Meeting Minutes: April 28, 1994

Attendance

Present were: Gary Allee, John Bauer, Hardeep Bhullar, Robert Birkenholz, Dale Blevins, Irv Cockriel, Vicki Conn, Jay Dix, Jean Hamilton, Hildegarde Heymann, Edward Hunvald, Brent Jones, Eugene Lane, John Miles, Kerby Miller, Loren Nikolai, Deborah Pearsall, Patricia Plummer, Dennis Sentilles, Don Sievert, Mary Ellen Sievert, Eva Szekely, Harry Tyrer, Betty Winfield, Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff), Dean Schmidt (Library), Roy Utz (Retirees), Kathy Sharpe represented Larry Penney, and Walter Schroeder represented Kit Salter. Absent were: Michael Prewitt and Warren Zahler. Guests: Professor Gordon Kimber, some members of the Campus Standing Committee on Administrative Review, and Professor Susan Flader.

Approval of Minutes

Chairman Hunvald called the meeting to order in room S110 of the Memorial Union at 3:40 p.m. The minutes of the April 14 meeting, as distributed, were found to contain several minor errors. Professor Lane was given permission to correct them and publish the minutes without resubmission to Council.

Report from the Campus Standing Committee on Administrative Review

Professor Kimber reported on the faculty evaluation of Chancellor Kiesler. He found the number of responses disappointing but typical, and attributed the low response to the fact that such evaluations in the past had tended to disappear. He assured Council that this would not be the case this year, and that the system administration was taking the results seriously. He urged greater participation in the future. He then summarized the results of the evaluation (see Appendix 1). Members of the CSCAR had met with Chancellor Kiesler and President Russell. The former, although disappointed with the negative comments on interpersonal relationships, had nonetheless reacted positively. The latter had reacted very positively, and would discuss the report with the Chancellor. Professor Kimber viewed all this as a significant change from previous years, and admonished the faculty not to let the process wither.

In subsequent discussion Professor Miller asked about future evaluation of Professor Russell. Professor Kimber replied that he was trying to get cooperation from the other campuses on this score. Failing that, we would do it ourselves. Professor Miller expressed surprise and chagrin that only 15 of 210 respondents had commented positively on the Chancellor's successful interaction with the Curators. He obviously felt that the Chancellor's successful opposition to downsizing, elimination of departments, and (to a degree) to assessment were to his credit, and faulted faculty members for being more concerned with their individual comfort with the Chancellor than with the good of the institution. Professor Miller also asked whether it might not be a good idea regularly to incorporate pro and con statements on an administrator's performance into the evaluation process (this is currently envisioned only when a three-year review initially finds an administrator not worthy of reappointment). Others generally seconded Professor Miller's view. Especially Professor Sievert pointed out that his usual reply to those who claimed that the Chancellor had done nothing was that Kiesler had gotten the Curators off our backs. Professor Bauer requested that it be specifically recorded that there were no unfavorable comments on this matter.

Report from Environmental Affairs Council

Professor Flader submitted the report of the Environmental Affairs Council. A "Directory of Faculty with Environmental Interests" had been completed and was available at the University Bookstore. A plan for a Certificate in Environmental Studies had been drawn up and several new courses would be required. Since the program was interdivisional, permission was sought from Faculty Council to let the Committee on Undergraduate Education be the entity which granted approval for the needed curricular changes. Modest funding would be needed for an office and director.

Report of Officers

Professor Hunvald announced the upcoming Library Forum on May 5 in room 112 of the Law School. Professor Miller was assured that participation by the audience would be permitted and encouraged. Professor Hunvald alluded also to a resolution passed by the Arts and Science faculty in regard to the Library.

Professor Hunvald reported that 675 ballots had so far been received on plus\minus grading and referred to a proposal from the Student Financial Aid Committee on how to deal with scholarships in the event that plus\minus grading was approved.

Professor Hunvald discussed Executive Order No. 26 on the Extension of Probationary Period for Faculty on Regular Term Appointment, and the general guidelines for the establishment of the advisory committee which would be required for implementation of this new policy. It was felt that this order was a direct and positive outcome of action taken by Faculty Council. He also reported on progress in finding a substitute recorder for the next two meetings.

Action Items

Service Award Plaques. The Service Award Plaques for those going off Council were distributed to: Dean Schmidt, Warren Zahler, Eugene Lane, Christopher Salter, Kerby Miller, Robert Birkenholz, John Bauer, and Brent Jones.

Procedure for Awarding Emeritus/-a Titles. Professor Hamilton reported on the latest version of this proposal. Professor Bhullar initiated discussion on the matter of the awarding of this title to those who retire at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, and the parallelism or lack thereof of their treatment to that accorded full professors. After considerable discussion it transpired that the wording of the proposal was still not satisfactory enough to meet with general acceptance, and although the matter was to be an action item at this meeting it was decided to refer it back for further refinement and bring it up at a future Faculty Council meeting.

Missouri Association of Faculty Senates. A motion was unanimously passed that this Council should join the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates.

Annual Report of the Committee on Committees. The report of the Committee on Committees was unanimously received. Further discussion of the recommendations therein will take place at a future meeting.

Discussion Items

Change in the Add-a-Course Policy. Professor Heymann presented the recommendation that the two week add period at the beginning of a semester be shortened to one week, except in the case of sequenced courses. Subsequent discussion centered on the relation between dropping courses and adding courses, and its effect on student schedules and full-time student status.

Financial Support for Professional Development of Non-Regular Faculty. Mr. Schmidt presented a recommendation to make development funds available to these persons (librarians, coaches, directors of programs, research associates, etc.), generally not well covered by existing university rules and regulations.

Board of Curators Report

In the interests of time, the Board of Curators and IFC reports were bypassed.

Standing Committee Reports

Student Affairs (Brent Jones)

On behalf of the Student Affairs Committee, Professor Jones reported on a meeting with Dr. Susan Even, Director of the Student Health Center, so as to consider ways that it might increase its revenues and expand its services; a meeting had also been held with Joe Castiglione, Director of Athletics, from which it appeared by Women's Varsity Soccer would probably be the next sport to be approved; it was decided not to take any action on changing the charge for the Committee on Revision of Records.

There were no other Standing Committee reports.

General Education Report

There was no report.

Closed Session for 1994-95 Chair & Vice Chair Election & Adjournment

Professor Edward Hunvald was re-elected chair for 1994-95 and Professor Patricia Plummer was re-elected Vice Chair. The meeting was adjourned at 5:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Eugene N. Lane, Recorder

Appendix 1

The Campus Standing Committee on Administrative Review's Report on the Faculty Evaluation of Chancellor Kiesler, April 1994

INTRODUCTION

Approximately 1750 questionnaires were mailed to ranked faculty (Instructor through professor, tenured and tenure track, full and part time) and a total of 304 replies were received of which 210 contained written responses. Some did not contain any responses, but most had answers to almost all of the questions. The replies with written comments also did not always contain responses to all questions requesting comments. Since not providing a written opinion can be regarded as a neutral view the numbers of responses are described as fractions of total written responses received. The number of numerical responses upon which the mean score is based is placed in parenthesis following the mean.

NUMERICAL RESPONSES

The mean score for each of the 21 questions for which a numerical response was requested (1 through 9, with an average response being marked as 5) ranged from 6.1 (256) for recognition of scholarship and 6.0 (211) for promoting an environment free from discrimination, to 3.8 (273) for soliciting faculty input, 3.8 (247) for human relationships and 3.8 (253) for democratic leadership policies.

Only small differences were noticeable between the differing academic ranks. Question 21, which asked for an overall rating, produced means of 4.7 (124), 4.5 (65), 4.5 (68) and 4.8 (5) for Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor and Instructor, respectively. Administrators (Dean, Chair, Director or other) rated the Chancellor as 5.8 (46) for question 21. Those responses not marked as from administrators gave a value of 4.5 (235) for question 21. The overall mean of all respondents for this question was 4.8 (281).

Based on those responses that indicated divisional affiliation, and in which five or more responses were obtained, three divisions (Education: 7.2 (13), Health Related Professions 6.3 (7), and Human Environmental Sciences 6.3: (15)) were more enthusiastic about the Chancellor's performance than the average for all respondents. The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources gave the second lowest overall rating of 4.0 (33), while Veterinary Medicine rated the Chancellor's performance lower in all categories than the general average, with scores ranging from 2.0 (14) for democratic leadership policies to 4.2 (13) for recognizing scholarship, and an overall rating of 2.3 (14).

WRITTEN RESPONSES

Overall, the written comments were not positive, although some respondents were clearly quite happy with some particular aspect of the Chancellor's performance. It was possible to classify 149 of the 210 written responses concerning satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the Chancellor: 31 were clearly positive, 60 ambivalent, and 58 clearly negative. Some of the negative comments contained quite detailed and thoughtful explanations of the reasons the respondent came to that particular conclusion. The positive comments were, in general, much shorter and without additional explanation.

The Chancellor's ability to interact successfully with the Board of Curators was commented on favorably by 15/210 of the respondents.

The most significant finding came from a majority of the respondents (122/210) who commented in various ways on their perception of the Chancellor's poor interpersonal relationships.

Several different supportive and positive terms were found in all the clearly positive written responses and in some of the ambivalent. Terms such as grasp of larger goals, leader, promotes quality, and visionary were the most common. However, many different pejorative terms were also used in the written responses. Terms such as: abrasive, arrogant, autocratic, haughty, imperial, impersonal, military, or self-promoting, were seen to occur in all the clearly negative and also most of the ambivalent written responses.

A significant proportion of the respondents (55/210) stressed, in one way or another, the need for him to increase his contacts and interaction with faculty. Some 17/210 said the Chancellor does not listen to the faculty and 18/210 commented (some extensively) on their perception of his poor relationships with staff.

The development of 'niches' was viewed favorably by 3/210 and unfavorably by 10/210 of the respondents providing written replies.

The Chancellor is perceived as not understanding either the Land Grant Mission of the university, and/or the university's position in Missouri by 38/210 respondents. Smaller numbers of respondents commented unfavorably on his support of the library (12/210), modeling (6/210), reduction of admission standards (8/210), support for the Provost (7/210), or the purchase of a car (5/210).

CAVEAT

It is worth remembering that a common feature of exercises such as this, is that the average scores and positive comments gathered are often inversely related to the frequency and opportunity of contact between the respondent and the administrator reviewed. Several respondents commented on their lack of direct contact with the Chancellor and that their perceptions were based on indirect information. One respondent, recognizing this difficulty, wrote a cogent comment: "Instead, I'm relying on perceptions based on media reports, faculty meetings and second hand information. If he views the university differently from those perceptions, he needs to communicate better with the faculty."

In addition, written responses to a evaluation of this type characteristically come from those who hold the strongest opinions and thus the majority of the faculty do not reply to the questionnaire. The group that did not reply could be expected to hold various opinions lying between some of the extremes we received. Consequently, since the numbers found in the tails of the overall distribution will determine the skew of the entire population, the ratio of the numbers of positive and negative comments will probably provide the best estimate of overall faculty opinion.

Submitted to the Faculty of Missouri University for and on behalf of the Campus Standing Committee on Administrative Review

Gordon Kimber
Chairman, 1994.