Meeting Minutes: January 22, 2004
AttendancePresent: Edward Adelstein, Elizabeth Baker, Rex Campbell, Gordon Christensen, Bruce Cutter, Judith Goodman, Richard Hessler, Philip Johnson, Michael Kramer, Bill Lamberson, Eric Landes, Sudarshan Loyalka, Tom Marrero, Michael McKean, Steven Neal, Tom Phillips, Eileen Porter, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Charles Sampson, David Schenker, Frank Schmidt, Paul Sharp, Don Sievert, Barbara Townsend, Flore Zephir, Adrienne Hoard (Black Faculty & Staff), Herbert Tillema (AAUP), and Michael Muchow (Library). Absent: Bruce Bullock, Wilson Freyermuth, Sara Gable, Catherine Holland, and Tom Freeman (MURA).
Approval of MinutesThe meeting was called to order by Chair, Gordon Christensen at 3:30 p.m. in room S203 Memorial Union. Christensen opened the meeting with a moment of silence in honor of Dr. Robert Strongman Daniel, Emeritus Professor of Psychology and past Chair of Faculty Council. Dr. Daniel died on January 17th, 2004. Christensen called for approval of the October 30, 2003, November 5, 2003 General Faculty Meeting, and the December 9, 2003 Special General Faculty Meeting minutes. Frank Schmidt suggested to Council two minor changes to the 11-5-03 General Faculty Meeting minutes. After this correction, the minutes were approved as published.
Report of OfficersChristensen reported that at the request of Curator Mary L. James, the Board of Curators Breakfast will be convened with members of Council assigned to individual tables with one or two Curators at each table so that the attendees can engage in an informal discussion about the faculty, the students, and the campus. To promote this interaction, Dr. Christensen will ask one or two members of the Council at each table to facilitate the discussion around that table.
Dr. Christensen discussed his letter of support for Dr. Floyd. He asked the faculty to forgive him if they believed he had overstepped his authority. He explained that with his support, a group of Faculty Council members had convened to write this letter while Dr. Christensen was in New York, New York attending a meeting at the request of the Chancellor. When Dr. Christensen returned just before Christmas break, he approved the letter and sent it out over his signature as "Chair of Faculty Council" to various local and regional newspapers. Although the newspapers did not print the letter, they did refer to it in newspaper stories. Dr. Christensen also noted that the IFC Chair had composed a similar letter which was co-signed by the members of the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC), and also sent this letter to the media. Various members of the faculty had since complained that these letters had been sent without their approval. Dr. Christensen went on to say: "I am an enthusiastic supporter of Dr. Floyd. I think he is the best President that the University has had in recent years, maybe the best President this University has ever had. I think he is willing to make hard decisions and take the high road. I think he carefully considers the opinions of faculty and staff. I am aware, however, that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. So I would just like to acknowledge that these differences in opinion exist and express my personal apologies to anyone who believes that I have overstepped my bounds."
Following Dr. Christensen's comments, a general discussion ensued. Some members noted that at times urgent circumstances will require the Chair to act without gaining the formal approval of the Faculty Council or the Executive Committee. Under these circumstances, the Chair should have the authority to act on behalf of Faculty Council. Other members commented that if circumstances provided for the drafting of a letter then there should have been time to obtain approval of the letter from the Executive Committee or the Council.
Christensen also addressed comments attributed to him in a recent article in the Columbia Daily Tribune. Dr. Christensen stated that the Tribune misquoted him as saying that student athletes aren't graduating and that the athletic program is pressuring faculty to award undeserved grades to student athletes. Dr. Christensen said these statements were wrong. MU student athletes have a very high rate of graduation and according to the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, since Mike Alden has led the program no one from the faculty has complained that they felt pressured to award an unearned grade to a student athlete.
Christensen concluded his report by asking Charles Sampson, who is chairing this year's Martin Luther King Celebration, to describe the weeklong activities in honor of Dr. King. Sampson noted that National Public Radio Commentator and George Mason University Professor Roger Wilkins will open with an address Sunday, January 25th. [Recorders Note: this event was later canceled due to the weather.] There will also be panel discussions of the impact of Dr. King on art and public policy Wednesday, January 28, and the impact of Dr. King on education Thursday, January 29.
Board ReportDon Sievert reported on the December 2003 Board of Curators meeting that took place in Kansas City. The meeting was brief. Floyd did not make the anticipated recommendation regarding consolidation of the position of Chancellor of the University of Missouri-Columbia with President of the University of Missouri System. Dr. Floyd reported that he was still studying the issue and expected to make a recommendation at a later Board meeting. He noted, however, that if he does make a recommendation regarding consolidating the two positions, he would recommend retaining both titles rather than merging the two titles into a single title. This would provide flexibility in case he should leave the System or the System should decide to fill both positions. Sievert speculated that recent newspaper stories about Floyd interfered with the proposal to consolidate the two positions. Sievert also commented that Floyd appeared to retain the full support of the Board of Curators. Dr. Sievert concluded by reporting that Curator Mary L. James of Harrisonville was elected the new President of the Board and Curator Tom Atkins of Columbia was elected the new Vice President.
Intercampus Faculty Council Report (IFC)Loyalka reported on the last two IFC meetings. A major item of discussion at the last meeting was recent proposed changes in the disability benefits, which appeared to limit the extension of benefits. Of particular concern was the proposed elimination of benefits for individuals with self-inflicted injuries, victims of police injury, victims of civil disobedience, and patients with certain chronic illnesses. This item was further discussed in greater detail later on in the meeting with Sievert leading the discussion. Loyalka concluded by noting that the University was proceeding with implementing the Faculty Activities System, which is an electronic database of faculty activities intended to simplify reporting.
Discussion ItemsBig 12 Conference on Intercollegiate Athletics in Kansas City - Campbell & Townsend The first discussion item was a report by Barbara Townsend and Rex Campbell on the January 14 meeting in Kansas City on intercollegiate athletics in the Big 12 Conference. The meeting was prompted by the Resolution on Intercollegiate Athletics that the Faculty Council passed on August 28, 2003. At the request of Chancellor Wallace and Athletic Director Michael Alden, with the approval of the Faculty Council, Christensen organized the meeting using funds provided by the chancellor. Faculty from seven of the twelve members of this conference attended the meeting. The representative from the University of Colorado had to cancel at the last minute because of a personal emergency. The University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and Iowa State University did not send a faculty representative to this meeting. The University of Missouri-Columbia, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Oklahoma State University, University of Texas, Baylor University, and the University of Nebraska were represented at the meeting. The meeting also included Dr. Virginia Shepherd, Vanderbilt University, who had organized a similar meeting for the Southeast Conference.
Townsend and Campbell reported that the sense of the KC meeting was that intercollegiate athletics was out of control. Areas of concern included:
€ Global problems involving an "arms race" for coaching and administrative salaries and for upgrading athletic facilities.
€ The subsidization of athletic activities by academic funds.
€ Concerns that student athletes and regular students did not receive the same educational experience.
€ Concerns that student athletes on scholarship did not have the same opportunities for earning spending money as regular students. Meaning, they might be susceptible to receiving banned or illegal support. The Conference concluded with a resolution that the faculty from each of the members of the Big 12 would be asked to send a duly appointed representative to a formal conference of the Big 12 faculty to review the issue of intercollegiate athletics. At this meeting, the Big 12 faculty would be asked to endorse in principle the standards promulgated by the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, initiate a process of promoting a system of "best practices" for the Big 12 intercollegiate athletic programs, and participate in promoting reform of intercollegiate athletics within the NCAA.
Admission of Transfer Students - Lamberson & Campbell. The second discussion item was the new Transfer and Admission policy, submitted by the Academic Affairs Committee. William Lamberson and Rex Campbell presented this item. Campbell noted that the new policy strengthened the general education requirements for transfer students. He also said that the distributed policy contained one error, the "or" in section 3.B. passage "has completed the equivalent of Math 10 or English 20" should be changed to "and." Also, the distributed policy contained several typographic errors. This item is be an action item at Council's next meeting.
Recent Changes in Long-term Disability Benefits - Sievert & Loyalka. The third discussion item returned to the issue of changes in the long-term disability benefits program. Sievert and Loyalka noted that members of the faculty had expressed concerns that incorporating the proposed changes into the benefits program could enable the plan to avoid providing benefits to disabled faculty. For example some worried that under the new rules the plan might not provide benefits to a member of the faculty who was injured during a campus demonstration. They also noted that these changes had taken place without the advice of faculty. In general discussion, the Council expressed the strong recommendation that these concerns be returned to IFC for discussion with President Floyd. These issues have also been brought to the attention of Ken Hutchinson, UM Vice President for Human Resources, for a future IFC meeting.
December 9 General Faculty Meeting With President Elson Floyd - Porter & Adelstein. The fourth discussion item concerned proposed changes to the campus honor's program. These changes have the objective to raise and coordinate the standards of the honors programs across the campus. Associate Provost Franz asked the Academic Affairs Committee to review this proposal on behalf of the Honors College. Lamberson reported that the Academic Affairs Committee had reviewed the proposal and has submitted it to the Council with the recommendation that it be approved.
On discussion, however, it became apparent that the proposal contained several confusing items that the members in attendance could not explain. The Council decided to invite Stuart Polansky, Director, Honors College to return to the Council to answer questions about the proposal. One major problem was whether the honors program should be a "stand alone" or "integrated program".
Standing Committee ReportsChristensen asked to meet with each Standing Committee to review the agenda for this semester.
AdjournmentThe meeting moved into a closed session for committee nominations. The meeting was then adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Edward Adelstein, Recorder