Meeting Minutes: March 12, 2015


Members present: Andre Ariew, David Bergin, Tim Evans, John Gahl, Richard Guyette, Jung Ha-Brookshire, Berkley Hudson, Art Jago, Rebecca Johnson, John Lory, Judith Mabary, Camila Manrique, Dennis Miller, Nicole Monnier, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Peter Nabelek, Karen Piper, Craig Roberts, Angela Speck, Marty Steffens, Ben Trachtenberg, Vitor Trindade, Harry Tyrer, William Wiebold, and Rebekah Hart (Council Secretary). Members absent: Jim Baumann, A. Cooper Drury, Karen Hebert, Naresh Khatri, Tony Lupo, Mahesh Thakkar, Douglas Wakefield, Rachel Brekhus (Librarians), Don Sievert (MURA), and Galen Suppes (AAUP).

Approval of Minutes

Chair Craig Roberts called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. Roberts announced that the General Faculty Meeting will be held March 18. He also reminded Council that it is time for nominations to be submitted for Faculty Council officers. Related to the work of the Faculty Raise Assessment Committee, Roberts has been compiling a list of reasons why faculty morale is so low (many work in areas that are not being rewarded).

Discussion Items

ACCORD Report – Tyrer & Lamberson (Chair, Faculty Raise Assessment Committee).

Lamberson noted that the report of the Faculty Raise Assessment Committee distributed to Council at the meeting was a preliminary one. He then summarized the statistical findings and methodology used to create the report. The first phase of the assessment was to look at the distribution of raises and the totals awarded; the second phase was to survey deans regarding how they believed the raises helped and the means they employed to fund those raises; the last phase was to survey the faculty as a whole (T/TT and NTT). Three types of raises were awarded: mid-year; end-of-year special merit, with criteria similar to those used for mid-year raises; and regular merit raises, funded by colleges through reallocation, which involved closing some positions. Lamberson then reviewed the survey results according to ranges provided to participants (from strongly agree to strongly disagree). [Recorder’s Note:  Please refer to report for actual percentages.] In general, those who received special merit raises agreed or strongly agreed that they were aware of the process for awarding raises, that it was fair, and that the special merit raises improved morale and were beneficial to MU. The opposite was true for those who did not receive special merit raises. The question asking whether special merit raises improved MU AAU metrics revealed the same division although the percentage difference was significantly less. Most respondents receiving special merit raises (66.7%) believed it was important for MU to remain in the AAU. A lower number of those who did not receive special merit raises (48.1%) advocated the importance of AAU membership.


Some colleges (e.g., Journalism and Veterinary Medicine) received more raises than others. About 10% of T/TT faculty received no merit raise; 35% received 1% or less. Approximately 20% of NTT faculty received no merit raise. The median raise was 1% for T/TT and 2% for NTT faculty. Raises from grants and contracts were included in the calculations.   


Roberts stated that in the report presented to the Curators faculty who did not receive special merit raises still received a 2% raise. Furthermore, CAFNR had the highest percentage of those receiving no raises but were higher in special merit raise percentages. How is this disparity to be explained? The problem is that means are being reported and hide what is actually going on. Jago noted that it is the median that should be examined, not the mean. Lamberson assured Council that a narrative form of the report further explaining the percentages would be forthcoming. Wiebold indicated that the chairs, and probably the deans as well, felt they were forced to award raises in a way that was not best for the departments. Ha-Brookshire added that the MUSOP committee has been asked by administration to let them know what can be done in the next raise distribution to boost morale. Suggestions should be sent to her. Monnier expressed the concern that there is an undue emphasis on research; the reward system should consider all that faculty do. Roberts concluded that he has been hearing there is no morale issue; the report reflects otherwise.


Guests: Christy Hutton, Psychologist, Counseling Services.  This visit will be rescheduled for a future meeting.


Title IX: Faculty Forum, Motion Tabled. Roberts announced that Title IX expert Gina Maisto Smith will conduct a public forum on Title IX on April 7. The plan is for her to explain the new Title IX laws, including restrictions on attorney input, and to have 1 – 1 ½ hours for Q&A. Two sessions (morning and afternoon) will be held. Concern was expressed by several Council members that Smith would give a general introduction and not address the unique areas of apprehension facing MU. While she has MU’s CRR to review, many felt it would also be beneficial to send her questions to address. Although the audience will be the faculty at large, those likely to attend will have concerns about Title IX and will be seeking more specific information. 


Frank Bowman’s motion from February 12 is still open. IFC has a standing subcommittee to continue to look into Title IX related changes to the CRR that the motion was intended, in general, to question and revise. Trachtenberg moved that the motion be postponed definitely until the next meeting. The motion was seconded, there was no further discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.


Update of Race Relations Committee – Roberts & Hudson. Meetings with faculty, staff, and students continue. It is hoped that the committee will be formed by spring break. In addition to the Race Relations Committee will be another “guardrail” committee that will help maintain the focus of efforts on the real issues. Students are frustrated at how slowly the process is moving, but good committees properly populated take time to be formed. Two “parallel universes” seem to exist on campus—one where there is no problem of racism and one where there is.  


Rules of Order Change – Wiebold, Miller. Wiebold indicated he would like to have time to review the proposed change and to postpone distribution and discussion of any changes until the next meeting. (Rules are important and we need time to study any proposed alterations.)

Standing Committee Reports

IFC - Miller. Regarding the academic calendar: UMKC would like to change rules governing the calendar from stating that classes begin after August 18 to beginning ON or after August 18. Fall break and a shorter Thanksgiving break are also being discussed. In conversations with government officials in Jefferson City regarding Senate Bill 465 (faculty syllabi to be made public), their advice is that the proposal is not cause for concern as many bills are never approved. Rolla Faculty Senate passed two resolutions regarding Title IX. They were concerned that the CRR changes were not approved by their Faculty Senate and also approved Bowman’s letter unanimously. UMKC and UMSL disagree with his letter. Miller indicated that the Title IX subcommittee will continue to gather information from various campuses. We do not yet have the best people to implement the CRR Title IX changes and those people are necessary.


Faculty Affairs – Tyrer. Just finished COACHE survey work. Nothing more to report.    


Fiscal Affairs – Wiebold. Will arrange meeting after spring break with Rhonda Gibler for update regarding senate funds review.


Diversity Enhancement – Speck.  Developing diversity initiative requirement committee and who should be on it.


Academic Affairs – Monnier. A proposal for accelerated degrees has been approved by the graduate Faculty Senate that will allow students to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. This option will require a change in the handbook. Language will be provided to Council after spring break. Proposed changes to the handbook regarding religious observances are also being considered. Proposals are coming from students with signatures from relevant student organizations. These proposals are modeled on language already in place at other campuses. Handbook changes will eventually require a Council vote. The proposed academic calendar for 2017 will be available for discussion when we return from spring break. Pat Okker indicated that a draft from the Higher Learning Commission of their findings will be available in two weeks. The final report will be out in late May or early June.   


Student Affairs – Evans.  Evans reminded Council that Christy Hutton will attend a future meeting to talk about what we as faculty can do regarding mental health issues. A meeting will also be arranged for Student Affairs to meet with Cathy Scroggs and Jim Spain as well as Academic Affairs members to discuss scheduling of Thursday/Friday classes and the resultant impact on binge drinking.


Council went into closed session at 4:55 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 5:07 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder