Meeting Minutes: March 8, 2012
Members Present: Edward Adelstein, Robert Johnson (for Andre Ariew), Steve Bell, Clyde Bentley, Gordon Christensen, John Dwyer, Jeni Hart (for Lisa Flores), Candace Galen, Francisco Gomez, Jonathan Krieckhaus, Ilhyung Lee, Sudarshan Loyalka, Tom Marrero, Jeff Rouder (for Dennis Miller), Joe Parcell, Craig Roberts, Stephen Sayers, Johannes Schul, Vitor Trindade, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, Shelley Worden (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Richard Guyette (NTT), Sam White (NTT), and Rebekah Hart (sec.). Members Absent: Ann Harrell, Cheryl Heesch, Arthur Jago, Rebecca Johnson, Kattesh Katti, Norman Land, Leona Rubin, James Tarr, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty and Staff), Nicole Monnier (NTT), and Katherine Reed (NTT).
Approval of Minutes
Chair Harry Tyrer called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. The February 23, 2012 Council meeting minutes were approved as submitted.
Report of OfficersTyrer reported that we will not know the final budget until May. The Board of Curators approved a tuition increase of 3% for undergraduate in-state residents. The Board has also stated a need to increase faculty salaries by 2-3%. The State’s House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey is looking at ways to zero out the budget cuts to higher education using other funds.
Action ItemsFaculty Council Rules of Order Change. After a brief discussion, Council voted unanimously to accept the proposed changes to the “Rules of Order” that concerned Council’s Administrator Review function.
Recommendations of the Online Academic Programs Task Force – Rubin. In the absence of Rubin, this item was both briefly introduced and discussed. Most of the discussion focused on the same points from our previous Faculty Council meeting on February 23, please find that discussion below.
“2-23-12 Faculty Council Meeting minutes. The main purpose of this task force is to integrate online with face-to-face. The task force was established last year and about this same time MU Direct was blended into One Mizzou. This task force dealt with issues of defining principles and rules for approving online courses and who controls online curriculum. The task force determined that a course is a course and modality does not matter. The recommendations of this task force is to create another task force to look specifically at budget issues and models, and the creation of an online advisory council that would take a strategic and programmatic approach to e-learning.”
This will be an action item at our next meeting.
Resolution. Tyrer recused himself from this discussion. The following resolution was submitted to Council for their consideration.
“MU Faculty Council Statement Regarding:
Chancellor Deaton’s decision of February 29, 2012 regarding the evidentiary standard to be used by the Campus Committee for Faculty Responsibility.
A motion submitted by Professors Gordon Christensen, Sudarshan Loyalka, and Eddie Adelstein.
The University of Missouri Faculty Council on University Policy (“Faculty Council”) has reviewed the February 29, 2012 letter by Chancellor Deaton to the Chair of the Campus Committee for Faculty Responsibility (CCFR).
In this letter, Chancellor Deaton directed the CCFR to reconsider the charges against Professor Engel using the lowest possible evidentiary standard of “Preponderance of Evidence” rather than the higher evidentiary standard of “Clear and Convincing Evidence” used by the CCFR in its deliberations.
- The Provost had the opportunity to request the CCFR to use a particular evidentiary standard prior to beginning the CCFR deliberations and the Provost apparently did not do so.
- The CCFR cleared Professor Engel of the charges filed against him, the Chancellor’s decision has the appearance of a prejudicial action against Professor Engel and a violation of fair play by subjecting Professor Engel to a second investigation and adjudication by the CCFR under revised rules less favorable to Professor Engel.
- The Chancellor’s directive effectively amends the Faculty Bylaws, circumventing the only process by which the Faculty Bylaws may be amended, namely by approval of the proposed amendment by a majority of the voting faculty.
- By establishing a precedent, the Chancellor’s directive revised the rules and proceedings of the CCFR, creating a faculty judicial body that has the appearance of judging collegiality using the lowest evidentiary standard possible. Judging collegiality is not the purpose of the CCFR, and collegiality is not a criterion in itself for tenure.
- The Chancellor’s directive stands in direct conflict to the expressed wishes of the Faculty as stated in a letter from the Faculty Council to the Chancellor.
- The Faculty Bylaws already provide the Chancellor with the authority to overturn a decision by the CCFR if the Chancellor chooses to do so. In a matter involving an accusation of Faculty misconduct, reviewed and adjudicated in good faith by a Faculty body such as the CCFR, that decision should be honored as the final decision of the Faculty body and not subject to administrative interference.
For these reasons, the Faculty Council denounces the Chancellor’s decision.
Furthermore, the Faculty Council views any subsequent decision by the CCFR in response to the Chancellor’s directive to be extra-judicial, tainted by administrative interference, and invalid.”
Parcell summarized to Council the events following our last meeting. In response to Council’s letter to the Chancellor, Council received a letter in reply. In the Chancellor’s reply, he told Parcell that the case is to be sent back to the Faculty Responsibility Committee and for them to use the standard of “preponderance of evidence” in reconvening the committee for a second time. The first time the committee met, the standard that was used was “clear and convincing”.
Christensen read the motion to Council. This motion will return as an action item at our next meeting on March 22. Christensen explained that Council needs to guard process and faculty bylaws in the CRR’s concerning faculty shared governance that need to be protected. He is requesting a secret ballot be used when the motion is voted upon. In further Council discussion points on the motion: (1) the motion is denouncing a decision, not a person; (2) Council could declare this process illegitimate, and to use the word illegitimate in place of invalid (this was accepted as a friendly amendment); (3) it was observed that the suspension came prior to the action of the committee; (4) there is a question about whether AAUP guidelines were upheld; and, (5) if the process is flawed, we need to express strong views. A request was made for Faculty Council to receive the communications between the accused, Provost, and Chancellor.
Standing Committee Reports
Academic Affairs Committee: In Monnier’s absence, Tyrer read her report. The two current issues in this committee are student evaluations and returning veterans. The campus has made some positive changes in order to better accommodate veterans.
Faculty Affairs Committee: Bentley, chair, reported that at their next meeting they will be deciding on a definition of faculty and they plan to submit this to Council for a vote.
Fiscal Affairs Committee: In Katti’s absence, Tyrer read his brief statement that he is continuing to develop an online course.
Diversity Enhancement: Parcell, chair, reported that they continue to review the need for special services of students with disabilities. On the diversity competence requirement, they are considering that this should go to a campus committee rather than to Council.
Student Affairs Committee: Roberts, chair, reported that they continue to work on memorializing student veterans and how to do it on this campus. He also reports that students are complaining about the grading system and that they don’t like to get a 3.7 instead of the 4.0.
AdjournmentThe meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
Shelley Worden, Recorder