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Dec. 6, 2012 Volume 34, No. 15

Faculty Council discusses level of faculty input in MU budgetary allocations

Members want to define terms before next step

Faculty Council on Nov. 29 discussed in Memorial Union a motion to change faculty bylaws from advisory authority to shared authority regarding campus budget issues.

Sudarshan Loyalka, Curators Professor of Nuclear Engineering, said faculty deserve involvement in budgetary and resource allocation. He said faculty at the three other campuses of the University of Missouri System share fiscal decisions with administration. MU faculty need to do likewise.

“We as a faculty do not have organized input” on MU’s fiscal budget, said Loyalka, chair of the council’s fiscal affairs committee.

Following Loyalka’s presentation for shared authority, council members tried to clarify the issues.

Currently, faculty have an advisory role on the MU budget, which, according to Faculty Council Chair Harry Tyrer, means faculty are advised, but do not help develop, the budget. “If we are going to effect change at the university, we have got to get into the budget talks,” Tyrer said.

But the discussion quickly turned to defining “advisory” and “shared.”

Tyrer said shared authority meant faculty have a “dialogue and give administration input, but administration still makes the decisions.”

Several council members disagreed. Douglas Wakefield — director of the Center for Health Care Quality Medicine, and professor in the Department of Health Management and Informatics — said shared authority should mean that “we get to vote” on MU budget allocations.

Nicole Monnier, associate teaching professor of German and Russian studies, added, “ ‘Shared’ means two people have votes at a table.” 

But Loyalka contended that shared does not give faculty “final authority, but we do have voice.”

Faculty Council will continue its discussion of shared budgetary authority at its next meeting Jan. 24. If approved by the council, the resolution will be voted on by faculty. The Board of Curators would need to give it final approval.