Meeting Minutes: February 12, 1998


Present: Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow, Bruce Biddle, Gordon Christensen, Michael Devaney, Jere Francis, Susan Taylor (for Elizabeth Geden), Allen Hahn, Edward Hunvald, Nancy Knipping, William Kurtz, Mark Milanick, Don Miles, Marian Minor, Glenn Pierce, Don Ranly, Don Schilling, Robert Weagley, Paul Weirich, William Wiebold, Gilbert Youmans, Russ Zguta, Robert Almony (Librarians), and Wayne Decker (Retirees). Absent: Melvin Blase, Robert Hall, Thomas Hurley, Henry Liu, Mark Milanick, Dennis Sentilles, MaryEllen Sievert, and Mable Grimes (Black Faculty&Staff).

Approval of Minutes

Chair Gilbert Youmans called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in Room S110 of the Memorial Union. The minutes of the January 22, 1998 meeting were approved.

Report of Officers

Youmans reminded everyone of the ombud forums to be held on February 18 and 24. Youmans then yielded the floor to Acting Provost Brady Deaton. Provost Deaton discussed the upcoming assessment test for seniors, which was recommended by the administration to forestall the withholding from MU of several hundred thousand dollars by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. Provost Deaton said that the sampling methods that MU had used previously were unacceptable to the Coordinating Board. Therefore MU must attempt to test all students in order to qualify for CBHE funds. Some of the concerns raised during discussion included: (1) How will we motivate the students to take this test seriously? (2) Why are we testing? and (3) How will the results be used, both for the students and for the campus? Provost Deaton stated that public accountability is the drive behind this test. The test is nationally normed. At this time, each division and department is working on its own procedures to encourage students to take this test and to take it seriously.

Allen Hahn reported on the latest meeting of the Intercampus Faculty Council. Members of the IFC discussed the Missouri Association of Faculty Senate's Meeting with the Coordinating Board, which dealt with the issue of transfer of credits to four-year institutions from community colleges. Hahn noted that President Pacheco and Acting Vice-President Lehmkuhle are working to update the articulation agreement with community colleges. Hahn also noted that the retirement benefits proposal that was approved by MU's Faculty Council and forwarded to IFC will be discussed at the next meeting.

Youmans directed the attention of the council to a Mizzou Weekly article from February 5, 1998, entitled "A Rosy Outlook," in which it is noted that, "one reason the enhancement proposal has received a good reception is because of the emphasis on classroom teaching. Gaw agreed that adding ranked faculty in the classroom makes the proposal more attractive to legislators. I think that by itself is such a great lead that the rest of it � comes in behind it without much trouble." Next, Youmans referred to an article in the Columbia Missourian of February 11, 1998, entitled "Truman State Tops Midwest, Report Finds." President Magruder attributed the improved academic standing of Truman State to two factors: "We cut programs and reallocated funds for excellence in a few things instead of trying to be all things to everybody," and "In the last eight years we added more than 70 full-time faculty without increasing enrollment. I think you could not find any other institution in the U.S. that can say that."

Discussion Items

Resolution on the Number of Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty at MU as passed by the Former Chairs of Faculty Council. The following resolution was presented for the consideration by Faculty Council:

Whereas: The number of tenured and tenure-track faculty has declined for more than two decades; Whereas: The academic quality of the institution is directly related to the quality and number of tenured and tenure-track faculty; Whereas: The continued status of MU as a Carnegie Research I Institution is related to the academic quality of the faculty; Therefore: We request the administration to take action to reverse this trend and to restore a significantly higher number of tenured and tenure-track faculty; Therefore: We request future chairs of Faculty Council to raise this issue on an annual basis with the appropriate administrator. [Signed by twelve former chairs of MU's Faculty Council] This resolution was placed on the agenda for discussion and possible action at the next meeting of Faculty Council.

Representation Report - Number and Distribution of Representatives on the 98-99 Faculty Council. Ed Hunvald, chair of Special Projects, stated that the main purpose of this report is to provide information so that Faculty Council may decide on whether or not the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies will have separate representation next year on Faculty Council. The Special Projects Committee does not have a specific recommendation at this time; however, the committee will make a report and a recommendation in the near future on this topic.

Proposed Survey of Faculty Opinion on Recent Issues. Youmans handed out a draft copy of a proposed survey of faculty opinion on several issues discussed by the Faculty Council this year. The purpose of this survey would be to discover the "sense of the faculty." It would not be an actual ballot. The survey would be given to the entire faculty, primarily to increase the validity of the survey and to publicize the issues raised. There was much discussion following the presentation of the survey. Some members felt that such a survey would weaken the council, implying that the council is unable to act on its own. Others felt that conducting surveys is an appropriate way to canvass faculty opinion. The survey would cover items such as:

  1. a faculty Ombud position;
  2. the length of the Thanksgiving break;
  3. the starting date for the Winter Semester;
  4. the W/F grade;
  5. the effect of courses repeated at MU on the GPA; and
  6. the last date for withdrawing from a course at MU. After much discussion, it was decided to place this proposed survey on the agenda of the next meeting.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:50 p.m. and adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Almony, Recorder