The University Record, October 24, 1994

LETTERS

Kaplan: Prof. Bailey’s letter ‘calls for a reply’

Prof. Richard Bailey’s letter in The University Record of Oct. 10 calls for a reply, though this exchange of letters may not be the best way to air our concerns about faculty governance. Perhaps a “summit meeting” can be arranged, at which the issues can be resolved through calm discussion.

Prof. Bailey is concerned about the way the May 16 Senate Assembly meeting was conducted and suspects that there was a “sinister plot” by SACUA to manipulate the meeting in an improper way and, in particular, to avoid an opportunity to take action on the matter of handling the dispute with Provost Whitaker.

To help clarify the question, I refer to the official minutes of the meeting. At the opening (3:15 p.m.) Jean Loup, SACUA chair, called for a lowering of voices, to promote a reasoned discussion. Then followed three substantial items (on health forums, evaluation of deans, the primary research track).

Next came an item: “Powers and Duties of SACUA.” This concerned the very issues raised by Prof. Bailey. Prof. Henry Griffin moved that “Senate Assembly reaffirm the division of powers and duties among the University Senate, the Senate Assembly, and SACUA as stated in the Bylaws.” This was seconded. There was lengthy discussion, in which at least eight members of Senate Assembly took part. Eventually the motion was tabled, with a vote of 37-17.

At this point (which must have been after 4 p.m.), the address by Provost Whitaker was about to be given. Prof. Montalvo moved “that Senate Assembly function as a committee of the whole until 5 p.m.” (not until the end of the meeting, as stated by Prof. Bailey). The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

As I recall, Provost Whitaker spoke for at least 20 minutes. Then again there was lengthy discussion, in which at least seven members of Assembly participated. At 5 p.m. Prof. Montalvo moved to extend the meeting as a committee of the whole until 5:30 p.m. Assembly approved the motion.

There was further discussion, during which Dr. Peggie Hollingsworth and Prof. Thomas Landefeld made statements. No objection was raised at the meeting to such statements by nonmembers of the Assembly. [From my many years of experience at Senate Assembly, I find that there was nothing unusual about such acceptance of statements by nonmembers. It has happened many times that a person in the audience has requested permission to speak, and I recall no case of this being refused; in fact, it usually occurs with an absolute minimum of formality. That SACUA should have planned on these two presentations is hardly worth discussing, since the two presenters were deeply involved in the problem at issue. If the parliamentarian found the procedure improper, he should have spoken up at the time; otherwise, he is not of much help to Assembly.]

At 5:30 p.m. the committee of the whole again expired and a motion to adjourn was passed.

In general, I find the discussion of the way SACUA is acting to be of far less importance than the problems which have led to such actions: the number of cases in which the present University administration has ignored faculty input in making major decisions affecting the faculty, and some actions by administrators which are questionable, at best, including some involving grievance cases.

Wilfred Kaplan,

professor emeritus of mathematics

Life insurance costs increase

It is interesting that the new benefits enrollment materials do not include a table of life insurance rates (such as is included in the January 1994 benefits booklet).

Thus, it took some careful reading to determine that the rate, per $1,000 of insurance, for my coverage will just about double, even though I am getting the “favorable rates” for nonsmokers.

Currently I pay $23.20 monthly for coverage equal to twice my annual salary. In addition, the University pays $7.66, according to my pay stub. Thus the total cost is $30.86 monthly.

To continue my current coverage, I will be charged $51.70 monthly. The enrollment literature shows, if you read carefully, that the University contribution will not change. So the new total will be $59.36, just about twice the current rate. Since the University contribution doesn’t double, my contribution would more than double.

A call to the Benefits Office confirmed this rate increase (“oh, you must be over age 45”), but I don’t recall seeing advance notice of that in the Record articles earlier this year or elsewhere.

Howard Young, adjunct professor

of mathematics