Curators to vote on grievance process

Wednesday, April 6, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:39 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

MU faculty are likely to see differences in the way they file their campus complaints. When it meets Friday in Rolla, the University of Missouri Board of Curators will vote on whether to implement a revised grievance process.

The new process, championed by MU’s Faculty Council, has been in the making for almost two years.

The revised policy would help expedite complaints on academic freedom, discrimination and violations of university policy.

“It was their (the Columbia faculty’s) belief that the grievance procedures were too arduous and took simply too long to come to a resolution,” said Stephen Lehmkuhle, senior vice president for academic affairs with the University of Missouri System.

The updated process would establish a standing committee and committee chairman and help improve communication between the hearing panel and the chancellor. It would also start the position of an investigating officer, who would prepare documents for the hearing panel on the behalf of the parties involved.

MU would use the process as a pilot for the other campuses. After three years, MU would release a report discussing efficiency and fairness of the process. MU would then share the results through the Intercampus Faculty Council, which would decide whether the other campuses would adopt the revised process.

The curators will also vote on offering a bachelor’s of science degree in information technology through the MU College of Engineering. Lehmkuhle said the idea for the degree came from employers such as Boeing and Southwestern Bell. Southwestern Bell donated $1 million — $200,000 over five years — to start the degree.

Lehmkuhle said the College of Engineering wanted to launch the program to align the college more closely with the work force needs of the state.

The curators will also look at an operating budget for fiscal 2006 and hear updates about UM’s wellness initiatives.

The board will also designate former curators Mary L. James, Connie Burkhardt and Sean McGinnis as curators emeritus, vote on its 2006 meeting calendar and approve the list of UM graduates for winter 2005.

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