Campus Assembly Minutes

March 8, 2011

 

I.          ChancellorÕs Remarks.

 

Chancellor Johnson reported that, while it might have been a quiet week in Lake Wobegone, it has been a busy semester in Morris.  She thanked those who had volunteered for extra duty this semester for events such as the Community of Scholars and the Prairie Home Companion live event in the PE Center.  In the past two weeks, three events for admitted students took place, including dinner with the Regents and an event at Eastcliff with admitted students and their families.

 

She also acknowledged the many accomplishments of students and faculty that marked this semester.  We are all proud of our athletic teams.  For the second year in a row our womenÕs basketball team advanced to regional competition.  The Symphonic Winds showcased student/faculty collaboration at its best, exhibiting ways our new young faculty members are working together, composing music, and conducting.  Tonight is the closing reception for the Kolledge exhibit in the Art Gallery, curated by Michael Eble, and populated by two alums.

 

The second wind turbine is up and should be spinning on March 24.

 

She had just spoken on the phone with the president designee Kaler, who announced the appointment of his new chief of staff Amy Phoenix, currently director of communications of Macalester.  He has expanded her responsibilities to include direction of the office of communications, marketing, government and college relations, and athletics.  He also announced that the provost search committee, chaired by Tim Mulcahy, is seeking faculty members to serve on that committee.

 

Applications for fall registration are breaking records for the second year in a row, because of the investments we have made and how we are recruiting.  ItÕs early and we donÕt know yet what the results will be, but the signs are really good.

 

Several presentations that involve us at Regents this week will include Vice President Jones reporting to the Educational Planning & Policy Committee on the progress campuses have made on their blue ribbon committee activities.  Morris will be featured in the report.  Also, Chancellor Johnson will report to the Faculty, Staff, & Student Affairs Committee, speaking about the nature of our campus as a liberal arts campus, and sharing good stories about the engagement of our students.  Friday afternoon is the annual budget/compact meeting.  You will hear more about the outcome of that at a later date.

 

And finally, this is the day when the Morris campus will begin transitioning to the new Constitution.

 

II.        For Action.  From the Executive Committee.  Minutes from 11/22/10 Campus Assembly meeting were approved with a minor revision noted.

 

III.    For Information/discussion.  From the Executive Committee.  Implementation of new Constitution.

 

Chancellor Johnson stated that the Executive Committee has started working on the transition early this semester and has met with the Consultative Committee.  Michelle Page was asked to frame the discussion.  She stated that the transition into our new Constitution is now finally happening.  The first working group was convened in 2005.  She thanked all who worked on it and voted on it.  The new Constitution will be fully implemented next academic year.  Currently we are primarily governed by the former Constitution, with the exception of the procedures used in todayÕs election.  This change will help pave the way to implementation of our new Constitution.

 

Key changes are that there will no longer be an Executive Committee at the end of this academic year.  Two committees will replace it.  A Steering Committee will set the agenda of the Campus Assembly meetings, among other duties.  A Membership Committee will take care of the election of committee members and officers.  CRPC will no longer exist, and instead two new committees will take its place: a Finance Committee, and a Planning Committee.  For many of our campus committees, there will be three-year terms (e.g., Finance, Planning, Curriculum), and elected committees will have terms of two years, with the exception of students, who have one-year terms for which they can be reelected.

 

Elections are a major change.  The Executive Committee has brainstormed and consulted with the Consultative Committee and is ready to forge ahead.  The Constitution outlined several requirements for these elections.  In deciding upon a procedure to implement the changes, we have tried to observe the letter of the constitution as much as possible and not substitute our judgment or interpretation unless necessary.  The order of the elections is specified.  A Steering Committee will be the first committee elected, followed by the Membership Committee, Consultative Committee, and the Parliamentarian.  The new constitution calls for nominations to be solicited in advance.  If not enough nominations (at least one extra person for the number of open slots to fill) are received, then the vote must be postponed.  Also, slates are presented at Campus Assembly.  The Executive Committee interpreted that as requiring some advanced preparation with no nominations from the floor allowed.  Printed ballots will be used.

 

In addition to committee order, there is an order for electing slots on committees.  First, the Vice Chair of the Steering Committee, then other slots on the committee will be voted for, in alpha order (faculty, P&A, students, USA).  There are three faculty slots, two student slots, one P&A slot, and one USA slot on the Steering Committee.  The Chancellor is a member of the Steering Committee, as is the UMM representative to the Senate Consultative Committee.  The parliamentarian is a non-voting member.  The Vice Chair may come from any one of the constituencies.  Any member of Campus Assembly is eligible to run and to vote for the Steering Committee.  The voting method will be instant runoff voting.  Voters must rank their choices as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  Typically rank one fewer than there are nominees.  Between the rounds of voting, other activities, such as committee reports, will continue.

 

Margaret Kuchenreuther asked why there would be just one ballot when voting for five faculty slots.  Michelle Page answered that every slot will be voted separately on a new ballot, with the one(s) just elected crossed off for each round of voting.

 

Michael OÕReilly asked if there will be a check on who is an eligible voter, since all members can vote, but under the new Constitution a member ceases to be a member with two absences.  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson stated that the rule refers to two unexcused absences.  Excused absences (important for those teaching class) will not affect membership.  Michelle Page noted that a mechanism to check who is in attendance will be developed by next fall.  Also, in the past the nominees havenÕt had an opportunity to make a statement on the floor of the Assembly.  That may change.  The process is still open to refinement.  An automated way to vote might not be a bad idea in the future.  Morris doesnÕt currently have enough clickers to accommodate all members, should they all show up.

 

Dave Roberts stated that under the new Constitution, the Vice Chair will become the chair of the Steering Committee the year after elected.  Michelle Page noted that the Vice Chair will be chair in 2012-13.  For the transition, Executive Committee has chosen to have the elected Steering Committee members choose its own chair internally for the year 2011-12.  The following year the rotation will begin.

 

IV.    For action.  Election of Steering Committee.

 

Jeff Ratliff-Crain was elected as vice chair of the Steering Committee.

Sheri Breen was elected as a faculty rep to the Steering Committee.

Tracey Anderson was elected as a faculty rep to the Steering Committee.

Jayne Blodgett was elected as a P&A rep to the Steering Committee.

Naomi Wente was elected as a student rep to the Steering Committee.

Zac Van Cleave was elected as a student rep to the Steering Committee. *

Pam Gades was elected as a USA rep to the Steering Committee. *

 

*The meeting ended before vote counting was completed.  The result for these slots were announced orally to remaining Assembly members and also via email. 

 

V.     Campus Committee Reports.

 

Executive Committee subcommittee on finding a universal campus-wide meeting time.  Len Keeler stated that the intention of the subcommittee is to bring two decisions to Campus Assembly at the next meeting: 1) whether or not it is worth the hassle and disruption to adopt a common universal meeting time, and 2) If it is decided that itÕs worth the hassle, which plan should be adopted.  He presented three plans:

 

The first variation is simply to choose a TTh class time to hold Campus Assembly.  The challenge would involve finding another time to teach the classes that would otherwise meet at that time.  It could be plopped at the end of the normal schedule.  The disadvantages would be that some faculty teach until 8:00 p.m., and others would need to juggle classes.  This option may cause some serious burdens.

 

The second plan would involve scheduling the meeting time on WF toward the end of the day, when it would not be leaking into another class.  If on Friday, the disrupted sections would include two shorter classes.  This option would include replacing some class times with others and would require more time slots and might be a challenge pedagogically.  Not every course lends itself well to an hour and 45 minutes.  An additional class could be added starting on Fridays at 4:15 p.m.

 

The third scenario involves having a Monday afternoon slot right after lunch.  It again would get rid of two shorter sections of MWF classes, which would need to be rescheduled.  There is an advantage to it over the second plan.  It can retain one of the shorter MWF classes, and hopefully people will stay until 4:00 on Friday.  This plan retains two longer slots in the evening on MW.

 

The idea is to think about all vast implications to disciplines and schedules, labs, and athletics.  There will be a thirty minute discussion at the next Campus Assembly meeting.

 

Katherine Benson stated that if there is a hierarchy of committees, Campus Assembly would trump all other committees that would meet at that time.  Vicki Graham asked why three new class timeslots were being added when the meeting time would only disrupt two MWF class times.  Len Keeler explained that it has to do with the minimum amount of time wanted for the universal meeting time.  Michael OÕReilly stated that the question of a universal meeting time has already been considered for all-University committees.  He suggested an easier way to schedule the time: reduce the number of people required to serve on committees.  Roger Rose stated that this isnÕt just about stuffing more meetings into time slots.  He saw the universal meeting time as more than just a meeting time, but a campus common time.  Clare Dingley noted that a serious complication to all of the proposed plans is the number of available classrooms.  Also, from an advising and registration standpoint, a variety of meeting patterns will make it difficult for students to schedule classes.  Sandy Olson-Loy suggested salvaging some of the extra down time between classes on TTh.

 

Matt Privratsky stated that scheduling is an especially big issue on campus.  People waste a huge amount of time scheduling meetings every semester.  Regardless of which plan is chosen, it needs to be done.  He added that he a Friday meeting time would negatively affect athletics.  Katherine Benson asked for a show of hands for faculty who would go for the evening slot of teaching a class from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m.  Margaret Kuchenreuther noted that the alternate evening time would affect the theatre program rehearsal schedule.  Sandy Olson-Loy suggested a starting time 15 minutes earlier and a 15 minute later end time, scrunching class times closer together by removing some of the 20 minute travel time between classes.  Elizabeth Thoma stated that she takes part in a lot of after-hours events, and most students would not want to sign up for a 7:00 a.m. class.  Cutting break time between classes is very important for students who schedule back-to-back classes.  Remy Huerta stated that she averages about four to five meetings a week and agreed that evening classes would not be a good idea, but she thinks a 7:45 a.m. class time would be awesome.

 

Clare Dingley stated that some people serve on multiple committees.  A universal meeting time would make that impossible.  Mark Collier shared his concern regarding the equity of faculty salaries.  Paula OÕLoughlin stated that this issue is complicated enough without tying it to faculty salaries and credit hours.  Len Keeler added that all related issues should come up for discussion at the next meeting.

 

Consultative Committee.  Paula OÕLoughlin reported on the work of the Consultative Committee.  They have been working on having regular meetings with the Chancellor and Dean on various issues, such as the Blue Ribbon Task Force, other task force memberships, a review of the reorganization that occurred a couple of years ago, a timeline for administrative reviews, and the role of the assistant dean.  They have provided feedback to the Executive Committee on personal web pages, the Google transition, the implementation of the new Constitution, and the new committee election procedures.

 

Assessment of Student Learning Committee (ASLC).  Kristin Lamberty reminded the Campus Assembly that the role of the ASLC is to provide support for faculty in their assessment efforts.  If anyone would like some support on their assessment efforts, the ASLC would be happy to provide guidance, help prepare reports and plans, etc.  Contact the committeeÕs chair, Stacey Aronson.  Watch for their website to be their one-stop shop on assessment.

 

Campus Resource and Planning Committee (CRPC).  Bart Finzel explained that CRPC has spent most of their time trying to come up with recommendations that the Chancellor and the administrative team will take to the Regents on Friday.  It has been a stressful process of give and take.  A capital plan was not included because we do not have the budget to provide a match for a major capital campaign.  Other recommendations involve addressing a substantial budget shortfall.  Most of the budget reductions will come from voluntary staff reductions, which will create problems in some units, but is the best plan.  Other reductions include travel and repairs.  He is hoping that central funding will allow us to fix a roof.  There will also be some reduction in the tuition reserve that we no longer need because we have the contingency reserve.  There are one-time solutions that will buy us time, and other recurring changes will be made next year so we can fully accommodate the reduction.

 

Chancellor JohnsonÕs additional remarks.  Chancellor Johnson stated that it has been stressful all the way around, but the CRPC has had some really good conversations.  At the moment there are just numbers on paper that have to be realized when the Retirement Incentive Option (RIO) deadline of May 15 comes.  Perhaps some voluntary lay-offs will help reach the goal of a $1.73 million budget reduction.  SE&E reductions will be made across-the-board.  Also, the intention is to use the reserve created with the surplus last year to cover the cost of the RIO, a cost of $35,000 per person for the health account and to cover the retirement that has to be effected by January 1, 2012 (half-way through the next fiscal year).  The plan will be presented Friday at the budget meeting in the Twin Cities.

 

In addition to presenting a budget plan, she will present a list of things that rate as the highest priorities for investment for this institution.  She will take to the meeting a recommendation for some dollars to invest in salaries for faculty and P&A professionals.  It seems important that we have it on the table.  If not enough resources are dedicated this year, then it needs to come back on the table in subsequent years.

 

Faculty Affairs Committee.  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson reported that a salary study was done and the most stunning finding is that while UMTC, UMD, and UMC faculty are paid about 60% of what their comparable group gets paid, UMM faculty are paid about 40% of what their comparable group gets paid.  Arne Kildegaard noted that the numbers are percentiles.  Bezanson stated that the report is now on the Faculty Affairs Committee website.  It was a long and difficult process and had to do with credit hours and the number of classes taught at Morris.  It has to do with the kind of school we are and unionization.  Two other issues the committee has moved on to are 1) the cost of recruiting faculty, and 2) parental leaves.  If others have issues to bring to the FAC, email them to her and she will put them on the docket. 

 

Coordinator for Academic Success search committee.  Jennifer Goodnough announced that candidates are on campus for the Coordinator for Academic Success position.  It is critically important to attend the open meetings and provide feedback.

 

VI.    All-University Reports.

 

Michael OÕReilly reminded people to respond to the solicitation for feedback on medical coverage.  This is an opportunity to give feedback about your providers to see if any problems can be rectified.

 

Senate Committee on Educational Planning (SCEP).  Peh Ng announced that SCEP approved the Morris calendar for 2015-2016. 

 

VII.   Old Business.  None.

 

VIII. New Business.  None.

 

Motion to adjourn at 6:05 p.m.