Meeting Minutes: April 10, 1997


Present: Lloyd Barrow, John Howe (for Jere Francis), Alice Kuehn (for Elizabeth Geden), Allen Hahn, Peter Hall, Michael Dyrenfurth (for Nancy Knipping), Charles Knowles, William Kurtz, Henry Liu, Mike Middleton, John Miles, Marian Minor, Beryl Ortwerth, Alex Pickard, Patricia Plummer, Jan Colbert (for Don Ranly), Ray Rothenberger, Dennis Sentilles, Mary Ellen Sievert, Robert Weagley, Gilbert Youmans, Russ Zguta, Robert Almony (Librarians), Wayne Decker (Retirees), and Mable Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff). Absent: Edward Adelstein, Gordon Christensen, Leonard Forte, Hildegarde Heymann, Michael Porter, and Robin Remington.

Approval of Minutes

Chair Dennis Sentilles called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in Room S110 of the Memorial Union. The minutes of the March 27, 1997 meeting were approved as submitted.

Reports and Information Items

New Board of Curators. Chair Dennis Sentilles reminded Faculty Council that this is now a different Board of Curators than the one that fired our Chancellor last summer. They should not be held in the same regard as the Board of the previous year, and we should try to do what we can to work with them in a positive way for the benefit of the University as a whole.

Campus Wide Standing Committee Assignments. Dennis reminded the members of the Executive Committee that a special meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on April 27, from 6 - 9 p.m. at Bob Almony's residence to appoint faculty members to campus-wide standing committees.

Nominating Committee for 97-98. It was announced that the Nominating Committee for the Chair and Vice Chair for the 1997-98 academic year will be: Peter Hall, Hildegarde Heymann, and Mike Porter.

Common Calendar/Relationship of Faculty Council to IFC. Dennis Sentilles has asked Gilbert Youmans, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, to work on the common calendar and ideas for improving relations with the IFC.

Grievance Process

There has been talk at IFC of making changes in particular elements of the grievance process. Thinking that it would be good for this Council to be ready with its own recommendations reflecting our campus, Executive Committee is asking Mike Middleton to consider those elements in question and make recommendations to us.

Task Force on Non-Regular Faculty

At some point in the near future, the Faculty Council will be appointing a task force to look into the rights and privileges of non-regular teaching faculty.

Ombudsman Project

Dennis announced that we hope to have a written proposal ready within a couple of weeks for Faculty Council to consider regarding an ombudsman position for faculty at MU.

Student Fees

Leonard Forte has done some leg work indicating that our student fees are indeed high. Dennis Sentilles will bring his concerns to the Executive Committee shortly.

Spring General Faculty Meeting

The chair reminded all present of the General Faculty Meeting set for 3:40 p.m. on April 15, 1997.

Revised Executive Order #1. Dennis handed out a copy of a fax he received from Mel George showing revisions made recently in Executive Order #1 for the university. The major changes are as follows:

First, in E.3. the description of the Chancellors has been changed to "the chief academic and administrative officers charged with providing academic leadership and management." One sentence has also been added: "In addition to their campus responsibilities, the Chancellors serve as general officers to advise the President on all matters affecting the University of Missouri." Second, the Assistant to the President for State Governmental Relations and the Director of University Relations are no longer official members of the General Officers (though they will continue to attend meetings). Their job descriptions have correspondingly been eliminated from the Executive Order. Finally, Interim President Mel George noted that he had discussed these changes with President-Designate Pacheco and has his concurrence with the substance as well as his encouragement to proceed.

Action Items

Revision of Article IX. As proposed by the Academic Affairs Committee, Faculty Council moved, seconded, and passed the following change in Academic Regulations Article IX to: "Credit initially earned and applied toward an undergraduate degree may not subsequently be applied toward a graduate degree."

Audio Recordings during Open Council. After a brief discussion, it was moved, seconded, and passed to suspend the rules to allow Robin Remington's written vote on audio recordings during Faculty Council to be accepted on the final ballot. Next, as proposed by Allen Hahn of the Special Projects Committee of Faculty Council, it was moved, seconded, and passed, with three dissenting votes, to allow audio recordings of open meetings of Faculty Council as long as they are unobtrusive.

Discussion Items

+/- Grading. Dr. Charles Knowles presented a detailed report of the subcommittee appointed by Faculty Council to look into problems with the +/- grading system here at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His interim report consisted of three main subreports: 1) Gilbert Youmans' survey of other AAU institutions (25); 2) the task force survey of MU teaching faculty (composed of a random sample of 400 faculty drawn from a population of 812); and, 3) an MSA student survey. Charles Knowles presented the following options for us to consider:
  1. Do nothing--keep present system as it is.
  2. Have an up or down vote on the present system by faculty this semester.
  3. An up or down vote on the present system by faculty sometime during the fall semester of 1997 after an education emphasis.
  4. A faculty vote sometime during fall semester 1997 after an education emphasis to fix the present system.
  5. Fix the present system without a faculty vote.
  6. Faculty vote by October 31, 1997, after an education emphasis, to fix the present system. Ballot will be worded such that a rejection of the proposal fix would result in reversion to the old A,B,C,D,F system. Fix will deal primarily with problems of
    1. inconsistent use;
    2. A+ grade; and
    3. applicability for +/- grading of graduate students.

After the presentation of the above, there was considerable discussion with pro and con arguments. Faculty Council will take a vote on these options at the next Faculty Council Meeting.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs. Russ Zguta announced that the second forum on the revision of the tenure document will occur on Monday afternoon, April 14, 1997.

Academic Affairs. Gilbert Youmans reported that his committee continues to work on various proposals started earlier in the fall.

Fiscal Affairs. Mary Ellen Sievert announced that they will be coming forth with a proposal soon regarding the current practice of using social security numbers in non-confidential ways on the campus.

Special Projects. Al Hahn reminded everyone that the faculty "Forum" is in place on the MU Faculty Council's Web Page.

Any Other Business

John Miles reported on some work that he is doing with Bob Breitenbach of the Retired Faculty on possible proposed changes in the university's retirement plan, since the retirement plan is not keeping pace with inflation at this time.

A draft letter for presentation to the Board of Curators has been prepared by Peter Hall and Pat Plummer. A copy was handed out to Faculty Council for their consideration.


Faculty Council adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Almony, Recorder