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Faculty Council approves domestic partner benefits

The council also addressed athletes' graduation rates.


Faculty Council Chairwoman Leona Rubin and faculty members confer after the council meeting Thursday in Memorial Union. During the meeting, the council discussed the graduation success rates of the MU sports teams compared to those of other Big 12 schools, as well as national rates.

Soa Ha/Staff Photographer

March 5, 2010

Faculty Council approved a resolution to give benefits to same-sex domestic partners and discussed a future diversity course requirement at its meeting Thursday.

The council voted unanimously in favor of same-sex domestic partner benefits and suggested equal accessibility to health services and tuition-reduction programs.

Associate Vice President of Benefits Mike Paden said implementing insurance benefits for partners in same-sex relationships would cost approximately $2.2 million for the whole UM system.

The resolution, similar to one passed by UM-St. Louis, does not include support for opposite-sex domestic partner benefits.

UM system President Gary Forsee will review the resolution from Faculty Council in its next step to the UM system Board of Curators.

The council's discussion of adding a diversity component to the curriculum reached no conclusions, but members of the council brought up the faculty's need for diversity education, as well as the students' need.

The need for a diversity course requirement was one concern expressed at the Legion of Black Collegians town hall meeting Monday.

"I was upset at the meeting to hear that faculty weren't being as respecting and accepting to students as I expected they would be," Faculty Council Chairwoman Leona Rubin said.

A task force was appointed to the issue of a potential diversity course requirement for undergraduates in fall 2009 and has since been discussing the issue among faculty and students.

Rubin said fall 2011 is the earliest semester in which any curriculum changes could be implemented but anticipates a report from the task force this spring. She encouraged the council to think about the issue between this meeting and the next.

Faculty Athletics Representative Lori Franz, Athletics Director Mike Alden and Bryan Maggard, senior associate athletics director for Student Services, presented MU athletic teams' academic progress rates and graduation success rates to the council.

As compared to national rates and ranking within the Big 12, Franz said MU ranked highly but still has room to improve.

"In the Big 12, without a doubt, if you look across all the teams, we are first in academic progress," he said.

One area of concern was men's basketball, with a 36 percent graduate success rate. Alden said the low success rate was mostly due to the transition between men's basketball coaches in 2006 and expects to see the percentage increase in two years.

According to the rates, MU female athletes academically outperform male athletes, which Franz said is a national trend.

"Our goal for every sports program is to graduate all of our student athletes," Maggard said.

Alden said the athletics department has made financial independence a goal. The department accepts $2.2 million from the university annually but is slowly trying to faze this out and even become a revenue source in the future.

"When we get there, we'll be pretty unique to the country," Alden said.

The council unanimously passed a family-friendly task force resolution from the Diversity Enhancement Committee.

The move, a joint resolution with the Graduate Professional Council, Missouri Students Association and Staff Advisory Council, encourages Chancellor Brady Deaton to create a task force to help make MU's campus more family-friendly.

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Article comments

March 5, 2010 at 2:42 p.m.

Ken : "The resolution, similar to one passed by UM-St. Louis, does not include support for opposite-sex domestic partner benefits." Lol what? I think that's called... marriage.

March 7, 2010 at 10:01 p.m.

Alex P.: Yeah, was planning on commenting on the same thing. Thanks for beating me to it, Ken.

March 8, 2010 at 11:58 a.m.

Rebecca: Opposite-sex domestic partners are not always married, and I am sure the article is referring to those who are not married. Providing benefits to same-sex domestic partners and not to opposite-sex domestic partners is discriminatory.

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