February 23, 2006


UMM Constitutional Revision Committee

Meeting-February 20, 2006


Present: M.E. Bezanson (Chair), R. Heyman, M. Korth, T. Lindberg, McRoberts (interim Secretary), S. Olson-Loy, J. Ratliff-Crain, G. Rudney, K. Strissel, G. Thorson, and R. Webb


  1. Time and place for meetings-Mondays, 3:30-4:30 pm, Science Conference Room 2550


  1. Frequency of meetings-probably every other week. The next meeting will be on Monday, February, 27 at 3:30 with the following one after spring break on Monday, March 13 at 3:30 pm.


  1. List Serve-The Chair noted that a list serve has been established for committee members to communicate.


  1. Website-Committee member Webb has created a website which will have posted such items as, among other things, the UMM Constitution, the Regents Policy for Delegation of Authority and the all University Senate Constitution (drawn from the Regents Policy Library). These items will give the committee some context for our deliberations.


There followed a discussion of the Regents policy and delegation of authority which appears to be given exclusively to the President. A number of questions emerged about UMMıs constitution, including: 1) Who has what power, assigned by whom? 2) What authority is already granted (limited) by all University requirements or regulations? 3) What is the Chancellors authority and from whence does it come? In the Universityıs Board of Regents Policy, article 2, section 3, the President is delegated authority by the Regents-the President in turn delegates authority to other executive officers. Sandy Olson-Loy noted that there is a grid of delegation within the University of Minnesota, which describes the breakdown and line of authority.


The Power of the President is complete over the Chancellor. The UMM Constitution recognizes the power which is delegated to the Chancellor by the President. In essence, authority in the University is vested in the Regents who in turn, delegates it to others, primarily the President.


  1. Review of UMM Constitution--The Chair turned to the UMM Constitution and proposed that we look at the UMM Constitution by article and section. Others suggested that we also look at other college constitutions-based on a listed proposal by Greg Thorson and others. This would include selected public and private college constitutions, and other colleges within the University of Minnesota.


Staff Support for the Committee-we agreed that we need staff support for about 5 hours a week. Bezanson noted that McRoberts will be serving as interim secretary.

Bezanson went on to suggest that we review the UMM constitution and start with each article to identify what is missing or needs clarification.


                  Again, there was suggestion that as we think about our revised constitution, we should define the Chancellors role as having administrative authority, but not necessarily policy authority and in fact, step away from some of the Chancellorıs authority and try to strengthen our consultative powers.


·      The terms of the Chancellor and administrators need to be revised. There followed a long discussion about the terms of appointment for senior administrators and the review of those administrators and the fact that the constitution no longer reflects current realities. There was once administrative review of senior administrative officers, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and directors, but that has largely fallen by the wayside starting first on the Twin Cities campus. We need to revisit this as we redo the constitution.


  1. At the next meeting: 1) we will continue discussion of the constitution by article and section; 2) we will look at the list of public and private colleges and U of M constitutes we wish to consider (as developed by Greg Thorson); 3) we will also bear in mind that we want to think globally about the constitution-what role does it play in our campus life-and ask the major questions or concerns about the constitution, not just narrow specific issues. We want to understand what the constraints are on UMM in terms of Regentıs and other University of Minnesota policies.


Final comments-one member asked that we keep in mind the essential reasons why we were asked to do a revision of the constitution. What has brought us to this point?


It was noted that we should feel free to invite expertise from elsewhere in the University to address such issues as the Universityıs constitution, the relative authority of the Regentıs over the President, the President in relation to the University Senate, UMM in relationship to the rest of the University and the power of the Chancellor versus the Assembly (or faculty) at UMM.