Meeting Minutes: May 2, 1996


Present: Edward Adelstein, Gary Allee, Jim Brown (for Lloyd Barrow), Hardeep Bhullar, Benedict Campbell, Leonard Forte, Jere Francis, Allen Hahn, Peter Hall, Edward Hunvald, Nancy Knipping, Charles Knowles, John Miles, Jerry Browning (for Marian Minor), Johnetta Morrison, Alex Pickard, Glenn Pierce, Ron Plain, Patricia Plummer, Michael Porter, Don Ranly, Ray Rothenberger, Dennis Sentilles, Mary Ellen Sievert, Susan Taylor, Harry Tyrer, Gilbert Youmans, Bob Almony (Librarians), Roy Utz (Retirees), and Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff). Absent: Craig Anderson, and Sara Walker.

Approval of Minutes

Chair Pat Plummer called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in Room S110 of the Memorial Union. The minutes of the April 11, 1996 were approved as presented.

Discussion Items

Guest: Pat Morton, Chief Planning Budget Officer & Director Institutional Research (Columbia Campus). Pat spoke of faculty salary comparisons for the various levels of faculty between MU and the AAU mean and the AAU median. (Photocopies of his overheads are available either from the Faculty Council Office or from Bob Almony in Ellis Library.) From the data presented it appears that by 1998/99 MU hopes to achieve parity with the AAU median on salaries for full professors. For associate professors, it is forecast that we will achieve an average MU salary higher than the AAU median for the 1996/97 academic year. For assistant professors we have already achieved the AAU median for MU salaries. As of 1995/96 14 public AAU institutions' salaries fall below that of MU's for assistant professors. He also presented some information that shows the percentage off market by individual school and college. Finally it was noted that when the cost of living is calculated into these graphs, that MU has already reached its goal of surpassing the median of AAU.

Guest: Charles Schroeder, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs. Vice Chancellor Charles Schroeder presented a written summary of events in his division over the last year. (Copies of his document can be obtained from Becky Flanders in the Faculty Council Office.) His document lists 7 major priority areas:

Right after his report, Faculty Council was reminded that the Freshman Convocation for the 1996/97 year will be on Monday, August 19, at 4:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to participate if possible.

Report of Officers

Dennis Sentilles gave the following report from IFC. Gen Care's response to the Faculty Council resolution on health care of 3/22/95 was distributed to Council. In brief, a reading of their response suggests that the principles, unanimously approved by Council, that we would like our health care plan to meet are not being met. On the Faculty Council principle that: "it is appropriate that GenCare macro-manage the university health care plan, but not that it micro-manage it"; and, "no patient should ever find him or herself made to negotiate with GenCare in order to obtain coverage for what his or her physician orders or recommends", the response was that "while the participating physician may recommend a particular procedure to the patient, the patient must choose whether or not to comply with the proposed treatment as it relates to limitations and exclusions in the health plan". Further: "by definition a function of the HMO to assure that all rules and regulations of the plan are followed ... this does not assure that all services will be reimbursable".

On the Faculty Council concern about meeting the medical needs of faculty away on research leave or sabbatical the response was: "if the physician on-site determines that the patient is stable, but the patient refuses to transfer to the service area, the member becomes responsible for the expenses incurred." "In other words, said Dennis Sentilles, managed care is not health care, it is a business." Professor Sentilles further commented, "your doctor is not the person in charge of medical decisions affecting your health, and your sabbatical or other leave could be sorely disrupted by a short-term but costly medical need while away. We are no longer able to purchase insurance against the cost of our medical needs as determined by a physician who is serving us. The art of medical practice has been replaced by a six-inch thick contract of rules and regulations."

IFC discussed again the need for dealing with concerns about the quality of spoken English by faculty in the classroom. The matter is now off the legislative calendar but could reappear at any time. IFC will draft a statement to faculty on this concern.

There was an hour's discussion on teaching and faculty values. It was noted that:

  1. mechanisms now in place do a good job of recognizing excellence and dealing with visible problems;
  2. day in/day-out classroom performance in the best professional sense is taken for granted and plays little role in merited reward;
  3. faculty hold the key to "value change", if desired; and
  4. evaluation typically follows the potential for reward more easily than to beg reward following extensive and likely resented evaluation.

President Russell reported that things "look good" for the university budget. He repeated his concern that on the matter of English proficiency we find ways to "keep our own house in order." He expressed a concern about a generalized national decline in the repute of faculty before the public, though a considerable reservoir remains if we "take care"; in this context he mentioned the rise of "education as business in the Phoenix University". Regarding health care and the University Hospital he repeated his belief that the legislature will not fund a deficit and that the Board is seeking "professional help for health planning". Regarding the CBHE interest in education and telecommunications, Vice President Wallace repeated his belief that "it cannot be done right without the support and involvement of faculty". Vice President Wallace also noted his active interest for over a year in library access and intercampus library loans, aiming for a 24-hour turnaround. Finally there was an assertion that the prevailing ratio of internal research funding to external research funding is "not right" for an institution of our size and stature.

Board of Curators Report

Gary Allee handed out a complete Board of Curators Report for the April 25th meeting. (Copies are available from Becky Flanders in the Faculty Council Office.) Executive Vice President Jim McGill announced there will be fewer health insurance programs this next year, but most employees will have equivalent or better insurance. President Russell reported that the appropriation bill before the General Assembly would result in the largest inflation adjusted percentage increase in the UM budget in more than a decade. President Russell also reported on the possibility of some changes in the benefits package next year. Details are not final at this time. The Board also discussed several major construction projects in the area of athletics, Brady Commons, and the new B&PA building.

Action Items

Service Award Plaques. Pat Plummer handed out nine faculty service award plaques to members of the Faculty Council who are leaving Council at this time. Plaques were awarded to: Hardeep Bhullar, Natural Resources; Gary Allee, Agriculture; Ron Plain, Agriculture; Craig Anderson, Arts and Science; Glenn Pierce, Arts and Science; Harry Tyrer, Engineering; Edward Hunvald, Law; Sara Walker, Medicine; and, Susan Taylor, Nursing.

Proposition 4: Evaluation of Deans. Peter Hall and Don Ranly handed out revised copies of the Proposition 4 document. Peter Hall then explained changes and differences in some detail. Peter also thanked Jean Hamilton, the former Council member who did the original work on this document, for her early and extensive work. After some discussion and recommended changes, Proposition 4 was passed unanimously by Faculty Council.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs: Academic Affairs reminded Faculty Council that the Academic Vice Provost and the Vice Provost for Research interviews will occur over the next couple of weeks.

Fiscal Affairs: No report, as Pat Morton was their presented speaker.

Special Projects: No report.

Student Affairs: No report.

Academic Affairs: No report.

Other Business

There were guests who presented a sample resolution for the consideration of Faculty Council on sexual orientation. They were notified that Faculty Council will get back to their concern sometime in June or July of this year. There will be no May 9 meeting of Faculty Council.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:30 p.m. for the purpose of electing a chair and vice chair for the next academic year. Dennis Sentilles was elected Chair and Michael Porter was elected Vice Chair for 1996-97 academic year.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Almony, Jr., Recorder