Meeting Minutes: January 22, 2015
Members present: Andre Ariew, Jim Baumann, David Bergin, A. Cooper Drury, Tim Evans, John Gahl, Richard Guyette, Jung Ha-Brookshire, Berkley Hudson, Art Jago, Rebecca Johnson, John Lory, Judith Mabary, Camila Manrique, Dennis Miller, Nicole Monnier, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Peter Nabelek, Karen Piper, Craig Roberts, Angela Speck, Marty Steffens, Mahesh Thakkar, Ben Trachtenberg, Vitor Trindade, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, Rachel Brekhus (Librarians), Galen Suppes (AAUP), and Rebekah Hart (Council Secretary). Members absent: Karen Hebert, Naresh Khatri, Tony Lupo, and Don Sievert (MURA).
Approval of Minutes
Chair Craig Roberts called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. Minutes for the October 28, 2014 Fall General Faculty Meeting and the November 20, 2014 Faculty Council meeting were approved. Three reports were announced as due: from the School of Medicine Fact Finding Committee, ACCORD, and the University Extension review.
Guests: Tina Balser, Student Services on the new student retention system; and Betsy Rodriguez, Vice President Human Resources with Jatha Sadowski, MU Chief HR Officer on training modules. Balser noted that the goal of the early alert system, designed to improve student retention, is to move reporting to advisors sooner to allow appropriate intervention. This effort is part of the larger UM system retention initiative. The vendor for the instrument is Starfish; we participate in two packages: Early Alert and Connect. Connect allows for setting up appointments with students; Early Alert flags attendance concerns and missed assignments along with notifying students of outstanding performance or strong improvement. Flag levels include information, action (only cleared when a student responds), and urgent (when the advisor is expected to follow up). Intervention from the advisor is triggered when a student is flagged six times. Access is available through Blackboard or independently. The student’s academic advisor also receives flags on students. Faculty in 1000-2000 level courses are especially encouraged to use this system. There is a 36% clearing rate in courses to date. No flags are yet available for out-of-class behavior.
Betsy Rodriguez expressed regret for the difficulties experienced in the Title IX training program. Despite best efforts and much input from consultants, technical problems have arisen due to embedded videos running on many different systems. Concerns were expressed regarding students who write about harassment and abuse in non-fiction essays (training modules do not address this situation) and study abroad programs in which students are engaging with different cultures.
Executive Order 41; Title IX Process – Miller. Miller updated Council on progress addressing the three phases of adjudication of complaints under Executive Order 41: (1) Staff – the CRR rule was proposed for action at the February 5th meeting of IFC. There were few concerns. (2) Students: a group will come to Faculty Council at the February 12th meeting with recommendations, as on the role of faculty on adjudication panels and compelling witnesses to testify. (3) Faculty: What happens when faculty are charged? IFC agreed to have their work done for the February Board of Curators meeting. (A subcommittee of IFC has been working on a two-stage process for faculty.) There was significant concern from Rolla on the preponderance of evidence standard and changes to the loss-of-tenure language. The Office of the General Counsel is also making changes. IFC agreed to allow the proposed changes to the CRR to go to the Board of Curators in February with the statement that IFC could make modifications if needed as more changes were issued from Washington. Miller noted that IFC also wants a review across the four campuses in eighteen months.
In addition, IFC is looking at the move of the press to the authority of the Chancellor and creation of an editorial board as well as the process of awarding emeritus faculty status to administrators.
Suppes expressed concern about the number of changes being proposed to the CRR, stating that they work in their present form in most situations. Miller and Roberts asserted that we should make sure the new Provost is approaching any changes carefully.
Race Relations – Roberts/Lory/Hudson. Roberts reported on the December 1st open discussion on Ferguson called by Chancellor Loftin. The conversation had quickly turned to race relations at Mizzou as numerous African-American and Latino students spoke about problems with both fellow students and faculty. Reactions from others in the audience showed that the statements were not exaggerated. In response to this campus issue and Chancellor Loftin’s expressed concern to address it, Faculty Council will form an ad hoc committee on Race Relations (that may become permanent) to be chaired by Berkeley Hudson and to work with the Chancellor.
Hudson and Lory indicated that they will be proposing a resolution that will soon come to Faculty Council with language that we support the Chancellor’s efforts to improve race relations on campus. This is to be a statement of support only; the committee will look at specific problems and solutions. Hudson added that Ernest Perry, the moderator of the Dec. 1 session, will be an advisor to the Chancellor and has agreed to help Council in any way possible. It would perhaps be beneficial if a few students would appear in closed session with Faculty Council and talk about their experiences. Monnier noted that it would be helpful to know what the Chancellor has already done and what he has in mind so we are aware of what we are commending in the resolution of support.
Rules of Order Change – Wiebold and Miller. Miller noted the need to revise the Bylaws regarding what can be addressed by Faculty Council in closed session. There are times when faculty need to have the ability to speak freely about topics that are not currently relegated to closed session. Miller also noted that we are the only one of the four campuses who allows visitors to our meetings.
Standing Committee Reports
IFC – Miller. IFC will talk with President Wolfe about the quick issuance of executive orders (note most recent Executive Order 42 – right to work) when more time may be needed for consideration.
Faculty Affairs – Tyrer. Work on the COACHE survey continues. The subcommittee now has the Deans’ responses and will be forwarding the results to Faculty Council members to distribute to their constituencies. Addressing the issue of faculty titles will stop for now but the subcommittee will respond if the need arises.
Diversity Enhancement - Speck. Working with Title IX.
Student Affairs – Evans. The subcommittee is focusing presently on engaging faculty and administrators in a discussion of problems related to “syllabus week,” lack of Friday classes and the resultant Thursday night binge drinking, etc. Space utilization and academic rigor are related problems that need attention. Questions continue regarding Title IX changes and training. Evans noted that we need to find out what is appropriate for this university.
Academic Affairs - Monnier. Language on the use of the final exam period will be proposed to Council this semester. The subcommittee is also expecting a Title IX syllabus statement to come out soon (some faculty are already putting Title IX language in their syllabi). Finally, Academic Affairs is working jointly with Tim Evans on addressing the problem of alcohol consumption as well as mental health issues on academic success.
Any Other Business
Monnier noted that Chancellor Loftin has approved the formation of a campus-wide NTT committee to address NTT issues and asked for submission of names. Such a committee will allow a better sense of NTT issues across disciplines.
Council went into closed session at 4:55 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
Judith Mabary, Recorder