April 5, 2011

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Approved 5/3/11

April 5, 2011
Board Room, Administration Building

Present:  Provost Wilcox, G. Bice, S. Carter, S. Fletcher, J. Funk, M. Kaplowitz, A. Lovgren, R. Maleczka, D. Moriarty, C. Parker, J. Powell, P. Rogers, C. Schotten, J. Wright, J. Youatt; Others:  S. Ballentine (State News), T. Curry, S. Lott, E. Martinek, R. Perry

Absent: H. Hughes, A. Machi, M. Sticklen, Z. Taylor

Professor Powell called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m. with a quorum being present. 

The agenda was amended adding an item, UCAG Proposed Motions. The amended agenda was approved.

The minutes for March 1, 2011 were amended adding the brief discussion regarding the status of the Proposal for Establishment of New Department in the College of Human Medicine. The minutes were approved as amended.

Provost’s Remarks:
Provost Wilcox noted that in the Fall he had proposed a realignment of reporting lines for the four Basic Sciences, (Microbiology, Biochemistry, Physiology and Pharmacology) that presently report to multiple Deans and Colleges.  The Provost is convinced that this model is ineffective if those Departments are going to move ahead in the future.  The Provost has proposed a different model for the four units and has received a great deal of feedback.  A draft of a new formulation has been completed and is being edited and will be shared.

Professor Moriarty asked the Provost on the status of the Medical School proposal and adding new Departments.  Provost Wilcox has requested the CHM Dean to provide a broader description of where the College was going and provide larger framing document for the College.

ECAC Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Powell announced that a Faculty Forum was held on March 24 and unfortunately it was not as well attended as the previous ones.  There was some good discussion of the At-Large faculty regarding different issues. Professor Powell indicated he felt the forums should be continued and perhaps publicized in different ways. There was some question as to whether ECAC would meet on May 3, since the election process for Chairperson and Vice Chairperson has changed.  It was decided that there would be a meeting on May 3.  Professor Powell also requested that there be two ECAC meetings scheduled this summer.  Following some discussion a meeting was scheduled for July 13 at 3pm.

Creation of a University Research Organization:
Provost Wilcox presented information on the creation of a University Research Organization (URO).  The University has policies that dictate that what we do needs to be open and transparent.  The University takes pride in the peer review systems, our dissemination systems and all that goes with it.  At the same time there are some topics and activities that require a certain amount of secrecy, like those associated with National security.  The University, by its own policies, limit the ability for colleagues to participate in some of the classified research.   Other Universities have addressed this issue in different ways.  Some have indicated they would not participate.  Others have found a way to create a space where this work can be done under a different set of policies and principles that is clear, well defined and  preserves the integrity of their transparency in the academy. The shorthand for this is University Research Organizations (URO).  MSU does not presently have a URO. The University does some important work with the Department of Defense and the University has worked hard to make it fit within the bounds of the research community.  This is becoming increasingly difficult and the University is ready to start a conversation about the appropriateness of creating a separate organization. 

Professor Paul Hunt has expertise in this area.  A motion was passed to give Professor Hunt voice.  Professor Hunt prepared materials distributed to the members prior to the meeting.  Professor Hunt indicated the materials contemplate ECAC’s consideration and the consideration of Governance and the campus of two models found at peer institutions around the country.  One model is the URO, corporately exterior to the University and legally independent.  The other model is the creation of a major administrative unit within the University but with different policies than the normal academic policies.  Either of the models would ameliorate the current situation in which we find ourselves. The URO would help to eliminate problems when doing classified research.  It is important to provide venues that will allow pursuit of this type of classified research.  Following some discussion it was suggested to form a study group to pursue further study of a model.  A motion was passed to establish a Working Group of five broadly represented individuals to explore the issue, recommending the level and intensity of the work that needs to be done to engage the larger community.  The Working Group could begin in the Summer.  There will be further discussion in ECAC May 3.

UCAG Proposed Motions:
Secretary Wright presented the UCAG Proposed Motions in the absence of Professor Hughes.  A question was posed during a Faculty Council meeting regarding Bylaw and 1/1/2.2. regarding the meaning of “on a regular basis.” The question was referred to UCAG and after discussion by UCAG the following proposed motion was made:
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.

A motion was passed to refer to Faculty Council and Academic Council for action.

Task Force for the Changes to the Code of Teaching Responsibility & Integrity of Scholarships & Grades – Follow up:
Professor Powell reported after talking with a number of faculty, the following individuals, who represent a solid core, have agreed to be members of the Task Force:

  • Kathleen Poindexter - Nursing  
  • Brendan Gunther – Director of VuDAT
  • Adele Denison - Physiology
  • Byron Brown – Economics
  • Jessica Knott – COGS Representative
  • Peter Cobbett – Pharmacology/Toxicology
  • Evan Martinek – ASMSU AA

Charge to the Task Force:
Develop recommendations and guidelines to insure the integrity of student assessments of performance, especially as they relate to the proctoring of examinations for the on-line and face-to-face classroom environment. Professor Powell indicated the next steps will be to set a meeting of the Task Force to present and discuss their mission and provide directives.

Proposal to Revise the MSU Course Repeat Policy – Follow up:
Professor Powell noted reports have been received from all of the Standing Committees receiving the proposal to review.  Professor Bice, Chairperson of UCAP, summarized the concerns raised.  Professor Bice reported most people endorsed the proposal with a variety of concerns is four areas. 

  • Transcripts – The proposed Policy addresses transcripts indicating the GPA uses the last grade obtained.
  • Financial Aid – The proposed policy addresses financial aid indicating a third repeat would not be covered,
  • Enrollment – Students repeating the course would compete for enrollment.
  • Grade Inflation – This issue is not addressed in the proposed Policy because this is not a student issue but rather a faculty issue.

ECAC sought commentary and this has been provided to the Provost.  The Proposed Policy is now in the hands of the Provost for consideration.  This report will be on the Academic Council agenda.

Blue Care Network/ Community Blue:
Professor Moriarty, Chairperson of UCFA, reported that the Blue Care Network price increase this year is about .3%. The Community Blue, which covers 2/3 of the faculty, has risen 11%.

Research Faculty Appointment Category:
Professor Moriarty, Chairperson of UCFA, reported the UCFA approved the Research Faculty Appointment Category.  Professor Curry explained that MSU has been very conscious in growing the research enterprise of the University.  The research faculty appointment category is established to meet the needs of a research intensive, land grant university in the recruitment and retention of individuals who support the research mission of the University.  Research faculty appointments are consistent with the University’s need to retain the flexibility to adjust its programs to meet the changing needs of the modern research University.  Research faculty are appointed on a fixed term basis, with an end date, and are not eligible for tenure.  A motion passed to refer to UCFT for review.

Online SIRS Pilot Study:
Professor Bice, Chairperson of UCAP, introduced Professor Ron Perry, UCAP subcommittee on the SIRS Pilot Study.  A motion was passed to give voice to Professor Perry.  Professor Perry summarized the study in detail and reported the full committee (UCAP) 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. 

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 course introduction and email reminders during the course.  UCAP encourages units participating in online SIRS to take advantage of the ability to customize the online SIRS form when appropriate. A motion passed to place on the agendas of FC and AC.  

Election Process for Chairperson and Vice Chairperson for Faculty Senate and The Steering Committee:
Secretary Wright reviewed the new process for the elections according to the Amended Bylaws.

Proposed Changes for ASMSU:
Evan Martinek, AA Representative, explained the proposed change in the ASMSU structure. The impetus for change came out of the Accountability Measures document and to move to a tax exemption status.  The ASMSU also decided to merge the two Assemblies into one.  The internal restructuring came from internal staff  issues and the need for clarity on responsibilities.  There are two questions that will need to be discussed: 1) How is ASMSU going to go Non-profit and 2) How will it look in relationship to the University Academic Governance system?

There will need to be discussion on these questions during the next academic year.  ASMSU will continue AA as is during next year so student representatives can continue participation in Governance.  The issues will be taken to UCAG for discussion and then brought back to ECAC.

Draft Agenda for Faculty Council for April 12, 2011:
The agenda for the Faculty Council meeting scheduled for April 12, 2011 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • Blue Care Network/ Community Blue
  • Task Force re Changes to the Code of Teaching Responsibility & Integrity of Scholarships & Grades
  • Propose Changes to the Retirement Investment Plan
  • Merit/ Market Pool Adjustment Letter
  • Proposal to Revise the MSU Course Repeat Policy
  • Online SIRS Pilot Study – Follow-up
  • UCAG Proposed Motions – Action
  • Hoeschele Colloquium
  • Other Business

Draft Agenda for Academic Council for April 19, 2011:
The agenda for the Academic Council meeting scheduled for April 19, 2011 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • University Committee on Curriculum Report
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOYA)
  • Online SIRS Pilot Study - Follow-up
  • UCAG Proposed Motion
  • Proposal to Revise the MSU Course Repeat Policy - UCAP Report
  • Other Business

Other Business:

Discussion of FOIA:
Provost Wilcox provided information on FOIA.  The FOIA laws dictate what materials are subject to FOIA and how long one has to respond to the request.  Following discussion it was determined this issue should be placed on the Academic Council agenda as an information item.

Update on Graduate Health Care Coverage:
Adam Lovgren, COGS Representative, reported meeting with Dr. Poston and raised some concerns.  The main concern focused on the lack of engagement of the students in the drafting of the process.  Dr. Poston indicated that there would be another RFP in two years and at that time the Student Insurance Advisory Group would be involved.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Jacqueline Wright
Secretary for Academic Governance

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 3:15pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :