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Minutes of the Joint Faculty Senate/University Assembly March 20, 2007 Meeting

MINUTES FROM MEETING OF
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
FACULTY SENATE
MARCH 20, 2007
3 P.M. 222 J. C. PENNEY


Dr. Timothy Farmer, Faculty Senate Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.

There were no minutes to approve because the previous meeting was a joint meeting with the University Assembly. Minutes from that meeting (held February 20, 2007) will be considered for approval on April 24, 2007.

Report from the Chairperson - Dr. Timothy Farmer

The Chair reported that the administrative review of the Senate and Assembly is proceeding. As discussed in the most recent Steering Committee meeting, the self-study will be built around three themes: the plethora of standing committees (18); the minute detail contained in our bylaws that, at times, can be constricting; and faculty participation in service activities, in general, and in campus governance, in particular. The Chair expects that the site visit will occur by the end of the current semester or by early summer.

Faculty senators were reminded that 2007-08 representatives are to meet on Tuesday, April 10, 2007, to elect a chairperson, secretary, and the Committee on Committees. In accordance with encouragement in our Operating Rules, candidates for chairperson are asked to inform Joan Arban in advance of the election so that she can share the names with the membership before the April 10th meeting. Self-nominations are welcome.

Report from the Chancellor - Chancellor Thomas George

The Chancellor focused his report on Missouri Senate Bill 389, which takes control of tuition out of the purview of the Curators and places it into the hands of legislators and assigns caps on tuition that are tied to certain parameters, but also which approves the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative, granting the campus $28.5 million for long overdue renovations to Benton and Stadler halls. Stem cell research, a lightening rod for those who oppose enhancements to the life sciences, will not be done in Benton and Stadler, the Chancellor is willing to testify. The Democrats managed to kill Senate Bill 389, but the legislators will return after recess, and they should, in the Chancellor's opinion, hear from us.

Rising to the occasion, Dr. Paul Speck introduced a Resolution in support of Benton and Stadler. On the advice of Dr. E. Terrence Jones, senators agreed to strike a specific mention of the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative because of the source of the money: MOHELA. Dr. Lawrence Barton expressed concern over the document as a whole. He wanted to focus attention on the deplorable and unsafe state of undergraduate laboratories in Benton and Stadler, rather than on research. Dr. Mark Pope questioned if a figure greater than $28.5 million should be inserted into the Resolution, but Chancellor George and Provost Cope assured him that such was the number agreed upon. Dr. Teresa Thiel criticized reference to new technology and new start-up companies, both of which spell stem cell research to legislators. Dr. Joseph Martinich moved to strike this point. His motion was seconded and, after a brief discussion, approved. At the encouragement of several scientists, it was decided that the Resolution would be rewritten by an ad hoc task force to be appointed by the Faculty Senate Chair and would be returned to the Senate for action within 48 hours. The Resolution could then be approved electronically.

Chancellor George reported that efforts are under way in the community to support Benton/Stadler. Dr. Martinich commented on the lamentable state of affairs that would take pricing out of our control. Dr. Matthew Keefer agreed that we should do nothing to support 389, and that we should not break ranks on this issue.

Report from the Intercampus Faculty Council - Dr. Teresa Thiel

(see attached)

Regarding House Bill 213, concern was expressed about the ramifications of having to identify classroom speakers who prefer anonymity. Provost Cope pointed out that the bill was approved only in the House and, if it were passed in the Senate, we would interpret it narrowly to require reporting on speakers in a public place, rather than in individual classrooms. Dr. Thiel reported that there was no discussion at the System-level indicating opposition to 213. Senators discussed the possibility of taking an independent stand against the legislation, but they decided in the end that the fight probably wasn't worth the cost the campus would pay somewhere else.

Report from the Committee on Curriculum and Instruction - Dr. Mark Pope

On behalf of the Committee Dr. Pope noted two corrections to the course action list: TCH ED 3710 and 3711 should read 3210 and 3211, respectively. Faculty senators then approved changes to the B.S. in Education: Special Education and to the B.S. in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering.

When Dr. Pope introduced a motion to approve a new Minor in Urban Education P-5, Dr. Lloyd Richardson inquired if we already offer certification in Urban Education. The answer was negative. Then, he asked, if we don't have a major, why should we have a minor; furthermore, why is the proposal emanating from Teaching and Learning? Dr. Laura Westhoff reported that we are moving away from specialists in reading, math, etc., toward generalists. At the close of the discussion, the Senate voted 4-1 (with many abstentions) to approve the proposal. Dr. Pope urged those with curriculum issues to address them within their department or unit, before the proposal comes to C&I. Dr. Donna Taliaferro was disappointed at the less-than-resounding endorsement of an approved proposal. The Parliamentarian told her that she could have voted "no." But Dr. Taliaferro said she had no information that would have resulted in her voting "no."

The Senate then met in Executive Session to consider a candidate recommended by the Honorary Awards Committee to receive an honorary degree.

In closing, Dr. Mark Pope proposed on the C&I Committee's behalf that adjustments be made to previously-approved commencement dates this year. The adjusted arrangements were approved.

Completing the business at hand, the Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Fred Willman
Faculty Senate Secretary

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