Meeting Minutes: January 13, 1999

Attendance

The special general faculty meeting was called to order at 3:33 p.m. by Chancellor Richard Wallace in Ellis Library Auditorium. Approximately 55 people were in attendance.

Faculty Petition

Chancellor Wallace noted that on November 19, 1998, the Faculty Council passed several revised recommendations that appeared in the "Final Report of the 1995-96 Provost's Appointed Advisory Promotion and Tenure Review Committee". One of these, Recommendation #3, was challenged in a petition signed by 25 faculty members. The following is the revised recommendation passed by Faculty Council on November 19, 1999.

"As a matter of MU campus policy, the performances of all faculty members are to be reviewed annually by the department chair and/or director or dean. This review must include a face-to-face discussion and a written evaluation by the evaluator as well as a response by the faculty member being evaluated."

The Chancellor stated that the purpose of this meeting was to allow faculty to discuss this matter.

Mail Ballot Motion

A motion was made to resolve the issue with a mail ballot to the faculty. A friendly amendment with a proposed wording for a mail ballot was accepted. Faculty voted by unanimous voice vote to submit a mail ballot to all faculty.

The mail ballot will let faculty vote to adopt the recommendation passed by Faculty Council or to adhere to Executive Guideline 27 as is currently done. Executive Guideline No. 27, from section 310.015 of the Collected Rules&Regulations University of Missouri:

C. The performances of all faculty members, including tenured faculty, are to be reviewed annually. In most instances, a discussion involving the department chair (or dean) with the tenured faculty member as to her or his performance for the past year and plans for the coming year will be sufficient, although written evaluations should be provided to those faculty members where there are concerns about substantial shortcomings in performance. Written annual evaluations of untenured faculty members are expected.

Discussion of the Revised Recommendation

Discussion of the revised recommendation passed by Faculty Council followed the vote on the mail ballot. Comments supporting the revised recommendation include the following.

Annual evaluations are already required but the revision would modify that by requiring a written record. One can learn a lot from face-to-face discussion. A written performance review would document the reasons for the amount of one's raise. The public wants faculty to be accountable. This specifies the means by which we should be reviewed. The process of a written evaluation has merit because it requires the chair to reflect in a deeper way about the faculty member's performance. Comments against the revised recommendation include the following.

Another layer of bureaucracy is unnecessary and time consuming. Faculty should have the option of a face-to-face discussion and a written evaluation rather than requiring it. Evaluations will be subject to "grade inflation" because no one will want to write a bad one. General comments concerning the revised recommendation include the following.

We should ask departments that currently use written evaluations to discuss the merits with the general faculty as well as assess other systems of evaluation. We may lack a university-wide system of performance appraisal. (3) Department chairs or other individuals who will be conducting reviews may need additional training in the review process. It was agreed that the Faculty Forum segment of the Council web page will be available for further discussion. An open forum will be held prior to sending out a mail ballot to the faculty.

Adjournment

The special general faculty meeting was adjourned at 4:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Judith Goodman, Recorder for the Faculty