Meeting Minutes: March 9, 1995


Present were: Gary Allee, Lloyd Barrow, Hardeep Bhullar, Dale Blevins, Joe Charlson, Leonard Forte, Allen Hahn, Peter Hall, Jean Hamilton, Edward Hunvald, Charles Knowles, Loren Nikolai, Deborah Pearsall, Larry Penney, Glenn Pierce, Patricia Plummer, Michael Porter, Dennis Sentilles, Don Sievert, Mary Ellen Sievert, Fred Springsteel, Harry Tyrer, Betty Winfield, and Bob Almony (Librarians). Absent were: Benedict Campbell, Vicki Conn, Jay Dix, Richard Hatley, Ron Plain, Michael Prewitt, Roy Utz (Retirees), and Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty & Staff).

Approval of Minutes

Chairman Edward Hunvald called the meeting to order in Room S110 in the Memorial Union at 3:40 p.m. The minutes of the February 23, 1995 meeting were approved as presented.

Report of Officers

Chairman Hunvald stated that he has received a letter from President Russell saying that he is, "happy to forward", a resolution regarding fee remission for faculty, staff and their dependents, "to the UM System Retirement and Staff Benefits Committee for their consideration."

Allen Hahn, member of the Political Action Committee for the University of Missouri, circulated a petition to the Chancellor to allow payroll deductions for contributions to the MU Political Action Committee.

Chairman Hunvald encouraged faculty to read the program review article on the front page of the March 9, 1995 issue of Mizzou Weekly. This particular article includes part of a letter from Esther Thorson to the Chancellor.

Chairman Hunvald noted there was an announcement in the same issue that Owen Koeppe, former MU Provost, has been named Interim Director of the Museum of Art and Archeology and that a search for a permanent director will begin shortly with the goal of a permanent director by Fall of 1995.

It has been suggested that there needs to be a study and revision of Article XI of the MU Bylaws. These are the procedures governing the disposition of charges of faculty irresponsibility. The present procedures date from the 1970's. At a meeting on September 5, 1970, the Board of Curators issued a statement on professional responsibilities, protest and political activities. Included in that statement was the following:

"The Board of Curators hereby charges the faculty to re-examine and re-affirm its professional responsibilities and to develop procedures for dealing with cases in which those responsibilities are not fulfilled. We ask that this task be completed with full faculty consultation and with reasonable speed."

The Faculty Council adopted interim procedures for faculty responsibility hearings and then after a year of debate, drafts and redrafts, the present procedures were adopted by faculty vote in October of 1971. To the best of Ed's knowledge, there have been no changes since that time. The interim procedures were described by their authors as "elaborate" and that they were "designed with several levels of review to protect carefully the rights of the faculty member and the integrity of the university community." That description may also fit the final procedures. As often happens, the procedures are the product of sometime conflicting values of faculty prerogative and peer judgment and the authority of administrators. These procedures need to be looked at again. It may be possible to simplify the process without affecting the basic principles. There may be areas which need clarification. Ed stated that this matter will be referred to the Faculty Affairs Committee for their consideration, and that the committee should work with the Provost's Office and also consult Deans and Department Chairs who have had to deal with these procedures to determine what problems exist, and of course, the committee should ask for the comments of concerned faculty.

Chairman Hunvald announced that last year a Multicultural Task Force was formed to "seek ways and means to increase the availability of multicultural education in the undergraduate curriculum on the MU campus." The report of this group has now been placed on Informu.

The Undergraduate Deans Group will be meeting on March 22, 1995 and one topic will be a policy for reporting mid-term grades for first-semester freshmen. The Executive Committee has met and discussed this issue with Ted Tarkow.

Pat Plummer reported that the IFC will meet on March 10, 1995.

Action Items

There were no items.

Discussion Items

Provost Edward Sheridan. Chairman Ed Hunvald welcomed Ed Sheridan the new Provost and thanked him for continuing the practice of the Provost attending Faculty Council meetings. Ed further mentioned that the Provost has met with the Executive Committee several times and that their discussions with the Provost have been very frank and helpful. Provost Sheridan stated that he intends to work closely with the Faculty Council and desires the help of Council in keeping faculty informed.

A question was raised regarding tuition waivers for graduate students. Provost Sheridan explained that they are carefully looking at tuition remission for graduate students who are at less than 25% FTE. He said no decisions have been made at this time. The main emphasis will be to look at people who are only "dabbling" in a degree. After much discussion, the Provost reiterated that he will only be looking at cases of abuse. Furthermore, on March 27, Brady Deaton, the Provost and the Graduate Senate will meet to discuss this issue.

On another matter the Provost stated that future curriculum decisions will be made by curriculum committees, the Graduate Senate, etc., and will remain with the faculty. He further stated that he is open to innovative ideas regarding assessment; however, he also stated that whatever is done must be agreed to by the faculty. In a discussion regarding the faculty setting admissions standards he stated that we are currently in a situation that requires quick decisions to be made; however, the faculty will be involved as much as possible, and will continue to be involved in future decisions regarding admissions standards. Furthermore, Provost Sheridan would like to come back to the Faculty Council each year and tell the Faculty Council what was done, why, and the results of what was done relative to admission standards.

Capping Fees at 15 hours. The question has recently been raised regarding capping fees at some number of hours, such as 14 or 15 hours per semester. There is no specific proposal for Faculty Council at this time; however, the question has arisen and will be discussed. The main reason for consideration of a change in the policy of capping fees is to encourage individuals to take additional hours. Right now, the fee structure discourages persons from taking additional hours either within the major or classes that they would like to take but are not required to take for graduation. Dr. Gary Smith gave a short review and past history of the practice of capping fees, and charging for each unit taken, at MU. After some discussion, Gary offered to check on the difference of the average load students took seven years ago vis-a-vis the current average load being taken by students. This matter has been referred to the Student Affairs Committee of Faculty Council.

Draft Admission Policies. Vice Chancellor Charles Schroeder, Dr. Gary Smith, Gary Pike, and Ted Tarkow were present to discuss the proposed changes--drafts of which were distributed at the last Council meeting. There was considerable discussion and explanations of the new suggested draft policies. Primarily, the new policies would be a change in criteria and would raise the standards of admission to MU for first-time college students and for transfer students. The main reason for changing the first-time college admission standards is that performance in the core courses, and ACT test scores are a better predictor than the old standards. It was noted that the transfer admissions policy has not been raised in 25 years. Native students have normally done better at MU than transfer students. However, those with a significant number of hours have done better than those with very few hours from a transfer institution.

The changes in the transfer admission policy maintain the CBHE requirements and those of the Board of Curators, while also raising standards. Copies of the draft policies are available from Rebekah Flanders in the Faculty Council Office. These new admission policies will be an action item at the next meeting of Faculty Council. Pat Plummer will share these draft policies with IFC at their next meeting for their information.

Standing Committee Reports

There were no standing committee reports at this time.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:07 p.m. to discuss committee appointments for the 1995-96 academic year. Faculty Council was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Robert Almony, Recorder