Meeting Minutes: September 28, 2016


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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Trachtenberg called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m. The minutes of the 08-25-2016 Faculty Council meeting were approved as presented

Report of Officers

Congratulations to Flora Zephir on being elected as chair of FC Student Affairs Committee.  The Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Governance had its first meeting on Monday evening at 5 p.m.  The committee has an "extra" faculty member as Anna Ball from the Provost’s Office is a member.  Committee will be looking at best practices for deans and chairs in relation to faculty governance, and it will then consider how the faculty can improve its own practices.   The Ad Hoc Committee on Civil Rights and Title IX is just getting started and will have to move fast as their report is due 11-01-2016.  According to the UM general counsel, the IBIS Consulting Group, which has been hired to audit diversity, equity and inclusion policies, should be sharing a draft of how we might improve our rules with the Ad Hoc Committee.  Some of the rules for which changes are likely are not included in those that president can approve without approval by the Curators.  Goal is to get changes to Curators for their December meeting for approval before end of the calendar year.  Ideally will come before FC in November and we can weigh in on it.

The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protests, Public Spaces, Free Speech and the Press held its second forum which was reasonably well attended.  Smart questions were asked.  Previous questions from first forum were addressed in their document.  We’ll see some of that today.  Third item on agenda.  The committee is done with public forums but is open to meeting with groups. The committee will be bringing its report to FC.

Curators will meet next week in KC.  UM System President search likely to be on their agenda.  The names of the finalist will not be released.  The finalists will not be meeting with any faculty other than those on the search committee.  The dean searches are coming along.  Committees are being populated and the dean of business will probably be announced in upcoming week.

Trachtenberg expressed his sympathy for the students who were on receiving end of hateful speech (on the night of Sept. 27-28) and his distaste of those committing the act.  Can only hope that with education the students learn better.  An event in reaction to this is being held at Gaines Oldham Black Culture Center tonight at 5 p.m.

Discussion Items

Guest: Noor Azizan-Gardner, Assistant Vice chancellor, and Mardy Eimers, Vice Provost for Institutional Research and Quality Improvement.  Co-chairs Azizan-Gardner and Eimers noted that the steering committee for the impending campus climate survey has representation from faculty, staff and students.  They have been working on campus climate since spring.  Survey is to find out about the working environment that we all live in.  Different from diversity audit.  UM System is primary organizer of this project and is providing funding.  Doing this with sister campuses – KC, Rolla, STL – and system itself.  Oct 4th is when survey will launch.  Will run for a month: closes November 4th.  Results should be shared Spring term.  It is a research study and Eimers is the PI on study.  Important to know that every single person will receive survey – faculty, students, staff.  Everyone with an MU email (other than those solely at hospital) will receive the survey.  Noted that it is long and encourage people to have patience and work through it.  It will benefit everyone.  Dr. Susan Rankin of Rankin & Associates, will prepare the final report and present recommendations for campus.  Data will be both campus wide and specific to undergrads, grads, faculty, staff.  We’ll form one or more task forces to look at how can we use these data on campus.

Questions centered on the structure and development of the survey, its cost, what administration hopes to learn from it and whether they will be thinking about race and gender bias in the analysis.  The survey was designed by Rankin & Associates, and representatives from all four campuses have gone over the questions.  UM system is paying for the survey and these surveys will be on-going, i.e., held every two to four years.  They are looking to learn about employee and student attitudes but do not have a theory, overarching question.  Do not know about bias in the analysis.

Proposed 2% recovery (collection) of one-time funds  - John Gahl.  Gahl shared what he learned from the financial overview forums and VC Rhonda Gibler.  This is still a proposal, therefore, if you don’t like it, let someone know.  Sense is that administration is open to suggestions and comments but burden is on those arguing against proposal.  It is called the future projects proposal and is a 2% pull back of unrestricted reserve funds in Fiscal years 17 - 19.  Also a 2% tax on plant funds, i.e., funds for one time large purchases (the term “plant funds” is not related to “plants” that grow in the ground).  The plant funds would have a 2% tax once in FY 17, then a 2% tax on any new money going into the plant funds in FY 18 and FY 19. 

Administration presented it as a crisis of facilities maintenance.  There is almost a billion dollars in deferred maintenance on this campus.  Presented the case that Plant Science is a strength of this campus and needs support.  Nursing is also a strength of the campus.  Music has a matching grant.  Discussion ensued. 

Proposed changes to the Business Policy and Procedures Manual (BPPM) relating to free expression, as well as possible changes to the UM Collected Rules and Regulations (CRRs) related to free expression – Jago.   Jago presented document which covered chalking of sidewalks; distribution of materials on campus,  contact with the media, sound amplification devices.  While there is not vote on this today, hope is that we’ll vote next time we meet.

Discussion ensued.  Chair thanked Art Jago for his service on this.  Suggested that that we make changes prior to free speech policy or could do it in conjunction with free speech policy.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs (Jago).  The committee met with the registrar, and Jago met with the VC of Academic Affairs.  Looking into reliability issues in the teaching effectiveness questionnaire. 

Diversity Enhancement (Baker).  Baker met with Dr. Warren Lockette regarding the School of Medicine's accreditation issues.  Going to meet with him again with the entire committee.

Berkley Hudson added that he met yesterday morning with Kevin McDonald who wants to support the Race Relations Committee proposal to find ways to replicate throughout the university small groups of faculty, staff, students of diverse viewpoints around the issue of race relations.

Fiscal Affairs (Gahl).  Meet with VC Gibler. Again, as she did last year, she’s going to direct chief financial officers of each unit to present their budget to their unit.  Gahl asks FC members to get in touch with units to make sure these meetings happen.  November 4th budget camp – contact Ben Trachtenberg if you’re interested. 


Faculty Council went into closed session at 4:55 p.m. to discuss the committee for Undergraduate Education (CUE) and campus and faculty standing committees.

Council adjourned at 4:57 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Graves, Recorder