Meeting Minutes: April 27, 2006

Attendance

Present: Edward Adelstein, Elizabeth Baker, Ken Benson, Charles Borduin, Bruce Bullock, Rex Campbell, Leah Cohn, Pat Fry, Clark Gantzer, Catherine Holland, Michael Kramer, William Lamberson, Steve Neal, Tom Phillips, Anand Prahlad, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Mark Prelas, Frank Schmidt, Jim Sterling, Michael Taksar, Wilson Watt, Lisa Zanetti, Michael Muchow (Librarians), and Rebekah Hart (secretary). Absent: Michael Devaney, Philip Johnson, Alan Luger, Kenneth MacLeod, Eileen Porter, Laura Schopp, Roger Worthington, Flore Zephir, Adrienne Hoard (Black Faculty & Staff), Andrew Simpson (AAUP), and Dean Yarwood (Retirees).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Lamberson at 3:30 p.m. in room S203, Memorial Union. The minutes of the April 13, 2006 Faculty Council meeting were approved.

Report of Officers

Chair William Lamberson reported that he had just left a meeting with the Provost. A number of individuals have expressed concern over a list of courses with a high number or proportion of D and F grades that went around to various administrative units on campus. Provost Foster stated the list was intended to identify classes in which it may be possible to assist students by getting tutors, changing prerequisites, etc. The Provost does not believe that part of the communication made to the units has necessarily reached faculty and others. Lamberson also reported that his talk with the Provost centered on improving communications to faculty. In addition, the Provost reported on the progress of the searches for an extension director, Arts & Sciences dean, etc. As to the Arts & Sciences position, interviews are pending. Good progress is being made on these searches and the one for life science director. The chair reported that the Provost is pleased with the reorganization of his staff and their assignments. Kenneth Dean will have resource supervisory role. A search will be conducted for the position now held by Michael Prewitt.

Vice-Chair Frank Schmidt stated that a search for a system chief information officer will be conducted. Discussions are underway about whether that position should be merged with the position of Columbia campus chief information officer.

Rex Campbell, Representative to the Inter-Campus Faculty Council, reported on the meeting of the Intercampus-Faculty Council (IFC), which was primarily concerned with the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Plan. Also discussed was the fact that a further evaluation of programs will be made at the campus level. This survey will be received soon. In addition, Stephen Knorr reported on legislative activities. The discussion included mention of the Bearden bill and the plan to sell assets of MOHELA. Representative Bearden has been insisting on a cap on public university funding as a part of the negotiations over bills relating to the University System. Responding to a question about efficiency audits, Campbell reported that IFC had been advised the audits were not intended to identify programs for closing but rather to identify means of saving money, such as by consolidating programs. One example from the past was the merger of the horticulture department with other programs. Another was the effort by the physics department to increase enrollments. He stated that rumor suggests other campuses are receiving the greater scrutiny. Campbell stated he believed the closest look will be at the programs that have not previously been examined.

Action Items

Chair Lamberson presented service award plaques to members of the Faculty Council whose terms have expired and expressed the gratitude of the officers and other members of the Council for their service to the campus.

Campbell noted that a draft resolution of support to the Campus Writing Program had been previously circulated for comment and that a final version was distributed to the Council. Some changes had been made in response to the suggestions received. A motion was made for Council approval of the final resolution. During discussion of the motion, Tom Phillips noted that Michael Prewitt had asked him to nominate people to serve on a search for interim director of the Campus Writing Program and Betsy Baker had agreed to serve. The goal is for the search committee to meet by May 15th. Chair Lamberson advised that the Provost had thanked the Council for its support and helping the search to move forward. Campbell reported that the current search was for an interim director since the Campus Writing Program is scheduled for review in the Fall and the results of the review might influence selection of a permanent director. It was suggested, and the suggestion accepted, that the resolution be amended to urge that a permanent director should be named "with all due speed." The motion, as modified, was accepted by acclamation.

Discussion Items

Campbell reported that the plan dealing with non-tenure track faculty (NTT faculty) is being reviewed at the level of the Inter-Campus Faculty Council and by the administration at the Columbia campus. IFC is debating issues raised by matters at the St. Louis campus. Apparently one dean on that campus is reluctant to accept the plan, having a large number of NTT faculty. A member of IFC from St. Louis wants all the various titles abolished and all positions simply titled "professor." Campbell believes that discussion should be pushed to the college level to the greatest extent possible. He urges leaving as many decisions as possible to the colleges and departments. Examples of issues which should be dealt with at the departmental level are whether candidates should be required to hold doctoral degrees or the highest degree available in a field, whether experience is relevant, etc. Both Kansas City and St. Louis have people who have held NTT status for 15 to 20 years. He believes the positions held by such faculty should be recognized, as well as the service and achievements of such faculty. All of these decisions should be made at the campus level and not at IFC.

With respect to the Columbia campus, the Faculty Affairs Committee acted promptly and has reported on the plan. It appears the Provost will promptly work to implement the plan on this campus. The goal is to have everything final by late summer or early fall, implement the plan in the fall and have fully in effect by January 2007. All documents relating to the NTT plan are on the System website under the vice president for academic affairs. After further discussion, Campbell reported that the NTT plan would go to all faculty once additional feedback has been received.

Jenice Prather-Kinsey, chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, noted that her committee's report on the plan has been distributed to the Council. The committee endorses the plan and commends the work that has been done. They do express concern over the limits of the plan, with some members being of the opinion that a special category should be created for clinicians because generally those positions have broader requirements. Also, they would have liked to see something about university governance. She noted that NTT faculty have expressed concern they are not being treated as a part of the university community. The committee also expressed support for making funds available for professional development of NTT faculty. The committee is concerned about the growing numbers of NTT faculty on the campuses, noting that such faculty currently account for approximately half the faculty on this campus. While members of the committee believe these issues should be addressed, it endorses the recommendations of the plan.

With respect to the balance between NTT and tenure-track faculty, Campbell noted that the IFC shares the concern but has not reached any decision on how to deal with the issue. With respect to governance issues, Campbell believes the Council needs to decide what changes, if any, should be made on this campus. There was a discussion of the proportion of NTT faculty in various departments on the Columbia campus, ranging from very few to large numbers. It is believed the medical school probably has the highest number. Lisa Zanetti noted that the Truman School has addressed the governance issues specifically, adopting a policy whereby NTT faculty are given the opportunity to opt in or out of the faculty governance process, subject to the condition that those who choose to participate in governance incur responsibilities to serve on committees, etc. like tenure-track faculty. Campbell stated the IFC will not dictate how the departments should deal with governance issues. There was further discussion about how various departments have addressed governance issues, the impact of grant-driven research on recruitment of NTT faculty, and the impact growing numbers have on academic freedom. Campbell noted that the next IFC meeting is scheduled for May 17.

Standing Committee Reports

Tom Phillips, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported that it is moving forward on a report concerning grading deadlines.

Wilson Watt, chair of the Diversity Enhancement Committee, reported that it will hold the final meeting of this academic year next week to set an agenda for the coming year. He believed the committee would work mostly on moving forward with the Provost on plans being submitted for the diversity enhancement effort.

Jenice Prather-Kinsey, chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, stated that it had nothing to report beyond its work on the NTT plan.

There were no further committee reports.

Other Business

Lamberson relinquished the chair to Vice-Chair Schmidt, who recognized Chair Lamberson to discuss election procedures. Lamberson noted there had been frustration concerning actions of the Executive Committee and himself to contact individuals to see if they were willing to run for office. The sole intention was to facilitate the elections and encourage as many individuals to be candidates as possible. Lamberson noted that as a part of the discussions on this point, Eileen Porter had urged that a review of the Executive Committee, how it operates and functions, should be conducted. He asked the Council if this concern was shared by others and expressed his willingness to appoint a committee to conduct such a review. After a general discussion of the election procedure concerns, and about the history and the functions of the Executive Committee, a straw poll was taken on whether a review was desired. The straw poll resulted in a vote of 3 urging appointment of a committee, 1 abstention and 16 opposed. As part of the continuing general discussion, Lamberson noted that all meetings of the Executive Committee are open and invited Council members to attend.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the meeting, it went into closed session for elections and committee appointments. As a result of the elections, the elected officials for the 2006-2007 academic year will be Rex Campbell, Chair, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Vice-Chair, Clark Ganzer, Recorder, Frank Schmidt, Representative to Intercampus-Faculty Council, Laura Schopp, Representative to the Board of Curators, Lisa Zanetti , Editor of the Faculty Council Handbook and Council Website. Committee chairs will be Bill Lamberson, chair of Academic Affairs, Wilson Watt, chair of Diversity Enhancement, Eddie Adelstein, chair of Faculty affairs, Tom Phillips, chair of Fiscal Affairs, Michael Devaney, chair of Student Affairs. The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.