University of Minnesota, Morris

Campus Assembly Minutes

 

November 19, 2009

 

 

I.  ChancellorÕs Remarks.

 

Chancellor Johnson plans to limit her remarks today due to the full agenda.  This month has provided so many opportunities to witness the liberal arts in action and to witness the members of this academic community in action.  It has been a busy couple of weeks for the arts—symphonic winds; jazz; dance; theatre; Morrisscapes—and weÕre looking forward to the holiday choir concert.  It has been a busy couple of months for our athletic teams—a heartbreaking menÕs soccer game; our basketball teams are underway; our football team has just finished; and weÕve noted the accomplishments of cross-country and track and golf.  It is affirming to students to see the results of their activism come to fruition with the recent victory in relation to workersÕ rights and the production of athletics gear.  This morning at the Stevens Forward meeting, she had a chance to hear from our Green Corp student members reminding me of how important our role is in this region and community.  At the Board of Regents meeting last week, the Finance Committee approved the financial plans for our wind turbines, contingent on getting the proformas.  We are still working to get the power purchase agreement settled.  Campus governance has been at work on many fronts and one of things sheÕs witnessed this semester is the cross-conversation among various campus committees.  The interest from one to another in whatÕs happening can only strengthen campus governance and she applauds the campus for that.

 

II.  For Action.  Minutes from 5/5/09 were approved as presented with one minor editorial change.

 

III.  For Information.  UMM Constitution logistics.

 

Chancellor Johnson reported that after the voting today and assuming that the proposed constitution is ratified, the document will go to the PresidentÕs office for final approval.  There is a section of the constitution that will not stand—Article I. Devolution of Authority—because this is not how the Board of Regents works so that section may need to be deleted.  This information did not come in time to include as an amendment.

 

Michelle Page noted that the content of the proposed constitution has been worked on and discussed for several years.  The Executive Committee brought forth a resolution that was approved by the Assembly.  Additionally, the Executive Committee and the Consultative Committee met to discuss the voting process.  We are proposing that the balloting be electronic with a simple yes, no or abstain.  The ballot will be clean, so any relevant information about URL links, etc. will not be on the ballot itself.   All voting information will be included in the e-mail invitation to vote.   Balloting will begin at 8:00 a.m. on December 2.   Members of the assembly will receive a couple of e-mail reminders during the two-week balloting window.  No one will be able to see how the vote is going until voting is closed.  At the end of the process, the Executive Committee will receive summary data only.  The raw data will be held electronically by Computing Services.  Should the constitution be ratified, it will take effect beginning of the next academic year thus allowing for transition and preparation to begin this spring.  The chancellor will charge the Executive Committee with implementation of the transition.  Executive Committee plans to consult with the Consultative Committee and other relevant individuals on the implementation process.  The Executive Committee welcomes feedback about the transition process.

 

We will start by voting on amendments today with paper ballots.  Once the amendments are completed, a revised constitution reflecting the changes will be posted.    The Executive Committee worked to consult with the University style guide, our organizational chart and human resources to make sure the changes of titles due to the reorganization and general style issues are correct. 

 

IV.   For Information.  Committee Replacements.  Pam Gades replaces Karen Cusey on Campus Resources and Planning Committee – approved as presented.

 

V.   MCSA via Executive Committee – committee placements approved as presented

 

Adam Olson made a motion to modify the rosters with the following two changes:  Katie Barron is on Faculty Affairs Committee not the Faculty Development Committee.  Andy Bistram is on the Student Center Committee.

 

VI. Campus Committee Reports.

 

Campus Resources and Planning Committee

 

Pete Wyckoff reported that the committee recently voted to change the name of the Community Services building to Welcome Center.    The committee is working several charges from Vice President Robert Jones to come up with a series of five-year plans.

 

VII.  For Action.  Amendments to the Constitution.

 

Chancellor Johnson explained that she intends to call on each of the proposers to explain their proposed amendment.  For clarity purposes, we will proceed with 1 and 3 followed by 2 and 4.

 

Motion to act on proposed amendment #1 was approved and seconded.

 

Amendment #1

Article VIII. Membership Committee

Section 2. Responsibilities

The Membership Committee has the following responsibilities:

A.     To assign membership and designate chairs of all standing and ad hoc committees. This shall be done during the spring semester for the ensuing academic year.

Amend To:

  1. To recommend all membership and designate chairs of all standing and ad hoc committees. This shall be done during the spring semester for the ensuing academic year.  Full committee rosters, except four student slots on core assembly committees (reserved for MCSA First-Year Committee members), will be brought for action to the last campus assembly meeting of the spring semester.

Paula OÕLoughlin asked for a point of clarification on whether or not the full committee rosters including student representatives would need to be determined in the spring.  Ashley Gaschk said the more substantial issue isnÕt the wording ÒrecommendÓ but the addition of the entire new sentence because the language puts a pretty strong restriction on students.  She believes it would be great if students could be determined in the spring but explained that itÕs really hard because students donÕt always know their schedules.   Jen Goodnough explained that MCSA would simply make a recommendation to the membership committee.  Adam Olson asked for point of order and suggested that the chair of assembly should chair the meeting.  Michelle Page said the language is calling for rosters to be complete late in the semester after course schedules for faculty and registration for students has been completed.  There is not a special clarification for students, it means all rosters.  Adam Olson said itÕs unenforceable and reduces the flexibility for every constituency on campus.  Mike McBride believes special consideration needs to be given to students based on the nature of student roles. Requiring a full roster of students seems to reduce flexibility of our committee placements and reduces their ability to place students on committees.  Chancellor Johnson asked if there are two issues at hand:  one is whether or not the assembly has the final approval of the slate and the second is the spring semester part of the amendment.  Barbara Burke said that if the word spring is the contested element of the amendment, the proposers could agree to delete the word spring.   Sandy Olson-Loy asked how vacancies would be filled.  Michelle Page clarified that the language of the amendment does not preclude changes in roster membership.   The membership committee can bring forward committee replacements as needed.  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson said that as a member of the original task force and its chair, the group tried to address a concern brought forward by a student member about the failure to include students early on in committee work.  The original intent was to make sure students would be placed on committees in a timely manner so they can be consulted and be a part of the committee from the very beginning.   Roland Guyotte said in the history of UMM, governance has been very slow.  He believes it is good to have a commitment of planning ahead thus making it easier for committees to do their work.  He would vote in favor of this amendment.

 

Voting Result:  Amendment #1 passes

 

Motion was made and seconded to proceed with amendments out of order.

 

Motion to act on proposed amendment #3 was approved and seconded.

 

Amendment #3

Article VIII. Membership Committee

Section 2. Responsibilities

The Membership Committee has the following responsibilities:

A.     To assign membership and designate chairs of all standing and ad hoc committees. This shall be done during the spring semester for the ensuing academic year.

Amend To:

  1. To appoint all membership and designate chairs of all standing and ad hoc committees. This shall be done during the spring semester for the ensuing academic year.  Full committee rosters, except four student slots on core standing assembly committees (reserved for MCSA First-Year Committee members), will be brought for information to the last campus assembly meeting of the spring semester.

 

Voting Result:  Amendment #3 does not pass

 

Motion to act on proposed amendment #2 was approved and seconded.

 

Amendment #2

 

Article I. Committees of the Campus Assembly

Section 2. Membership

In appointing members and chairs of committees, the Membership Committee shall adhere to the following provisions:

A.     The Membership Committee shall survey the campus community before making appointments to committees.

B.     Members of standing committees shall be appointed in the spring to serve for the ensuing academic year. There shall be faculty representation from each division on each assembly committee whenever possible.

C.     No person may serve simultaneously as a voting member on more than one of the following: Steering Committee, Membership Committee, core standing committees. This restriction does not apply to other standing or ad hoc committees or to the Consultative Committee.

Amend To:

A.     The Membership Committee shall survey the campus community before making recommendations to committees.

B.     Members of standing committees shall be recommended in the spring to serve for the ensuing academic year. There shall be faculty representation from each division on each assembly committee whenever possible.

C.     No person may serve simultaneously as a voting member on more than one constitutional committee or core standing committee. This restriction does not apply to other standing or ad hoc committees.  No voting member of a constitutional or core standing committee may serve simultaneously as a voting member on more than one of the following: other standing committees, ad hoc committees.  One person serving as a voting member on any two committees is to be avoided whenever possible.

Adam Olson said MCSA is against this because it is explicitly directed at students.  Just because faculty do not want to serve on more than one committee does not mean that students do not want to.  Ashley Gaschk believes it should be the choice of the student if they want to serve on more than one committee.  Mike McBride said there are still a large number of vacancies on committees and because there are only so many students, MCSA has placed every student who has come to them on a committee.  He believes having student representation on a committee to accurately represent the student body should be a greater preference to the campus than having no students serving on committees.  He hopes the assembly values having student input on committees.  Jen Goodnough said this is not just a workload issue.  It is about shared governance and a distribution of power.  Jenny Nellis agrees with the point Jen Goodnough was making.  If there is someone on campus who has a particular agenda, there is a good reason for not having duplication on multiple committees.   She believes the campus does want to hear from students.  Dave Roberts said in principle the avoidance of duplication is good.  The issue of not getting students on committees has been a problem.  Jen Goodnough pointed out that the amendment does not forbid duplication, simply that a voting member on any two committees should be avoided whenever possible.  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson moved to call the question.  Second by Roland Guyotte.   Voting results for those in favor:  39.  Opposed:  27.  Discussion will continue.

 

Dave Roberts believes the amendment allows an amount of duplication that is appropriate given our historical problem of filling committee rosters.  Jeff Ratliff-Crain said the reason the wording ended up as it did was because of concerns about filing committee spots, specifically for faculty in a small division, e.g. Education. 

 

Motion was made and seconded to extend the meeting until 6:15 p.m.   So moved.

 

Mike McBride moved to amend the amendment to strike any new language from item C.   Chancellor Johnson said what we have in front of us is a hybrid of the two:   A & B from the proposed amendment and C from the language in the proposed constitution.   A vote on amending the amendment resulted in the following by a show of hands:  49 in favor; 11 opposed; 7 abstain.  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson called for point of personal privilege.  She believes the decision to put different changes into a single amendment now is confusing to assembly members.  Chancellor Johnson said if the assembly approves the amended amendment, it keeps authority for committee membership with the assembly and would not prohibit some duplication.

 

Motion to extend assembly by five minutes was approved and seconded by show of hands.

 

Voting Result:  Amended Amendment #2 passes

 

Motion was made and seconded to withdraw amendment #4 because it is irrelevant. Motion passes.  Sarah Buchanan made a motion that wording of amendment #1 be applied to entire proposed constitution.  Second by Bezanson.   Voting by show of hands:  29 in favor; 11 opposed.  Chancellor Johnson clarified that BuchananÕs motion would keep the wording unified throughout the document to achieve consistency.  Adam Olson argued that was not what Buchanan said.  Nancy Carpenter commented that the motion was ill advised and at this point in the assembly meeting, there is no longer a quorum and called the quorum.

 

Roland Guyotte made a motion to adjourn.   Second by Jeff Ratliff-Crain.  

 

Meeting ended at 6:25 p.m.