Meeting Minutes: November 18, 1993


Present were: John Bauer, Hardeep Bhullar, Robert Birkenholz, Dale Blevins, Irv Cockriel, Vicki Conn, Jay Dix, Jean Hamilton, Edward Hunvald, Brent Jones, Eugene Lane, John Miles, Kerby Miller, Deborah Pearsall, Larry Penney, Glenn Pierce, Patricia Plummer, Kit Salter, Dennis Sentilles, Don Sievert, Mary Ellen Sievert, Harry Tyrer, Warren Zahler, Dean Schmidt (Library), Roy Utz (Retirees), and Birgit Wassmuth substituted for Betty Winfield. Absent were: Gary Allee, Loren Nikolai, Michael Prewitt, Don York, and Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff).

Approval of Minutes

Chairman Hunvald called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in room S110 Memorial Union. The minutes of the November 3, 1993 General Faculty Meeting were approved as submitted. The minutes of the November 4, 1993 Faculty Council Meeting were approved with minor changes.

Report of Officers

Chairman Hunvald reported that two open meetings would be held on the 19th concerning plus/minus grading. The President's executive order on the subject had been received and it stipulated that it be applied only to undergraduate grades. The election date would be determined by the Executive Committee. Chairman Hunvald also reported that the Executive Committee had met with Brady Deaton, the Chief of Staff designate.

Professor Kerby Miller reported that he was in the last stages of putting together an advisory committee concerning the forum on unions. The report of this committee would come back to Executive Committee and to Faculty Council. Professor Lane was serving as liaison between the ad hoc committee and the Executive Committee.

Action Items

Midterm Grades. (See Appendix II of the November 4, 1993 Faculty Council Minutes for the proposal on Early Term Feedback and Midterm Grading.) Professor Fred Springsteel asked to address Council in opposition to the proposal and asked whether these grades would be a part of the student's permanent record. The Provost replied that they would not. Professor Mary Ellen Sievert, on behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee, moved adoption of the proposal. There was considerable discussion as to the merits of the proposal. Professors Salter, Hamilton, and others found the proposal unnecessary, and perhaps a way of accommodating irresponsible students. Professor Plummer defended the proposal.

The Provost reported that midterm grades had been given in the past, and Professor Salter wanted to know whether such action had been helpful. Professor Pierce was of the opinion that discussion was needed on earlier practice. Professor Bauer moved that the motion be tabled, and Professor Salter seconded. The motion was tabled with one dissenting vote.

Discussion Items

Representation on Council Report. Chairman Hunvald reported that no changes were needed regarding representation of the various divisions on Faculty Council.

Task Force Reports on Retention and Advisement. Professor Bauer was assured that an 85% retention rate was achievable.

MU Committee on the Implementation of the Health Insurance Plan. Discussion centered on the value or lack thereof in having physicians serving on the committee, and if so, by whom they should be appointed. Chairman Hunvald asked for the sentiment of Council on two points: a) whether there should be a prescribed number of physicians on the committee; and, b) whether anyone objected to the entire committee being appointed solely by Faculty and Staff Councils. Sentiments were negative in both cases. Professor Don Sievert was charged with drawing up a memorandum to the Chancellor concerning the composition and method of selection of the committee. There was also discussion of the vague charge to the committee and the possibility of large bureaucratic problems ensuing. Professor Hunvald promised further discussion with the Chancellor.

Changes to the Academic Grievance Procedures. On behalf of the Faculty Affairs Committee, Professor Hamilton presented the list of proposed changes. She recapitulated the history of the report and minority report presented two years ago by the task force chaired by Gordon Kimber. Their report had been forwarded to other campuses and to IFC (Intercampus Faculty Council) and then "fallen into a black hole"; in the meantime problems remained. The Academic Affairs Committee had consulted with Vice Provost Behymer as to needed improvements. The present committee had tried to deal with the time frame of grievances as a matter of particular concern. It tried to use wording that was adaptable to all campuses. It also dealt with inappropriate efforts to influence grievance committee members. Professor Hamilton thanked Jo Behymer for her cooperation and in turn Jo Behymer stated that the proposed changes would be helpful, but urged further stipulation of time limits.

Professor Miller asked when the vote on the proposal would take place, and he was assured that it would not be at the next Council meeting. Professor Plummer was concerned that the selection procedure might not result in demographically balanced committees. Professor Hamilton thought this unlikely, however admitted the possibility. Professor Miller similarly was concerned that the selection procedure might result in biased committees. Professor Birkenholz was concerned about deliberate attempts to bias the committee as a means to delay action especially if it might result in the re-initiation of the entire procedure. Chairman Hunvald thanked Professor Hamilton and told Council to send her suggestions.

IFC Report

Chairman Hunvald reported that Curators Collins and McHugh had been present and that there had been discussion of a public relations campaign to stress the value of a research university in the state. There had been further discussion of university insurance coverage of persons charged with violation of federal regulations, differences in procedure whether it was a civil or a criminal charge, possible reimbursement to persons acquitted of criminal charges, etc. Bob Ross had proposed a change in the Board Regulations to deal with this matter, and will consult with Professor Hunvald in framing it. The tenure clock stopping proposal was still before President Russell, who had some objections to the proposal as made. Professor Bauer expressed frustration that the proposal had originally been made a year ago and was only now being considered by the President. There had also been IFC discussion of a new kind of faculty workload report, designed for external consumption. The Provost reported that this new reporting effort was being selectively piloted across campus.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs (Hildegarde Heymann)

In the absence of Hildegarde Heymann, Chairman Hunvald reported that the committee had received a proposal on the treatment of extension and correspondence courses on transcripts. Professor Bauer stated that "prodding" was needed on the matter of the Task Force Report on Promotion and Tenure.

Faculty Affairs (Jean Hamilton)

The committee is working on the matter of emeritus status.

Fiscal Affairs (John Miles)

No report.

Special Projects (Dean Schmidt)

No report. Chairman Hunvald referred the matter of proposed changes in commencement ceremonies to the committee.

Student Affairs (Brent Jones)

Professor Jones reported that his committee was working on the matter of tuition rates for faculty dependents. The Committee on Residence for Tuition Purposes did not want to see itself disbanded although it has had little work to do. The Student Affairs Committee intended to work with Vice Chancellor Schroeder regarding the Student Conduct Committee. The Traffic Appeals Committee was going forward with a recommendation that students who did not show up for appeals be charged extra. The Campus Recreation committee felt that it needed additional student representation. The membership on the Committee on Residential Life has increased. Student Affairs is also investigating the possibility of varsity soccer.

General Education

Professor Glenn Pierce stated that there had been a "very general, nice discussion" of clusters and capstone courses in the Committee on Undergraduate Education.

Closed Session for Personnel Items and Adjournment

Various names were proposed for membership on the Committee on Implementation of the Health Insurance Plan, however, since both the method of appointment on that committee and the charge to it were still fluid, no definite action was taken.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Eugene N. Lane, Recorder