Meeting Minutes: May 8, 1997


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

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 April 24, 1997 meeting were approved.

Right after the approval of minutes, it was moved, seconded, and passed to add an item to the agenda to discuss the General Faculty Meeting of May 1, 1997. This item will be discussed after the service award plaques.

Report of Officers

Chair Dennis Sentilles indicated that we should note a copy of Malaika Horne's response to our letter on the presidential selection process. Dennis then gave the following report on the Executive Committee's meeting with President Pacheco.

"First, I'd say we found President Pacheco to be an open person, of concentrated but relaxed demeanor, who gave every evidence of wanting to hear faculty opinion and to show regard for it.

"His immediate concern is the matter of Chancellor selection. I reported to him that while there appears to be a great deal of support for Interim Chancellor Wallace, faculty simply expect a national search as both a matter of course and of principle, and that a chancellor has to be appointed by a process that gives the person the authority to function. At the same time many of you indicated to me that you would be very pleased to see the appointment of Richard Wallace as a result of such a search.

"President Pacheco is clearly concerned about continuing in an interim state for a lengthy period of time and concerned about the practical difficulty of attracting great candidates when it is known that there is a strong inside candidate. He seems to be feeling about for ways to resolve these two concerns by a credible vetting [sic] process that faculty will buy into.

"I would add that we have to be concerned about the interplay of this interim state and the timing of Mission Enhancement, as we ask for substantial new resources for this campus and the need of those who would give us those resources to know who will be seeing them put to use.

"As the organized voice of faculty opinion I would like to ask you to talk with as many colleagues as you can over the weeks before our next Council meeting and let us see where that leads us." After Dennis' comments, other members of the Executive Committee gave their impressions of the meeting with President Pacheco. Everyone seems to agree that whatever process we do use to select a chancellor for the Columbia campus it must be a credible process that gives full support to the person who is finally appointed.

Action Items

Grading Practices. Gilbert Youmans referred Faculty Council to the handout dealing with Section VII.2 of the faculty handbook. The major purpose of the change proposed by the Academic Affairs Committee was to include only the last grade, A-F, in the calculation of a grade point average. The first friendly amendment, which was moved, seconded, and passed, was to state that "all grades will appear on the transcript." The second amendment, which was moved, seconded, and passed, with two nay votes, was to amend the motion to eliminate the 18 unit limit in the original motion. Therefore, the final motion to change Section VII.2.F of the MU Faculty Handbook will read after the third sentence "all grades will be included on the transcript. However, in the case of all courses repeated at MU after summer 1997, only the grade for the last repeated course will be counted when determining the grade point average and credits towards graduation, unless the grade for that course is W or I in which case it will be ignored. Courses that were originally graded U may be repeated under the S/U grading system. All other courses may be repeated only under the A-F grading system."

The next proposal put forward by the Academic Affairs Committee for changes in Article VII of the MU Faculty Handbook dealt with eliminating the WF grade. This proposal was moved, seconded, and passed. This means that in the future faculty will have two options when a student withdraws from a course: they will either receive an F or a W for withdrawal.

Discussion Items

Service Award Plaques. Service award plaques were presented to the following faculty upon completion of their term on Faculty Council: Leonard R. Forte, Peter M. Hall, Hildegarde Heymann, John B. Miles, Beryl J. Ortwerth, Alex Pickard, Patricia L.M. Plummer, Michael J. Porter, and Ray R. Rothenberger. [Recorder's Note: Professor Charles Knowles of the Entomology Department also received a service award plaque on May 20, 1997 for completion of his term on Faculty Council. The election results in Agriculture were not known in time for this meeting.]

Discussion on General Faculty Meeting of May 1, 1997. Due to the issues and personages involved, Dennis Sentilles asked Michael Porter to chair this portion of Faculty Council and Dennis did not take part in the ensuing discussion. Al Hahn, who asked that this be placed on the agenda, brought up the grave concerns of many faculty regarding the meeting of May 1, 1997. Al Hahn then moved, and received a second on the following motion: "Since concerns have arisen with regard to the May 1, 1997 General Faculty Meeting, Faculty Council will hereby appoint a special task force to study these concerns about the process and consequences of calling a General Faculty Meeting and to report back to the Faculty Council on or before June 12, 1997. The task force should be composed of senior faculty of this institution who are also well acquainted with faculty governance." It was then moved, seconded, and passed to suspend the rules to allow a vote on this motion after discussion. After extensive discussion, the motion was passed. There was one nay vote. The Executive Committee was asked to formulate the charge to the task force under Al Hahn's leadership.

Ombuds Office. There was a brief discussion of Section IV.E.2.B of the proposed Office of Ombuds document handed out at the previous Council meeting. People were asked to think about this portion of the document and to give it due consideration.

A draft of a copy of a charge to Faculty Council for a task force on non-regular appointments was passed out for consideration. It will be a discussion item at the next meeting of Faculty Council. Copies of this draft charge may be obtained by contacting Becky Flanders in the Faculty Council Office.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs. Russ Zguta now has transcripts from the faculty forums on the Promotion and Tenure document to edit.

Academic Affairs. Gilbert Youmans reported that his committee is still working on an academic bankruptcy idea for students.

Fiscal Affairs. Mary Ellen Sievert reported that she is close to having a merit salary report available for Faculty Council. Secondly, she reported that John Miles and her committee are working on retirement options, for enhancing the UM Retirement Plan.

Special Projects. Al Hahn reported that the electronic forum is now in place and ready to be used.

Closed Session and Adjournment

As there was no other business, Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:14 p.m. for the purpose of electing a chair and vice chair of Faculty Council and making committee appointments for the 1997-98 academic year. Faculty Council adjourned at 6:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Almony, Recorder