Meeting Minutes: July 24, 2014


Members present: John Gahl, Richard Guyette, Jung Ha-Brookshire, Berkley Hudson, Naresh Khatri, Tony Lupo, Judith Mabary, Camila Manrique, Dennis Miller, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Peter Nabelek, Craig Roberts, Angela Speck, Mahesh Thakkar, Ben Trachtenberg, Harry Tyrer, William Wiebold, Rachel Brekhus (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), Galen Suppes for Mark Prelas (AAUP) and Rebekah Hart (Secretary). Members absent: Andre Ariew, Jim Bauman, David Bergin, A. Cooper Drury, Tim Evans, Charles Franz, Karen Hebert, Rebecca Johnson, John Lory, Nicole Monnier, Karen Piper, Vitor Trindade, and Douglas Wakefield. Retiring members present: Sudarshan Loyalka and Tom Marrero.

Approval of Minutes

Chair Craig Roberts called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. There were no minutes to approve and no officers’ reports.

Discussion Items

Service Award Plaques – Roberts.  Roberts announced the names of outgoing members of Faculty Council and presented plaques honoring service to those in attendance.


Faculty Council Annual Workshop / Retreat, Thursday, August 28 – Roberts.  The annual Faculty Council workshop and retreat, to be held August 28 with Chancellor Loftin, Hank Foley, and Ken Dean as guests, was also announced. Roberts gave a preview of what would be taking place at the retreat primarily for those new members of Council attending.


Faculty Council Standing Committee Year-End Reports Due.  Only Loyalka as chair of the Fiscal Affairs committee was in attendance. He emphasized the importance of the committee and made a plea to future members and new chair William Wiebold to continue the work started by the present members.


Faculty Raises / Salaries – Loyalka.  Loyalka had prepared a table, copies of which were distributed to Council, for recording aggregated information on MU FY 2015 salary raises (copy attached). A copy had also been sent to Ken Dean. Loyalka noted that the major concerns are the nature of the criteria used (which activities count and which do not) and how percentages (research, teaching, service) are factored in various areas. These aspects are not clear to faculty. Consequently, there needs to be greater clarity and transparency in the process. Additionally, faculty need to have input into this process. Excellence raises to be awarded only to those already receiving a 2 percent raise is problematic as many areas cannot give 2 percent raises with present budget restrictions. Loyalka emphasized that the table was only a proposal and could be changed. New Council member Naresh Khatri expressed concern about the present approach to raises by administration and that faculty need to know what their ultimate purpose is in settling on the present approach.


Roberts noted that mid-year raises were not merit raises but awarded in terms of contributions to AAU metrics. Ken Dean’s responses to recent questions posed by Faculty Council about these raises were not satisfactory and avoided answering questions directly. Loyalka reminded Council that the bylaws state that criteria used for raises are to include faculty input (Note: See Faculty Bylaws CRR310.010). Concern was also expressed about how Loftin views the criteria and how they may be different given the new focus for the university and the emphasis on AAU metrics. The retreat can provide the opportunity for the Chancellor to clarify his outlook to faculty on this matter. Additional comments from Council members centered around the need for transparency and clarity in the criteria to be used for raises and the process for awarding salary increases.


Progress on Provost Search. Tyrer reported briefly on the status of the Provost search. The committee will meet on July 25. Hiring a search firm to assist with the process was a good idea; the firm is well organized and the process is moving forward. A more definitive update should be available at least by the second Council meeting in September.


Standing Committee Reports

Representing IFC, Miller read a statement from the Executive Committee as follows: 

"Numerous issues have been brought forth by our colleagues in the School of Medicine that appear to limit both the shared governance and research productivity of the faculty in the School.  Members of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council therefore recommend that you appoint a fact-finding committee that examines these issues, and related facts and barriers, and provides a report to the Council on these matters." Such a task force would be similar in function and activity to the one that investigated the recent problems in nuclear engineering.


Wiebold noted that this task force should partner with the School of Medicine’s policy committee. Roberts emphasized that Council was being asked to look into this issue as an objective outside party. The COACHE survey and other surveys from the medical school could help with the fact-finding mission. Roberts will name those to serve on the task force.


Council met in closed session for nomination of members to campus and faculty standing committees.  The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder