Minutes | download as PDF
September 20, 2011
Plaza Room, Administrative Center, 3 p.m.
Present: Ebersole, Ward-Smith, McArthur, Burnett, Wyckoff, Plamann, Gardner, Baker, Peng, Madison-Cannon, Luppino, Hermanns, Krantz, Fincham, Bethman, Taylor, McDaniels, Odom, Holt, Carbone, Sykes Berry, Gerkovich, Sohraby, Butner
Excused: Stancel, Thiagarajan, Sherburn, Stanley
Absent: Durig, Nickel, Mirkin, Alleman
Guests: Sharon Lindenbaum, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance; Tom Stroik, College of Arts and Sciences; Lynda Plamann, School of Biological Sciences; Mel Tyler, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
1. The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Gary Ebersole, who welcomed the Senators at 3:01 p.m. Information Items
- Nancy Stancel is hospitalized at St. Luke’s North. She will have surgery this afternoon.
- After Dean Witte’s presentation at the last meeting there were some questions raised about funding the feasibility study. It was learned that the study will be paid by private donations. $100,000 is being solicited.
- At the first meeting of AAUP last week, there were some people who wondered why the Senate hadn’t generated a letter writing campaign on the retirement issue. The Chair explained his personal view that it is way too late to do such. The Board of Curators already voted to change the plan and the Retirement and Staff Benefits Committee is working on the details of a combination plan (50-50 DB/DC) for new hires. A letter writing campaign at this point might push the Board into a straight DC plan.
Senator Luppino added that the Senate, the Senate Budget Committee and its subcommittee have made a major effort to get to the merits of issue. He believes that the need now is to keep close watch on the committee. Who’s going to pay for the plan (and don’t let it be us). No harm means no increase in required contribution, no freeze of benefits, etc.
Senator Plamann warned that an idea being floated is that all those currently in 403B and 457 plans would be restricted in their choice of vendors/administrators. Such a proposal could have great harm to the faculty as costs will likely to be higher with no competition.
2. Approval of Agenda
With Gary Ebersole reporting in the place of Nancy Stancel, Senator Berry Sykes moved and Senator Wyckoff seconded the motion to approve the agenda. Approved.
3. Approval of Minutes
Senator Taylor moved and Senator Luppino seconded the motion to approve the Minutes of Sept. 6th. Approved.
4. Sharon Lindenbaum introduced herself to the Faculty Senate. She says her door is open, just drop in. She also oversees Parking and bus routes. Senator Luppino warmly stated that the University is lucky to have her.
5. General Education Reform: Tom Stroik and Lynda Plamann
Tom explained that there are basically three subcommittees (communication, curriculum committee, and assessment) working on the next phase of the General Education Student Learning Outcomes project. They will propose that each unit have the same shared 30 hours. They will be looking for commitment from all units to accept this design. They will bring back a proposal that will tease out the structure from the content and will propose to form a faculty senate standing committee to take ownership of General Education.
Lynda explained the document she handed out (GEOC). Historically, the only common courses across the units are English 110 and a constitution course (which is state mandated). Now, the opportunity for UMKC is to tie general education into our mission and increase retention and recruitment.
Tom warned that this project is critically important, with a very real and severe time frame to have general education with assessment approved within the next six (6) weeks. The University is in danger of losing accreditation if we don’t move forward.
The Chair promised that at the IFC retreat he will pull aside the St. Louis representatives to discuss their model for overseeing General Education by a faculty senate curriculum committee. It is likely that an ad hoc committee will need to review this proposal and come back with a recommendation because then it will have to go to the Board of Curators as a consent item all within a two month period.
Senator Wyckoff who is on the Gen Ed Oversight Committee stressed that this has to be a faculty driven process since it is a curriculum matter. It can’t be top down. Senator Baker, also on the Gen Ed Oversight Committee stressed that if Senators know the chair of the curriculum committee in their units, the Senators are urged to be sure that person knows what is happening.
6. Enrollment and Housing: Mel Tyler
The Vice Provost explained that the files were frozen just last night, so everyone is looking at the new data together. The summary picture indicates an increase in enrollment. He observed that distance students are counted as on campus students in this report. The report shows an Increase in African American 1st time enrollment, but no change in Hispanic enrollment.
Puzzling over some of the declines in certain types of admissions Tyler noted that Pharmacy isn’t taking in any new students in this year. He doesn’t understand the graduate population decline, however. Other schools are experiencing that too. It may be that employers not giving employees education benefits the way they used to do. Another possibility asked about the availability of scholarships and other financial support for graduate students. An anecdotal suggestion was that students who don’t think there will be jobs when they complete their schooling decide not to begin the investment.
International students are also down. Senator Carbone indicated that in Law, applications are down in the Midwest. Another possible factor is that high school graduation rates in KC are declining, meaning that there are not as many local students to move into college. The Vice Provost indicated that his office will step up recruiting in areas that already favor us: NW suburban Chicago, and Dallas TX where students are interested and can pay to come here.
In response to a question, Tyler noted that the bonds for some new buildings are based on 3% increase per year in enrollment. It is important to work hard to make the numbers, but he believes we are close.
He reported that the Residences are full, 98% full in all three facilities. About the retail operations–the Nail Shop is doing great, but the Sub and Taco Factory and Red Mango are in default of their leases and have been notified. Other parties are interested. Their reasons for failure had to do with poor customer service and poor marketing.
7. Language of the By-Law changes
Chair Ebersole explained that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee met with UMSystem’s Legal department in a one hour conference call. There was strong Senate opposition to the new language proposed, which changed the original intent. Problems with the new language included the final clause that the Senate approves unit voting eligibility; that the SOM was singled out. Our intent was to be flexible, more forward looking, with the safety valve being the oversight of the Senate.
Suggested substitutions included any school or college and the Such unit and delete the last phrase. The frustration around the table was high.
8. IFC Update: Gary Ebersole
Right now there is a strong push to get the Board of Curators to endorse and extend benefits to domestic partners. Fewer than 20% of all universities do not provide this benefit. Nancy Stancel has been building a business argument, supporters include Mel Tyler, the Deans, CEOs of major companies in KC. The expense involved is less than 1% of the university’s budget.
Two new people from the Faculty Senate are needed to serve for 3 year terms on the University Budget Committee.
Four faculty were nominated: Bill Gutheil from Pharmacy; Randy Gardner from Bloch School; Chris Rice from the Dental School and Michael Plamann from the School of Biological Sciences.
Senator Luppino suggested that a change in the committee template be made to reflect the “at large” faculty member. He also thought it wise to endorse the Chair of the Faculty Senate and the Chair of the Faculty Senate Budget Committee FS to be on it. Clarification was added that such appointment should be coterminous with the elected position.
10. While waiting for vote to be counted, Brenda Bethman made an announcement about the National Bone Marrow Donor Program fundraiser. It’s a deck of cards, for 52 different restaurants in the Kansas City metro area and each card is a $10.00 off coupon to each of the these restaurants. Contact Brenda or Jennifer DeHaemers (DehaemersJ@umkc.edu).
Election Results: The two faculty members elected to the University Budget Committee are Michael Plamann and Randy Gardner.
The Faculty Senate adjourned at 5 p.m.