Faculty Council discuss Title IX, faculty compensation issues

MU is currently assessing 18 candidates for the Title IX administrator position.

In a wide-ranging meeting, Faculty Council discussed ongoing changes to Title IX policies, the Title IX administrator search and academic and faculty affairs.

Title IX reform

Faculty Council and the Intercollegiate Faculty Council are working on two major parts of the Title IX review process: prevention and adjudication.

Dennis Miller, the council’s IFC representative, said the council is working to improve a series of issues regarding the student aspect of Title IX adjudication, such as the advocates’ role in student cases and getting witnesses to testify.

Miller said no one is obligated to testify given the current policy. He said a group of Faculty Council members will review chapter 200.025 of the collected rules and regulations, which outlines the process for student conduct cases, and apply changes sometime between January and March.

Miller said the process for reporting Title IX issues is different for MU than it is for Boone County. He said the Boone County procedure is judicial, whereas MU’s process is more administrative, which means there are different steps to make a conviction. Under MU’s structure, the chancellor is given the authority if the accused is found guilty.

Miller also said each case is handled within 60 days from when the complaint is voiced.

“Title IX requires us to do this because it focuses on the right of the complainant,” he said. “He or she is not able to get their Mizzou education because of this person who allegedly did something to them.”

A major challenge to faculty adjudication is tenure. Miller said IFC is working on a model of the procedure for faculty, which is currently a two-step process: First, the initial investigatigation, then the possible dismissal of cause, which would remove tenure from the faculty member and occurs if they are found in violation of the policy.

Miller said the IFC President would like this task to be resolved quickly so it can be presented at the February Board of Curators meeting.

Faculty Councilman Tim Evans and Faculty Councilwoman Nicole Monnier reported on a “syllabus statement” that Interim Title IX Coordinator Linda Bennett would like to implement. Several Faculty Council members expressed concerns with the proposed statement, such as language students would not understand, not necessarily being directed at the students and a lack of time limitation.

The council voted down the proposal. The new plan is to form a smaller committee to work on a more acceptable syllabus statement with Bennett.

Title IX administrator

Monnier said there are 18 candidates for the Title IX administrator position. She said the candidates will visit MU on Dec. 3, 4, 17 and 18 for interviews and return later for open forums to publicly discuss their qualifications.

“There’s a robust pool of candidates,” Monnier said. “I think that’s a positive.”

Faculty raises

Faculty Councilman Harry Tyrer said a new committee called the Faculty Raise Assessment Committee has been formed and is “already starting to get to work." He said the council should expect a report from the committee sometime in February.

Tyrer said some of the non-tenure track members represented in the committee hope to make changes to representation in the Faculty Council.

Tyrer also said smaller schools will have reduced advising staffs with these changes, but the changes will not take place until it is approved by Faculty Council.

Academic affairs

Monnier said the Academic Affairs Committee is reviewing the language for the religious observance policy.

Monnier said the end of semester faculty survey is completed, but it will not be available to fill out until the beginning of next semester.

Faculty Council will conclude the semester with an executive session on Dec. 4. It will hold its next public meeting on Jan. 22, 2015.

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