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FACULTY MEETING
MARCH 2, 2010

Report of the Student Government Association:

The Student Government representative reported on a walk through by the student body of the Langston Hughes Memorial Library at 1:30 today with Mr. Michael Hill.  He reported that they there were workers cleaning the library books of mold and mildew on the fourth floor.  These workers were wearing special coverall and masks.  Students were told that they should be done with the cleaning by Friday March 5, 2010.  Another walk through will take place on Friday at 1:30 PM. The student body is anxiously waiting to get access to the library collection, which they hade no direct access to since January 2008.

Report from the President: Dr. Ivory V. Nelson:

On Friday he was at the White House to witness the signing of the order for the extension of the White House Commission on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  President Harvey of Hampton has been named Chair.

The budget request for Title 3 for HBCU’s for the 2011 budget year has been give a 13 billion dollar increase and that $85 billion dollars for the past two year has been also restored to the budget.

The other news will be that direct student loan program from the federal government will be made available to all students.    Lincoln University will be ready for the student loan program direct from the federal government on July 1.

Regarding the development here in Pennsylvania the Presidents of the state related universities addressed the Pennsylvania House Appropriation Committee last Tuesday and will address the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriation Committee Wednesday March 3.

The President distributed to the entire faculty a full sheet synopsis of the University budget request to the state.  The faculty secretary has been given the official budget request.  If any of you are interested in having of a copy we will provide you with the complete budget submission.

President Nelson also reported that the budget climate in Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania is flat. Because or the poor economy, revenue streams from taxes are not producing the income expected. The state will come 500 million short for this fiscal year.  The state will face more difficulties in the future.  This year $2 to 3 billion was give to the state under the stimulus bill.  A more pressing problem will take place in the fiscal year 2012 because of structural deficits with state pension programs of 4 to 6 billion dollars.  Something is going to happen then.

For the past three years the money appropriated to Lincoln University has been flat.  Since I have been president the amount of money from the state has dropped from 1/3 of our budget to 1/5 of the budget now.

There is no obligation from the state to continue the appropriation of money to Lincoln and the other state related institutions.  In the past the state appropriated funds to 33 institutions including Drexel University.  This fiscal year the state funded the four state related institutions and the Veterinary School of the University of Pennsylvania [New Bolton Center].  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania views us as private institution and in the future we will need to make up 14 to 15 million dollars annually in our operational budget we are receiving from the state.

President Nelson requested from the state $26 million in our budget submission this year. There is no harm in requesting this.

We are still able to participate in the capital budget.

We are now working on the upcoming operations budget for the next fiscal year.  There are some things we must do when we put the budget together.

The Civil Rights Commission had requested 19 institutions, including Lincoln University, for information for the past 3 years regarding opportunities for women. We have filed our report.  We have to go over all our records since 2006.  The only problem could be the Board of Trustee resolution regarding the reinstitution of football here at Lincoln University.  In that resolution we express that this program will increase male enrollment.

We were hoping to build a new 600 bed residence hall beginning in 2011.  That has been delayed because of the recent financial difficulties facing our country.  Our residence hall stock is quite aged except the new dorm.  We need to have 50 million dollars to renovate all the rest of the residence halls and bring them to up to current standards.  We are working with the HBCU’s Capital Financing Program. We feel that we are capable of borrowing 40 million dollar to build a 600 bed dorm.      

On April 1 we will be required to submit our Assessment report to Middle States. All the information in the report will be made available to the faculty once it is submitted. There will be school meetings to discuss this report.

New construction plans.  The funds have been released for the completion of the library and renovation of Grim and Wright halls.  Bids will be opened April 1, 2010 and construction will start June or July 2010.  We need to rearrange the traffic flow for a whole year because these building will be fenced in for renovation and construction. 

We have received authorization for an additional 15 million dollars for the landscaping of the campus. This is on top of the initial 15 million we had received earlier.

The other projects are air conditioning of Rivero, Lincoln, and Vail Halls, and new athletic facilities such as a practice field,  new baseball, softball, and soccer fields, complete new track, 2500 seat stadium, and six tennis courts.

We will also do the first phase of our landscaping project: new entrances to campus, additional fences, parking lots, etc.

Our academic wellness center is also now out for bid and will hopefully have a ground breaking in the September.  It will have HPER, Health Dept., indoor track, fitness center, etc.

We will have $107 million of construction underway by January 2011.

Dr. Royer asked Dr. Nelson if the university is designing a plan to deal with the situation, should the state totally drop its funding for Lincoln University.  Dr. Nelson said we have learned about this possibility last week at the House Appropriation hearing.

All the costs operating Lincoln University have doubled since Dr. Nelson became President in 1999.  The budget in 1999 was $34 million. Now it is $68 million.  Salaries have grown from $14 million to $25 million.  Health care costs have gone from $3 to $4 million to $7 to $8 million dollars.

It took a 19 year process to start planning and build the ICC.  On the average it took seven to eight years from the initialization of idea and the actual construction starts on each of the current projects.

Mr. Carlson asked Dr. Nelson about the long term implication of second phase of the library renovation.  There is effort now to open the library for the rest of the semester. The library will be open until the end of the semester. Langston Hughes Library will not be available from June 2010 to May 2011.  Dr. Nelson responded that it may take longer.  Library services will be in the module for that period. The funds for phase two of the library renovation were just released February 19, 2010.

Dr. Nelson stated that the University did promise library services to the student pending the release of funds for the renovation project.

Curtis Reid, a student leader in the effort to open the library, pointed out that the students are only interested in having a library.  He referred to a September 2009 memorandum stating that phase one of the library building was completed.  In the walk through he noticed that he felt that phase one was not completed.  He asked why we are now having workers cleaning the books of mold and mildew when that should have been done upon completion of phase one.  The library is more important than landscaping the campus. 

Students feel that phase two of the library renovation should be cancelled so that students can have access to the library collection. [They stated that the work in Phase 2 – the new entrance and window wall is cosmetic and unnecessary.] They also states that the whole building should be devoted to the library only.  Students feel that they have been lied to concerning the library.  The student body at Lincoln University wants an education not beautification of the campus.

Dr. Nelson informed the students that when he discovered that funding for the first phase of the library renovations was not adequate to do the entire job he had to apply for additional funds to finish the planned renovations. Lincoln was then awarded $7 million for the 2nd phase and $4 to $4.5 million for equipping the library with new furniture and equipment.  In January 2000 there was infrastructure failure which forced the university to close and send the students home.  The initial $29.4 million was to build new campus infrastructure.  Phase 2 of library renovation was supposed to start upon completion of Phase 1 but due to the fiscal difficulties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have delayed the funding for Phase 2 for a whole year.

Dr. Venerable tried to get the faculty meeting under control and said that the faculty needs to complete their business.

One of the students, Mike Wilson, recommended a town hall meeting to discuss the library issue further.  He said this issue is upsetting our students, parents, and faculty/staff. Dr. Nelson I will be available after the faculty meeting to discuss the issue further.

Tracey Hunter-Hayes, Library Director announced his resignation. He said he was recruited from the Board of Trustees to become library director in 2007.  He said is he isn’t going to lie to the students.  "It is not about what I want but the students having what you need. The Library did not have the all tools that should be available to serve our students.  We have done our best in the library modular. You the students need to keep pushing so Lincoln University can exist in the future."

Report of the Provost and Senior Vice President: Dr. Grant Venerable.

Dr. Venerable: “I am going to tell you a story of culture and the kind of thing we are creating for ourselves at this University.”  Lincoln University has been through a miracle over the past ten years under Dr. Nelson’s leadership. This group of faculty, a president, a provost and others has come from many directions and many places to work here in one of the most unusual and bold experiment that is unique in the United States. We need to get back to the tradition of Lincoln University founders.  We want to get back to the extended family feeling like the African village.  Dr. Nelson had worked hard to keep Lincoln University surviving today. 

You are not here just for book learning that is available in libraries. We want you to obtain the optimal learning that is spiritual nature which you would learn how to handle yourselves in relationship with others.  Dr. Nelson had been able to do things in Harrisburg for Lincoln University because he had been able to obtain for Lincoln University the capital funding necessary to help improve the campus infrastructure and facilities.  He was able to work the political system in Harrisburg to obtain for Lincoln University what the system have been designed to prevent us from doing.

Dr. Robert Millette said he is proud of our students for what they have been doing regarding the library over the past two weeks.  We have been discussing shared governance, academic excellence and retention for years.  Only this year under the leadership of Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bishop Evans has the administration been willing to talk about retention and graduation rates.  We have to regain what we have lost.  The Library is the very heart of the university.  The students are here for the Library.  Let’s work to make the library the very best. The only action item is the approval of the minutes.  Let the President explain where we are and what we need to do.  Let’s work together and find a way to solve our problems.

Dr. Nelson said that the money for the library is only a line item devoted exclusively devoted to the Library.  I can’t move the money from any other capital improvement project because it against state law.

At this point students became very emotional about this.  Mr. Bryson replied maybe we should go ahead with cancelling phase II renovation and let move back into the library permanently and provide the library services that the students want.

Dr. Ramdas inquired about student fees and where have they gone.  Dr. Nelson responded that none of the funds from student fees have been used on campus facilities.  All the funds for campus infrastructure and facilities have come from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania capital budget.  The money must be used for the specific purpose as stated in the capital budget.   

Action Items.

A.) Approval of the February Faculty Meeting Minutes.  The minutes were approved.

B.)  Early Childhood Education Program: Dr. Joanne DeBoy.

Dr. DeBoy, chair of the Education Dept. presented the document for the Early Childhood Education Program which the faculty needs to approve for submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. We also need to approve it prior to pre-registration so that the new courses can be available.

Prof. Gaither-Hardy pointed that several of the syllabi still have the problems that were discussed in the School of Social and Behavioral Student meeting last week.  The Education Department will need to finish making the necessary corrections.  Dr. Dade from the Educational Policies Committee and Dr. Langley from the Curriculum Committee pointed out that the two committees had not met to discuss this proposal regarding the Early Childhood Education Program. It was agreed that the faculty will reassemble in a call meeting once the two committees have acted on this proposal.

Announcements.

A. Faculty Forum: Dr. Melvin Leaman.  An email will be sent out when the next faculty forum will be held.

B.  Research and Publications Committee: Dr. Moses Haimbodi.  A handout is available on the back table informing the faculty what the requirements needed to be met when submitting project proposals to the committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Albert M. Bryson
Faculty Secretary

 


 


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