Meeting Minutes: April 27, 1995


Present were: Gary Allee, Lloyd Barrow, Hardeep Bhullar, Joe Charlson, Leonard Forte, Allen Hahn, Jean Hamilton, Edward Hunvald, Loren Nikolai, Deborah Pearsall, Larry Penney, Glen Pierce, Ron Plain, Patricia Plummer, Michael Porter, Michael Prewitt, Dennis Sentilles, Mary Ellen Sievert, Fred Springsteel, Harry Tyrer, Betty Winfield, and Roy Utz (Retirees). Absent were: Dale Blevins, Benedict Campbell, Vicki Conn, Jay Dix, Peter Hall, Richard Hatley, Charles Knowles, Don Sievert, Bob Almony (Librarians), and Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty & Staff).

Approval of Minutes

Chairman Ed Hunvald brought the meeting to order in Room S110 of the Memorial Union at 3:40 p.m. The minutes of the General Faculty meeting of April 6, 1995, were approved as presented. After minor amendments the minutes of the April 13, 1995 Faculty Council meeting were approved.

Report of Officers

The Chair reported that on Tuesday he received a letter from Candy Whittet, Director of Recreational Services, announcing a proposed $6.00 increase in the faculty and staff recreational fee. This would raise this fee to $66.50 annually, effective next September. Family user fees would "increase accordingly." This letter was distributed to Council, along with a table showing the proposed increase in fees. Whittet's letter also went to Staff Council and to Al Hahn, faculty Chair of the Campus Recreation Committee. The Chair invited Professor Hahn to comment. He reported that the Campus Recreation Committee would meet next Tuesday to discuss the fee increase. The issue of fees as fringe benefits may be an appropriate discussion item for the committee. A general discussion followed. Various users commented on the services of the recreational facilities, recent improvements, the need/lack of need for increased fees, and the impact of a fee increase on faculty with children who use the facilities.

The approach taken by Recreational Services to the issue of increasing fees was commented upon; it was suggested that a pattern of not consulting the faculty committee existed. It was suggested that the Campus Recreation Committee broaden their discussions to address how the facilities serve faculty and staff.

The Chair suggested that Professor Hahn invite Candy Whittet to the Campus Recreation Committee's meeting and that he convey the views of Faculty Council to her. Professor Hamilton suggested that Director Whittet be invited to Faculty Council to discuss the goals of the facilities and to answer questions; the Chair agreed to invite her. The Chair asked members to send comments on the issue of a fee increase to him or Becky Flanders and he would forward them to the appropriate persons.

Revision of the Faculty Handbook. This is one of the topics that was assigned to the Special Projects Committee. The Chair discussed this project with Jo Behymer; they agreed that a good deal of work could be done on this over the summer. The Chair will form a special committee to work on this project, and invited anyone with an interest in revising the Faculty Handbook to let him know.

The most important item on the agenda is the election of Chair and Vice Chair for the next academic year. The election for the other Council officers and the Chairs of the standing committees will be at the meeting on July 20; voting at that meeting will be by the members of the '95-96 Council. The Chair asked those members who will be members of the '95-96 Council to fill out the form giving information on how you can be reached this summer, and if you would like to be considered for one of these positions. Forms should be returned to Becky Flanders. The Chair also asked Council members to fill out the evaluation sheet (evaluation of Council committees, comments on role of Council) and return it to Becky Flanders.

The Chair announced that he received a very nice note from President Russell asking him to thank Council for our endorsement of a cap on fees for undergraduate students. The issue will be referred to the appropriate system committee.

There is still some confusion on the topic of plus\minus grading. Copies of President Russell's recission of Executive Order No. 25 dealing with plus/minus grading have recently been distributed to Deans and others. Just so there is no confusion, that action of recission was announced earlier and its only effect is to remove a limitation on the use of plus/minus grading. In other words, the effect of that recission is to allow each campus to adopt its own system. This does not affect in any way the implementation of plus/minus grading.

The Chair reported that some members of the Executive Committee met with a member of the North Central Accreditation team on Tuesday and had what he described as a good conversation. Provost Sheridan told Council that overall the accreditation went well and the report would be forwarded.

Action Items

Service Award Plaques. Service award plaques were given to Council members Betty Winfield and Larry Penney, who have each completed a single term; and, four members who have completed two terms on Council: Don Sievert, Loren Nikolai, Michael Prewitt, and Jean Hamilton. Council thanked these members for their service.

Discussion Items

Library Scholarship Policy Committee. Deborah Pearsall, Council representative on the Library Scholarship Policy Committee, reported on the activities of the Committee. The LSPC has met almost weekly since its appointment last fall. Efforts to bring all library constituencies into the process of planning the future of the library culminated in the "Missouri Model" conference and workshop, held February 9-10, 1995. The outcomes of the conference, which were reported by the LSPC to the Chancellor: (1) Necessity for an overall, long-range library utilization plan for MU; and, (2) Necessity for a hierarchy of space (three levels of storage and access). Professor Pearsall noted that the committee has also worked with librarians on a pilot project for developing criteria for selecting items for storage; three departments are involved.

Election Procedures. Loren Nikolai reported for the nominating committee (Hamilton, Nikolai, Prewitt, and D. Sievert) on their review of election procedures. A written report was distributed in which the committee recommends that Council next year appoint a special committee to review our bylaws, including those pertaining to election procedures, to see whether alterations would be desirable. The Chair referred this matter to the Executive Committee.

IFC Report

Pat Plummer reported that the main issue this year was the responsiveness of the health care system to concerns on the four campuses. Areas of concern were that faculty were consulted about changes and that problems were discussed. A set of questions concerning this issue was sent to Vice President McGill and later discussed.

At the General Officers meeting, President Russell's prepared changes to the revised grievance procedure was distributed. IFC was not happy with some of the changes made by the President. The Chair noted that he would be meeting with President Russell or Bob Ross and Richard Wallace to discuss the changes. A final proposal should go to the Board in July. There was a short discussion of the changes.

The IFC continues to discuss tenure's protection of academic freedom as well as the responsibilities of tenured faculty. The IFC has also initiated a discussion of residency requirements for graduate and undergraduate students. As we approach the 21st century and employ new approaches to teaching and learning, both the concept and duration of residency will be examined.

Professor Plummer also reported on the meeting of Academic Affairs with the Chancellor. There was a clear explanation of admissions policy and the role of faculty in setting this. This is the first step towards bringing this issue before the Board.

Standing Committee Reports

There were no committee reports.

Any Other Business

Jo Behymer reported that the Task Force on Learning Disabilities has finished its work. She would like to bring their proposals to Council this summer so that policy can be approved by July. She expressed her thanks to Council.

Professor Hahn announced that the MU-PAC breakfast would be held on Friday at Boone Tavern.

Closed Session for Elections, and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 4:30 p.m. for elections for the 1995-96 Chair and Vice Chair. Professor Nikolai presided. Pat Plummer was elected Chair and Dennis Sentilles was elected Vice Chair. Council was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Deborah M. Pearsall, Acting Recorder