Meeting Minutes: March 10, 2016


Members present: Andre Ariew, Sheila Baker, Anna Ball, David Bergin, John Gahl, Trent Guess, Richard Guyette, Jung Ha-Brookshire, Berkley Hudson, Art Jago, Teng Lim, Tony Lupo, John Middleton, Nicole Monnier, Peter Nabelek, Jeffrey Rouder, Angela Speck, Anne Stanton, Ben Trachtenberg, Robert Winholtz, Flore Zephir, Rebecca Graves (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), Galen Suppes (AAUP), and Rebekah Hart (Council Secretary). Members absent: Tina Bloom, Cooper Drury, Naresh Khatri, Camila Manrique, Marty Steffens, Mary Stegmaier, Mahesh Thakkar, Vitor Trindade, and William Wiebold.

Approval of Minutes

Chair Trachtenberg called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m. The minutes of the 02-25-16 Faculty Council meeting were approved as presented.

Report of Officers

Trachtenberg noted that the Spring Semester General Faculty is 03-23-16 at 3:30 p.m. in Jesse Wrench auditorium.  This is an opportunity for faculty to ask questions of Interim Chancellor Foley and Faculty Council Chair Trachtenberg. 

Update regarding Professor Click; Click has appealed her firing.  AAUP representatives will be on campus March 22-23 for their investigation. 

If faculty are interested in taking media requests, Trachtenberg will gladly hand off such requests to them.  The university’s budget situation for next year is grim.  Council’s Executive Committee met with members of the Provost's staff including Vice Chancellor for Finance, Rhonda Gibler.  We’ll all have to do our part to make things work.  When we’re in class or in the lab, morale is great, however, when we think about budget, not so good.   Trachtenberg urges you to connect with the faculty council groups in your units (e.g., faculty affairs committee, policy committee, etc.) regarding difficult budget decisions.  It is important to talk with your deans and administrators;  we need to use the voice we have. 

Discussion Items

Guests: Ken Dean, Senior Associate Provost, on the tenure process; and, Barbara Rupp, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management, on enrollment report.  Ken Dean presented a brief review of the Promotion & Tenure (P&T) process.  Noted two important decisions: first to hire and second to grant tenure; both are multimillion-dollar decisions.  Administrators and promotion and tenure committees meet yearly to review and improve process.  Dean handed out a synopsis of the tenure decisions over the last ten years. Most of the no votes are at the tenure level, few at the promotion level.

Barbara Rupp spoke to current enrollment reports; numbers are predicted to be much lower next year.  If the pattern established in the previous year holds, fall enrollment will be around 5K.  Her office is working to increase that, but only have a month to affect any change as students are deciding now, where to attend college.  Rupp noted that faculty’s response and support has been amazing.  If you or your department are doing anything for recruitment (they are thrilled), please let them know, positive publicity will help. 

Questions focused on:  impact of University of Illinois polices on our enrollment, on the number of our recruiters, if we're recruiting internationally and whether we use private companies for recruitment. Rupp stated that there are many reasons for falling enrollment:  high school graduates are down in number, other schools have large coffers for scholarships, competition with Missouri State, and the University of Illinois did admit more students.  We are filling all our recruiter positions and have three recruiters traveling to other countries.  We’ve only been heavily recruiting out of the country during the past 5-6 years and it has paid off.  We don’t use private agents.  Many of the agents get a lot of money from the applicant's family, and we have a problem with that. 

Rules of Order proposed changes - Monnier, Lupo, Wiebold.  Working through a three phase review of Faculty Council “Rules of Order.”  Phase One was making it current.   Phase Two, currently underway, is clean ups.  Phase Three will be more controversial, e.g., voting rights, etc.  Document with redline changes plus 1-page summary of changes was sent out.  Faculty are requested to attentively read through documents.  Ask that people show up prepared to vote. 

Curator’s Professor Nomenclature – Lupo.  Concern that the current nomenclature causes confusion.  Moved and approved to suspend rules in order to vote today. Motion passed. The motion read:

“The Faculty Affairs Committee recommends that the name of the “Curators’ Professor” title be changed to “Curators’ Distinguished Professor,” and that this change have retroactive effect for faculty already holding the title of Curators’ Professor.

In addition, the Committee recommends that the name of the “Curators’ Teaching Professor” title be changed to “Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor,” and that this change have retroactive effect for faculty already holding the title of Curators’ Teaching Professor.

Further, the Committee requests that the MU delegation to the Intercampus Faculty Council suggest that the IFC endorse these proposed changes and then bring the recommendations to appropriate officials of the UM System.”


Academic Calendar for AY2018-2019 – Jago.  Academic Affairs committee introduced a motion to start the spring semester of 2019 on January 14th.  Presented normal and proposed calendars for SP 2019.  That winter break would be 1 month & 8 days. Students have questioned length of winter break.  Two principal concerns: first is actions that have to be taken during break regarding students, enrollment, etc.; second is impact on study abroad programs during winter break.  Presented arguments for and against.

Discussion ensued regarding impact on study abroad programs, classes shared across the system as well as lab classes.  Requested that we invited lab directors to next FC meeting.  Chair will look into this.


Syllabus statement – Jago.  Academic Affairs committee was asked to consider three additional syllabus statements.  Took a look at all syllabus statements.  Reminder that syllabi are faculty property and are not public documents unless faculty make them so. Document was sent out noting concerns and recommendation that syllabus statements be located in a central place, such as the M-Book, and that faculty refer/link to the statements as needed.  Committee recommends that FC not vote on the statements.  Discussion ensued. 


Race Relations Committee Report – Hudson.  We’re moving along at the progress we wanted a year ago.  Purposely included people identified as skeptics.  Amazing transformation has occurred.  We are now ready to start making presentations to the broader university community and to replicate the Race Relations group in those departments, schools, and colleges.  Need folks who are skeptical but willing to working on this.  We need help finding these people.  Participants will need to be trained to listen deeply and be open.  This is a way to change our culture.  Need to find ways to change those habits of our culture around race.  Looking to have a report for the FC June meeting to report on insights and recommendations. 

Questions were raised regarding the diversity course and the program on Difficult Dialogs.  Hudson stated that this committee is not working on the course and is looking solely at race, not diversity as a whole.  Also, they are not reinventing the Difficult Dialogs program.


Nominations Committee Report – Monnier.  First announcement for elections went out.  Elections are held in two phases:  first, vice chair & chair; second, standing committees and IFC rep.   Collecting nominations for all at this time.  Nominees are asked to submit candidate statements up to 100 words.  Encouraged to speak to current office holder if interested.  Monnier noted that being on FC Executive committee

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs (Lupo).  Committee met and discussed the plan to change retirement health insurance benefits.  Changes will have a major impact but do not come close to fixing problem that administration says they are addressing.  Need to discuss this and make a recommendation.  Curators will vote on it either April or June meeting. 

Fiscal Affairs (Gahl).  Committee met with Rhonda Gibler, Vice Chancellor for Finance.  Gibler has been very forthcoming.  If you are interested speak with committee members. 

Question raised regarding status of Budget Allocation Advisory Council (BAAC).  Provost Stokes did not know.  Trachtenberg will ask Foley.   Question raised regarding hiring freeze.  Provost Stokes stated that Deans have authority to override as long as they make their 5% cut to budget.  Regarding question of Foley sending a memo saying NTT teaching load is 4 courses per semester, Stokes heard nothing of this and it would have come from her office.



The meeting was adjourned at 5:09 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Graves, Recorder