Meeting 2                                                                                                     August 29, 2007

 

 

University of Central Missouri

Faculty Senate Minutes

 

 

The Faculty Senate meeting was called to order at 3:21 p.m. in Union 237A with President Jack Rogers presiding.

 

ROLL CALL:

 

In addition to FS President Rogers, the following 21 senators were present:

Bouzouita, Bowman, Callahan, Davis, Ely, Geiger, Kangas, Liu, Neal, Norwood, Popejoy, Robins, Rogers, Sarkar, Schmidt, Smith, Stevenson, Thomas, Tropf, Wenger, and Williamson. Also present was Provost George Wilson and Parliamentarian Cheryl Riley.

 

MINUTES:

 

A motion was made by Senator Ely, seconded by Senator Sarkar which passed unanimously to approve the minutes of meeting 12 of the 2006-2007 Faculty Senate held on April 18, 2007.

A motion was made by Senator Kangas, seconded by Senator Neal which passed unanimously to approve the minutes of meeting 1 of the 2007-2008 Faculty Senate held on April 18, 2007.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

Provost Wilson stated that the FS had asked him to work with the faculty to review general education and develop a process to evaluate and restructure the general education program.  It is being worked on and they are not ready to report. 

There is a meeting of the Chief Academic Officers from the state universities on Friday August 31st, 2007. The primary topics are issues from Senate Bill 389.

Provost Wilson thanked the faculty for working with the new enrollment validation process.

 

Senator Callahan brought concerns from some faculty about funding for higher education and stated that the state is now ranked 47th, and wanted to know how we can raise ourselves above that.

Wilson stated that the President is on the committee that is working on developing state funding guidelines, and their first priority is to focus on the state legislature increasing the total amount of money put into public higher education. Their second priority is to come up with a method for distributing funds to various institutions.

 

Senator Popejoy called attention to two items from the Provost’s Advisory Council. It appears there is a problem with university approved absences for athletes. It appears that faculty are not receiving adequate information from the coaches of student athletes. Mike Grelle will be discussing the issue with Kathy Anderson, the point person in the athletic department.

The second issue was student tech fee distribution. The numbers are available for making the distribution, but at this point, it is not clear which courses do or do not include student tech fees. The Deans have been given the option to distribute the initial portion of the fee now and the rest when the distributions are determined, or wait until everything has been sorted out.

Senator Popejoy reminded the senate that the report of the Governor’s Task Force on campus security as well as the draft mission and goals for the university strategic plan has been distributed.

Senator Popejoy announced that two major items discussed over the summer were flat rate tuition and merit pay. Provost Wilson stated that there is talk about going to a flat rate tuition system but, it is just discussion at this point.

 

Senator Popejoy reported that he represents the FS on the University Master Planning Committee and that this summer they reviewed architects and invited four finalists to make proposals to the campus. After the campus presentations, a final selection will be made. 

 

Faculty Senate President Rogers stated that he had three items to discuss.

Two years ago, an initiative was started to develop a place on campus where people, students, staff, and faculty could get together to express themselves - a speaker’s corner. The University Council reviewed this idea and said that nothing needs to change in terms of policy, so a proposal was developed and a location selected (NE corner of Martin building.) Design students were asked for some concepts and that will be presented to the President's Cabinet. We hope to get this up and running soon.

 

During a FSEC meeting, Senator Sarkar brought up the idea that there is only $600 for a faculty person to attend a conference or to do professional travel. Sometimes faculty do not use the money set aside for them and Senator Sarkar wondered if a faculty member might "dip" twice if there was still money left in the fund? Provost Wilson stated that this would be a good thing to look into. FS President Rogers asked Senator Sarkar to volunteer to head up an ad hoc committee to look into this issue. He is selecting faculty members and will probably create a task force to look at the scholarly activity fund and see if there is a better way to manage it.

 

FS President Rogers stated that he meet with the Presidents of the Support Staff Council and the Professional Staff Council. President Podolefsky urged them to get together and talk about things that all three governance groups have in common. One of the items discussed was putting together a task force for compensation. Rather than having a plan for all three, the campus could have one for the campus as a whole. Some elements will be the same and some will be different depending on whether you are faculty, professional staff or support staff.

Senator Ely asked if the SGA has started meeting yet. FS President Rogers said that they have not held a meeting yet but when they do, they would provide a schedule. Senators are encouraged to sign up to attend at least one of their meetings so we will know what is important to our student governance group.

 

Senator Ely stated that he would defer his SPRC report until the agenda item to discuss the mission and goals statement.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

FS President Rogers presented Motion 2007-2008-2 regarding a Merit Plan Deadline.

Last year, the FS passed a motion that recommended to the President that 70% of whatever funds were available for faculty raises would be allocated towards across the board raises, 15% for market and 15% to fund the merit pay plan. President Podolefsky accepted this motion. The President set this money aside in order to allow time to develop merit plans. The idea was that each department would come up with a merit plan. Over the summer the Provost's Advisory Council, the Deans, and many of the department chairs expressed concern about being able to come up with a merit pay plan in time to get things rolling by the spring semester. The other issue that came up was because we had taken money and set it aside for faculty raises, most faculty received a 2.45% across the board raises, whereas people on campus who are not eligible for a merit system, got 3.5%. Faculty actually got the whole 3.5% but it has not been allocated yet. Department chairs received 2.95% (3.5% less the 15% allocated to market.)

The first motion, 2007-2008-2, recommends all academic departments submit their merit pay plans to their respective Deans on or before December 1, 2007 or revert to a college approved plan. The logic behind this is that if we do not set a deadline, some departments may take more time since some of the faculty does not want to participate in the merit pay system.

The second motion, 2007-2008-3 is to recommend to the President that he take the money that was set aside for merit pay for this year and allocate it to across the board raises. This would bring the 2.45% up for most faculty members to the 3.5%.

Provost Wilson reminded everyone that 15% for the 3.5% has been distributed so it is right at about 3%.

The Deans have expressed their concern that the money can't be awarded retroactively if we don't have a merit plan in place.

FS President Rogers asked if there was further discussion on Motion 2007-2008-2.

Senator Geiger asked FS President Rogers if the December 1st deadline would be enough time to put this plan together.

Provost Wilson stated that if you come up with a plan and you don't like it, it can be changed the next year. Dean Sluder was a member of the gallery and he was recognized by the President and asked to speak addressing the December 1st deadline. Dean Sluder stated that the December 1st deadline is fine if that is what the FS decides to do.

Senator Kangas stated that he has talked to some faculty and they have concerns about merit pay. They feel that when it comes out of other peoples’ salaries directly, it divides people. He can't find anyone he works with that supports a merit plan at any stage right now. They are disappointed and feel that at the very least, they loose 1/2%.

Senator Geiger replied that the Faculty Guide includes a Board of Governors approved plan that included the three elements of base pay, merit pay, and market pay. Under this plan, there would be certain faculty members within colleges that would be making more so it is not something where everyone looses. There is a chance that any of the faculty within the department could actually make more than they are making now.

 

Senator Thomas asked if we know how much money is set aside. Provost Wilson stated that there is about $109,000.

Senator Popejoy stated that the December 1st deadline is the longest we can wait to get criteria together and still make an award in the spring. You cannot establish a merit plan without knowing the criteria first.

Dean Sluder was invited to take the floor again and he stated that he supported the spirit of the amendment and that all colleges will have a default plan if the departments do not come up with a plan themselves.

Senator Davis asked if it would be a problem to move the deadline to March. Popejoy replied that we are trying to put criteria in place for this year for money that will be added to next year's salary. The second motion deals with what we are going to do with last year's merit money.

Senator Popejoy clarified that Motion 2007-2008-2 would affect 07-08 pay amount and Motion 2007-2008-3 is for the 06-07 pay amount. They are linked together because we are trying to get the process started. Senator Neal and Senator Sarkar agreed that a plan should be in place instead of just spreading it across the board. Senator Callahan stated that she thinks the concern of the faculty is that if people took money from the across the board raise to fund this, a plan which is not in place, everyone was penalized for a plan that has not been developed. FS President Rogers replied that he doesn't think that anyone has been penalized because the money is still there.

FS President Rogers stated that professional staff and support staff don't have merit pay or market pay and they have different salary structure so they get the flat 3.5% where as faculty have a more complicated salary compensation package.

Senator Callahan stated that she wanted this to be on record that the faculty are the income generators on this campus and asked FS President Rogers if professional staff and support staff are income generators.

Senator Kangas called point of order and called the question, seconded by Senator Sarkar.

FS President Rogers asked for all in favor of ending debate on this motion.

For: 17             Opposed: 2                  Abstentions: 0   Discussion ended.

 

A vote for motion 2007-2008-2 resulted in the following:

-PASSED-      For: 14             Opposed: 6                  Abstentions: 0             (2007-2008-2)

 

FS President Rogers presented motion 2007-2008-3 regarding merit pay fund reallocation. If you vote in favor of this motion, any money set aside will be added to and distributed as across the board salary raises. If you vote against it, the money will be held until merit plans have been decided.

Senator Popejoy explained the reason behind this motion is that the Executive Committee felt it was too late to release the current merit money based on performance because it is past the performing period. We had no criteria and it does not make sense to go back and look at past performance to apply to the current 15%, so the best we can do is release it for across the board and then go forward with merit pay plans.

 

Senator Thomas asked for clarification on "across the board". FS President Rogers stated that some get it and some don't. Thomas asked if it will be a dollar amount distributed equally or a percentage of salary. FS President Rogers replied that it is a percentage.

 

Senator Kangas made a friendly amendment, seconded by Senator Wenger to add the words (in bold) to motion 07-08-3, to state that:

 

Be it therefore resolved that: the Faculty Senate recommends to President Podolefsky that all funds set aside for merit pay in the 2007-2008 budget be added to and distributed as across-the-board raises to that group of faculty who received 2.45% or less. 

 

We are voting on only the amendment to adding the phrase to motion 2007-2008-3.

 

-PASSED-      For: 18             Opposed: 1            Abstention(s): 1        (2007-2008-3                                                                                                                            Amendment)

 

FS President Rogers asked if there was further discussion on motion 07-08-3.

Senator Schmidt asked, "What would happen if FS didn't recommend any allocation for merit at the end of this year, and is there some other way this would be funded?" Senator Schmidt also expressed his concern that he feels that this raise could turn into the permanent thing at UCM, for the people that are not really in a position to qualify for, for one reason or another, merit pay.

Senator Schmidt asked Provost Wilson if there are other ways to fund merit.

Provost Wilson replied that the President decides how much money is going to be allocated for what and how it will be allocated. Each year, the President has asked the Faculty Senate to make recommendations for him to consider. Ultimately, the President decides on issues of salary and compensation.

Provost Wilson also stated that we have a policy that says we will have a system that has across the board, market, and merit pay and the current system we have in place was developed and approved by faculty.

FS President Rogers said that in the past, the FS has just asked for across the board raises so there was no merit pay. We are either going to have to come up with some way to fund merit pay or scratch the merit idea. Some people don't like merit pay and others want to effect their bottom line with a merit system.

Provost Wilson reminded everyone that President Podolefsky has to stay within the Board policy. 

Senator Kangas stated that it is apparent that funding merit is a problem. There were different raise amounts given at this University and it has caused some hard feelings.

Senator Sarkar stated that he believes there should be separate pools for across the board, merit, and market pay. 

 

Senator Schmidt called the question, seconded by Senator Sarkar.

FS President Rogers asked all in favor of ending debate on this motion and the debate was ended by a unanimous vote.

 

A vote for motion 2007-2008-3 resulted in the following:

 

-PASSED-      For: 18             Opposed: 2                  Abstentions: 0             (2007-2008-3)

 

Senator Popejoy presented motion 2007-2008-4 with regard to a proposal to amend the UCM Faculty Guide. (See the FS motion form 2007-2008-4)

The main reason for the motion is the last paragraph. It is simply a modification of the Faculty Guide; it actually codifies our current practices. The Faculty Guide considers formal student evaluations as a part of personnel records because they are used in the promotion process. Senator Popejoy read the wording of the portion of the faculty guide to be amended.

FS President Rogers asked if there was discussion on motion 2007-2008-4.

Senator Ely called the question, seconded by Senator Sarkar and passed it unanimously ending debate.

A vote was then taken on motion 2007-2008-4 which resulted in:

 

-PASSED-                  Unanimous                                          (2007-2008-4)

 

FS President Rogers announced the next item on the agenda is the discussion regarding the mission and goals developed by the SPRC. The President's Office and Carole Nimmer want each governance group to develop a consolidated reaction to the mission and goals statements.

Senator Ely began by reading the mission statement.

Senators Sarkar believes the word exceptional needs to be taken out of the mission statement. (See below.) FS President Rogers asked if everyone agreed that exceptional should be removed. No one had any objections.

Senator Robins recommended adding the word people to the statement. (See below)

Senator Sarkar stated that research falls into scholarship so maybe the document should remove the word research. Senator Ely stated that it is a public record and that although faculty understand the meaning when we say "research", we are trying to make this clearer to the public.

Senator Kangas pointed out his concern that there seems to be no difference in importance between faculty and staff. "Not that support staff and professional staff are not beneficial to the University; they are just not there directly enhancing the students’ educations,” said Senator Kangas.

Senator Sarkar recommended adding the word teaching to the mission statement.

Senator Stevenson recommended rather than saying “research, scholarship,” maybe we can use the same wording found later in the document which is scholarly research.

 

FS President Rogers stated that the important thing is that we need to make some recommendations and the Provost has asked that we make them by September 14th. Our next FS meeting is September 19th. That is why we pushed this onto the agenda. If everyone is happy with the document, we can adjourn but we want to make sure that we give the Provost and the SPRC our best efforts.

Senator Schmidt pointed out that all throughout the document, it says, life long learners, and believes the word is used too much.

Senator Sarkar asked why the statement only says Missouri and why we can't say the people of the world. Provost Wilson replied, "Because we are a public institution and we are almost half funded by the state of Missouri.

 

Senator Robins and Kangas agreed that the word faculty needs to be used more throughout the document in some of the goals. FS President Rogers agreed that the word faculty should appear in goal #1.

Senator Ely stated that he would take the document to the Writing Center so that it could be proofread for issues of grammar and clarity.

Senator Ely read the suggested changes so far. ([] donates deletion, {} donates addition.)

The University of Central Missouri transforms students into [exceptional] lifelong learners equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes {that are} necessary for success. UCM focuses on student learning [.]{and} delivers quality educational programs {.} {UCM Faculty} undertake {teaching}, [research, scholarship] {scholarly research}, and creative activities {.}

{The University} advances a progressive future for the {people of the} state of Missouri through outreach and service.

 

With nothing further, the meeting was adjourned at 5:47 p.m.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Dianne Gower

Faculty Senate Office Professional