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Meeting of the Senate of the Faculty

November 11, 1999


Chair Laurenzo declared a quorum and called the meeting to order at 7:18 PM.

Present: M. Baggett, B. Barkdoll, B. Barrios, J. Bradley, L. Bush, J. Cassidy, W. Cleland, C. Eagles, V. Frierson-Adams, P. Goggans, L. Harper, K. McKee, P. Malone, C. Mullen, M. Overby, L. Pittman, K. Raber, T. Ray, J. Reidy, K. Sabol, R. Schroeder, M. Slattery, C. Taylor, M. Tew, Jay Watson

Absent: J. Atkins, *J. Aubrey, B. Avery, *A. Bomba, G. Buskes, A. Canty, R. Dale, M. Deighton, R. Ethridge, D. Feller, D. Graves, L. Hanshaw, S. Hargrove, *S. Husni, J. Martin, W. Mayer, T. McCarty, J. Murray, J. Parcher, E. Payne, J. F. Payne, J. S. Payne, W. Rayburn, *J. Rimoldi, C. Walker, John Watson, R. Westmoreland, J. Williamson, C. Williford

*Prior notice given

Guests: Representatives from ASB and Daily Mississippian

1. Announcements

The chair reminded members that the December meeting will take place on a reading day, December 7. Several people requested that it be an afternoon meeting, and were told that a time and place would be determined.

The chair announced that the IHL Board has determined that there will be a consideration of post-tenure review. At the last meeting of IHL, Chancellor Khayat was asked that the faculties of the universities be consulted. A Senate committee is now working on the matter, but the Provost has indicated that she plans to appoint a committee of other people, including administrators, to consider the issue also. In discussion the sentiment was expressed that there is no reason for such dual consideration, particularly as this is a faculty matter.

Phil Malone announced that a group of faculty and staff members are meeting at 10 AM, November 17, in the Harrison Room of the Library to get information on a new 403B program from Vanguard Mutual Funds. Anyone interested in such programs is welcome.

2. Old Business

A. The chair raised the issue of faculty membership on the University Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. The Chancellor has increased that membership to three faculty. The Committee on Committees from the last Senate left it to the current Senate to select those three representatives. The Executive Committee of the Senate nominated Bill Shugart to continue for one year on the committee, Linda Chitwood to serve for two years, and Bob Cook to serve for three years. Bob Cook recently represented the University and the Senate at a national meeting on athletic programs. Mark Tew moved and Marvin Overby seconded that the nominations be approved. The motion passed without dissent.

B. The provost recently asked that the Senate make suggestions about the positions of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Dean of the Graduate School. As the issue must still be settled, the Executive Committee discussed possible responses and concluded that our original proposal was still a sound one. Larry Bush moved that the membership reaffirm the resolution passed in October 1997. Charles Taylor seconded the motion. After some discussion, during which Jim Reidy, a member of the committee that drew up the original document, rehearsed the history of the positions, comments were solicited from the group. The motion passed without dissent. [The full text of this resolution may be found on the Senate homepage in the section on Current Issues, Recent Resolutions.]

C. At the September meeting the Senate discussed and then tabled a statement on faculty participation in University academic matters. Chair Laurenzo asked the Faculty Governance Committee to reconsider the wording of the draft. Larry Bush moved and Charles Taylor seconded that the matter be taken from the table. Bush then moved and Taylor seconded that the draft be replaced by one from the Governance Committee and adopted by the membership. After some discussion suggestions were made for some word changes that would make the document conform more to AAUP language. The question being called, the motion passed without dissent. The following is the approved version of the statement. The understanding of the members is that this document will be forwarded to the Provost and Chancellor with the expectation that it is to become a part of the official handbook of University procedures.

Policy on the Role of the Faculty in the Administration of Academic Affairs

The University of Mississippi adheres to the principles of shared university governance enunciated in the "Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" jointly formulated in 1966 by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, and the American Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. In accordance with that document, the University of Mississippi recognizes that: "the faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process." The University therefore endorses a process of consultation to assure that academic decisions are made through a joint effort of the faculty and administrators and with the cooperation and support of a majority of the faculty constituency affected.

The University recognizes that the faculty has special concern and responsibility for the establishment of the University's general education policies and goals and particularly for their implementation regarding curriculum, instruction, research, faculty status, and degree requirements. In addition, the University recognizes the faculty's necessary participation in shared governance regarding long-range plans for the institution, the allocation and use of physical resources, budgets, compensation, and the selection of academic officers.

The University acknowledges that true faculty participation in the governance of academic affairs requires good faith on the part of both the faculty and administration and genuine commitment by both to a program of shared governance.

3. New Business

The chair recognized Phil Malone to offer a resolution concerning the University's new health plan. Malone moved and John Bradley seconded that the Senate adopt a resolution that had been presented to the Staff Council. Although that council had not adopted the resolution, it was the judgment of the Executive Committee of the Senate of the Faculty that there should be placed in the record a statement of our concerns about what is underway regarding health insurance coverage for staff and faculty.

A lively discussion followed. Questions were raised about the participation or lack thereof by local physicians and the local hospital. There was also concern as to whether specialists in Memphis would be a part of the plan. The general sentiment is that what is being done is not in our best interest. The motion being called, the resolution passed without dissent. The text of the resolution as adopted by the Senate of the Faculty follows.

Health Insurance Resolution for Consideration

The University of Mississippi Faculty Senate /or the University of Mississippi Staff Council is resolved to the following things:

1) to express the concern felt by many of the employees of the University of Mississippi about the decision of the Office of Insurance in the Department of Finance and Administration and the Health Insurance Management Board to eliminate the election of network choices in the State and Public School Employees' Health Insurance Plan,

2) to express the employees' concern about the decision by those groups to make AHS, Inc., the sole network for all State and Public School employees in the state of Mississippi,

3) to request that the Office of Insurance in the Department of Finance and Administration make available immediately a list of all Physicians, Physician Groups and other Health Care Providers that are included in the AHS State Network on their web page and to continue to update that list,

4) to request the Office of Insurance in the Department of Finance and Administration and the Health Insurance Management Board to urge AHS in to address the concerns raised by health care providers from previous networks who have not agreed to participate in AHS and to redouble their efforts to add providers in areas where participation by health care providers is currently lower than the combined participation of providers in all the previous networks; and also to make all reasonable efforts to include in the network a large number of Shelby County, Tennessee, physicians, specialists in particular,

5) to request the Office of Insurance in the Department of Finance and Administration and the Health Insurance Management Board to urge AHS and the Physicians, Physician Groups and other health care providers to work together to resolve any differences quickly. This would insure that all State and Public School Employees in Mississippi have a respresentative number of health care providers,

6) to send this resolution to all members the Health Insurance Management Board, to Therese Hanna, Director of the Office of Insurance in the Department of Finance and Administration, and to all members of the Mississippi Legislature.

The meeting adjourned at 8:34 PM.