Meeting Minutes: April 15, 2004

Attendance

Present: Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow (for Elizabeth Baker), Rex Campbell, Gordon Christensen, Bruce Cutter, Edward Hunvald (for Wilson Freyermuth), Sara Gable, Judith Goodman, Richard Hessler, Michael Kramer, Bill Lamberson, Eric Landes, Sudarshan Loyalka, Michael McKean, Stephen Neal, Tom Phillips, Eileen Porter, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Frank Schmidt, Paul Sharp, Don Sievert, Adrienne Hoard (Black Faculty & Staff), Herb Tillema (AAUP), Tom Freeman (MURA), and Michael Muchow (Library). Absent: Elizabeth Baker, Bruce Bullock, Wilson Freyermuth, Catherine Holland, Philip Johnson, Tom Marrero, Steven Neal, Charles Sampson, David Schenker, Barbara Townsend, and Flore Zephir.

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Gordon Christensen at 3:30 p.m. in room S203 Memorial Union. Christensen opened the meeting by reading a passage on "Responsibility" from the University of Missouri-Columbia, "A Statement of Values" authored by Dr. Mel George. Christensen called for approval of the February 12, 2004 and February 26, 2004 Council minutes. The minutes were approved as published.

Report of Officers

Christensen reported that he attended a meeting between representatives of the Legion of Black Collegians and the Chancellor, the Provost, and members of their staff. Christensen also reported that the Campus Climate study concerning minority issues had been released. As a result of these two separate processes, the Chancellor has asked the Faculty Council to show leadership in addressing concerns and problems in ensuring a diverse and tolerant campus. Christensen also reported that President Floyd would appear at the May 6, 2004 meeting of Faculty Council to discuss the selection of the next MU Chancellor, the proposed merger of Northwest Missouri University with the University of Missouri System, and other issues of mutual concern. Also, at the May 6 meeting, Tim Rooney, Academic Budget and Research Officer, will discuss the MU parental leave policies.

Sudarshan Loyalka reported on the meeting of the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) held the preceding day. The IFC received a proposal by Christensen to improve the efficiency of the sister campuses working together, but because of Christensen's absence the IFC had to postpone further discussion. The IFC also discussed the recent report of the MU Grievance Review Task Force. Loyalka concluded by reminding the membership that the minutes of the meeting will be posted (along with the minutes of prior meetings) on the IFC website.

Don Sievert reported on the meeting of the Board of Curators held on April 1, 2004 in St. Louis. The Board approved the new Faculty Workload policy. The Board discussed the differential impact of the proposed increase in student fees would have on the student population. President Floyd stated he intended to review and improve our student aid programs. The Board voted approval of the increase in student fees, but the vote was not unanimous with one "no" vote. The Board approved a modification of the VERIP policy to allow VERIP recipients to teach for two years following retirement. Dr. Sievert concluded by describing a situation where members of the Board pressed the administration of the St. Louis campus to change their building plans to ensure safe and convenient access to a nearby parking lot for students residing in a new campus residence. This demonstrated heightened sensitivity on the part of the Board to safety issues and customer (student service) as well as closer supervision of campus administration. Sievert also noted that the Board of Curators minutes are posted on the web.

Actions Items

Honors Council - Lamberson. Bill Lamberson, Chair of Academic Affairs Committee, presented to Council for a second time, the revisions to the Charge to the Honors College. The charge appears in its entirety below.

Revised Charge Honors Council

1. Empowerment of the Honors Council in conjunction with the Director of the Honors College to make curriculum and participation decisions. The Honors Council is now a Provost Committee comprised of elected faculty members from every undergraduate division as well as some other university community members who advise the director of the Honors College. The Director of the Honors College would be given access to teaching evaluations for courses in the Honors College to assist in program improvement. Under the current structure, the Director and Council have little authority to make curriculum decisions in the best interest of the students and/or the University. The new charge to the Honors Council would include: a. Determination of essential characteristics of honors courses and clarification of differences between honors and non-honors courses, subject to approval by Faculty Council.
b. Approval of courses for designation and continuation as Honors (in the most straightforward non-bureaucratic process possible) after courses have had approval by the Undergraduate or Graduate Curriculum Committee and, if General Education credit if requested, by CUE.
c. Determination of alternative ways to increase availability of honors courses and/or motivate participation of both faculty members and students.
d. Development of pedagogical experiences to assist faculty wanting to improve their honors teaching.
e. Approval processes for departmental programs affiliating with Honors College in University Honors.
f. Planning for a Missouri Scholars Program as a more challenging option for fulfilling general education requirements.

2. The creation of an undergraduate University Honors designation to be awarded to students who receive both the General Honors Certificate and an Honors Council approved Departmental Honors recognition. This designation creates a 4 year honors experience that can be promoted to top scholars interested in attending MU. Currently, students have less interest in the certificate than they would have in a broader Honors designation on their transcript. Many honors students do not know about the availability of departmental honors. Although many departments participate in undergraduate research, not all offer departmental honors. Those departments that do participate have differing standards and expectations. Encouragement of greater participation in departmental honors could motivate our top students to pursue more challenging curriculum and seek additional challenge. This designation would support the growing emphasis on undergraduate research. a. Departmental Honors programs would be approved for participation in the University Honors designation by the Honors Council. Not all departments will choose to participate or be deemed appropriate to participate based on the requirements currently in place.
b. Departmental programs approved must have research, thesis or equivalent discipline relevant as part of program.
c. Students completing both an honors certificate and designated departmental honors will receive University Honors designation on their transcript and will be suitably recognized at graduation.
d. Promotional materials will be designed to explain this new option.
e. Departments may continue to offer Department Honors independent of the Honors College. This allows students not qualified for honors admissions to seek department honors and does not discourage current departmental practices.

3. The initiation of a planning process to develop a separate general education honors curriculum for students wishing to pursue a more selective educational experience at MU. For example, the Honors Council may suggest the creation of a special Honors Degree General Education Track (The Missouri Scholars Program or other name), which includes a more rigorous curriculum and is limited to students who complete a special application and are accepted. Such a program may have components such as: a. Completion of 2 of 3 current Honors sequences.
b. 19 hours of foreign language or 13 hours of a second language or other demonstration of depth in a field supporting the major.
c. Calculus
d. A lower division research, tutorial or seminar.
e. Approved Departmental Honors.
f. GPA requirement.
g. A service learning or other volunteer experience."

These changes had been previously considered by Faculty Council. On behalf of the committee, Christensen asked for approval of the changes and the motion carried.

Resolution on HB1722 - Schmidt. Frank Schmidt presented to Council for a second time the MU Faculty Council Resolution Regarding: Missouri House of Representatives Bill "HB 1722" known as the: "Missouri Standard Science Act" That proposed to: Require the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design for public primary and secondary schools in Missouri. The resolution reads as follows:

"Whereas, This bill has been introduced for consideration by the Missouri State legislature; and

Whereas, This bill proposes to require all primary and secondary schools to teach the proposed curriculum; and

Whereas, The Faculty of the University have authority for maintaining academic standards and for determining standards for admission to the University, and

Whereas, "Intelligent Design" has not been used as the basis for any contemporary peer reviewed scientific publication in the Biological or Physical Sciences and therefore does not meet the standards for accepted scientific knowledge, and

Whereas, the teaching of this material will displace accepted scientific knowledge and thereby interfere with students' ability to meet requirements for admission to the University; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That HB 1722 should be rejected by the state legislature; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Faculty Council requests the faculty governance bodies of other institutions of higher education in the State of Missouri to study this bill and join us in calling for rejection of this bill by the Missouri State legislature."

A brief discussion ensued in which several members noted that the state legislature was unlikely to approve this resolution, so it was unnecessary for the Council to take this action. Schmidt replied that many, both locally and nationally, believed that the resolution this year was simply a prelude to future (similar) resolutions and so it was important for the faculty to take a stand at this time on this important issue. After the discussion, a vote was called and the resolution passed as published.

Ballot for Revision of Faculty Grievance Policy - Christensen. Christensen brought up for final review the ballot for revision of the Faculty Council Grievance Policy. After amending the ballot to have the date set for returning the ballot to be two weeks after the printing of the ballot, the ballot was approved by the Council. The ballot will be sent to the faculty as soon as possible.

Discussion Items

Grievance Task Force Report. Christensen introduced the members of the Grievance Review Task Force: Drs. Ed Hunvald (chair), Mel George (representing the administration), and Allen Hahn (representing the Faculty) to present their final report. Copies of the report were distributed to the members and the report is posted on the Faculty Council website. On behalf of the Faculty Council, Dr. Christensen thanked the members of the task force for conducting a complete review; following the guidelines given to the team; accomplishing the review on time; and, for writing a meaningful and direct report. Christensen also thanked Chancellor Richard Wallace and Provost Brady Deaton for their willingness to commission the review task force and cooperate with task force requests. This was followed by Council members giving the task a round of applause.

The task force was given the floor and they made the following comments:

1) The grievance process at MU is plagued with procedural delays.

2) Contrary to popular opinion, MU did not have a large number of grievances and sometimes -- but not often -- the hearing panel and the Chancellor upheld the grievant's complaint.

3) Most grievances went against the grievant. The task force members speculated that this fact and the problems attendant to pressing a grievance probably discouraged many faculty from filing grievances and may have served to encourage some talented faculty members to leave MU.

4) Presidential review of grievances was almost always delayed and did not effectively reverse the campus ruling.

5) There was a need for a 'grievance expert' who could advise the process and ensure speedy procedures.

6) In general, the reports were well written and informative, but the reports often did not include information on the administrative response to administrative problems validated by the grievance panel.

Academic Integrity - Lamberson. Bill Lamberson, chair, Academic Affairs Committee, presented the proposed revision to the Honor Code, contained in the document "Article VI -- Academic Integrity." On discussion, the final paragraph of Option B under section 6, received considerable criticism. Members interpreted this section of the new policy as giving too much authority on this matter to the Provost while limiting the ability of instructors to grade academic material when the material was subject to allegations of academic dishonesty. Members also criticized the report form presented in the new policy. This form would be filed with the Provost's Office in response to an allegation of dishonesty. In the view of some members, the form did not allow the student an adequate opportunity to deny a charge of academic dishonesty. Dr. Lamberson noted the concerns and promised to bring a revision of the policy back to the Council for later consideration.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs:

Philip Johnson, chair, reported that his group is meeting to discuss issues regarding non-regular faculty.

Any Other Business (AOB)

Christensen noted that a draft of the minutes for the January meeting of faculty representatives from the Big 12 conference in Kansas City was now complete and available on request.

Adjournment

The meeting moved into a closed session for committee nominations and election of the 2005-2006 Chair and Vice Chair. The results of the balloting were: Christensen - Chair and Schmidt - Vice Chair. The meeting was then adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward Adelstein, Recorder