Meeting Minutes: April 2, 2015


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

Approval of Minutes

In Chair Craig Roberts’s absence Vice Chair Rebecca Johnson called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union. Nicole Monnier and Berkley Hudson were congratulated on being the recipients of the Kemper Award. Revisions to the 2-26 minutes (School of Medicine Fact-Finding Committee section) were submitted by e-mail by Art Jago prior to the meeting as follows (changes in red): “Other issues noted were: some new faculty not being mentored but, instead, treated as research assistants; arbitrary allocation of start-up funds; and TT to NTT conversion of positions for those who are not contributing to research but doing good work otherwise. Concern was also expressed about using resources to hire “stars” to improve AAU metrics instead of rewarding and providing resources to present faculty. Eighteen recommendations were made in the report related to the reward system, protection of research time, and that Deans department chairs be tenured.” All minutes were approved as revised (2-12-15), amended (2-26-15), and initially submitted (3-12-15).

Discussion Items

Guests: Christy Hutton, Psychologist, Counseling Services.  Wakefield introduced Hutton. The Student Affairs Committee has been working on the issue of how to make the campus safer and how to handle mental health questions. Hutton noted that more students are coming to MU who have mental problems. Their office needs help getting students to them sooner. A round table was held recently to discuss becoming a “community of caring.” Hutton also introduced resources presently available and distributed printed information regarding: a single Crisis Resource Line (882-3970), established by Jim Spain, to call if you are uncertain about what office to contact; a crisis card with information on resource numbers for students, which can be called at any time, and on the other side, information on online screening. A licensed mental health professional is available at all times that students can talk with. The RESPOND training program in partnership with Campus Mental Health is being offered to inform participants on what steps to take in various situations. A student training session is being held April 18 with three faculty/staff opportunities at later dates.


Q&A: Questions were raised as follows: (1) What should faculty be concerned about in terms of reporting? (Keep the best interests of the students in mind. If calling, you can give the name of the student; if communicating via e-mail, keep in mind that such information can be used in court; (2) Are TAs being trained? (15-45 minutes are allowed to train TAs; some departments spend time themselves with students, mainly regarding suicide prevention); (3) What is the difference the Counseling Center and Psychological Services? (Psychological Services is for the community and requires that a fee be paid); (4) How do we decide when to call and what happens then? (If you are concerned about the well-being of a student, call. When a call is received, information is provided on resources available. You can also bring a student to the Counseling Center yourself . Students sign a release on what information can be shared with you afterward); (5) Whom should we contact if someone is acting suspiciously, whether associated with the campus or not? (If someone is acting unusually and you don’t know them, call the MU Police Department. Otherwise, call the Crisis Resource Line and they can transfer appropriately); (6) Suggestion for a short presentation to classes on resources available to students (This can be done); (7) Suggestions for a FAQ or short video (Hutton asked that interested members send questions they would like to see addressed via such a mechanism) and a classroom toolkit that faculty could have available in an effort to be proactive (A faculty group could be designated to accumulate ideas. There is also a faculty survey coming out. Please participate); and (8) What are the reasons for an increase in mental health problems among students? (Mental health treatment has improved so that people who would not have come to college in the past are doing so now. Some, in fact, come to college to benefit from available treatment on campus).  


Title IX: Faculty Forum, motion tabled.  In response to Frank Bowman’s tabled letter/motion challenging proposed changes to the CRR regarding Title IX, Dr. Gina Maisto Smith, an outside expert on Title IX, has been invited to campus to conduct two informational sessions (morning and afternoon) on April 7. She has Bowman’s letter as well as the appropriate sections of the CRR, and has been instructed to present a balanced talk. Her assistant, Leslie Gomez, will be accompanying her. Bowman’s motion was again tabled until after the training sessions. No objection from Trachtenberg, acting in Bowman’s place.


Update on Race Relations Committee – Hudson. Will propose names for the Committee on April 16 to vet in Faculty Council closed session on April 23. Wakefield asked for clarification on how this committee would be different from the Diversity Committee. Speck and Hudson will work together as representatives of both committees.  


Rules of Order Change – Wiebold, Miller. Wiebold indicated he had sent suggested changes to the Rules of Order to Council members and asked that we contact him with edits and suggestions. After discussion of possible methods to allow the expansion of types of items to be covered in closed session, Wiebold indicated he would further consider how the Rules of Order might be changed.


AY ’17-’18 Academic Calendar – Monnier. Monnier reminded Council that it is one of our charges to approve the academic calendar. The start date for Fall 2017 coincides with the first total solar eclipse since 1979. There will be numerous visitors in town; many have suggested that (1) the start date be changed or (2) that adjustments in start times be made for affected classes. After much discussion, it was determined that Speck would put the scheduled events for the day in writing. Familiarity with these events will make a reasonable decision easier.


Religious Observance Policy – Monnier. Council has the joint resolution from MSA and seven  other undergraduate and graduate leadership groups on campus to revise the MU policy on religious observances. UMSL and UMKC already have such a policy in place. The forms proposed to request (student) and approve/deny (faculty) are those used at UMSL with minor modifications. These changes would result in new guidelines for accommodating religious observances. If a student disagrees with a faculty decision, they can file a grievance.             


Standing Committee Reports

Fiscal Affairs – Wiebold. The committee will meet with Rhonda Gibler on Tuesday; Exec will meet with Hank Foley on Wednesday regarding the reduction in RIF funds.


Diversity Enhancement – Speck.  The examination of the diversity requirement is moving forward.


Academic Affairs – Monnier. NTT meeting is coming up.


Council went into closed session at 4:30 p.m. Elections of Faculty Council Chair and Vice-Chair were conducted. Exec provided paper ballots. A motion was made to suspend the rules to allow absentee paper ballots to be counted but failed to pass. A vote was taken only from the members attending. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder