April 17, 2002
PRESENT:  Young, Morrill, Sherwood, McDermott for Engel, Kommers,
          Linker, Leech, Benham, Howard, Stewart, Lewandowski for
          Jones, Ross, Nehrir, Bradley, Locke, Lansverk, Bandyopadhyay
          for Levy, Bogar, Idzerda, McKinsey for Pratt, Lynch, Fisher,
          Lynes-Hayes, Kempcke, Griffith.

ABSENT:   Hatfield, White, Anderson, Peed, Chem Engr, Mooney, Weaver,
          McClure, Henson, Jelinski, Butterfield, Carlstrom.

The meeting was called to order by Chair John Sherwood at 4:10 PM.  A
quorum was present.  The minutes of the April 3, 2002, meeting were
approved as distributed.

Chair's report - John Sherwood.
     - University Governance Council members met with Commissioner of
     Higher Education Crofts yesterday as part of the evaluation of
     President Gamble.
     - A list of faculty nominees for university-wide committees was
     distributed.  Nominees are still being accepted for positions.
     - UPBAC met April 11 to make decisions about the MSU budget and
     proposed budget amendments.  A forum will be held May 2 for
     public input.
          - The 4% raise for employees was approved.
          - Money to help pay off the student accounts receivable debt
          was approved.
          - A $600,000 university reserve was approved.
          - The Faculty Council Pay Proposal was approved.
          - Some faculty positions lost over the past years and some
          new faculty positions were approved.
          - High priorities which will be funded if additional money
          becomes available include catalog software for the Library
          and a new faculty position in MTA.
     - In response to a question about how decisions are now being
     made to fund faculty lines (or to take a position from a
     department) the Chair stated that UPBAC is making decisions about
     allocation of resources, including faculty lines.  Usually, the
     dean of a college would decide whether or not to fill a faculty
     position that already exists.
     - It was pointed out that reallocation is to be expected.  It
     will be helpful when a strategic plan is in place and it is known
     which KPIs will be used to make decisions regarding resource
-     Faculty are encouraged to attend the May 2 budget meeting.

Ombudsman Proposal - Marvin Lansverk.
     - The proposal is for a two-year trial period and requests 1/4
     release time for a faculty member and $5,000 for training and
     - Much of the ombudsman's work will be an informal process of
     - The grievance process will still exist.
     - In the current proposal, the Ombudsman reports to the President
     for administrative and budget purposes, only.  However, the
     President has stated he wants to maintain his independence from
     the process in case an issue is not resolved through the
     Ombudsman and proceeds to the grievance process.  In addition,
     many of the issues that will come up may be under the purview of
     the Provost.  Therefore, it has been proposed by the President
     and Provost that the Ombudsman report to the Provost.
     - Reasons given for keeping the President as the office receiving
     reports is that having the ear of the highest authority gives the
     process more possibility of succeeding.  Receiving a report is
     not the same as implementing or passing judgement on the report.
     - It's possible for the process to have the "ear" of the
     President without involving him in the reporting.  Additionally,
     the Ombudsman should by definition have the "ear" of everyone and
     so the Ombudsman can discuss issues with any appropriate
     - The Ombudsman has ability to enforce (has "teeth") only by
     virtue of the office, the ability to remain neutral, and to
     exhibit good and fair judgment.
     - Compromise has to be acceptable to upper levels of the
     administration, as well as to the individuals involved.
     - No finding of fact is documented in the process.  No paper work
     is kept by the Ombudsman.  The only reporting taking place would
     be to disclose the number of issues brought to the Ombudsman and
     perhaps the general nature of the issues.
     - The Ombudsman is not restrained to areas of academics.  Any
     issue, except those listed in University policies and the Faculty
     Handbook, may be investigated by the Ombudsman.
-     Harry Benham moved approval of the proposal.  The motion was
     - During discussion, it was stated that the President is not
     willing to accept the role as the office to which the Ombudsman
     reports.  The definition of "reporting" may address his concern.
     - The motion was voted on and carried.
     - The Chair will discuss the proposal with the President and if
     necessary, work out compromises in the proposal that will be
     acceptable to the President and Provost and bring it back to
     Faculty Council.
     - After the trial period, the process will be assessed, probably
     by Faculty Council and Professional Council, in consultation with
     the Provost and the President.

As there was no further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.

Joann Amend, Secretary              John Sherwood, Chair