Meeting Minutes: February 12, 2009
Present: Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow, Clyde Bentley, Joan Coates (for Leah Cohn), Michael Diamond, Jay Dow, Arthur Jago, Victoria Johnson, Norman Land, Edward Hunvald (for John Lande), Alan Luger, Kenneth MacLeod, Tom Marrero, Rebecca McCathren, Jim McGlew, Steven Neal, Xiaoguang Ni, Joe Parcell, Tom Phillips, Eileen Porter, Leona Rubin, Stephen Sayers, Frank Schmidt, Michael Taksar, David Trinklein, Adam Whaley-Connell, William Wiebold, Ian Worthington, Shelley Worden (Librarians), Edward Hunvald (Retirees), Lori McKinley, and Rebekah K. Hart (sec.). Absent: April Langley, J. Wilson Watt, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty & Staff), Rainer Glaser (AAUP), and Fred Williams (NTT).
Approval of Minutes
Chair Tom Phillips called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m., in room S203 Memorial Union. The 1-22-09 minutes were approved as submitted. The agenda order was suspended in order to take our guest first.
Report of Officers
Phillips reminded Council that President Forsee's Townhall meeting is Friday, February 20 at 9:00 a.m. In Jesse Auditorium. Bill Wiebold, Vice Chair, announced he would send Council a report on the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates (MAFS) February 9-10 meeting electronically.
Guest: Betsy Rodriguez, Vice President Human Relations and Steve Graham, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Rodriguez and Graham made a presentation to Council to update the faculty on compensation and benefit changes. Rodriguez reported that in the current climate of economic decline of this country that the universities' investment earnings and other revenues are being reduced. The university in response to these developments has taken certain decisive measures and continues to make similar future contingency plans. It was announced that because of the expense to the univesity's retirement system there would be no early retirement options offered. The university's contribution to the retirement system is expected to remain the same at 100 percent funded. The university also will continue to examine the low faculty salaries. They will maintain a small pool of funds devoted to faculty promotions and market issues. They are also trying to address the disparity of MU faculty salaries appearing at the bottom of the AAU Public Institutions data Fall 2007. Plans have been drawn up for a furloughing of the faculty and staff. Rodriguez felt that this measure may not be necessary on this campus however it may be utilized on a smaller of the university's campuses. Employees will now contribute to the university's retirement plan, and Rodriguez used the following salary figures to demonstrate the levels of contributions: $36,000/year = $30/month; $50,000/year = $42/month; and, $150,000/year = $208/month (pre-tax figures).
Council requested a statement from President Forsee that should the economy and funding improve that the funds would go back to the faculty and staff and not in the university. Rodriguez said she would give this to Forsee.
Final exam schedule - Trinklein. The problem is that graduation ceremonies sometime take place before finals are completed. The recommendation is to change finals week to a Friday, Monday--Thursday. This will be an action item at the next meeting.
Student Evaluations - Trinklein. The Academic Affairs Committee recommends changing the form: (1) insert choice neutral and delete no opinion; (2) remove no comment as a response choice; (3) section 3 important for Promotion and Tenure with a question is it redundant; (4) appoint an ad hoc committee to review and evaluate the form. This will be an action item at the next meeting.
Board of Curators Observer. The recommendation is that the Chair attend all Board meetings.
Revision of Council Elections - Wiebold. This item was referred back to the executive committee.
Standing Committee Reports
There were no committee reports.
Council went into closed session to approve committee nominations. The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.
Edward Adelstein, Recorder