Meeting Minutes: November 17, 2016

Attendance

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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Trachtenberg called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m. The minutes of the 11-3-2016 Faculty Council meeting were approved as presented.

Report of Officers

Trachtenberg noted the election of the new governor, Eric Greitens, who is the spouse of Sheena Greitens, an Assistant Professor in Political Science at MU. Update that Marc Linit will be interim vice chancellor and dean of CAFNR at the start of the new year when the current dean, Tom Payne, retires.  Their search for a permanent replacement is ongoing.  Update on the business policy and procedure manual (BPPM) changes; Trachtenberg will meet with two lawyers from the General Counsel’s office next week to learn if they have concerns or will recommend the changes to Interim Chancellor Foley. Trachtenberg will also meet with Kevin McDonald next week to discuss the initiatives he has proposed as Interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, and will follow up with individuals and committees as appropriate.

Provost Stokes is hosting a reception immediately following this meeting.  President-designate Mun Choi will be visiting campus the evening of November 30 and during the day on December 1.  Faculty Council might be invited to an informal morning reception where we can raise key issues and introduce ourselves on Dec. 1. There may also be a 9 a.m. campus-wide welcome event to start the day. 

Trachtenberg thanked all who responded to the request for names for the common curriculum advisory board being established by the Missouri Department of Higher Education.  Three names will be passed along (two faculty and one administrator).

Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC)

Trachtenberg asked the chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee (Bloom) to report on that committee’s recommendations summarized in the Faculty Affairs Report to Faculty Council on Post-Tenure Review Draft Documents (sent via email on 11/17/16 by Bloom with “Fiscal Affairs” subject line) and expressed hope that we could review it and vote at the December 8 meeting, or have a serious discussion if we are not ready to vote.

Bloom noted that the committee had received an overwhelming amount of feedback from faculty and tried to summarize the themes while also including all of the feedback in an appendix. There was support for the IFC committee’s recommendations but enough substantive concerns to warrant delaying the vote, such as making the recommendations more broadly focused on principles and standards, changing some of the terminology, improving shared governance and peer review mechanisms, being more attentive to administrator roles within the process and oversight mechanisms, and considering whether incentives should be included in the CRRs.

Trachtenberg provided some background information about the IFC committee’s work and noted the need to address disparities across campus (and among the four campuses) in how post-tenure reviews are conducted and more specificity regarding the quality of feedback offered, particularly for those who are given a satisfactory rating. Additional information about workload changes can be found in the workload allocation white paper (approved by IFC in 2014).  Every department is supposed to have written policies for post-tenure review, but not all do.  One recommendation suggested is that each campus have a Center for Teaching and Learning.  More support should be offered to faculty who might be struggling with some aspect of their role.  The IFC appointed a task force with one member from each campus, with the goal of reporting recommendations from those campuses back to IFC.  Trachtenberg encouraged all to read the committee’s report, of which the appendix comprises about half.  Trachtenberg encouraged all to submit questions to him or Bloom over the next two weeks or at the next Council meeting. 

Trachtenberg opened the discussion, which included questions about whether faculty would be reviewed and given raises according to AAU membership criteria and Trachtenberg thought that research-related metrics were likely, but that faculty should adjust their workload percentages to reflect their activities.  Faculty productivity should be defined by department. 

Action Items

Proposed changes to the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protests, Public Spaces, Free Speech, and the Press – Jerry.  Trachtenberg noted that members of that committee were in attendance, but would not make a report.  Motion to endorse recommendations as written.  Flore Zephir suggested one minor change regarding performances on page 3, line 67 and 68.  Add “performances” after the word “lectures”.  Moved and seconded for that amendment.  Approved.  Council then consider whether to approve the committee’s recommendation as amended.  Discussion, none.  Vote called. Amended motion approved.  Trachtenberg thanked the committee for doing an outstanding job adopting a relentlessly pro free-speech position while also trying to protect the university’s functions.

 

Proposed changes to the Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR) related to Discrimination, Diversity, and other Civil Rights/Title IX Issues – Jago.  Trachtenberg referred to the report from the ad hoc committee (chaired by Bloom), which was in last Faculty Council’s meeting packet, and additional conversations about the proposed changes over email, including an amendment proposed by Jago.  Jago provided written copies of his proposed changes to make it permissible for advisors and/or attorneys to speak during a hearing.  Discussion ensued with views both for and against this amendment. Questions were raised about what an advisor’s role currently included which is that the advisor can whisper and communicate with a party in writing but can’t speak to the hearing panel or question others.  Bloom clarified that in these hearings everyone is provided a report in advance, which a lawyer can object to. The recommended changes (circulated by UM System) already allow for more advisor involvement during the investigation stage, and this amendment would allow them to speak during the hearing as well.  Concerns were raised about the emotional context about having the accused and an accuser in the same room at a hearing and the potential power differential in place in the case that the hearing chair is not a lawyer.  Additional concerns about disparate financial resources in being able to obtain a lawyer were also raised and the possibility of developing long-term solutions to this issue were discussed.  Vote called.  Amendment passed, 13 to 12.  Vote called to endorse the report as amended to bring to IFC.  Approved.  Report as amended is adopted. 

 

Discussion Items

Guests: Jim Sterk, Athletic Director. Sterk provided an overview of highlights within athletics.  He is excited about the land grant mission, being in the SEC, having an impact across the state, and building the athletic program academically and athletically.  He said the Mizzou Athletics motto is “Win it Right” and described five focal areas: the student-athlete experience, personnel, facilities, resource acquisition, and political dynamics.  There are 550 student-athletes in all disciplines.  He noted that the SEC is the most competitive conference and that MU was invited to help elevate the academic side.  Last year, the average grade point average for MU student athletes was 3.1.  Highlighted various successes in team sports and tournaments, including men’s volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s cross country.  The financial position of athletics is strong because of healthy reserves.  Question raised about scholarship support of student athletes; most are not given “full ride” scholarships.  Discussion of the need to highlight sports beyond football and basketball.  Sterk addressed what athletics is doing to address race relations including leadership from Dr. Brian Brown and the Mizzou Made program.

Report from FAC on post-tenure review proposals received from IFC – Bloom.  Complex feedback has been received and the analysis is ongoing.

Proposed new “Faculty Council Citation” – Trachtenberg.  Opportunity to reward faculty at no cost and acknowledge the good work that individuals are doing related to support for faculty governance.  Motion to approve.  Seconded.  Discussion?  Conspicuous seems negative word, proposed change to “significant”.  Move to suspend rules to vote today approved. Amended motion approved. 

Standing Committee Reports

No reports made.

Adjournment

Faculty Council went into closed session at 4:55 p.m. to discuss campus and faculty standing committees.  Council adjourned at 4:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Casandra Harper, Interim Recorder