October 7, 2014

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Approved 11-4-14
2014-15:2

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
THE STEERING COMMITTEE
MINUTES
October 7, 2014
3:15-5:00 p.m.
Board Room, Administration Building

 

 

Present:  Provost Youatt, E. Bank, T. Bitner, M. Chavez, D. Clark, J. Conwell, M. Crimp, W. Davidson, P. Floyd, L. McCabe, D. Moriarty, J. Powell, M. Sticklen, L. Goldstein (for E. Strauss), D. Nails (for C. Taggart), M. Wesolowski; Others:  T. Curry, S. Lott

Absent:  President Simon, M. Noel, A. Paganini

Approval of Agenda for October 7, 2014:
The Agenda for October 7, 2014 was approved as amended.

Approval of Minutes for September 9, 2014:
The Minutes for September 9, 2014 were approved as presented.

Approval of Minutes for April 8, 2014:
The Minutes for April 8, 2014 were approved as corrected.

President's Remarks:
The Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy (RVSM) is a very important project for the University. We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Task Force that produced many of the current documents related to the issue. The work of many of you, in concert with the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives (I3), is revisiting many of these important issues as we continue to refine our policies for these very difficult issues. As we must deal with complicated societal issues, it is important that we focus on continuing our work as a leader in programs in education and prevention, as well as that we be able to deal with special issues when they arise. When these issues arise there must be confidence within the community that the system is fair.

There is little to report on the state and Federal front. The Federal government is not going to act on existing bills until after the November elections. This would affect a number of research grants and priorities. The most hopeful scenario is that they maintain funding levels of cuts that were identified in the sequestration. At the state level not much will happen on budgets until after the election. There are a number of pressures on budget allocations without a strong stance on the importance of higher education. We will be focusing on inflationary budgets until we have more information.

The University Health Team website will describe information available regarding our approach to the University’s plan for a pandemic. The planning team is working on best practices regarding the Ebola concerns and their effect on the MSU community.

Provost's Remarks:
Deans, Directors and Chairs received a call for proposals for Academic Competitiveness Faculty Positions. The Board of Trustees agreed to allocate funds for the hiring of new faculty in a selected set of highly targeted areas of research that is intended to increase the competitiveness of the campus in these important research areas. These additional faculty will make it possible for these areas to be more successful in funding from federally sponsored projects. The pre-proposals will be screened by the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and the Provost. Strong pre-proposals will be returned to the initiating unit and a more detailed full proposal will be requested. The deadline for full proposals is November 15.

The Steering Committee Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Moriarty announced the Viva Vivaldi concert on next Monday evening in the newly re-modeled Fairchild Theater. The Faculty Senate seemed to be pleased with the interactive nature of the meeting. We will be moving forward with the RVSM policy discussion by asking the Senate to review the current training video and make recommendations for this type of approach for faculty. The discussion will be facilitated by John Beck.

Reminder of the upcoming festivities associated with the kickoff of the Capital Campaign is October 24. The show begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Wharton Center and includes high energy video, lights, and music. The program is open to the community and highlights our academic programs, research efforts, and student life. All are encouraged to come and be a part of the evening’s festivities. The program includes the world premiere of an original score by MSU alumnus William David Brohn, a Tony Award-winning composer, arranger and Broadway orchestrator.

Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct (RVSM Policy):
Kristine Zayko, Deputy General Counsel, reported on Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) Policy. She introduced Paulette Granbury-Russell, Director of I3, and Kristine Moore, Assistant Director for Institutional Equity.

She reported: we have been working on revisions to the RVSM Policy for the past several months. In preparing our revision we have incorporated several key documents from the Federal government. The first of these documents was from the White House Task Force that included guidance on what should be included in a campus sexual assault policy as well as a variety of other areas. The US Department of Education Office of Civil Right (OCR) issued a lengthy Frequently Asked Questions document that clarified previous guidance that they had issued on this topic. The Violence Against Women Act that took effect last March included amendments. There are proposed Federal regulations that interpret the amendments to the Violence Against Women Act. We have incorporated the material in these federal documents into our draft policy, e.g., many of the definitions used in our policy reflect regulations established by the Federal regulations.

Over the summer, we worked with a wide variety of programs and people in the MSU community. There were campus forums for students as well as the broader campus community that addressed the issues related to the draft policy. We developed a website where people could review the draft policy and provide comments. Their comments are used to continue to revise the draft policy. We have also asked for a review of the proposed draft of our policy from the Office of Civil Rights so that we can consider its feedback. The draft policy document is now ready for review by Academic Governance. In addition to the policy, we have developed an extensive set of Frequently Asked Questions to assist readers in interpreting the policy. The RVSM draft policy is complicated, so we are currently developing flow charts that describe policy related processes to assist in understanding the policy. The next steps include a presentation to Faculty Senate of the current training video and to seek suggestions in developing a training video for faculty. There are several areas that have been changed in the policy so that instead of just dealing with sexual harassment and sexual assault, the policy adds domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Additionally there is an expansion of the confidential reporting options.

Following discussion, a motion was made and seconded to refer the draft policy to UCSA and UCFA for their comments. The motion carried. It was recommended that the committee response be returned to the Secretary’s office in early January.

Integrity of Scholarship and Grades Policy Changes:
Professor Debra Nails presented a follow-up on the UCUE discussion and response to the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades Policy. A motion was made by UCUE to refer the report to UCGS. The motion carried. UCGS is to report back to The Steering Committee in November.

Consultation on a Name Change for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital:
Provost Youatt passed out materials and presented a request by the College of Veterinary Medicine to change the name Veterinary Teaching Hospital to Veterinary Medical Center. A Motion was made and seconded to refer to UCFA and UCSA. The motion carried.

Faculty Senate Survey and Assignments to Committees:
The Standing Committees have been asked to review the survey response to identify areas that relate to their committees’ charges. UCFA does significant work on faculty salaries as well as discussions about integration of international students in the MSU community. UCC has distributed the responses to its members and will be getting responses back. UCAG will review guidelines and follow up with the administrator’s review question. UCFT – no items. UCUE will send to Associate Chair, Matt Pontifex, before next week’s UCUE meeting. Lynn Goldstein (sitting in for Eric Strauss, UCGS Chairperson) will follow-up with the committee. Committee chairs will report back to the Steering Committee in November. Return reports to Professor Powell.

A question of oversight for an on-line course was followed by a discussion regarding the process of establishing and assessing these programs.

Faculty Senate Feedback from Small Group Sessions:
Professor Moriarty thanked everyone for the valuable feedback and said that it is important to continue to engage with the Faculty Senate.

State Authorization – MSU Online Distance Education Programs:
Nate Stuart from the General Counsel Office gave a presentation on the overview on compliance efforts in the area of on-line education across state lines. Our office refers to compliance with laws in other states as it offers on-line courses in other states. In 2010, the Department of Education established rules that institutions offering on-line education must be in compliance with laws of those states where their students live. We can now offer courses in 47 states and cannot comply with laws in Arkansas and Maryland. The issue is financial payments of student fees. There is a great deal of dialogue anticipated, and it is our objective to stay in touch with changes so that we remain in compliance. These issues need to be distributed to unit-level curriculum committees to consider these issues early and not get caught later. Moved and seconded to send the discussion to UCC. The motion carried.

Campus Bicycle Safety:
There seems to be a growing concern with bicycle and long-board safety on campus. The Steering Committee will keep in touch with this issue.

Proposal for a New Academic Unit of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering:
Provost Youatt reported the Proposal for a New Academic Unit of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering came from the Dean of Engineering and Natural Science. A motion was made to refer to UCFA, UCUE, UCGS, UCSA and UCFT. The motion carried. If supported, this proposal would go to the Board of Trustees (BOT).

New Business:
Professor Crimp asked questions regarding the status of the Repeat Policy that UCAP (now UCUE) had approved and was suspended. The suspension resulted from the fact that we don’t have a manageable system for acquiring data. Until we have a student information system that would separate new enrollees from repeaters, it will remain suspended. The Provost indicated that we are in the process of acquiring a new student information system.

Draft Agenda for Faculty Senate for October 14, 2014:

    • Public Comments - Joseph Francese
    • UCC Report (Action Item)
    • Faculty Senate Survey and Assignments to Committees (Info Item)
    • Faculty Senate Feedback from Small Group Sessions (Info Item)
    • Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Committee (RVSM Policy) (Info Item)
    • E-Training Video used for Staff - followed by small group sessions
    • New Business

A motion was made to approve the Faculty Senate agenda. The motion carried.

Draft Agenda for University Council for October 21, 2014:

    • Public Comments
    • Provost's Vision for the University (Info Item)
    • Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Committee (RVSM Policy) (Info Item)
    • New Business

A motion was made to approve the University Council agenda. The motion carried.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 3:15pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :