Meeting Minutes: April 9, 2009

Attendance

Present: Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow, Clyde Bentley, Leah Cohn, Jay Dow, Arthur Jago, Victoria Johnson, John Lande, April Langley, Alan Luger, Tom Marrero, Rebecca McCathren, Jim McGlew, Joe Parcell, Tom Phillips, Eileen Porter, Leona Rubin, Frank Schmidt, Michael Taksar, David Trinklein, William Wiebold, Shelley Worden (Librarians), Edward Hunvald (Retirees), and Rebekah K. Hart (sec.). Absent: Michael Diamond, Norman Land, Kenneth MacLeod, Steven Neal, Xiaoguang Ni, Stephen Sayers, J. Wilson Watt, Adam Whaley-Connell, Ian Worthington, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty & Staff), Rainer Glaser (AAUP), Lori McKinley, 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 3-12-09 minutes were approved as submitted. The agenda order was suspended in order to take our guests first.

Report of Officers

Chair Phillips opened the meeting with a reminder of the Spring Semester General Faculty meeting April 30, 2009, 3:30 p.m. Room 22 Tate Hall. He went on with a report from the recent Board meetings in Rolla and made the following points: (1) the university received a good audit report and the institution’s bond rating is Double A2 which is a good rating; (2) the Board of Curators will meet at a special meeting this summer to discuss benefits; (3) the Access Missouri bill was defeated in the Missouri Legislature; (4) the possibility of budget withholding has not been eliminated for this year; and, (5) if employee furloughs occur they are not likely for the Columbia campus.

Action Items

Taskforce to review General Education Program - Trinklein. A motion was made to take the draft of the General Education document to the spring general faculty meeting for discussion and a vote of the faculty following this meeting. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

"Proposal for a campus-wide review of the General Education Program

RATIONALE: The General Education Policy is one of the cornerstones of the undergraduate educational experience at MU. It is essential that such a key program be periodically reviewed by the faculty to ensure it continues to achieve the original goal that "All baccalaureate graduates of the University should have a sound intellectual foundation in the liberal arts and sciences which provides the ability to reason and think critically, to write and speak coherently, to understand important issues confronting society, to understand the importance of international affairs in an increasingly interdependent global environment, to understand our culture and history, to appreciate the fine arts and the humanities and to understand major scientific and technological influences in society.

PROPOSED MOTION: Faculty Council shall appoint a committee consisting of members from within and outside Faculty Council with a mandate to review the entire General Education program and make recommendations, via Faculty Council, to the general faculty. If any significant alterations of the Gen Ed program are recommended, Council will hold appropriate open forums on the proposals and hold a ballot to gain the sense of the general faculty. Although this review should encompass all aspects of the Gen Ed program, specific issues that have already been identified for discussion include:

  1. Is there a need to incorporate a requirement for a course exploring diversity in the Gen Ed curriculum? If so, what would be the parameters of courses which would meet this requirement? The ability of existing courses and faculty to handle the increased demand for these courses should be assessed. In addition, the impact of additional course requirements on students should be evaluated.
  2. Review and clarify what are the requirements for a laboratory course.
  3. Review and clarify the role of experiential learning classes (e.g., musical performance) in Gen Ed.
  4. Review and clarify the requirement that a General Education course should be limited to no more than one prerequisite.
  5. Review and clarify the requirement that College Algebra (or ACT/SAT scores that exempt the student from it) is both a requirement and prerequisite for courses filling the Math Reasoning Proficiency (MRP) requirement.
  6. How can the quality of general education at MU be assessed? Review the impact of state mandated entry and exit competencies for General Education classes. Review the impact of growing enrollment and stagnant or declining faculty numbers on delivery of capstone and writing intensive courses to students.
  7. Do MU undergraduates receive an education outside of their major that reflects their abilities, the various strengths of MU, and what the MU faculty thinks a college graduate should know, experience, and be able to do? Evaluate whether the current design of the General Education program meets the goals outlined in the Core Learning Objectives (http://provost.missouri.edu/assessment/general-education.html) of the University.
  8. Evaluate whether the current design of the General Education program meets the goals outlined in the Core Learning Objectives (http://provost.missouri.edu/assessment/general-education.html) of the University.
  9. Examine if any college or programs have distribution and/or residency requirements that interfere with students' ability to fill General Education requirements in a timely manner and recommend a policy to remove such hindrances.
  10. Should we add an information literacy requirement? At one point we had a computer-information proficiency (CIP) requirement that was ultimately dropped or handed off to departments and colleges to handle on based on their curriculum needs. However, we infer that our students will be able to "discover" in the general education goals. We have students that trust any web based information. Should we equip our students with the ability to find resources and identify them as scholarly versus popular opinion driven? If we do, should it be required within the first two years, so the students are equipped this way for upper division course work?)
  11. Is there a need to incorporate a General Education requirement for a service learning course/community service project?"

Discussion Items

Guest: Chief Jack Watring of the MU Police Department. The MU Police Department is composed of three types of employees: commissioned policy officers (32), security officers (8), and campus safety officers (in large part students, 45). The campus safety officers are used mainly for traffic control after games and events on campus. The police currently has six dispatchers. They are an accredited police agency with reviews conducted every three years. The next accreditation is scheduled for November 2009. The MU Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol are the only accredited police departments in mid-Missouri.

The MU Police Department patrols reach across our campus to also include Ellis Fischel and Columbia Regional Hospital and the two off-site residential areas. There is currently a memorandum of understanding with City of Columbia Police Department that allows them to work together in some instances. He mentioned that this campus does not allow officers to carry tasers however tasers are allowed on the other three campuses. The university (system and campus) and MU Police Department are against legislation to allow, "registered to carry concealed weapons to carry them on college campuses". This legislation has passed in the Missouri House of Representatives and will soon be considered in the Senate. Similar legislation is being heard in several other states.

Diversity Motion - Schmidt. [Recorder's Note: This item was added to the agenda at this meeting.] Schmidt brought to Council the MSA resolution on including the MU Equity Office in the diversity syllabus statement. Discussion followed on whether this is just a change of statement or a change "in atmosphere". One Faculty Council concern is that there is no easy access to this information on the MU webpage. A question was raised concerning how students report sexual harassment and other related issues; are students using the proper channels and are these channels effective. It was agreed that the committee will work on alternative language and the item will return at the next Council meeting.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs: Rubin, chair, reported that they are looking at intellectual property issues. What happens to faculty instruction documents when a faculty member leaves or dies. MU currently has a regulation regarding this, but they would like our legal department to review. This has a great impact on web-based courses and learning materials.

Academic Affairs: Trinklein, chair, reported they are reviewing a motion of lowering full time status from twelve to nine hours for students with documented disabilities. They are also looking into students classified as military and incomplete grade policy.

Student Affairs: Johnson, chair, reported they are continuing to review student fees and waivers. A reminder that textbook order forms for next semester are due April 23, 2009.

Fiscal Affairs: Dow, chair, reported they are working with MSA (Missouri Students Association) on supplemental fees. They are also working on the establishment of an advisory committee to review them.

Adjournment

Council went into closed session for election of three offices for next year's executive committee. The election results were: Leona Rubin, Chair; William Wiebold, Vice Chair; and, J. Wilson Watt, IFC representative. The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward Adelstein, Recorder