January 21, 2014

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Approved 2-25-14




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

3:15 p.m., 115 International Center

   President Simon, M. Baba, D. Banks, K. Bartig, R. Caldwell, S. Carey, B. Chakrani, E. Charles, M. Chavez, D. Clark, E. Crockett-Torabi, T. Curry, W. Davidson, N. DeJoy, A. Dickerson, P. Dickson, W. Donohue, G. Dubes, J. Dudziak, J. Dunn, S. Esquith, M. Ferkany, S. Fletcher, D. Foran, K. Forrest, J. Gaboury, X. Gao, E. Gardner, J. Grant (for S. Garnett), B. Lynch (for C. Gelbke), Y. Gonzalez, D. Grooms, E. Hackert, C. Haka, D. Heller, C. Alsup (for J. Howarth), P. Hunt (for S. Hsu), M. Huebner, M. Jacobs, L. Kempel, R. Kirkpatrick, B. Kleinerman, K. Klomparens, M. Koot, J. Leacher, J. Wagner (for S. Lenway), D. Maybank, L. McCabe, P. Menchik, D. Mendez, H. Mooney, D. Moriarty, M. Mundt, M. Noel, K. Millenbah (for F. Poston), D. Quiroga, J. Reifenberg, L. Robinson, L. Robison, G. Roloff, N. Rovig, N. Rudolph, M. Largent (for E. Simmons), P. Simon, A. Susarla, C. Taggart, J. Valasquez, C. Vermeesch, F. Villarruel, C. Waters, S. Watts, P. Whitten, M. Worden, J. Wright, D. Prestel (for K. Wurst)

ABSENT:  Acting Provost Youatt, E. Bank, M. Becker, T. Bitner, C. Bolin, C. Brown, S. Carter, J. Conwell, C. Coursaris, T. Davis, D. Dewitt, R. Edozie, D. Estry, A. Faulkner, H. Fitzgerald, B. Fraser, M. Goheen, K. Greenwalt, J. Hall, S. Hanson, S. Hsu, H. Hughes, G. Jackson, C. Jackson-Elmoore, M. Kasavana, D. Katz, R. Maleczka, P. Mantha, J. Martin, J. Maurer, M. Nair, D. Pathak, M. Rappley, A. Rice, F. Salem, C. Sauchak, M. Shapiro, A. Singh, D. Sinistaj, A. Stannard, M. Sticklen, W. Strampel, R. Tate, S. Teahan, S. Tekalur, C. Traister, M. Treadwell, J. Turner, T. Vogelsang, J. Walton, M. Watt, C. Wiebrecht, N. Willgus

The meeting began at 3:45 p.m. with a full quorum.   

Approval of Agenda:
The agenda was amended to give voice to Dave Byelich reporting on budget.  The amended agenda was approved.

Public Comments:

There were no public comments.

Approval of Minutes:
The minutes for November 19, 2013 were approved as distributed.

President’s Remarks:
The President remarked that we began the football season with two evacuations of the stadium which was unprecedented in our history and it turned out to be a good season.  We begin Spring Semester with an ice storm and then snow days causing the semester to begin a bit late.  President Simon sees these events as good omens for success.

President Simon reported that Professor Youatt has been involved extensively in a variety of undergraduate - oriented initiatives being sponsored by National groups to look at the question of how we develop the appropriate talent base for the 21st Century competitiveness for the US.  This includes immigration reform but the key question being is to look at the undergraduate experience.  How can we get more students from disadvantage backgrounds to be successful, including success at the most rigorous places in the United States.  As part of the AAU meeting, the President from U of M and President Simon were invited to the White House for a planning conference regarding the role of major research Universities in meeting that objective.  The Presidents from MSU and U of M submitted their plan which was consistent with Bolder by Design and discussions on campus.  This issue will be one of the areas that may affect Higher Education funding, such as PELL Grants.  Dean Heller has contributed his knowledge on the success of disadvantaged students.  Dean Heller is working with the Governmental Affairs people at MSU on strategies to promote reasonable accountability measures that will allow institutions to have diverse missions.

Presented Simon requested Dave Byelich to present an overview on the budget.  The Governor’s budget recommendations will be coming out shortly and it is in the context of a cash surplus for FY 14 ranging from $800 to $900 million dollars of one time money.  It appears that $200 to $300 million dollars of the total appears to be recurring.  The Governor’s state of the State address did not indicate higher education as one of the priorities for these resources.  See Presentation on Budget and Planning Overview on Governance web site under Current Issues.

In response to the question regarding total compensation, Mr. Byelich reported that the total compensation for MSU faculty, including post-retirement benefit, is about in the middle of the Big Ten or sixth position.  President Simon noted MSU is 6th in total compensation, but low in salaries and some adjustments have been made in post-retirement for new employees. One of the things that UCFA needs to think about is the question as to how best to deal with the salary issue in order to retain faculty.  UCFA is asked to think carefully about salary increases.  Some peer institutions have a highly differential approach by College where MSU on the other hand is very uniform by College.

The Steering Committee Vice Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Carter reported the At-Large faculty met with the first of the Provost candidates and asked twenty of the questions submitted by the faculty.  The At-Large faculty will meet with all of the candidates and will post their responses on the Governance web site after all candidates have been interviewed. 

The amendment to the Bylaws to establish a Faculty Health Care Council was approved by the BOT meeting in December.  The application process and the way to fill those positions will be discussed at the next Steering Committee in February.

Professor Carter reminded faculty that the University Awards Convocation is taking place on February 11th in the Pasant Theater at 3:30 and encouraged to attend.  The call for nominations for the two At-Large faculty vacancies will be going out tomorrow. 

Ad Hoc Committee on Social Media and Pedagogy:
Professor Donohue, Chairperson, presented the report by the Ad Hoc Committee.  Committee Members included the following:

William Donohue (Chair), Professor, Department of Communication
Liza Potts, Assistant Professor, Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures
Manuel Chavez, Associate Professor, School of Journalism
Ronald Fisher, Professor, Department of Economics
Eric Skogsberg, Doctoral Candidate, Curriculum Instruction and Teacher Education
Rob LaDuca, Professor, Lyman Briggs College

The Committee was charged with gathering information, examining experiences at other universities, and presenting best practices as they relate to social media, teaching, and speech rights and responsibilities in the classroom.  This committee was to make recommendations about how MSU might best utilize this information. 

The report is organized into four sections.  The first section reviews current social media policies among peer institutions to determine if they include language that might relate to social media use in the classroom.  The second section summarizes MSU policies associated with social media use in the classroom context to set the foundation for our exploration of this issue.  The third section provides sample syllabus language that faculty may wish to use to clarify rights and responsibilities for social media use.  The fourth section concludes with a set of recommendations for continuing the social media dialogue among faculty and students going forward.  Please see the complete report for the details in sections 1, 2 and 3 on the Governance web site under Current Issues. 

The Committee made the following recommendations:

  1. Faculty may consider including language in their syllabi related to recording classroom activities/materials and posting them on some website.  It is the committee’s view that being upfront and clear about faculty and student rights and responsibilities provides a better foundation for the instructional process.
  2. The section in Spartan Life (the MSU Student Handbook) entitled: “Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University,” should include language about recording, using, distributing, and posting class lectures and materials.  Even if faculty members include language related to these issues in their syllabi, it would be useful to make it clear in Spartan Life what freedoms students have related to this issue.
  3. The Steering Committee should develop and implement a communication plan for the information in this report so faculty and students understand this social media issue, and are clear about how it should be addressed in the classroom.  The committee believes that this issue is important and that it is in the interest of the university community that this information is widely disseminated and perhaps discussed in an open forum.
  4. MSU-sponsored social media sites should be monitored to insure that MSU’s reputation and brand is managed as effectively as possible.  MSU should be responsive to its university-sponsored communities.
  5. MSU’s social media policies should be reviewed by the University Committee on Faculty Affairs and the University Committee on Student Affairs periodically to insure that it remains current and effective.
  6. MSU should consider offering an inter-college course in Digital Literacy and a presentation course for all incoming students to insure that they are prepared to use and participate in their professional digital communities in an effective and responsible manner.   The topic might be included also in the orientation for new faculty.

A member suggested that the report include the positive pedagogical evolutions that are happening with social media and embrace the benefits.  In his course with many sections, the TA’s created a Facebook page where students can post questions and answer each other’s questions.  This has been very successful.  Professor Donohue agreed there should be some discussion added.  If faculty have additional issues that should be included contact Professor Donohue.

New Business:
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,


Jacqueline Wright
Secretary for Academic Governance


Tapes of complete meetings of the Academic Council are available for review in the office of the Secretary for Academic Governance, W32 Owen Graduate Hall, 355-2337.


Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 3:45pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :