Meeting Minutes: February 26, 1998


Present: Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow, Bruce Biddle, Melvin Blase, Gordon Christensen, Jere Francis, Larry Thornburg (for Allen Hahn), Robert Hall, Edward Hunvald, Thomas Hurley, William Kurtz, Don Miles, Glenn Pierce, Don Ranly, Don Schilling, Dennis Sentilles, Robert Weagley, Paul Weirich, Gilbert Youmans, Russ Zguta, Robert Almony (Librarians), and Wayne Decker (Retirees). Absent: Michael Devaney, Elizabeth Geden, Nancy Knipping, Henry Liu, Mark Milanick, Marian Minor, MaryEllen Sievert, William Wiebold, 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 February 12, 1998, meeting were approved.

Report of Officers

Youmans reported on the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) meeting. IFC is considering several revisions in UM's grievance procedures. These proposed revisions will be discussed at a future meeting. UM-Rolla presented a proposal to IFC to enhance retirement benefits. This proposal, along with those from the other campuses (including Columbia's) have been forwarded to the UM System, and IFC is in the process of passing a general resolution recommending improvements in retirement benefits. Next, Youmans reported that he has asked IFC to formalize its procedures, especially concerning items that come up for a vote at IFC.

Youmans then read a correction from the Missourian relative to the academic rankings of Truman State University and the University of Missouri. This correction noted that the surveys ranking the two institutions used different ranking systems, so no direct comparison between them was implied.

Action Items

Resolution on the Number of Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty at MU. After a brief discussion, it was decided that the resolution on the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty, as signed by the former chairs of Faculty Council, should be treated as an independent resolution. Then the Faculty Council moved, seconded, and passed a similar resolution to be forwarded to the Chancellor.

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. Representation Report. Ed Hunvald handed out a list from the Special Project Committee recommending the number of Faculty Council representatives for each division in the 1998-99 year. He noted that, under the terms of this report, Library Science would no longer have separate representation on Faculty Council as Library Science is now a part of the College of Education. The committee moved the approval of its report. The motion was seconded and passed.

Proposed Survey of Faculty Opinion. It was moved, seconded, and passed unanimously that Faculty Council conduct a survey of faculty opinion. The council then addressed each of the various issues to be included on the survey. First, it was moved, seconded, and passed that we include an item about the Faculty Ombud on the survey. Second, it was moved, seconded, and passed by a 16-2 vote to include two questions about the academic calendar on the survey. Finally, it was moved, seconded, and passed to include three items on grading practices on the survey. The survey was scheduled for distribution soon after winter break. It is due back by March 20.

Discussion Items

Revised Tenure Policy Document. Russ Zguta presented the Revised Tenure Policy Document for consideration by Faculty Council. This is a result of a several months of work on the part of the Faculty Affairs Committee. Zguta presented a three-page summary of recommendations regarding a more extensive document that has eighteen recommendations proposed by the Provost's Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Faculty Affairs Committee recommended that the Council approve recommendations (16), (17), and (18) of the long document as being strictly procedural and uncontroversial. Secondly, the committee recommended that action be deferred on recommendation (7) until the newly created Faculty Council Task force on Non-Regular Faculty has completed its work. Finally, the Faculty Affairs Committee recommended that Council approve revisions made in the remaining fourteen recommendations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) and place them on a mail ballot for a general faculty vote sometime in the near future. Zguta then presented Henry Liu's concerns regarding the committee's recommendations, especially regarding the three controversial revisions, (6), (13), and (15). It was suggested that if we do present a vote to the Faculty Council that we segregate these controversial items and clearly mark them for faculty attention. The tenure policy document will be continued as a discussion item at the next meeting.

Resolution from UM-Rolla. After a discussion of the merits and demerits of UM-Rolla's proposal to enhance retirement benefits, the Council voted to suspend the rules to allow for a vote on the following resolution, which passed:

We share the concern of the UMR Faculty over the need to improve the retirement package and urge the consideration of the proposals previously submitted by this Council.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session and 5:25 p.m. and adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Almony, Recorder