/25/19 Ex Com minutes. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

Motion to approve 4/28/19 Ex Com e-vote on faculty of color report. Friendly amendment to change language to ‘pass by majority vote’ rather than ‘the votes were 8 in favor; 0 opposed; 5 members did not vote’.  Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

Motion to approve 5/9/19 FSU Annual Meeting minutes. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

   3.   JCC Membership, 19-20: Motion to appoint Ellen Frank, Marlene Kim, Caroline Coscia, and Tim Sieber as FSU members to the JCC for 19-20. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

   4.  Dan Clawson donation:   Motion to wait until Fall 19 before giving a donation (will wait to see what Dan Clawson’s family announces regarding  donations). Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  5.  Grievance Officer report:  Ellen Frank: The Grievance Committee would like to appoint 2 NTT as grievance officers- Paul Dyson, English and Glover Martin, Biology. We would like to re-allocate $2K to the FSU FY20 budget for FSU grievance officers.

Discussion of FSU grievance officer contractual course release (CLR), FSU grievance officer stipend, whether to apply CLR to TT or NTT grievance officer, fairness in stipends/CLR’s for TT versus NTT grievance officers.

Motion to appoint Paul Dyson and Glover Martin as FSU NTT grievance officers for 2019-20, and deal with the broader stipend question at another time. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously. Motion to re-allocate $2K to the FSU FY20 budget for FSU NTT grievance officers that include Ellen, Paul Dyson and Glover Martin. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

   6.  Background checks for faculty: Discussion of Admin proposal on background checks for unit members. Question: are marijuana convictions checked? Motion that Admin ask what exactly is covered in the background check when benefited member is hired before agreeing to Admin proposal. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

   7.  Faculty of Color report: Follow up: Steve S: I suggest that as an immediate step we ask Admin now for any information they have on gender and race questions as outlined in items #1-3 in the Initiatives section of the faculty of color report. I suggest that Tim Sieber, who is on the FSU Diversity Subcommittee, be included in all emails on this issue. Once the information is requested,I suggest we inform someone from the group of faculty who drafted the report.

Discussion of report and FSU Ex Com’s next steps.

Motion to have FSU request information outlined in items #1-3 in faculty of color report. Motion seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

Discussion of diversity training (#5 in faculty of color report) and whether or not it should be mandatory. Heather: UMA has a required diversity training. I will check with MSP re the content.

   8.  Procedures report (contact FSU office for documents):   Discussion of draft documents, need to have another Ex Com meeting to discuss Committee’s suggestions in more detail. Suggestion made to separate Ex Com planning meeting from Ex Com training sessions.

   9.  Len Fishman request:  Follow up on Centers and Institutes:  Motion to adopt resolution (see below). Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  10.  FSU Retreat: Monique, Caroline, Ellen, Joe Brown (with Marlene in the loop) agree to plan Retreat. Aiming for either Friday 6/7/19 or Fri 6/14/19.

  11.  Meeting frequency for next academic year: Ex Com: twice a month will work.

  12.  Shorelight: Marlene: I will see if Garrett Smith of Admin can give a presentation on this.

  13. Progressive Dues Committee Report (contact FSU office for copy): Discussion of Treasurer’s role in costing out proposals in report. Noted that Treasurer will not cost out items, committee will do so.

Resolution of FSU Executive Committee Regarding Centers and Institutes

Whereas the Provost, facing widespread opposition to the University’s plan to defund many centers and institutes (C&Is) over a 5-year period (the “glide path”), appointed a taskforce on Nov. 30, 2018, to make recommendations to her about the future of C&Is, including ways to help them increase external funding; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce was composed of fourteen members, including five members from University administration (including the Provost’s office), four faculty, and five representatives of C&Is; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce, over a three-month period, investigated best practices at peer institutions, conducted numerous listening sessions for stakeholders (students, faculty, staff and communities served by C&Is), fielded an on-line web survey and met ten times to deliberate on recommendations; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce, in its report to the Provost submitted on April 3, 2019, found that UMass Boston’s C&Is are “important catalysts to [the] culture of collaboration, and each play a different but integral role in encouraging innovative scholarship, providing service to society, and strengthening the University’s performance as a nationally recognized research university”; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce also found that C&Is are “closely linked to the unique mission of UMass Boston and its strong social justice and human rights perspectives as well as the many and diverse racial and ethnic communities and cultures represented in its student body and adjoining communities of Greater Boston, the state, nationally and internationally”; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce further found that the glide path undermined the University’s stated objective to help C&Is increase funding—by depriving them of the very resources necessary to secure additional external funding; and

Whereas, among its many recommendations, the Provost’s Taskforce—including senior members of the Provost’s office—unanimously recommended that the glide path be frozen; and

Whereas, the Provost summarily rejected this recommendation; and  

Whereas, the Provost’s decision would cripple the C&Is and weaken the University’s ability to fulfill its complex mission of teaching, community engaged public service and research, at the same doing damage to its reputation in Boston, across the state, and nationally; and

Whereas, the consequences of the Provost’s decision will also have dire consequences for the students, staff, and faculty of our University; now, therefore, be it

Resolved that the Executive Committee of the FSU:

  1. commends the Provost’s Taskforce for its comprehensive and objective Report of Taskforce on Centers and Institutes, submitted to the Provost on Apr. 3, 2019; and 
  2. urges the Provost to accept all the recommendations in that Report which were made unanimously by the Taskforce she appointed, and which included senior members of her own staff; and
  3. more specifically urges the Provost to accept recommendation #3 of the Report, that the glide path for C&Is be frozen.