This is my newsletter. It is the meeting as I best remember it, and represents one viewpoint. I try not to intersperse my commentary, but obviously I am choosing those quotes that struck me or as I remember them, and so this newsletter has a certain bias. Also I am aware that I mix the first person and third person in my quotes. Remember English is only my first language, and I didn't learn it properly. Newsletter of FC-EC meeting with President Wolfe and Chancellor Deaton 8-6-12, 7:45am-9am. Present: Members of FC-EC: Chair Harry Tyrer, Nicole Monnier, Craig Roberts, Sudarshan Loyalka, Gordon Christensen, Stephen Montgomery-Smith (SMS); President Wolfe via phone, Chancellor Deaton, Richard Wallace, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Noble-Triplett, Mary Jo Banken from the News Bureau. Tyrer: The concerns of the FC are: 1) Quality of the new press; 2) Lack of shared governance - how do we prevent this happening in the future; 3) Concern for current employees - even though we removed this from our motion, FC are still concerned. Wolfe: Answers: 1) Quality. "We," that is President, VP's and the 4 Chancellors, discussed alternatives to the Press long before the announcement of the closure. We need new innovation, a reimagined press, Methods of dissemination of information have changed rapidly. Quality was always the number one issue. 2) Shared governance. Guilty as charged. He didn't have enough conversations with the lower levels. He hopes not to repeat this mistake. Roberts: Faculty have three roles, including service. Many of us have a lot of experience with presses and such like. We should have been consulted a lot more. The news of the Press closure "hit him sideways." Christensen: "Quality" and "better dissemination" are indefinite concepts. Can we have more detailed expectations? Wolfe: We will measure the outputs. The new Press will have more depth and breadth. There is no independent group that measures university presses across the board (e.g. such as exist for universities), so we need to create our own metrics. Loyalka: Many years ago, the reactor (MURR) was transferred from UM to MU, when Wallace was Chancellor. This was done seamlessly and very successfully. Why could this not be done with the Press? Deaton: MURR did come up in the discussions. SMS: I feel that concern (3), the loss of staff, is not just a moral issue. It is more that we are losing staff that by all accounts were very good at their jobs, and we will lose a lot of good experienced people. Wolfe: We are allowing existing members to compete for the new jobs. Unfortunately, unlike with MURR, we were not able to take advantage of the strengths of existing faculty. SMS: You said that the new press was considered long before the closure of the old press was announced. But when I was present at a meeting with the Chancellor and Provost a few weeks ago, I had the impression that the MU campus was taken by surprise. Wolfe: Brady, can you answer this one? Deaton: There had been a group discussing the new press in general terms. It was a notion in progress. But the ideas had not been firmed up. Christensen: What was the scope of this group? Was it primarily non-faculty? As he understands it, it included Librarian Cogswell, Dean Mills and Speer Morgan. Deaton: It was an informal think tank. Wolfe: They were looking at a four year old problem. Noble-Triplett: I was a member of this group. Originally it was a quite large group "Media of the Future" under "Missou Advantage." It became smaller over time. Morgan was not formally the leader, but because he was passionate about the press, he took a leading role. Steve Graham, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, was very concerned that the Press was not operating within the budget, even after the press had been streamlined. Loyalka: Was the IFC or any other faculty group involved? Noble-Triplett: This issue was brought to IFC about 2008 until last year. Loyalka: He feels that there was a lot of misinformation. For example, at the meeting with the Provost and Chancellor, when asked about the status of the current staff, he said that most of them had bailed out. He does not believe the Provost deliberately misinformed us. Let's form a committee. Let's stop the process, and then do everything openly. Christensen and Monnier: We agree. Let all faculty be involved in the process. Roberts: And faculty are not just "shared governance," they are "content." Deaton: The Press was only interested in a fairly narrow content. For example, Deaton submitted a book to be published by them, and he was told it was not in their scope of interests. Tyrer: 1) We need a committee of stakeholders. 2) Let's make some bullet points so we can say we made progress. Wolfe: "Tim's Transition Plan:" We will form a committee. Deaton will represent MU, Wolfe will represent UM, Noble-Triplett, Wallace, Morgon, Foster and all the other 4 campus', and authors. SMS: The FC motion was to stop the process while discussions took place. Can we press the "reset" button and start over? Wolfe: Stephen, we are not going to go backwards. We will go forwards. Noble-Triplett: The Press is still operating. We will keep it in place until the transition. SMS: But some people have already been fired. Noble-Triplett: We cannot discuss personnel issues. Loyalka and Monnier: We must have active Faculty input in creating the new model. Deaton: We were in a dire financial situation. [He said some other stuff too, so his statement was not a non-sequitur, but I felt it important to quote him saying this.] Tyrer: Will the $400,000 subsidy continue? Wolfe: We feel comfortable that the "reincarnated" model will be well financed. Roberts: At what point do the faculty come in? He feels that the answers so far have been fuzzy. Noble-Triplett: We are actively looking for places that faculty might get involved. This piece is still evolving. We are out of the gate, but not too far out of the gate. At this point Deaton had to leave, and Wallace took over. Wallace: I was only involved in this process on Friday. I am still looking over all the documents. I had intended not to say a word at this meeting. 1) He feels that the Press should be at MU, not UM; 2) A governance board with strong faculty presence is necessary. 3) Get this advisory board in place BEFORE the new press is caste in concrete. Tyrer: Please let FC be involved in forwarding names of people to be on this committee. Monnier: On the subject of shared governance, the IFC and FC are not "lower levels" (see Wolfe's opeing remarks). Can we contact Noble-Triplett with our questions? Noble-Triplett: Please contact me with your questions. http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/aa/assistant-vp/ (573) 882-6396 NobleD@umsystem.edu Tyrer: So the bullet points so far: 1) The Press continues to run and operate. 2) Need for stakeholders group of faculty and authors and others to help manage the new Press. Wallace and Noble-Triplett are already in this group. 3) No moratorium on the closing of the old Press. Wallace: FC's from all campus' will be asked to participate. Roberts: Thus far there has been an absence of "grass-roots" involvement. SMS: I hear a lot of promises. But I have heard many promises like this before, and I am not hopeful. Wolfe: Stephen, we will make an optimist of you yet.