Meeting Minutes: August 3, 2007
AttendancePresent: Edward Adelstein, Rex Campbell, Leah Cohn, Michael Devaney, Bryan Garton, Ron Harstad, Bill Lamberson, Norman Land, Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Frank Schmidt, Laura Schopp, Wilson Watt, Lisa Zanetti, Dean Yarwood (Retirees), and Rebekah K. Hart (Secretary). Absent: Joanne Banks-Wallace, Charles Borduin, Jay Dow, Clark Gantzer, Sudarshan Loyalka, Alan Luger, Kenneth MacLeod, Steven Neal, Tom Phillips, Anand Prahlad, Leona Rubin, Jim Sterling, Michael Taksar, Adrienne Hoard (Black Faculty & Staff), Geoffrey Swindells (Library), and Bennett Greenspan (AAUP). Retiring members present: Pat Fry. Retiring members absent: Elizabeth Baker, Ken Benson, Philip Johnson, Catherine Holland, Michael Kramer, Eileen Porter, Mark Prelas, Andrew Simpson, Roger Worthington, and Flora Zephir.
Approval of MinutesThe meeting was called to order by Chair William Lamberson at 3:30 p.m. The minutes of the meeting of June 15, 2006 were approved.
Report of Officers
Chair Lamberson reported that he and Rex Campbell had been involved in negotiations concerning the Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute. Concern has been expressed that it might not be fully or adequately represented by the Graduate School. The negotiations are ongoing and another meeting is scheduled in a couple of weeks. Lamberson also reported that the blood drive sponsored by the Council had been quite successful, generating a larger than expected 37 units of blood. There was no report by vice chair Schmidt.
Schopp, representative to the Board of Curators, announced that at the recent meeting in Kansas City, the Board decided on a 5% increase in tuition and approved President Floyd's executive order on athletics. There was discussion of requiring Board approval of any large compensation contracts, but no vote was taken. A non-profit will be organized to manage the research park. The Board approved a policy on conflict of interest procedures. It also approved two new degree programs proposed by its academic affairs committee. Concerning post-employment health care, various cost-cutting measures are being considered. Any changes will apply only to future hires. The Board discussed integrating Medicare Part D with the health care system for retirees. With respect to finances, the Board is requesting an increase in salaries for the fiscal year ending 2008 by a median of 17%. However, they are asking the State to fund 60% of the cost of such increases, as well as provide capital and maintenance funds. The Board's facilities committee acted on 17 items, mostly capital projects. Eight of the projects are for UMC Health Care. In addition, a measure was passed to implement electronic procurement throughout the system, which is seen as a cost-savings measure. Lamberson asked about graduate student housing and Schopp noted the concerns that have been raised about UMC Health Care's new parking garage, which will be located where graduate student family housing now is located. The existing tenants have been given an extension of time before the families will need to move out. Chancellor Deaton believes the tenants can be accommodated with existing rental housing. About 40 families are involved. Some of the housing would have required substantial repairs to be livable. Adelstein asked if the Board looked positively at the expansion of UMC Health Care and Schopp reported that they did. Adelstein stated he believes the current plans are wasteful especially in destroying a usable parking garage. Tom Freeman, representing MU Retirees' Association (MURA), asked what was involved when the Board discussed integrating Medicate Part D into the current program. Schopp responded that the university and the State have handled this program differently. The State received the funds and used them to offer additional benefits. The university is using the funds to keep rates low rather than expand benefits. She suggested that MURA may want to speak to the Board on this matter. Campbell, Chair Elect, stated that Ken Hutchinson will be asked to speak to the Council about these issues.
Campbell had no report on activities of the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC). He noted, that orientation for incoming council members is scheduled for August 31. Orientation for faculty new to the campus is scheduled for August 17th. A brochure has been prepared describing the council. He noted that Frank Schmidt is the new chair of the Intercampus Faculty Council.
Schmidt reported that IFC can look forward to an active year. It is composed of members from each System campus' faculty organizations. IFC does not make policy; it is advisory to the policy makers. The issues on which IFC will focus and on which it hopes to take the lead are accountability and assessment. Accountability and assessment relate to what students know as they begin their studies and when they leave the university, how long it takes them to graduate, etc. The existing measurement instruments do not work well. A task force will examine the effectiveness of various assessment instruments. IFC is disturbed by the idea, recently expressed in this State, that all degrees are the same, without regard to the institutions which grant them. He noted that the campuses represented on IFC have different issues and views, all of which are brought to IFC. Schmidt stated that a second major issue will be faculty activities. The President has asked IFC to address questions regarding faculty leaves, including tenure clock extensions. Another concern relates to Form A21, required of all working on federal grants. As to private grants, generally the policies are the same. There is pressure to make the colleges take these forms more seriously, with the federal authorities trying to insure that the stated allocations among teaching, research and service are accurate and correct. IFC wants to make sure that any new policies do not encourage micro-management such as requiring that every minute of time be reported. Campbell noted that it has been suggested that a federal audit might occur. If grantees cannot prove they have spent the time required under the grant, it could result in demands for the return of grant monies.
Concerning the ongoing work of IFC, Schmidt noted that the non-tenure track faculty proposal is just about complete. Some issues will not be fully resolved, due to the different concerns of different campuses. On some issues it was necessary to avoid resolution if the proposal was to move forward. Another ongoing project relates to post-tenure review. Department profiles are being collected and standardized. New items on the IFC agenda include a proposal to adjust policies so that the hours of nine month employees need not be limited to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. An issue which could prove problematic involves pressure to make faculty hires subject to the same criminal background checks as are required for staff. Concerns have been raised about sexual misconduct, traffic records and people driving students to functions.
Schmidt was asked about UMC's policy on nine month hires by a member who noted that on some campuses additional pay is provided for any activities outside the 9-month period, as well as rolling contracts, the signing of formal contracts, etc. Schmidt stated he believes the personnel action forms are the contract. Schopp noted that care must be taken since different departments may have different policies. Schmidt asked her to provide him with an e-mail concerning these points.
Lamberson stated that the very early admission proposal refers to the promise to fourth grade students in under-represented school districts of admission with full tuition paid. The Executive Committee believed it would be a good idea for the Council to adopt a resolution supporting the idea. Campbell noted that currently the proposal would cover both Kansas City and St. Louis schools, perhaps ultimately the proposal could extend statewide. The promise would include performance criteria and the students would have to take the ACT. Devaney noted that the idea is to offer opportunity and thus motivate students to work toward college admission. Campbell noted that the document on the future of higher education shows that only about 9% of the students in lower economic levels meeting the criteria for college actually attend. At higher economic levels the figure is 85%. The schools which would be involved would be inner city schools. In Kansas City schools, the system's total enrollment is about 40,000. Schopp noted that the admissions standards would remain the same for all students. She suggested that the proposed resolution include a statement along the lines of: "Whereas the Faculty Council recognizes that students on early admission will need counseling, academic support, etc. . . , any program of early admission will require a thoughtful approach." Schmidt, who introduced a proposed resolution for adoption, said he would accept the suggestion. Further discussion included questions about funding the proposal, the scope of the initial pilot program, how it would integrate with existing programs and whether students would be required to contribute in some manner in return for the promise.
Watt introduced a proposal for new election rules. He stated that he sought ways to streamline the election rules in place during this past season and to simplify the process, as well as to provide for electronic voting. A copy of the proposed new rules was distributed. Watt noted that the nomination process caused concern because it permitted nomination of any individual for only one office. The Executive Committee was not in agreement on that point. There are two steps in the proposal. The first is the vote for general officers. The second is summer election of committee chairs would occur. This would open two opportunities to seek a position and become part of the Executive Committee. No vote would be taken at the meeting at which the nominees were discussed; voting would be electronic and conducted after the meeting. Lamberson pointed out there have been problems with the handling of elections under the existing process. He noted also that by splitting the election process into two stages, new members of the Council would have a chance to influence who will serve on the Executive Committee. Some suggestions were made for revising the scope of the two separate elections, primarily including altering which offices would be included in each of the elections.
Campbell noted that in the past year the election procedures went from part of a page to 3.5 pages. There has been an effort to define every possible alternative and put it on paper. During his five years on the Council, the whole system worked well without this kind of detail. He is not convinced the original system needed to be changed. He noted that the more complex system in effect for the last elections did not work. He stated he will move the original, simpler rules as a substitute motion when this comes up for a vote.
Lamberson noted the majority of the council did vote for the proposed revised system. He pointed out that new council members will not know nominees and thus will not be able to vote intelligently. He also noted that the parliamentarian now serves by appointment of the chair. In response to questions about the problems encountered during the last election, Lamberson noted that the election would have been held at this meeting except for chair and vice chair; this meeting generally has poor attendance. One step required under the rules now in effect was scheduled for the May meeting, yet there was no May meeting this year. Other problems related to the nomination process and candidate statements. In further discussion the division of offices into two election groups was generally approved. Watt stated the nominating committee should encourage people to run for office but should not be called upon to ask people to run for the sake of getting a fixed number of nominees on the ballot. Prather-Kinsey said she believed the committee should be congratulated for the work which led to the proposal circulated at the meeting. This item will be on the agenda for action at the next meeting.
Concerning the proposal to revise the charge and composition of the Retiree Advisory Committee, Adelstein stated he believed it was well thought out and should be adopted. He noted that representatives for staff now on the committee took the proposal to staff committees for review, but they were not interested in putting the proposal on their agenda. Schmidt noted there was a question at the last meeting about the necessity of a strong advocate for retirees and asked if this proposal will give retirees a stronger voice in the committee. Tom Freeman, president of MURA, stated that in light of the charge to the committee, it should include full member representatives of retirees. The committee has not been functioning; the only real activity has been to approve the chancellor's nominees for awards. He believes this proposal is the opportunity to strengthen the committee and help it to function. Discussion ensued concerning the scope of the proposal, its impact on other groups and transition from the existing system. After discussion, a motion was made and passed to suspend the rules and permit action on the proposal without a second reading. The motion to approve the proposal as submitted to the Council was made, seconded and passed.