Minutes of the Joint Meeting of the
University of Missouri-St. Louis
University Assembly and Faculty Senate
April 28, 2009 - 3 p.m.
JCPenney Summit Lounge
The joint meeting of the University Assembly and Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:07 p.m. by Chair, Dr. Matthew Keefer.
Dr. Keefer asked for approval of the minutes of the last meeting. At that time, there was discussion about the size of the e-mailed documents that were sent in preparation for the meeting. The attachments were large in size and caused some e-mail accounts to be overloaded. To solve that problem, Dr. Keefer responded that next year's documents may be posted on the Faculty Senate website. Attendees could then review the documents and download them as needed, thereby relieving any problems with their e-mail service.
Minutes from the March 17, 2009 meeting were approved as distributed.
Report of the Chairperson, Dr. Matthew Keefer:
The chair addressed two items:
Update on the Board of Curators meetings and benefits changes:
Dr. Keefer summarized some of the details that have recently occurred regarding the benefit changes. At the last board of curators meeting, Curator Erdman suggested that his subcommittee meet in the summer to discuss the benefits plan and the potential changes to its structure. This suggestion was agreed to and he invited all the board of curators to participate. The upcoming meeting raised some concern among IFC members at all campuses. A large amount of e-mail messages were exchanged between Dr. Keefer and other campus representatives during this process. I wanted to ensure that President Forsee knew UM faculty's concerns and that these concerns would be expressed to the board of curators. Dr. Keefer commented that a change in policy was occurring, but the policy was not clearly worked out. Dr. Keefer said it was important that UMSL be consulted about any policy change. At a recent IFC meeting, the UMSL IFC representatives had an opportunity to express their views. Dr. Paul Speck, as the IFC representative, delivered the faculty's viewpoint. Specifically they were concerned with three issues:
1.) Employee contributions - what the parameters are going to be in regard to what the university contributes (7-9%), understanding that there would be variation in the employee amount of contribution depending on financial information. The university's contribution needs to be more formalized.
2.) Use of the stabilization funds. Since the faculty and staff are creating part of the wealth through their own contribution, the disbursement of the funds needs to be articulated more clearly.
3.) A clear message was expressed - the faculty of the University of Missouri is strongly opposed to any changes in the design of the benefits plan.
Dr. Keefer explained that there was also some concern regarding the next board of curators meeting in the summer. After the IFC meeting with President Forsee, he did not believe that any significant changes would be made at the summer meeting, but that the current Faculty Senate would be contacted by e-mail or phone during the summer if the need arose.
Dr. Paul Speck commented that UM faculty's opposition to the change in design of the benefits plan was not presented as a challenge to the president. Dr. Speck said we just wanted him to know that there was no doubt about the faculty's position on this issue.
Dr. Keefer recognized Dr. Joe Martinich as a new member of the benefits plan committee. Dr. Keefer said that Joe does a great job of representing UMSL on this committee. We appreciate his service. The University Assembly has good communication with this committee and that is important for our campus. Joe Martinich reported that the benefits committee is meeting in July before the board of curators meeting. At that time, the committee will have input about the benefits plan before it is presented to the board.
Update on Concealed Weapons Issue:
Dr. Keefer reported that the IFC supported President Forsee on his position on concealed weapons on campus. Mark Pope made the following motion on behalf of the UMSL University Assembly:
The University Assembly, representing the faculty, students, and staff of the
University of Missouri - Saint Louis, supports the position of University of
Missouri System President Gary Forsee against legislation that would allow
firearms onto a University of Missouri campus. In addition, we are strongly
opposed to all legislative attempts to permit concealed firearms to be carried
on our UMSL campus. We believe that the safety of our students, staff, and
faculty would be compromised if this legislation would become law.
There was some discussion about the issue, but there was no opposition. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
Report of the Chancellor, Dr. Thomas George:
Chancellor George reported that there were three exciting announcements this week:
- Vicki Sauter will be presented with a 2009 Gateway to Innovation Award tomorrow during the Gateway to Innovation Conference at the Chase Park Plaza. She is being honored for her work through the high school outreach programs, Imagine IT and Xtreme IT.
- The Criminology and Criminal Justice department's doctoral program ranks 4th nationally in the latest edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools" from U.S. News & World Report. CCJ is alone in 4th place, having been tied at that position in past years.
- Chancellor George introduced Curators' Professor Bob Ricklefs and announced that he was just elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Ricklefs is the first UMSL recipient of this award and we are very proud of his accomplishment.
Chancellor George talked about Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the campus on April 17. The vice president was on campus to discuss access/affordability to higher education for the middle class. He also highlighted our institution for our association with community colleges. The vice president's visit attracted national attention when it was featured on "60 Minutes" Sunday night.
Our first Alumni weekend was held on April 17-18 and it was a success. More than 500 alumni and guests came to the event.
The chancellor congratulated the campus on the Relay for Life event. It raised more than $28,000 for the Cancer Society. UMSL again raised more than the Columbia campus.
Chancellor George gave an update on legislative issues:
- UMSL will maintain its operating budget at FY2009 level - $61 million.
- We are hoping to hear good news about House Bill 19 which would provide funding for the Benton-Stadler projects.
- Access Missouri Scholarships doesn't appear to be moving forward. This proposal would have equalized the amount of need-based scholarships given to students attending both public and private colleges.
- The support for Caring for Missourians is uncertain. This money would benefit our optometry and nursing programs.
- House Joint Resolution 32 is also uncertain. The resolution would include funding for an Optometry-Nursing building as part of a bond proposal.
Questions for the Chancellor:
Dr. Zuleyma Tang-Martinez asked if the concealed weapons bill has passed. (It passed in the House, but not in the Senate yet.)
Dr. Paul Speck asked about a funding item he heard on KWMU about UMSL.
(Chancellor George was not familiar with that item.)
Dr. Zuleyma Tang-Martinez asked if the campus has taken steps regarding the Swine flu.
(Provost Glen Cope responded that the University Health Services does have a plan for dealing with the Swine flu. They will take action if needed.)
Report from Student Government Association, Grace Marie Ritter:
Elections were held for the Student Government Association officers for 2009-2010. The new officers are as follows: President: GraceMarie Ritter; Vice President: Greg Meyer;
and Comptroller: Dan Rosner
At the last board of curators meeting, the student representatives from all the campuses made their selection for student curator and sent the ranking to the Governor. The student curator will be selected from the Rolla campus. GraceMarie said they hope to have the results of the student curator selection at the June meeting.
Report from Staff Association, Steffanie Rockette
Steffanie reported that this year more staff members were involved with the staff association and its committees than previous years.
The Staff Association gives back to the university by raising money for the John Perry Scholarship Fund. This year $4,500 was raised at trivia night. The holiday bazaar also raised $1,500. These funds will help four students next year who will benefit from the John Perry Scholarship.
Steffanie stated that Triton Connect is becoming useful as a way for staff, faculty and students to stay connected. Triton Connect is an on-line message board for campus personnel to use for a variety of topics.
Thanks to staff reporting good tips to campus police through the Triton Watch program, the staff and campus police helped to prevent petty thefts and car thefts on south campus.
Elections for Staff Association officers will be taking place in May.
Vice Chancellor of Advancement, Martin Leifeld
Martin Leifeld provided an update on the UMSL KWMU move to Grand Center. The site for Grand Center is adjacent to KETC, just off Grand Ave. It is envisioned that a 3-story building will be built for the university. KWMU would use 2/3 of the building; the other 1/3 would be used for educational programming and community engagement kinds of activities. Grand Center has truly partnered with the university. Chancellor Tom George is on the Grand Center board. They have given the land to the university.
Approximately $6 million dollars has been raised for this project. Another $6 million is still needed. Naming rights for the building are another fundraising opportunity.
Vice Chancellor Leifeld reported some recent facts about KWMU:
Last week KWMU had their spring membership drive which ended with a campaign record of $248,000 with total dollars up 34% over last year. The number of gifts were up 69%. First-time memberships grew by 92% over last year. Also, the winter 2009 Arbitron survey results showed that KWMU had its best market share in history - 4.1% in St. Louis market - 15% increase in weekly audience for the station. KWMU is moving in the right direction.
Vice Chancellor Leifeld introduced Susan Cahan and Pat Dolan who have been working on the development of the academic programs at Grand Center. Susan Cahan reported that they were pleased with the faculty proposals they received for the use of space at Grand Center. The proposals were rated on the following criteria: effectiveness, partnerships, innovation, visibility, integrated approaches to teaching, and financial feasibility. Susan explained that the Grand Center has enormous possibilities including three-way collaboration between UMSL, KETC and KWMU, as well as opportunities for more partnerships, more intern opportunities and a new media facility. She will prepare a detailed report for Provost Cope about this project.
Athletics Committee Report, Dr. Joseph Martinich
The Athletics Committee would like to report to this assembly twice a year to keep this group apprised of what's happening with Athletics. Joe Martinich gave some background about funding for athletics as it exists for an NCAA Division II school like UMSL. In Division II, 80% of revenues comes from student fees, 20% comes from gate sales, fundraisers, concessions, sponsorships, etc. The money is used for salaries for coaches, scholarships, travel, health insurance, and equipment. Currently 170 of our student athletes pay full tuition. Athletics is actually a money-maker, not a drain of campus resources.
Joe introduced Lori Flanagan, Director of Athletics. She talked about raising the level of excellence in athletics. She said the cumulative grade point average of our athletes is higher than the average UMSL student. Also, the athletics department will reach their goal of 1,000 community service hours this year. She also highlighted the UMSL women's golfer who is going to the NCAA Division II Women's golf championships. The UMSL women's softball team is conference champions and will be in the NCAA tournament which hasn't been done in 20 years.
Dr. Sheilah Clarke-Ekong spoke as part of the Athletics Committee. She said that the committee's goal is to serve as a check and balance system for athletics. The Advisory committee guides the director and coaches, always making sure that UMSL is in compliance with regulations. Sheilah commented that the athletes of the year make all of us proud.
There being no other business, the Assembly meeting was adjourned at 3:55.
Faculty Senate Meeting
The Senate meeting was called to order by chair, Dr. Matthew Keefer at 4:00 p.m.
The Curriculum and Instruction Committee Report was presented by Michael Allison.
All of the action items proposed by the committee were approved by the Senate. Attention was called to various course changes/additions/deletions that were approved by the committee.
Mark Pope suggested a change in the B.S. in Business Administration, Emphasis in International Business. He asked that it be amended by removing the wording "missionary work" from the list of categories. The amendment passed.
IFC Report, Dr. Paul Speck:
Dr. Paul Speck gave a brief report from the IFC. UM System Vice President Gary Allen brought forward a request for IFC to deal with some issues regarding intellectual property. The intellectual property rights deals with the issue of coursework or materials that are developed for the web. Paul Speck noted that a committee had convened 7 or 8 years ago to address this issue, but now the language seems inadequate. The topic of who owns the rights to material related to the development of coursework will be addressed by the IFC this year or early next year. The question was brought forward because a faculty member had developed coursework at one institution and then left that institution. A decision needs to be made about who owns the rights to that material or coursework. Did the faculty member have the right to use it at the new institution? Does the college have the right to hire someone else to use their material? As coursework and technology is progressing, both the faculty and the university need to be clear on where the rights are regarding this issue.
Chair Matt Keefer applauded Paul Speck for the great job he did this year as the chair of IFC at a very important time.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
(minutes written by Loyola Harvey, Faculty Senate Office)