Faculty Senate and University Assembly

Faculty Senate Minutes January 22, 2008

 

MINUTES OF MEETING OF
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
FACULTY SENATE
January 22, 2008
3 p.m. 126 J. C. Penney

The meeting was called to order at 3:02 p.m. The minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting (held December 11, 2007) were accepted as submitted.

Report from the Chairperson - Dr. Timothy Farmer
(see attached)

Report from the Chancellor - Chancellor Thomas George
Chancellor George reported that he was seated next to the incoming President at the "State of the State" address, which included mention of one of our Nursing students, a great honor for the student and for this campus. The address requested across the board increases of 4.2 percent - about what was expected. We have asked for an equity adjustment of 2.6 percent. A total of $38 million was requested for health initiatives across the state, and we will receive a portion of this money.

The Chancellor said he is very optimistic about President Forsee, who will be attending the forthcoming Board of Curators meeting here on January 31 and February 1. The President will return to learn more about the St. Louis campus on February 24 and 25. On the morning of the 25th, Chancellor George will take President Forsee to the Civic Progress meeting.

In closing, the Chancellor reported that HOK is the recommended architect for Benton/Stadler.

Report from the Intercampus Faculty Council - Dr. Teresa Thiel
Dr. Thiel reported that UM has a fraud hotline designed to prevent malfeasance. Faculty are concerned about anonymous complaints, and they have been assured that nothing will be placed on record unless it is found to be true.

It was decided that all students should have one source (i.e., the Provost's Office) to handle their complaints.

Regarding intellectual pluralism, a House bill last year that provided an avenue for students to complain if they feel that different points of view are not allowed in the classroom, it passed the House but not the Senate. It springs from a UMC Introductory Biology course complaint by students that other viewpoints are not presented when discussing evolution. The course was team-taught by two non-tenure-track faculty members. The complaint was very informal, but administrator agreement in classes could lead to a change in the way people teach.

Senate Bill 389 passed. A state law requires us to provide information on anyone who teaches a course. The plan is that there will be a website that will provide name, rank, degree, and any other pertinent information a faculty member desires. This information must be provided in April for fall registrations. The Senate Committee on the Assessment of Educational Outcomes is working to develop five questions about course evaluations that can be used by everyone.

The Provost explained that if a student makes a complaint, we now have a Student Advocate in the Provost's Office. Tanisha Stevens will examine complaints and determine which need to be seen by Provost Cope and which just can be referred through the normal process. She will first determine if the student has gone to the faculty member about the problem; then she will direct it through usual channels unless it requires the Provost's immediate attention. Tanisha is Student Advocate in the sense that she is seeing that the student's complaint is heard, not in the sense of championing the student's view. While Tanisha is on maternity leave, Lori Morgan will assume this duty.

The Provost reported that SB389 is not live yet. At the appropriate time, faculty will be asked to check the information provided on them by PeopleSoft.

Report from the Committee on the Assessment of Educational Outcomes - Dr. Judith Cochran
Dr. Cochran reported that her committee as well as the Academic Advisory Committee both have been asked to consider what questions should be included in our response to SB389. A number of faculty members from various units have made presentations, and this effort continues. She reported that the only people able to see information on a faculty member will be those who are considering taking the course in question. Dr. Cochran encouraged senators to visit the Senate website at: www.umsl.edu/committees/senate/committees/07-08_aeo_committee.htm, where current information about the Committee's activities are posted.

The Senate then met in Executive Session to consider a candidate proposed to receive an honorary degree.

Completing the business at hand, the meeting adjourned at 4 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Fred Willman
Faculty Senate Secretary

(minutes written by Ms. Joan M. Arban,
Executive Assistant to the Faculty Senate Chairman)