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Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chairs and Provost: 3:30

Deans, and Administrators to Arrive: 4:00

WDE 2020  

The Academic Council functions as the primary organizational group for department chairs and deans. The Council functions in an advisory capacity to the Provost/Chief Learning Officer for Academic Affairs. The Council recommends actions to the Provost who either responds or directs the recommendations to the proper person or organization within the university governance structure. These recommendations will indicate the Council's majority opinion on an issue or a call for action. The recommendations will be in writing and will contain the appropriate individual or group to receive the recommendation. 

I.             Approval of Minutes from October 14, 2014

  • Motion to approve by Mick Luehrman
  • Seconded by Greg Streich
  • Unanimously approved.

II.           Department Chair Discussion with Provost (3:30 - 4:00)

A. Office of Technology

  • OT has significant control over what can and cannot be used on campus.
    • Currently, if OT does not understand the technology or cannot support it, it is not allowed on campus.
    • Perhaps OT should not be involved in low-dollar purchases like mousepads and jump drives, so they can more effectively handle the high dollar technology.
    • Procurement and OT need to have a more efficient relationship.
  • OT takes significantly too long on orders and approval processes.
    • Can take months to get new upgrades, which is a long time in the technology world.
    • Technology sits at OT, because they cannot figure out how to connect to the network.
    • Process for ordering non-standard equipment needs to be more timely.
  • OT wants to standardize technology, but that may not be wise for students who need to learn diverse technology they will be using in the field.
    • Provost Curtis posited that the ideal for standardization is not that one size fits all, but that minimum quality standards are upheld throughout campus.
  • Campus does not have enough techs who are capable of servicing Macs.
    • IPad issues have been solved in Lovinger, so why can’t they be solved elsewhere?
    • Don’t get more techs to handle small issues. Get more techs who are capable in a wider variety of technology.
  • Communication with and within OT is lacking and/or inconsistent.
    • Website has outdated policies. (e.g. policy states that only technology that will be connected to the network needs to go through OT, but that is not the case.)
    • Would like a more open and effective communication system with OT.
    • Would like OT to outline standard options for technology and why they recommend those options.
    • OT operates differently throughout campus (e.g. some colleges have dedicated techs, while others do not.)
  • Chairs would like a list of technology that OT supports and would like the option to purchase and use technology that is not on the list, with the understanding that OT will not provide support for items not on the list.
  • Ideas for useful technology to implement on campus: new, brighter screens that can be seen with the lights on, adjustable tracks for projectors to adapt to new technology, smart boards.
  • OT could work with CTL to introduce new technology
  • Provost wants specifics so she can report that we do not have enough staff or appropriate staff for the university’s needs. Provost needs data on what departments need.

B. Office of Accessibility Services

  • Procost Curtis called for collaboration with departments on the appropriateness of accommodations and asked for specific concerns so that she can research and address.
  • Liability questions with medical issues - faculty may not even know standard procedure.
  • Concerns about accommodations going too far. (e.g. not being allowed to grade composition students on grammar.) 
  • OAS Requires notetakers, but does not supply notetakers
    • Other universities pay note takers
    • Even though UCM is always trying to find ways to employ students, there is not even enough funding to cover interpreters.
  • Some students require accommodations that would prohibit them from even being able to complete the job in the field after they receive their degree. Is it wrong to take a student’s money and give them a degree that they are unable to use?

III.          Questions regarding written reports

               No written reports were submitted.

IV.          Information Items 

               A.Preview of Items from General faculty Meeting

  • This proposed model will be presented at the general faculty meeting. Everyone should have an equal voice. Adjuncts, instructors, library, and tenure-track faculty should all be included in this discussion. 
  • The current model has three categories: Adjunct, Instructor, and Tenure-Track. The proposed model will add a Library Faculty category.
  • This proposed model is only a CONCEPTUAL DRAFT. Details can be addressed after the board approves the concept. (e.g. May bring in a consultant to help define academic freedom.)
  • Faculty job descriptions across campus vary greatly, so faculty should be assessed differently, based on the criteria of the position.
  • Suggestions for Adjuncts (category will notice the least amount of change)
    • Have a multi-semester contract option
    • Have a flexible compensation rate, based on credentials, which would make teaching worth it for many potential adjuncts.
  • Instructional Faculty would include three levels: assistant, associate, and senior. A pay scale would be associated with the different levels.
    • Departments can outline what needs to be accomplished to reach the next level.
    • Service loads could be negotiated in the contract.
    • Departments would be free to define criteria for Instructional Faculty positions based on the needs of the department. Different departments could have different types of hires.
    • The position requirements become the assessment tool.
    • Once an Instructional Faculty member reaches associate, that does not mean the faculty member is permanently in the position. Flexible contracts give departments the option not to renew a contract.
    • The process for turning an instructor into tenure would be to open a tenure line and have the instructor apply for the tenured position.
    • With the budget reset, departments would be able to decide to open an adjunct line or instructor line based on the department’s needs.
  • Library Faculty would have their own contract instead of modifying the teaching faculty contract.
  • Annual performance reviews will be implemented for faculty at all levels.
    • Evaluations and expectations may be different between instructors and tenure-track faculty.
    • May be helpful to have a committee instead of the Chair tackling all responsibility.
    • Need guidelines on how online faculty can participate to meet standards.
  • Post-tenure review  would be implemented for library and tenure-track faculty with potential for designation of Distinguished Librarian or Professor.
    • Distinguishment is not a 4th level, but an added honor. Details, including length of the honor title, can be determined later.
    • Post-tenure review is not for everyone. Only those with extreme positive or negative annual reviews would be referred for a post-tenure review.
      • Accountability simultaneously with reward. (will need legal counsel to help with details of the negative side)
      • Perhaps 2 - 3 unsuccessful reviews in a row would lead to review.
      • Some institutions require that everyone go up for review on a set timeframe.
    • Post-tenure review could hold full professors accountable and prevent “retirement on the job.”
      • Junior faculty sometimes handle too heavy a load, because tenure faculty aren’t doing their share.
      • The majority of institutions have already implemented post-tenure reviews.
      • For the integrity of campus, we need procedure for the rare moments.
    • The concern was raised that the implementation of post-tenure review could hurt professor morale.
      • Full professors might resent the process, because they are being evaluated on criteria that are inherent in their positions.
      • Is it worth the effort for only a very small minority of professors who are underperforming?
      • Reviews decrease the status of the full professor position.
    • If we implement reviews now, we can control the details before the state does.
    • Focus on what serves the students best.
  • Provost Curtis would love to take this conceptual draft to the board in February, but give her feedback on how much time you need.

V.           Discussion Items

A.Testing Center (need for more access to more types of exams): Mike Grelle

  • Discussion will be moved to a later meeting.

VI.          Action Item


VII.         Future Agenda Items

A. Admission standards, enrollment targets,  and quality of students

B. OP pay parity

Thank you to Dean Mollie Dinwiddie and the Kirkpatrick Library for providing the snacks and refreshments for our meeting today



Remaining Schedule for  2014-2015

December 9 2014 3:30 Union 237A

January 13 2015 3:30 Union 237B

February 10 2015 3:30 Union 237B

March 10 2015 3:30 Union 238

April 14 2015 3:30 Union 237B

May 12 2015 3:00 * Union 237A

June 9 2015 3:00 * WDE 2401