Meeting Minutes: March 10, 1994


Present were: Gary Allee, Hardeep Bhullar, Robert Birkenholz, Benedict Campbell, Irv Cockriel, Vicki Conn, Jean Hamilton, Hildegarde Heymann, Edward Hunvald, Brent Jones, Eugene Lane, John Miles, Loren Nikolai, Larry Penney, Patricia Plummer, Kit Salter, Dennis Sentilles, Don Sievert, Betty Winfield, Warren Zahler, Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff), Roy Utz (Retirees), Robert Sharp represented Dale Blevins, Don L. Willett represented Eva Szekely, and Allen Thompson represented Harry Tyrer. Absent were: John Bauer, Jay Dix, Kerby Miller, Deborah Pearsall, Michael Prewitt, Mary Ellen Sievert, and Dean Schmidt (Library). Guests: Ms. Martha Alexander (Director of Libraries) and Professor Robert Bauer, Chair of the Library Committee.

Approval of Minutes

Chairman Hunvald called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in S110 Memorial Union. The minutes of the February 24, 1994 Faculty Council meeting were approved with minor changes. [Recorder's note: the machine for taping the meeting did not work this time, and his efforts were accordingly somewhat hampered.]

Report on Libraries

Ms. Alexander and Professor Bauer briefed the Council somewhat extensively on recent developments concerning the library. There were a number of handouts. The original 1981 plan for expansion of Ellis Library in four phases had been carried out through phase 1, completed in 1987. Phase 2, which had a price tag of $18,000,000.00, had been the number one construction project of the former administration and had the support of the CBHE. With the advent of President Russell and Chancellor Kiesler, things had changed. The current plan centers on a four-campus storage facility to be built on Lemone Boulevard with a cost of only $3,200,000.00. The funds for this will be included in a bond issue which the legislature is to submit to popular vote.

President Russell had formed a review committee chaired by J. Lucker, Director of Libraries at MIT. Among the salient recommendations of that committee were: retrospective conversion of bibliographical records to machine-readable format (no one objects to that part); maintenance and if possible increase of support for library acquisitions (no one objects to that part); and, the development of a remote storage facility (this is the controversial point) to hold at least 1.5 million volumes and to replace the current Annex and Tate Libraries.

Coinciding with the work of President Russell's review committee the Library Committee had conducted a survey of library users. The following concerns were among those that emerged.

1. A fear that the outside panel had been politically circumscribed in its recommendations.

2. Library users' concern about access and browsability (Professor Hamilton was especially concerned about the undesirability of having to know in advance precisely what item one was seeking).

3. A fear that the administration was placing too much confidence in new and untried technologies, such as on-line publishing.

4. The question as to who would pay for the use of these new technologies.

5. The unlikeliness of retrospective conversion of materials to machine- readable format, and in general the cost to publishers of making material available that way, as well as the fact that materials from remote parts of the world would not be so available.

6. The difficulty of finding material even by computerized tables of contents, unless there were accompanying abstracts.

7. The fact that the MU library already has a large proportion (17%) of its holdings in some kind of storage.

Approximately one-third of the collection might be off-site in the next decade. The outside consultants' report had only partially allayed these concerns. Professor Plummer was assured that at least the U-wide system did not want to create a large library staff, and that this matter, like computing, would stay in local hands. Professor Nikolai opined that the need for study space, mentioned in the reports, was exaggerated, as he generally found space available except perhaps at exam times. Professor Sievert questioned the necessity of a change in plans; had earlier planning been in error? Professor Hamilton wondered about the intellectual costs if we aspired to increase our standing however let the planning process be driven by the desire to save dollars.

Ms. Alexander made mention of various national panels studying such matters, and stated that Professor Charles Timberlake was serving on one such panel. Professor Plummer requested that the reports of those panels, when ready, should be made available to Council. In general, Council was admonished to keep its eye on the situation as it developed.

Report of Officers

Chairman Hunvald distributed a letter which he had written to Blake Morgan, in answer to the students' concerns about plus/minus grading expressed at the previous meeting. He also distributed copies of the constitution of the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates (which was formed last spring). The MU Faculty Council is currently being asked to join the organization; this will be a discussion item at our next meeting. Professor Hunvald also reported that the IFC was meeting the following day and would consider plus/minus grading and grievance procedures. The Executive Committee was now making committee assignments for submission to full Council, and was to meet with the Council of Deans on March 25.

Action Item

On behalf of the Special Projects Committee Professor Salter moved the change to committee charges which appears as Appendix I. It passed unanimously without discussion.

Discussion Items

On behalf of the Student Affairs Committee, Professor Jones presented proposed changes in the grade appeal procedures. The principal innovation was that students now be allowed to make an oral presentation of their cases in addition to written petitions. There was little discussion, except Professor Plummer's desire to know how many people currently were involved in such appeals, and eliciting details from Vice Provost Behymer.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs (Hildegarde Heymann)

No report.

Faculty Affairs (Jean Hamilton)

No report.

Fiscal Affairs (John Miles)

Professor Miles reported that progress was being made on the reporting of faculty salaries.

Special Projects (Kit Salter for Dean Schmidt)

No report.

Student Affairs (Brent Jones)

The committee had met with Vice Chancellor Schroeder on recruitment and retention.

Report of General Education

Professor Jones reported on a meeting which the committee had had with Chancellor Kiesler, who did not want to alter the General Education Architecture substantially, and stated that monies would be available through reallocation. Vice Provost Behymer commented that Chancellor Kiesler indicated that there would be more flexibility than we had thought about the clusters. Not a lot of faculty would be added. In response to a question from Professor Birkenholz, Vice Provost Behymer stated that one of the cluster requirements had been tabled, and that there was no way we could get 95 percent of the students into humanities clusters.

Closed Session for Personnel Items and Adjournment

Professor Miles reported on the nominees for honorary degrees and the procedure used for selecting them. It was voted to approve the nominees.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Eugene N. Lane, Recorder

Appendix I

By February 1, the chair of each campus committee is to submit to Faculty Council a brief report as to the attendance and level of participation of committee members.

By May 31, the chair is to prepare for the Faculty Council a brief annual report (not to exceed two single-spaced pages) which summarizes the committee's activities and recommendations.