Meeting Minutes: October 13, 2008 General Faculty Meeting

Call-to-Order and Attendance

The Fall Semester General Faculty Meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by Chancellor Deaton in the Jesse Wrench Auditorium of the Memorial Union.  Approximately 50 people were in attendance.

Opening Remarks & Introductions-Chancellor Deaton

Deaton welcomed the attendees of this meeting.  He made some brief introductory remarks then turned the podium over to Professor Phillips, Chair, MU Faculty Council for his reports.

Report from Faculty Council-Thomas Phillips

Phillips began by introducing all the members of the executive committee.  He then reviewed the current activities of Council's five standing committees: academic affairs, faculty affairs, fiscal affairs, diversity enhancement, and student affairs. The questions developed by Council last year as a result of SB389 will be used this semester. He announced the Heart of Missouri United Way Campaign and reminded all in attendance to pledge for this worthy cause.

Campus Update-Chancellor Brady J. Deaton

Deaton thanked Phillips for his presentation.  The Chancellor reviewed many positive items taking place this fall.

  1. Our athletic teams and programs are doing extremely well.
  2. Our campus' freshman class has broken ten enrollment records this semester. Because of the enrollment increase many departments are hiring additional advisors.
  3. The capital campaign has reached $986 million with a target of one billion dollars. David     Housh, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations was thanked for his hard     work and resulting success.
  4. The Chancellor's Compete Missouri study has moved into Phase II. The average faculty salary increase this year was 7.1 percent.
  5. Establishing a Veteran's Resource Center on campus.
  6. Sustainability, major emphasis this year, the campus is going green.
  7. The campus now has an International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine.

Panel Discussions on a Proposed New Grievance Policy Moderated by Thomas Phillips

The panel was introduced and they took their respective places on the stage. The members present were: Leona Rubin, Laurie Mintz, Ken Dean, Judith Goodman, Michael Middleton, and Wilson Watt (Gordon Christensen was absent). The panel discussed the history behind the grievance policy and the processes that brought us to this grievance policy revision. Victoria Johnson representing the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) stated the AAUP position that grievance process is a faculty responsibility. She further carried to the floor the faculty concern of having an administrator on the panel and their perceptions that the process is faulted and these faculty wish to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. Johnson also pointed out the importance of a faculty grievance process because few if any faculty can afford to go to court. The panel members responded that the oversight committee should ensure these issues do not take place and if problems do arise this process is in a two year trial period following its approval.

The highlights of the discussion from the floor that followed are: (1) continuing problems with administrator on a faculty panel; (2) how many grievance cases is 2.0 based on; (3) extremely difficult to get faculty to serve on a grievance panel and to find the time to meet; (4) not enough communication or input from the faculty in the 2.0 revision; (5) another concern was that women and other minorities may not file grievances under 2.0 for fear of discrimination; and, (6) 2.0 was patterned after the Iowa grievance procedure with some exceptions notably that tenure shall not be altered during the grievance process.

The highlights of the discussion from the panel are: (1) looked at all past grievance cases while 2.0 was being drafted; (2) feels that 2.0 is innovative because no other university is doing this (putting an administrator on a faculty panel); (3) thought 2.0 would be a healing and collaborative process; (4) faculty voice on the GRP (grievance review panel) would be stronger and heard; and, (5) the difference between Missouri and Iowa is that Iowa is more selective as to what grievances cases they hear.

Other Business and Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.

Respectfully Recorded,
Eddie Adelstein, Acting Recorder for the Faculty