Meeting Minutes: September 29, 2005

Attendance

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

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Faculty Council Chair Lamberson. Porter noted that she had attended the September 8 meeting. Fry stated that a slight revision of the description of Dr. Worthington's remarks during the discussion of Executive Order 6A had been discussed with and approved by Dr. Worthington. As revised, the minutes were approved.

Report of Officers

Lamberson, Chair, advised that he continues to work with the Provost and others to establish the processes under the new grievance procedures. A committee has met to review applicants for investigating officer and it is hoped the Vice Chancellor will be able to announce an appointment on September 30th. Lamberson also advised that the General Faculty Meeting is tentatively scheduled for October 17 or 20th and that the date is being worked out in discussions with Chancellor Deaton. Finally, Lamberson advised that there had been discussion within the Executive Committee about means of improving communication of the work of the Council to faculty. Fry and Prelas will be working on preparing brief announcements on the work of the Council to be placed in the MU Info online bulletins.

Schmidt, Vice Chair, reported that the provisions of Executive Order 6A dealing with access to promotion and tenure dossiers had been returned to the original language of the Collected Rules, pending further discussion during the Inter-Faculty Council (IFC) retreat. The results of that discussion will be taken to President Floyd.

Campbell, IFC Representative, reported that the IFC retreat is scheduled the evening of September 29.

Action Items

Revised Rules of Order - Campbell.
Campbell advised that there had been minor changes since the September 8 meeting, specifically the addition of a paragraph in the appendix about the funding for the Council chair, office and staff. Adoption of the revised Rules of Order was moved and seconded. Porter asked if the former Memorandum of Understanding had been incorporated and Campbell stated that it had. The motion to adopt the revised Rules of Order was passed.

Discussion Items

Guest(s): Dr. Lex Akers, James C. Dowell Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, announced the launching of the annual United Way campaign. He stated that there are more than 200 individuals on campus leading the campaign and that the goal for this fiscal year is a total of $2,000,000. Government budget cuts have reduced funds available for United Way agencies by at least $400,000, while those same agencies are facing both significant increases in costs and expending resources in aid of persons affected by the recent hurricanes. He noted that more than 50 families have relocated to the area and need assistance. The University campaign is the source of over 20% of the overall United Way campaign in this community. All of the money stays within the region served by the local United Way, which covers Boone and some surrounding counties. Lamberson encouraged Faculty Council members to support the campaign within their respective schools and departments.

Paul Ladehoff, Program Director for the Campus Mediation Service, reported on the activities of the Service during the 2004-2005 academic year. He noted that mediation involves an informal process where a mediator seeks to help the parties to arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution of differences. The Campus Mediation Service Is governed by an Advisory Committee consisting of three faculty, three staff and three administrators. He introduced Assistant Dean Donna Pavlick (Law), recently named to the Advisory Committee. Further, the Service has a pool of 16 trained mediators, all of whom have received and continue to receive ongoing training as a part of their service. Ladehoff stated that initially the sole function of the Service was to offer an informal means of resolving issues that might otherwise lead to formal grievances or actions, but the functions have evolved to include providing information and referrals where appropriate and some coaching of individuals seeking to resolve differences without resorting to mediation. Ladehoff distributed materials describing the Service and including a report of activities during June 1 to August 31, 2005 and cumulatively from its organization in 2001 to August 31, 2005. Ladehoff said the Service is not advertised but awareness is growing, as is the volume of contacts. Discussion ensued concerning the activities of the Service and the structure of the reports. Ladehoff noted that there may be consequences that result from submitting to mediation, e.g. under the applicable rules the time limits for faculty grievances are extended if mediation is sought, but the rules for staff grievances require commencement within 10 days with no similar extension. Every effort is made to give participants advance notice of the effect of commencing mediation proceedings.

Revised Policy on Admission of Transfer Students - Phillips. Phillips, on behalf of the Academic Affairs committee, presented a proposal to revise policies on the admission of transfer students and said that the Admissions Office had requested action prior to October 1. The proposal adds a new Paragraph E, extending to students from regionally accredited colleges and universities the same admissions standards applicable to transfers from regionally accredited Missouri colleges and universities. In response to questions, Phillips stated the revision impacts admission of transfers from junior colleges outside Missouri. He noted that a recent study showed that students who could satisfy these standards performed quite well after transfer. On the other hand, some national accreditation organizations recognize trade schools and other institutions which do not have equivalent general education requirements. A general discussion of the proposed revision and of the policy in general followed. Issues raised concerning the transfer policy included whether the rules applicable to students who transfer from colleges and universities which do not grant AA degrees should be the same as those for students with AA degrees and whether there should be faculty review of transcripts showing a large number of credits earned within a brief period or other unusual records. The difference in treatment of students who have earned 24 or more credits as distinguished from those with fewer was discussed, as was the different treatment of students returning to school after an absence of five years. It was noted that articulation agreements with other Missouri institutions generally resolve any issues concerning standards for general education requirements. In light of the number of issues raised, Phillips advised that the Academic Affairs Committee would consider the points raised and return to the Council for further consideration. He invited members to forward suggestions and comments to him.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs. Phillips advised that in addition to the work on transfer admissions, the committee is starting to work on the academic calendar for 2006-2007.

Faculty Affairs. Prather-Kinsey reported that the committee had met with Mardy Eimers to obtain statistics regarding tenured/tenure track and non-tenured faculty. The committee has agreed to try to develop standards for extending time limits for caregivers, male or female.

Diversity Enhancement. Watt advised that the committee had met with Vice Chancellor Middleton to discuss the role of the committee in relation to campus diversity efforts. The committee also has started looking at other policy areas, including recommendations made by the Minority Affairs Committee, and will be reviewing Executive Order 6A to see if its provisions particularly affect minority faculty. The committee also has been asked to look at requirements for Tests of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) testing, particularly of Puerto Rican candidates when other Hispanic-Americans are not tested. As to domestic partners, Watt said the committee was looking at various issues, starting with long-term care insurance. He advised that the carrier had stated there would be no financial impact if the insurance were extended to include domestic partners as well as spouses. The committee recommended referral of this issue to the IFC. Porter moved that the Council indorse the suggestion that the issue of domestic partners and long-term care insurance benefits be taken up by the IFC. Phillips moved to suspend the rules to permit immediate consideration of the motion. The motion to suspend the rules was seconded and passed. The Porter motion was seconded. Devaney offered an amendment, accepted by Porter, resolving that the Faculty Council supports a change in the policy to provide for the extension of long-term care insurance benefits to domestic partners. After discussion, the Faculty Council resolved that the Council supports a change in System policy to extend long-term care insurance benefits to domestic partners.

Watt advised that the committee is examining promotion and tenure policies to determine if changes are needed to enhance support for minority faculty and asked members to provide the Committee with any policies which their respective schools or departments believe do a good job of supporting diverse faculty. A general discussion followed concerning what policies might impact minority faculty more than others, including the clarity of standards for promotion and tenure, extension of time periods for caregivers, provisions for mentoring, and disproportionate demand s for committee and other service.

Student Affairs. Devaney advised that the committee had contacted the Campus Safety Committee to express concerns about pedestrian and bicycle safety, as well as safety within the parking garages. The committee has contacted the City of Columbia and asked that sidewalk and corner markings near crosswalks be enhanced to discourage vehicles from blocking the sidewalks or sightlines. The committee will further pursue these inquiries. In response to a question, he advised that he believed the safety of student athletes would fall within the jurisdiction of the committee.

Adjournment

The meeting went into closed session for committee nominations. The meeting adjourned at 4:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Pat Fry, Recorder