Meeting Minutes: February 22, 2007
Present: Douglas Abrams, Edward Adelstein, Joanne Banks-Wallace, Rex Campbell, Michael Devaney, Jay Dow, Clark Gantzer, William Lamberson, Norman Land, Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Sudarshan Loyalka, Alan Luger, Kenneth MacLeod, Steven Neal, Tom Phillips, Leona Rubin, Frank Schmidt, Laura Schopp, James Tarr, Wilson Watt, Rebekah K. Hart (sec.), Geoffrey Swindells (Library), Dean Yarwood (Retirees), Vern Pierce (NTT). Absent: Charles Borduin, Leah Cohn, Bryan Garton, Ron Harstad, Rebecca McCathren, Anand Prahlad, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Jim Sterling, Michael Taksar, Lisa Zanetti, Adrienne Hoard (Black Faculty & Staff), Bennett Greenspan (AAUP), Fred Williams (NTT), Greg Petroski (NTT) and John Mollenkamp (NTT).
Approval of Minutes
The meeting was called to order by Chair Campbell at 3:30 p.m., in room S203 Memorial Union. [Campbell announced that the order of the meeting is changed to accommodate Council's guests first then the remaining meeting would follow.]
Report of Officers
Campbell reported on a set of resolutions that the Missouri Students Association passed. One resolution opposed SB 389, a second resolution supported stem-cell research, and a third resolution was in opposition of part of the Missouri Higher Loan Authority. Much of the chair's time has been spend on SB389. Devaney and Campbell attended a meeting on Environmental Stand Task Force, a part of the MU Strategic Planning and Resource Advisory Council. Next week the Executive Committee will be meeting. The two items to be discussed include the Undergraduate Core Learning Objectives, and the second is the Faculty Council Representation Report.
Schmidt, representative to the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC), reported on the IFC meeting of February 9, 2007. The agenda focused on the issue of accountability/assessment. The goal is to assess value-added, and use the test information for quality improvement. The College Learning Assessment is expensive, and often students do not take the exam seriously. The likely conclusion is that no single assessment instrument will work for all institutions. For example, urban campuses often see students after they have had sixty hours of course work. The question then is what value can one add if students take a small amount of schooling at that campus. Professional schools can measure competency in specific skills, e.g., engineering, nursing. However, the difficulty is in measuring "soft skills" or general skills such as ability to work in a team, ability to write a coherent sentence, and related things that we expect general education to do. There was a conference call with IFC and student leaders on this topic and issues.
There is a subcommittee working on leave policies. The push from UM system to develop a universal leave policy for all campuses. This issue is still under discussion. Several campuses have concerns about Administrative Reviews. It is thought that the reviews are often vague, ill times, and not taken seriously. This issue is still under discussion.
The Presidential search has started. There will be a committee to meet with the finalist. Discussion from the Board of Curators focused on finding a CEO that was academically creditable. Stephen Knorr, Vice President, Government Relations discussed SB389. The IFC had a discussion on the phone with Curator Walsworth. He reiterated the Board's commitment to academic values and the need for new buildings. All four campuses have adopted resolutions endorsing principle that changes in SB 389 must preserve constitutional status of university and academic freedom. Frank Blum, from UMR discussed the need for MU to participate in Missouri Association of Faculty Senates to liaison with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and in February go and lobby legislators. Schmidt noted that as the flagship campus MU needs to take a leadership role in this organization. Gary Allen, Vice President for Information Technology, reported that someone hacked into the Archival Research Board Application system. This had compromised 1,200 SSN's, and 3,500 passwords to the Research Board System (not Pawprints). There is serious consideration being given to automatic timing out passwords or a regular reset of passwords. Those who have concerns should contact Allen.Schopp, Observer to the Board of Curators, reported that Schmidt led the initiative to have all four campuses adopt resolutions endorsing principle that preserve constitutional status of university and academic freedom. The Board has not met formally. The next meeting is April 5-6, 2007 during which the topic of Intellectual Diversity and the Presidential Search will likely be a major agenda item. There will be Board training in March. Schopp requested that IFC be included in this training.
Guest(s): Marty Oetting, Director, Governmental Relations. Oetting discussed a number of issues that the university is working on in Jefferson City. This year the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) has recommended a 12.6 percent increase for higher education institutions. This would put MU back to the fiscal year 2001-1002 funding level. The goal was to achieve this level in one year. The governor has recommended a 4.2 percent increase with a pledge to reinstate funding to the 2001-1002 level in a three-year period. This will be the first increase above inflation beyond 2001. The budget will be set in the first week of May. A 4.2 percent increase is a seventeen million dollar increase for the UM system. There will be a two percent automatic withholding. Senate Bill 389 (SB389) was discussed. This bill was introduced by Senator Nodler of Joplin, Missouri. One part involved the use of funds from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) and the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative. This was a way to secure funds for public university buildings without using general revenue. The current general assembly is not interested in funding through bond funds. This has become controversial because of the 2006 Missouri Constitutional Amendment number two (CA#2) and the possibility of stem cell research. A question was asked, "why can't UM stand up to the Pro-Life lobby wishing to restrict stem cell work given federal law and CA#2. The problem deals with definitions of cloning. In addition, while it is legal, legislators may choose not to use Missouri state funds for such activity. Schopp asked if the Midwest Consumer Price Index will be used as the benchmark for funding. There are many in the legislature that support a tuition freeze. The legislature indicated that they wished to develop a process that the CBHE could inspect tuition increase plans each year. An institution would not be able to increase tuition above inflation without receiving a waiver from the CBHE. Thus, the recommendation is actually a freeze, but a waiver must be obtained or a fine of up to five percent will be imposed. The issue of consumer Price Index (CPI) was discussed. The best measure to use is the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI). This is not strongly supported with legislators. The next best index would be the National CPI, not Midwest CPI. No decision has been reached on this issue. Need based financial aid was discussed. Missouri has two programs: (1) the Charles Gallagher Financial Assistance program for private institutions, and (2) the Missouri College Guarantee Program for public institutions. The combined programs are funded at twenty seven million dollars and about thirty seven percent goes to students at public institutions. The new proposal does away with these two programs and creates Access Missouri Needs Bases Program, patterned after the federal financial aid program. With the new plan, funding of students attending public institutions would get fifty percent of the total funding. There would be an increase in the funding to seventy two million dollars. This proposal is well supported by the legislature. Oetting mentioned that while UM supports this program the time to start a dialog about how the state supports students with public funds is needed. Yarwood asked if the CBHE has ever reviewed changes in tuition. Oetting said they had not but there is an effort to increase the power of the CBHE, who's members are appointed b the governor in the same way as Curators. Oetting mentioned that next week a bill on Intellectual Diversity was filed House Bill 213 by Representative Jane Cunningham of St. Louis who chairs House Education Committee.
Description of Offices - Lamberson. Lamberson, chair, Election Committee reported that a list of eligible members and the offices that will be elected in the first stage will be available in March. First stage election for the Faculty Council Executive Committee will be conducted electronically following the May 3rd Faculty Council meeting. The following seats on the Executive Committee will be filled during the first stage of the election: Chair, Recorder, Observer to the Board of Curators, Chair-Student Affairs, and Chair-Faculty Affairs. We are currently seeking nominations (including self nominations) for these five seats. Please send your nominations to a member of the nominating committee (Bill Lamberson, Laura Schopp, or Jim Sterling) on or before April 12th. Nomination letters must be submitted explaining why a person is qualified or wishes to be considered for the office. The elections are set up as a two-stage procedure in May with the remaining to be elected in the July meeting at the transitional meeting. Council was provided a description of offices. A motion was made and seconded to suspend the rules. The motion passed without opposition. A motion to accept the description of offices as edited was made. The motion passed without opposition and appears below.
"Faculty Council Office Descriptions (disclaimer: please note office descriptions below are only brief summaries and mayor may not apply to future descriptions.)
Chair - The Chair of Faculty Council is the Vice Chairperson of the General Faculty. The Chair presides over meetings of the Council and of its Executive Committee. The Chair, jointly with the Chancellor, presides over General Faculty Meetings. The Chair is a representative to the IFC and usually attends meetings of the Board of Curators. The Chair meets monthly individually with the Chancellor and Provost as well as jointly with the Executive Committee, Chancellor and Provost. The Chair serves as the contact point for the Chancellor and the Provost for some types of informal communications with these two officials. The Chair is often named to serve on various committees by administrators. The Chair guides the objectives for the year and provides input to the agenda considered by Council. The Chair oversees the staff, office and budget of the Council. The role often involves a considerable amount of social activities. The Chair is provided with a forty percent salary release by the Provost's office.
Vice Chair - The Vice Chair of Faculty Council is a member of the Executive Committee and acts as Chair in the Chair's absence. The Vice Chair serves as a representative to the IFC and to the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates and chairs Council for CSCAR meetings.
The Recorder is a member of the Executive Committee and Secretary of the Faculty. The Recorder is responsible for attending the General Faculty meetings and the meetings of the Faculty Council and preparing minutes of the proceedings. Once approved, the minutes are posted to the website and available to all faculty. The Recorder also works with the Editor of the Website to prepare short summaries for publication in Mizzou Info.
IFC Representative - The IFC Representative is a member of the Executive Committee and represents the Council at meetings of the IFC. The IFC Representative reports to the Council on IFC activities and reports to the IFC on campus activities.
Observer to the Board of Curators - The Board Observer is a member of the Executive Committee and represents the Council at meetings of the Board of Curators. The Board Observer reports to the Council on items of interest from meetings of the Board of Curators.
Faculty Handbook and Web Site Editor - The Editor is a member of the Executive Committee and is responsible for recording actions of Council in the Faculty Handbook and on the Faculty Council Web site. The Editor also works with the Recorder to prepare short summaries for publication in Mizzou Info.
Academic Affairs Chair - This person chairs the Academic Affairs Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. The Academic Affairs Committee deals with all matters of interest to faculty relating to the University's curriculum and academic policies. This includes establishing the annual academic calendar and revising campus academic policies and regulations.
Student Affairs Chair - This person chairs the Student Affairs Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. The Student Affairs Committee deals with matters of faculty interest with respect to student life at the University.
Faculty Affairs Chair - This person chairs the Faculty Affairs Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. The Faculty Affairs Committee deals with matters of faculty interest with respect to primarily non-financial aspects of the administration of the University. For example, during the recent past, the Faculty Affairs Committee has been involved in efforts to revise campus grievance procedures, to ameliorate concerns over changes in the UM System's faculty workload policy, and to address issues regarding the status of nontenure-track faculty.
Fiscal Affairs Chair - This person chairs the Fiscal Affairs Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. The Fiscal Affairs Committee deals with matters of faculty interest with respect to primarily financial aspects of the administration of the University. For example, during the past year, the Fiscal Affairs Committee has been involved in efforts to accurately identify whether (and the extent to which) the University's academic budget provides a net subsidy to the operation of the athletic department.
Diversity Enhancement Chair - This person chairs the Diversity Enhancement Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. The Diversity Enhancement Committee deals with matters of equity and discrimination. It has responsibility for enhancing a climate that embraces diversity in the campus community."
Standing Committee Reports
Academic Affairs: Lamberson, chair, reported on the "Transfer Admission Policy" proposed by Ann Korschgen, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. The committee was largely opposed to proposed changes. The recommendation to Executive Committee was the proposal should be considered by full Council. When this was communicated to Vice Provost Korschgen, the Provost's Office withdrew the proposal.
Faculty Affairs: Adelstein, chair, reported on Faculty Council representation since the 300.010 Faculty Bylaws of the University of Missouri-Columbia, section H. "The following divisions shall be entitled to representation on the Council: College of Agriculture; College of Arts and Science; College of Business and Public Administration; College of Education; College of Engineering; School of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife; School of Health Related Professions; College of Home Economics; School of Journalism; School of Law; School of Library and Informational Science; School of Medicine; School of Nursing; College of Public and Community Services; and College of Veterinary Medicine" are currently out-of-date.
The Faculty Affairs committee is concerned that all groups are represented and that representation reflects the size of faculty within a school or college. The option that Faculty Affairs Committee prefers is the option #3, which states: "All college and schools that are headed by a Dean who reports to the Provost shall be entitled to representation and Nuclear Science Engineering Institute, School of Natural Resources and the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs shall each have a representative. Additional units (schools & colleges) may be granted representation in the future by Faculty Council if they are not represented by some other unit." This option would increase the number of representatives from 30 to 31 representatives.
Watt mentioned that if the use of Directors and Deans were used, such a system would double the representation of College of Human Environmental Sciences and Social Work because both would have representatives. Phillips asked about faculty member representations. He feels that it is sufficient to simply use colleges as groups since all faculty members would be a member of a college, and thus have a vote, although that representation may not represent the differences of a school within a college. Phillips asked whether the biology department could have its own representative. Schmidt mentioned that the title Director is being considered. He urged that Council not to lock in representation based on a definition that will later cause trouble. Devaney mentioned that the collected rules define the membership on faculty council. He is concerned with increasing the entities because, while it appears to offer closer representation for the increased numbers of groups involved, the actions of council can be challenged by a petition of a small number of faculty. When challenged they are submitted to a one-person one vote of the tenured and tenure-track faculty on campus. If the body of faculty council becomes nonreflective of the larger group then every action can be contested. This has happened in the past. Campbell requested suggestions on this issue be directed to Faculty Affairs. Lamberson mentioned that he had concern about increasing the size of council by 30% because it will make conducting business more difficult. A question was asked what the rationale was for increasing the number of membership to 40. Schmidt mentioned that the assumption of a larger faculty may not be valid. The issue of nontenured faculty vote was raised. Adelstein indicated that the issue was not germane to the issue and should be forwarded to the Chair as a new item. Neal suggested that as long as there is a representative a faculty member can report through, then representation is provided. Watt commented that a representative who is chosen by the all of faculty who made the choice, and is therefore trusted to represent unique and common aspects of the group. Phillips suggested that there is not an example of a group that has been ignored. Luger suggested that we give serious consideration to the option #4. "Forget It." Campbell argued that he saw a task that needed to be done. Past generations of council have been violating the bylaws of the collected rules, and he feels it should be updated. Council needs to update the list of representatives in some logical way. Luger asked for specific examples of violation of the collected rules. Campbell indicated the representatives of the Truman School and Nuclear Science Engineering Institute. Devaney discussed that an ad hoc addition the Truman School was added because it had tenure track faculty in it, and so a representative was created. After, NSEI was added to the Graduate School, and it was granted a representative on a 3-year basis. Phillips asked since the School of Natural Resources has merged with CAFNR does that give them a right to have a representative? Gantzer indicated that this was not just not correct, and that the School of Natural Resources (an autonomous school within the College of Agriculture, CAFNR) has always been academically independent of CAFNR, having authority over its curriculum and Bachelors Degree, and has been represented on Faculty Council because of this, since the 1970's. Lamberson mentioned that SNR is a little different because they grant degrees. Campbell requested that discussion cease.
Student Affairs: Devaney, chair, reported that the search for the Vice Provost Undergraduate Studies is nearing its private phase.
Campbell reminded all that we need faculty representatives to volunteer for committee assignments.
Lamberson mentioned that the search for the Director of the Campus Writing Program has concluded interviews and are in negotiations for a Director.Watt discussed specifics about the Missouri State University lawsuit settlement with a social work student, Emily Brooker, who accused the school of violating her First Amendment rights. Brooker said that as part of a class project, a professor asked her and other students to compose and sign a letter to the state legislature in support of gay adoption. Brooker, whose religious beliefs lead her to oppose gay adoption, refused to sign the letter and send it to her legislator. A grievance was then issued against her, and she was forced to defend her beliefs in front of a faculty ethics committee, which demanded that she write a paper on how she planned to reconcile her religious beliefs with her obligations as a social worker and sign a contract admitting to unprofessional behavior. MSU did not merely ask Brooker to argue a viewpoint she opposed; the professor asked her to endorse that view, sign the letter, and send it to her legislator, or she will flunk the class, thus helping him attempt to change the law. That demand is what caused the lawsuit. (http://www.iliberty.org/blog/id.3457/news_detail.asp).
The meeting went into a brief closed session. The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.