Minutes | download as PDF
October 04, 2011
Plaza Room, Administrative Center, 3 p.m.
Present: Ebersole, Ward-Smith, Stancel, Burnett, Wyckoff, Plamann, Gardner, Peng, Baker, McDaniels, Sohraby, Thiagarajan, Sherburn, Holt, Butner, Carbone, Luppino, Sykes Berry, Alleman, Gerkovich, Hermanns, Krantz, Stanley, Fincham, Lyne
Excused: McArthur, Taylor, Madison-Cannon, Odom, Bethman
Absent: Durig, Nickel, Orisa
Guests: Gail Hackett, Provost; U-News representative
The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Gary Ebersole, at 3:01 p.m.
1. Informational Items
- Legal counsel has approved our language for the ByLaw changes. This change will be placed on the Consent Calendar of the Oct. 21-22 Board of Curator’s meeting. Then Nursing and Pharmacy, with their newly enfranchised faculty, will participate in their Dean’s evaluation. After the Board formally approves the new voting faculty criteria, each senator will receive two lists via email (last year’s list and the current list) — Senators should sit together, review the lists and approve an accurate Voting Faculty list to use for broadcast messages and emails.
- The Faculty Senate will sponsor a breakfast on Friday, Oct. 21st for the Board of Curators meeting. It will be a good opportunity to interact informally with the Curators. Please contact Cathleen Burnett to register for the meeting.
- The Chair will attend Missouri Association of Faculty Senates with David Russell, Director of the MO Dept. of Education. Gary will try to invite Russell to attend the UMKC Faculty Senate sometime next semester.
- A comment about the letter from Steve Owens, interim President, in response to reports from Columbia newspapers on the IFC’s push to have the University of Missouri system consider offering Domestic Partner benefits. Pres. Owens and Curator Erdman have committed to study issue seriously this year, which is a good news for us.
- A reminder – The Mayor of KC, Sly James, will be at the next Faculty Senate meeting, Oct. 18, to talk about his vision of the city and the University’s role in it.
- Finally, two consultants will be coming November 7th to study our research support structure, ORS. Let your faculty know because the Senate will facilitate an open meeting to talk with the research consultants.
2. Approval of the Agenda
Senator Fincham moved and Senator Sohraby seconded the motion to accept the agenda. Approved.
3. Approval of the Minutes
Senator Butner noticed that she was left off the list of those in attendance at the last meeting. With that correction, Senator Wyckoff moved and Senator Hermanns seconded the motion to approve the minutes of Sept. 20th. All approved.
4. Provost’s Remarks—Gail Hackett
The Provost said that Linda Bonewald is trying to get the ORS house in order. She has made considerable headway, but if anyone has any concerns, they should let Linda know directly about those specific issues.
The Research Consultants not will be here for daily operational issues but rather they will deal with the bigger picture, where we need to be going strategically, eg., about the funding of ORS. Aspects that should be looked at are space assignments, level of services ORS offers, indirect costs, and how ORS interfaces with the schools.
Related to research, one of the big glitches of the last year was the attempt to import an IRB software package from MU. The IT teams from the UM System, Columbia campus and our campus worked for months to set it up but couldn’t make it work as it was locally developed. So a commercial package has been selected, but so far has been hung up at Procurement. Once the purchasing is completed, it will be installed on our systems quickly. If anyone has questions regarding its integration or compatibility issues, please contact Linda Bonewald by phone or email.
UMKC has joined NCAT (National Center for Academic Transformation) for a course redesign alliance program. A consultant from NCAT will be coming to campus Oct. 31-Nov. 1 to do a workshop sponsored by FaCET on Introduction to Course Redesign. It will be open to all interested faculty, and those especially encouraged to attend are those teaching large Introduction courses, gateway courses or courses with a high percentage of DFW students.
5. Report on Retirement and Staff Benefits: Gary Ebersole
The Chair reported that he was in a tele-meeting last evening regarding employee benefits and that the Board of Curators were still in the meeting this day. He doesn’t know anything certain about Board actions although they did have an agenda item to formally recommend to the full Board to close the current retirement system for all new faculty hiring from September, 2012. Anyone hired after October will be in the combination plan. However there is no decision as yet on the plan design.
It was also stated that the Board was scheduled to meet later that day to discuss reducing the number of vendors for those making voluntary retirement contributions. An RFQ has been sent out.
6. Discussion Item: Faculty Representation on University Budget Committee
This issue came out of executive committee’s monthly meetings with the Provost. Two weeks ago, the Senate voted for two members for university budget committee, with a mix up. There is just one vacancy, so Randy Gardner will rotate in once Lannie Solomon rotates off at the end of this year. The clarification is that there are in actuality 3 seats for faculty; and a fourth position that can be ex officio for the Faculty Senate Chair. It will be so recommended to the Provost.
7. General Education Oversight Committee Update
Senator Wyckoff explained that their subcommittees were meeting twice a week to develop the proposal for a 30 hour shared general education experience. These courses will be interdisciplinary.
Meetings are being held with all schools to discuss these plans. One of the aspects is that the thirty hours will likely include a capstone course and these outcomes would be assessed at the Campus level. The Senators from Engineering and Computing were very concerned about their accreditation requirements and then adding 30 more hours. Another question was raised about the budget model. The Provost responded that the tuition money from this budget structure has not yet been released but, units are not realizing as much return because there have been cuts and not as much increase in student enrollment. However, the university is trying to increase the number of students and it is estimated that the student numbers will be doubled by the year 2021 or 2022. The University has hired a vice chancellor for marketing to help achieve this goal. Although some schools are concerned that with this General Education model they may lose enrollments, the Provost thought the reality is more likely that this model is going to make their programs more competitive. These changes are being done for the best interest of students.
The Provost also explained a misunderstanding regarding the introduction of the University College. The University College is basically an academic support unit which will help mentoring and guiding those students who are not able to decide their major. Those students will be expected to declare their majors by the end of fourth semester. This needed support will enable students to graduate at a higher rate. There will also be a model University Success Course to promote retention.
Evidently, the percentage of Freshmen undecided about their major is about 30% or about 300 students per year. And if assumed that they take two years to decide a major, the total number of students who are undecided about the major is 600 students. Also, in this model the Advisor to Student ratio will be small, hence advisors will be able to do a lot more than most of the academic advisors. It was also added that all the schools should approve the model before the University implements it.
8. Three items from IFC: Gary Ebersole
These items are draft policies that IFC would like to pass as soon as possible so that they may be presented to the Curators, possibly at their October meeting. The faculty senate is asked for its support of each. The statements on Program Reviews and Program Assessment were supported with little discussion. The Statement on Academic Freedom, Classroom Discussion and Privacy was a response to the incident last semester in which one of the students gave recorded classroom discussion to a blogger who edited it and put it on the web, misquoting it as promoting violence. That sort of activity will change the campus environment. This policy will provide a ground to act upon the infringement of student behavior that is unacceptable. The Chair suggested that faculty should also require all other students to agree if a student asks if he/she can record in the class. So a line might be put in the syllabus stating that recording without permission is prohibited. A suggestion was raised that there should be an Honor Code at the University level.
9. Other Committee reports
Senator Luppino reported that the Provost has approved the study of the finances of Parking, Housing and Athletics by the University Budget Committee this year. The Faculty Senate Budget Committee continues to track the University Budget for us.
Regarding an attachment that was sent out with the minutes, the Chair explained that this document represented an annual report about IT’s access of faculty computers and the reasons for such. The numbers were in the single digits and had mostly to do with deaths occurring.
The Senate adjourned by 5 p.m.