November 1, 2011

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Approved 3/6/11
2011-2012:3

THE STEERING COMMITTEE
MINUTES
November 1, 2011
Board Room, Administration Building


Present: President Simon, W. Anderson, Emily Bank, S. Carter, W. Davidson, L. Dillon, S. Fletcher, J. Godeeris, M. Halloran, H. Hughes, M. Kaplowitz, T. Levine, S. Marino, D. Moriarty, Z. Taylor, J. Wright, J. Youatt;
Others: T. Curry, S. Lott, Kelsie Thompson (State News)

Absent: Provost Wilcox, J. Powell

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: a Proposed Bylaw amendment and Energy Sustainability. The amended agenda was approved.

The Minutes for October 4, 2011 were approved as distributed.

President’s Remarks:
President Simon spoke about the Provost’s review procedures distributed to members with the agenda. The faculty group has met and there is now a revised set of procedures. The only change was the elimination of letters from the Deans review at the request of the Provost as he felt they would not be that helpful. The Provost felt his presentations, for example, at the AAU Provosts meetings speaks better for his leadership role.

President Simon has also prepared an outline of the Principles, which are part of the Taylor 2 document, for the procedures for the external search for the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, which was distributed to members. The proposed Advisory Committee members were changed after some discussion, by deleting the word research active faculty to scholarly active faculty. Another change was made under the Candidate Interviews by adding the group entitled SPROUT (Sponsored Program Research Opportunities & University Training). President Simon also noted that an external search firm would be employed. A motion passed to take this document to Faculty Senate for endorsement.

The President spoke about the recent sexual assault at Armstrong Hall and indicated that there was no danger to others because the person who committed the crime was identified immediately and had left campus. The person was a guest and not a MSU student. The President outlined a number of actions and protocols that have been taken at the beginning of this year regarding sexual harassment.

Provost’s Remarks:
Provost Wilcox was attending a meeting at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Carter, Vice Chairperson of the SC, chaired the meeting in the absence of Professor Powell. Professor Carter reported that the At-Large members of the Steering Committee met regarding the Provost’s Five Year Review which should be completed no later than May 15, 2012.

A Faculty Forum was held on October 25 in the Communication Arts Building. The issues discussed included expansion of parking for faculty at the Library, an update on the University contract regarding the flexible spending accounts, and the idea of forming a committee on technology to work with the Vice Provost for Communication and Technology, or regularizing faculty and the University community input into issues of technology.

Professor Carter reported the At-Large members have begun their meetings with the College Advisory Committees to assure connection with Governance. The URO Task Force expects to issue their report soon.

Proposal to Combine the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences and Plant Pathology into a New Department – Follow-up from UCUS and UCGS:
Professor Dillon, UCUS Chairperson, reported the additional material was received after the Committee met so the proposal is on the December agenda. Professor Goddeeris, Chairperson of UCGS, reported he received the materials to review after the Committee met so distributed the material by email. Two UCGS members responded indicating they did not see a problem. Professor Goddeeris will discuss in the next full Committee meeting.

University Awards Attendance:
Secretary Wright received the request to discuss the lack of attendance at the University Awards for the past several years. Members agreed the attendance has decreased since the President’s State of the University message is no longer given at the Awards time. Professor Curry reported the list of awardees is sent each year to the Deans and asks that the information be shared with the Departments and Schools to encourage faculty attendance. Professor Curry indicated this could be broadened by sending the information more specifically and reaffirm in the Council of Deans meetings. Professor Curry agreed that since the President’s State of the University Address is not a part of the ceremony the attendance has decreased. During the discussion it was suggested that the Awards Ceremony might be worked into a Faculty Senate/ University Council meeting. Professor Curry indicated he would survey the other CIC institutions regarding their recognition activity.

Discontinuance of the Faculty Directory:
Secretary Wright has received a many complaints regarding the discontinuance of the Faculty Directory and the request to bring to the Steering Committee. The issues focus around the inadequacy of the University web site which assumes you know the name of a person holding a certain position, College or Departmental affiliation and the correct spelling. Although the site is to make correction in the spelling to give you the right person, it does not happen. The President commented that maybe there are some helpful hints that could be given to help in their search. President Simon said that the search engine was to be much stronger so it would correct the spelling. It was suggested that perhaps more information could be added. It was also suggested that a link be included for help. There was also a suggestion to talk with Dave Gift about ideas. President Simon asked Professor Curry to check with the other CIC schools to see if anyone does have a paper directory and what they have done.

Department Name Change Request for Epidemiology – Follow-up from UCUS and UCUS:
Professor Goddeeris, Chairperson of UCGS, reported the Committee discussed and approved the Proposal for the name change. Professor Dillon, Chairperson for UCUS, reported the Committee discussed and approved the name change. A motion was passed to send the Proposal to the Provost.

Acceptable Use Policy for MSU Information Technology Resources – Follow-up from UCFA and UCSA:
Professor Anderson, Chairperson of UCFA, reported the UCFA will be discussing the Policy at the full Committee meeting next week. Professor Dillon, Chairperson of UCUS, reported the Committee had reviewed and had many questions. The UCUS has invited Tom Davis and Kristine Zayko to their next meeting. Steve Marino indicated the UCSA will be discussing at their next meeting. President Simon noted that there were very few changes made in the revised Policy. Many people have never read the Policy and are now aware of the content. The University’s Policy is very liberal according to the President. Zachary Taylor, Chairperson AA of ASMSU, reported the group had discussed the Policy and commented that it would be helpful to reference where the Policy is located. They also questioned the appeal process. President Simon explained the Policy was an Administrative Policy and would be appealed through the Administrative channel.

Issue regarding Tax Law:
A faculty member had asked the Committee to clarify the new Michigan tax law in relation to public contributions. Professor Youatt, Senior Associate Provost, explained that the Michigan tax credit for contributions to public institutions was repealed and becomes effective January 1, 2012. We can no longer get the 50% tax credit for our contributions. However, it was always capped for $200 dollars for three contributions. It could affect the giving behavior of some individuals, but the Development Office is not overly concerned because it never did influence the major givers.

Energy Sustainability:
Professor Moriarty raised the status of the issue of Energy Sustainability. She has had a discussion with Jennifer Battle and raised the idea of once again increasing the awareness of the faculty about energy consumption and sustainability. Professor Moriarty suggested talking about the culture and what the collective community can do. The idea of a faculty survey that would raise the awareness was also discussed. Jennifer Battle will develop a top ten list of things a faculty member could do about energy consumption. Professor Moriarty suggested the AT-Large members could take this list to the College Advisory Council meetings. President Simon indicated that there will be an Environmental Stewardship Report that was to come out in October. It should be out soon after some revisions are made.

Proposed Bylaw Amendment:
Professor Kaplowitz indicated a proposed Bylaw amendment was discussed at the last Faculty Forum to add someone from Human Resources as an ex officio member to the Steering Committee. There is a disconnect from Human Resources and often discussion in Governance takes place in a vacuum from Human Resources, and we could benefit from a member from that “side” participating. A motion was made to amend the Bylaws to add the Vice President for Human Resources as an ex officio member with voice to the Steering Committee, University Council and UCFA. The motion was supported and the motion was passed.

Draft Agenda for Faculty Senate for November 8, 2011:
The agenda for the Faculty Council meeting scheduled for November 8, 2011 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • University Committee on Curriculum Report –Info
  • External Search for the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies
  • New Business

Draft Agenda for University Council for November 15, 2011:
The agenda for the Academic Council meeting scheduled for November 15, 2011 is as follows:

  • Approval of agenda
  • Public Comments
  • Enhanced Services from the Office of the Registrar
  • Campus Master Plan Update

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, November 1, 2011 - 3:15pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :