Draft Minutes - October 4, 2011

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October 4, 2011
Board Room, Administration Building

Present: President Simon, Provost Wilcox, W. Anderson, S. Carter, W. Davidson, L. Dillon, J. Godeeris, M. Halloran, H. Hughes, M. Kaplowitz, T. Levine, D. Moriarty, J. Powell, Z. Taylor, J. Wright, J. Youatt
Others: T. Curry, L. Jordan, S. Lott, C. Schotten, State News

Absent: S. Fletcher

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

The Agenda was amended adding the following items: Name Change for Epidemiology, Academic Program Review Report and On-line SIRS Forms. The amended agenda was approved.

The Minutes for August 30, 2011 were approved as distributed.

President’s Remarks:
President Simon reported that in the recent period the University has had a rash of incidents that involve African-American students. Events such as these always call into question the commitment of the University when the behavior is often the result of a small number of individuals. The question is how we together as members of this community can make it better for everyone. The University police have been asked to continue to investigate the incidents reported. President Simon sent a letter to the campus community regarding the incidents and the University’s response.

President Simon announced that Ian Gray, Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies, will step down from the position effective June 30, 2012. An external search will begin immediately which will be coming to The Steering Committee for review. The President requested to have a small number of people identified to work on this search.

The President noted that when a set of policies were enacted related to the Faculty Voice Committee, one of those was to conduct a review of the Provost. The first stage of the review begun last year soliciting comments from the key administration people, Deans and others. The next stage of the review needs to be done now. The President will work with The Steering Committee to undertake this review. The Steering Committee needs to appoint the five elected members of The Steering Committee plus one ASMSU and one COGS student representatives to serve as the review group in the role analogous to a CAC and then report back to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will then decide on how the information will be presented to the campus community. The following motion was passed:

The President, working with The Steering Committee, will undertake to complete the five-year review of the Provost by the end of the current semester. The Steering Committee will appoint the five elected members of The Steering Committee, one representative from ASMSU and one representative from COGS to serve as a Review group in a role analogous to that of the College Advisory Committee when that body participates in the five year review of a Dean. The President and the Review Group will report the results of the review to The Steering Committee.

Provost’s Remarks:
Provost Wilcox noted that the ECAC’s suggestion last year to do reports about the campus to University Council was a good idea. There are two such reports that he has identified at this time. One topic is to give a sense of where the University is on the Student’s Registration Programs, looking at the current environment for students. The other topic appears to be a discussion on the EBS and having a question and answer session. The Provost indicated these are two topics he would like to be scheduled.

The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Powell announced that the Steering Committee will function as the unit for the five year review of the Secretary for Academic Governance and explained the process. Professor Kaplowitz will chair the subgroup to gather material. Other members of the subgroup will be Professor Donohue, a member of UCFA, Stefan Fletcher, COGS Chairperson and Zachary Taylor, AA Chairperson on ASMSU. This subgroup is to provide recommendations to The Steering Committee.

Professor Powell reported that the Task Force working on the URO should be reporting back to the Committee in November. The Faculty Forum will be held on October 25, 2011 at the Communications building. The At-Large Faculty are working on a schedule to meet with the College Advisory Committees.

Acceptable Use Policy for MSU Information Technology Resources:
Professor Powell requested voice for Kristine Zayko to speak, which was granted. Kristine reported working with David Gift’s office over the summer to revise the University’s Acceptable Use Policy. The policy was last revised in 1992. Kristine requested that the proposed policy be referred to the appropriate governance committees for review and feedback. A draft of the proposed policy and an information document on Frequently Asked Questions was distributed. Kristine noted that the world of technology, the internet and everything has dramatically changed since 1992, including the legal and regulatory environment that deals with how the internet is used. One of the goals in revising the Policy was to modernize and reflect the practices of the University. Kristine reported doing a review of Acceptable Use Policies at all of the Big Ten CIC Schools to make sure the proposed policy reflected the best practices. A motion was passed to refer the Proposed Policy to UCSA and UCFA. The Committees will report back to the Steering Committee.

Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Faculty Leadership Conference:
Secretary Wright informed the members of the Annual Faculty Leadership Conference, October 27 -29, at Purdue. Governance usually sends two representatives to this meeting. Professor Powell plans to attend and Professor Levine indicated interest providing his schedule was clear.

Department Name Change Request from COM – Follow-up UCUS and UCGS:
Professor Powell asked for follow-up reports from UCUS and UCGS on the name change from COM. Professor Dillion (UCUS) reported the committee had no concern about the name change but suggested a simpler name. Professor Goddeeris, (UCGS) reported the committee did discuss the proposed change and had Dean Strampel at the meeting to answer any questions. The committee supported the change and also suggested a simpler name. This request and feedback now goes to the Provost.

Department Name Change Request for Epidemiology:
Provost Wilcox received a request from CHM for a name change for the Department of Epidemiology. CHM is seeking approval to change the name to the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The Provost asked for referral to the appropriate Standing Committees. A motion was passed to refer the request to UCUS and UCGS. The committees are to report back in November.

Merger of the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences and Plant Pathology: Follow-up UCUS and UCGS:
Professor Powell asked for follow-up on the proposed merger form UCUS and UCGS. Professor Goddeeris, Chairperson of UCGS, reported receiving no objections from the members, but one member requesting information regarding the process. Professor Youatt noted that the Dean was preparing additional information to accompany the request so asked the two Committees to postpone further discussion until additional information is received. Professor Youatt will send the additional information when ready to the Secretary to distribute.

Grade Inflation:
Professor Hughes reported the issue of grade inflation came up at a meeting of the Universities of Land Grant Colleges and Universities. Professor Hughes indicated it is currently a concern at a number of Universities. He asked members if there were any concerns at MSU. Professor Youatt noted that the UCAP, now UCUS, spent considerable time looking at the issue about 2 years ago, so if anyone is interested the material is available.

Academic Program Review Report:
Provost Wilcox noted that a change that came about from Faculty Voice was the initiation of the Academic Program Review. The Academic Program Reviews began in 2008-09 and the process was directed by Academic Governance and assigned to the Provost Office to implement. One of the requirements was that the Provost report to Governance annually. In the first three years this has been done by reporting to the leadership in Governance. This week the report was given to Secretary Wright and the Steering Committee Chairperson, Professor Powell and the Steering Committee Vice Chairperson, Professor Carter. During the meeting the desirability of a broader report was discussed. The group proposed that the report be presented to the University Council. A motion was passed to place on the University Council agenda for October.

Online SIRS Report:
Professor Moriarty commented that the Chairperson of UCAP, now UCUS, indicated that the committee did not look into how to get the SIRS forms online and what was in the future. There is a question about online SIRS forms that do not have common unit codes. The problem seems to be that the common unit codes do not necessarily match up with the number of SIRS forms that people desire. The Provost indicated he would discuss the issue with Professor Estry.

Draft Agenda for Faculty Senate for October 18, 2011:
The agenda for the Faculty Council meeting scheduled for October 11, 2011 has been rescheduled for October 18, 2011, prior to the University Council meeting. The agenda is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • University Committee on Curriculum Report - Action
  • New Business

Draft Agenda for University Council for October 18, 2011:
The agenda for the Academic Council meeting scheduled for October 18, 2011 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • Academic Program Review Report - Info

New Business:
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, October 4, 2011 - 3:15pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :