Meeting Minutes: November 19, 1998

Attendance

Present: Everett Adam, Edward Adelstein, Bob Stewart (for Lloyd Barrow), Dennis Wright (for Bruce Biddle), Melvin Blase, Gordon Christensen, Michael Devaney, Dan Edidin, Elizabeth Geden, Judith Goodman, Allen Hahn, Robert Hall, Edward Hunvald, Thomas Hurley, Nancy Knipping, William Kurtz, Mike McKean, Don Miles, David Rayl, Robert Weagley, Paul Weirich, Robert Almony (Librarians), and Wayne Decker (Retirees). Absent: Henry Liu, Mark Milanick, Norman Land (for Glenn Pierce), Robin Remington, James Curtis (for Russ Zguta), and Mable Grimes (Black Faculty&Staff).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 3:40 p.m., by Chair Robert Weagley in room S203 of the Memorial Union. The minutes of the Fall Semester General Faculty Meeting of November 3, 1998 were approved.

Report of Officers

Weagley reported that the Resource Advisory Council (RAC) would meet at 5:30 p.m. on November 19 to approve proposed funding of positions for mission enhancement proposals. He also said that RAC and the Strategic Planning Advisory Council (SPAC) will meet together in January to discuss funding for Information Access and Technology Services.

Weagley made a presentation to the Board of Curators forum on November 13 supporting the inclusion of sexual orientation in the university's non-discrimination policy.

Faculty Council will host breakfast for the Board of Curators on December 4. Members of Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC), the President and Vice Presidents of the system, the Chancellor, Provost and Deputy Chancellor are also invited.

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Norman Borlaug, will speak on November 30 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. at Conservation Hall.

Weagley informed Council members that the government of Iran has been attempting to close down the Bah�'� Institute for Higher Education. The Bah�'� faith began their own university because members of this religion are forbidden from enrolling in state-run universities. Iran has also arrested teachers at this university. These actions violate both human rights and academic freedom. Faculty Council does not have the province to vote on a resolution, but would like to see the issue publicized.

Vice Chair, Robert Hall reported that he will attend an Intercampus Faculty Council meeting on November 20 at Reynold's Alumni Center.

Action Items

Tenure Task Force Recommendations. Faculty Council voted on Items 9, 10, and 3 of the Tenure Task Force recommendations.

Item 9 (recommendation #12): Departments and divisions that require extramural funding as a condition for promotion and/or tenure must make those requirements explicit in their promotion and tenure guidelines and in their letter of appointment.

Faculty Council passed this item unanimously and voted to forward the recommendation to the Provost for its inclusion in appropriate appointment, promotion and tenure guidelines.

Item 10 (recommendation #17): The various materials concerning promotion and tenure now circulated in paper form by the Provost's office, along with the acceptable "recommended changes" proposed by this committee, should be conflated into one well-designed, attractive, "user-friendly" document.

Faculty Council passed this item unanimously and voted to forward the recommendation to the Provost for further action.

Item 3: 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.

This item deals with post-tenure, as well as pre-tenure review, since it applies to all faculty members. Arguments supporting this item included:

  1. providing a written record of evaluation for full professors is a way of protecting tenure;
  2. establishing a written history of performance provides protection for faculty members; and,
  3. annual reviews are already mandated by Executive Order 27. This recommendation simply requires that those reviews be written so there is a record of them.
Arguments opposing this item included:
  1. the bureaucratic cost for large departments with large numbers of faculty to review is too high; and,
  2. this is a policy question that does not belong in the promotion and tenure document, since full professors are already tenured. Other concerns raised included the process by which a faculty member could respond to an unfavorable review. It was suggested that if the faculty member agrees with the review s/he should sign it and if s/he disagrees, a response could be written. Consequently, members voted to amend the item as follows.
"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". Council voted (13 yes, 5 no) to pass this item and to forward the recommendation to the Provost for its inclusion in administrative directives to Deans, Directors and Department Chairs. Some faculty felt that a general faculty vote should be held rather than forwarding this item to the Provost.

Discussion Items

The Library. Robert Almony provided a comparison of MU libraries vis-a-vis their AAU and Big 12 peers. He also provided statistics to explain why $472,000 will be cut from the serials budget. These statistics show that the cost of periodicals has risen much more than inflation. Science, technology, and medical journals will have larger cuts because their costs have risen at a greater rate.

Faculty Forum Newsletter. Paul Weirich put forward a proposal to cease publishing hard copy of the Faculty Forum newsletter and to do it electronically instead. Arguments in support of this proposal are that electronic publication would be more timely, less wasteful, and less expensive. Arguments against this proposal are that people prefer to read the newsletter on paper, and faculty may not know to look for an electronic version on the Faculty Council website. In addition, should we give up the funds for publishing this newsletter, we may not be able to win them back later if a need for them arises. During discussion, some faculty suggested sending an e-mail notification of the electronic version to all faculty with our web site address. In addition, the possibility of using the funds to maintain the web page was raised. This will be an action item at the next Faculty Council meeting.

Rules of Order. Paul Weirich put forward revisions to the Faculty Council Rules of Order. These changes include changing "UMC" to "MU"; a call for term limits for the chair of Faculty Council; replacing the chair with the vice-chair if s/he must resign; a change of the meeting time to 3:30 p.m.; a statement that proxies have voting rights; a change of the election dates for officers; and the addition of an "appendix of traditions". The most controversial change concerns term limits for the chair. Positive arguments are that limits would make the job more attractive to potential candidates and that changes in leadership would invigorate Council. Negative arguments are that good candidates are difficult to find and that experience is useful. This will be an action item at the next Faculty Council meeting. Representation Report. Weagley reported that the Executive Committee looked at the Representation Report for the number of members from each division in order to elect membership on Faculty Council and noted that the full-time ranked faculty dropped by 16 in the past year. Council needs to vote to indicate that the information concerning representation for each school is appropriate. This will be an action item at the next Faculty Council meeting.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs: The committee is working on the calendar for the 2000/2001 academic year. The committee is considering a two-day fall break in October and a three-day Thanksgiving break. They are discussing possible dates for the October holiday with the Athletic Office to ensure that it would not conflict with homecoming.

Special Projects: The committee is working on revising the Faculty Handbook.

Student Affairs: The committee will meet with Peter Markie and Jo Behymer of the Provost's Office to discuss student conduct and with Charles Schroeder to discuss dry fraternities.

Any Other Business

Weagley reported that a statement of the assessment requirement for seniors will be printed in the course catalog without a vote from Faculty Council.

Adjournment&Closed Session

The meeting was moved to closed session at 5:09 p.m., to make one committee appointment. The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Judith Goodman, Recorder