Meeting Minutes: September 25, 2008

Attendance

Present:  Edward Adelstein, Michael Diamond, Jay Dow, Arthur Jago, Victoria Johnson, Ed Hunvald (for John Lande), April Langley, Kenneth MacLeod, Thomas Marrero, Rebecca McCathren, Jim McGlew, Xiaoguang Ni, Clark Gantzer (for Joe Parcell), Tom Phillips, Eileen Porter, Leona Rubin, Stephen Sayers, Thomas Mawhinney (for Frank Schmidt), Michael Taksar, James Tarr, David Trinklein, J. Wilson Watt, Bill Wiebold, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty & Staff), Shelley Worden (Librarians), Edward Hunvald (Retirees), Rainer Glaser (AAUP), and Rebekah K. Hart (sec.). Absent: Judy Bolch, Leah Cohn, Norman Land, Alan Luger, Steven Neal, Adam Whaley-Connell, Ian Worthington, Lori McKinley (NTT), Vern Pierce (NTT), 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 9-11-08 minutes were approved as submitted.

Report of Officers

Phillips opened the meeting with an announcement of an open position Executive Director for Distance Education that had been made available to Council in their meeting packets. He attended the IFC retreat and let Watt make the report of that meeting. He announced his appointment of a new parliamentarian for Council, John Lande. He reminded us to attend the general faculty meeting on October 13, 2008 and the Board of Curators breakfast on October 24.

Watt gave the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) report. There is a new Vice President for Human Resources Betsy Rodriguez. Ms. Rodriguez is familiarizing herself with all aspects of the UM HR policy but expressed willingness to consider new approaches. One example she gave was that some universities now offered phased retirement and she would be exploring this approach for UM faculty and staff. Watt discussed the Higher Education Act and IFC will be discussing its impact on each of the UM campuses. The costs of textbooks was discussed and the new state legislation.  Finally, IFC is beginning to discuss computer and research needs across each campus.

Action Items

Faculty Grievance Process-Rubin. Phillips opened the discussion with some background information. The Board of Curators did not reject revisions submitted by Faculty Council last year because they have not seen the revisions. Documents were sent to the Chancellor's Office on March 26 or 27, 2008, which was past the deadline for the April Board of Curators meeting. Deadline for the current pilot grievance policy had been the end of AY 2007-2008 but the Board of Curators extended the pilot one calendar year at the April 2008 meeting.

Under advisement Rubin and her committee have drafted a new grievance policy. When discussing this revised policy it was mentioned that the grievance policy is a worthy goal and there's lots of good in the proposal. But it was also discussed that grievances are a part of faculty responsibility and faculty duty. Some people might be intimidated and fear retaliation. Most of the discussion basically focused on part 4 A 1 which is the grievance resolution panel (GRP). The main discussion point was including an administrator on the GRP. Many members of Council expressed their opinions.  Some points were: the issue of perceived pressure, whether it be true or not; some people thought that the administration should be a part of the discussion; another reason for having an administrator on GRP is to help in resolving conflicts.

Professor Johnson made a motion was made to amend Part 4 A 1 (and other relevant sections in the proposal) such that the Grievance Hearing Panel would be made up of three faculty rather than 2 faculty and 1 administrator. This motion was defeated 17-6.

A motion was then made to: Approve the new grievance policy as is; move for a subsequent faculty vote in October; and, forward the approved policy to the administration following vote. Motion passed 20 for and 3 against.

Discussion Items

Committee on Committees Report 2007-2008. The acceptance of this report will take place at the next Faculty Council meeting.

Standing Committee Reports

Fiscal Affairs: Dow, chair, reports of upcoming budget meetings with the Provost Office.

Student Affairs: Johnson, chair, reports she is looking at the new textbook law.

Adjournment

Council went into closed session to approve committee nominations and election of Observer to the Board.  The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward Adelstein, Recorder