University Senate

Meeting 567 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University

Minutes of Meeting 567
7 October 2015

PDF version of Minutes 567

Senate minutes are time-indexed [in square brackets] to the relevant segments of the streaming video of the meeting.

The Senate

  • Proposal 2-16: “Proposal to Amend the Employee Education Policy passed 

1. Call to order and roll call. [00:00 – 03:11]

President Brian Barkdoll called the University Senate Meeting 567 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Stancher, Schmierer and Cadwell and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, Auxiliaries, Student Affairs & Advancement C, Graduate Faculty Council and Undergraduate Student Government. 

2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Jackie Huntoon (Provost Office), Christa Walck (Provost Office), Dave Reed (Vice-President for Research Office) and Ellen Marks (Library), Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Asst VP for Administration), Bonnie Gorman (Dean of Students).

3. Approval of agenda. [03:12 – 03:39]

Nooshabadi moved to approve. Wood seconded. No discussion. The agenda passed unanimously on a voice vote.                                                                                                                                          

4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 566. [03:40 – 04:09]

Wood moved to approve. Plummer seconded. No discussion. The minutes passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

5. Presentations: [04:10 – 1:21:45]

a. "Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS)" presented by Dave Reed, VP for Research [04:10 – 21:02]

Reed described Michigan Tech’s historical and current participation in MPSERS. He defined the criteria used by the State of Michigan to assess MPSERS payments to explain the $11.8 million refund from the state to the university. Reed said the money can be invested and returns from that money used as discretionary funds. Waddell asked if the state gave the refund with restrictions on its use. Reed said there was not, the money can be used or saved however each university chooses.

b. “General Education and Assessment” presented by Christa Walck, Associate Provost [21:03 – 1:21:45]   [LINK to SLIDES]

Walck described the accreditation process established by the Higher Learning Commission. She gave an update on institutional progress through the accreditation process. The program LiveText is being used for inputting assessment data. 

6. President’s Report [1:21:46 – 1:27:20]

Proposal 1-16 was approved by the administration. 

Nomination for senator-at-large requested. 

Forums on Budget and Fringe Benefits are being planned. 

An election was held using iClickers for the position of senate liaison to the Graduate Faculty Council. Robert Froese was elected. 

7. Reports from Senate Standing Committees   [1:27:21 – 1:29:15]

Academic and Instructional Policy Committee. None. 

Administrative Policy Committee.  None. 

Curricular Policy Committee. Gathering information about proposed changes to the academic calendar. 

Elections Committee. None. 

Finance & Institutional Planning Committee. Will be meeting with Vice-President for Research Dave Reed about results from the salary comparison research. 

Fringe Benefits Committee. Several proposals are being developed. Meeting with Ginger Sleeman and Renee Hiller from the Benefits Office. 

General Education and Assessment Committee. None. 

Information Technology Committee. None.

Professional Staff Policy Committee. None. 

Research Policy Committee. None. 

8. Unfinished Business [1:29:16 – 1:34:29]

a. Proposal 2-16: Proposal to Amend the Employee Education Policy

This proposal comes from the Fringe Benefits and Finance & Institutional Planning Committees. Waddell said this proposal is a cost neutral effort to increase the benefits offered to full-time employees. Discussion.

Waddell moved to approve the proposal.

The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.

9. New Business [1:34:30 – 1:48:48]

a. Proposal 3-16: Proposal on Automatic Enrollment in Michigan Tech's Defined Contribution Retirement Plan

This proposal comes from the Fringe Benefits and Finance & Institutional Planning Committees. Waddell said this proposal attempts to improve the current retirement plan by taking advantage of recent changes in Michigan law that allow for automatic enrollment in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. 

10. Public Comments 

11. Adjournment

Wood moved to adjourn. Patchin seconded. President Barkdoll adjourned the meeting at 7:19 pm. 

Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate