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.