Meeting Minutes: November 6, 1997


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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Gilbert Youmans called the meeting to order in Room S110 of the Memorial Union at 3:40 p.m.. The minutes of the October 23, 1997 meeting were approved.

Report of Officers

Youmans reminded the Council of the upcoming General Faculty Meeting on Tuesday, November 11, at 3:40 p.m. in the Jesse Wrench Auditorium of the Memorial Union. Secondly, he reminded the Council of a University Forum from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12, at which President Manuel Pacheco will speak to the faculty and will be available to answer questions.

Youmans then referred the Council to the "Faculty Delegation of Authority" section of the bylaws of the MU faculty, which grants the Council authority to conduct mail ballots, such as the one proposed for plus/minus grading.

Russ Zguta reported that on November 11, 1997, nominations will close for the Chancellor's position at MU. The committee is currently reviewing applications at this time. Zguta also reminded Faculty Council that on November 12, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in Rooms 201&202 of the Memorial Union, there will be an open luncheon for faculty and staff to question Interim Chancellor Richard Wallace regarding his candidacy for the permanent Chancellor position.

Youmans referred members to two handouts: 1) student survey reflecting their negative opinion of plus/minus grading; and, 2) a Faculty Grievance Report showing the number of grievances over several years.

Action Items

Proposed Ballot on Plus/Minus Grading. Following discussion on the current four methods listed on the proposed ballot, several motions were passed by Faculty Council.

It was moved, seconded, and passed that the wording at the top of the ballot would be changed to read as follows: "For undergraduates, all teachers are expected to use the grading scale approved by the faculty. This would preclude any department or unit from opting to use a modification of the scale."

It was moved, seconded, and passed that Council would select two choices for the final ballot, and that one of these choices would be a straight grade system and another would be some form of a plus/minus system.

It was moved, seconded, and passed, that we drop the modified Wisconsin system from the ballot.

It was also moved, seconded, and passed that we would accept the fourth option on the proposed ballot as a second choice. Finally, it was moved, seconded, and passed that we present the revised plus/minus mail ballot as an information item at the General Faculty Meeting on November 11, 1997.

Action Items

Resolution from the Student Affairs Committee on Classroom Ambassadors. It was moved and seconded that we adopt The Classroom Ambassadors Resolution passed by MSA with this modification: that implementation would be voluntary. After discussion, the motion was withdrawn and the resolution was referred to the Student Affairs Committee of Faculty Council for reconsideration.

Proposal to Establish an Office of Ombuds. After general discussion, it became clear that there widespread support on the Council for creating an Office of Ombuds for faculty. Consequently, it was decided that this proposal would be pursued.

Intercampus Faculty Council Report These items were on the agenda of the last IFC Meeting:

  1. a general discussion of the academic calendar;
  2. a meeting with President Pacheco;
  3. the enhanced retirement proposals as recommended by MU's Faculty Council; and
  4. the need for changes in the grievance procedures.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs: Russ Zguta reported that the committee is working on 18 recommendations regarding the tenure document.

Special Projects: Ed Hunvald noted that his committee is working on grievance procedures with IFC. Also, Ed reports that the committee may propose a handbook for committee members who hear grievances. Ed also noted that the faculty handbook is currently out of date and needs updating.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:20 p.m. and adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
MaryEllen Sievert, Recorder