Meeting Minutes: March 31, 2005


Present: Adelstein, Bullock, Campbell, Christensen, Cutter, Fry, Hessler, Lamberson, Loyalka, MacLeod, Marrero, Phillips, Porter, Prather-Kinsey, Sampson, Schenker, Schmidt, Townsend, Watt, and Muchow (Librarians), and Yarwood (Retirees). Absent: Baker, Holland, Johnson, Kramer, Landes, Neal, Loyalka, MacLeod, Schopp, Sterling, Zephir, 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 3-10-05 Faculty Council Meeting were approved as submitted.

Report of Officers

Christensen announced the upcoming Winter Semester General Faculty Meeting Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 3:30 p.m. in the Monsanto Auditorium of the Life Sciences Center. He asked each Council member to make this information available in their departments and divisions. Christensen felt that there was insufficient advertising of this event and as a result there would be a small turnout of faculty.

Christensen reported that at the next Board of Curators meeting April 7 & 8 in Rolla that the Curators would be considering the revision of the faculty grievance procedure that had been authored and put forth by the MU Faculty Council and their appointed task force. He thanked all the task force members for all their work on this project and he will be present in Rolla for the Curators consideration of this revised measure.

He reported that by all appearances the search process for the next Provost is well underway. Finally, he reassured Council that the issue of recreation center fees will not be neglected post forum.

Report of the Executive Committee Meeting With Chancellor Deaton and Interim Provost Franz
Christensen reported on the March 15 meeting of our executive committee with the Chancellor and Provost. These meetings are now open and the dates, times, etc. will be posted on the web site to allow the university community to participate in them. The one major issue that was discussed at this meeting was the academic future of this university from the point of view of the SMSU at Springfield name change to Missouri State University and the possible resulting jeopardy to this campus.

Intercampus Faculty Council Report (IFC) - Loyalka
Loyalka began the IFC report with a brief comment that the Chancellor search process in Rolla was not an open one. President Floyd however stated that he was satisfied with the process and a chancellor has been named. Subsequently, Floyd announced that all future Chancellor searches shall be open.

Academic Calendar. Loyalka reported that all members of the IFC were satisfied with the current version of the common calendar. The common calendar evolved due to the fact that not all or any one University of Missouri campus share the same calendar. This was received by IFC members in a positive fashion. Christensen asked for discussion of this report. Multiple members of the Council spoke in favor of the proposed unified calendar.

Action Items

Plus/Minus Grading - Prather-Kinsey. Lamberson began the discussion by asking if this passes - what is the consequence of this change. Lamberson called for providing education on what we currently have and staying with the status quo. Other points made in discussion, both Townsend and Prather-Kinsey felt a vote of the regular faculty was in order, a Missouri Student Association (MSA) representative pressed the student's case for a set grading scale (where for example a 90 is an A in any course), Fry suggested clarification of the current policy in problematic applications and finally Schmidt moved to table this item and return it to Academic Affairs for further study and work. Motion was approved.

Elections Task Force Report - Porter. This item opened with an introduction from Porter. The report is a comprehensive change in Faculty Council's two current elections, the one for chair and vice chair in April by the existing Council, and the one for the remainder of the executive committee at the end of July (summer session) by the newly constituted Council which will sit in the upcoming academic year.

In addition to major conceptual changes in the proposed procedures, there are logistical changes as well in that a rule or rules are put in place per each step in the election processes. On Council's elections, there would be but one election in May for all executive committee members. The next academic year's Council would not have voting role in the election for their executive committee membership, unless the divisional elections have taken place by then. If the elections have been completed, the newly elected members may run for office, but cannot vote,

Fry presented to Council a substitute motion in the form of the report with strike overs and a few short additions. This substitute motion dealt only with the time of the elections occurring in the Council year and also shortened a lengthy, convoluted document. Her suggestion was to change the spring election so that it involved all the officers, and then move the second election to the first meeting of the fall semester for the remaining standing committee chairs. This would allow for a full participation of each voting member of the current Council in the spring as well as a full participation of each voting member of the next academic year's group.

Our current rules call for an election in April for a chair and vice chair by the existing Council and an election in July (the summer session) for the remainder of the executive committee by the ongoing Council which is in place at that time. The officers and executive committee are then known and complete when the Fall Semester starts.

On the substitute motion a call for a vote was made. Christensen asked for a show of hands, and the substitute motion failed by one vote. Discussion continued on the original report by Porter. Schmidt made a suggestion to amend this item, and he also called for this item to be tabled. The motion to table passed.

Discussion Items

Guest: Rooney, Budget Director MU, Office of the Budget. Rooney was asked to appear before Council concerning the university's debt capacity and what influence the athletic department has on it. He began by telling Council that the university's credit rating was good and could actually be adjusted to receive more credit. He clarified to the group that the new arena and the Tom Taylor Building construction was financed by private donors and the university had not incurred any indebtedness with these additions. Further, the athletic department does not enjoy self-sufficiency but receives approximately 1.5 million dollars annually from the university's state funds for their continued operation. Fry asked for a clarification on the issue of the university's debt capacity in that if the credit rate is variable and if it is to what degree. Rooney response was that he would need to do some research before answering that question. There were also inquiries made by Adelstein, Yarwood, Marrero and Schmidt that had to do with debt incurment by separate parts of the university and to what degree are they carrying debt. Rooney responded by saying that if there is university debt such as for dormitories, it is more likely carried by auxiliary services component of the university. Christensen thanked Rooney for once again responding to Faculty Council's request for him to appear and answer their questions.

Any Other Business 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.


The meeting went into a brief closed session. The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Campbell, Recorder