Meeting Minutes: October 19, 2016

Minutes of the October 19, 2016

Fall Semester General Faculty Meeting


The Fall Semester General Faculty meeting was called to order at 3:33 p.m. by Interim Chancellor Hank Foley in Jesse Wrench Auditorium, Memorial Union.  The meeting was then turned over to Faculty Council Chair Ben Trachtenberg.

Report from Faculty Council – Ben Trachtenberg

Trachtenberg wished everyone a happy Sukkot.  In light of the precarious nature of existence, he spoke on the precariat, a term used to refer to workers with job insecurity, identity insecurity, and lack of time control.  There is an academic precariat, the adjunct professors, contract and contingent instructors (not to be confused with non-tenure track (NTT) faculty).  Here at MU, the percentage of our colleagues who are in the academic precariat rose substantially in the last decade.  This issue needs to be discussed on campus generally and in our departments as relying so heavily on this class can weaken research and teaching if not done judiciously, that is, if done for budget purposes instead of for pedagogical reasons.

Trachtenberg closed with a review of Faculty Council activities.

Provost's Update – Provost Garnett Stokes

Stokes acknowledged Trachtenberg's report and recognized need to work together and share information.  Last few months have been focused on issues of leadership, searches for deans, issue of how to build back our enrollment, and defining what MU will look like in the future.  One important thing Provost's office can do is develop leaders.  Hopeful for the for the future that we have people so engaged and interested in this institution and shaping what it will look like in the years ahead.

Stokes highlighted that Christine Holt joined the Provost's office. Holt has remarkable as skill set for academic administration.  Stokes then summarized progress of dean searches. CAFNR had 100+ nominations for search committee.  Working on right mix for committee.  Will be issuing invitations to serve in the next few days.  Martin Baker firm which handled the Extension search will consult.  Truman School search committee appointed and the search is launched.  RFP being done for search firm as school wants one.  Law School search committee formed.  No request for search firm. Human Environmental Sciences search committee is being formed.  Arts & Science search committee chair (Dean Loboa) has been selected.  Will use search firm.  Will be looking for firm.  Will be looking into searches for MU Libraries and the MU International Center as both have interim directors.  New leadership can be energizing.  Looking forward to engaging all the constituents moving forward.

Chancellor's Update – Interim Chancellor Hank Foley

Foley reported that while fall enrollment was down, the class of 2020 had high ACTs.  Also 85% of last year's freshmen returned this fall for a retention rate of 85.7%.  This is the third best we’ve ever done with first year students.  Students who went through turmoil last year largely returned. Enrollment not as bad as expected – bad, but not as bad.

He noted faculty achievements – 5 new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 3 new fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, brought in $246 million in contracts – and highlighted six new hires: Jim Sterk, director of athletics; Marshall Stewart, Extension; Pelema Morrice, VC Enrollment Management; Patty Haberberger, VC Human Resources; Kevin McDonald, VC for Inclusion Diversity & Equity; Dr. Ajay Vinze, Dean of Robert J. Trulaske Sr. College of Business. 

Foley finished by reporting on facilities.  The plant sciences greenhouse project, which has been on the shelf for past 10 years or so, has been moved up to number one.  It's a three-phase project projected to cost $90M.  We are looking to have our plant sciences department rank first. Athletic facilities update, Foley not saying much on this as Jim Sterk is working on it.  He’s a money magnet.  Understands what the coaches are looking for. 

Questions & Answers

Questions centered around budget, faculty input, pension, Mizzou Advantage, Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs position and LCME report (concerning School of Medicine accreditation).

Foley and VC Gibler acknowledged hardship of the proposed three-year 2% annual give back.  Stated that MU didn't have the revenue to borrow the needed money and that we can't keep merely surviving another year (if we want to improve).  Need to come together and take the university forward.  Need to have a strategy.  VC Gibler has meet with the deans and has help open forums to gain faculty input.  She stated that the retirement (pension) accounts are secure.  Noted that retiree medical insurance benefit (which was recently cut substantially) didn't have assets to back it up.  The retirement account/pension fund has $1 billion in assets. 

Mizzou Advantage continues.  Stokes is looking at restructuring it to best serve the institution.  It is still there to provide support.  Foley is hopeful to be setting up a search soon on for the Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs.  Regarding the LCME deficiencies in diversity and treatment of students, he is meeting with the dean of the School of Medicine and others. 



The meeting was adjourned at 5:13 p.m.

Respectfully recorded,

Rebecca Graves, Recorder for the Faculty