Meeting Minutes: March 10, 2005

Attendance

Present: Adelstein, Baker, Campbell, Christensen, Cutter, Fry, Hessler, Johnson, Lamberson, Marrero, Neal, Porter, Sampson, Schenker, Schopp, Barrow (for Townsend), Watt, Zephir, Yarwood (MURA), and Muchow (Librarians). Absent: Bullock, Holland, Kramer, Landes, Loyalka, MacLeod, Phillips, Prather-Kinsey, Schmidt, Sterling,, Weems (Black Faculty and Staff), and Simpson (AAUP).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Christensen at 3:30 p.m., in room S203 Memorial Union. Christensen opened the meeting by reading a passage on "Pursuing Excellence" from the University of Missouri-Columbia, "A Statement of Values" authored by George. The minutes of the 2-24-05 Faculty Council Meeting were approved with one change made by Campbell, Recorder.

Report of Officers

Christensen announced that there would be a forum on the recreation center fees Wednesday, March 16, 2005 at 3:30 p.m., in Jesse Wrench Auditorium, Memorial Union. This meeting is open to the faculty and staff. Christensen made a brief report on the recent IFC (Intercampus Faculty Council) meeting. He announced that Lehmkuhle, Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be joining Council's executive committee at their next scheduled meeting March 17 to discuss with the group the topic of a common calendar for all university campuses.

Action Items



Religious Observance - Lamberson. The proposal was presented by Lamberson, chair of Faculty Affairs committee. The Council had a brief discussion about minor editorial changes and motion was made to accept the committee's recommendation. The vote was taken by a show of hands and it passed unanimously. This policy as edited appears below in its entirety.
  1. A change for the academic calendar to be implemented with the 2007-2008 academic calendar:

    It is the policy of the University of Missouri-Columbia to respect the diversity of our students. The faculty is reminded that students might want to observe religious holidays and days of special commemoration and is encouraged to accommodate students who have a conflict with a class period, test or activity because of these obligations.
  2. A policy addition to be incorporated into the Faculty Handbook (effective upon passage):

    It is the policy of the University of Missouri-Columbia to respect the diversity of our students. Students may want to observe religious holidays and days of special commemoration. The faculty is encouraged to excuse students who have a conflict with a class period, test or activity because of these obligations. An interfaith calendar of primary sacred times for world religions is available at: http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/.
  3. A request to the Provost that the following statement be recommended for inclusion in all syllabi:

    It is the policy of the University of Missouri-Columbia to respect the diversity of our students. Students who anticipate a conflict with a class period, test or activity because of a religious obligation should request excused absence and makeup information from the instructor as soon as possible in the semester."
Resolution: Principles Establishing and Operating Incentive Compensation Plans - Sampson. Sampson, chair of Fiscal Affairs committee, presented this resolution last revised on March 8, 2005 by Marrero. Discussion was short and limited to some additional editorial revisions. A vote was taken by a show of hands and it passed unanimously. This resolution appears below in its entirety.
"Resolution: Principles for the Establishment and Operation of Incentive Compensation Plans

Whereas fairness in compensation practices is the responsibility of the administration at University of Missouri, and

Whereas perception of fairness impacts the morale of all members of the University community, and

Whereas there have been concerns about fairness in incentive compensation structures for particular faculty colleagues, and

Whereas there are numerous incentive compensation plans among various academic and support units on the Columbia campus, and

Whereas the MU Faculty Council on behalf of the faculty has vested interest in fairness of incentive compensation practices, and

Whereas section 360.010 of the Collected Rules, which provides limited guidance on compensation issues, is silent on incentive compensation plans, and

Whereas Faculty Council Committee on Fiscal Affairs has met with representatives of IFC, UM administrative representatives, and MU administrative leadership to garner an understanding about means of achieving fairness in incentive compensation practices, and

Whereas the issues of transparency, comparison to appropriate peer groups, inclusive of stakeholders, and performance review have been identified as crucial to any incentive compensation practice by Faculty Council, and

Whereas new incentive compensation plans might have the tendency to interfere with academic goals, and

Whereas the Faculty Council stands resolutely opposed to any plan that would compromise excellence in research, teaching and service, and

Whereas careful review of all evidence reviewed by the Committee and Council indicates that the proposed incentive compensation policies support these concerns; therefore be it

Resolved that the MU Faculty Council supports the proposal developed by University Hall and Jesse Hall administrators, 'Principles for the Establishment and Operation of Incentive Compensation Plans'"

Council Chairs Memorandum of Understanding. Christensen, Chair, presented a revised version of the Memorandum of Understanding. The first comments by Council members questioned the need for such a proposal and the form in which it was presented. A motion to table the Memorandum until the next meeting was made and voted upon by show of hands. The vote to table did not pass and discussion resumed. Many members voiced opinions on this item that ranged from, "why do we need this", to "it would make sense to formalize by means of a Memorandum of Understanding". A couple of minor editorial revisions were suggested and made to the document. When the discussion ceased a motion was made to approve the Memorandum; a vote was taken by a show of hands and the motion passed by a majority of the people voting. This Memorandum of Understanding appears below in its entirety.

"Memorandum of Understanding

DATE: March 3, 2005
BETWEEN:
University of Missouri-Columbia Faculty Council on University Policy "Past Chairs"* of the University of Missouri-Columbia Faculty Council on University Policy

Provost of the University of Missouri-Columbia
  1. The Provost and the Faculty Council of the University of Missouri-Columbia ('Faculty Council') agrees to provide the following to the Past Chairs of Faculty Council ('Past Chairs'):
    • Provide appropriate secretarial support, including notices of meetings, maintenance of files, and drafting of reports and correspondence in support of the activities covered in this memorandum.
    • Provide a mutually convenient place and time for the 'Past Chairs' to meet. Such meeting places will include conferencing by speaker phone if requested by a member and access by the disabled.
  2. The Faculty Council agrees to routinely invite the Past Chairs to all formal functions of the Faculty Council, including:
    • The annual Fall workshop.
    • The annual Breakfast with the Board of Curators.
  3. The Faculty Council agrees to routinely invite the Past Chairs to meet with the current Chair of Faculty Council once each semester.
  4. The Past Chairs agree to be available as a standing ad hoc panel of advisors to the Faculty Council.
  5. The Past Chairs agree to be considered for special assignments as requested by the Faculty Council.
Endorsed by the Provost, University of Missouri-Columbia Signed: Chair of Faculty Council & Chair of Past Chairs of Faculty Council _________________ *'Past Chairs' of Faculty Council refers to the group of University of Missouri-Columbia Faculty who have previously Chaired the Faculty Council."

Discussion Items

Guests: Riback-Wilson, Service-Learning and Fellowship Coordinator, Office of Service-Learning & Oetting, Director, Governmental Affairs. Christensen, Chair introduced Riback-Wilson. She explained how very familiar she is with MU as having been a student here herself further that she had worked for the university for eleven years before going to the state legislature. Riback-Wilson alluded to her experience with the state's legislature and how it works with the university and how these experiences both impact and enhance her current position. She described her new role at the University of Missouri-Columbia as a facilitator of students seeking grants, fellowships and other financial incentives to fund their own research interests while a student here. The importance of her work and future goals is to enhance the student's abilities to seek grants, fellowships, scholarships and other funding to support them in developing their research skills and to see to it that these students be recognized along with faculty and staff in celebrating excellence on this campus. Riback-Wilson announced a meeting for students and faculty to learn more about service learning, April 14 in the Success Center.

Oetting briefed Council on the state's future funding measures for higher education particularly the University of Missouri-Columbia. He noted that Governor Blunt had said he will support the same budgets for primary, secondary and higher education. Thus far, this promise has been followed. However, the legislature is struggling with finding sufficient funds to meet the state needs. He described the current opposition of the Missouri legislature to raise taxes. Thus, level funding appears to be the best MU can expect. He added a caution that revenues are not coming in as much as expected. Oetting explained that many state funded programs have either had their budgets cut or have been totally eliminated. The University of Missouri remains one of the few government funded entities that have not experienced a cut in budget. However neither has it enjoyed any increase. A couple other notes from Oetting are a realignment of the campus & system government offices under Floyd and that the University of Missouri-Columbia has sent 100 student interns to Jefferson City. Schenker asked Oetting about bills that had been filed to eliminate tenure and another to promote "intelligent design" philosophy. Oetting stated he did not think either would move in this session.

Plus/Minus Grading - Prather-Kinsey. Prather-Kinsey was unable to attend this meeting and this item was tabled to the next Council meeting.

Elections Task Force Report - Porter. This task force has recently completed their work and forwards their report to Council for review. Porter, task force chair, began this discussion by informing Council that their major task was to rewrite Council's election procedures. This revision would change some aspects of the annual election processes on Council. Christensen, Chair, said the primary purpose of the task force was to enhance diversity and he did not understand how this proposal would do that. In discussion several Council members asked the necessity of these changes and offered revisions to the report. Fry, Council's Parliamentarian, pointed out similarities between our current practice and the task force report. She suggested the possibility of only changing the time of year elections take place. Porter took the comments under advisement and the report will be presented at the next Council meeting as an action item.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs: Lamberson, chair, reported that the I to F issue will not be discussed this spring.

Student Affairs: Schenker, chair, expressed his concern with a current trend in higher education being referred to as "controlling professor's thoughts". He will prepare a statement on academic freedom.

There was also a brief report from Watt, chair, task force on diversity, that they would like discussed the possibility of a permanent standing committee on Council devoted to the issue of diversity.

Adjournment

The meeting went into a brief closed session. The meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Campbell, Recorder