Meeting Minutes: April 23, 2015


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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Craig Roberts reported that the husband of Ann Covington (member of the Board of Curators) had passed away. The family requested that donations go to a scholarship fund or for flowers. The Provost introduced the new Vice Provost. The minutes of 3-18-15gfm and 4-2-15 were not approved, as there was not a quorum present.

Discussion Items


Title IX: Discussion & Vote.  Ben Trachtenberg moved that discussion be postponed as we now have a new provost. Art Jago reminded Council that the motion was already tabled. Angela Speck is trying to increase the number of faculty who are exempt from mandatory reporting. Discussion continued concerning problems with mandatory reporter training. Regarding Executive Order 41, there will now be faculty on hearing panels. Discussion followed about outside visiting attorneys’ presentation on Title IX. Regarding the rule change pertaining to faculty violations, these attorneys advised that lawyers should have more time to speak during the actual investigation rather than the hearing. Other matters addressed by attorneys:  Faculty should be allowed to vet all faculty names suggested for hearings; chairs of panels, if also allowed to vote, gives them too much power; and identical processes should be in place for tenure-track and NTT faculty. Conversation will continue in IFC as there are concerns that faculty will be perceived as voting down the role of attorneys at hearings (the Bowman Amendment) without being informed fully of the issue. The decision was made to move on to further business. A motion was made by Trachtenberg that the vote on Bowman’s amendment be postponed indefinitely; it was seconded by Karen Piper. The motion passed.

Religious Observance Policy – Monnier.  The policy was approved by Executive Committee and needed a Council vote. The policy was approved. (This policy does not change the grievance policy already in place.) Monnier thanked students in the meeting for their impressive achievement in preparing this policy and bringing it to Faculty Council.  


AY ’17-’18 Academic Calendar – Monnier.  The first day of the semester is the same day as a total eclipse in Columbia. The proposed calendar still has the first day of the semester as August 21 with no official cancellation of classes. Faculty may, however, use reading day for makeup if their class is cancelled. Motion passed to approve the calendar with no change to the start of the fall semester. 

Rules of Order Change: Discussion & Vote – Wiebold.  This change would allow the Executive Committee to assign items to closed session for reasons other than those presently approved for inclusion. With the approval of this change, any Council member could still propose that a closed session item be moved to open session. Jago favored the opposite approach in the interest of greater transparency—that items would be in open session with vote in meeting to move to closed session if considered appropriate to do so. A motion was made by Monnier and passed to suspend the rules and allow for a vote to be taken. The motion was made to approve the change as originally proposed. The motion passed.

Update on Race Relations Committee – Hudson.  Eleven people have agreed to be on the committee, including one ex-officio administration member, one staff person, one undergraduate and one graduate student. Five of the eleven will be what are referred to as white (seventy-five percent of the University personnel self-identify as white); African-American, Asian, and Latino will also be represented. Sixty percent will be male.  Members to serve on the committee were carefully selected with attention paid to present tensions. Coordination with the Diversity Committee will undoubtedly be possible (Berkeley Hudson and Angela Speck are on the Diversity Committee). Names for the committee vetted in closed session.

No response re: Library Mold Issue.  Discussed in closed session.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs – Tyrer.  Final reports are being written (Ha-Brookshire on COACHE survey and faculty development; Lory on faculty titles; Montgomery-Smith and Tyrer on Accord and names added to MUSOP).

Fiscal Affairs – Wiebold. Results of meeting with Rhonda Gibler will be in the final report.


Council went into closed session at 4:45 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Judith Mabary, Recorder