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The U.M.K.C. Faculty Senate

Report

 

The Voice of the U.M.K.C. Faculty

Meeting on Jan 19, 1999

Roses...

& Thorns

Secretary's note: This meeting took place the same day as Clinton's State of the Union address, and had the same feeling of dual worlds. Most Senators like Chancellor Schwartz, and she was given a warm goodbye. When President Pacheco visited the Senate, however, we wanted to express our concerns about the administration. We didn't want a caretaker interim Chancellor because we thought the problems were too severe to wait until a permanent Chancellor was appointed. So, when Pacheco praised the administration and indicated general satisfaction with the overall direction of the campus, Senators became restive. Was he just being polite and joining in a nice sendoff? Or did he really think that everything here was wonderful? After the President left (it was mostly a ceremonial visit, and was very short) Senators voiced the urgent need for him to return soon, so that we could talk about the state of the campus.

By the time you read this everyone will know the name of the interim Chancellor. The President said that the s/he would come from outside the campus.

 

Roses for The Chancellor

Kathy Loncar noted that this was the last time Chancellor Schwartz would visit with the Senate, and she welcomed Eleanor to the faculty. Kathy presented the Chancellor a bouquet of roses. They were of different colors, to reflect the diverse views of Senators.

The Chancellor said that she had long intended to retire at 62, and though there were problems that she did not want to walk away from, her children had convinced her to make the move. She was sorry to leave, and actually her retirement had been a bit more sudden than the Chancellor anticipated, but she was looking forward to doing some research and teaching.

The Chancellor said she wished that she had a more perfect record, but had done her best. The conclusion of the North Central Accreditation team was that the University was very different -- and better -- than it was 10 years ago, both in terms of growth and direction.

Senators joked with the Chancellor some about the things she would need when she returned to the faculty. She would have to fill out the ubiquitous Activity Reports. She would need a #2 pencil for grades. Maybe she wanted to be a Dean? :-)

In response to questions the Chancellor argued it was essential to get an institutional researcher, since we had pools of data that needed to be analyzed. We asked her about changes in the administrative structure, but the Chancellor was cautious. She noted we were in line with other campuses in the system and nationwide.

The Senate discussed this issue, with some Senators arguing that academics were not given a high enough priority under the present system. They said they would not like to see national searches to fill positions in the administration as it is now structured. The Chancellor said that she thought people were more important than organizational structure. The best structure wouldn't work if there weren't good people in the slots.

At this point President Pacheco, who had been meeting with the Deans, came in with Marvin Querry. He said he thought things had gone well at UMKC, and didn't think that we were looking for a change in direction. He expressed appreciation for the Chancellor, and said she had moved the campus forward in meaningful ways

Meeting With the President

The conversation with President Pacheco was interesting, because he seemed to assume that the Senate was happy with the direction of the campus, while several Senators tried to indicate that they thought major changes were necessary. He didn't respond to the arguments, though presumably he heard them.

The President said that he would name an interim Chancellor by Feb. 1. He was considering two people. Neither came from UMKC and neither would be a candidate for the permanent position. Both have had extensive experience in an urban setting and both had been either Presidents or Chancellors. He was moving unilaterally because he felt that it was important to move quickly. He hoped that the interim Chancellor would be here for a relatively short period of time, though it was likely that s/he would be here at least over the summer.

The Search Committee for the new Chancellor was to be broadly based, with representatives of the faculty, administration, students, staff and community. He thought the campus was an attractive one and didn't want to spend an extraordinary amount of time writing the ad for applicants.

The President wants to have a search firm assist in the process. He thought they helped to protect confidentiality and so allowed for a wider range of candidates. It would be a wide open search, and internal or external candidates can apply.

When asked if the interim Chancellor would have the power to make changes in the administrative structure on the campus, Pacheco said that an interim Chancellor would probably not make permanent appointments since s/he would not want to tie the hands of the incoming Chancellor. They might look at the administrative structure, but probably, again, would not make any extensive changes. They might make recommendations to the incoming Chancellor.

The President said that we were close to a solution on the neighborhood problem, and Chancellor Schwartz said that the joint statement of the university and the neighborhood had already been signed.

After The President and Chancellor Left

 

The President was with the Senate a relatively short period of time since he had to return to Columbia. Senators were frustrated since he didn't seem to be aware of the problems on the campus. We thought that he had to hear from the Senate about its concerns, and we needed to meet privately with him. We wanted to have him to a Senate meeting before the Search Committee was put in place.

 

Pacheco believes in a decentralized university so that this campus itself would probably be left to deal with problems of the administrative structure and the athletic program. Nonetheless we thought it important to talk with him and apprise him of the issues. There were serious problems in some of the schools that could not wait for 18 months to be resolved. It had to be the Senate that took the lead. It couldn't be the Deans since some of them were part of the problem. The President seemed to have great confidence in the Strategic Plan, but it hadn't worked. Furthermore many Senators were leery of outside search firms.

 

The Senate moved to invite the President here on the first Tuesday that he was available. The resolution passed unanimously. We agreed that we might need to be somewhat flexible on the times, so as to accommodate his schedule. We also thought that we should draw up an agenda so that he could see what our concerns were.

The Senate was also concerned that the Search Committee would under-represent faculty and over-represent the administration. The following resolution was moved and passed unanimously:

 

The Faculty Senate urges that the Chancellor Search Committee represent the full breath and diversity of the University faculty. Adequate representation of diverse faculty interests cannot be accomplished without sufficient faculty representation, and we need enough faculty on the committee so that the faculty voice will be central to the discussion. At least 5 people will be needed to represent the research, teaching, service, Doctoral and Professional, and undergraduate teaching functions of the faculty.

 

Odds & Ends: The President was originally supposed to visit with the Senate and the Deans together. The chair decided against that. Some Senators questioned the wisdom of that decision, but Chair Loncar said that she thought it was necessary to maintain the independence of the Senate.... The Report of Dec. 12 was approved. This Report has not yet been officially approved.

Meeting With the President

The conversation with President Pacheco was interesting, because he seemed to assume that the Senate was happy with the direction of the campus, while several Senators tried to indicate that they thought major changes were necessary. He didn't respond to the arguments, though presumably he heard them.

The President said that he would name an interim Chancellor by Feb. 1. He was considering two people. Neither came from UMKC and neither would be a candidate for the permanent position. Both have had extensive experience in an urban setting and both had been either Presidents or Chancellors. He was moving unilaterally because he felt that it was important to move quickly. He hoped that the interim Chancellor would be here for a relatively short period of time, though it was likely that s/he would be here at least over the summer.

The Search Committee for the new Chancellor was to be broadly based, with representatives of the faculty, administration, students, staff and community. He thought the campus was an attractive one and didn't want to spend an extraordinary amount of time writing the ad for applicants.

The President wants to have a search firm assist in the process. He thought they helped to protect confidentiality and so allowed for a wider range of candidates. It would be a wide open search, and internal or external candidates can apply.

When asked if the interim Chancellor would have the power to make changes in the administrative structure on the campus, Pacheco said that an interim Chancellor would probably not make permanent appointments since s/he would not want to tie the hands of the incoming Chancellor. They might look at the administrative structure, but probably, again, would not make any extensive changes. They might make recommendations to the incoming Chancellor.

The President said that we were close to a solution on the neighborhood problem, and Chancellor Schwartz said that the joint statement of the university and the neighborhood had already been signed.

Absent: Kemal Segduyu, Khosrow Sohraby, Valerie Johnson, Cynthia Churchwell.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Harris Mirkin,

Faculty Secretary


UMKC Faculty Senate