Meeting Minutes: March 14, 2013
Members Present: Steve Ball, Jim Baumann, Clyde Bentley, A. Cooper Drury, Tim Evans, Lisa Flores, Raja Gopaldas, Bina Gupta, Cheryl Heesch, Art Jago, Rebecca Johnson, Kattish Katti, Sudarshan Loyalka, Tony Lupo, Judith Mabary, Camila Manrique, Dennis Miller, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Karen Piper, Craig Roberts, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, Rachel Brekhus (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), Mark Prelas (AAUP), Nicole Monnier (NTT), and Rebekah Hart (sec.). Members Absent: Candace Galen, Francisco Gomez, Ilhyung Lee, Tom Marrero, Joe Parcell, Stephen Sayers, Vitor Trindade, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty and Staff), Richard Guyette (NTT), Katherine Reed (NTT), and John Lory (NTT).
Approval of Minutes
Chair Harry Tyrer called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. The minutes of the February 14, 2013 Faculty Council meeting were approved with the inclusion of Sudarshan Loyalka’s powerpoint presentation.
Guest(s): Provost Brian Foster. Foster provided an update on the press, indicating that it was in good shape, the new interim director was very effective, and that hiring would be taking place to fill those positions left vacant as a result of the near closure. Claire Willcox has returned as editor-in-chief and a search in underway for a permanent director, with a committee co-chaired by Gary Kremer (State Historical Society) and Jim Cogswell (MU Libraries). The press is actively looking at digital publishing and engaging in more aggressive marketing. Work is continuing with Pat Morton to create a fiscal plan where costs would be subsidized. The advisory committee has enjoyed good meetings with thoughtful questions.
Foster also discussed the enrollment summit held last week. Big decisions must be made regarding enrollment levels. We have grown 45% in the last ten years, leading to issues of space, faculty, and modes of delivering instruction in terms of technology. Tuition is a large segment of the budget. Faculty Council will have to be involved in discussions regarding budget issues; budget hearings are a good place to begin. Ken Dean noted that the mix of in- and out-of-state tuition has changed substantially, with about 26% of the total student body non-resident. First-time freshmen have also increased, with approximately one third from out-of-state. Like MU, other universities are vigorously recruiting out-of-state students. Bentley asked if not growing was an option. Foster responded that it was, but of course, this option has revenue implications. Now marginal cost is less than marginal revenue, depending on the unit of instruction. Bentley noted that it is not wise to look at enrollment only as a budgetary concern. Foster agreed, adding that diversity is also an important element. Wakefield remarked that differential tuition and fees dependent on program also need to be addressed. Foster responded that these fees are already regarded as supplemental. Evans asked if most out-of-state students pay for all four years as out-of-state. Foster explained that the majority of undergraduate students do not become in-state.
Miller turned the discussion to the press again asking if it would be going from a system resource to a campus resource. Foster answered that it was a system resource in the sense that faculty from other places could publish. One person from each university campus is on the advisory council. Questions have come up as to why we don’t publish more of our own faculties’ books. The answer is that publication depends on areas of research and where the good places to publish in those areas are located. Tyrer wanted to know what steps are being taken to ensure that the same problems with the press don’t recur as well as what we are doing to erase the deficit and secure ongoing success. Foster explained that presses are subsidized at most institutions; scholarly publishing cannot pay for itself. We will have a transition period of a couple of years, but will continue to work on fiscal viability.
Gopaldas expressed concern that while enrollment was going up, the AU ranking is slipping. At some point, we need to use enrollment monies to hire good faculty. How do you view this? Foster reminded Council of the financial difficulties of the past five years, even though numbers, quality of students, and retention were increasing. We hope to get increased funding from the state. In fact, MU has fared better than other institutions. University President Tim Wolfe has indicated, however, that we must do some serious thinking about our spending and that both expenses and revenue must be considered. Wakefield asked about strategies for expense reduction. Foster stated that he didn’t know what would be cut, but that we could not continue with what we have always done. Still, we are thinly staffed with not much room to become more efficient.
Tyrer asked that the discussion return to the press, wondering whether the advisory committee would be permanent. Foster answered that it would; determination of focus areas, for instance, need faculty input. Although not part of the press, conversations are also taking place regarding the future of scholarly communication. A graduate certificate program could enable students to work in this field. We also want to put together an advisory group from high-ranking people working presently in scholarly publishing. Johnson raised the question of timeframe for the press in terms of a new business plan and a new direction. Foster speculated that it would be over the next year or two. But we must remember that the world of publishing is very volatile. We will have a permanent director and advisory committee of high-level people. Acquisitions are moving along. Tyrer asked if there was anything Faculty Council could be doing now except keeping informed. Foster said probably not at this time. We are still in the planning stages.
Root Causes Committee – Jago. Jago reported on the progress of the Root Causes Committee, appointed by Faculty Council on October 23, 2012 to look at root cause issues in the decision to close the press. The committee met twenty four times and held face-to-face meetings with eighteen individuals. Most of these latter meetings were one-on-one. One group met with President Wolfe and attended his staff meetings. The committee looked at archival documents from the popular press as well as those in University Hall. Jago made it clear that the committee was not looking at the actions taken, but at the process in doing so. The committee sought to answer several questions that are outlined under “The Committee’s Findings” in the accompanying document. Jago went through each question and what the committee determined from their investigations. Also as part of the report were a list of five lessons learned, which Jago also summarized. Jago was praised by several members of Faculty Council for the committee’s superior work and the model report that resulted. Jago pointed out that the committee wanted the university to mature in how it deals with problems and in terms of relationships that should be formed. The university is part of an ecosystem that is evolving rapidly. We cannot be held back by CRR that prevent us from doing what is right. Procedures must be followed, but we must also be flexible. Wakefield added that faculty must be more responsive when consultation is sought and to do so in a rapid manner. Roberts noted that the Root Causes Committee report should be regarded as a case study in what to do and how to fix a problem. A motion was made and seconded to suspend the rules. Loyalka made the motion to accept the document as written. The motion was seconded and accepted unanimously.
Reading Day Consideration – Monnier. Faculty need space and time to hold a make-up class for the days missed in February due to snow. Many faculty may not use this opportunity, but they should have the option. Parcell was concerned that we had passed too quickly the motion to not count the missed day as a snow day. Evans offered that we suspend the rules too much and that we should look at this practice more seriously. Nevertheless, the motion was made, seconded, and accepted to suspend the rules. A motion was made and seconded to accept the recommendation from Academic Affairs as presented. Evans asked if the document as presented to Council was the one we were voting on. Monnier responded that it was, with the addition of the fifth bulleted item. The motion was approved. Tyrer will send the document on to faculty.
“Academic Affairs: Motion to lift ban on classes on SP13 Reading Day
Motion: In light of the university snow day closures in February 2013, the Faculty Council is lifting the ban on classes on Reading Day for spring semester 2013 to allow for the optional rescheduling of a Tuesday class meeting for those courses otherwise unable to make up course material. Instructors who choose this option must adhere to the following conditions:
- The use of the Friday Reading Day for a Tuesday make-up day is optional, not required. Instructors are urged first to consider alternative options, such as an online or evening reschedule during the regular semester, before using the Friday Reading Day for that purpose;
- Instructors may use the make-up day only for courses whose schedules include a regular Tuesday/Thursday course meeting time, and that the make-up day be for Tuesday only;
- Instructors may not use the make-up day for a final test or final exam;
Instructors may not penalize students for non-attendance;
- Instructors must schedule the class for the same time it was held during the semester to avoid any conflict with other potential Tuesday make-up classes that day;
- Instructors must request and confirm the availability of the classroom for the make-up day through the appropriate scheduling unit (i.e., the Registrar’s Office for centrally scheduled courses, and the scheduling manager for locally controlled classrooms);
- Instructors must inform students of the intention to make use of the optional make-up day no later than Friday, April 5th.
Rationale: The snow day university closures of February 2013, specifically, Thursday, February 21st after 12 p.m. and the full closure on Tuesday, February 26th, have resulted in the loss of a full week of classes for many courses meeting on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. Instructors have been asked to make up the missing material, and many have found ways to do so (e.g., online, make-up classes during the regular semester, adjustment of lecture schedules). However, for courses requiring certain building space (e.g., a lab; a population too large to accommodate an extra class during the semester) or require a certain number of contact hours (e.g., for professional licensure), these options may not be viable. For these courses, we wish to provide another opportunity for making up class time lost to the emergency closures.
Because the Council understands and respects the purpose of Reading Day, the motion requires that conditions listed above be met by any class makeup held on Reading Day.”
NTT Vote. [Recorder’s Note: An email discussion took place prior to the meeting to revise wording on the ballot; the new wording was approved with fifteen affirmative votes on the e-mail ballot. A vote is being requested from Faculty Council to accept the wording change to the CRR regarding the description of the voting membership where “Faculty shall consist of the President, Chancellor, and all persons with regular academic appointments, and all full-time, ranked non-tenure track (NTT) faculty with professorial designation. Campus-wide Faculty votes on issues specific to tenure or tenured/tenure track (T/TT) faculty will be restricted to T/TT faculty.”] Discussion took the form of the following: Gopaldas: Does this include only full-time faculty? Monnier has checked with Dean and there should not be any part-time faculty who are ranked as NTT. Gopaldas noted that there are medical personnel who are part-time. Wakefield clarified that they must be 75%. Evans noted that CRR 3.010H refers to NTT faculty voting on Faculty Council. Language should be changed there as well. Monnier confirmed that Dean had approved the wording as presented to Council. Tyrer added that Steve Graham had as well. Therefore, the university is considered to be consistent with the proposed language. Heesch asked if there was a difference in regular and tenure or tenured/tenure track faculty. Monnier indicated that people wanted to see the language as tenure or tenured/tenure track and that now, the language is more consistent with CRR. Tyrer called to suspend the rules. A motion was made, seconded, and approved. The motion was made and seconded to accept the new language. The motion passed unanimously.
The next topic concerned the software to be used for the voting. Qualtrics has been selected and must now be approved. Tyrer stated that the ballot oversight committee will work with Mike Watson in IT. Tyrer called for a motion to use Qualtrics for the NTT vote. A motion was made and seconded. The motion passed unaminously.
The next item of business was to approve the ballot oversight committee: Tyrer, Evans, Gopaldas, and Montgomery-Smith. Evans noted that the committee should contain an NTT faculty member. Monnier was nominated and the nomination was approved. Tyrer explained the parameters for voting and for announcing the resultant vote. A simple majority will be required to accept the proposal. Tyrer noted that he would like to give faculty two weeks for voting (spring break plus one week). A motion was made to create the committee as submitted, with the addition of Monnier as the NTT faculty member. The motion was seconded and approved. An additional motion was made to empower the ballot oversight committee to determine the ballot language and date of elections. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
NSEI Resolution – Montgomery-Smith. The Faculty Affairs committee met February 20, 2013 to determine how to respond to the NSEI issue. The meeting resulted in a resolution to be presented to Faculty Council. After much discussion, it was determined that certain points in the resolution, namely #3 on forming a task force to perform a root clause analysis, required more time to investigate. No vote was taken on the resolution.
Standing Committee Reports
Academic Affairs Committee: Monnier, chair, announced that in terms of the new evaluation forms discussed at the last meeting, the committee is going to look at what gets evaluated, what is public, and what should be used to determine teaching effectiveness in terms of salary administration and promotion and tenure. Jago noted that there are two ways to evaluate—through student evaluation and peer review.
Fiscal Affairs Committee: Loyalka, chair, reported that a presentation will be brought to Council on the topic of collecting supplemental fees in Arts & Science. We should look at forming a committee for budget advisement. Tyrer was in favor of a committee, but concerned about issues of responsibility and shared governance. Wakefield suggested that if the Chancellor could appoint someone from administration to the committee, his or her membership would strengthen the voice of the budget advisement group, with both sides represented.
Diversity Enhancement Committee: Bentley, chair reported that statements from schools and colleges on what they are doing in terms of diversity requirements are due by April 15. Bentley urged participation from various areas via members of Faculty Council.
Student Affairs: Roberts, chair reported that progress is being made on the Mizzou Veterans Memorial. Marty Walker (engineering) is taking the lead on the project. This semester, the memorial will probably be made official (winning design chosen, costs involved, etc.).
Any Other Business
Tyrer announced that an election committee needs to be formed for upcoming committee nominations including those to Faculty Council. Parcell, Bentley, and Jago have agreed to be on the committee as this is the last year of their second terms. Tyrer urged Council to think seriously about the election of officers. “It should be a robust election.” Tyrer also thanked Council for all they have done.
Tyrer announced the Spring General Faculty Meeting to be held April 9 at 3:30 p.m. in Jesse Wrench Auditorium. He may be asking members of Faculty Council to participate.
The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
Judith Mabary, Recorder