April 12, 2011

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Approved 9/13/2011




Tuesday, April 12, 2011

115 International Center

Provost Wilcox, K. Ames, A. Berg, S. Carter, M.W. Chang, M. Chavez, W. Corser, E. Cushman, W. Davidson, J. Foss, C. Frilinigos, J. Gabilondo, L. Gut, R. Hall, M. Jain, M. Kaplowitz, N. Khanna, L. Leavitt, K. Lovell, R. Maleczka, H. Melakeberhan, W. Miller, D. Moriarty, R. Ofoli, J. Owen, D. Pathak, K. Petroni, J. Powell, P. Rogers, L. Roman, B. Scott, G. Stone, S. Tekalur, T. Tims, J. Wright, E. Yakura, B. Zandstra

Absent: President Simon, G. Bice, J. Boughman, S. Carey, S. Conrad, C. Coursaris, D. Dougherty, R.K. Edozie, L. Fair, M. Fillmore, J. Funk, K. Goldsberry, S. Hassan, E. Heilman, J. Hoehn, H. Hughes, R. Jones, G. Kortemeyer, M. Lawrence, R. Mabokela, T. Marsh, P. Menchik, T. Monberg, M. Nalla, M. Noel, N.B. Oliver, C. Parker, H. Perlstadt, S. Pratt, R. Putnam, F. Rauscher, F. Ravitch, M. Sciarini, M. Shapiro, M. Sticklen, R. Taggart, L. Udpa, J. Vargas, S. Watts

The meeting began at 3:21 p.m. with a quorum.

Approval of Agenda:
The agenda was approved as distributed.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Approval of Minutes:
The minutes for March 22, 2011 were approved as distributed.

Provost’s Remarks:
The Provost noted that this was the last meeting for the academic year. The President is in Washington, DC attending the regular meeting of the Association of America Universities (AAU), which is composed of the 63 Research Universities from across the country. This Association is unlike any other Higher Education Association as the membership is comprised by invitation only, and is based almost entirely on the research credentials of the institution. MSU is proud to be a member.

Executive Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Powell pointed out that the Provost introduced a set of documents at the last ECAC meeting related to a discussion surrounding the concept of a University Research Organization (URO). The projects that would be part of this would be projects that have a National importance and may not fall into the category of the University’s requirement for openness of the research, with limitations on publications, etc. The Provost’s Office has requested that a dialogue begin on a URO. ECAC is establishing a Working Group of five to seven individuals from various colleges to begin a discussion on the philosophical and practical nature of a URO and to determine the process for a dialogue on campus. Professor Powell indicated that the Working Group could begin to discuss the issues over the summer.

Blue Care Network/ Community Blue:
Professor Moriarty, UCFA Chairperson, proposed a motion to give voice to Professor Emmett, Chairperson of the Budget Subcommittee, HR Team Renee Rivard, Dan Mackie, Brent Bowditch and Dave Byelich for Office of Planning and Budgets. The motion was passed. Professor Moriarty presented the coming changes in Community Blue and Blue Care Network rates for 2011-12 and a comparison grid for Blue Care Network and Community Blue. Refer to agenda attachments. Professor Moriarty reported that 2/3 of the faculty are enrolled in Community Blue and the basic reasons when questioned about their preference included travel, a child who is out of state and or their physician is not in the Blue Care Network. The increase for next year for the Blue Care Network for a single person will be $1.08 for the year. The increase for Community Blue for a single person will be $533.00 for the year. Discussion followed related to questions and responses. Provost Wilcox thanked the faculty for their work.

Task Force re Changes to the Code of Teaching Responsibility and Integrity of Scholarships and Grades:
Professor Powell presented an update on the previous discussion regarding the concern over the student assessment and integrity related to proctoring exams particularly in the hybrid and on-line courses. UCAP reviewed and discussed the issue which has resulted in a set of proposals.

ECAC has established a Task Force to begin to do an analysis of the assessment programs. The mission of the Task Force is to identify guidelines and recommendations to insure the integrity of the student assessment process, particularly in the area of proctoring. Members have been identified that have expertise in the classroom and on-line experience. The Task Force will meet next week to be given the charge of the mission.

Proposed Changes to the Retirement Investment Plan:
Professor Moriarty, UCFA Chairperson, reported that the Budget Subcommittee has been working since last Fall with HR on this issue. She stressed the word “proposed” is important because these retirement investment changes are not set in stone. Due to the IRS there will be changes. One of the problems was how to communicate this to the faculty. This change involves faculty and the broader community of MSU. UCFA sent an email to everyone inviting all to two forums and directing individuals to the HR website for information and to take a survey. Over four thousand people have visited the website and 126 have taken the survey. The main concern expressed at the forums was eliminating Vanguard as one of the venders. Brent Bowditch presented information to Council members. At this point HR is seeking input from faculty. In the Fall there will be many forms of communication with faculty. Faculty do not need to take any action at this time. Brent indicated that the University is many months away from making any change. The Provost stressed the importance of getting information out about the need to change, the framework within which we plan to change and advice on the framework.

Merit/ Market Pool Adjustment Letter:
Professor Moriarty, Chairperson of UCFA, presented the UCFA’s recommendation for the 2011-12 Faculty Merit and Market Pool Increase. Refer to attachment on agenda. The UCFA recommends a 2% increase for the 2011-12 general merit pool. In addition, UCFA recommends a market adjustment pool increase of approximately 1%, continuing the practice of 2010-11. A motion passed to endorse the Report.

Proposal to Revise the MSU Course Repeat Policy:
Professor Powell, in the absence of Professor Gillian, Chairperson of UCAP, presented information on the Proposal to Change the Course Repeat Policy. UCAP reported the concerns expressed in the feedback from the Standing Committees on the proposed policy, which tended to fall into four general categories:

  1. How will repeats appear on Transcripts?
  2. How will repeats impact Financial Aid and students who are socioeconomically challenged?
  3. Would it be possible to give enrollment priority to first-time students?
  4. Will this have the potential to contribute to grade inflation?

These concerns have been raised and addressed in UCAP as follows:

  1. The proposed policy change does not impact how repeats appear on transcripts; this remains the same as it is now. All instances of enrollment in a course appear on the transcript (with the grade earned). Only the grade earned in the last enrollment will be used to calculate the cumulative GPA.
  2. The UCAP document “Summary Comments on Revised Repeat Policy”, page 8, contains information regarding Financial Aid; however any current government policy is subject to change. While it is unfortunate that a policy could potentially advantage students with greater financial resources, that fact is not unique to this policy change, and it is true for the existing policy.
  3. It is not possible with the current SIS system to automate a process that would give enrollment priority to first-time takers. This may be an option in the future when the system is updated, but this will take time and substantial AIS resources.
  4. Grade inflation is an entirely separate issue. If grade inflation exists, and there is evidence it does not at MSU, it is not a student issue, it is a faculty issue. Faculty are encouraged to use the full range of the grading scale. This policy change is proposed because the current policy has a number of unintended consequences (See UCAP report, Page 3, “Rationale”).

Professor Powell indicated the UCAP report has been sent to the Provost. Provost Wilcox noted there are a number of practical concerns that will need to be worked on. The Provost will report back on this issue.

Online SIRS Pilot Study - Follow-up:
Professor Powell called for a motion to give Professor Perry voice in the absence of Professor Bice, Chairperson of UCAP. The motion was passed. Professor Perry summarized the work of UCAP on the online SIRS over the past several years. The concerns ranged from response rates, administration of the SIRS, cost for distribution of forms etc. UCAP formed a subcommittee to begin a review of online SIRS processes. The subcommittee subsequently implemented a pilot study for Summer 2010, Fall 2010 & Spring 2011of the online SIRS process with the intention of answering two basic questions:

  1. Can student response rate to the online SIRS be increased through grade sequestration?
  2. Can the online SIRS form be customized?

At its March 30, 2011 meeting, the full committee endorsed the following recommendation of the subcommittee:
The UCAP Subcommittee on Online SIRS unanimously recommends implementation of grade sequestration in the administration of online SIRS.

UCAP encourages adoption of this practice as soon as is practicable. The results of the pilot study support the use of best practices with regard to communication with students in the administration of online SIRS with grade sequestration (i.e., inclusion in the syllabus, explication during the course introductory lecture, and email reminders during the course). UCAP also encourages units participating in online SIRS to take advantage of the ability to customize the online SIRS form when appropriate.

Following some discussion, a motion was passed to forward the UCAP Report to the Provost.

UCAG Proposed Motion:
In the absence of Professor Hughes, Chairperson of UCAG, Secretary Wright reported a motion, proposed by UCAG, and is as follows: The proposed motion is to delete the words “on a regular basis” in and and to read as follows: The voting faculty in the election of University-level councils and committees shall be all regular faculty, health professions faculty, and NSCL faculty. Voting faculty also includes full-time fixed-term faculty who have served at least three consecutive years and who are engaged in the academic activities of the University. on a regular basis. The voting faculty in the election of department, school, or college councils and committees and in elections pertaining to department, school, or college policies and decisions shall include all regular faculty engaged in the academic activities of that unit on a regular basis and may, if so provided by unit bylaws, also include health professions faculty, NSCL faculty, fixed-term faculty, honorary faculty, specialists, lecturers, research associates, assistant instructors, and/or adjunct faculty.

The motion was supported and the motion was passed.

Hoeschele Colloquium:
Professor Maleczka called members attention to a special Colloquium on April 14, 2011 by Dr. James Hoeschele as a Tribute to the Life and Achievements of Barnett Rosenberg. The event will be held in 136 Chemistry Building.

Other Business:
There was no further business.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 pm.

Respectfully submitted,


Jacqueline Wright
Secretary for Academic Governance


Tapes of complete meetings of the Faculty Council are available for review in the office of the Secretary for Academic Governance, W32 Owen Graduate Hall, 355-2337

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 3:21pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :