Meeting Minutes: October 7, 2004


Present: Elizabeth Baker, Bruce Bullock, Rex Campbell, Gordon Christensen, Bruce Cutter, Edward Hunvald (for Pat Fry), Richard Hessler, Catherine Holland, Bill Lamberson, Eric Landes, Glenn Leshner, Kenneth MacLeod, Tom Marrero, Eileen Porter, Charles Sampson, David Schenker, Frank Schmidt, Laura Schopp, Wilson Watt, Robert Weems (Black Faculty & Staff), Andrew Simpson (AAUP), Dean Yarwood (Retirees), and Michael Muchow (Librarians). Absent: Edward Adelstein, Philip Johnson, Michael Kramer, Eric Landes, Sudarshan Loyalka, Steven Neal, Tom Phillips, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, 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 "Respect" from the University of Missouri-Columbia, "A Statement of Values" authored by Dr. Mel George. The minutes were distributed but not approved, Rex Campbell, Recorder, asked that any corrections should be sent to him by e-mail. Christensen then held a moment of silence for Dr. Glenn Pierce, Professor, Romance Languages and Literature who recently passed away.

Report of Officers

Christensen offered his apologies to the Council representative from the Librarians group at the September 23, 2004 meeting of the Faculty Council. This meeting was a closed meeting with President Elson Floyd and Council. The Librarian representative was erroneously excluded from this session. Specifically, as noted in section 6.A. Paragraph 4 of the Faculty Council Rules of Order: "[The librarian] representative will be non-voting, but with that exception, can engage in other Faculty Council activities, including service on Faculty Council standing committees."

Christensen announced that both Chancellor Deaton and President Floyd had pledged their support to work with the faculty and desired to meet with the Faculty Council. He asked if the Faculty Council wanted either or both to come before the Council. It was decided that Deaton will be invited first. Bruce Cutter was asked to draw-up a series of topics that the Council would like Deaton to address. Faculty were invited to send suggestions to him.

Christensen reported on the October 6, 2004 Fall Semester General Faculty meeting. He pointed out that the discussion on plus/minus grading did not draw much discussion. Christensen requested comments regarding his presentation at this meeting. More specifically, did members of the Council have concerns about Christensen's comments on the selection of Chancellor Deaton and/or his support for Chancellor Deaton. Eileen Porter commented that we should carefully review the process that occurred when the new chancellor was selected and see how it should be changed. Cutter commented that we need to make sure that a national search is made for the provost position. One of the most defining roles of the provost is that he/she is the head of the "academic house" and this means the faculty have a greater voice in the selection. Lori Franz commented that a national search is currently being planned. Franz was given verbal endorsements by Cutter and Christensen.

The Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) meeting report was given by Frank Schmidt in Sudarshan Loyalka's absence. Schmidt reported that the IFC met with Floyd and that the representatives from the other campuses appeared to be on good terms with him. The IFC discussed conflict of interest policies.

Discussion Items

Guests: Ken Dean, Associate Vice Provost; Cathy Scroggs, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; and Mike Prewitt, Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. Dean addressed Council on the importance of accreditation process by the North Central Association. A self-study report has been prepared and is available online. The North Central team will be on campus November 8-10. The schedule for this visit should be available shortly.

Scroggs spoke on the need for contributions to The United Way campaign. The theme for this year's campaign is "Give a Dollar and Make a Difference." The contributions from MU are less proportionally than for many businesses.

Prewitt held a discussion on the freshman seminars. He passed out a handout that indicated that several colleges offered such courses, however there is considerable variation in contents and requirements. The Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs) are similar to these seminars for their purpose. There is a "learning strategy seminar" that focuses on academic skills and it was offered this fall for the first time. Currently, about one-half of the freshman are now involved in some type of freshman orientation courses.

Christensen asked if more freshman courses are needed. Prewitt noted that South Carolina has one of the best such courses where about 85 percent of the students take such a course. A description is available at:

Tom Phillips commented that his initial experiences teaching such a course had been good. Bill Lamberson said that often the classes were large. Schmidt asked if there was any overlap between the courses and what the Honors College offered. Prewitt responded that there was some overlap and that this was an area that needed work. Elizabeth Baker asked if there was any such courses for transfer students. Prewitt replied that there was not much offered to this group. Christensen inquired what should be done. Prewitt replied we need to look at the FIGs that are being offered and suggested the need for a committee to examine it.

MU Athletics - Rex Campbell. Campbell gave a brief report on items related to MU's athletic programs.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs Committee: Bill Lamberson, Chair, presented a proposed revision in application of the policy of when "I" grades are converted to "F". The major changes needed concerned graduation. What happens if a student graduates and still has "I" on the transcript? The proposed revisions generated a large number of comments and suggestions for changing the wording. Several of these involved the definition of a "year" whether it meant twelve months from the date or an academic year. The result was that Lamberson was directed to take all of the suggestions to his committee and present an edited version, as an action item, at the next Council meeting.

Fiscal Affairs Committee: Sampson, Chair, reported on a proposed policy concerning outside (non university) pay for faculty and staff. The committee recommends the need for considerable revisions using the following four principles: (1) transparency (all incomes should be publicly reported); (2) prevent conflict of interests; (3) define who is covered by the policy; and, (4) insure that there is a good annual performance review of all faculty to determine if all university obligations are being met. Further, the committee did not understand why the amount of income was capped at 40 percent. Porter emphasized the need for transparency. Philip Johnson indicated a need for equity between faculty members.


The meeting moved into a closed session.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Rex Campbell, Recorder