December 2, 2014

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Approved 1-13-15




December 2, 2014

3:15-5:00 p.m.

Board Room, Administration Building


Present:  Provost Youatt, E. Bank, M. Chavez, D. Clark, J. Conwell, M. Crimp, W. Davidson, P. Floyd, D. Moriarty, M. Noel, J. Powell, E. Strauss, C. Taggart; Others:  T. Curry, S. Lott

Absent:  President Simon, T. Bitner, L. McCabe, A. Paganini, M. Sticklen, M. Wesolowski

The meeting was called to order at 3:15 p.m.

Approval of Agenda for December 2, 2014:  The agenda was modified to include reconsideration of the posting of audio files on the website; the Computation Mathematics and Computer Engineering proposal; and a presentation on Public Campus Safety Initiatives.  The agenda was approved as modified.

Approval of Minutes for November 4, 2014:

The minutes for November 4, 2014 were approved.

President's Remarks: President Simon is out of town.

Provost's Remarks:  Provost Youatt thanked all who worked so hard this semester.  She said the President is attending the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) today and then will be traveling to Chicago to attend a Federal Reserve meeting.  In the President’s absence, the Provost said that she would herself be leaving the next night to attend a College Opportunity Day at the White House as part of a commitment by University Presidents to graduate more low income students, particularly in STEM disciplines.  The President and Mrs. Obama will attend.  The meeting is restricted to college presidents but President Simon requested that the Provost be able to substitute for her.  MSU has an outstanding record of achievement in this area that demonstrates that 24% of our students are Pell eligible.  It is important for MSU to be represented and to have our collective work acknowledged.

Provost Youatt provided a brief update on the current status of the Dean searches.  Associate Provost Curry identified the following colleges and the status of their searches:  

  • College of Arts and Letters: first meeting of the Dean’s Search Committee meeting will be later in the week.
  • College of Business: the Dean’s Search Committee is up and running.
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: the appointment of the search committee is expected soon.
  • College of Nursing: The Search Committee has met numerous times.  They have candidates applying and will narrow the applicant poll and begin Skype interviews after the first of the year.

Provost Youatt welcomed to campus the new Dean of Communication Arts and Sciences.  Dr. Prabu David begins officially on January 1, 2015.

The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:

Professor Moriarty thanked all the Standing Committee Chairpersons for their reports at the last Faculty Senate meeting.  Feedback from the Senators was very positive, she said, and they appreciated meeting the Chairpersons and learning about the activities of their committee.

The Relationship Violence e-learning video that was presented at Faculty Senate in October is being updated for faculty and has developed a script for the e-learning video.  Once the script is done, it will be shared with the Steering Committee for comment.  The script will then be taped and readied for distribution in January.  Hopefully, the e-learning video can be shown at the Faculty Senate meeting in January.  Professor Moriarty said she had talked with Kristine Zayko whose office is planning, regardless of whether the video is ready, to prepare two PowerPoint presentations to describe the new policy; one would be for faculty and the other for students.

Reconsideration of the Posting of Audio Files:

Professor Davidson said that, although the Steering Committee had previously agreed to post its meetings as audio files, later discussion among the President, Provost, and At-Large members of the Steering Committee concluded that such posting would be premature.  He moved to rescind the previous motion and refer “posting of audio minutes” to UCFA.  In discussion, it was objected that review should follow a trial of the posting, though the trial itself should go ahead.  Two key points against the trial run were raised:  having all comments on record could lead to comments being taken out of context; and the audio could stifle the honesty and openness of the committee’s deliberations, particularly in exchange among faculty, students and administration.  Professor Moriarty moved to amend the main motion to ask the Secretary’s office to conduct a review among other CIC institutions.  The amendment carried.  The main motion carried.

Integrity of Scholarships and Grades Policy Changes - Follow-up - Report from UCGS:

Professor Strauss reported that the UCGS had identified two general areas for discussion:  Law students are covered by LSRR separately; and the option of erasing one strike should not be applied to graduate students. Professor Taggart reported that UCUE had already incorporated a statement about the Law students’ rights but that UCUE was scheduled to discuss the policy further and return it to the Steering Committee in January.

Computational Mathematics Science and Engineering Department Proposal:

Professor Crimp reviewed the history of the proposal through governance (UCFA, UCUE, UCFT, UCGS and UCSA), and expressed the willingness of the principals to meet with committees to reply to questions; contact is through Dean Kirkpatrick. Committee responses are expected in February, with the expectation that the proposal was on track in governance for forwarding the Board of Trustees.  The administration was asked to provide instructions, timelines, and budget implications.

Bicycle Safety Update:

Professor Moriarty requested questions for presentation to the DPPS and received reports from UCSA, UCFA, and UCGS covering a wide variety of issues.

Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) and Fit Line:

Voice was granted to Dr. Kami Silk.  She described her efforts in conjunction with graduate and undergraduate students as well as other interested parties to study bike behavior on campus.  Among the issues she addressed were helmet use; riding on sidewalks on campus; jurisdictional issues with the city; increased use of bikes, increased bike-related incidents and accidents.  She said there will be focus groups, further research and further discussion, particularly with respect to the student knowledge base, with a plan of rolling out a major campaign in late spring or summer and again in the fall.  Committee members noted the need for education of automobile drivers as well as bicyclists and considered how to use the Faculty Senate to provide feedback to specific questions the researchers and organizers might have, perhaps at the January 20 meeting.

Dr. Silk also mentioned the Fit-Line effort to support a tobacco-free campus by encouraging and helping people quit smoking.  She said the program is open to all MSU employees and information is available in various formats.  In discussion, the value of spreading the information widely was emphasized.

Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Letter:

Professor Moriarty reported on behalf of Professor Sue Carter, former Faculty Athletic Representative, who will present information to the University Council in January about a letter regarding Recommendations of the Division 1 Championships Cabinet regarding its continuance and composition in the new Division I governance structure.  This is an instance where the NCAA is not getting faculty input, which is a concern.  MSU is a member of the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA), and Professor Martin Crimp has agreed to represent the University on that body.  The chair asked for and received the endorsement of the Steering Committee for the appointment of Professor Crimp as the COIA representative.  The committee further discussed issues that arise with the NCAA and COIA, especially the important link between athletics and academics.

New Business:  There was no new business.

The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 3:14am
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :