Meeting Minutes: November 13, 2003


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

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Gordon Christensen at 3:30 p.m. in room S203 of the Memorial Union. He began the meeting by reading a passage on "Excellence" in MU's Statement of Values written by Dr. Mel George, President Emeritus. The passage reminded us that we aspire to excellence. We should be satisfied with no less than the best we can do and we should celebrate each other's success. Christensen called for approval of the October 9, 2003 minutes. An error was noted in the third paragraph of the minutes: [Regarding RADIL] Philip Johnson, not Tom Phillips, "confirmed that discussion continues between the administration and the faculty in hopes of resolving this issue." After this correction, the minutes were approved as published.

Report of Officers

Christensen made the following announcements:

(1) Forums on the revision of the Grievance Policy, to be hosted by Drs. Loyalka and Goodman, will be held in the Conley House (second floor) conference room on Monday, December 1 and Thursday, December 4 at 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

(2) There will be a General Faculty meeting with President Elson S. Floyd on December 9 to discuss the melding of the Chancellor position with the President's position. The meeting will be in the Jesse Wrench Auditorium, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Till 5:00 p.m.

(3) At the request of Chancellor Wallace and on behalf of the Faculty Council, the Chair is organizing a "Planning Meeting on Athletic Reform for the Big 12 Conference." A tentative date for the meeting is Wednesday, January 14, 2004 in Kansas City.

(4) Christensen is organizing a Faculty Forum on Reform of Intercollegiate Athletics for January 26 & 27, 2004 in the Jesse Wrench auditorium of the Memorial Union beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Action Items

2005-2006 Academic Calendar - Lamberson. Bill Lamberson, Chair of the Academic Affairs Standing Committee, presented the academic calendar for 2005-2006 which had been discussed at the prior Faculty Council meeting. After a brief discussion, the Council approved the calendar by a unanimous voice vote.
Orientation and RegistrationW,RAug 17,18
RegistrationFAug 19
Classwork begins, 8:00 a.m.MAug 22
Labor Day Holiday (no classes)MSep 05
Thanksgiving recess begins, close of day*SaNov 19
Classwork resumes, 8:00 a.m.MNov 28
Classwork ends, close of day*FDec 09
Reading DaySaDec 10
Final examinations beginMDec 12
Fall semester closes, 5:00 p.m.FDec 16
CommencementSaSuDec 17,18
Orientation and RegistrationRJan 12
RegistrationFJan 13
Martin Luther King Holiday (no classes)MJan 16
Classwork begins, 8:00 a.m.TJan 17
Spring recess begins, close of day*SaMar 25
Classwork resumes, 8:00 a.m.MApr 03
Classwork ends, close of day*FMay 05
Reading DaySaMay 06
Final examinations beginMMay 08
Winter semester closes, 5:00 p.m.FMay 12
CommencementSaSuMay 13,14
8-week session
Orientation and RegistrationMJun 12
Classwork begins, 7:30 a.m.TJun 13
Independence Day recess (no classes)TJul 04
8-week session closes, 5:00 p.m.FAug 04
Orientation and RegistrationMJun 12
Classwork begins, 7:30 a.m.TJun 13
Independence Day recess (no classes)T Jul 04
First 4-week session closes, 5:00 p.m.FJul 07
Orientation and RegistrationMJul 10
Classwork begins, 7:30 a.m.MJul 10
Second 4-week session closes, 5:00 p.m.FAug 04"

Class Cancellation Guidelines - Lamberson. Lamberson presented the "Class Cancellation Guidelines" which had been discussed in previous meetings of Council.

After a brief discussion, the Council approved the guidelines as published by a majority, but not unanimous, voice vote.

"Class Cancellation Guidelines

These recommendations are based on the following assumptions:
Efforts must be made by departments, colleges, and the campus as a whole to maximize efficiency of faculty teaching time, particularly in times of acute financial pressure.
Larger classes can be incorporated into a department's curriculum in pedagogically responsible ways.
Smaller classes remain pedagogically valuable, and efforts must be made to ensure that both graduate students and undergraduates have access to the discussion-based learning they afford. Seminars are necessarily small; so too, small classes offer in many cases the best undergraduate learning environment. Efficient scheduling should work to minimize only unnecessarily small classes
Just as there may be problems with consistent under-enrollment of courses, there may be problems attending courses with over-extended enrollments.
Enrollment calculations must take into account a number of variables: whether a course is cross-listed, a course's place in the curriculum (is it "necessary" for various reasons), whether it is offered as an overload course (tutorials and the like), whether a faculty member 'makes up' for a small course with another course of larger enrollment or by a healthy class enrollment averaged over years, etc.
Faculty workload discussions are best managed between a department's chair and his/her college dean. These are the people closest to the situation and best equipped to recognize solutions.
All parties recognize the need to adapt curricula in response to enrollment pressures in pedagogically responsible ways.
1. Minimum class size of 12 for undergraduate and 6 for graduate courses should remain the general expectation for courses that are part of a faculty member's regular load.
2. This guideline should be used as a basis of discussion between chairs and deans, who will negotiate these issues well before the beginning of the term in question. In many cases, departments that can demonstrate overall efficiency of faculty teaching hours may be allowed courses that technically fall under the norm. This will preserve necessary courses in the graduate curriculum and the smaller courses so valuable to undergraduate learning.
3. When necessary, this class-size guideline may be used by chairs to cancel a class and reassign a faculty member to another class or other responsibility, assign a faculty member to teach an additional class in another semester, or other alternatives to increase the teaching efficiency of the department.
4. Departmental teaching efficiency should become an element of the five-year review.
5. The Registrar will make available to the Chair of Faculty Council measures of class size (by division and course level) to facilitate monitoring possible changes in class size associated with implementation of these guidelines.
6. The Provost's office together with the deans and faculty should work toward devising improvements in teaching. Curricular adaptations to increase efficiency and pedagogical integrity should be rewarded."

Discussion Items

Guests: Stephen Lehmkuhle, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Lori Franz, Vice Provost, on Program Viability Audits (PVA). The guests began their presentation by distributing a document entitled: "PVA Analysis Guidelines". Lehmkuhle described the difficulties the university was encountering in assessing academic programs. Nevertheless, it is important for the university to have some overview of the quality and expense of their programs. At this time the university uses two approaches, strategic planning ("where is it going and how is it going to get there") and retrospective program reviews. Unfortunately, the program review process can incur a defensive posturing and stifles critical review of the program, the review also does not involve the faculty. It has also been difficult to determine the cost of programs and the savings incurred by closing or modifying programs. The university has got to overcome these problems and develop a process of program review because the only way to grow and improve in an era of diminishing support is to "redeploy and reallocate" and "grow by substitution". Dr. Lehmkuhle stressed that the "Program Viability Audits" process was still under development, for example he was not sure of the quality of the data used in the reviews.

Franz described the actual process for the PVA. It will involve three committees working through SPRAC with the involvement of the faculty. She also spoke to the unfortunate and unanticipated impact the PVA process might have had on some fo the programs. Some faculty feared that just the simple announcement that certain programs would be under review, would prompt concerns about the future of the program and thereby impede the recruitment of students and faculty.

A question and answer session followed the presentation. In response to follow-up questions regarding the effect of the PVA process on a targeted program, Dr. Lehmkuhle apologized to the Council and explained that the list of targeted programs should not have become public in the manner in which it did. In response to another question, both Lehmkuhle and Franz reassured the Council that the PVA teams appreciated and would allow for the weakness in the PVA data. In response to another question Lehmkuhle and Franz noted that Lehmkuhle was primarily focused upon the quality and value of degree programs which Franz was oriented toward departments. For this reason, in the view of university administration departmental reviews did not accomplish the goals of the PVA.


The meeting packets included a response by Dr. Joe Cox, President of the Baylor University Faculty Senate thanking the Council for their letter regarding "shared governance at MU". It also included statements from authoritative members of the School of Journalism providing the faculty guidance on the privacy of e-mail communications. Essentially, if the message concerns university business, it is subject to the sunshine laws.

Franz asked the Faculty Council for nominations to participate on the committee that is organizing a 21st Century Corps of Discovery Lecture Series. This request was forwarded to the Executive Committee for action.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward Adelstein, D.V.M., M.D.
Recorder for the Faculty Council