February 3, 2015

You are here

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Approved 3-3-15

FEBRUARY 3, 2015/3:15-5:00PM


Present:  President Simon, Provost Youatt, E. Bank, T. Bitner, M. Chavez, D. Clark, M. Crimp, W. Davidson, P. Floyd, G. Jackson, D. Moriarty, M. Noel, A. Paganini, J. Powell,  E. Strauss, C. Taggart; Others:  T. Curry, S. Lott, State News

Absent:  M. Sticklen, C. Taggart

  1. Approval of Agenda for February 3, 2015
    • Approved as amended.
  2. Approval of Draft Minutes for January 13, 2015
    • Approved.
  3. President’s Remarks – Lou Anna K. Simon
    • State Budget: The revenue projections are less than anticipated. A property tax proposal passed that reduces the personal property tax for many small businesses, resulting in a billion dollar reduction that was supposed to have been, but was not, made up through increased taxes for large business and revenue expected for 2015, guaranteeing money from the state budget for the townships. There is some good news, though not for the tax-based budget: the final budget will not be concluded until the results of May’s road bill are known. If the road bill passes, education will be put back into general funds.
    • Federal Budget: From a research perspective, there is promising news, including FRIB’s excellent reviews. While the numbers are up, they are not at pre-sequestration levels. The education priorities going forward are a focus on student success with shorter times to graduation. There is also a strong priority for technical training because there is a need for highly skilled persons in the modern workforce. We need to be thinking about our students moving forward with programs that help close the skill gap on both a national and a state level. We need to think about how we can be better, not just good enough.
  4. Provost’s Remarks – June Youatt
    • Budget issues are particularly relevant to the success of our undergraduate students. Our responsibility is to work with the students who come to MSU at the level of their preparedness. The argument that students are ill prepared, as a reason for lack of success, is no longer acceptable. We will continue to work for the reform of K-12 education, including STEM education, to serve the needs of our undergraduate students. Across a number of areas, there seems to be some concern about a gender-based inequity of grades in some courses. This is not only MSU’s concern but one being expressed by our partners in the CIC. These discussions are among those on the agenda of the University Alliance. Success of graduates is our responsibility.
  5. The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks – Professor Deborah Moriarity
    • Announcement: Award Convocation.
    • The Secretary for Academic Governance (SAG) office is taking steps to enhance communication between SAG and the standing committees. To that end, committee chairs will be notified of topics and timelines related to recommendations from the Steering Committee.
    • We need to continue to communicate with Faculty Senate regarding the work of the standing committees.
  6. Integrity of Scholarships and Grades Policy Endorsement – Professor Cynthia Taggart, Chair of University Committee on Undergraduate Education (Report filed)
    • ACTION: Tabled to the March Steering Committee meeting due to absence of Chair
  7. Computational Mathematics Science and Engineering Department Proposal Endorsements
    • UCFA - Professor Phylis Floyd, (Report filed)
      • ACTION: UCFA fully endorsed the proposal and asked that thoughtful consideration be given to how faculty issues, e.g., promotion and tenure, are handled for interdisciplinary appointments; and that prioritization procedures for students’ acceptance into the program be established.
    • UCGS – Professor Eric Strauss (Report filed)
      • ACTION: UCGS fully endorsed the proposal
    • UCSA – James Conwell (Report filed)
      • ACTION: UCSA fully endorsed the proposal and asked that there be full support for graduate and undergraduate students in the new department.
    • UCFT - Laura McCabe (Report filed)
      • ACTION: UCFT fully endorsed the proposal. There is concern that faculty positions be fairly managed across interdisciplinary appointments. Also, there needs to be a clearly outlined procedure at the time of appointment regarding faculty who continue independent research as well as team research in the new department, and how each is to be evaluated for promotion and tenure. The UCFT suggested consideration for reduced teaching loads in the first year that would allow new faculty to develop new courses. In addition, new faculty who may come from the private sector should be provided support in developing teaching skills and their service limited during the initial years of program development.
  8. University Committee on Faculty Tenure Update – Professor Laura McCabe, Chairperson
    • The Committee has been reviewing the Faculty Handbook and has identified two issues that require some discussion. One is the interpretation of “incompetence” and “dismissal of faculty for cause”. UCFT has identified a working definition of “incompetence” and will be working to insure that the definition is consistent throughout the Faculty Handbook. UCFT recommended that the Provost’s office established a task force comprised of a member each from UCFT, UCFA and the Faculty Grievance Office to examine the issue of dismissal.
  9. Academic Competitive Fund Award Process Update – Provost Youatt
    • Eighty-seven pre-proposals were received. Those that seemed to be similar were asked to consider a collective submission. Some proposers have been asked for a full proposal; others will not be asked as they were not positioned well with respect to the objectives of the program.
  10. Possession of Firearms on Campus – Professor Deborah Moriarty
    • Moved to future discussion.
  11. Discussion with College of Human Medicine Representatives – Professor Mary Noel, At-Large Member presented the following issues for consideration. Members engaged in a brief discussion of each item. No specific actions were taken regarding the discussion.
    • Progress on discussion regarding the Academic Calendar
    • 20-20 Parking, Public Transportation and Faculty Input
    • Faculty Salaries: Position in the Big Ten
    • MSU Web Email – Functionality for Faculty
    • Remodeling of Class Rooms without Discussion with Faculty Who Use Them
    • Events Calendar on MSU Web Page
    • Progress of List Presented this Fall
  12. Healthy Campus Initiative and (HCI) and Quit Line – Dr. Greg Holzman, Director
    • Moved to future discussion
  13. New Business
    • Update from Faculty Health Care Council in March
    • Update on the Task Force for Relationship Violence and Sexual Harassment
  14. Adjournment – 4:55


Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 3:15am
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :