Meeting Minutes: June 13, 2002


Present: Michael Devaney, Sara Gable, Judith Goodman, Daniel Hooley, Tom Hurley, Bill Lamberson, Norman Land, Edward Hunvald (for Sylvia Lazos), Sudarshan Loyalka, Michael McKean, Catherine Parke, Peggy Placier, Eileen Porter, Paul Duval (for Paul Sharp), Don Sievert, MaryEllen Sievert, William Wiebold, Russ Zguta, Jenice Prather-Kinsey (Black Faculty and Staff), Herbert Tillema (AAUP), Charles Cramer (Retirees), and Pat Timberlake (Librarians). Absent: Jeffrey Anglen, Tobias Baskin, Nelson Cowan, Gordon Christensen, Bruce Cutter, Philip Johnson, Daniel Longo, Sudarshan Loyalka, Anne McKendry, and Loren Nikolai.

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Russ Zguta at 3:30 p.m. in room S203 of the Memorial Union. The Council minutes of April 18, 2002, May 2, 2002, and the 4-29-02 Winter Semester General Faculty Meeting were approved as submitted.

Report of Officers

Zguta pointed out a report by Brenda Selman, Registrar, concerning changes in average grades before and after the introduction of plus/minus grading. He also mentioned that executive committee forwarded four nominations for the newly created UM Task Force on Reduction of Academic Program cost. Catherine Parke, Vice Chair, reported that herself, Eileen Porter and Tobias Baskin will constitute Council's '02-'03 nominations committee for the remaining offices on next academic year's executive committee. This election will be held on July 25, 2002.

Discussion Items

Guest: Stephen Lehmkuhle, Vice President for Academic Affairs on the recent Board amendment to the "Collected Rules and Regulations".

Zguta introduced Steve Lehmkuhle who discussed the recent amendment by the Board of Curators to the "Collected Rules and Regulations" concerning changes in salary as well as other terms and conditions of employment of everyone at the university. Lehmkuhle noted the intent of the amendment was to provide for temporary salary reductions (including faculty) to balance the university's budget in the event of additional reductions or withholdings of state appropriations. He acknowledged ambiguities in the wording of the amendment and said he would propose new wording to make the original intentions clear. This revision will contain several specific elements: salary reductions are to be temporary; reductions will be applied only to categories of employees and not to individuals; the amendment will not attempt to circumvent regulations governing tenure and reductions will be prospective rather than retroactive. Lehmkuhle plans to share a draft of the proposal with Council and other interested groups and hopes to have the revised amendment ready for the Board's consideration during its July meeting.

Lehmkuhle expressed dismay at the extent of the reduction of state support and pointed out that the university budget's status as part of "discretionary funding" may cause it to be threatened for the forseeable future. Further he noted that the early retirement incentive program may cause a loss of ten percent to University of Missouri Columbia's faculty with a serious negative impact on students.

In response to questions, Lehmkuhle made the following points: the phrase "other terms and conditions of employment" should be clarified; and, the budget outlook is gloomy for the forseeable future because mandated expenditures are expected to grow faster than the economy so that discretionary spending (which includes the university's budget) will decline. He noted efforts to educate new legislators and legislative candidates about the university's needs and its contributions to the state. The President's Task Force to Reduce Academic Program Costs was discussed, its membership described, and the scope of its charge (to evaluate ways of avoiding program duplication, how best to serve students in small programs, to examine large scale reorganizations, and evaluate faculty work load policies). Further, Lehmkuhle told Council that there is much resistance to declaring financial exigency because of widespread and long lasting consequences for the university. In response to an observation that plans seem to target the core missions of the university while other high cost programs (PeopleSoft and its implementation) continue, Ralph Caruso, Vice President for Information Systems, said that he chairs a task force on structural reorganization and lowering administrative costs to protect core missions.

In response to concerns about specific elements of the proposed amendment revision of the "Collected Rules and Regulations" to be submitted to the Board of Curators Lehmkuhle noted that language specifically protecting academic freedom and tenure will be included and it will specify that individuals will not be targeted. His plans will recommend specific actions be cited (e.g. "temporary salary reduction") rather than broad categories (e.g. "terms and conditions of employment") then he stated that he will submit the revision to Council before recommending it to President Pacheco or the Board. He further noted that furloughs are not likely because they are hard to manage and ineffective in achieving desired goals.

Zguta thanked Lehmkuhle for his presentation and for his willingness to address Council's concerns.

Provost Review - Zguta. Zguta summarized the results of the Provost's Performance Review which have been communicated to Provost Deaton and Chancellor Wallace. The return rate on the survey was 25 percent. The Provost received a 66% approval rating on the key item number 20. (Zguta noted, by way of correction, that the number of responders who "agreed" with question #20 was 74, not 202 as originally indicated.) Individual comments were summarized and communicated to the Provost by Zguta and Parke.

PeopleSoft - Wiebold. William Wiebold, Chair of Fiscal Affairs, distributed a summary of the results of a survey concerning faculty and staff's experience with the PeopleSoft financial systems. There were 108 replies received. The table below contains a summary of the responses.

Table 1. Summary of replies to email message asking for effects of PeopleSoft.

# Category Examples Responses % of Replies
1 Vendor Impact Delayed payment;loss of vendor; Unicard requirement; P.O. # difficulty; no blanket orders; bid process 28 26%
2 Travel reimbursement Slow; inaccurate; placed in wrong account 22 24%
3 System and browser incompatibility; software design MAX; Netscape; appearance 12 10%
4 Grant administration Errors; hard to interpret /view/understand 39 36%
5 Unreliable Not running 15 14%
6 Pay stub Incorrect pay; incorrect vacation; incorrect sick leave 26 24%
7     80 74%
8 Training Inadequate; need refresher; trainer knowledge; full classes 16 15%
9 Support Attitude; comments 10 9

Total number of responses = 108

Wiebold recommended that PeopleSoft be abandoned or, at least, that corrections be made before new modules are introduced. Zguta thanked Wiebold for his report and introduced Council's guests: Ralph Caruso, Vice President Information Systems; Kee Groshong, Vice Chancellor Administrative Services; and David Smarr, ASP-MU Project Director. Caruso thanked Wiebold and said that after meeting with several groups he has concluded that more modules should not be introduced until what we already have works better. Smarr noted that many improvements have been made recently and along with Caruso, pointed out that some difficulties are inevitable. Further, they reported that it would be difficult to abandon the project now. Groshong added that there is an organizational structure in place to address PeopleSoft problems. In the discussion that followed it became apparent that most of the problems reported by Wiebold were already known and that the finance and human resource modules should be in good working order before implementing the student management module which is even more complex.

Zguta thanked Caruso, Groshong and Smarr for their explanations and willingness to assist Council.

Transfer Credit Evaluation - McKean. Michael McKean, Chair Academic Affairs, reported on policies regarding transfer of credits from unaccredited institutions. The proposed policy is to be implemented by the winter semester of 2003 and appears below.

1.We adopt a written policy that says MU routinely accepts credit only from regionally accredited institutions. All other schools would be allowed to apply to MU for the right to have their courses reviewed for acceptance. However, the admissions office would not actually perform a review until an individual student with credits from such an institution transfers to the Columbia campus. Informally, we would notify the colleges with which we've had a previous relationship that the policy they've worked under has changed.

2.We would transcript all courses taken at regionally accredited institutions, and courses from non-accredited institutions accepted under the review procedures described in point 1 above, with the exception of remedial courses. Courses that are obviously unlike anything offered at mU would be automatically coded on the transcript as "no credit awarded." All other courses would be transcripted as "miscellaneous electives." Individual academic units would then decide whether to accept any of these courses as credit toward their degree.

Standing Committee Reports

Fiscal Affairs: William Wiebold, asked if a more specific response to the PeopleSoft survey is needed and suggested a follow-up with Smarr after he's read the detailed survey. He will also post results on Council's website and solicit input from staff members.

Student Affairs: Michael Devaney, Chair, reported that students have abandoned the Pick-A-Prof program but they are developing their own program pending advice from university counsel.

Any Other Business

McKean and Council commended Gordon Christensen, Edward Adelstein, and Earl Dick for their dedication and skill in bringing to public attention apparent wrongdoing at the Veteran's Hospital. Christensen noted that the faculty of the School of Medicine recently approved a Bill of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities by a 9 to 1 margin.


There being no other business, Council was adjourned at 4:50 p.m. to go into a closed session. The Council approved the Executive Committee's nominations for the 2004-05 Faculty and Campus Standing Committees.

Respectfully submitted,
Tom Hurley, Recorder