Meeting Minutes: November 4, 1999

Attendance

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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Beth Geden called the meeting to order in S203 of the Memorial Union at 3:30 p.m. The minutes of the General Faculty meeting of September 29, 1999, and the Faculty Council meeting of October 7, 1999 were approved.

Report of Officers

Geden reported that the funding base of the Research Board will be reduced (memorandum dated 11-3 99 from Jack Burns, Vice Provost for Research, is attached).

Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) representative Robert Hall, and Vice Chair Russ Zguta reported on the General Education Conference that was held on October 26 and 27, 1999 in Columbia, Missouri. Hall said that approximately 500 people from across the state attended this conference. Hall then made the following points in comparing general education coursework systems. Our current general education program requires 39 credit hours distributed across prescribed areas. The proposed program would require 45 credit hours in four skills and four knowledge areas arranged around competencies. Each state institution would design its general education core with respect to its mission. When students transfer, the 45 credit hour block can be transferred as a block and competency testing of transfer students would not be allowed. Instead, a "collegial review process" would be used in setting up the program to ensure quality and consistency. Zguta then reported on the October 27 breakout sessions. Concerns were raised as to whether science majors would be differentially affected by an increase in the number of general education credit hours due to their degree requirements, whether advising would be problematic, and whether assessment could be done prior to the junior year to demonstrate that all students are ready to proceed. Zguta reported that the changes are expected to be adopted by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education by this summer. Council members expressed concern over the rapid time-line.

Action Items

Proposed Changes to Council's Rules of Order. Council voted unanimously to replace "Faculty Forum" with "Faculty Handbook and Council Website" in the Council's Rules of Order. Council also voted unanimously to add a Memorandum of Understanding on the process for selecting honorary degree nominees to the traditions and practices appendix of the Rules of Order.

Discussion Items

Student Absences. Faculty Council discussed polling the faculty on student absences. Student Affairs chair, Michael Devaney will write a letter explaining the proposed changes to the existing policy. This letter will be mailed to all faculty and input will be requested.

Faculty Grievance Process. Faculty Affairs chair, Edward Adelstein discussed the grievance procedure. He argued that the time-frame is not being followed and that although the document detailing the grievance process seems fair, it is complicated and legalistic. Faculty also discussed the vulnerability of nonregular faculty and noted that the Provost has taken Faculty Council's recommendations on the treatment of nonregular faculty to the deans. Adelstein recommended restructuring the process so that fairness is stressed. Geden asked that the Faculty Affairs Committee review the process to address how the procedure might be changed.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs: Lloyd Barrow, Chair announced that his committee is working on the 2001/2002 Academic Calendar.

Fiscal Affairs: Robert Almony, Chair reported that his committee is examining the methodology for budget cuts of colleges and is meeting with the library scholarship budget committee about periodicals.

Adjournment

The meeting moved to closed session at 4:35 p.m. to discuss committee appointments. The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Judith Goodman, Recorder