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MU Faculty Council endorses diversity course, grievance policy

Thursday, April 21, 2011 | 7:50 p.m. CDT; updated 9:53 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 21, 2011

COLUMBIA — The MU Faculty Council endorsed adding a diversity course requirement and adopting a faculty grievance policy that has been a pilot project for the past two years.

The moves were two of three ballot proposals presented at the council's Thursday afternoon meeting. Two of the ballot proposals have received significant attention on campus this semester. The implementation of the diversity course has been debated for some time, but reached a boiling point after a hateful message was spray-painted in front of Hatch Hall in February.

If passed by the entire faculty, students would be required to take 3 credit hours from such areas as humanities, social and behavioral sciences and science requirements. However, the diversity requirement would not make students take additional classes to graduate.

Before the pilot grievance process was implemented, the process began with the chancellor reading a grievance then sending it to a standing faculty grievance committee to decide if it should be pursued. Once evidence was gathered by an investigator, the information was sent to a faculty hearing panel to make a recommendation to the chancellor for a final decision.

The new procedure still gives the chancellor authority to rule on a grievance, but the grievance now goes immediately to a resolution panel with two senior, tenured faculty members and one upper-level administrator for review.

The third ballot proposal would change the wording of the composition of MU's Faculty Committee on Tenure to include all colleges or schools with a dean that reports to the provost.

The council also discussed two additional resolutions not up for a vote, both proposed by executive committee member and agronomy professor Bill Wiebold:

 

  • The first resolution requests that Chancellor Brady Deaton develop an appropriate memorial on the Memorial Union's bell tower walls, which honors the students who gave up their lives in service of their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial should fit their sacrifice and include specific information, such as their names and hometowns rather than generic recognition.
  • The council also requested that Deaton expand the time that portions of Hitt, Ninth and Rollins streets are closed during the week. These streets are currently closed from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday to allow for pedestrian traffic during peak class hours.

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