Meeting Minutes: April 2, 1998


Present: Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow, Gordon Christensen, Michael Devaney, Jere Francis, Elizabeth Geden, Allen Hahn, Robert Hall, Edward Hunvald, Thomas Hurley, Nancy Knipping, William Kurtz, Henry Liu, Mark Milanick, Don Miles, Marian Minor, Don Ranly, Don Schilling (for Robin Remington), Dennis Sentilles, MaryEllen Sievert, Robert Weagley, Paul Weirich, William Wiebold, Gilbert Youmans, Russ Zguta, Robert Almony (Librarians), and Wayne Decker (Retirees). Absent: Bruce Biddle, Melvin Blase, Glenn Pierce, 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. There was no approval of the minutes of the March 19 meeting because the recorder had moved her office and the minutes had not been unpacked.

Report of Officers

Youmans recognized Allen Hahn who reported on the March 20 General Officers' meeting. The Search Committee for the Provost had hired Bill Funk of the Korn-Ferry company to help the search committee identify good candidates.

Youmans reported on the survey sent to the faculty; of the six items, opinion was evenly divided on two: the appointment of an ombud and the length of the Thanksgiving break. The faculty were in favor of: a later starting date for the winter semester; eliminating the WF grade; and counting only the last grade of repeated courses in the grade point average, but preferring that some limit should be imposed on the number of repetitions. Youmans had collated all comments for each item and sent them to the members of the Council. He would present a condensed set of these comments at the General Faculty Meeting.

Discussion Items

Request for Faculty Council Letter of Support for Proposal to Establish a European Union Center at MU. Youmans introduced a letter asking for the support of the Faculty Council for a grant proposal to make MU one of 10 European Union centers in the United States. It was moved and seconded that Youmans write a letter endorsing the pursuit of this opportunity. It was moved and seconded that the rules be suspended for a vote on the motion. The motion for suspension of the rules passed. The original motion passed.

Proposal to Eliminate the WF Grade. Youmans noted that this topic was on the agenda for the General Faculty meeting of April 8, 1998. The resolution was "Eliminate the WF grade or replace it by F (where appropriate) throughout the MU Faculty Handbook." Lloyd Barrow noted that the Academic Affairs Committee supported this motion. It was moved and seconded that the resolution be adopted. It was moved and seconded that the rules be suspended to allow for a vote on the matter. The motion for suspension was passed and the original resolution passed.

Proposal to count only the last grade of repeated courses in the GPA. Youmans noted that previously a survey of comparable institutions indicated that a majority of our peer institutions had such a policy. The survey of the faculty indicated that the faculty supported allowing the final grade for a repeated course to be the only one used in the calculation of the grade-point-average but most of the faculty also supported some limit on the number of times a course could be repeated. Discussion followed on the number of repetitions to be allowed, the number of courses versus the number of credits and the fact that this would give students the equivalent of academic bankruptcy. The Academic Affairs Committee will bring a recommendation on this issue to the April 16, 1998, meeting.

The Ombud Proposal. Youmans noted an e-mail exchange between himself and Chancellor Wallace that clarified that Wallace would see the faculty vote as binding. A motion was made and seconded that Faculty Council conduct a mail ballot on the issue of the Faculty Ombud subsequent to the April 2, 1998 General Faculty meeting. The item will appear on the agenda for that meeting as an item for discussion. It was moved and seconded that the rules be suspended to allow for a vote on the motion. The motion for the suspension of the rules passed. The original motion passed.

Board of Curators Report

Dennis Sentilles reported that the transfer of credit from junior and community colleges is still an issue. There was discussion of a "general education core" for the entire state.

Standing Reports

Student Affairs Committee: The Student Affairs Committee will be bringing some items to the next meeting.

Special Projects: Ed Hunvald reported that he, as chair of the Special Affairs Committee, had looked at the suggested changes in the grievance procedure being proposed and had suggested revisions in these proposed changes.

Faculty Affairs Committee: The discussion of the tenure document would continue at a later meeting.

Any Other Business

Youmans suggested that Faculty Council sponsor a series of open forums on the proposed changes in the e-mail system and Council agreed with the suggestion.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:15 p.m. Faculty Council adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
MaryEllen Sievert, Recorder