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December 3, 1996 (Approved 12/17/96)

3:00 PM Kathy Loncar called the meeting to order.

3:05 Minutes of date were approved with minor corrections

Faculty Senate Committee reports: none given

Presidential Succession
Faculty Representatives to this committee must be Curators’ professors. However, in subsequent meetings with General Officers and the IFC the Board decided that each campus can send two junior professors. These junior professors must have won a teaching award on their campus. Shari Barrett gave Kathy Loncar a current list of faculty who have won teaching awards for this year. Our Senate will consider nominating faculty who have won UMKC campus awards. We will try to get a list that goes back 10 years that and exclude those on the list who have retired.

Executive Order 21:
Dee Steinle and Dr. Agapito Mendoza. Ms. Steinle has been in her new position for three months. Her background includes higher education and special education research prior to that . She coordinates disability services with students by determining what is the disability, obtaining current documentation for the student’s file, and by recommending appropriate accommodations to the instructors involved. The attempt is to “level the playing field” and give academic balance to our student population.

1.)Determining a disability: :a disability must affect major life functions in a permanent condition. Dee does on-going evaluations in order to keep documentation of the disability current. A draft policy concerning students with disabilities was completed by four people (one from each campus) about one year ago. Dr. Mendoza pressed Central Administration to include a “current documentation” clause in the policy. Now that Dee is here full-time, she and Dr. Mendoza will be “fine-tuning” the process. The Disability Coordinator, student, and faculty member form a critical triangle in the process of accommodation.
2.)Academic performance in a fluid situation:It can be difficult to determine what is sufficient accommodation. Often, faculty members do not have all of the information needed to determine what are acceptable accommodations because the law protects the student’s privacy in this matter. Conditions often change, as in head injuries. What is certain, is that the university must accommodate a disabled student to allow the student the opportunity to fail or succeed. Sometimes student requests just aren’t reasonable. Dee’s office can provide proctors for students who need to be tested outside of the scheduled class.
3.)Who determines what is a disability is driven by the disability itself: Documentation must be provided by a qualified professional and the file must be complete.
4.)Skills needed to pass a course in which time is a factor: if a skill is measured by time limitations, how do you deal with that ?

At this point in time, UM stands firm on the criteria it uses to confer degrees. In most universities and colleges, a student can opt to replace a required course with a different course in order to accommodate his/her disability (i.e. take courses that don't require a time limit to take a test). In 1990 UMKC made accommodations for 15 disabled students. In 1996, this figure has risen to 150 students. It is difficult to deal with this many students, each of which needs accommodations in five or six classes. The work is very labor intensive. If a student identifies himself on the first day of class as being disabled, send them to Dee and write a memo to the student and Dee about your conversation concerning the disability. The Internet has a UMKC Faculty Rights & Responsibilities page concerning disabled students. There is also a boiler-plate copyright document that you can print out and have the student sign if the student wishes to record your class. This will help to protect the faculty member against copyright infringement. Kathy Loncar suggested that a posting of the definitions of disabilities would help faculty better understand disabilities for which they may have to provide accommodation.

Ed Mills asked if it is permissible to add a few lines to your syllabi explaining that there is a disability office that can provide help with accomodations if you need it? Dr. Mendoza said that is a good idea and that a professor could use the same language about disability that is in the schedule of classes each semester. The SIS names only one professor to a class regardless of how many professors teach that same class. In that case, the instructor identified by SIS should inform other professors about students needing accommodation. Additional recommendations for the policy must be forwarded to Columbia and recommendations will be probably be discussed in March. When the policy is approved it will be added to the Collected Rules and Regulations.

A motion to adjourn was moved & seconded. Adjourned 4:00 p.m.

Present: Valerie Blanco, Jane Carl, Les Chafetz, Robert Cleary, Rafael Espejo-Saavedra, William Frederickson, , Rich Hamilton, Joseph Hughey, Kathy Loncar, James McKinley, Janet McKinney, Ed Mills, Dennis Pyszczynski, Jan Russell, David Schwarzer, Khosrow Sohraby, Nancy Stancel, Jakob Waterborg

Excused: Jean Braun, Ray Coveney, Alfred Esser, Barbara Glesner-Fines, David Harris, John Rapley, Hans Uffelmann, David Yourtee

Absent: Greg Arling, Julie Cheslik, Steve Krantz

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy D. Stancel

Secretary, Faculty Senate

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