Meeting Minutes: September 26, 1996


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

Approval of Minutes

Chair Dennis Sentilles called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in Room S110 of the Memorial Union. The minutes of the Aug. 22, 1996, meeting were approved.

Report of Officers

Dennis Sentilles reminded faculty members of the Sept. 28th Day of Caring here on the MU campus. Dennis then reported that Interim President Mel George made some very helpful comments regarding tenure in discussion at IFC (Intercampus Faculty Council). Paraphrasing, President Mel George said that too often discussions of tenure founder in confusion and concern because a careful distinction is not made between three elements regarding tenure:
  1. the principle of tenure;
  2. procedures whereby tenure is acquired; and
  3. implementation of tenure in the institution.

President Mel George is reported as feeling that it is the latter two that are of the most concern and not the principle of tenure itself. Dennis Sentilles' reading of the Provost's report from the Provost Advisory Committee on Tenure and Promotion Issues is that it addresses the latter two of these three: procedure and implementation. The report seeks to institutionalize procedures of the highest professional quality in granting tenure to reassure all that tenure is not automatic or simply acquired after a period of servitude. A draft report of the Provost Advisory Committee on Tenure and Promotion will be reviewed very carefully by the Faculty Affairs Committee, currently chaired by Russ Zguta. Copies of this draft will be made available to all members of Faculty Council.

Dennis then reported on his attendance at the meeting of Mike Diamond with the Engineering College faculty. Professor Diamond is a recognized expert on the sociology of management in organizations. Dennis reported that:

  1. all issues polarizing in the college are now on the table;
  2. the Dean has made meaningful concessions;
  3. faculty have recognized these concessions; and
  4. faculty task forces will be organized to make recommendations on the matters that Professor Diamond brought into the open, and the Dean has pledged to hear what these task forces have to say.

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Michael Porter, Vice Chair of Faculty Council, reported on additional items from the IFC meeting. First, Mike reports that the campus will need a plan, by Dec. 1, regarding how we intend for students to be able to act on concerns regarding the English language fluency of their professors. Secondly, faculty grievance procedures are being reviewed. Third, Mike reported that Mel George, Interim President of the University System, has a five-point agenda for the next 9-12 months. These include:

  1. to improve communications;
  2. to provide a bridge between the current five-year plan and any new plan from a new president;
  3. to continue to increase the visibility of the university in the state;
  4. to deal with the future of the hospital; and
  5. to encourage discussion of intellectual issues among the faculty.

Two other issues reported from the IFC meeting include: 1) a discussion on how to develop a seamless transfer of students between campuses here in Missouri and 2) the Faculty Advisory Committee for selection of a new president.

Action Items

Ad Hoc Committee on Health Care Appointments. It was moved, seconded, and passed that the membership on the Ad Hoc Committee on Health Care be changed from 3 to 4 individuals and that Marion Minor chair this committee.

Standing Committee Liaison Appointments. It was moved, seconded, and passed that the recommendations for assignment of oversight of faculty and campus committees to Faculty Council be established according to the handout given in the Faculty Council Meeting Agenda packet.

Board of Curators Report

A copy of Ed Hunvald's summary of the UM Board of Curators Meeting from Aug. 29, 1996, was distributed to Council members and is available in the Faculty Council Office.

Discussion Items

Posting Council Minutes on the Web. There was a brief discussion of posting Council minutes on the World Wide Web so that these could be made available more quickly to members of the campus community. This would allow Faculty Forum to become more of an actual "forum" of faculty discussion items, etc.

Guest Vice Chancellor Charles Schroeder: Vice Chancellor Schroeder and several of his staff members met with Faculty Council regarding enrollment goals and challenges for the future. Several thick handouts were made available to Faculty Council dealing with these issues. The major challenges for the future include: 1) the 1997 admissions standards; 2) an increasingly competitive market; 3) stable institutional resources for scholarships and grants; 4) a potential public relations problem if any particular numbers begin to fall; 5) a price-to-value issue for MU vis-a-vis other campuses; 6) how we can substantially increase the applicant pool and conversion rates of those admitted vis-a-vis those who actually attend MU; and 7) how we can make enrollment management community property; that is, how can we all get involved in helping with enrollment management. A few of the comments may be of interest. First, it appears that our primary competition for students is KU, the Page 3 of the 9-26-96 Minutes of the Faculty Council.

University of Illinois, Southwest Missouri State, and Truman University. It was also noted that personal contact either with the faculty or another student of MU can significantly increase the chances of a student actually attending MU. An interesting statistic is that of the 6,056 Bright Flight scholars in Missouri for the 1996/97 academic year, 2,125 of them came to MU. Therefore, while MU has approximately 10 percent of the total undergraduates in the state of Missouri, we end up with a 1/3 of the Bright Flight scholars. The two packets of information handed out by Vice Chancellor Schroeder and his staff are available either from the Vice Chancellor's office or from Becky Flanders in the Faculty Council Office.

Standing Committee Reports

Faculty Affairs: Russ Zguta stated that his committee has already begun to discuss the report from the Provost Advisory Committee on Tenure and Promotion.

Closed Session and Adjournment

Faculty Council moved into closed session at 5:05 p.m. for committee appointments. Faculty Council adjourned at 5:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Robert Almony Recorder