Meeting Minutes: March 13, 2003


Present: Rex Campbell, Gordon Christensen, Nelson Cowan, Bruce Cutter, Michael Devaney, Sara Gable, Judith Goodman, Tom Hurley, Philip Johnson, Bill Lamberson, Eric Landes, Sudarshan Loyalka, Mike McKean, Peggy Placier, Eileen Porter, Charles Sampson, David Schenker, Paul Sharp, Don Sievert, Barbara Townsend, Bill Wiebold, Flore Zephir, Herbert Tillema (AAUP), Charles Cramer (Retirees), and Michael Muchow (Librarians). Absent: Jeffrey Anglen, Tobias Baskin, Wilson Freyermuth, Richard Hessler, Norman Land, Daniel Longo, Tom Marrero, and Jenice Prather-Kinsey.

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Michael Devaney at 3:30 p.m. in room S203 of the Memorial Union. The minutes of the February 13, 2003 Faculty Council meeting were approved as submitted.

Report of Officers

Devaney reported that the Executive Committee and the members of the Faculty Affairs Committee met with the Chancellor and Provost to discuss concerns of long standing. He announced to Council that the Faculty Council Office will be moving to the second floor of Conley House soon. Devaney is to meet with the Vice Provosts for Enrollment Management and Undergraduate Education regarding admission standards for transfer students. He noted that Council's resolution regarding intercollegiate athletics was presented to the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC). Following this presentation Devaney was told that President Elson Floyd will be taking it to the Board of Curators for their consideration. Vice Chair, Sudarshan Loyalka, pointed out that some changes in the resolution's wording were made to accommodate different organizational structures on other campuses. Finally, Devaney asked for nominations for the offices of chair and vice chair for the next academic year and that they should be given to Becky Flanders by the end of next week.

Eileen Porter, Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) Representative, reported that IFC has formed a subcommittee concerned with faculty workload policy. Porter will be its chair and members from each campus will meet before the regular IFC meetings. Porter noted concerns at UMKC about the interpretation of promotion and tenure policies and said that IFC Chair Loyalka will appoint a subcommittee to address those concerns. The Vice Presidents reported on the system's financial condition and on Senate bill 450 which would merge health care insurance programs for all state employees and would markedly increase health care premiums for university employees. Vice President Hutchinson asked that we write letters to state senators urging opposition to bill 450. Porter noted that IFC did not consider parental leave policies but that it is on the next meeting's agenda. The Vice Presidents want to add a tuition benefit for spouses and dependents of university employees and may do so by next fall. It was noted that enthusiasm for the benefit rose when it was found that its cost is relatively modest ($750,000 per year) and because President Floyd support it. Devaney noted that Council's resolution concerning program mergers and consolidations is on the agenda for the next meeting. Loyalka said that minutes of all IFC meetings are available electronically.

Action Items

AAU Document - Devaney. Devaney discussed the statement by the Association of American Universities concerning the responsibility of universities at a time of international tension and domestic protest. This item appears below.
"The Responsibility of Universities at a Time of International Tension and Domestic Protest
The past year has brought tragedy and conflict of a scale and intensity not seen for many decades: the attacks on New York and Washington of September 11, 2001, the anthrax mailings, ongoing violence and crisis in the Middle East, terrorist assaults in numerous countries, including our own, and the threat of war in Iraq. Passions are running high across the political spectrum, and our campuses have once again become sites for demonstrations and protests. Supporters of various causes and points of view seek adherents and vehicles for their messages, including our universities themselves. It is essential that university presidents and chancellors consider carefully their responsibilities at such a time, and prepare themselves and their campuses for the period ahead.
For the university to fulfill its obligations to academic freedom and to intellectual development, it must provide a forum in which individuals and groups can advocate their views. It must assure an environment for civil discourse to take place free of violence and intimidation. The university must also protect the rights of all members of the campus community to pursue their reasons for being on campus: the work of learning, teaching, scholarship and research, uninterrupted by anyone.
The university has certain responsibilities beyond these protections of free speech and an open environment for learning. The university should actively promote informed dialogue, analytical thought, and exemplary arguments. Without such critical thinking, debate often becomes superficial and unproductive, divisive and politicized. It is incumbent upon the university to offer the expertise and experience of its faculty and staff members to broad audiences on campus through fora such as teach-ins and seminars.
Finally, the university needs to made clear to everyone its ground rules for campus protest. While affording a public space for dissent and demonstrations, the university should announce that there are limits to allowable public protest, and in particular, that there are consequences for any of the following kids of disruption: violence, intimidation, prevention of classes, lectures or laboratory work, takeover of buildings that interferes with the ability of students, faculty or staff to do their work, email fraud, and other distortions of legitimate campus communication. It is essential for the entire campus community and for visitors to the campus to learn that the provision of free speech and inquiry by the university carries with it the obligation to maintain a campus environment conducive to serious study and reflection.
Approved by the AAU Executive Committee, January 15, 2003"

He discussed the university's response to protests in the past that resulted in censure by the AAUP and proposed the following addendum to the AAU statement.
"It is the understanding of the Faculty Council in endorsing the above resolution that such endorsement does not preclude the possibility of offering alternatives to the traditionally scheduled class or alternate instructional modalities when these comply with the course syllabus and provide the same learning opportunity for all students."

Gordon Christensen offered the following addition to the addendum as a friendly amendment.
"It is also our understanding that the 'consequences' referred to in the statement will not abridge the academic freedom of faculty members."

A discussion followed in which it was said that the addendum might appear to endorse one side of a political controversy. Further discussion concerned possible interpretations of the addenda, the nature of the "consequences" referred to, the need for the university to establish clear ground rules and problems with the public's perception of protests. A motion to adopt the addendum as amended passed 14-6. A motion to adopt the AAU document with the amended addendum passed unanimously.

Resolution on Intercollegiate Athletics - Christensen. Christensen distributed an article by Ian O'Connor (USA Today, March 11, 2003) concerning the role of collegiate faculties in controlling athletics on their campuses and then introduced a resolution on intercollegiate athletics. Devaney suggested that we appoint the ad hoc committee discussed at Council's last meeting to consider Christensen's resolution. Dick Hessler will chair this committee and the remaining nominations for membership will go through the Executive Committee prior to coming to Council. Also, MaryEllen Sievert, chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, will be a member of the ad hoc committee. The ad hoc committee is charged with a review of MU athletics relative to AAUP guidelines. It is to report its findings and recommendations, including those regarding Christensen's resolution, to Faculty Council's Executive Committee on April 17, 2003. In a discussion of who would serve on the committee, Christensen suggested that Faculty Council should approve the appointment of any non-council member. A motion to constitute the ad hoc committee as described passed unanimously.

Residency Language - Lamberson

Bill Lamberson, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, recommended changes in the residency requirement during the senior year such that candidates seeking undergraduate degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia must successfully complete at least 30 of their final 36 credit hours in course work offered by MU with a provision that exceptions may be made by individual departments or units as they may articulate and define. A motion to accept Lamberson's proposed changes passed unanimously. Representation Report - Devaney. Devaney presented Council's representation report based on data obtained October 31, 2002 by the Institutional Research office. The report was accepted unanimously.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs: Gordon Christensen, Chair, reported on a meeting with the Chancellor and Provost that concerned longstanding problems. It was decided to increase the use of the campus mediation service, to consider reviving the campus ombudsman proposal, and to conduct an analysis of how the fundamental problems arise. Other subjects being considered include guidelines for non renewal of tenure track faculty and developing a process to track problems as they arise and are addressed.


The open meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Thomas Hurley, Recorder