Meeting Minutes: June 6, 2013

Attendance

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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Harry Tyrer called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. The minutes of the April 4, 2013 Faculty Council meeting and the April 9, 2013 Spring General Faculty meeting remain unapproved.

Action Items

 

Course Evaluation – Monnier.  Motion to approve revised evaluation forms. No second required as the motion comes from the Academic Affairs Committee. The committee asks that the question used for tenure and promotion purposes be reinstated as indicated in the rationale supporting the motion below.  This motion was approved by acclamation.

 

“Motion: On the recommendation of the Academic Affairs committee, Faculty Council approves the revised MU teaching evaluation forms (see attached), which will replace the current set of ten standardized MU forms with three: 1) a main form; 2) a supplementary form; and 3) a form for Senate Bill 389 (the state-mandated “consumer information”).

 

Rationale: Academic Affairs believes that the revised forms are a better, streamlined, and more flexible MU-specific instrument for the evaluation of teaching than the standardized forms currently in use.

 

In making its recommendation, however, Academic Affairs requests that a question from the old forms that has been used across campus for tenure and promotion purposes be reinstated on the revised version: “The instructor taught effectively, given the possibilities and limitations of the subject matter and the course (including class size and facilities).”

 

The reason for this recommendation is practical and—we hope—short term: to provide continuity in reporting for tenure and promotion. However, the committee recognizes the inappropriate and erratic use of this question (from the old SB389 questions) and the forms themselves (designed for teaching evaluation purposes only) for tenure, promotion and salary processes on the MU campus. Academic Affairs strongly recommends a campus-wide evaluation and discussion of this issue.”

Discussion Items

 

Guest(s): Jackie Jones, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services and Gary Ward, Associate Vice Chancellor on campus renovations.  Jones explained at great length the university’s plans and schedule for renovations to Pickard Hall, Jesse Hall, and Swallow Hall. Because of the historical use of Pickard involving radioactive materials, the building will have to be decommissioned before renovations can take place. MU had requested an extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about two years ago because of the work that would have to be done to complete the decommissioning. Now, from the NRC perspective, MU needs to complete the process. Decommissioning is the safest method, but will be disruptive to what the building now houses. A main concern is where to move the museum. It is a valuable asset, serving both the university and the community, but there is nowhere on the downtown campus at present where it can be housed. The Ellis Fischel space provides a way to keep the museum open as well as a more accessible space for the public. Jones noted that this solution is not ideal, but it is the best alternative.

 

There are several buildings on campus that require renovation; but for the past few years, it has been difficult to maintain a plan for remodeling. Jones stated that two-thirds of the available money goes to operating costs and one-third to replacement. This approach is, in fact, more expensive than renovation, as repairs and replacement must be done on demand, resulting in higher costs. About five years ago, the university decided to adopt a stewardship model, working on one total renovation at a time. Tate, Switzler, and presently Gwenn are the results. Decisions regarding renovation of Swallow and some of the work in Jesse are with this same stewardship goal in mind.

 

Jones then related some of the problems that will be addressed in Jesse Hall. This space currently has twelve air handlers that are more than fifty years old. The fourth floor does not have central air at all. Jesse also does not have a sprinkler system and one of the elevators is in need of repair. Various scenarios were considered: to renovate ½ floor at a time, which would take three years for completion and would be too disruptive; to complete one floor at a time, which would require a total of two years. The next option was to move everyone in Jesse to the Ellis Fischel space and programming/performances to the Missouri Theatre.

 

The logistics of the proposed renovations are as follows: Pickard would be emptied by December 31, 2013 and would go offline. It is uncertain when it would be online again as it is uncertain what the testing will show and how the NRC will respond. Swallow and Jesse would take about one year. Swallow should be back online in the fall of 2015. Jones then discussed where offices in Jesse, the last of the three buildings discussed to go offline, would be relocated during the renovation. The enrollment management information desk would be in the Reynolds Alumni Center with parking in Turner. Additional space would be in Ellis Fischel for prospective students. An outpost would also be in the Ellis Fischel space to handle functions such as Financial Aid. The Registrar’s office would go to the Heinkel Building. Many of the remaining offices would be moving to the Reynolds Alumni Center, including those of higher administration. 

 

Tyrer will arrange a Q&A session in Jesse Wrench Auditorium for those who want to know about the renovation plans and associated moves. Jones noted that she is unable to answer what will be in the buildings once they are renovated. In response to a question of whether or not we have the money to undertake such renovations, Jones responded that they have a good track record of staying on budget. Ellis Fischel will not require much in terms of refitting for classrooms, etc.; the sprinkler system in Jesse will require five million dollars, which the Chancellor has committed from his own funds (savings from refinancing of revenue bonds and existing monies).

 

Concern was expressed that this was another case where faculty had not had a place at the table when decisions were made. Jones pointed out that Pickard was a different situation and that the space resulting from Ellis Fischel had not been a known factor. When they saw it would be possible to get all three buildings completed, it was important to move forward. Concern was also expressed about moving the museum to Mizzou North (Ellis Fischel space) and whether or not there were plans to move the museum back to campus once renovations were complete. [Numerous guests from the university and the community attended the meeting because of the plans to move the museum and the failure to communicate these plans to the public earlier.] Jones stated that she was unaware of what would be housed in Pickard once it was renovated. At a minimum, they would have to get through the next round of tests before additional plans could be made. The NRC requires a decommissioning that is very specific when a building has had radioactive materials in it.

 

The concern was raised again about the lack of communication with the faculty early on in the process. The response was that the same process has worked well with other buildings. The question was raised as to when the university first learned that the building had to be decommissioned. Jones stated that the university had decided it would be more efficient to decommission than to try to do the required testing with people still in the building. When asked if any of the experts in our own nuclear engineering program had been consulted, the response was that they had. People who specialize in decommissioning had to be brought in.

 

Mike Urban, a guest from the Department of Geography, voiced the concern of many of the guests present, i.e., the effect that moving the museums would have on the community. He requested that Faculty Council and the university administration work together. Knowing that the museums will return to the downtown campus is what is wanted. It is important that the community be informed about what is being planned regarding the future location of these museums. Mary Jo Banken, Director of News Services, responding to the faculty concern about early notification in the decision-making process, noted how difficult internal communication is on campus, given the presence of the Journalism School. Faculty Council member Wakefield observed that the problem was not communication, but consultation.

 

Missouri Press – Roberts. Roberts provided a brief background of the recent difficulties experienced by the press, namely that problems arose because of:  1. lack of shared governance; 2. plans to move to a boutique press with no peer review; and, 3. lack of transparency. The president could have succeeded in making the press a viable entity if he had phased out areas; decreased the subsidy; maintained the backlist and revenue; and involved faculty. The problem was the way the press was closed; but now the press is back on its feet. It has a fall catalog, there is open access for some publications, and e-books are available. Roberts noted, however, that his report was not one of progress but of governance and sustainability. The prior situation was that the press was receiving a large subsidy, but with limited buy-in, publishing subject matter that reflected only a small fraction of the expertise of the faculty (many faculty members did not know about the press).  In order to position the press better for the future, five recommendations are being submitted.

 

  1. Expanded content.
  2. UM titles (publishing the best content from the university).
  3. Financial reporting (no financial reports have been provided to the MU Press Advisory Committee, despite constant requests).
  4. Sustainability discussions (open dialogue between the press and its Advisory Council/other critical thinkers regarding long-term financial stability).
  5. Improved messages (the press needs to communicate that they are actively exploring ways to insure a robust future and to insure that messages are clear and consistent, which will help convince faculty that the press is worthy of their support).     

Johnson added that in interactions with the Advisory Committee, the press was unwilling to change and try to adopt a sustainable model. Johnson made a motion that Faculty Council call on the press to consider the report and release financial statements. Tyrer asked that the exact wording be sent to Faculty Council and discussed.

2015-2016 Academic Calendar – Monnier. Postponed until next meeting.

Any Other Business

 

On July 3, 2013, Chair Tyrer announced on email the completion  and passage of two electronic votes of the Faculty Council.  The Academic Calendar for 2015-2016; and the MU Press, the wording of which appears below.

 

“Motion 2 . (Missouri Press Roberts/Johnson)  Faculty Council calls on the leadership of the MU Press to:

 

1.         Provide all financials, including detailed information and summary statements, to the Faculty Council Representatives by September 3. 2013, and to

2.         Give serious consideration to the report from the Faculty Council representatives with special attention to the recommendations .”

1.         Provide all financials, including detailed information and summary statements, to the Faculty Council Representatives by September 3. 2013, and to

2.         Give serious consideration to the report from the Faculty Council representatives with special attention to the recommendations .”

 

“Motion 1.  (Calendar Motion from committee)  "The Faculty Council approves the attached academic calendar for AY15-16"

University of Missouri-Columbia

ACADEMIC CALENDAR 

2015-2016

 

FALL SEMESTER                                                                  2015               

Classwork begins, 8:00 a.m.                                                   M         Aug 24

Labor Day Holiday (no classes)                                                  M         Sep 07

Thanksgiving recess begins, close of day*                                  Sa        Nov 21            

Classwork resumes, 8:00 a.m.                                                  M         Nov 30

Classwork ends, close of day*                                                   Th        Dec 10                        

Reading Day                                                                            F          Dec 11                        

Final examinations begin                                                           M         Dec 14

Fall semester closes, 5:30 p.m.                                                  F          Dec 18

Commencement                                                                     FSa         Dec 18 & 19

Grades due                                                                               T          Dec 22            

 

SPRING SEMESTER                                                              2016

Martin Luther King Holiday (no classes)                                      M         Jan 18

Classwork begins, 8:00 a.m.                                                   T          Jan 19

Spring recess begins, close of day*                                            Sa        Mar 26

Classwork resumes, 8:00 a.m.                                                   M         Apr 04

Classwork ends, close of day*                                                   Th        May 05

Reading Day                                                                            F          May 06

Final examinations begin                                                          M          May 09

Spring semester closes, 5:30 p.m.                                             F          May 13           

Commencement                                                               F Sa Su         May 13, 14, 15

Grades due                                                                               T          May 17

 

SUMMER SESSION                                                               2016

8-week session

Classwork begins, 7:30 a.m.                                                 M         June 06

Independence Day recess (no classes)                                      M         July 04

8-week session closes, 5:30 p.m.                                              F         July 29

 

FIRST 4-WEEK SESSION                                                       2016

Classwork begins, 7:30 a.m.                                                  M         June 06

First 4-week session closes, 5:30 p.m.                                       F          July 01

 

SECOND 4-WEEK SESSION                                                   2016

Independence Day recess (no classes)                                       F          July 04

Classwork begins, 7:30 a.m.                                                  T          July 05

Second 4-week session closes, 5:30 p.m.                                   F          July 29

Grades due                                                                              T          Aug. 2

 

*Close of day is defined as including late afternoon and evening classes.

 

It is the policy of the University of Missouri-Columbia to respect the diversity of our students. ­The faculty is reminded that students might want to observe religious holidays and days of special commemoration and is encouraged to accommodate students who have a conflict with a class period, test or activity because of these obligations. Approved by the MU Faculty Council on July 3, 2013.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder