February 23, 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
- Time and place for meetings-Mondays,
3:30-4:30 pm, Science Conference Room 2550
- 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
- List Serve-The Chair noted
that a list serve has been established for committee members to
- 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
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.
- 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.
- Preamble-it was noted that extraordinary
power is ascribed to the Chancellor. Some thought that the faculty
should play a more prominent role. It was also noted that since it dealt
with the delegation of authority, it should be an article and not be
contained in the preamble, which does not have the force of policy or ³law.²
There is also some confusion about the preamble, referring here to language
about the separate location of campuses, such as Morris. The committee
seemed to be in agreement only on the liberal arts mission of UMM and
much concerned about much of the rest of the preamble.
- Other Issues-members noted
other concerns about the constitution-how does UMM fit within the
governance structure of the entire University? What are the layers of
authority within the University? What is the role of the UMM constitution
and its value?
- Section 2, Senior
Administrative Officer. The power of the Chancellor seems to be great,
though it seems to be contradicted (limited) in article 3, section 7 (of
the UMM constitution) in which the policies of the Campus Assembly are
defined. Under the administrative powers of the Chancellor it seems that
the Chancellor proposes to the Assembly to be approved or disapproved by
them. A committee member noted that what we are seeking a balance of
power between the Chancellor and the Assembly. The Assembly seems to have
only limited power. A member of the committee said that the powers of
the Chancellor should be limited to administrative responsibility. Under
the University policy the President is given the power and the Chancellor
is delegated such power by the President. The Senate constitution
however, provides for campus assemblies which must be approved by the
University Senate and that is called for in the University Regents
policies. It seems that the University Senate has authority separate
from the President. What we need to ascertain is the power and authority
of the President, the University Senate, the Chancellor and Campus
Assembly as derived from Board of Regents Policy.
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.
- 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.