Meeting Minutes: February 10, 2000

Attendance

Present: Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow, Bruce Biddle, Gordon Christensen, Bruce Cutter, Michael Devaney, Dan Edidin, Judith Goodman, Allen Hahn, Robert Hall, Daniel Hooley, Tom Hurley, Jerry Organ (for Robert Jerry), Robert Johnson, Michael McKean, Anne McKendry, Mark Milanick, Loren Nikolai, Glenn Pierce, David Rayl, MaryEllen Sievert, Bill Wiebold, Russ Zguta, Robert Almony (Librarians), and H.E. Brown (for G.B. Thompson) Retirees. Absent: Elizabeth Geden, Sudarshan Loyalka, Don Miles, Robert Weagley, Mable Grimes (Black Faculty & Staff), Eugene Iannotti (AAUP).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by Vice Chair Russ Zguta, who is substituting for Chair Elizabeth Geden, in room S203 of the Memorial Union. The Council minutes of November 4, 1999 and November 18, 1999 were approved.

Report of Officers

Zguta reported that the Executive Committee of Council will meet with the Provost on February 11, 2000 and with the Chancellor on February 18, 2000. He brought to Council's attention the following information concerning faculty who are rehired after taking the Very Early Retirement Incentive Program; those rehired at 60 percent will teach three courses, at 40 percent two courses, and at 30 percent one course.

Discussion Items

Guests: MUPAC.

Allen Hahn, David Leuthold, and Ed Metzen were guests and spoke on behalf of MUPAC. MUPAC raises funds to contribute to candidates who support MU and higher education. Hahn argued that several factors are increasing the need to raise money. First, term limits are causing many legislators who have supported higher education to step down. Second, campaign contribution limits have been removed, so more money must be donated to have an impact. Third, competition for state dollars has increased. The speakers urged faculty to contribute to MUPAC.

Guest: Vice Chancellor Charles Schroeder, topic "Dry 2000".

Schroeder reported on the "Dry 2000" plan for fraternities. The goals of this plan include providing a more attractive, safe and secure environment, increasing membership; emphasizing academic success, requiring a higher degree of accountability of individuals and groups, and reducing high-risk drinking. Fraternities were told that if they wanted freshmen pledges, they had to agree to go dry by Fall of 2000, and they all did agree. National research shows that going dry is correlated with higher GPA, more participants in rush, less house damage, lower liability insurance, and greater alumni involvement. MU research shows that members of dry houses show less drinking outside their houses as well as inside their houses. They also report higher satisfaction levels with the university, academics, and social lives. Schroeder asked faculty to make sure they require a five day academic work week with quizzes late in the week to encourage students to take advantage of academics.

The Library. Dan Edidin and Robert Almony presented data on the library budget cuts along with a letter to the chancellor protesting the cuts. The library cut 852 serials this year, and it estimates that about 1000 more will be cut each year for the forseeable future. Faculty voted unanimously to suspend the rules so that action on the proposed letter could be taken at this meeting. Faculty voted unanimously to convert the proposed letter to a resolution protesting the library cuts.

Health Insurance Issues. Judith Goodman presented concerns about cuts to health insurance benefits. Specifically, the university dropped all specialists who do not have admitting privileges at University or Columbia Regional Hospitals as preferred providers from the Point-of-Service plan (i.e., those with admitting privileges only at Boone Hospital) even if they are still preferred providers for United Health Care's nonuniversity customers. The following seven points were raised.

  1. No forewarning of the changes was provided even though the Campus Health Oversight Committee addressed the Executive Committee last year, and no faculty input was solicited.
  2. The changes were not widely publicized, and the description of the changes in the open enrollment materials was difficult for people to understand.
  3. The changes affect 3,868 MU faculty and staff (38 percent).
  4. The cuts differentially affect women because of the large proportion of physicians specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology who were dropped as preferred providers. Of all the specialities, only the OB/Gyn's provide routine annual exams. Thus, women are losing the practitioner who is, in essence, responsible for their primary care.
  5. Inequity exists between campuses. For the same POS premiums, other enrollees on the other UM campuses can self-refer to specialists without seeing a primary care provider, and they are not restricted to university owned facilities.
  6. Premiums for the HMO and POS participants went up by similar amounts, but POS participants saw a reduction in benefits while HMO participants saw an increase in benefits.
  7. The decision to eliminate specialists who are not affiliated with university owned hospitals apparently was done to create a larger patient base for the university hospitals and clinics while eliminating competition rather than to lower costs.

Faculty voted unanimously to suspend the rules so that action could be taken at this meeting. Faculty voted unanimously to pass the following motion to encourage the Provost and Chancellor to take up this issue: "Faculty Council recommends that all specialists from the 1999 Point of Service Plan be reinstated to the 2000 Point-of-Service Plan."

CSCAR. Zguta reported that documents pertaining to the history of the Campus Standing Committee for Administrator Review have been given to all Council members. Further Zguta requested that Council review these documents as this will be a discussion item at our next meeting.

Board of Curators Report

Zguta announced that a report by Robert Weagley on the January Board of Curators meeting is included in Council members' packets. The report details a number of budget issues, including the pension plan's asset allocation and student fees for the 2000/2001 academic year.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs: Lloyd Barrow, Chair, reported that the committee will discuss potential changes to the 2001/2002 academic calendar with the Provost. Barrow further stated that the committee will be bringing forward proposals on handling repeated courses.

Fiscal Affairs: Bob Almony, Chair, reported that he discussed the possibility of a defined contribution benefits plan with Board of Curators member, Paul Combs, who said that such a plan would not be accepted because it would be too expensive.

Special Projects: Bruce Cutter, Chair reported that the committee is updating the names of colleges and schools and will bring this to our next executive committee meeting along with proposed rules on the eligibility of faculty to serve on committees depending on their title.

Student Affairs: Mike Devaney, Chair, reported that the ballots on the Student Absence policy will be counted on February 16, 2000.

Any Other Business

A request was made to streamline the process of bringing an action item forward. Currently, issues are first raised as discussion items and then they can come forward as action items at the next meeting generally two weeks later. Council has voted with increasing frequency to suspend the rules so it can vote on issues the same week they are brought forward as discussion items. To ensure that members have time to reflect on issues, a request was made that written information on discussion items be provided in advance of the meeting. It was suggested that the current procedure be evaluated.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 5:05 to discuss committee appointments and the grievance procedure. The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Judith Goodman, Recorder