Meeting Minutes: March 17, 2011


Members Present: Steve Ball, Clyde Bentley, Gordon Christensen, Leah Cohn, John Dwyer, Candace Galen, Art Jago, Rebecca Johnson, Victoria Johnson, Jonathan Krieckhaus, Norman Land, April Langley, Sudarshan Loyalka, Tom Marrero, Rebecca McCathren, Leona Rubin, Stephen Sayers, Johannes Schul, James Tarr, Harry Tyrer, Dana Weston, Bill Wiebold, Shelley Worden (Librarians), Edward Hunvald (MURA), Stephen Montgomery-Smith (AAUP), Nicole Monnier (NTT), and Rebekah Hart (sec.). Members Absent: Edward Adelstein, Ann Harrell, Kattesh Katti, John Lande, Xiaoguang Ni, Joe Parcell, Douglas Wakefield, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty and Staff), Richard Guyette (NTT), Katherine Reed (NTT), and Sam White (NTT).

Approval of Minutes

Chair Leona Rubin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m., in the S203 Memorial Union. The Faculty Council minutes of 3-3-11 were approved as submitted.

Report of Officers

Rubin reported that the next step in implementation of the campus smoking policy will go into effect July 2011.  This step designates certain areas on campus as smoking areas.  The final step is no smoking on the entire campus.  The Spring General Faculty meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, 2011.   The start time for this meeting will be 3:00 p.m. instead of the usual 3:30 p.m. because of an expected lengthy agenda.  The faculty will be balloted on the issue of changing the Collected Rules and Regulations to allow future voting procedures the option of using electronic methods.  The university successfully received a tuition waiver from the Coordinating Board of Higher Education; next year’s tuition will be up at 5.5 percent.  There is a possibility of a merit-based two percent salary increase for next year, however funding for this increase will depend on reallocation.  The university’s retirement plan and ways of changing it continue to be discussed.  Changes to this plan are expected to be made at the June 2011 Board meeting.  The System Benefits Committee currently has two faculty representatives who are not interfacing with the Faculty Council.  Council will be discussing future Council representation on this committee. 

Bentley reported that the Chancellor evaluation instrument is nearly completed.  He would like the final version distributed to the faculty after spring break.  There was also a short discussion about the possibility of a 360 degrees evaluation.  It was felt that the Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) could run a survey of this sort next year.

Wiebold reported on the March IFC meeting: (1) if the retirement system changes, it will be for new employees only; (2) there are plans to start a discussion on civility at the April meeting; (3) they are looking at changing the definition of faculty; (4) domestic partner benefits are going to be reconsidered; and, (5) they are looking at language for revoking degrees. 

The faculty grievance pilot was discussed.  The faculty will vote in late April.  There was a discussion about whether Council should also vote.  Victoria Johnson said that she had more data to present, and did not want to vote today.  Faculty Council had three votes: (1) should Council vote on issue? 14 yes, 3 no; should Council vote today?  7 yes, 12 no, 2 abstentions; and, should Council vote at the next meeting?  All voted yes with 4 abstentions.

Action Items

General Education Changes - Johnson.  Seventeen Council members voted to call for a vote on diversity at today’s meeting.  It was decided that section D and the appendix should not be part of the document, but distributed as a separate document for information purposes only.  This includes the references, and the list of suggested classes.  There was some other wordsmithing that took place.  The vote: 19 yes, 1 no, 0 abstentions.

After discussion, Council decided on the following language on the capstone course: “Any department can use either a capstone course or a 4000 level course to fulfill the requirement.” The vote was unanimous in favor of this language.

Discussion Items

Proposed MU Standing Committee: Family Friendly.  Cohn reported that the Family Friendly task force will become a standing committee.  In prior discussions, it was suggested that this group was too large for a standing committee.  In light of this recommendation, the membership was reduced and some members were made non-voting.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs: Loyalka, chair, reported they are finishing up on some items and will have a complete report at the next meeting.

Academic Affairs: Johnson, chair, reported they will propose changing Reading Day from Thursday to Friday.  They are also considering the time in the calendar devoted to finals week.  There may be a faculty survey asking faculty how they use this time.

Fiscal Affairs: Tyrer, chair, reported they will suggest creating a faculty committee to function as a liaison with IP and tech transfer group. 

Student Affairs: Sayers, chair, reported, they are working on campus safety issues especially for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  This involves the placement of the yellow sign in crosswalks to help with safety.


Rubin reminded everyone about signing up for campus standing committee service as well as running for Council offices in the spring elections.  The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Shelley Worden,  Recorder