Meeting Minutes: April 21, 2005


Present: Adelstein, Barrow (for Baker), Bullock, Campbell, Christensen, Cohn, Cutter, Fry, Hessler, Lamberson, Prelas (for Loyalka), MacLeod, Marrero, Phillips, Porter, Prather-Kinsey, Schenker, Schmidt, Schopp, Townsend, Zephir, and Muchow (Librarians). Absent: Holland, Johnson, Kramer, Landes, Neal, Sampson, Sterling, Watt, Weems (Black Faculty and Staff), Simpson (AAUP), Yarwood (Retirees).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Chair Christensen at 3:30 p.m., in room S203 Memorial Union. The minutes of the 3-31-05 Faculty Council Meeting were approved as submitted.

Report of Officers

Christensen began the meeting with a shortened chair's report due to the expected length of this meeting. In his shortened report he acknowledged recent awards bestowed on our exemplary faculty including this year's Kemper winners.

Adelstein made a report on the recent Board of Curators meeting. He noted there were two new curators and among the items discussed there was an open and frank discussion about PeopleSoft that has cost 48 million dollars and that the current budget of University Hospital was around one half billion dollars. He noted that the Rolla campus had made an excellent presentation to the curators.

Schmidt reported that the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) was considering extending the university's policy of tuition remission for employees to the families of retirees as well. He reported that 40 percent of the credit hours at UM are taught by non-regular faculty members.

Action Items

Plus/Minus Grading - Prather-Kinsey. Lamberson began the discussion by pointing out that this item is a minor change and wasn't certain if a faculty vote was called for. Instead, he offered a friendly amendment that a task force be formed to make a close examination of the plus/minus grading scale system on this campus. There were comments made along the line of not understanding the issue on the table by Porter, Schmidt, and Phillips. Prather-Kinsey reiterated her concern and concerns of her colleagues of the ambiguous manner in which the plus/minus grading system appears in its current form in the Faculty Handbook. A motion was made to vote on the Lamberson amendment and it failed to pass. A motion was made to vote on the suggested description change to the plus/minus grading system as it appears in the Faculty Handbook and it failed to pass. The motion made by Prather-Kinsey to take the issue to the full faculty was voted upon and defeated.

Elections Task Force Report - Porter. Hearing no discussion of this item a motion was made to vote and the language change to Council's Rules of Order passed. This item appears in Appendix I (PDF).

Discussion Items

Guest: John David, Chair, Strategic Planning and Resource Advisory Council (SPRAC). David answered questions concerning what is the nature of this committee. He explained that SPRAC is composed of faculty, staff and administrators from across the campus including a representative from the Faculty Council, he is the chair of this group. The committee is advisory to the Chancellor. Members are appointed by the Chancellor and the Chancellor attends their meetings as well. He elaborated on the more recent endeavor of finding ways to make this campus a destination campus and laying in place a long range plan to make this fiscally feasible. Finally, this discussion ended with the information that this group may be undergoing internal changes under the direction of the new chancellor.

Blank Grades - Campbell/Schmidt. Lamberson began this discussion with the remark that in the event that there is no grade recorded on the grade sheet, that this is in effect less punitive to the student. It was brought out that in the next couple of years, grade recording will be done on a web site and this web site will not allow any blanks; that each student will have to receive a grade that is on the current accepted grading scale.

Council Standing Committee on Diversity Enhancement - Campbell.. In the interest of time this item will be discussed at the next Council meeting.

Board Breakfast Planning - Christensen. Christensen briefly described plans for the upcoming Board breakfast hosted by the MU Faculty Council. He described a plan to invite different programs across campus to make presentations at this event. These include the Freshman Interest Groups, Problem based Learning in the Medical School, the undergraduate research program and others.

Questions for Provost Candidates - Christensen. Christensen described various ideas on offering faculty input in the upcoming Provost candidate interviews and asked Council for any additional thoughts they might have in this process.


The meeting went into closed session for committee nominations and the election of the 2005-2006 Chair and Vice Chair of Council. The election results are: William Lamberson, Chair and Frank Schmidt, Vice Chair. The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Campbell, Recorder