Meeting Minutes: December 10, 1998


Present: Everett Adam, Edward Adelstein, Lloyd Barrow, Bruce Biddle, Melvin Blase, Gordon Christensen, Elizabeth Geden, Judith Goodman, Allen Hahn, Robert Hall, Edward Hunvald, Thomas Hurley, Nancy Knipping, John Dwyer (for Bill Kurtz), Henry Liu, Michael McKean, Mark Milanick, Don Miles, David Rayl, Robin Remington, Robert Weagley, Paul Weirich, Robert Almony (Librarians), and Wayne Decker (Retirees). Absent: Michael Devaney, Dan Edidin, Norman Land (for Glenn Pierce), William Wiebold, James Curtis (for Russ Zguta), and Mable Grimes (Black Faculty&Staff).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 3:40 p.m. by Chair Robert Weagley in room S203 of the Memorial Union. The minutes of October 21, November 5, and November 19, 1998 Council meetings were approved.

Report of Officers

A special general faculty meeting will be held on January 13, 1999 as a result of a faculty petition of the recommendation passed by Faculty Council (November 19, 1998) calling for an annual written and face-to-face evaluation of all faculty.

Guest, Ed Mahon, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Computer Information&Access Technology Faculty Council was addressed by Ed Mahon, at the invitation of the Campus Computer Policy Committee. As part of a strategic planning process, he is gathering information on how to best provide higher quality service. Due to the tremendous growth in the last two years it has been difficult to balance free access to the Internet with the cost of services. He noted that no new expenses would be incurred by departments under the current budget planning model. A multi-year strategy is needed to pay for interconnecting computers on campus. The network infrastructure is the most vulnerable component of the system and needs $2.7 million dollars. Weagley noted that the committees addressing these issues have the expertise to deal with technical issues, but that he was also concerned about policy issues such as restricting the use of Internet for non-academic uses and requiring students to own a personal computer for enrollment in the university. Mahon welcomes any comments via e-mail at

Action Items

Faculty Forum Newsletter. Faculty Council voted unanimously to publish its newsletter, the Faculty Forum, electronically rather than on paper.

Rules of Order.
Faculty Council voted the following changes to the Rules of Order. An appendix of practices and traditions has been added at the end of the document. The meeting time was changed from 3:40 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The timing was changed (from April to February) in regard to choosing a nominating committee for chair and vice chair candidates. Elections for those two offices will now be held at the first April meeting of the Council (a change from the last meeting of the Winter Semester). A sentence setting a two-year term limit for the Chair was removed by unanimous vote. Faculty Council voted unanimously that the changes should take effect at the start of Winter Semester, 1999. Representation Report.
Faculty Council voted to accept the representation report for the 1999-2000 academic year. This report states the number of representatives to Council each school or college will have. Each school (college) has one representative for the first 75 faculty and an additional representative for each 50 faculty. During discussions of this item, Weagley voiced concern that there are 18 fewer full-time regular ranked faculty than the previous year.

Discussion Items

Academic Assessment Clause for Course Catalog. The Academic Assessment Committee and the Provost's office asked Faculty Council to support placing the following statement in the undergraduate catalog that informs students they are required to take an assessment exam in their senior year before they can graduate: "All MU undergraduates are required to participate in assessment processes including both a major field and general education assessment. Participation in assessment is a requirement for graduation."

Faculty raised a number of concerns regarding the implementation of the assessment requirement. First, some faculty felt class time should not be used for administering the tests. Second, questions over how to pay for assessment were raised. Third, incentives for encouraging students to treat the exam seriously were discussed. Fourth, faculty questioned the procedures that were followed for passing the wording. Issues raised were that the requirement should be passed by the faculty and that it should appear in the Rules and Regulations prior to appearing in the catalog which summarizes those regulations. In response to concerns about implementation, Weagley said that he would like the wording to come from Faculty Council since the concerns had to do with implementation of assessment rather than with the question of whether or not assessment will occur. The Provost's office may put the wording in the catalog regardless of Faculty Council's concerns. Peter Markie, Assistant Provost, suggested that Faculty Council needs to meet with the Assessment Committee to discuss our concerns. Robin Remington was asked to serve as Faculty Council's liaison to the Assessment Committee.

2000-2001 Academic Calendar. Lloyd Barrow, chair of the Academic Affairs committee, presented the proposed 2000-2001 academic calendar. A two-day fall break and a three-day Thanksgiving break is scheduled rather than one week at Thanksgiving. Winter Semester will start after Martin Luther King Day. Two concerns with the proposed schedule are that no one will be on campus for commemorations of Martin Luther King, and the academic year ends late in May due to the late start date. This may be a liability for students seeking employment. However, the later start date is necessary to process appeals, dismissals, etc. prior to registration. The calendar will be an action item at our next Council meeting.

Board of Curators Report

Edward Hunvald reported that the Board of Curators met on December 3, 1998. They reviewed the asset allocation plans for the retirement fund and guidelines to reduce risks to students studying abroad. Curator Combs was elected president and Curator Stevenson was elected vice-president.

Intercampus Faculty Council Report

Robert Hall, IFC '98-99 chair and vice chair of Council, reported that the Intercampus Faculty Council will met on December 15, 1999. The proposed changes to the Grievance Procedures were approved.

Standing Committee Reports

Fiscal Affairs: Robert Almony (chair Fiscal Affairs) said that he will provide information about raises for all the colleges to the Executive Committee at their next meeting in January.

Special Projects: Paul Weirich (chair Special Projects) announced that the committee is working on revising the Faculty Handbook. Weirich asked Council for their input concerning any suggestions to changing the format of the way the handbook currently appears on the Council web site.

Adjournment&Closed Session

The meeting was moved to closed session at 5:19 p.m. to vote on two committee appointments. The meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Judith Goodman, Recorder