University of Minnesota, Morris

Campus Assembly Minutes

 

December 1, 2009

 

 

I.          ChancellorŐs Remarks.

 

Chancellor Johnson said she has three parts to her remarks today.  She began by saying it is the intention of the Executive Committee that we get through the entire agenda today with one exception—the Academic Program Review Proposal will be moved to the first meeting of the spring semester.  If we do not get through the entire agenda, the Executive Committee will need to schedule a special session sometime next week.  She hopes we will work very hard to move through the agenda.

 

The second part is energy update.  Our biomass plant has won a Minnesota American Institute of ArchitectŐs award for its functionality combined with aesthetic appeal.  This is good news but the better news is that we believe that we have made progress in our efforts to resolve the difficulties in the in-feed and gasification systems.  We are likely to get the plan running soon and will expect a visit in the next week or so from the subcontractor that manufactured the boiler for the plant. 

 

For two years, the campus has heard the chancellor talk about additional wind turbines and the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds that will serve as a funding source for their construction.  There have also been various hurdles that we have encountered in trying to get all the necessary details worked out.  She believes we have solved the problem of the turbine location.  We listened to community members who were not pleased with the idea of a turbine on campus and we have negotiated with the city of Morris to lease us land and have identified an alternative location.  We hope to have three turbines in a triangle up on the hill.  We are finalizing the power purchase agreements with two different energy companies that serve this area.  This has not been easy given that Ottertail is filling much of its renewable energy obligation with cheap wind from the state of North Dakota.  You will recall that for a while last year, we struggled to find a vendor for the turbines and then the market collapsed and we were much better positioned to pick up the turbines we wanted from the vendor we wanted.  Having worked out nearly all these particulars, we believe that the CREBs themselves present a whole new set of challenges for us.  What formerly were no interest bonds have turned out to be Ňsome interestÓ bonds, impacting our business plan/pro formas and making it difficult for this project to cash flow with this funding source.  We havenŐt entirely given up on the CREBs, we will likely use one of the bonds to finance the steam turbine that uses Ňgreen steamÓ from the gasifier to produce electricity but it is likely that we will need to secure a different funding source to finance our wind and we have three possibilities in mind.  She will keep the campus informed.

 

Chancellor Johnson wanted to begin this meeting with an appeal for cooperation in fostering a more orderly and respectful meeting than the one we had when we last met.  While we accomplished much last time and worked our way successfully through some complicated amendments to our proposed constitution and some difficult issues about which we disagreed, a number of you left the meeting feeling frustrated by what you perceived as a lack of respect for the opinions of others.  While it is probably the case that we have different levels of tolerance for disagreement, it is also the case that we canŐt have a successful assembly if we donŐt follow some basic rules of order and mutual respect.  For those of you inclined to ŇblurtÓ please wait to be called on and think before you speak.  Be respectful of the amount of airtime you are taking and its impact on the ability of others to participate.  For those of you inclined to talk over or drown out others in the heat of the moment, please donŐt.  She will recognize you when she can and if there are others who have not yet spoken and you have, she will call on those others first.  If the parliamentarian has been asked a question, please allow her time to address the question before calling out a correction or another motion.

 

This system of campus governance is one of the most inclusive she knows and it provides an opportunity for us to model civil discourse and reasoned debate in a public forum.  There arenŐt many opportunities for that in the modern world.  It is, necessarily, governed by a set of rules and she asks that we follow them.  Most important, please respect one another, even in the face of our disagreements, and trust that we will come to good and right conclusions in the process. 

 

II.         For Action.  Minutes from 11/19/09 were approved as presented.

 

III.        For Information.  Curriculum Committee. The following curricular changes were approved.

 

Division of Education

New Course:

WSS 3101 – Sports Industry Analysis (SS; 4cr)

 

Division of the Humanities

Course Revision:

Ital 1105 – Italian Cinema (IP; 4 cr)

 

Division of Science and Mathematics

New Courses:

Chem 2304 – Organic Chemistry II with a Biological Emphasis (SCI; 4 cr)

Geol 3502 – Groundwater (ENVT; 4 cr)

 

Division of the Social Sciences

New Courses:

Hist 3557 – East Asia Since 1800 (IP; 4 cr)

Pol 3475 – International Human Rights (IP; 4 cr)

Reactivated Course:

Pol 3261 – State and Local Politics (SS; 4 cr)

 

Interdisciplinary Studies

New Courses:

IS 2023 -- London Arts Tour (1 cr)

IS 3217H – Honors: The Trial of Galileo (Hist; 2 cr)

Revised Course:

IS 2035 – Aging in Greece:  Comparative Cultural Practices and Social Policy (IP; 2 cr)

 

Program change in Environmental Studies Major

Added Elective:

Soc 3112 – Sociology of the Environment and Social Development (ENVT; 4 cr)

 

IV.       For Action.  Modified resolution regarding change in voting dates was approved as presented.  Voting will commence on January 19, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. and will end on

February 2, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

 

V.        For action.  Motion related to Buchanan motion from November 19 meeting.

 

Chancellor Johnson stated there are two motions associated with this agenda item.  The original motion was made with the intent of ensuring consistency throughout the proposed constitution; however, there was some confusion about the language.  The Executive Committee would like to invite the assembly to rescind the Buchanan motion from the last meeting and then move forward with the sentence with a clear articulation of the intent.

 

Motion by Sarah Buchanan to rescind previous motion made at November 19, 2009 Campus Assembly meeting was approved and seconded.

 

Motion by Sarah Buchanan that  ŇThe Executive Committee is charged by the assembly to make necessary editorial changes resulting from approved amendments to ensure consistency through the documentÓ was approved and seconded.

 

VI.   Amendments to the Constitution

 

Motion to act on proposed amendment #5 was approved and seconded.

 

Proposed Amendment #5:

 

Article II.  Core Standing Committees

Section 5. Finance Committee

A.  Membership

The Finance Committee consists of twelve members, including four faculty, one P&A staff, two U.S.A. staff, two students, the UMM representative to the Senate Committee on Finance and Planning, and three ex officio, non-voting members--the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Facilities, one division chair, and the Coordinator of the Commission on Women

 

Change:  Add Coordinator of the Commission on Women as ex officio, non-voting member.

 

Rationale:   The allocation of resources supports the mission and goals of the Commission on Women ŇÉto create a humane professional environment which fosters the growth and development of all members of the community.Ó 

 

Voting Result:  Amendment #5 passes unanimously

 

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Motion to act on proposed amendment #6 was approved and seconded.

 

Proposed Amendment #6:

 

Article II.  Core Standing Committees

Section 8. Student Affairs Committee

A. Membership

The Student Affairs Committee consists of twelve members, including three faculty members, one P&A staff, four students, one U.S.A. staff, and two ex officio, non-voting members—the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee and the Director of Student Activities. 

 

Change:   removed Coordinator of the Commission on Women as one of three ex officio, non-voting members -

 

Rationale for proposed changed:  The Student Affairs Committee charge is specifically related to student life whereas, although the Commission actively supports and often works with students, the CommissionŐs focus is primarily on the academic and work environment of faculty and staff.  

 

Voting Result:  Amendment #6 passes unanimously

 

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Motion to act on proposed amendment #7 was approved and seconded.

 

Proposed Amendment #7:

 

Article V, Section 2:

 

Add Clause, reletter accordingly:

 

ŇAll student members on Standing and Ad hoc committees shall be brought forth by students for approval by the Membership committee.Ó

 

Adam Olson, proposer, suggests different placement of this amendment.  Should be Article VIII, Section 1.   The rationale is that only students will be able to bring names forward for approval.  Bert Ahern said he is against the amendment.  Even though this has been the practice for several decades, it was never put in the constitution and this gives very narrow rights to constituencies.  He speaks from a unique experience as the only person in the room today who brought students into senate governance.  Decision was based on principle that assembly is primarily vested in faculty and professional staff.   By their position they are members of assembly.  The decision to bring students to senate and assembly argued on two points:  itŐs good governance and the best way to hear the studentsŐ perception is to provide them with a voice in every step of the process. Nothing has changed that basic understanding.   While it has been practiced, it has always been possible and should continue to be possible for other members of the assembly to propose those names.   Ashley Gaschk supports this amendment because the process of placing students on committees is much different than placing faculty on committees.  There are only 17 MCSA students to be placed on all of the committees.  For clarification, Clare Strand asked if this passes, does that mean she could not nominate someone as an alternate on the assembly floor.  Adam responded that Clare could not but any student could.  Clare followed up by stating that students could nominate a civil service staff member but we couldnŐt nominate a student.  Adam said students are afraid that faculty members might decide that the committee slates arenŐt good enough and might determine their own.  

 

Sarah Buchanan suggested the correct placement of the proposed amendment should be Article VIII, section 2, letter A.  Adam Olson moved and Mike McBride seconded.  Parliamentarian Barbara Burke stated the motion to relocate the amendment has been moved and passed and must be acted upon now.   Motion passes by voice vote.

 

Mary Elizabeth added that she was on the task force that helped draft the constitution on which students also served and they were a part of the conversation.  She believes the proposed amendment moves us in a direction that fragments rather than unites us.  Nancy Carpenter moved to call the question.  Second by Mary Elizabeth Bezanson.

 

Voting Result:  Amendment #7 does not pass – 30 in favor; 46 opposed; 5 abstentions

 

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Motion to act on proposed amendment #8 was approved and seconded.

 

Proposed Amendment #8:

 

Article V, Section 2, Add Clause, reletter accordingly:

 

ŇOnly student members of the Campus Assembly are eligible to vote for student members of Constitutional committees.Ó

 

To clarify the understanding of what counts as a constitution committee, Michelle Page said those are committees where the membership is elected.   Sarah Buchanan asked if voting would be opened up to the entire student body or only members of assembly.   Ashley Gaschk made a motion to strike the word constitutional and add membership and consultative.   Second by Adam Olson.   Margaret Kuchenreuther said she is troubled by the continual amendments made on the assembly floor without any rational thinking.  The process has already been laid out for everyone.  

 

Jen Goodnough called the question.  Second by Mary Elizabeth Bezanson.  A vote by show of hands to change the wording of the amendment resulted in the following:  48 in favor; 16 apposed; 3 abstained.  Motion passed.

 

Motion to extend meeting until 6:15 p.m. was approved and seconded.

 

Voting Result:  Amendment #8 does not pass – 26 in favor; 40 opposed; 2 abstentions

 

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Motion to act on proposed amendment #9 was approved and seconded.

 

Proposed Amendment #9:

 

Article IV, Section 1, Clause C is amended to read:

 

ŇStudents: Students eligible for election to membership must be enrolled for eight or more credits in residence during the semester when the election takes place. Student members of the assembly must carry at least eight credits in residence during each semester of their term. Student members of Campus Assembly and all committees will be elected and appointed only by students, approvable only by Constitutional committees where applicable.Ó

 

Bert Ahern made the observation that voting in favor of this would contradict the vote on the two previous amendments.  He believes the idea of students that have the sole say of who is involved in governance is inconsistent with the underlying principles behind the constitution.   The question was called and seconded.  Voting results to continue the debate:  38 in favor; 26 opposed; 3 abstained.   Adam Olson said itŐs a little disparaging to hear the attitude is that students canŐt choose for themselves.  Rob Henjum asked if the amendment should be changed in include other groups.  Dave Roberts said he is disturbed that our votes seem to be splitting faculty vs. students and wants to make sure it is not that faculty do not respect the students.  It could be simply a different understanding of what Campus Assembly is. 

 

Motion to extend meeting until 6:30 p.m. was approved and seconded.

 

The question was called and seconded.  Voting results to end the debate:  49 in favor; 15 opposed; 2 abstained.

 

Motion to extend meeting another five minutes was approved and seconded.

 

Voting Result:  Amendment #9 does not pass – 22 in favor; 45 opposed; 0 abstentions

 

VII.      Campus Committee Reports

 

Self Study Report by Michael Korth

 

On March 29th, 30th, and 31st, 2010, a team of five Consultant-Evaluators from the Higher Learning Commission will visit UMM as part of the comprehensive evaluation leading toward reaccreditation for UMM. The team members will want to meet with many members of the campus community during their visit in order to gain a better understanding of our campus so they can evaluate how well UMM fulfills the five criteria for accreditation. More details about the team and their visit will be announced as the time draws closer.

The primary document that the team will depend upon in its evaluation is the self-study report. UMMŐs self-study report is the result of a lot of work by a lot of people. During the 2008-09 academic year, thirty-nine people worked on five subcommittees to assemble evidence and compose reports documenting how UMM meets the Higher Learning CommissionŐs five criteria for accreditation. In the fall of 2009, the Steering Committee assembled the self-study report using the subcommittee reports as input and adding other sections as required by the Higher Learning Commission. The current draft of the self-study report is now being made available to you, electronically, at a website whose url will be in a follow-up e-mail message that I will send to you. A smaller file containing the recommendations and strengths, as stated in the final chapter of the self-study report, will also be included in the e-mail message.

The Steering Committee would appreciate your feedback on the draft report. We ask that you send your comments to the Steering Committee by e-mailing them to Ann Kolden (koldenal@morris.umn.edu) who will collect them on behalf of the Steering Committee. Please submit your comments by December 15th so the Steering Committee can begin making revisions to the draft before the holiday break. We expect to present the final version of the self-study report to the campus community on January 14th, 2010 in anticipation of another Campus Assembly at the beginning of spring semester.

In conclusion, let me once again thank everyone who contributed to the self-study either by serving on one of the subcommittees or by providing data or text for use in the report. It has been a large undertaking and the cooperation and support of so many people has helped make the task more manageable.

VIII.  All University Reports.

 

Kathy Julik-Heine said many of us are aware of the "new fiscal realty" facing the University of Minnesota. The University's financial streams have undergone a dramatic shift, with state revenues for the first time in history, lower than tuition revenues. In response to this complex problem, President Robert Bruininks has instituted a committee to move forward with strategies outlined by the Future Financial Resources Task Force, a task force formed last spring. The new committee has been titled the Advancing Excellence Steering Committee. As chair of the Student Senate (the system-wide student governance body) Kathy lobbied for a position on the committee and was assigned one.  She is one of two system-wide representatives on the committee (the Chancellor for Rochester, Stephen Lehmkuhle being the other) and one of three students on the committee. The committee also includes twenty University of Minnesota administrators.

 

She would like to welcome any and all comments, questions, suggestions or concerns to potentially bring forward to the committee.


Nancy Carpenter encouraged assembly members to make sure their senators are aware of concerns regarding the Financing the Future report.

 

IX.  Old Business.

 

None

 

X.  New Business.

 

None.