Meeting Minutes: February 27, 1997


Present: Edward Adelstein, Michael Dyrenfurth (for Lloyd Barrow), Leonard Forte, John Howe (for Jere Francis), Alice Kuehn (for Elizabeth Geden), William Fales (for Allen Hahn), Andy Twaddle (for Peter Hall), Eugene Iannotti (for Hildegarde Heymann), Nancy Knipping, Charles Knowles, William Kurtz, John Miles, Marian Minor, Beryl Ortwerth, Alex Pickard, Patricia Plummer, Michael Porter, Don Ranly, Robin Remington, Ray Rothenberger, Dennis Sentilles, Mary Ellen Sievert, Pam Norum (for Robert Weagley), Gilbert Youmans, Russ Zguta, Robert Almony (Librarians), Wayne Decker (Retirees), and Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff). Absent: Gordon Christensen, Henry Liu, and Mike Middleton.

Reports and Information Items

Chair Dennis Sentilles called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in Room S110 of the Memorial Union.

Presidential Search. A four-campus faculty committee met with Board President Horne on Wednesday, February 26, 1997, to discuss their impressions of the candidates they had interviewed this past Saturday. The committee believes that they will have their report to the Board Selection Committee on schedule (next week). It is their impression that the finalists' names will be released on the eve of the MU Spring Break. Chair Dennis Sentilles believes that as soon as they can speak freely, we should meet with our representatives and hear their report. Dennis is under the impression that some members of the board want to make a decision at the March 20, 1997 Board of Curators Meeting. The chair then voiced his concerns about the current process and the withholding of the names of candidates until the last minute, which does not allow for the faculty to bring their resources to bear in order to obtain more information about these candidates for President of the University System.

Because of an international trip, planned more than a year ago, Dennis Sentilles will be out of town for the next few weeks. He asked everyone present to help Mike Porter as much as possible in dealing with what happens over the next two weeks. After a brief discussion, Don Ranly proposed a resolution to the Board of Curators. First, it was moved, seconded, and passed to suspend the rules to allow a resolution to be brought forward. The following resolution was then moved, seconded, and passed.

The MU Faculty Council believes it is in the interest of our University that the names of final candidates for the University's presidency be revealed immediately so that we can apply our resources to provide the Board of Curators with all we can learn of their performance in their home institution, via our colleagues at the those institutions, well in advance of your final decision. Moreover, release of their names on the eve of Spring Break would be the poorest procedure imaginable. All of us--the Board, the University, its students--must live with the consequences of your decision. We urge that you not rush to conclusion. What ever has been expended thus far in the search for a president pales beside the future cost of failing to find the most qualified person. The ultimate goal for all of us is a greater University, not a completed search. Mission Enhancement. President George is calling for a conclusion to the campus process within two months. We have two representatives on this very large committee, and they are meeting today at this very time. Dennis Sentilles stated, "Perhaps the best role we can play is to confirm that where enhancement is suggested it is deserved; it won't do much good to dwell on what is not included for enhancement in the time available."

Dean's Council Meeting. Dennis Sentilles e-mailed his remarks regarding the meeting of Faculty Council with Dean's Council and noted that he has received positive feedback. Dennis volunteered that one dean has agreed that post-tenure review is not needed if departments and administration work together and quietly address clear problems, case by case. As stated by Dennis, "This is a challenge to self-governance."

Shadow Council Meeting. Dennis thanked Faculty Council members for their enthusiastic support of the idea of a Shadow Council Meeting which will be held on March 24, 1997. All members of Council should send suggested agenda items, along with the name of a suggested faculty member, to Becky Flanders in the Faculty Council Office as soon as possible.

IFC Report. Mike Porter reported on several items from the IFC Meeting of February 18, 1997. Mike noted, briefly, that IFC has also been updated on the presidential search, to the extent that information is allowed to be passed on. Secondly, it was noted that IFC has been discussing an update on post-tenure review issues for some time. However, no resolution has come forward at this time. At the next meeting of IFC they will review practices currently being followed and will consider recommendations as to documentation needed for some form of "sustained performance review", who should be covered (administrators, for example), how often, etc.

Mike noted that there was considerable discussion by IFC on a concern from the UM-St. Louis campus with centers vis-a-vis institutes. To quote from Mike's report: "While leadership and resources for cooperative programs may come from a number of sources, the IFC affirms that responsibility for maintaining the academic integrity of a course resides with the division, department, or other academic unit from which credit from the course originates." Next, Mike reported on the issue of the common calendar specifically MU planning a one-week break during Thanksgiving in the 1998-99 academic year. This created, apparently, some heated discussion at the IFC Meeting. However, it is still the decision of the MU Faculty Council to give this a trial test during the 1998-99 academic year.

Plus/Minus Grading. A copy of a +/- grading survey for UMC faculty who teach undergraduate students was provided to Council. The survey was recently sent to 400 people, and 127 responses have been received in the last two days. Faculty Council hopes to resolve this issue this semester.

Health&Health Care. Marian Minor reported on a wellness plan that is being worked on for the campus. Marian has been meeting with various groups on campus and with representatives of the administration on this issue. She reminded Faculty Council that questions regarding our health plan may be directed to the Faculty and Staff Benefits Office.

General Officers' Meeting. Dennis reported that market and merit policies regarding pay and their consequences are being discussed by the General Officers and President George. He noted that President George suggests that we need to do more to reward working groups. Dennis also noted that the General Officers are aware of legislative concerns about the admission's standards and a new point--admission to programs offered nowhere else in the state of Missouri.

Discussion Items

P&T Document Resolution. It was moved, seconded, and passed to suspend the rules to discuss and vote on a resolution from the Faculty Affairs Committee. The following resolution was moved, seconded, and passed.

Faculty Council endorses the scheduling of campus-wide faculty forums to discuss the final report and recommendations of the Provost Promotion and Tenure Review Committee.

A proposed amendment that requires the Provost and members of the P&T Committee to attend, and to take into consideration, any spoken or written comments from the forums in revising the document, failed.

Action Items

The Clock: Class Starting Times. It was moved, seconded, and passed by Faculty Council (with one "no" vote), to accept the proposed revisions in the clock for class starting times in the Winter of 1998.

Standing Committee Reports

There were no reports from any of the standing committees.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:00 p.m. and adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Almony, Jr., Recorder