Meeting Minutes: September 15, 2016


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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Trachtenberg called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m. The minutes of the 08-25-2016 Faculty council Meeting were approved as presented.

Report of Officers

Chair Trachtenberg thanked all who attended the Faculty Council (FC) workshop on September 1. The conversations were useful as were the committee reports. Standing committee charges have been circulated and will be put up on the FC website.  Encouraged all to read. Also circulated the charge for the Ad Hoc Committee On Faculty Governance and the charge for the Ad Hoc Committee On Civil Rights and Title IX.  Plan for the Civil Rights and Title IX group is to have a report to Council by November 1 and further work done by the end of the calendar year so that Interim President Middleton can approve changes to the Collected Rules and Regulations.  Curators gave authority to approve without further action by the Board, but that authority ends in Feb, or perhaps sooner as a practical matter if new president is hired.  The dean searches are progressing.

The School of Medicine has received full accreditation; however, diversity and inclusion were identified as problems.  Warren Lockette, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, will be looking into this and will inform FC how we can be of assistance. Council’s Diversity Enhancement Committee will liaise between Council and Dean Lockette.

On 09-13-2016, top UM leaders held a press conference on diversity, the video of which will be posted on UM System website.  Trachtenberg commended it to everyone's attention.   The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protests, Public Spaces, Free Speech, and the Press is holding the 2nd of 2 forums on proposed rules, this Monday, Sept. 19.  The last forum (Aug. 30) was quite helpful.  Please remind colleagues that this is a public forum.  Announcement of reopening of Swallow Hall, tonight 5-7.

Discussion Items

Guest: Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor of Extension and Engagement.  Stewart introduced himself. He is a believer in the land grant philosophy; and, in his first 30 days, he has been touring the state.  He noted it is important to take time to learn, after which his office will launch initiatives. There will be a summit in October to talk about next steps and also a needs assessment will be done for the state. 

Questions raised on how Extension will engage with entrepreneurship, with race, and with connecting faculty to people in the state.  Stewart is looking at building partnerships, engaging in conversations and asked to be invited to dialogue with committees.  He is working to broaden conversations in the state, and there is great interest in working with engineering, nursing, etc. in addition to more traditional Extension areas such as agriculture.  Yes, other disciplines can be connectors to the community.

Report of Race Relations Committee – Hudson.  Berkley Hudson stated that the committee has released its report and gave a history of its work.  He raised the question of why are people are contacting him regarding problems in their schools.  People need to know whom to go to.  For example, a journalism student feels so uncomfortable that she is taking online classes to avoid her peers.  Hudson appreciates the support FC and faculty gave to him and the committee.  There were times they needed it.  Hudson played videos created by the committee back in September 2015.  (Videos can be found at )

Hudson noted that we can change the narrative today if we want to change it.  We can change the headlines in the NY Times. Or we can do other things and let the trucks with the confederate flags circle the campus.

Questions centered on next steps, how to engage the people who don't see the problem, and why the committee isn't leveraging infrastructure of the Difficult Dialogues program.   The next step is to form small groups throughout campus to talk and listen.  Enlist people by appealing to what they care about, e.g., MU, duty & honor, black & gold.  The committee does want to leverage current infrastructure. Encourages all to read the committee report.  We don't really understand how serious it is. 

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs (Jago).  In the next week, will be meeting with Jim Spain, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, and then with Brenda Selmen, University Registrar, to discuss scheduling issues.  Will be working on Academic Calendar & final exam schedule.

Diversity Enhancement (Baker). Meeting with Warren Lockette, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Medicine, next week and inviting committee members attend as well.

Faculty Affairs (Bloom).  Organizing first meeting.

Fiscal Affairs (Gahl).  Will be meeting with Rhonda Gibler, Vice Chancellor for Finance Gibler, soon.  An avalanche of phishing attacks are affecting campus; therefore, a toolkit will be pushed out related to information technology security.  The committee was requested to canvas the faculty about alternatives in wake of Gibler's mention a 2% take back of money.  The committee will look into this.


Faculty Council went into closed session at 4:50 p.m. to consider campus & faculty standing committees.  Faculty Council elections were also discussed and the ballot confirmed. 

Council adjourned at 4:59.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Graves, Recorder