Meeting Minutes: September 16, 1993


Vice Chairman Plummer called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in room S110 of the Memorial Union. Present were: Hardeep Bhullar, Dale Blevins, Irv Cockriel, Vicki Conn, Jay Dix, Hildegarde Heymann, Jean Hamilton, Brent Jones, Eugene Lane, John Miles, Kerby Miller, Loren Nikolai, Deborah Pearsall, Larry Penney, Glenn Pierce, Patricia Plummer, Dennis Sentilles, Don Sievert, Harry Tyrer, Betty Winfield, Don York, Warren Zahler, Dean Schmidt (Library), and Roy Utz (Retirees). Absent were: Gary Allee, John Bauer, Robert Birkenholz, Edward Hunvald, Michael Prewitt, Kit Salter, Mary Ellen Sievert, and Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff Organization).

Approval of Minutes

After Professor Plummer reminded Council of the Executive Committee breakfast with Provost Brouder on September 21, and of the Chancellor's Reception on September 22, the minutes of the meeting of August 26 were approved with one minor correction. Professor Lane took the occasion to thank the reporter from the Columbia Daily Tribune for doing part of his work for him.

Report of Officers

Professor Plummer announced that at the meeting of September 30 the chairs of the Task Force on Retention and Task Force on Advising, together with Gary Smith would be present. The report of the Task Force on Retention had already been distributed to Council; that of the Task Force on Advising would be distributed before the meeting on the 30th.

Guest Professor Erik Fritzell

The most substantial issue before Council was a generally optimistic and up-beat report by Professor Erik Fritzell, chairman of the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE). Professor Fritzell stressed that the campus curriculum had been traditionally heterogeneous with only English 20 as a course in common. The action of faculty two years ago in adopting the General Education Architecture had been the most significant event in the past twenty years. Progress in implementing the GEA so far had been very slow, and this year would be pivotal. Reasons included administrative turnover, the unspecific nature of the GEA itself, and unforeseen problems such as how to treat transfer students. The absence of a campus-wide curriculum committee was deplored. There ensued a detailed discussion of the various aspects of the GEA.

Of the various Proficiencies (Mathematical Reasoning, Computer and Information Literacy, and Language/Cultural Awareness) the greatest progress has been made on the first. Of the various modes of instruction, the greatest progress has been made on the requirement for two writing-intensive courses. Problems of various sorts however existed with the Undergraduate Seminar, the Capstone Course, and the required Laboratory Course.

As for the Distribution of Content (cluster) requirement, eight pilot clusters have been approved. That in "Rediscovering the New World" was particularly praised. The greatest stress in providing the clusters lies in the Humanities and Fine Arts. Professor Pearsall asked about the number of clusters needed, and was told it was premature to answer that question. Professor Winfield asked for a definition of "cluster." Professor Fritzell essentially recapitulated the definition in the GEA document, and advised that we read it, since these concerns have not been on people's minds. Professor Pierce offered the example of the cluster currently being developed in Cinema Studies out of existing courses. Professor Winfield expressed some astonishment that this kind of thing was not already being done. Professor Fritzell adduced the example of the cluster in "Thinking about Moral Problems", which involves Journalism. Professor Lane requested that the list of all clusters so far approved be distributed to Council.

Professor Miller recalled Professor Jonathan Sperber's negative analysis of the cluster program from last year, and his conclusion that implementation would be a logistical nightmare. Professor Fritzell admitted that he had never read the memorandum but knew of it. Professor Miller in turn asked whether faculty would have the opportunity to reconsider aspects of the GEA that appeared problematical. Professor Lane suggested that copies of the Sperber memorandum be distributed to Council, and it was agreed that this should be done.

More discussion concerning implementation of clusters ensued between Professors Pearsall and Fritzell. Professor Fritzell appealed for Council's support of the GEA, and noted the fact that the GEA was inconsistently and confusingly entered into the Undergraduate Catalogue. Professor Plummer suggested that the matter of the catalogue be referred to the Academic Affairs Committee. Professor Nikolai expressed concern about the cost of interdivisional faculty cooperation particularly in the case of clusters involving new courses. Professor Fritzell held up the example of the cooperation of Professors Kit Salter and Rex Campbell in developing a new cluster. Professor Plummer suggested that Professor Wendy Sims be called early next semester to update us on clusters. Professor Miller returned to the subject that valuable courses might have to be in clusters or suffer severe reductions of enrollments. The power of committee approving clusters thus becomes immense, particularly if they have hidden agendas.

Discussion Items

1995-96 Academic Calendar. Professor Heymann distributed copies of two possible versions of the proposed 1995-96 Academic Calendar, differing primarily in the length of Christmas vacation. Several minor modifications were suggested, mostly as a result of the fact that there will not be summer and fall commencements hereafter. The matter will be an action item at the next meeting.

September Workshop. Professor Plummer asked for reactions to the September Faculty Council Workshop. It was agreed that the food was good but the meeting unduly long. Professor Plummer observed that the Workshop provided the only opportunity for Council to be informed on the new medical insurance plan, considering that it was soon to be voted on by the Curators. Professor Plummer advanced the idea that the old chair of each committee should provide a summary report for each incoming chair. Professor Pearsall suggested that there be an orientation session for new members of Council. Professor Nikolai suggested that Page 3 of the 9-16-93 Minutes of the Faculty Council the orientation session be held at 2:00 p.m., the rest of the workshop at a later hour.

Board of Curators Report

Professor Cockriel offered to make paper copies of his report available to those who do not receive the e-mail version. The big issue was the new medical insurance plan. A summary of the new options was distributed.

IFC Report

Professor D. Sievert made the following report. A reporter from the Tribune has solicited a copy of the "rankings" of all programs on all campuses made roughly a year ago. The IFC pressed President Russell and Vice President Wallace on the subject of legal services provided to the faculty by university counsel. The subject was brought to the fore when the university refused to provide counsel or bear the cost for the defense of a professor at UMKC facing criminal charges for violations of environmental regulations. This topic really got the administration's notice.

The IFC presented the tenure-clock stopping policy approved by Council, and asked President Russell to devise a policy in accordance with it and the UMSL policy, for eventual presentation to the Curators.

Vice President McGill had expanded on the Mental Health component of the new medical insurance plan.

Mr. Ralph Caruso and Mr. George Rickerson reported on plans to replace LUMIN and otherwise improve computer-available information on all four campuses. Professor Plummer referred a list of questions to the Academic Affairs Committee as to what improvements faculty would like to see made.

There have been proposed changes in the Student Conduct Code approved by the Student Councils of the four campuses, which this Council needs to know more about. Professor Plummer referred the matter to Student Affairs Committee.

Finally, the IFC will undertake the development of a uniform statement of professional standards and ethics for all disciplines.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs (Hildegarde Heymann)

no report.

Faculty Affairs (Jean Hamilton)

no report.

Fiscal Affairs (John Miles)

Professor Sentilles reported on Professor Miles' letter to Council concerning the Tax Deferred Annuity Program (see Appendix I). There had been conversations with Vice Provost Behymer concerning the proposed Resolution on Faculty Salary Budget Allocations (see Council minutes of 8-26-93). Professor Zahler will be looking into the functioning of the Staff Benefits Committee, and Professor Sentilles will be serving on the new Financial Oversight Committee.

Special Projects (Dean Schmidt)

no report.

Student Affairs (Brent Jones)

no report.

Closed Session for Committee Assignments, Personnel Matters, and Adjournment

The following committee appointments were made: University Lectures, Shankha Banerji (civil engineering); Honors Council, A&S at-large, Howard Fulweiler (english); Student Publications, Deborah Montuori (english); Minority Affairs, J. Watt (social work) and Julie Hughes (higher and adult education); Intercollegiate Athletics, Robert Reys (curriculum & instruction); Status of Women, Hema Srinivasan (math) and Joan Mermelstein to be convener; and, Honorary Degrees Committee to be expanded by one member in order to put Mary Lago (english) back on.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Eugene Lane, Recorder

Appendix I

Many of you are aware of and participate in the Tax Deferred Annuity Program offered thru the University Faculty and Staff Benefits Office. Contributions to such programs are generally viewed as the best form of saving for retirement.

This past year, the Fiscal Affairs Committee of the Faculty Council has been working with the Faculty and Staff Benefits Office to provide enhanced information for faculty and staff regarding both how to participate in the program and how to conveniently make thoughtful decisions on which of the mutual funds or annuities to select.

The result of this interaction is a report available through the Faculty and Staff Benefits Office [Retha Nichols, 882-6582] entitled Tax Deferred Annuity Summary, June 1993. Sections in the 62 page report include:

1. How To Start a Tax Deferred Salary Reduction

2. Ratings Information on Companies

3. Alphabetical Listing of University Approved TDA Companies

4. Company Summaries

In addition, you can ask Retha to send you two smaller items: i)Need More Investment Information? and ii) Tax Deferred Annuity Program: A Checklist.

If you have questions after reviewing the cited documents, I would be pleased to help you [or direct you to a source of information].