April 3, 2012

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Approved 9-4-12

April 3, 2012
Board Room, Administration Building

Provost Wilcox, President Simon, W. Anderson, E. Bank, S. Carter, L. Dillon, J. Godeeris, H. Hughes, T. Levine, D. Moriarty, J. Powell, J. Wright, J. Youatt; Others: T. Curry, S. Lott, B. Hayhoe (State News)

Absent: W. Davidson, S. Fletcher, M. Halloran, L. Jordan, M. Kaplowitz, S. Marino, Z. Taylor

Professor Powell called the meeting to order at 3:17 p.m. with a quorum being present.

The Agenda was amended to add Campus Master Plan. The amended agenda was approved.

The Minutes for March 13, 2012 were approved as distributed.

President’s Remarks:
President Simon thanked the members for their work this year. The energy Transition Report will be going to the next BOT meeting as a recommendation to move forward. This is a dynamic plan and will have an annual report. There will be an operations committee put together of faculty, students and staff that will be able to surface issues along the way.

The House and Senate versions of subcommittees and their recommendations regarding the budget have been accurately reported in the press. There are many challenges to work through over time. President Simon noted that unlike other places, the University does not have a hospital that provides a safety net for care that can be put under charity care support. This means that whatever occurs for our students in a catastrophic way they will be responsible. If you look at other Big Ten Universities, it is often part of the set of issues to try to encourage the health care for students in ways that give students the care they need and at the same time not imposing a heavy financial burden on a portion of the student body. About 86% of the students come to the University with health insurance. There was some communication about insurance that was misunderstood. The University will continue to look at the issues of health insurance.

Provost’s Remarks:
Provost Wilcox commented on the conversations regarding undergraduate education and graduation rates which will continue into the Fall. There are three points that are important to consider as we evolve through the next year. One is the series of central changes that have occurred in UUD and OSS, these two entities have been moved from the Vice President for Student Affairs to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. This has provided the opportunity to rethink the role and scope of those enterprises and how they interface with the Residence Hall systems and the cohort of students those programs serve. The second set of changes related to curricular changes with an eye toward creating twenty-first century curricula, as well as being more efficient with student and instructor time. The third area to look at is institutional integration. The path from point A to point B through the University is straight for some students however the multiple paths for other students have not been considered. We need to develop a frame of curricular sensibilities at an institutional level. The Provost noted that these issues will be the theme for next year.

President Simon noted that the last time the University looked seriously at these issues identified by the Provost was done in the late 1980’s, i.e. CRUE and CORRAGE where a series of reports were done.

The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Powell thanked the Standing Committee Chairpersons for all of the work in the various committees this year.

Request to Discontinue an Academic Program:
The Provost sent a request to discontinue an Academic Program. The UCGS recently reviewed and provided consultative commentary regarding the request to discontinue the Educational Assessment for K-12 Practitioners, Graduate Certificate. Provost Wilcox has reviewed the request, consulted with the President and has determined to discontinue the Program. Provost Wilcox requests that the UCC now review and take action on the request to delete the Program’s curriculum and degree requirements. A motion passed to refer the request to UCC.

UCFA Faculty Salary Recommendations:
Professor Anderson, Chairperson of UCFA, presented the Recommendation for 2012-13 Faculty Merit and Market Pool Increase which was distributed to members prior to the meeting. Professor Anderson reviewed the UCFA rationale for the proposed recommendation of a 3% increase for the 2012-13 merit pool and a 1% increase for the market adjustment pool. UCFA believes that current market conditions warrant a greater increase than that proposed. However, based on the current economic circumstances in the state of Michigan, the proposed recommendation seeks to balance academic market conditions with other budgetary needs in the University.

A motion was passed to place on the Faculty Senate agenda.

Proposed Amendments from UCAG:
Professor Hughes, Chairperson of UCAG, presented the following proposed amendments to the University Bylaws for Academic Governance:

1) The University Committee on Undergraduate Studies (UCUS) approved the proposal that its name be changed to the University Committee on Undergraduate Education (UCUE).

2) 4.3.2. The University Committee on Academic Governance shall nominate to the University Council individuals who may be appointed to University-level Standing Committees, to The Steering Committee, Advisory-Consultative Committees, and other committees as may be requested by the University Council.

3) Current Bylaw: A nomination slate will be developed by Faculty Senate. The University Committee on Academic Governance will solicit recommendations from all faculty.

Proposed Amendment: The University Committee on Academic Governance will solicit recommendations from all faculty. A nomination slate will be developed for Faculty Senate to endorse and send to Academic Congress for election.

A motion was passed to send to University Council.

Request for Exploration Re: SIRS e-forms:
Secretary Wright presented the following request sent to the Academic Governance regarding SIRS forms:

  • The ability for co-taught/multi-instructor courses to have SIRS e-forms available for all instructors, so students can comment on the individual instructors.
  • A clarification of how faculty who teach cross-listed courses (either individually or co-taught) can access their SIRS on-line (this may already be possible, but an explanation/clarification is needed).

Following a brief discussion, a motion was passed to refer this request for information and clarification to the UCUS.

UCAG Request Re: Electronic Voting:
Secretary Wright presented a request from UCAG as follows:

UCAG requests that the Steering Committee investigate, or charge another body to investigate the identification of a secure and anonymous method for collecting electronic votes and evaluations for use by the various units on campus.

We make this request because in our review of various bylaws it is apparent that voting and evaluations, some of which are supposed to be confidential and anonymous, are being collected electronically and none of the methods for such collection that we are aware of provide for the appropriate level of either security and/or anonymity. Given the large number of units engaged in such activity, it seems that it is preferable to have one body develop the appropriate procedures for this type of data collection rather than have every unit go through the effort of developing their own system.

A motion was passed to refer to UCFA.

Energy Transition – UCUS Comments:
Professor Dillon, Chairperson of UCUS, reported that UCUS invited Jennifer Battle to their meeting to discuss the Energy Transition Plan. Ms. Battle explained the rationale behind the key aspects of the plan, focusing on the impact on and opportunities for undergraduate students. Following the discussion, no member expressed opposition to the plan, although a concern was raised that any energy plan be cost effective in the energy market and technically efficient in energy production.

Campus Master Plan:
Professor Moriarty attended an UCFA meeting and presented a letter from the College of Music regarding concerns over parking for College activities. Steve Troost, Chairperson of the Campus Master Planning Committee also presented on the Master Plan. Professor Moriarty noted there was no mention of the academic mission. After his presentation he was asked about the Planning Committee and if there was faculty representation. It appears that there was no ongoing faculty representation on the Committee. The question raised in the Steering Committee was how to get faculty representation on the Planning Committee. The Provost clarified that the particular Committee is the Campus Infrastructure Work Group (CIPWG). The Campus Master Plan was created ten years ago, brought back five years ago and updated, and is now being reviewed again. Part of the advisory process this time was to use the Campus Infrastructure Work Group. This Work Group reviews every project on campus. A motion was passed to have representative faculty from governance on CIPWG. The composition is composed of administrative staff. Suggest asking UCFA investigate and make recommendations for a protocol by which Academic Governance communicates directly with administrative committees. A motion was passed to create a communication system between the Steering Committee and the Administrative Committees.

Draft Agenda for Faculty Senate for April 17, 2012:
The agenda for the Faculty Senate meeting scheduled for April 17, 2012 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • University Committee on Curriculum Report
  • Recommendations for 2012-13 Faculty Merit & Market Pool Increase
  • Health Benefits for 2012-13 Update
  • Solicitation of Faculty Governance Issues

Draft Agenda for University Council for April 24, 2012:
The agenda for the University Council meeting scheduled for April 24, 2012 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • Proposed Bylaw Amendments from UCAG
  • Academic Year Calendar Update
  • Proposed Merger of the Departments of Crop & Soil Sciences & Plant Pathology to form the Department of Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences
  • New Business

New Business:
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,


Jacqueline Wright
Secretary for Academic Governance

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 3:17pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :