March 27, 2012

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Approved 4-17-12




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

115 International Center

President Simon, Provost Wilcox, G. Aben, W. Anderson, M. Becker, D. Campbell, S. Carey, S. Carter, E. Charles, M. Chavez, K. Cheruvelil, C. Coursaris, E. Cushman, W. Davidson, L. Dillon, J. Dunn, J. Foss, C. Frilingos, J. Goddeeris, M. Grieshop, M. Halloran, T. Holt, H. Hughes, R. Jones, Y. Komori, T. Levine, L. Mak, W. Miller, M. Morath, D. Moriarty, M. Noel, R. Ofoli, D. Pathak, V. Poltavets, J. Powell, R. Putnam, C. Scales, L. Selanders, D. Sheridan, G. Stone, L. Udpa, C. Vermeesch, S. Watts, D. Wilson, J. Wright, E. Yakura

Absent: K. Ames, J. Boughman, M. Fillmore, L. Gut, S. Hassan, J. Hoehn, M. Kaplowitz, M. Kasavana, M. Lawrence, K. Lovell, R. Mabokela, A. Meisel, H. Melakberhan, P. Menchik, B. Olivier, H. Perlstadt, S. Pratt, F. Ravitch, M. Shapiro, A. Singh, R. Taggart, S. Tekalur, C. Traister

The meeting began at 3:20 p.m. with a Bass quorum.

Approval of Agenda:
The agenda was amended adding the items of the Librarian Continuous Appointment System and the Fixed-Term Appointment System. The agenda was approved as amended.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Approval of Minutes:
The minutes for February 28, 2012 were approved as distributed.

President’s Remarks:
The President thanked UCFA for their work on various policy issues to be considered at the next BOT meeting.

President Simon reported that MSU appeared before the House Appropriations Committee last week and the Hearing seemed uneventful, which was good. The Provost and others will be testifying for the need for more support for the two Agricultural lines, Experimental Station and Extension. It is expected that the Senate and Higher Education Appropriations Committee will announce their recommendations this week. The President understands that the Senate Committee is supportive of the Business Leaders of Michigan approach to support public higher education, which is a package of recommendations that would try to restore the billion dollars that has been lost over the last decade to public higher education in Michigan. The numbers being discussed are too modest for the needs of MSU but it is encouraging that positive numbers are being discussed. The President indicated that there will continue to be a push on tuition restraint, which is popular at the Federal and State levels.

The President underscored the concern about the cost of education and an equal concern about the quality of education. About 45% of the students have educational debt and the average is about one year. The Provost and Deans are concerned about how MSU might make it possible for students to leave with a world-class education and encounter fewer barriers along the way that might add to that degree and reduce costs. The President is pleased that employers and others are seeing the value of our students as reflected by higher numbers of people coming to MSU and the access of our students to graduate school. Very little is said about the importance of graduate education in the National and State debates, but it is very important to MSU. The University has been a pioneer in what is considered now to be one of the most important aspects of graduate education, professional masters’ degrees. The University has had a great record in being one of the first institutions to embrace this concept. The President encouraged that we find some ways to streamline the process so we can be more responsive.

President Simon indicated that outcome measures will be a part of the future in the State. It is important under the Business Leaders of Michigan model to compare MSU to peer institutions outside of Michigan. Our competitors for the future are not necessarily within the borders of the State. The Carnegie Classification provides a measure that everyone can use. We need to double our commitment to graduation rates and the success of our graduates.

Provost’s Remarks:
Provost Wilcox deferred his remarks for the University Council meeting to follow.

The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Powell deferred his remarks for the University Council meeting to follow.

University Research Organization (URO):
Professor Powell requested a motion to act on the URO Report. A motion to approve the recommendations of the URO Task Force was made and seconded. A motion was passed to grant voice to Professor Hunt and Professor Drzal. Professor Powell reported that the URO materials have been on the College of Engineering web site for the past several months and faculty have been notified of the recommendations proposed by the Task Force. Professor Anderson reported that UCFA voted to support the recommendations. Professor Powell noted that the recommendations set out a series of guiding principles and recommends that the University move forward on the development and discussions of these recommendations to develop a plan of action. A motion was passed to accept and endorse the URO Report.

Conflict of Interest Policy:
Professor Anderson, UCFA Chairperson, reported that UCFA reviewed the Proposed Revisions to the Conflict of Interest Policy (attached to distributed agenda). The UCFA endorsed the proposed revision on the condition that (a) the UCFA receive annual reports concerning the implementation of the new annual disclosure requirement, and (b) the deadline for University-wide implementation of the annual disclosure be moved back one year, from the date initially proposed of January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2015. A motion was passed to approve the Proposed Policy with the UCFA amendments. President Simon noted that the revised policy adds a new section (IV.) to address specific requirements applicable to PHS and NSF investigators, including new PHS requirements that will be effective August, 2012. The full implementation of the Policy is targeted for January, 2015.

Librarian Continuous Appoint System:
Professor Anderson, Chairperson of UCFA, reported the Librarian Continuous Appointment System document was reviewed and approved. Professor Curry was given voice and explained the changes made in the document are more in line with the Faculty Promotion Process, and when one moves to an administrator position your title remains with an administrative increment. A motion was passed to adopt the changes in the Librarian Continuous Appointment document for the Faculty Handbook.

Fixed-Term Appointment System:
Professor Anderson, Chairperson of UCFA, reported the UCFA reviewed the Fixed-Term Appointment document and made minor revisions, updating the document was last revised in 2010. Professor Curry clarified that changes were made allowing the fixed-term contracts to be terminated before the end of the contract for those who were reappointed. A motion was passed to approve the changes in the Fixed-Term Appointment document for the Faculty Handbook.

New Business:
A request was made for information on the new legislation for GRE’s and Unions in the State and whether this would apply to MSU. President Simon reported that an interpretation under the current Labor Law that has been in place for a long time, the relationship for research assistants has been one that has been under the policies of the State not subject to collective bargaining. The effect of the law as a State law reinforces prior rulings made through the various labor relations acts.. It does not affect the status of collective bargaining for teaching assistants which is one of the confusions. Professor Curry noted that graduate research assistants are not employees, but rather students.

There was no further business.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

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, March 27, 2012 - 3:20pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :