Meeting Minutes: September 14, 2006
AttendancePresent: Douglas Abrams, Edward Adelstein, JoAnne Banks-Wallace, Rex Campbell, Michael Devaney, Jay Dow, Clark Gantzer, Bill Lamberson, Norman Land, Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Sudarshan Loyalka, Alan Lugar, Kenneth MacLeod, Rebecca McCathren, Steven Neal, Tom Phillips, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Leona Rubin, Frank Schmidt, Laura Schopp, Lisa Zanetti, Geoffrey Swindells (Librarians), Dean Yarwood (Retirees), Bennett Greenspan (AAUP) and Rebekah K. Hart (sec.). Absent: Charles Borduin, Leah Cohn, Bryan Garton, Ron Harstad, Anand Prahlad, Jim Sterling, Michael Taksar, James Tarr, J. Wilson Watt, and Adrienne Hoard (Black Faculty & Staff).
Approval of MinutesThe 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 in order to accommodate Council's guests first then the remaining meeting would follow.] The minutes of the August 24, 2006 Faculty Council Meeting were approved with two minor corrections.
Report of Officers
Campbell reported on the August 22 Council Chairs meeting with Kenneth Hutchinson, Vice President for Human Resources on the university's retirement system. Campbell announced that he is considering inviting Hutchinson to a Faculty Council meeting. He reported that at the last executive committee meeting Terry Barnes, Assistant Provost for Community College Partnerships, was guest and discussed MU's relationship with Community Colleges. The next Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) meeting will be Thursday, September 21, 2006 at University Hall. The executive committee meeting with the Provost is September 19. Campbell requested Council members to email him any issues they wish to have discussed.
Schopp, Board Observer, reported that the Board of Curators met by phone to discuss MOHELA. The phone meeting was not open to faculty.
Schmidt, IFC representative, reported that upcoming issues will be divided into three topics: (1) accountability with Schmidt recommending a pro-active development of a definition of accountability; (2) President Floyd has asked that faculty leave policies and other policies such as the extension of the tenure clock, and perhaps the grievance policy be reviewed with the goal of collecting these policies across the university; and, (3) administrative affairs will look at benefits, procurement, and financial accountability of the university.
Guest(s): Vicky Riback Wilson, Fellowship Coordinator. Her brief presentation was to request faculty to help promote nationally competitive fellowships coordinated by the MU Fellowship Office. Council was asked to direct the best and brightest students to the office to apply for Fellowships, Study Abroad, and Service Learning opportunities. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest(s): Provost Brian Foster. Foster briefly recounted his interaction with faculty at the fall chairs meeting. He plans to have a series of breakfast meetings to discuss issues developed from the chairs meeting and the Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Education Commission on the Future of Higher Education Report (a.k.a., Spelling report, on the web at www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hiedfuture/reports/pre-pub-report.pdf). He presented his work plan of seven items: (1) Undergraduate Education, (2) Graduate Education -- with a goal to increase number of students application and work on interdisciplinary programs, (3) Resources Issues, (4) Statewide Political Position -- with a goal to enhance the statewide image of MU, (5) MU's Strategic Advantage, (6) Creating a Vital Environment on Campus, and (7) renaming and re-marketed a new undergraduate program.
Foster discussed concerns related to the Spelling's Report in relation to reauthorization of the Higher Education Bill. In the Spelling's report it is indicated that the Department of Education plans to implement provision in the bill by rule making authority rather than legislative means. The report has big policy issues for higher education. The report has three main foci: (1) student access to higher education, (2) affordability, and (3) accountability. The accountability focus has the potential to impact MU the most. In the Spelling report all schools (community colleges, top-tier institutions, etc.) are lumped together for evaluation. The report urges implementation of tests (incoming and exit tests: for example college assessment tests) with public numbers for teaching accountability purposes that will apply to all sectors of higher education (No Child Left Behind for higher education). Currently MU relies on accreditation as a means of assessment. However, Foster suggested that accreditation will be taken over by the Federal U.S. Department of Education. Not complying with the Spellings rules would impact all of MU's federal funding and likely effect MU's ability to award degrees.
Unofficial Withdrawal - Lamberson. Lamberson reported that this policy is mandated by federal government regulations for recalculation of student federal and state financial aid for students that do not complete a term. Joseph Camille, Director, Student Financial Aid was introduced to discuss this topic. It is proposed that a new grade of FN (fail for nonattendance) be added to the grading system for internal use only that would be used for students that stopped attending class but did not officially withdraw. There are a number of students that receive all F's. Brenda Selman, Registrar reported that a faculty committee appointed by the Chancellor, reviews students with a life-crisis. This will be an action item at the next Council meeting.
Standing Committee Reports
Academic Affairs: Lamberson, Chair Academic Affairs, reported that his committee is working on the academic calendar.
Faculty Affairs: Adelstein, Chair Faculty Affairs, reported that his committee is working to establish four ex-officio non-voting seats for non-tenure track faculty in the areas of teaching, research, clinical, and extension. His committee continues to work on reviewing the grievance process.
Fiscal Affairs: Phillips, Chair Fiscal Affairs reported that work is ongoing on the Campus Health Oversight Committee.
Diversity Enhancement: Watt, Chair Diversity Enhancement reported their next meeting is September 18.Student Affairs: Devaney, Chair Student Affairs reported that contact has been made with the advisors forum.
Other BusinessLoyalka reported on the use of an ad hoc secret committee appointed by the Provost for review of academic units. The issue was referred to the Executive committee.
"September 14, 2006
To: Rex Campbell, MU Faculty Council
From: Sudarshan Loyalka, Curators' Professor, Nuclear Science & Engineering Institute
Subject: Request for Faculty Council action with respect to policies for review of academic units and use of secret committees at MU
There are established university policies for reviews of academic units (departments and centers). It is in the best interests of all involved, particularly our students, faculty and academic units themselves, that these policies be followed (see example, University's Collected Rules and Regulations 20.035). In my view, and that of many faculty members with whom I have had occasions to discuss this issue, it is also important that these procedures and reviews not be affected through the constitution and recommendations of secret administrative committees that bias the review.
Since I am aware of an instance where the policies are not being followed, and conclusions reached by a secret committee are also being considered in an ad-hoc manner, I am requesting that the Council undertake an urgent review of the matter. In my view, constitution of such secret committee(s) violates the shared faculty governance principles, and should be viewed very seriously by the Council.
I will be glad to discuss this matter further with you and the Council, and I look forward to Council discussions and action in this matter.
Cc: MU Faculty Council"Lamberson reported on the issue of emails sent out by the Registrar on "change of classrooms" the day before school started. The chair sent a letter of concern to the Registrar on this issue.