Approved Minutes | download as PDF
January 17, 2012
Plaza Room, Administrative Center, 3 p.m.
Present: Ebersole, Ward-Smith, McArthur, Stancel, Burnett, Wyckoff, Plamann, Gardner, Taylor, Durig, Peng, Ellinghausen, Lyne, McDaniels, Thiagarajan, Madison-Cannon, Sherburn, Holt, Nickel, Odom, O’Brien, Luppino, Sykes Berry, Alleman, Gerkovich, Hermanns, Krantz, Stanley, Fincham
Excused: Sohraby, Butner, Igwe
Guests: Chancellor Morton, Provost Hackett, Vice President of Human Resources Betsy Rodriquez and Kelley Stuck, UM Faculty and Staff Benefits
Welcome and Informational items
1. The Board of Curators will be at UMKC Feb. 2-3. The Faculty Senate will sponsor a breakfast on Friday. Senators are invited so be sure to respond when the invitation is broadcast. In preparation is a composite program on Community Engagement.
2. February 6-7 the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates will be meeting in Jefferson City for its Legislative Day.
3. The Chair challenged the Senators to nominate persons for the Presidential Awards whose deadlines are Jan. 20th.
4. The IFC report on Domestic Partner Benefits will be on the faculty senate website tomorrow.
Approval of Agenda
There is one change to the agenda. Cindy Pemberton is ill so her presentation will be at the next meeting. With no other changes, the Senators accepted the agenda by acclamation.
Approval of Minutes
Because the draft minutes of the December meeting were disseminated just today, they will be considered at the next meeting.
The Chancellor spoke about the expansion of the Bloch School which will eliminate the Chancellor’s Residence. He reminded the Senators that the 2008 Master Plan called for elimination of the residence. He promised that the Facilities Committee will work hard to look for alternatives to accommodate the types of events that had made use of the Chancellor’s Residence. In addition, materials from the Chancellor’s Residence will be commemorated in the new building; the stained glass window, stonework and patio, etc., will be re-purposed as best as can be. The rest of the materials will most likely go to ReStore. Art from the residence will be inventoried and follow the new policy for acceptance.
The Chair expressed disappointment that the Facilities Committee was not involved in the decision to take down the Chancellor’s Residence. The normal forms of communication with elected faculty and staff wasn’t utilized.
The Chancellor didn’t know much about state support for higher education in the future. But as the State of the State address by the Governor is this evening, more may become clear. The Chancellor did assure the Senate that the Governor’s proposal to borrow money from the University Reserves to loan money to support community colleges is now off the table.
The Provost offered an update on the Dean search for Arts & Sciences. The airport interviews happened this weekend. The committee is on track to have campus interviews in mid February.
The Provost noted that the Chair has been bugging Vice Provost Linda Bonewald about the consultants’ report on strategic directions for the research enterprise. The Report with Advisory Council responses is now posted on the Provost’s website, on the front page. Now the report goes to the Deans and to the Senate for feedback.
The General Education Oversight Committee is still working on models. Six models are being considered according to Senator Wyckoff. The GEOC is aiming for a mid February presentation to the Senate.
Regarding an update on performance funding, the University is still being treated as a system. The Provost provided a hand out that illustrated the measures the UM System is considering.
Senator Peng asked what is being done about the fact that Missouri just became an EPSCOR state this year. The Provost didn’t know.
Defined Contribution and Tax Deferred Investment Project: Betsy Rodriquez Kelley Stuck
Betsy Rodriquez reported that the Domestic Partner policy may be making a little bit of progress. The Board of Curators will take up the discussion in February because benefit eligibility does go before Board. It will not be an action item yet. The Chair gave a quick thank you to Nancy Stancel and Carole McArthur who gathered lots of information from Kansas City.
Rodriquez is making the same presentation she did for the Board of Curators in December. The BOC decided to have a Master Administrator for the new retirement plan that starts in October 2012. She reports that there is a huge change in the 403Bs administration creating massive fiduciary and reporting responsibilities under applicable tax regulations. Fee disclosure is now required. As the individual investor now is paying retail fees, she is convinced that this plan saves employees money. 23% of employees participate in such plans. The old plan permits selections from 10 vendors, 872 funds. The Retirement Staff Benefits committee is still wrestling with these decisions. Karen Bame and Joe Singer are the UMKC representatives on the committee.
Some other points made by Vice President Rodriquez in her presentation and in her responses to questions included:
- While the absolute number of investment options may be less under the new contemplated system, there would still be a wide array of options.
- It is not anticipated that the University will experience an increase in its expenses (such as number of University employees needed) in administering the retirement plans as a result of soon having different plans for existing employees and for new hires, and the Master Administrator approach.
- There is no currently proposed increase in the required contribution of existing employees to the retirement fund. If there is a cut to higher education to the 2001 level of state support, that cut would be very devastating. But increasing employee contributions is low on the list of actions that might be taken. But Vice President Rodriquez cautioned that she never says never.
Dean’s Evaluation Process
Senator Madison-Cannon asked senators how the Dean’s Evaluation process worked in their units. Was the response rate low? Senator Sykes Berry noted that they were not unreasonably low. Some units had 90%. Some sent reminders to their faculty about the evaluations. Evidently in the Conservatory there was some confusion about why the evaluation was coming from the Senate, some concern for privacy, some concern about the ‘fit’ of some of the questions and whether the surveys mattered.
Senator Sykes Berry explained that about three years ago the survey was redone through the Administrative Issues Committee and vetted with the Senate. She reassured the senators that there is no way she can see who wrote what. She can only tell who responded.
Participation increases when faculty are convinced it will have impact or if they are dissatisfied. The range of responses was from 17% to 93%. An idea was suggested that the Dean could send out a notice and reminder that the survey is important. The Chair noted that it appears that the Deans are not all following through and addressing the full range of responses. Deans are given directions to guide their response to faculty. Senators can invite an executive committee member to attend when the Dean is scheduled to report so as to observe the compliance with the process. There is not a template for the Faculty Chair report.
A concern was raised that the Provost sent her own survey out immediately after the one from the Senate, which could undermine the importance of the Senate’s efforts. The executive committee will bring this up with her to discuss.*
Senator Fincham recognized the magnitude of work Senator Sykes Berry and Vice Chair Ward-Smith put into this project and how frustrating it must be not to see it working as it should.
Other Committee Reports
Senator Wyckoff said that the Research Advisory Council has not met.
Senator Peng re-iterated the importance for UMKC that Missouri is a newly designated Epscor state (October 1, 2011). He is shocked that there is no effort to go for the pot of money. He will send an email on that and the Chair will carry it to IFC.
The Chair introduces Laurie Ellinghausen, from English in the College of A&S, serving as a replacement for Scott Baker who is on leave this semester.
The Chair reminded the Senators to review the changes proposed for the Standing Operating Procedures and send suggestions to Vice Chair Ward-Smith.
The Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
*The Provost clarified [at the Feb. 7th Senate meeting] that her survey is part of her 360 evaluation process of Deans and not intended to conflict with the faculty survey. It turns out that only the Librarians received the Provost’s survey which was a mix up concerning faculty –staff status.