Meeting Minutes: August 25, 2016


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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Trachtenberg called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. The minutes of the 8-4-2016 Faculty Council meeting were approved as presented.

Report of Officers

As the new Faculty Council (FC) members joined as of this meeting, Chair Trachtenberg asked all to introduce themselves.  Trachtenberg called for approval of Bill Wiebold as parliamentarian, Tony Lupo as temporary parliamentarian due to Wiebold's absence, and Rebecca Graves as recorder.  All were approved.

The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protests, Public Spaces, Free Speech & The Press will be holding forums on campus August 30 and September 19.  The Chancellor, Trachtenberg and the  committee members will be at both forums.   The hope is that FC will endorse something that Jesse Hall (Administration) will adopt.  This is likely as the Ad hoc committee includes broad representation including campus police.

Regarding the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Governance, Wilson Freyermuth will chair. Freyermuth is a Kemper winner and former FC member.  Broad coverage and representation are needed on the committee, so Trachtenberg is not rushing to fill membership.  Thank you to those who have volunteered or recommended others.

Regarding the Ad Hoc Committee on Title IX, Tina Bloom has agreed to chair and Ellen Eardley will be member.  Still looking for a few more names and then will go forward.

The annual FC workshop is a week from today.  The workshop is not a formal meeting; therefore, it is not open to the public.  Next public meeting is September 15th.     

Discussion Items

Guest: Stephanie Shonekan, Associate Professor of Music, and Chair of Black Studies, for update of UM presidential search process; and, Kevin McDonald, UM Chief Diversity Officer and MU Interim Vice Chancellor.   

Shonekan is the MU campus representative to the UM presidential search committee.  Shonekan reported that it has been a good experience and that Isaacson Miller is the search firm giving guidance.  They now have a group of candidates they feel are ready for them to talk to and will be doing interviews very soon.  She is satisfied with the range of experience that candidates bring to the table.  They have been looking for two big things: 1) someone who understands academia, what life is like on a research 1 campus, someone who can represent four campuses; and,  2) someone who has experience dealing with multiculturalism and diversity, someone who thinks of this as an opportunity and not as an albatross, and is excited about coming to UM now. 

Questions were raised regarding the timeline of the search, the mix of candidates, strategy for checking references and ranking of candidates.  Shonekan replied that interviews will start early September and that there will be an announcement early next year, if not sooner.  She is restricted in what information she can share; however, there is a spectrum of skill sets in the pool.  A ten point ranking system was developed from the forums on campus and with assistance from Isaacson Miller.  Shonekan is satisfied with the number of candidates seen, and the discussions held.  The campus representatives have felt heard.  The consulting firm has been valuable checking references, and the committee takes positive recommendations with a grain of salt.  It has not been finalized whether the finial candidates will give public talks.  The full committee will be involved up until the last few meetings when it will be up to the Board of Curators.  Shonekan finished by calling for questions to take into the interviews.

Kevin McDonald stated that he had good fortune to present to chairs retreat. Having come here to serve in a system role, he is grateful now to have campus home.  This allows him to connect with faculty and students.  He is approaching his charge from the standpoint of academic excellence.  No one chose MU because it's the most mediocre institution they could find.  What role can diversity and inclusion play in academic excellence?  McDonald noted that access without success is problematic.  Need both.  He has drafted how to deliver on his charge and hopes to bring a document to FC which we can endorse.  McDonald stated that it is important that we work collaboratively and that we have broad representation. 

Questions were raised on McDonald's definition of diversity, when initiatives will be started, and how this is different from past initiatives.   McDonald answered that he takes a broad view of diversity, e.g. it includes disabilities, though we also have to consider historical disparities.  He stated that there needs to be an announcement this fall and that he has a list of strategies. He does not have all the historical context yet; however, many institutions have similarly grappled with history.  It needs to be tailored for each area, and to have commitment both at the top and the bottom.

Standing Committee Reports

no reports (’16-’17 Standing Committee Assignments will be made available at workshop)

Any Other Business

Christine Holt, new Associate Provost, stated that they are moving forward on dean searches.  Provost Stokes has identified chairs, but she does not know when the announcement will come out.  She reminded FC of the September 7th  Traveling Provost Office Hours and that this is an excellent opportunity to meet with the provost.  Holt is looking forward to working with faculty and FC.


Faculty Council went into closed session at 4:38 p.m. to consider potential nominees for campus standing committees.

Council adjourned at 4:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Graves, Recorder