Meeting Minutes: March 4, 2010

Attendance

Members Present: Clyde Bentley, Cecil Moore for Leah Cohn, Michael Diamond, John Dwyer, Art Jago, Rebecca Johnson, Kattesh Katti, Jonathan Krieckhaus, Edward Hunvald for John Lande, Kenneth MacLeod, Thomas Marrero, Rebecca McCathren, Joseph Parcell, Leona Rubin, Stephen Sayers, Johannes Schul, James Tarr, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, Wilson Watt, Adam Whaley-Connell, Bill Wiebold, Shelley Worden (Librarians), Edward Hunvald (MURA), Von Pittman for Sam White (NTT), Stephen Montgomery-Smith (AAUP), Rebekah K. Hart (sec.). Members Absent: Leah Cohn, Ann Harrell, Victoria Johnson, Norman Land, John Lande, April Langley, Xiaoguang Ni, Michael Taksar, Ronald Wheeland, Fred Williams (NTT), Charles Nilon (Black Faculty & Staff).

Approval of Minutes

Chair Leona Rubin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m., in S203 Memorial Union. The 2-18-10 Faculty Council minutes were approved as submitted.

Report of Officers

Chair Rubin announced that she received a thank you note from the Red Cross that cited an excellent response to the faculty blood drive, there were 55 donors and 47 pints given.  The University Club will be hosting the MU Faculty Network the last Thursday of each month 4-6 p.m., starting March 25.  There will be free snacks and a cash bar.  If this is successful, it may switch to once a week.  The Faculty Council now has a faculty listserv in order to send electronic messages to all the faculty.  The Executive Committee is discussing the procedures for evaluation of administrators and the current focus is on deans.

The MU Strategic Planning and Resources Allocation Committee (SPRAC) recently met with Robert Stein, Commissioner of Higher Education.  Stein commented that considering MU's resources it does extremely well however nationally it gets a C grade.  He feels it would be better to blend programs and reduce duplication across the state.  The pattern has been to shrink proportionally then expand programs he feels this pattern is not conducive to excellence.  He is calling for sweeping changes both here and around the state.  There was a brief report on the "Townhall" meeting on the recent "cotton ball" incident.  As a result of this, our general education task force has been asked to consider including a diversity course requirement.

Watt reported that academic integrity has recently been on the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) agenda and this same item will come to Faculty Council this semester.

Action Items

Domestic Partner Benefits - Cohn.  After a brief introduction but no additional discussion, a vote was called and the resolution passed unanimously.

"Resolution on Domestic Partner Benefits

Whereas, employers compensate employees through more than just wages and salary by providing benefits such as health insurance and tuition reduction, with the traditional benefits structure including an employee's opposite-sex spouse and children;

Whereas, more than 300 institutions of higher education in the USA, including 51 of 60 AAU institutions, have same-sex domestic partner benefits included as part of their employee benefits package, with the University of Missouri System being one of only a few that does not offer such benefits to its faculty and staff;

Whereas, as a result of this inequity, University of Missouri may be less able to attract and retain the best faculty and staff, and whereas this inequity simply is contrary to a sense of human fairness;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Council of the University of Missouri's flagship campus strongly recommends that same-sex partners of University of Missouri employees be allowed access to all of the same rights, privileges, and benefits to which opposite-sex spouses currently are entitled.

Also, that Chair Rubin communicates this resolution to University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee as well as to Vice-President for Human Resources Betsy Rodriguez.

Submitted by: Leah Cohn (College of Veterinary Medicine, chair, Diversity Enhancement Committee) and James Tarr (Education, chair, Faculty Affairs Committee)."

Family Friendly Task Force - Cohn.  After a brief introduction, a minor technical change made, but no additional discussion, a vote was called and the resolution passed unanimously.

"A Joint Resolution for a Family Friendly Initiative Task Force

Graduate Professional Council, Missouri Students Association, Staff Advisory Council, and Faculty Council

Whereas, the Graduate Professional Council, the Missouri Students Association, the Staff Advisory Council, the Faculty Council, and the Status of Women's Committee have all started initiatives to make the University of Missouri a more friendly environment for all types of families; and,

Whereas, these groups have worked separately on some of the same issues related to family friendly policies; and,

Whereas, we believe that bringing all the parties to the same table would benefit the students, faculty, staff, and administration; and,

Whereas, committees have been formed that have examined issues related to Veteran Affairs, the Status of Women, and Disabilities; and,

Whereas these committees address some of the issues related to family, no committee or task force exists that focuses solely on family friendly policies for students, faculty, and staff.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Council of the University of Missouri's flagship campus strongly recommends that Chancellor Brady Deaton form a family friendly task force that examines the policies and issues related to making the University of Missouri a more family friendly campus; and,

Be it resolved that this committee/task force be comprised of students, staff, faculty, and administration; and,

Be it resolved that this committee be formed beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year and be tasked to examine the policies of the University and make suggestions to make the University more family friendly.

Signed: Sarah E. Symonds, GPC President; Tim Noce, MSA President; Leona Rubin, Faculty Council; and Marijo Dixon, Staff Advisory Council"

Discussion Items

Guests: Lori Franz, Professor of Management and Faculty Athletic Representative, and Michael Alden, Athletic Director, Intercollegiate Athletics.  Franz spoke to Council by beginning with student athletics: they are ranked first academically in the Big 12, there are approximately 505 student athletes at MU, female athletes outperform male athletes academically overall, MU coaches are careful about the selection of student athletes because they want a good academic progress rate.

Alden announced that Franz was reappointed for another five year term as the Faculty Athletic Representative.  He also reported that they are beginning a new search for a women's basketball coach.  He addressed the athletics' budget and said that in three year's time the Athletic Department will be self supporting.  This change will make MU unique in that only a handful of Athletic Departments are self supporting now.  On another budget issue the Athletic Department has agreed to return approximately $250,000 each year from licensing revenue.  A goal of Chancellor Deaton is that the Athletic Department will become a revenue source for the campus.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs: Tarr, chair, they are currently discussing benefits for faculty and employee assistance and counseling as a result of the faculty deaths in Huntsville, Alabama.

Any Other Business

Council was reminded about the first election in April and the need for nominees for the offices of Chair, Vice Chair, and IFC.  There will be a second election in May for the remaining offices.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Shelley Worden,  Recorder