Meeting Minutes: January 24, 2013

Attendance

Members Present: Steve Ball, James Bauman, Clyde Bentley, A. Cooper Drury, Tim Evans, Lisa Flores, Francisco Gomez, Raja Gopaldas, Cheryl Heesch, Art Jago, Rebecca Johnson, Kattish Katti, Ilhyung Lee, Judith Mabary, Tom Marrero, Dennis Miller, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Joe Parcell, Craig Roberts, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, Rachel Brekus (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), Mark Prelas (AAUP), Richard Guyette (NTT), Nicole Monnier (NTT), Katherine Reed (NTT), and Rebekah Hart (sec.). Members Absent: Candace Galen, Bina Gupta, Sudarshan Loyalka, Tony Lupo, Karen Piper, Stephen Sayers, Vitor Trindade, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty and Staff), and Sam White (NTT).

Approval of Minutes

Chair Tyrer called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. The minutes of the November 29, 2012 Faculty Council Meeting were approved as submitted. Tyrer announced that Jim Spain would not be presenting on the revision of student evaluation forms but would reschedule when they are complete. The American Red Cross Blood Drive sponsored by the MU Faculty Council will be on Thursday, February 14 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in Stotler I Memorial Union. The Spring Semester General Faculty Meeting will be held Tuesday, April 9, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Jesse Wrench Auditorium in the Memorial Union.

Report of Officers

Tyrer reported on a phone call from President Wolfe on January 2 and IFC meeting with Wolfe regarding the creation of a new VP position. Later in the meeting Dennis Miller explained the five points of interest to Faculty Council from the IFC meeting: a reorganization of System administration, which would include hiring a new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research; dissatisfaction with the online Faculty Achievement System (Faculty Council should be concerned about what data will be collected with a new system and how that data will be used); the president’s concern regarding gun violence and current campus policies; continued work on the System Strategic Plan; and changes to the collected rules (see attached for additional details).

Regarding the hiring of a new VP of Academic Affairs and Research, Miller indicated that he will find out what the requirements will be. New positions are mirroring at the system level those positions that exist at the campus level. Faculty Council should have some input. To date a draft of the position statement has been completed and a committee named. Discussion from council members regarding gun control and campus safety followed. Tyrer announced that he had spoken with Chief Watring about giving a one-hour seminar for faculty who wanted to be informed of the procedure for handling volatile situations. Tyrer named a committee consisting of Rebecca Johnson (chair), Tom Marrero, and Tim Evans to organize monthly meetings for faculty interested in such a seminar and also to make certain that faculty know about the ½-day workshops. 

Kattesh Katti added that President Wolfe had asked IFC members how well faculty were being engaged in system strategic planning. Two representatives (Pat Okker and Tom Phillips) will come to Faculty Council to present additional information.

Clyde Bentley informed Faculty Council about a parallel Cyber Infrastructure Council that is comprised of representatives from each school. This group provides a means to get the campus to look at needs for research in computing resulting in reports to administration. Bentley will send a list of representatives to Faculty Council members.

Deputy Provost Ken Dean thanked members for participating in the COACHE survey.  Response rate was 46.42% compared with a 70% national average. Dean will have data to share with Council in a few months.

Discussion Items

Diversity Committee Draft Letter – Clyde Bentley

In Spring 2011 the proposal from the Diversity Enhancement Committee for a diversity class to be required for all undergraduate students was rejected by the faculty. The present mission of the committee is to formulate an alternative. Schools and colleges on campus will be asked to report on what they are doing to insure knowledge of diverse cultures in their curriculum. Results will be published on the Diversity Enhancement website, and will also be sent to the policy committees of each school and to the Deans. Lisa Flores reported on the need for a survey that has been proven successful and is brief. A fifteen-item survey has been selected that will be administered when a student enters and when they leave the university. A draft of a letter to be send to faculty policy committees and deans was introduced stating a hoped-for implementation date of Fall 2013 for the survey. Faculty policy committees and deans are also asked to prepare a concise statement explaining how their academic unit achieves diversity awareness and appreciation.  A motion was passed to suspend the rules to allow a friendly amendment to the letter from Douglas Wakefield to provide a clear status of the letter’s purpose at the beginning of the document (to obtain a better understanding of where we are as a campus in terms of diversity). A motion was made and passed to distribute the letter with the amendment.

 

NSEI Resolution – Loyalka (presented by Stephen Montgomery-Smith in Loyalka’s absence)

Stephen Montgomery-Smith summarized the resolution (attached) calling for immediate and long-term actions resulting from the decisions of administration regarding moving the Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute into the College of Engineering. Of immediate concern is the closing of admissions to NSEI and the implications for GAANN awards. Accreditation may also be in jeopardy. Montgomery-Smith reported that Dean Justice used the language of a recent GFS resolution to justify the creation of a “core Nuclear group” inside the College of Engineering. NSEI faculty heard of this group only when they received an e-mail welcoming them to its membership. NSEI faculty are not using the grievance process in this instance because of the time the process takes (and time is of the essence in terms of admissions and implications for the GAANN awards). The GAANN awards are made to a specific curriculum. There is no guarantee that this curriculum will continue under the new “core Nuclear group,” potentially making present members of NSEI legally liable under the terms of the grant). Concern was expressed that we must understand both sides of this argument before Council can make any decision.    

Tyrer announced that the Chancellor indicated that if Faculty Council voted on this issue, he would be prepared to act immediately on the resolution or any part of it that came to him. Dean pointed out that opinions are being confused with facts. Admissions could be opened immediately.  This is not a dissolution of NSEI but a change in where it is being administered. Mark Prelas added that the Engineering faculty have proposed a new nuclear engineering curriculum without the input of the NSEI faculty. If this new curriculum is accepted, it would nullify the GAANN grants. Montgomery-Smith suggested that Deans Justice and Thompson, along with the Provost be invited to the next Faculty Council meeting. Tyrer will extend the invitation and perhaps try for a meeting time sooner than three weeks. Montgomery-Smith withdrew his motion in order to allow the rules to be suspended. Art Jago made a motion to suspend the rules to allow a vote on a combination of numbers 1 and 2 of the resolution’s immediate actions items. Doug Wakefield made a friendly amendment to strike “as a unit” in point 2. Point 2 should therefore read “Maintain NSEI’s academic and research functions intact.” Montgomery-Smith stated that “Robert’s Rules of Order” doesn’t allow for a friendly amendment (any amendment must be voted upon after the main motion has been seconded). A motion was made to accept the amendment.  A ballot vote was taken and the results counted by Heesch and  Roberts. The vote to amend and to accept points 1 and 2 as amended passed (16 yes, 5 no).

"Resolution for MU Faculty Council, 01/24/2013

Whereas, there are continuing and compelling concerns regarding actions against the Nuclear Science Engineering Institute (NSEI) that were carried out unilaterally and purposely done in secret, creating confusion and conflict, and as acknowledged not to be in accordance with commitments originally given to the NSEI faculty, regarding CRR320.150, and  as shown by some emails as described in

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/dec/19/emails-detail-planning-for-nsei-closure/

And, that also appear not to be in compliance with CRR 20.035, 300.010, 320.020 etc., and

Whereas, these actions have been followed by the administration unilaterally stopping admissions of students for fall 2013 which has jeopardized accreditation of the Medical Physics graduate program, and support for US students in STEM programs supported by the Department of Education’s recent GAANN awards to the University, and

Whereas, these actions have created stressful situations for the faculty, students and staff and alumni among other issues, and where the university’s actions regarding NSEI may have legal implications,

The MU Faculty Council calls upon the MU Chancellor to resolve the situation with the following actions:

1. Open admissions to the graduate program in NSEI immediately for 2013 and later.

2. Keep NSEI ‘s academic and research functions intact.”

Any Other Business

Nicole Monnier asked for the dates for the NTT voting rights forum and the date for a vote from faculty. Tyrer announced that the forum would take place the second or third week of February with a vote March 4-8 and the results to the Board of Curators for their April 11 meeting.

 

Adjournment

Council met in executive session in order to approve committee nominations.  The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder