Meeting Minutes: November 19, 2015

Attendance

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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Trachtenberg called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m. The minutes of the 11-5-15 Faculty Council meeting were approved as presented.

Report of Officers

Trachtenberg announced that Tim Evans, the Student Affairs Chair & FC Parliamentarian, will be leaving FC effective January 15th.  FC will need a new parliamentarian, contact the chair if interested.  Trachtenberg recognized Evans for his work, especially work with students.  He also announced that Dennis Miller is leaving Council immediately and recognized his efforts and work.  Jeff Rouder is taking over for Miller as a representative from A&S. 

The chair then spoke about the following people, who in their years of service at MU have been a credit to the university:  Janna Basler, Director of Greek Life, currently on leave; Chip Callahan, chair of religious studies; Melissa Click, associate professor, department of communications.  The legal issues in which these people have recently been involved are quite complicated.  The chair recommends that we have conversations on these issues including that of free speech and suggested that divisions like the Truman School, the School of Journalism, and the School of Law could assist.

Racism in Missouri and America was not created in day or year, and it won’t be solved by administrative shuffle, or with any other quick fix.  This is not justification for despair.  Going forward, the chair is committed to working on issues raised in the last two months.   We need to look at improving our relations among the MU campus, the UM System and the Board of Curators. 

Curator Ann Covington has resigned from the Board due to personal reasons.  The Board of Curators will be meeting 3:30 – 6:00 p.m. tomorrow (11/20) with students from MU campus.  This is a listening session only: no business will be conducted.  Suggestion to hold listening sessions between the Board and Faculty Council to proactively establish relationship.

Library fee was voted down this week in student elections.  The library will be in great distress, as noted at a prior FC meeting by Director Riley.  Funding the library is important.  FC Executive Committee will be meeting with Ann Riley, and also the Library Committee.   The Kinder institute is to be housed in Jesse Hall, not Ellis Library.  Council expressed its appreciation on this again (in a letter from Trachtenberg to the Provost). 

Vice Chair Monnier reported that IFC will meet next Tuesday, November 24.  At this meeting IFC may have student guests from ConcernedStudent1950 if they are available over the Thanksgiving break.  Meeting with the IFC was one of their requests. 

Action Items

MU Student travel policies – Evans.  Revised proposal concerning study abroad (and State Department travel warnings) circulated via email prior to meeting.  Evans read amended proposal.  As this is a committee recommendation it comes as a motion.  There being no discussion, vote was called.  Proposed revision carried.

Discussion Items

Guests: Michael Middleton, Interim President & Hank Foley, Interim Chancellor.  Interim President Middleton spoke to challenges facing UM – financial, political, enrollment management, and free speech – as well as where we want to go in the future.  His first responsibility is to return some stability to the institution.  He supports shared governance and thanked FC and individual faculty for their support of his appointment.  Called for patience and compromise in order to reach our goals.

Interim Chancellor Foley spoke to the current climate on campus and issues facing the university.  He has contacted alumni and donors to reassure them.  By and large, the campus is operating as normal.   He is reaching out to student groups that feel marginalized. He will also reach out to students in the middle.  Stated that we need to work on our collegiality amongst ourselves and on making this a more civil place for all.  

Regarding the swastika found in an MU bathroom, while we many never know real intent of the act, we do know the impact.  It is a symbol of anti-Semitism.  Acts of this kind will not be tolerated.  This should have been said some time ago.  He apologized for not saying it weeks ago.  Foley also noted that administration did a terrible job of communicating last week regarding threats posted on social media.  Stated that we will do better. 

Foley is meeting with the School of Medicine administration, chairs and faculty this afternoon.  He is working to bring in an interim Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.  Stated that he will not make decisions regarding the medical school administration at this time but will stay informed.

Announced that Jennifer Hollingshead has been named Interim Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications and that Charles (Chuck) Henson has been appointed as Interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. 

Asked faculty to help with maintaining dialogue to build civility, and to work on rebuilding the MU brand. 

Questions were raised regarding the financial resources of the institution as well as the need for the System.  Commitment to AAU was also questioned.   Foley stated that we’ll have to prioritize funding and that our AAU status is worth as it gives us a window into funding and to policy decisions.   Middleton stated that he wouldn’t stand in the way of a study on the System if a study were authorized. 

Proposed Amendment to charge of the Persons with Disabilities Committee.  Chair raised the issue of a proposed amendment.  Monnier moved and Gahl seconded.  There being no discussion, chair asked if there were any objections to voting today.  There being none, vote was called.  Amendment carried.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs  (Jago).  Examining issues regarding the Center for Teaching and Learning, which has been on hold.  Funding is major issue.  Meeting last week with Jim Spain, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies was postponed.

Diversity Enhancement  (Speck).  Have been supporting students.  A revision of the diversity curriculum proposal has been presented to Curriculum, Instruction and Advising (within A&S).

Faculty Affairs  (Lupo).  Group is continuing to work on post-tenure review report; and, they have begun to work on a statement regarding academic freedom and faculty governance.  Question was raised regarding shared governance.  Request that a proactive statement on our expectations on shared governance be sent to Foley in advance, i.e., by January or February.  Lupo agreed to have the committee work on a formal concise statement.  FC Chair will consider it.

It was noted that when the rules were redone on Title IX, there is a disconnect between Columbia bylaws and the rest of CRRs.  The chair agreed that this is not ideal.  Suggestion might be that MU faculty bylaws be changed.  Or the CRRs could change.  Or both.  Best strategy is to wait for word on CRRs (which may be changed in the coming year), then change MU bylaws to match. 

Fiscal Affairs (Gahl).  Recommends we evaluate the UM system now while we have interim President.  Will look into how the committee can assist with this.  While there is uncertainty and concern about the campus budget and enrollment it does not look bad (or worse) at present.  Reminded FC that State funding comes to system – not to each campus.

Discussion ensued.  A request was made for information on the composition of the committee.

Student Affairs (Evans).  Concern from students about having non-voting reps for undergraduate and graduate students on FC as well as other councils and groups.  Expecting to have report from the graduate student task force by early December (12/7). 

Any Other Business

Announcement from Pat Okker.  MyVita will be launching after Thanksgiving break.

Mizzou 2020 is on stand-by waiting from word from President Middleton. 

Adjournment

Council went into closed session at 4:44 p.m.  The meeting was adjourned at 5:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Graves, Recorder