Meeting Minutes: March 29, 1994
AttendanceThe meeting was called to order by Chancellor Kiesler at 3:45 p.m. in Townsend Auditorium with approximately 50 faculty members in attendance.
Chancellor's RemarksThe Chancellor announced that there would be a reception following the meeting and that such would continue to be the case after future meetings. He also announced his intention to publicize faculty accomplishments at meetings, starting this time.
The Chancellor drew attention to an article in the Los Angeles Times of the preceding Friday. The article was written by Mike Downey and entitled "Missouri Has a Lot to Offer". The article appeared on the front page of the sports section and had been written on the occasion of the basketball team's tournament appearance in Los Angeles, but was laudatory of alumni accomplishments in general.
The Chancellor was pleased to report progress in relationships with the President, the Curators, the political establishment, donors, press, etc. He stressed the need to overhaul our approach to the undergraduate experience in order to recapture public trust. He talked about change and people's natural resistance to it, but faculty's receptivity to changes, even those forced on it. This had led to excellent relations with the President, the Board, and the Legislature.
The budget was making its way nicely through the legislative process. There was a chance of the inclusion of matching funds for endowed professorships (on a reduced scale) but on a continuing basis. The governor has been extremely supportive.
The Chancellor spoke of the strategic planning process as the major tool for the allocation of resources. It had gone more slowly than had been hoped, but it was expected to change constantly as it goes. He had seen plans for History, Math, and Chemistry, and understood that one for English also existed. These should serve as exemplars for other plans. They should excite faculty, students, and especially potential donors. The enrollment management system had received a lot of attention recently, much of it inaccurate. It was not a process to downsize, but emphasized recruitment, retention and graduation. Emphasis had also been placed on diversity and on attracting students with exceptional credentials. Dr. Don Hossler would be here to speak on Thursday, as well as to the Board. Predictors of success would eventually supersede current admissions criteria. The faculty and the Board would in the future be called on to endorse formal changes. High school graduations were at the lowest point in 20 years. In spite of this freshman applications were up 21 percent over this time last year, admissions up 22.4 percent. These facts showed good marketing of the university. There was a 57 percent increase in the Honors College also, with no lessening of criteria. African-American freshman applications were up 80 percent, admissions up 95 percent. This was a unique national story.
Advising was also better, particular the living-and-learning environments. He spoke allusively of the Wakonse experience and Professor Foley's mentoring program. There was however concern over some aspects of the General Education Architecture, and the Chancellor sought to assure faculty that passage of it by the Board did not mean that it was frozen in concrete in detail. It would continue to evolve.
The Chancellor spoke of the increase in outside, particularly federal, research funding. MU stood among 30 public institutions in the AAU funds, 24th in NIH funds, 10th in USDA funds, 28th in NSF funds, 24th in Department of Energy funds, 23rd in Department of Education funds, and 29th in Department of Defense funds. The statistics need to be corrected to reflect per-faculty funding, but overall MU stood 25th on a per-faculty basis. The funding had gone up, but the number of investigators had remained constant. We needed to involve more faculty, especially in aggregate groups.
An outside firm had been hired to aid in student recruitment. It would prepare new materials. The Chancellor felt it was the best firm in the country. He also alluded to three workshops given by Edwin Coate on reorganizing admissions, etc. He again referred to the importance of large gifts as part of the fund-raising.
The Chancellor spoke of weekly luncheons with selected faculty, and dinners at the residence which also allowed greater interaction with faculty. These had been positive events. The Chancellor urged participation in evaluations of the Chancellor and Provost. Unless 60 to 70 percent of the faculty participated, the results might reflect only the views of the disgruntled.
Recent Faculty HonorsRod Santos, English, published a volume called, "A City of Women" which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics' Circle Award.
Gordon Sharp, Internal Medicine, led a team of researchers that received a five year, $2.5 million federal grant to help with the Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation, Research, and Training Center.
Robert Sharp, Agronomy, received the President's Medal of the Society for Experimental Biology in the United Kingdom.
John Foley, Classical Studies and English, was to run an unprecedented fifth NEH Institute on the oral tradition.
Wilson Freyermuth, Law, won the annual award of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers for the best legal article of the year in that field.
Sam Werner, Physics, became first president of the new Neutron Scattering Society of America.
Michael Cook, Agricultural Economics, was appointed to a United Nations-World Bank task force.
William Holtz, English, published, "The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane" which was nominated for the 1993 National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Loren Nikolai, Accountancy, became President of the Federation of Schools of Accountancy.
The Chancellor felt that more people needed to become aware of these accomplishments. He mentioned that we had six endowed chairs and 46 endowed professorships and spoke of how these numbers had been growing. He felt that the faculty had a "can-do" attitude and could take an underrated institution to a higher national level even in tough times. The President of the Board of Curators, at a recent luncheon with chairs and directors, had found confidence in the future replacing anger and hostility.
Faculty Council Chairman's RemarksProfessor Ed Hunvald, Chair of Faculty Council, then took the floor. Plus/minus grading was still to be the subject of an election; however, there are problems and student complaints. A problem in drafting a ballot was the limitation imposed by the current executive order precluding an A+ as well as assigning certain numerical values to grades. The Council had asked that an A+ be added and that the numerical values be .33 and .67 instead of .30 and .70. There was also concern as to how certain awards, such as Curators' Scholarships, would be affected. Professor Hunvald expected changes in the executive order, but at the moment the ballot would have to ask first whether the campus should adopt plus/minus grading with A+ and .33/.67; and, second whether plus/minus grading should be adopted even without an A+. If approved, the system would go into effect in fall semester 1995. No one currently eligible for a Curators' Scholarship would be adversely affected.
Professor Hunvald also spoke of changes and clarifications in attendance policies, already in effect, of which the most important was a requirement that instructors make their policies as to dropping students for not attending class public in advance. Problems concerning the Committee on Revision of Records would continue to be addressed, especially as regards a statute of limitations on requests to that group.
Professor Hunvald also mentioned the Council's request to the Provost's Office to make available statistical information concerning allocation of funds for salary increases, and spoke of how that matter was proceeding.
Professor Hunvald also spoke of the proposal for stopping the tenure clock made by Council last year, for such matters as illness, childbirth and dependent care. The proposal had now resulted in an executive order which delegated to the chancellors the right to make such decisions.
Professor Hunvald also spoke of Council's proposed changes in Faculty Grievance Procedures, which had now been presented to IFC and had met with a favorable reception.
Professor Hunvald also mentioned developments in university insurance coverage for faculty members involved in civil or criminal suits for alleged violations of EPA regulations or the like. In a nutshell, insurance coverage would continue to be provided until such time as criminal charges were filed, and in the event of acquittal on criminal charges, reimbursement for reasonable costs would be provided.
Faculty Council had also sponsored an informational forum on unionization, and had passed a resolution calling for teachers to have the same rights to organize as other public employees.
The new Health Insurance Oversight Committee, which will oversee the new health insurance scheme, has been organized and was functioning. In general it had been a productive year thanks largely to improved communication and cooperation between Council and the various levels of the administration.
Faculty RemarksIn the ensuing discussion Professor Fred Springsteel (Computer Science) after words of appreciation for the change of venue from Jesse Auditorium, raised questions concerning the five-year delay in approving the Computer Science Ph.D. degree. He spoke of the value of such a degree to the campus in general. At the moment Computer Science lacks graduate students to participate in cross-disciplinary computing projects. The Provost said that two copies of the revised proposal had just reached his desk, on its way to the Coordinating Board, for preview. Professor Springsteel complained of receipt of garbled information on the subject. The Chancellor admonished him to follow established lines of authority in seeking information and not to bypass the Dean(s) and Provost. A meeting would be scheduled to review the proposal.
Professor Betty Winfield (Journalism) then asked questions regarding the Graduate School. (1) Where were we on replacing the graduate dean; and (2) why Ms. Christy Tutin, the alleged embezzler of a substantial amount of money, had not yet been charged? On the first point, the Chancellor replied that an outside team had been formed to study the organization of the Graduate School and should be allowed to do its work before the position was advertised. The Provost added that the advisory team would be here on the 21st and 22nd of April and that four faculty members and a doctoral student had been added to it. On the second point, the Chancellor stated that the campus police had completed their part and that the matter was now with the prosecutor. The Internal Revenue Service is also conducting an investigation which would cause a delay in filing charges. However, the IRS involvement is highly favored because it has greater resources than the local investigators. Professor Winfield failed to understand the connection, and the Chancellor reiterated that matters were now in the hands of the prosecutor and repeated what he had said about the IRS.
There were no further questions, the Chancellor adjourned the meeting at 4:45 p.m.
Eugene N. Lane, Recorder