Meeting Minutes: November 20, 2014
Members present: Andre Ariew, David Bergin, A. Cooper Drury, Tim Evans, John Gahl, Richard Guyette, Jung Ha-Brookshire, Karen Hebert, Berkley Hudson, Rebecca Johnson, Judith Mabary, Camila Manrique, Dennis Miller, Nicole Monnier, Peter Nabelek, Karen Piper, Craig Roberts, Marty Steffens, Mahesh Thakkar, Ben Trachtenberg, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, William Wiebold, Rachel Brekhus (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), and Rebekah Hart (Council Secretary). Members absent: Jim Baumann, Karen Hebert, Art Jago, Naresh Khatri, John Lory, Tony Lupo, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Angela Speck, Vitor Trindade, and Mark Prelas (AAUP).
Approval of Minutes
Chair Craig Roberts called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. After reviewing the agenda, Roberts introduced Marty Steffens from Journalism replacing Katherine Reed. There were no minutes to approve.
Guests: (1) Frank Schmidt and Tom Phillips for the Honorary Degrees Committee. Schmidt and Phillips presented the committee’s nominations for honorary doctorates to Faculty Council in closed session.
Executive Order 41: Title IX Process – Miller. Miller provided a breakdown of Title IX work by Faculty Council members as follows: Prevention - Tim Evans and Angela Speck; Adjudication - Dennis Miller. The latter has been further divided into two groups, one working on the topic of accusations against students and a second on faculty accused of misconduct. Four committee meetings have been held to date. Further review of CRR 200.025 is underway with a focus on three items: 1) faculty members on student equity panels; 2) the role of advocates, which implies the position of lawyer but does not have to be; and 3) compelling witnesses to testify in front of panels. There is no mechanism in place at present to force a person to testify.
Numerous questions followed regarding responsibility to determine punishment; independence of university findings from outside legal authorities, including police; standard of evidence compared to that required by outside authorities; the repercussion of cases on students’ permanent records, whether the student is determined to be guilty or not; and time limit for handling cases. Concerns were also expressed regarding the process when faculty are accused. Sixty days is not sufficient if removal of tenure and dismissal for cause are involved. IFC is working on a two-step process to address this problem. The investigation can be completed in sixty days, but removal of tenure will take longer. Miller informed Council that President Wolfe wants the policy completed in time to present to the Board of Curators at their February meeting, which means a January 15 deadline. Such a deadline will potentially result in insufficient time for faculty to have input. Miller felt that there would be sufficient time for IFC to construct and circulate a document before Christmas break. If an additional meeting was determined to be necessary, it could be arranged later. If needed, IFC could also urge President Wolfe to provide more time before presenting results to the Board of Curators. Questions arose regarding procedure when issues of misconduct are revealed in creative writing classes and what “for cause” means in cases relevant to Title IX.
Optional Statement for Syllabus – Evans/Monnier. Evans noted that candidates for a permanent Title IX Director would be coming to campus on December 3, 4 and 17, 18 and would be meeting with the Executive Committee. Information about Title IX continues to be disseminated to faculty and students gradually. The resulting incomplete knowledge of Title IX changes has caused concern, which Interim Title IX Coordinator Linda Bennett proposes can be addressed with a statement in syllabi for spring courses. With input from the Executive Committee, Tim Evans, Nicole Monnier, and Linda Bennett devised a possible statement for inclusion. Roberts reminded those present that including the statement in syllabi would ultimately be an option left to faculty. Evans read the following statement to Council:
The University of Missouri’s Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct in Education/Employment Policy [Section 600.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations] requires, with some exceptions, that all University employees (faculty, staff, RAs and student employees (for information they learn while in the role of student employee)) report to the Title IX Coordinator any known, learned or rumored incidents of sex discrimination, including: sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking on the basis of sex, dating/intimate partner violence or sexual exploitation and/or related experiences or incidents. Reporting of such information is required, regardless of whether that information was shared in person, via e-mail, and/or in classroom papers or homework assignments. To ask questions about the policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct, including sources of confidential support and assistance, or to report any form of sex discrimination, please consult the MU Title IX website (title9.missouri.edu/ or title9.missouri.edu/reporting/) or contact the MU Title IX Coordinator, Linda Bennett, 573-882-7915 or email@example.com.
Discussion centered around the fact that the statement seemed to be directed more toward faculty and their conditions of employment than to students. Doubts were expressed as to the wording of the statement and whether it was appropriate to distribute in this form to students via a course syllabus. A vote was taken and passed to suspend the rules to vote on the statement. The majority of those present opposed presenting the statement to faculty for inclusion in syllabi and the motion failed.
Roberts presented a slide that showed the types of activities Faculty Council had been working on during the past year. Normally efforts have been directed to items relevant to the various subcommittees; recently, however, FC has had to focus on other matters (Title IX; MUSOP; administrative replacements [Provost and Deans, etc.]).
HLC – Monnier. Monnier reported that the HLC (Higher Learning Commission) document to be shared with HLC peer reviewers as part of the ten-year accreditation process is available for review and input. Feedback will be accepted up to and including December 15 and should be sent to Pat Okker, Interim Deputy Provost. A second open forum for discussion of the draft will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 9 in the Student Center (2206a). (The first was held on November 18.)
MUSOP Update - Ariew, Wakefield, Ha-Brookshire, Miller. Wakefield reported that the group is waiting to be reconvened and begin work as required under their new charge.
Roberts distributed a brief questionnaire to Council members, the results of which will help gauge faculty level of satisfaction with the MUSOP planning and implementation process with regard to raises/rewards, and rescission/reallocation.
Provost Search – Johnson. Johnson announced that the Search Committee had a productive meeting with the Chancellor and that the search was proceeding well. She also stressed the importance of providing feedback on the four candidates who have visited campus.
Rules of Order Change – Wiebold and Miller. Miller suggested waiting until after winter break to discuss the proposed change.
Standing Committee Reports
IFC – Miller. Miller reported on the health of MU’s retirement plan as in better condition than most places but still not fully funded. See also Title IX report above.
Faculty Affairs – Tyrer. Tyrer announced that a meeting has been scheduled with Deborah Noble-Triplett for Dec. 4 to discuss faculty ranks and titles. Progress was also reported in several other areas. Names have been suggested for membership on the Budgetary Advisory Committee. The newly-formed Faculty Raise Assessment Committee will provide a report in early spring. And lastly, Faculty Affairs has turned attention to a discussion of equitable NTT representation on Faculty Council. There are currently four NTT members on Council, but with voting rights awarded, numbers should increase. Wakefield urged careful examination of how representation will be determined as in some areas of the university, NTT faculty are not connected with traditional teaching. Furthermore, smaller colleges with fewer faculty may be edged out.
Academic Affairs - Monnier. The committee has been working on language for the faculty handbook regarding final exams and a better explanation of religious observances. The survey on the use of finals week is complete and will go out early next semester.
Council went into closed session at 4:43 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
Judith Mabary, Recorder