Meeting Minutes: March 22, 2012


Members Present: Edward Adelstein, Robert Johnson (for Andre Ariew), Steve Bell, Clyde Bentley, John Dwyer, Francisco Gomez, Cheryl Heesch, Art Jago, Rebecca Johnson, Kattesh Katti, Jonathan Krieckhaus, Sudarshan Loyalka, Tom Marrero, Dennis Miller, Joe Parcell, Craig Roberts, Leona Rubin, James Tarr, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, Don Sievert (MURA), Stephen Montgomery-Smith (AAUP), Richard Guyette (NTT), Sam White (NTT), and Rebekah Hart (sec.). Members Absent: Gordon Christensen, Jeni Hart (for Lisa Flores), Candace Galen, Ann Harrell, Norman Land, Ilhyung Lee, Stephen Sayers, Johannes Schul, Vitor Trindade, Shelley Worden (Librarians), 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 March 8, 2012 Council meeting minutes remain unapproved.

Report of Officers

There were no officer reports.

Action Items

Recommendations of the Online Academic Programs Task Force – Rubin.  This item will return to our next meeting.

Discussion Items

Guest:  President Timothy Wolfe. President Wolfe was introduced for him to make a presentation and answer questions.  He described his morning activities in Kansas City discussing the nature of the University and communication about it to a public which lacks knowledge about what the University is and does, in contrast to what individual campuses are and do. 

The President largely passed along budget cuts to chancellors on the grounds that they know best how to cut best, i.e., most sagaciously, on each campus.   He will confer with each campus’ administration about how best to protect student success in research and, secondarily, in the classroom given the reductions.  Commitments to the future need protection.  Elimination of positions should be in struggling areas.  He hopes that legislation to flatten budgets, as opposed to reducing them, will be successful. 

The President has toured each campus along with other students contemplating attending that campus in part to learn about each campus, in part to discover the self-presentation of each campus, and in part to consider a campus potentially for one of his children.  We, as a nation, need to encourage more college attendance.  Students who come to a University campus benefit and benefit from the campus.  Students, who go elsewhere, or simply stay home, do not benefit or benefit from the University.

In response to questions, President Wolfe says he hears complaints about the University, some of which he thinks are unjustified and due to insufficient or inadequate communication about the nature of the University to the public.   The University is a land-grant research institution, he emphasized.  The commercialization of research is a desideratum, a most, perhaps the most, important one.  He gave an example of identification of individuals by technology applicable to the eye was an important development in KC but that the business application of it was lost to the state of Kansas.  One of the problems with replacing tenure-track faculty with non-tenure-track faculty is that the emphasis on research gets lost and hence the net research accomplished is likely to diminish with such replacement.  Here the President deferred to the Chancellor who said that balancing the budget is key. 

President Wolfe paraphrased the mission of the University and said that he would like us to become known worldwide for making that vision a reality.  The biggest obstacle to this currently is funding.  We need a T. Boone Pickens or a model of functioning support like that of Washington University or MIT. 

The system, he believes is a holding company relative to the individual campus “brands.”  We need to better market the University to the state by improving our communication about the University’s nature and activities.  [At this point the President pointed out that he was talking in business terms instead of academic terms.  It is pertinent that he has been in office but 60 or so days.

The President would like to present a recommendation to the Board on domestic partner benefits.  Currently 3 of 4 campuses want such same gender benefits.  He would like to present a recommendation for which each campus is supportive.

Wolfe then asked Council for questions; this Q&A session that follows comes from Montgomery-Smith’s “FC Newsletter 3-22-12” for AAUP (permission granted on 3-29-12).

Q:  The State of Missouri spends a lot of money attracting and retaining new jobs.  How does 245 jobs at MU compare to say a new factory in Moberly?
A:  There are three ways to create economic development.
1. Persuade company to move to MO;
2. Take an existing business and expand presence;
For both of these, the number one reason why businesses do this is "tax credits."  Also this is not improving things on the global scale, merely moving development from one part of the country to another
3.  Growing companies.  Commercialize research we are doing on campus.
He really believes in this.  However he pointed out an example of a company, built on research at UMKC that ended up locating in Kansas - because of tax credits.

Q: Comment on the 3rd budget principle.
A: The easiest thing is to cut everyone's budget uniformly.  That is how we do it now.  Does that make sense?  No.  Let's feed those areas that make sense.  Those areas that are struggling, let's cut our losses and move on.

Q: What metrics do we use?
A: Brady should make those decisions rather than Tim, because Brady knows better than Tim.

Q: What is our vision?
A: To be globally recognized for being a leader in education.  We are going to nail those vision statements, so that we become more predictable with respect to where we are going.  They will come from the bottom up, not top down.  Everything - messaging, funding, etc - follows from the strategy.

Q: Is there a trade off between research and teaching?  He is asking about this because of performance funding metrics discussed last year. Do we hire more adjuncts, or create more tenure track lines?
A: We are a land grant research institution, constitutionally established as such.  Tim Wolfe likes that we are a research institute.  "Student Success" is not just about producing students, but also changing the economy and the world.  Research at MU does cost money.  But student success is not just what happens in the classroom, and research plays a big role in student success. 94% of research in MO is done by the UM system.  We are four out of 13 research institutions in MO.  Do we get credit for this?

Q: Economic development - should we as faculty see how we could bring companies to MO?  Look at models of MIT and other big schools.  They start with small companies that become big.  They have built a sustainable model.  Is that Wolfe's vision?  Also what should faculty do?  We are already struggling with teaching and research.
A: We don't have the benefits and flexibility of private institutions with considerable endowments.  E.g. Wash U gets zero from the state, and has a particular business model.  We should look more and more like a Wash U.  We need more self-sufficiency.  Tim would prefer to move to research heavy rather than teaching heavy.

Q: What are the main issues in strategic planning?
A: The most concerning issues are those beyond our control.  E.g. state funding.  From a market standpoint, people might start to minimize value of HE, and demand will dry up.
We have a comfortable margin as global leader in HE.  But as other markets take our market share away, we need to keep the obvious advantage of what we give in our classroom.  Students might go to other countries.

Q: Is there a disconnect between MU and its public?
A: It comes from lack awareness.  For example, before being asked to do the job, Tim knew very little about UM.  E.g. very few know that there are four campuses.
Also, right now we have four messages from four different campuses.  We need to make them complement each other.

Q: Disproportionate number of NTT faculty?
A: The challenge is to keep operating expenses low, and keep classes full.  He is glad he has Brady as a leader to help with these decisions.
Brady Deaton: His first plea is we need more TT faculty.  But we have so many needs to satisfy.

Q: Find the truth of the matter in the different operating divisions. (Ford Motor Company.)
A: He feels like he gets the unvarnished truth from his leadership.

Q: Communications issues - do we have a strategy?
Cindy Pollack has been responsible for the communications strategy for last three years.  e.g. Advancing Missouri campaign.  We need to first understand who we are and who we want to be.  UM system is in place to support the four campuses.  The communication strategy has to represent the four brands (four campuses + extension and hospital), coming together.
Also, we are asking the "Missouri 100" to be involved.

Q: Domestic Partner Benefits.
At IFC, Tim said we will commit to get this on the agenda.  3 of the 4 universities have made their conclusions.  The 4th institution is not as far along as the other 3.  All 4 institutions should agree on the same recommendation.

Q: What about the youth, who are less interest in engineering and such like.
A: 1.  The High school population is going down.
2.  Motivation.  We need to go down to K-12.  This is a scary issue.  In particular, the health of the family - people are older, and we are generally not healthy (obesity, diabetes, smoking, etc).  But also the family unit is not setting a good example to their kids.

Q: The UM System can only do so much with limited staff to communicate to the public.  Suggestion - have a critical mass of faculty that will bring about this connectivity.
A: This is a fabulous idea.  This is something more at the campus level than the system level.

Guest:  Martin Walker, Director Administrative Services Engineering, on MU Veterans Memorial. Marty Walker was introduced to talk about great memorialization of veterans on campus.  He spoke of the current idea to have an interactive kiosk, with which one could search for particular persons, as well as installation of a fixed marble or granite surface into which names could be inscribed. 

NSEI. After the President and Chancellor left, Loyalka stated appreciation for support he and his program has received.  He reported on conversations with the Provost and others, including Tyrer.  Harry announced that Loyalka’s unit would shortly be announced by the Provost as returning to the status it had on March 11.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs Committee:  Bentley, chair, reported they have a new definition of faculty for the purpose of representing NTT in shared governance.  The current working document would make NTT have equal status to tenured and tenured track faculty. Additionally, Bentley gave a report and proposed a draft of ways in which non-tenure-track faculty could become integrated into faculty governance structure on campus.  Non-tenure-track faculty make up an increasing percentage [currently more than a third] of faculty on campus.  Questions were raised about such faculty’s involvement in hiring and the varying activities of Extension faculty members.  Bentley wanted primarily to know if the committee was on the right track.  He took some suggestions from Council and assurance that on the track issue.  It would be helpful to get further confirmation and/or comments from the academic divisions.


The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Don Sievert, Acting Recorder