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University Assembly and Faculty Senate Minutes March 17, 2009

University Assembly and Senate Minutes
March 17, 2009

Assembly Meeting

The Assembly meeting was called to order at 3:04 p.m. by Chair, Matthew Keefer.
The agenda was amended to include aa report from the UM System Benefits Committee (Joe Martinich)

The minutes from the February meeting were approved as distributed

Chair's Report

The chair provided an update on the pension fund and the resolution passed at the previous meeting. He reported on support from other campuses. 3 other campus chairs were contacted via e-mail after which a follow up telephone call was made. The MU chair consulted his executive council which chose not to support the "strongly worded" resolution.

UMKC agreed with the process and concerns. Tom Phillips responded to 9 points: 1) did not wish to revisit the issue, 2) faculty response had already been received by the Board, 3-6) MU agreed with these points, 7-9) felt there was too much constraint.

On March 4th, Matt Keefer was contacted by the staff in President Forsee's office to get a final draft of the resolution.

Matt presented a campus report last at the most recent IFC meeting. The other campuses also mentioned their concerns. He also stated that the process (future) needs to be put down on paper.

Joe Martinich has been doing an excellent job of educating the various campus groups about Cash Balance Retirement Programs. The chair indicated a need to continue to educate the campus about the dangers of a Cash Balance Plan.

Zulema Tang Martinez asked if the resolution had been sent to the president. (answer is yes)

Lynn Staley asked if the stabilization fund is tied to salary increases? (expanded as we contribute to the fund, yes)

Budget and Planning Committee and Focus Issues (Endsley Jones)

See Attachment A.

Dr. Jones thanked the administration for allowing shared governance in the process.

There is a tentative agreement between the Governor and the College/University Presidents that if there is no tuition increase, the next budget will remain flat.

The budget reductions reflected in Attachment A have been reviewed over the past 3 meetings. Items 1-14 are targeted cuts. The remaining cuts (15-22) are opportunistic or across the board cuts.

This is a temporary approach. Positions lost would be revisited. Operating expenses cut will also be revisited.

Terry Thiel questioned (#15) the shift from rate support to non-rate income. Will the largest part of $200,000 come from Colleges? The Provost indicated that Continuing Education funding structure would be shifted so the $200,000 does not come from the Colleges. (The process will change.)

Dr. Thiel also expressed concern about CE profit sharing (currently 50/50) changing to the disadvantage of the individual Colleges. The Provost responded that this was not the intention.

Matt Keefer asked if these reductions would affect internal grants. The response was that it is not clear yet.

The body unanimously approved the endorsement of the budget report.

UM Benefits and Compensation Committee (Joe Martinich)

The 1st meeting was held last Thursday. The focus was on implementation details of changes in the pension plan.

The committee voted to change the currently capped 2/9 salary for summer (as counted toward retirement) to 3/9.

It is still unresolved what will happen to employee contributions when an employee leaves before being vested.

Future issues for the committee include, more participation and transparency with regard to the investments of the pension fund.

Announcements: There will be a Staff Association town hall meeting this Friday at 12:15. Dr. Martinich will speak about pension plans. The meeting will be held at 11 am in the Century Room, MSC.

The Provost indicated that a faculty member can always buy back in to the pension plan if they leave the campus then return. Joe Martinich indicated that this could be very expensive.

The Assembly meeting was adjourned at 3:42.

Senate Meeting

The Senate meeting was called to order by chair, Matthew Keefer at 3:50 p.m.

Report of the Chair (Matthew Keefer)

The focus of the meeting will be on budget cuts. Hard work is ahead of us yet with issues such as vertical cuts. The process should be tied closely to the strategic plan and mission. Dr. Keefer referred to a quote from the Provost's budget cut report. Dr. Keefer also indicated that he wants the Senate to take an active role in the program review process.

Chancellor's Report

The Chancellor doesn't anticipate a withholding this FY. (We are prepared for a 5% cost cut.)

Chris Spilling asked if we are likely to see withholding based on lower enrollments. (Answer: probably not)

Performance measures will be reported this week as will budget cuts. UM has asked for a sub-set of the President's 82 measures.

  1. maintaining diversity of faculty, staff and students
  2. promote regional economic development (Express Scripts has completed and occupied a 2nd building in UMSL's Business, Technology and Research Park. UMSL opened an incubator in north St. Louis County to support information technology and life-science start-up businesses. Its first tenant is Binarydock. Leases for two other tenants are currently under review.
  3. Maintaining and increased private giving. There is a $70 million target for gifts and contracts.
  4. increasing scholarship support for talent and need.
  5. revamped Freshman scholarship program. Applications are up 5-9%.
  6. increasing learning opportunities outside traditional classrooms.
  7. increase marketing effectiveness.
  8. Maintaining University/Community partnerships.

There were no questions for the Chancellor.

Curriculum and Instruction Committee Report (Michael Allison)

The following program changes were unanimously approved:

  1. Economics Program change (Mark Pope indicated that he was not happy with the rationale.)
  2. Computer Science BA
  3. Public Policy Administration BS (Zulema Tang-Martinez asked if courses are already being taught-yes)
  4. Business PhD (These questions were asked: What will keep everyone from choosing option B?-the PhD core and advising. Is there a rationale? - alternatives are provided. Mark Pope asked why a PhD vs a DBA.-the College wanted a research oriented degree.)
  5. MBA

Academic Advisory Committee (Tim Farmer)

A motion from the committee was sent out with the agenda for this meeting.

Student absence policy is being examined. Chris Spilling asked: Should there be a limit to the number of absences a student can have? There is a concern about the focus not being on student responsibility. A statement about the number of absences should be included.

Zulema Tang-Martinez proposed an amendment that would require the professor to write a refusal if the student is not allowed to make up an absence. Discussion about the amendment ensued. The discussion indicated that the faculty already has that right. Paul Speck spoke to the need for improved language. The amendment failed.

The original motion passed unanimously.

IFC Report (Paul Speck)

Dr. Speck reported on the following 5 points that have been discussed by IFC.

  1. There is an attempt to get the President to make a commitment for the intended use of the pension fund. The President indicated that his intent is to use that fund only for benefits and salary.
  2. Stimulus money-would this be used to fill in the Lewis and Clark funding

gaps? Priority is currently for Benton-Statler project and one other in KC.

  1. President Forsee wants faculty help with lobbying from students (solicited by the faculty). This lobbying effort would be related to 3 issues: Missouri access, health care for Missourians, and state government pension merger. The Chancellor indicated that he has not discussed this point with UM.
  2. Academic honesty policy is still pending.
  3. Textbook offer to faculty re customization. Is this ethical?

The Senate moved into executive session at 4:52 to discuss honorary degrees.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:55.

Respectfully submitted,
Fred Willman signature

Fred Willman, Secretary