The U.M.K.C. Faculty Senate
The Voice of the U.M.K.C. Faculty
Alas, theProvost was Absent...
September 28, 1999
Note: The Senate was supposed to meet with the Interim Provost and had prepared an Agenda with questions for her. At the last minute she told Ed Mills, Acting Chair of the Senate, that she would not be able to attend. Presumably she will discuss these issues when she meets with the Senate on October 19th. In the meantime the questions seemed to provide a good summary of faculty issues, so we are distributing the unanswered questions via this Report. If you think of additional problems, you should contact your Senator or call the Chair.
News BulletinKathy Loncar has resigned as Senate Chair. Ed Mills (Education) is currently Vice-Chair and will fill out the rest of the term.
On a lighter note, when the Senate discussed the desirability of bring in a representative from the AAUP (American Association of University Professors), one of the Senators livened up the normally staid Senate with a spirited rendition of the first few bars of "Union Maid." (Oh you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union...'till the day I die.)
During the time when the Interim Provost was supposed to be at the Senate meeting there was a discussion of the tone of the questions. Some Senators thought the questions were too rhetorical and adversarial. Others thought the tone was about right, since they were meant to open a dialogue and it was important that the Interim Provost hear our concerns. One person argued that the administration was not diplomatic when they dealt with faculty in some of the schools, and that the Senate needed to get these issues out. It was argued that some of the questions were more appropriately directed towards the Interim Chancellor, or that answers to many of the questions were available through the deans. One item (on Foreign Language) was added to the original set of questions, and another item (on grievance procedures) was briefly discussed. Aside from tone, there seemed to be agreement that the questions reflected the concerns of Senators and faculty.
Discussion items for the meeting with the Interim Provost:
1-There is a lot of uncertainty in the University at this point, and some situations seem to be chaotic. We believe that this uncertainty is harming our ability to plan and to operate effectively.
2-We were told that there are reductions in the administrative budget, but it appears to us that the administration is growing.
3-There is the general problem of administrative-faculty communication.
AAUP, Chancellor search, and other issues. Chancellor Search: The Committee has interviewed 6 candidates in airport meetings, and is supposed to give an unranked list of 3 names, and two additional names, to Pacheco. 3 of the candidates will be invited to the campus for extensive interviews. The committee members said that they were pleased with the quality of the candidates, and despite the leaky pipes in the Chancellor’s residence, all seemed to want the job.
AAUP: The Senate unanimously agreed to invite a representative of the AAUP to speak with the Senate at the earliest opportunity.
The Report of September 14th was approved. One issue was clarified. The Report said that the Interim Provost had claimed that SBS had about twice as many faculty as they needed. Senators from the school said that she was comparing the SBS with the Biology Department at her old school, and that the comparison was unfair since that department had only a few M.A. students and did little research.
*There was a short discussion of them item. One Senator was concerned that the question gave too negative an impression, and said that Mendoza had said that the Chancellor had decided one case along the lines proposed by the grievance committee and had gone against a committee in another case. Another Senator said that the Interim Chancellor's attitude towards grievance committee recommendations was cavalier, and that he had ignored a unanimous decision that there was a serious violation of university policy involved in an issue.
Harris Mirkin, Faculty Secretary