Meeting Minutes: November 14, 2013


Members present: Tim Evans, Charles Franz, Francisco Gomez, Richard Guyette, Jung Ha-Brookshire, Dan Hooley, Berkley Hudson, Rebecca Johnson, John Lory, Tony Lupo, Judith Mabary, Camila Manrique, Tom Marrero, Dennis Miller, Nicole Monnier, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Karen Piper, Craig Roberts, Douglas Wakefield, William Wiebold, Marie Concannon (for Rachel Brekhus) (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA) Librarians, and Rebekah Hart (secretary). Members absent: Andre Ariew, Jim Bauman, A. Cooper Drury, Lisa Flores, Raja Gopaldas, Karen Hebert, Kattesh Katti, Ilhyung Lee, Sudarshan Loyalka, Katherine Reed, Angela Speck, Vitor Trindade, Harry Tyrer, Mark Prelas (AAUP), and Charles Nilon (Black Faculty and Staff).

Approval of Minutes

Chair Craig Roberts called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the October 3, 2013 and October 17, 2013 Faculty Council meetings. Minutes were approved without discussion.

Discussion Items

Guest(s): Betsy Rodriguez, Vice President Human Resources & Rhonda Gibler, Director of the Budget.   Rodriguez spoke about three topics: rehiring retirees, health care reform, and benefits reform. Changes were made to rehiring retirees based on requirements in regulations. Nothing will change if you retire at 62 or older. (If rehired, you can’t work more than 74% FTE.) If you retire before age 62 and want to return to work, there must be no discussion of rehiring prior to retirement; there must be a 90-day break in service; and you must go through a competitive selection process, or sign a document outlining rehire requirements. Employment is limited to 70% maximum. In terms of health care reform and MU’s responsibilities as a result, the university must begin to track part-time employees, including graduate students and adjunct faculty, carefully to determine if they are insurance eligible and insurance coverage must be offered if so. A $39 million penalty can result if only one person is missed. Present understanding regarding international students if that MU is not responsible for their benefits if they have international insurance. In terms of benefits reform, Rodriguez noted the dramatic increase in percentage of salary that has been spent in the last fifteen years. Medical costs are going up about 10% nationally; MU about 6%; but best practice is 2%. Ways to reduce this percentage are not popular. Because of increase, money cannot be put towards salaries. If faculty elect to pay a higher deductible, there is no guarantee that the budget savings will go to salaries. A task force is working on this. Rodriguez did indicate, however, that faculty salaries are among the highest priorities for the next five years. The good news is that there will be no premium deductions in December 2013 (employees will pay eleven premiums in 2013 and twelve in 2014.


Representation on Faculty Council – Roberts:   A&S will lose one seat; change does not go into effect until September 2014.

Standing Committee Reports

IFC – Miller:  Two major points of discussion in the IFC meeting were regarding (1) increasing workloads with no compensation in return and (2) faculty titles and appointments. On the first, a concern was raised about how effectively faculty were reviewed post-tenure. Wolfe encouraged departments to examine their review policy for post-tenure faculty. Roberts noted that there is no system in place to evaluate and reward faculty once they become full professor. On the second point, a system-wide task force has been established to look at a variety of titles that presently exist for the same work completed and to try to define what a faculty member is and what a staff member is as part of their review. Roberts noted that this issue relates to our AAU ranking. Miller introduced other topics of discussion in the IFC meeting, namely the manner of determining degree completion when other universities are involved; dealing with security issues across various types of devices; data storage for those who don’t use Blackboard (MU asks that records be kept for five years).


Academic Affairs – Monnier. The subcommittee is working on the survey tool to get response from faculty on how they use the last two weeks of the semester. Minor changes to the faculty handbook are also on the agenda to present to Faculty Council the beginning of the spring semester. Attendance policy is a more important problem; Academic Affairs must arrive at recommendations to tighten wording for more consistent results.


Faculty Affairs – Katti. E-mail discussion took place regarding computer security.


Diversity Enhancement – Johnson. Subcommittee has begun to look at the data collected last year from freshman and seniors regarding cultural competence. Variables have been identified to include in analysis, which Jim Spain’s office will help with. Also discussed where best to disseminate the results.


Student Affairs – Evans. Met with Kim Dude (Assistant Director of the Wellness Resource Center) to discuss problems and solutions re: alcohol abuse among students. Faculty input is what there is the least of and what is needed most.

Any Other Business

Wiebold announced that the committee formed to examine the NSEI issue was making good progress with about 2/3s of the total interviews completed.


Council met in closed session to approve committee position and to announce mandated review of Deans.  The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder