Meeting Minutes: September 4, 2014


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

Approval of Minutes

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

Discussion Items

Guests:  (1)  Linda Bennett, Title IX Coordinator, and Marsha Fischer, General Council’s Office On Title IX; and, (2) Kelley Stuck, Associate Vice President Human Resources on the 2015 Benefit Changes.  Bennett and Fischer shared their presentation, with Bennett beginning by providing an update on Title IX work completed this summer since June. A Title IX investigator has been hired to do litigation and employment law. Fischer gave an overview of Title IX efforts underway at several levels: National conversations (involving President Obama, Senator McCaskill, and the courts); and efforts at the UM System - President Wolfe has appointed a task force on each campus. While the national conversation is focused on sexual harassment, MU is expanding the discussion to all acts of discrimination. Fischer emphasized that we want to insure fair processes for all students. Bennett announced some of the present efforts on the MU campus, notably that meetings with new students coming on campus have already been held and the Title IX office is working presently on a website. Opportunities are being provided for all contingencies to be involved. Fischer announced changes that the office is also working on regarding the Collected Rules and Regulations: a new Chapter 600 on Equal Employment/Educational Opportunity; sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct in educational/employment policy; and an equity resolution process for resolving complaints of harassment, sexual misconduct, and other signs of discrimination against a student or student organization.


Bennett also reported on planned training efforts (15 days of training for approximately 150 people). Mandatory reporting was also introduced (all MU employees are mandatory reporters). All reports are to be sent to the Title IX coordinator, preferably using the online form at Trust was also emphasized. We want people that students feel they can talk to. Furthermore, even with mandatory reporting, the individual still has some say about what will be reported. Once reported, they will be given information re: what resources are available to help them. There is some concern about students not having a confidential place to go with mandatory reporting in place.  There are still places a student can go that are confidential; those contacts will be made available. The next area of emphasis was how to first respond to a student incident: assess safety and need for emergency response and explain you are not a confidential contact.  Loftin has made the Title IX effort a #1 priority for the campus. Regarding the important question that if you overhear a conversation or something is revealed in a paper, is this still subject to mandatory reporting, the answer provided was yes.


Kelley Stuck spoke to Faculty Council regarding changes to health benefits. (Cost increases of an estimated 6% a year will be prohibitive in time if MU does not make certain alterations.) This year MU will require that employees participate in active enrollment. If a medical plan is not selected, the employee will default to the lowest cost plan, which also carries the highest deductible. If the benefits office has to default an employee for failure to select a plan, resultant premiums will be post-tax. Then the employee has coverage but if they do not want to continue, they can simply quit the plan. Wellness incentives have been increased to $450. (In 2016 there will be a premium difference if the employee or a covered family member uses tobacco.) Annual enrollment will be conducted during a two-week period from Oct. 20-31. Those present were urged to correct any inaccurate or out-of-date information before the enrollment period. Town Hall meetings will be held to answer questions from those affected. Stuck noted that employees have not been asked to choose a plan since the 1980s. She then summarized the various plan choices (Healthy Savings, Custom Network, and PPO). For the PPO plan, both premiums and deductible amounts will go up this year. New Mizzou Quick Care Clinics are available in three area Hy-Vee locations. Services at these clinics are priced like primary care. There will be no plan design changes to dental, vision, and life, although there will be a slight premium increase to vision (less than $1 per month). Stuck then covered the two tiers of the wellness incentive. The question was raised as to how much the university would save with the changes to health benefits? Stuck responded that with medium participation, MU would break even. 


Thursday Night Football Games.  Presenter Lori Franz introduced information and answered questions regarding the proposed Thursday night football game scheduled for November 5, 2015 on the MU campus. The Intercollegiate Athletic Committee’s (IAC) recommendation included the hope that a Thursday Night on-campus game at MU would be limited to no more than once every four years.  We were reminded that participation is an indicator of good citizenship as a member of the SEC. If we are going to participate, we need to start planning soon to allow for necessary alterations to syllabi and exam scheduling. With this in mind, as well as the other concerns of hosting such a large event (parking, operation of hospital facilities, effects on Thursday and Friday class attendance, etc.), faculty input is being sought at this time. Chair Roberts focused the question to what faculty wanted to add to the list circulated earlier by e-mail. After much discussion, it was emphasized that the Athletics Department is simply giving us fair warning of the event in Fall 2015, the timing of which is driven by ESPN, the SEC Network’s parent company. This is not a mandate to cancel classes. The suggestion was made that some emphasis on academics could be included in the ESPN broadcast. Logistical changes to campus operation would begin about 4 p.m. on Thursday. Roberts suggested that we consolidate these concerns and send them to Leigh Neier. The near final list distributed by e-mail on Sept. 6 by Roberts consisted of:


  1. Commuter student parking disruption

2.       Thursday late afternoon and night classes

3.       Thursday night exams for classes that may be held during the day

4.       Player attendance at Thursday and Friday classes

5.       Greater than normal impact on Friday morning class attendance (e.g., resulting from alcohol consumption)

6.       Hospital and College of Medicine operations/traffic

7.       Conflict between traffic leaving campus and traffic arriving at stadium

8.       Faculty/staff parking on south end of campus

9.       Ensure that staff are not asked to use their personal time benefit if asked to leave work

          earlier than normal.


Standing Committee Reports

IFC – Miller.  Miller announced that IFC is working on tenure and he will be keeping Council informed of this discussion.


Diversity Enhancement -  Speck.  The survey of undergraduate seniors regarding diversity awareness and the aftermath of the events in Ferguson, MO will be a topic of discussion at their meeting this week.


Academic Affairs  -  Monnier.  Monnier is arranging a meeting with Jim Spain to discuss the idea proposed for a Center for Teaching and Learning. Among the charges for the committee is the completion of a draft of the survey regarding how faculty use the last two weeks of the semester.



Council met in closed session for nomination of members to committees and discussion of the appropriate way to address the intersection of MUSOP and faculty remuneration (#3 under Discussion Items on the agenda). The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder