February 7, 2012

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Approved 3/13/12
2011-2012:6

THE STEERING COMMITTEE
MINUTES
February 7, 2012
Board Room, Administration Building


Present: Provost Wilcox, President Simon, W. Anderson, E. Bank, S. Carter, L. Dillon, A. Lovgren (for S. Fletcher), J. Godeeris, M. Halloran, H. Hughes, M. Kaplowitz, T. Levine, E. Martinak (for S. Marino), D. Moriarty, J. Powell, Z. Taylor, J. Wright, J. Youatt

Others: T. Curry, F. Fico, S. Lott, B. Hayhoe and S. Brooks (State News)

Absent: W. Davidson, L. Jordan

President’s Remarks:
President Simon reported the process of the State budget is to be announced this week. A press conference will be held on February 15, 2012 where the Presidents’ Council and the business leaders from Michigan will announce their joint support of an approach to allocating new money for Higher Education. The approach is an outcome based formula and it rewards those above the median in peer groups, making progress and reaching the 80th percentile. The President noted that there are complications to the formula aspect. There is no guarantee that the Governor’s proposal will agree with the Presidents’ Council.

President Simon reported that there will continue to be reporting requirements included in the Higher Education Bill and additional reporting requirements that were in the School Aid Bill. The requirement in the School Aid Bill required the University to report on the use of textbooks authored by faculty and required for their courses.

President Obama has voiced concern over the cost of attendance at Universities and that there needs to be a covenant for public universities with the State, but it is not clear how this might be implemented. It is an interesting question as to what the role of Federal government will be in Higher Education. President Obama will present his budget February 13, 2012 and it is expected that reduction will be recommended. He has indicated that Pell Grants are to be protected. There has been much discussion related to FRIB and the argument put forth regarding concern over basic research.

President Simon indicated the University will begin budget discussions with the community when the Governor’s Budget is released along with the Federal budget. President Simon noted that University Committees should respond to the Energy Transition Plan by Mid March if they have particular concerns or views.

Professor Hughes raised a question regarding time to complete requirements to graduate. The average time for a student to complete requirements for graduation at MSU is 4 years and 3 months. There was further discussion related to how valid are all the requirements at MSU. This is the time to step back and review the curriculum at the College level.

Provost’s Remarks:
Provost Wilcox commented on the requirement by the University for student health insurance. About 85% of the students come to the University with health insurance and there is assistance to help the other students. The University requirement was for new students in the Fall 2011 but has been extended to Spring 2012. The University will be testifying to a committee next week regarding the student health insurance requirement. Provost Wilcox noted that half of the Big Ten schools already have student health insurance as an expectation for enrollment.

The Provost and Professor Curry attended the University Committee on Graduate Studies to begin the review process of the Dean of the Graduate Schools. All Deans are reviewed every five years and faculty and students are involved in these reviews.

The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Powell reminded members to encourage their colleagues to complete the Secretary for Academic Governance and the Provost five year reviews. The University-level Standing Committees are asked to respond to a set of questions as a collective for the Provost Review.

Professor Powell reported on the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) conference. The organization is made up of representatives of University Faculty Senate groups. A number of topics were discussed including academic fraud and the consequence of such activity, pay for play and freshman eligibility.

A motion was passed to move agenda item on the ADP Work Group Response up to accommodate the President’s schedule.

ADP Working Group Response to President Simon:
Professor Carter, Chairperson of the ADP Working Group, presented and discussed the Group’s review of the President’s rejection of the following three central recommendations of the Working Group:

  1. That the investigative function be carried out by an entity other than the one responsible for promoting university diversity.
  2. That an investigation follows the formal three‐stage model in which the first stage separates complaints arising from attempts to suppress free speech.
  3. That a formal record be kept of investigative proceedings.

The Working Group is asking the President to look at the following:

  1. Separating the functions of I-3, that is to say to have the same body that investigates also be the same body that educates.
  2. Look at the possibility of having a three part investigation process that tracks what happens with the Faculty Grievance Office and the Office for Research Integrity.
  3. Allow the participants to make a recording of any and all hearings.

Members passed a motion for Professor Fred Fico to speak of an incident of discrimination. He spoke of an incident in April 2007 when he was an advisor for the MSU College Republicans when they sponsored a speech on illegal immigration, a protected First Amendment Speech. The speech was disrupted by some students, the police came and some students were arrested. Subsequent to the event some of these students went to the Office for Inclusion and charged they had been discriminated against. The Office for Inclusion then initiated an investigation against the sponsoring group and the advisor. The advisor was charged with eight violations of the ADP. Professor Fico is supportive of the revisions.

President Simon asked for additional comments. The President indicated she will take the recommendations from the Working Group under advisement. An Interim Procedure was developed for Sexual Harassment based on the new guidelines. UCFA had a problem more about how the procedure was carried out and less regarding the policy. The President noted she will reconsider the issues.

University Research Organization (URO) – Report from UCGS:
Professor Powell asked for the UCGS report. Professor Goddeeris, Chairperson of UCGS, indicated no members expressed opposition to the recommendations to proceed. A question was raised as to whether this Organization would be internal or external to the University, but no position was taken. Professor Powell asked for responses from UCFA, UCFT and UCUS for the March meeting. A motion was passed to send the URO Report to CAC Chairpersons requesting that it be discussed with responses to be sent to the Steering Committee.

Ad Hoc Task Force on Assessment - Report from UCC, UCUS, UCGS:
Professor Goddeeris, Chairperson of UCGS, reported members voted to support the recommendation from the Taskforce Report “to adopt the recommendations put forth by the Provost to amend the Code of Teaching Responsibility, and the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades”. The UCGS agreed with the other recommendations but did not feel adequately informed to take a position. Professor Dillon, Chairperson of UCUS, reported after meeting with Taskforce members, Adele Denison and Byron Brown, the UCUS members raised a number of issues for consideration by the Taskforce and distributed to the Steering Committee. Professor Halloran, Chairperson of UCC, reported members discussed the Taskforce Report with two members voicing support.

Provost Wilcox acknowledged the reports and indicated he would consider the advice and return to Steering.

Proposal to Establish a New Research Faculty Tract – Follow up UCGS:
Professor Goddeeris, Chairperson of UCGS, reported the committee discussed the proposal and no one had any opposition to establishing the new Track. UCFA and UCFT discussed last April and approved the proposal. A motion was passed to take the Proposal to Faculty Senate.

Proposal to Change Dual Enrollment by Undergraduate – Follow up UCGS & UCSA:
Professor Goddeeris, Chairperson of UCGS, reported that the Committee generally supported the Proposal, however there was some confusion about double counting credits between Undergraduate and Graduate Programs. Zachary Taylor, reported for UCSA. The UCSA agreed with the Proposal and suggested the idea of preparing a set of questions and answers to clarify. Professor Youatt stated that there needs to be more discussion and clarification.
The Proposal will be brought back to the Steering Committee.

Steering Committee Motion: Ex-Officio Member: UCAG Response:
Professor Hughes, Chairperson of UCAG, reported that the UCAG members had considerable discussion regarding the proposed amendment to add an Ex-Officio member from Human resources (Assistant Vice President) to the Steering Committee. After serious consideration the Committee did not support the Amendment.

The Committee believed that this person could attend any of the meetings when requested. Professor Moriarty requested that a process be developed for increased interaction and communication with Human Services.

CASE Professor of the Year Award – Select Committee:
Secretary Wright reported on the CASE Professor of the Year Award and asked for three members of the Steering Committee to review the materials of the nominees to forward to the Provost’s Office. Professor Halloran, Emily Banks and Professor Levine volunteered to serve on the Committee.

Request to Discontinue an Academic Program:
Professor Powell informed the members of two actions to discontinue an Academic Program. Provost Wilcox commented on the process for discontinuance of Programs. Initially a moratorium is established so no new students are admitted. The Program is then referred by Steering Committee to relevant Standing Committees, such as, UCSA or UCGS, for discussion and feedback. The recommendations then go to the Provost for the final decision. Provost Wilcox reported that The Bachelor of Arts Degree in General Business Administration, Prelaw and the Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development have been discontinued.

A motion was passed to hold the Faculty Senate meeting prior to the University Council meeting on February 28, 2012.

Draft Agenda for Faculty Senate for February 28, 2012:
The agenda for the Faculty Senate meeting scheduled for February 28, 2012 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • University Committee on Curriculum Report
  • Slate of Nominees for At-Large Members of the Steering Committee
  • Slate of Nominees for the Athletic Council
  • Proposal to Establish a New Research Faculty Track
  • New Business

Draft Agenda for University Council for February 28, 2012:
The agenda for the Academic Council meeting scheduled for February 28, 2012 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • Slate of Nominees for At-Large Members of the Steering Committee
  • Contract and Grant Administration Update
  • New Business

New Business:
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

signature

Jacqueline Wright
Secretary for Academic Governance

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 3:15pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :