Meeting Minutes: October 20, 2016


Members present: Anne Alexander, Wesley Bernskoetter (for Sheila Baker), Christi Bergin, David Bergin, Tina Bloom, John Gahl, Francisco Gomez, Trent Guess, Casandra Harper, Berkley Hudson, Art Jago, Tony Lupo, Leslie Lyons, Camila Manrique, John Middleton, Jeffrey Rouder, Rebecca Scott, Marcia Shannon, Anne Stanton, Mary Stegmaier, Kristin Taylor, Ben Trachtenberg, Vitor Trindade, William Wiebold, Robert Winholtz, Flore Zephir, Rebecca Graves (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), and Rebekah Hart (Council Secretary). Members absent: Dennis Kelley, Naresh Khatri, Teng Lim, Clark Peters, Patrick Shiu, Marty Steffens, Mahesh Thakkar, and Galen Suppes (AAUP).

Approval of Minutes

Chair Trachtenberg called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m. The minutes of the 09-28-2016 Faculty Council Meeting were approved as presented.

Report of Officers

Trachtenberg thanked all who attended the general faculty meeting.  He won’t repeat report there as it was conveniently recorded.  An issue raised at the meeting concerned faculty being in the room when administration decides on where to spend the money for major priorities such as plant sciences facilities.  One idea is to revive the Budget Allocation Advisory Council (BAAC).  It would be good to have faculty involvement in earlier period of decision making.

The Board of Curators meet tomorrow.  Rumor is they will be choosing a president but what do we know?  Take the campus climate survey, which is available online.  The climate survey is for you regardless of rank/status.

Trachtenberg corrected an omission from yesterday.  The Race Relations Committee has an elaborate podcast on its way from Craig Roberts.  The committee is going to begin recreating itself around campus.  Be open if/when called to do this.  More videos on their way.  Hopefully we can make progress.

Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC)

IFC members met at the annual IFC retreat on September 29 and 30. The following UM System administrators presented: Steve Graham, Sr. Associate VP for Academic Affairs; Brian Burnett, VP for Finance; Mike Middleton, UM interim president; Kevin McDonald, Chief Diversity Officer; Steve Knorr, VP for University Relations; Marsha Fischer, Office of the General Counsel; and Gary Allen, VP for Information Technology. IFC also met with two curators, Maurice Graham and Phil Snowden.

Three issues discussed among the IFC members were related to revisions or additions to the UM Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR). First, is labeled by interim president Middleton as “comprehensive diversity audit”. Middleton sent to the university community a link to a SharePoint site to view possible CRR changes. The topics included in the audit and CRR changes are many, but include section 600.040 Equity Resolution Process for Resolving Complaints of Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and other Forms of Discrimination against a Faculty Member. FC chair Ben Trachtenberg followed with an email to FC. FC will discuss items in the SharePoint site at tomorrow’s meeting.

Second was related to post-tenure review. The third issue was titled “standards of faculty conduct”. This topic is very much related to a section in the MU Faculty Bylaws titled “Procedures Governing the Disposition of Charges of Faculty Irresponsibility”. Apparently, other campuses do not have a written faculty irresponsibility process. An IFC subcommittee (1 member for each campus) was formed to continue development of a process. That subcommittee is to report to IFC on October 27. Bill Wiebold is MU’s committee member.

Action Items

Proposed changes to the Business Policy and Procedures manual (BPPM) related to free expression, as well as possible changes to the UM Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR's) related to free speech – Jago.  Jago presented the proposed changes motion by motion. 

Motion 1 – chalking: motion was postponed until members have chance to read Bob Jerry’s memo.  Will be considered at future meeting

Motion 2 – written materials: motioned amended to section 2.a to remove all terms

after “alcohol”.  Amendment moved and seconded. Discussion ensued.  Amendment passed.  Vote called. Motion adopted.

Motion 3 – advice to employees of MU on being approached by media. Discussion ensued.  Vote called. Motion adopted.

Motion 4 – sound application: Jago withdrew motion to replace it with motion submitted by Bob Jerry.  FC will vote on this at a future meeting when all have time to review new motion.  Discussion ensued. Noted that it's an easier step to change business rules (in the BPPM) as they are local to campus whereas Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR) are system wide.

Discussion Items

Guests: Hank Foley, Interim Chancellor; followed bv Steve Graham, Sr. Assoc. VP of Academic Affairs at UM System, & Marsha Fischer, Counsel, UM General Counsel's Office (presenting on proposed changes to UM rules and procedures related to discrimination).

Hank Foley noted that he spoke yesterday at the general faculty meeting and that Provost Garnet Stokes gave a report on the hiring of leadership positions. He recapped the status and progress of searches. He also stated that while the current first year class is down in size it is up in quality.  MU also had good a result with last year's first-year class at 85.7% retention which is our third highest retention rate.  This is impressive, and due to you, the faculty.  Research is up a bit this year.  They will be starting the search for executive vice chancellor of health affairs. Things are calm enough now that we can move forward on this. Foley said that he talks to FC only once a semester.  He hears that we want to be included and wants to include us more. However, he doesn’t quite know how to do that.

Foley spoke about greenhouses and plant sciences.  They have been prioritized as they’ve been on the books for so long. MU is falling behind other states such as Iowa which are investing in plant sciences.  This is a field that is important to us, looking to future, climate change, agriculture being the number one industry in Missouri, and St. Louis is an international epicenter of plant science. It makes logical, strategic sense to invest in plant sciences. The $90M price tag greenhouses is a hard lift.  Borrowing money is dicey as we don’t have related income stream. Therefore they devised the plan of pulling back 2% (annually) over three years, or two cents on the dollar.  It's sensitive.  It's hard. Foley also talked about new buildings and support for nursing, undergraduate teaching laboratories in STEM, music, and translational medicine.

Questions focused on budget and diversity.  Questioned about who was in the room when decisions made and were there alternatives discussed, Foley replied that it's hard to get consensus from faculty and that the Curators had pushed the plant sciences project up the list.  He confirmed that it would be a total give back of 6% over the three years. He welcomed folks to send him suggestions on ways to bring in income and that he is willing to reconstitute the BAAC.  Regarding diversity hires and where things stand, Foley replied that he didn't have exact numbers but could get them.  His sense is that we've done a fine job, relatively, with recruiting, but a poor job of retaining faculty once hired. The deans being hired are being asked to focus on diversity among other issues.

Marsha Fischer and Steve Graham presented on proposed changes to UM rules.  They are working with IFC and this will be revisited at November IFC meeting. The equity audit was one of the initiatives brought forward last year. Documentation of the changes are up on SharePoint.  You need to look at both the red line and the clean copy to see everything. Because there’s so much volume, the IFC will take the lead on the feedback.  Comments go to IFC representatives.  Discussion ensued.

Post-Tenure Review (PTR) white paper and proposals received from Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC).  Voted that this be given over to Faculty Affairs Committee to review.  They will report back to FC.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs (Bloom).  Currently reviewing the proposed draft of the post-tenure review policy and CRR redlines that has come out of IFC .  The committee will present a report on these documents with recommendations to Council on November 17th. Documents were sent to FC.  Please disseminate widely and send responses to Bloom. 

Fiscal Affairs (Gahl).  Encourages you to contact your college or unit’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to request a presentation of your unit’s budget situation to your faculty. Vice Chancellor Gibler has instructed the CFOs to make such presentations. Please let Gahl know if you have any difficulties.

The committee intends to gather data as to how all academic and nonacademic units dealt with this year’s budget cuts and present these data in a report.  The committee is investigating the possibility of proposing the establishment or re-activation of campus committee(s) to address fundamental issues of income generation and cost control.

Student Affairs (Zephir).  Had their first meeting, October 7th. The issues they will be tackle first include: Student alcohol consumption in Greek houses and elsewhere; underage drinking on campus; and, mental health resources for students. The committee will be meeting with Cathy Scroggs, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, on Thursday, October 27 to begin discussing those issues and ascertain the extent of these problems, and see what is already (if anything) being done about solving them.


Faculty Council went into closed session at 4:51 p.m. to consider campus & faculty standing committees and honorary degrees.

Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Graves, Recorder