Office of the Vice President

for Administration
Professional Advisory Council

Minutes March 3, 2010

The meeting was convened at 2:30 p.m. by Mr. Pusecker.

PAC members present were:

Paul Puseker   #1   Robert Urian #08
Robin Buccos #3   Lisa Gensel for Ian Janssen #10
Robin Crawford #4   Derek Dolby #11
Gerald Hendricks #05   Suanne Stanley #12
Glen Loller #6   Joan Stock #13
      Nancy Smallwood #14

Excused:  Charles Garbini #2, Debbie Hill #07, Allison Walters #09
Others Present: Tom LaPenta, Chris Ulrich

Minutes for the January meeting were discussed and accepted as written.

Amendment to November 11, 2009 minutes. Allison Walters was not present and excused due to maternity leave. She was replaced by Catherine Matthews.

Old Business

Constituent Concerns

  1. A constituent asked if WSFS will no longer be providing banking services on campus.  PNC will, in fact, provide banking services at UD.
  2. Constituents have expressed concerns about unsightly concrete barriers in parking lots near Student Health, the Library and elsewhere.  Bill Fitzpatrick, Director, Supporting Services, indicated that damage to the barriers from the snowstorms has been addressed.  However, the barriers may remain for a period of time.
  3. Same-sex partners health care benefits:

A constituent inquired about the status of this benefit.  University of Delaware would like to provide this benefit.  At present health care coverage for same-sex partners is not included in the State of Delaware health care plan.

  1. On-line Travel:

A PAC member indicated that Expedia provides a better on-line travel deal than does UD Procurement. Booking travel through Egencia, our preferred vendor, does not seem to offer any advantage over the travel agencies or from booking directly with the airline.  As an Expedia company, one can find the exact same price and itinerary with Expedia, and not incur a $7.50 booking fee.

New Business
Chris Ulrich, Manager, Benefits, provided a benefits update.
She discussed the family and workplace connection website, indicating that eldercare resources would soon be incorporated into the site. Also, ten percent of the UD workforce has enrolled in the new Long term care giving.  About 80%-90% of employees who are eligible to transfer to the new provider have done so.

Kathy Corbitt, Director, Employee Wellness provided an update.
The HealthyU Program will be offering a Screening Zone during the 2010 Benefits/Wellness Fair on Thursday, May 6 from 9:30am - 3pm.  This service will provide an opportunity for UD employees and retirees to use their Wellness Dollar benefit on a variety of health screenings.  For $10 Wellness Dollars, individuals may participate in up to nine different screenings that include: Vision, hearing, bone density, body composition, posture, stress, fitness, glucose and blood pressure.  All the screenings will be located in multiple conference rooms on the 2nd floor of Trabant.  Employees may pre-register at OR at the Benefits/Wellness Fair.  No appointment time is necessary.   

The Step Into Spring walking program begins on Monday, April 5 and will run for 7-weeks.  Participants of the program will receive a pedometer and walking log, which features various walking / jogging programs to follow and goal-setting information. 

New this year is a "Kickoff event" to be held on Wednesday, March 31 inviting all UD employees to come out and walk together on the Green.  President Harker will start us off and maps will be provided, where participants can choose one of three different walking routes to explore.  In addition, "Step Into Spring" program materials and registration will be available in Gore from 10am - 2pm. 

Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes, March 1, 2010  
Provost Apple announced that an ad-hoc committee will be formed to evaluate the academic calendar, and then opened the floor to questions.

The plans for the Delaware Heath Sciences Alliance was addressed by Kathy Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences. Annual pilot grants are being offered to develop new curricula programs. There will be joint hires with Thomas Jefferson University and a search will commence for a UNIDEL Chair of Health Sciences. Plans are being developed for the Chrysler site for offices and housing for 3rd and 4th year medical students doing a clinical rotation at Christina Care. She dispelled the rumor that Jefferson programs in Nursing and Physical Therapy will be moving to Newark. The existing programs at UD will not compete with Jefferson, but will work together and complement each other. A formal agreement is still being finalized, but she wants to ensure that our students will maintain access to current clinical sites.

A question was raised about the changes to the UD catalog process, and the loss of oversight. With decentralized control over course content, there was a concern that interdisciplinary requirement communication would be lost. The issue will be addressed at the next meeting.
Several questions were asked about a proposal for the School of Education to form a separate College of Education and incorporate secondary education programs. Provost Apple responded that a reorganization of the college may occur, but the philosophy of having future high school teachers get a degree in their specialty will remain.

A concern about the new guidelines for Study Abroad was raised. Deputy Provost Havidan Rodriquez responded that the new guidelines are not actually new, but are being given more prominence. Enrollment in Study Abroad has dropped and costs have risen, so an effort will be made to reduce multi destination trips and to minimize non academic aspects of the program.
Director of Athletics, Bernard Muir introduced himself and presented an overview of the athletic program. UD has 600 student athletes in 22 sports and the program strives to be an integral part of the campus while developing leadership skills. His operation is based on three core factors, balance between work load and competiveness, compliance, and economics. He does not want to enter an “arms race”, and prefers to concentrate on raising the average GPA of student athletes. Currently, only 7 of the 22 programs has a combined GPA above 3.0. He was asked if injuries were increasing, but he did not believe that was the case.

Seventeen Announcements for Challenge were offered and all were accepted without discussion.
Three resolutions were discussed in detail. A proposal for the existing Black American Studies Program to become the Department of Black American Studies raised numerous budget questions. A representative of the Philosophy Department noted that their faculty numbers are down to half of what was required to teach all the courses they offer. Both Dean Watson and Provost Apple stressed that no new resources were required for the change in status and the RBB is not a factor. The resolution passed with a single dissent.

A second resolution to change the status of the Women’s Studies Program to become the Department of Woman’s Studies raised the same issues, and was eventually approved with several dissenting votes. Provost Apple offered to address RBB concerns at the next meeting.

The third resolution to create a 5 year combined Bachelors and Masters program in Mechanical Engineering was approved after some clarification.

Joint Commission Meeting Minutes, Monday, February 15, 2010
Members Present: Francis Kwansa, Karen Rosenberg, Arde Faghri, Kim Zitzner, Kasandra Moye, Barry Miller, Ali Poorani, Ian Janssen, Anne Boylan, J-P Laurenceau, Christina Johnston, Robin Buccos, Norma Gaines-Hanks, Havidan Rodriquez, Susan Lee, Jennifer (J.J.) Davis, Becki Fogerty, Dana Brittingham and Maureen Querey
Guests: President Harker, Provost Apple, Patricia Wilson, Margaret Andersen

  1. Karen Rosenberg and Francis Kwansa called the meeting to order at 2pm by thanking all members for attending and working on the joint report that was submitted to President Harker regarding the merging of the two Commissions, and introduced President Harker.


  1. Dr. Harker acknowledged the work of both Commissions and the subsequent questions that were submitted for his response.  Harker addressed the first question regarding a status update of the Diversity Action Council by introducing Provost Apple, who, along with J.J. Davis, chairs the Council to update and report on outcomes.


III.       DAC Summary – see attached Powerpoint for specifics. Apple named the participants of DAC and talked about how the Council divided up the work into the four theme areas from the Diversity Task Force report. He then reported on the strategic areas and the progress for many of the objectives. Apple indicated that good movement was underway regarding appointing diversity champions from each unit, acknowledged that changes have to occur from the ground up, and that department chairs and Deans are key to effecting change.  Apple also asserted that several initiatives are being discussed at the senior administrative level including diversity education, accountability, and addressing issues in academic units. Apple also informed the Commissions that he feels he has very high functioning Deans who are up for the challenge of promoting diversity.  Maggie Andersen discussed her role in the Provost’s Office and her work on submitting a $5 million ADVANCE grant through NSF that will help address equity and diversity institution-wide.

IV.       Future Vision for the Commission – see attached Powerpoint for specifics. Harker went through his vision for the new, singly unified Commission and answered members’ questions and concerns about the future. Among the issues discussed and reiterated were:

                        -DAC was created with a sunset provision, with the intention of the new entity being created to promote initiatives. Harker sees the work of the new Commission as an ongoing conversation with the administration and the community about diversity.  Achieving diversity is a long-term process and necessitates a real cultural change.  It can’t come from the administration just giving orders to diversify, the Commission will have a strong voice to make it happen. Harker doesn’t see the Commission as being “responsible” for diversity on campus – it’s everyone’s work – but rather a Commission that reinforces the University’s core mission and goals with regard to diversity. 

                        -The composition of the new Commission (DCAC) was discussed, including the goals, structure, appointments/representatives and timeline. Harker noted that DCAC will meet with the President and/or Provost once a semester, but that there may be other VPs who need to be in attendance.  He emphasized that the new structure is sensitive to the good work that other programs/offices do for diversity, and the Commission has to be careful not to step on toes and take over in areas that are already covered.  He sees the Commission as an advisory body to the President and senior administration, not a programmatic body. He discussed how he will be asking the two current Commissions for advice and ideas on who should serve on the new entity.

V.        Questions submitted by the Commissions – Harker addressed several concerns/issues that were posed to him prior to the meeting, and he and Provost Apple took questions from around the table on a variety of issues.
                        -Question about what’s different about DCAC, why merge two Commissions into one and how is it going to function differently. Harker talked about how the optics are different: that there will be one central entity which will lessen the confusion about entry points, and who does what when there’s overlap (the climate survey was used as an example), that there will be a stronger and broader focus, that other groups have felt excluded from the current 2 Commissions so DCAC will provide a place where anyone can come. He also talked about the purpose and function of having strong, vibrant representative Caucuses serving a major role on DCAC.

                        -Question about how to gain recognition of the single Commission – Harker discussed that there are inherent moments throughout the year to promote DCAC, that it will be built into the fabric of UD, and the Commission will be known through its visibility throughout the year.  DCAC will achieve this through constant communication, initiated annually by the distribution and analysis of a yearly climate survey.  Harker and Apple discussed how data-driven they are and that the climate survey will serve as a basis for DCAC to report on how we’re doing, what people are feeling, report the results and make recommendations of tangible action steps to progress forward.

                        -Question about benchmarks and who’s going to monitor the progress and achievements – Benchmarking and assessment is built into the Office for Institutional Research.  The specific measures and designs of what we’re measuring will be up to DCAC, but IR will be essential in working with HR and OEI to provide the University with our benchmarks and data comparisons.

                        -Question about partner benefits – Harker and Apple recognize the barrier that this poses for recruiting and retaining talented faculty and staff.  UD is falling behind other organizations in the State, so they have asked the State to consider including partner health benefits. It’s a legislative issue that is unclear, so Harker and J.J. Davis are looking at other solutions.

                        -Discussion about faculty recruitment and retention. Apple and Margaret Andersen talked about the roles in the Provost’s Office to address issues, the status of the NSF ADVANCE grant, the pilot project for dual career partner recruiter service, and the chairs advisory group. Harker also announced the proposal and status of granting Women’s Studies and Black American Studies departmental status (pending Provost approval, he’s favorable). Discussion regarding opt-out versus opt-in stop the clock tenure policy.  Administration is open to proposals.

                        -Discussion about the merger of Women’s Affairs and Affirmative Action, which was quite similar to the September meeting (Harker and Apple didn’t have anything to contribute regarding this).  Becki Fogerty and J.J. Davis addressed concerns and talked about the intent to expand and elevate the status of OEI for the future that aligns the office with DCAC. Concerns were also heard about the changes of various entry points for faculty, staff, students (minorities, women) to access support and assistance.  Commitment that entry points are all still viable, that there is no wrong door, but that there are efforts to centralize formal processes because of compliance/liability issues.  DCAC will be a main focus for the UD community to access, so it’s imperative that members be aware and prepared with the appropriate resources and procedures.

IV.       The meeting was dismissed at 3:30pm, and letters from the President regarding the creation of the DCAC were handed out  to members of the Commissions.  Members not attendance will receive their letters by campus mail.  Commission to Promote Racial and Cultural Diversity will meet next on Monday, March 8 in 413 Academy Street at 2pm.  Commission on the Status of Women will meet next on Wednesday, March 10 at noon, location TBA.

Meeting Adjourned

Tom LaPenta
Assistant Vice President-Employee Relations