Spring Semester General Faculty Meeting: April 17, 2007

Call-to-Order and Attendance

The Spring Semester General Faculty Meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by Chancellor Deaton in the Ellis Auditorium. Approximately 100 people were in attendance.

Opening Remarks & Introductions-Chancellor Deaton

Deaton welcomed the attendees of this meeting. He made some brief remarks concerning the tragic events this past week at Virginia Tech. The Chancellor requested a moment of silence and this was followed by his own personal remembrances in Blacksburg, Virginia where he resided for 11 years. He summarized the emergency preparedness of the Columbia campus in that we are as prepared as we can be for any and all emergencies. He then turned the podium over to Professor Campbell for his report.

Report from Faculty Council-Rex Campbell

Campbell began with his personal observations of the tragic situation at Virginia Tech. He then began a PowerPoint presentation which outlined the following points.

  1. The grievance procedure is going well.
  2. The assessment process is being carried out by the IFC and is difficult, but moving in a positive direction.
  3. Transfer students will still be required to have a 2.5 average and have to complete a math and English course as designated.
  4. The faculty committee has reviewed the extension of time to expend health funds which should save approximately $35,000.00 per year.
  5. The MOHELA monies are being brought up again for appropriate action
  6. The Intellectual Diversity bill, which passed the house, should not pose a significant problem to this institution, as it is not expected to get senate passage.
  7. Textbook costs have escalated and in some cases, the yearly cost is up to $700. The faculty should consider costs in choosing books and we should think of ways to lower book costs.
  8. The Faculty Council has approved the "statement of desired goals" for undergraduate students of the university.
  9. The issue of representation of the faculty in the Faculty Council has been difficult and sometimes contentious. An alternative to changes in faculty by-laws was presented for later discussion by Professor Gantzer. This will require review by the Council and more discussion.

Campbell retiring after 50 years of service to both the University and Columbia community, dazzled the audience with a PowerPoint presentation which graced all with his long-term review of the institution. This presentation was divided into "good news" and "bad news".

The good news is:

  1. The students today are better prepared for college.
  2. The gender balance and ethnic diversity is much improved.

The bad news is:

  1. We are a political institution with the governing board appointed by the Governor.
  2. There is no formula funding as there is for K-12.
  3. Boone county is a blue island in a sea of red.
  4. We are not politically strong.
  5. We have lost our close connection to the people
    1. Demographics do not favor us.
    2. The right to life political force is growing.
    3. Need to increase our extension efforts.
    4. Need to change to applied research rather than basic.

The Future goals are:

  1. Rebuild MU political base.
  2. Work with community colleges.
  3. Close involvement with extension.
  4. Listen to the people.
  5. People of Missouri see us as an educational institution, not as a research institution.
  6. Instant access to information is changing the educational process.
  7. Memorization not the valued concept, need to learn how to evaluate information.
  8. More rewards for teaching, need to evaluate academic programs using multiple resources.
  9. Improve MU, do not pretend things are OK, must allow for change.

Campbell received spontaneous applause, both for this work and his presentation.

Campus Update-Chancellor Brady J. Deaton

Deaton thanked Campbell for all his years of service. The Chancellor then reviewed recent Board of Curator actions. The following issues were discussed.

  1. New campus housing has been approved.
  2. A new RADIL facility will be built freeing research space for the Veterinary School.
  3. Approved tuition increase of 3.8 percent.
  4. HES supplement of $36.00 per credit hour.
  5. Approved increase in $300.00 per semester for the Veterinary School.
  6. Two percent plus one percent salary guidelines.
  7. Expected 4.2 percent increase in state funding.
  8. Projected deficit of six million dollars.
Information was provided that indicates that state funds have been decreasing over time and have to be made up by increasing tuition. We are mandated to decrease operating expenses by one percent to provide additional money to deserving faculty. The mechanisms suggested include program review, program elimination, reduction, and consolidation in existing programs. This seemingly benign initiative may have grave actions toward faculty and programs and should not be taken lightly and without close observation.

Other Business

Deaton opened the floor up for questions. Professor Michael Ugarte of Romance language spoke out against the bill on intellectual diversity saying he is offended.by it. Professor Jeff Router of Psychology said the effect of the bill may lead to self-censorship. Professor Frank Schmidt stated his opinion that the bill was a political power play by right wing politicians. There was also a request for a study to be made concerning flights in and out of Columbia.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.