Meeting Minutes: December 8, 2005

Minutes of the General Fall Faculty Meeting

The Fall 2005 General Faculty Meeting was called to order by Chancellor Deaton at 3:30 p.m. After Chancellor Deaton welcomed the faculty to the Fall meeting, new faculty members present were introduced to the meeting by their respective deans or department chairs.

Noting that general faculty meetings are held twice a year, Dr. Deaton invited those present to make their interests known at any time. He thanked the student leadership at all levels, undergraduate, graduate, etc., for their deep involvement in the affairs of the university, both on a local and statewide basis. He noted they had been particularly active in the tuition policy hearings which President Floyd has held around the State. Chancellor Deaton said we all can be proud of the quality and leadership of our students.

Dr. Deaton introduced William Lamberson, Chair of the Faculty Council. Dr. Lamberson introduced the officers of the Council and committee chairs, as well as other members of the Council. He reported that the past semester had been relatively quiet, with the members of the Council working on establishing the infrastructure for and implementation of the new grievance procedures. Members of the Council also have worked to improve communications between members and their respective divisions. The Academic Affairs Committee proposed and the Council approved a change in grading policy which would give a period of one year to change an incomplete grade. The Diversity Enhancement Committee has been working with other campus groups to see how it best can work with those groups. In addition it has been looking at foreign language requirements for graduate students. The Faculty Affairs Committee has focused on the tenure clock, and particularly extension of the tenure clock for new parents. It also has been examining faculty governance at the college and departmental level. The Fiscal Affairs Committee has reviewed the proposed benefits package and the report of the F & A and Research Incentive Fund Committee. The Student Affairs Committee has focused on campus safety issues. Dr. Lamberson urged all present to bring any matters which are of concern to them to him, to stop by the offices of the Council in Conley House or to contact their representative to the Council.

Chancellor Deaton noted that he and Provost Foster have been and will continue to work with the Council on a number of issues in order to be responsive to the concerns and interests of the faculty. Turning to his Campus Update, Dr. Deaton stated that the strategic priorities of this Campus are the focus of his work. The University has been successful in recruiting new faculty and retaining those already on campus. Noting some specific recent achievements of faculty, he mentioned that Assistant Professor Dr. Stefan Freund has established the Creating Original Music Program (COMP) which includes, amongst other things, competitions awarding prizes for original compositions by K-12 students and by University of Missouri-Columbia students. Professor Dr. Sheryl Tucker is one of ten National Science Foundation recipients of the 2005 President's Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Chancellor Deaton also noted that Dr. R. Michael Roberts, University Curators' Professor, has been named by Scientific American as one of the top 50 scientists in the world, citing him particularly for his stem cell research. As one example of newly recruited faculty, Chancellor Deaton noted Assistant Professor Rigel Oliveri, recruited by the Law School, who formerly worked as a trial attorney for the Justice Department.

Chancellor Deaton noted that enrollment is up 3.6% and that the increase in diverse students is even higher. Growth in financial aid is expected to be significant over the coming years. Since 2000, financial aid has grown by 42% and need-based aid is up 87%. During this time, tuition and fees have risen by 55%. President Floyd has been focusing on financial aid and admissions policies. Dean Mills has led the Chancellor's tuition task force, addressing issues raised by the increases in tuition and fees.

Chancellor Deaton stated that a top strategic goal is quality graduate education. Enrollment in graduate programs has increased by 9.4%. He noted the great success of the English Department's Creative Writing Program, and that a number of master's programs in various departments have seen enrollment growth in the range of 11%. Doctoral degree enrollment is up by 7%.

Turning to outside research investment, Chancellor Deaton stated that the significant decline in state support led his office to work to expand funding from other sources. The University has achieved the second fastest growth rate in external federal funding amongst public universities. Jim Coleman has led this effort and has been very competitive in securing such funding. One example of a successful grant proposal was written by Professor Gabor Forgacs of the Physics Department. His proposal for research on tissue and organ printing was the top-rated research proposal and received funding of $5 million. Another example of excellent University research is the work by Professor Kristina Narfstrom of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, who is doing work on replacing bad genes with good ones using viral carriers. Professor Kattesh V. Katti of Research Radiology recently secured $3 million for work on the diagnosis and treatment of breast and prostate cancer using nanotechnology and Professor Marilyn Rantz obtained over $8.3 million over the past three years for her research seeking tools to measure quality of care for senior citizens. The University continues to work to strengthen and diversify its funding base. Michael Nichols is working with some 20 different industries seeking new revenue streams. Further, the University earned over $18 million in licensing revenues. Work is being done to establish and enhance the chain of technology transfer from the labs and classrooms to the research parks.

With respect to the fund-raising campaign, For All We Call Mizzou, the initial goal of $600 million was met last August and the campaign has now been expanded to a goal of $1 billion by the end of 2008. We are the 24th public university to attempt such a campaign but are convinced the goal is achievable. The campaign seeks support for students, faculty, facilities, programs and grants. So far, 400 new endowed scholarships have been received, totaling $136 million, another $97 million has been received for faculty support, including 60 new endowed professorships. The library's Information Commons was supported by a $1 million gift, and the library has experienced a 40% increase in use. An $8.5 million gift was received by the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. At least 77 gifts have been received in excess of $1 million each. Chancellor Deaton pointed out that Provost Brian Foster has brought a new sense of the economic significance of the University. He also specifically noted the contributions of Ellen Schuster, who helped develop the MU Extension Family Nutrition and Education Program, and of Professor Linda Jo Turner, Interim Vice-Provost for Extension. Chancellor Deaton noted that there are a number of projects underway to improve the campus infrastructure.

Chancellor Deaton noted the significance of globalization to the University and stated he regarded as a very important goal an increase in research, coordination and enrollment of international students. He stated that in Europe, countries are now granting citizenship to students entering to study. He noted the University's strong relationship with Korea. Chancellor Deaton concluded his update by stating he would bring to the faculty any new proposals for debate as they are developed.

Professor Jenice Prather-Kinsey, chair of the Faculty Council's Committee on Faculty Affairs, was introduced and described the Council's proposal for extension of the probationary period for faculty. She stated that during the Winter 2006 semester, this proposal would be brought to the faculty for a vote. The proposal would provide for the automatic approval for faculty, upon request, of the probationary period for one year following the birth, adoption or custody of a child. Dr. Prather-Kinsey noted that benefits to the University could include the creation of another recruiting tool. She noted that over the past ten years there had been 84 requests for extension, 25 of which were for child-bearing. Faculty that are new parents would receive a one year automatic extension upon request, with a second automatic approval the second time any faculty member becomes a new parent. All tenure-track faculty, during their probationary period, would be eligible. One faculty member present noted that most requests for extension have been the result of events outside the control of the individual faculty member, while child-bearing is not. He suggested that there is a moral hazard in the proposal. Dr. Prather-Kinsey responded by noting that the tenure-seeking and child-bearing years frequently overlap. While the choice whether to bear a child may not be totally out of an individual's control, there are limits on the available child-bearing years. She stated that the committee had concluded that the benefits of this proposal outweigh any moral hazard. Chancellor Deaton noted that a faculty vote on this proposal would occur during the Winter 2006 semester.

Professor Jenice Prather-Kinsey then presented a second proposal from the Committee on Faculty Affairs, relating to university governance. While it is clear that University governance is a faculty function, this proposal would insure that faculty governance also extends to the level of the individual unit and/or college. She noted that the Committee's consideration resulted from a faculty member's expression of concerns respecting University governance. This proposal would require departments and colleges to observe the principles of University governance, analogous to those required at the University level, including following Roberts' Rules of Order or such other rules as a department might establish for faculty meetings, using processes made available to each faculty. Minutes of meetings would be prepared and made available to faculty members. Clear statements of how members might add items to agendas would be established. Colleges and departments would function through committees, with as much rotation of membership as possible. The Committee hopes to publish some best practices principles to assist colleges and units in implementing this proposal. Chancellor Deaton noted that this proposal also would be presented for a faculty vote during the Winter 2006 semester.

Chancellor Deaton then advised that each of the units within the System had been instructed to plan for a 10% reduction in administrative costs, the funds from which would go into academic expenses or tuition. President Floyd has committed to the Curators that we will have a process of identifying 10% of administrative costs under this plan. In the case of the University, this amounts to about $6 million. Chancellor Deaton stated he would work with faculty to try to identify administrative expenses which could be reallocated. He noted, however, that record growth in research, the impact of the extension program, student numbers, etc. must be considered while considering which administrative expenses might be reallocated. He has been assured we will not be asked to make cuts that will seriously handicap academic programs. A subcommittee of the Strategic Planning and Research Advisory Council has been formed to frame the questions to be asked and to work with the administration and faculty to identify a range of administrative costs to be reallocated. Chancellor Deaton will give a tentative report to the President in April; the issue will go to the Curators next July. Chancellor Deaton will further report on these matters to the General Faculty Meeting next spring. Dean Payne noted that there are parts of the campus which have made significant changes and cuts over the past several years and asked if those recent changes would count toward the 10% goal. Chancellor Deaton stated he had been told that those changes would count in the sense that President Floyd will look at our success over the past few years as we respond to the request. He urged that in reporting data the adjustments previously made and their success be carefully compiled.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.