Draft, March 31, 2006

 

UMM Constitution Revision Committee

Meeting # 5: March 27, 2006

 

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

 

  1. The Chair indicated that Chancellor Schuman wants to know who will continue to serve after May 2006, assuming the work of the committee will not be completed. Bezanson asked that members email her or consult privately with her regarding their interest in continuing on the Committee.

 

  1. It was noted that Heyman as UMM Parliamentarian is serving as an ex-officio member of this committee as is Sandy Olson-Loy as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

 

  1. The Chair announced that there will be no committee meetings on April 10 and 17 because of the Chancellor candidate visits. All on the committee were in agreement.

 

  1. The Chair distributed information on the academic appointments at UMM presented by Michael Korth.

 

  1. Bezanson also reported that Ann Kolden found in the archives a UMM constitution dated June, 1969. This was a revision of an earlier constitution and involved the work of faculty members/administrators Bert Ahern, Jooinn Lee, Fred Farrell and Steve Granger and students (at the time) Mike Kennedy and Gary McGrath. Big issues at that time were related to student, faculty and Civil Service representation. The Board of Regent¹s approved the UMM Constitution; whether or not that still is the case remains unresolved. Another member asked whether or not there was approval of the 1984 revision of the constitution. Indeed, have any of the revisions that have occurred since 1984 received approval by the Regent¹s? The question still remains, where does the authority for approval of the constitution or Assembly of Morris reside?

 

  1. The committee returned to discussion of the constitution‹Article 3, Section 3, Officers‹the discussion began with the issue of whether or not the Chancellor had to be the Chair of the Assembly (and also the Chair of the Executive Committee). One member thought that that question needed to be addressed. Another member of the committee thought that the Chancellor should not be the Chair of the Assembly. This model (the Chancellor as chair) may be based on the all-University Senate; the President chairs that body. There followed discussion about voting in the Assembly and particularly the confusion about the role of the Vice-chair of the Assembly and the Executive Committee. What are the functions of the Vice-chair assignment? The constitution is unclear as to whether only members of the assembly are eligible to be elected Vice-chair. Similarly there is a Secretary of the Assembly, though the Secretary (who also serves on the Executive Committee) does not keep the minutes for the Assembly meetings. What then is the function of the Secretary since the secretarial function is largely now relegated to the staff of the Chancellor?

 

It was suggested that the Secretary could be responsible for the Assembly ³memory² and information about the work of the Assembly as opposed to being the recorder of particular minutes. In essence, the Secretary might reside over the records of the Assembly and that could be an important Assembly function rather than being a Chancellor¹s office function.

 

Another member noted that the tradition for many years was that the Executive Committee‹which included and was led by the Chancellor--was in fact, the ³Steering Committee² of the Assembly and served as the ³Committee on Committees.²

 

There was a question about whether or not the parliamentarian should be a member of the Assembly with a right to vote. There was a difference of opinion about whether or not this was appropriate. But, sentiment seemed to lean toward that the parliamentarian should be a voting member of the Assembly who would not vote in matters related to his or her own vested interest. This was due, in part, to a sense that a member of the assembly should not lose the right to vote in order to serve as parliamentarian.

 

            Next came a discussion about the timing on selecting the representation on committees from the students and the USA staff. Since the conversion to semesters, the selection of student members for campus committees has not been in sync with the announcement of committee assignments to the Campus Assembly. Some effort needs to be made to bring the selection of members on committees in line with our campus elections so that students can be assigned to committees in a timely manner.

 

            Under Section 4, Meetings, there seemed to be agreement that having two meetings routinely each semester was fine, although there were some language changes proposed. It was also noted that it would probably be appropriate to say that additional meetings may be called in a term (as distinct from special meetings).

 

            There was a fairly long discussion under Section B about what constituted a special meeting and how that ³procedurally² came about. Again, it was made clear that special meetings are different than additional meetings as suggested under Item A. Special meetings, it seems, are called for a very specific purpose and not simply to have an additional Assembly meeting in a given term. The committee again discussed how one determines the actual number of Assembly members that were needed to call a special meeting. This comes back to the confusion over what constitutes membership in our Assembly.

            There also followed discussion about contradiction in the language of the constitution about the exact timing on how many days in advance an agenda had to be distributed to Assembly members.

 

            Finally, we briefly discussed the meaning of an ³Executive Session,² as explained in the constitution.

 

At the next meeting the committee will take up the discussion of a quorum. The next meeting will take place on Monday, April 3, same time and same location. No meetings on April 10 or 17.