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April 11, 2013 Volume 34, No. 26

Faculty Council to explore ways to better MU’s status in Association of American Universities


The university hopes to hire a significant number of faculty over the next five years

Chancellor Brady J. Deaton spoke April 4 to Faculty Council in Memorial Union about ways to improve MU’s status in the Association of American Universities  (AAU), hiring faculty and his reaction to the report by a Faculty Council ad hoc committee on the closing of the University of Missouri Press last year.

Deaton said Faculty Council Vice Chair Kattesh Katti will lead a committee that will examine four ways to strengthen MU’s stature in the AAU:

• increase federal research support 

• increase the number of faculty who are members of a prestigious academy, such as the National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society of Canada

• promote faculty accomplishments

• increase faculty’s academic citations

Over the next five years, Deaton said he hopes to raise faculty salaries and hire 100 tenure-track faculty and 100 non-tenure-track faculty. Details including funding are to be determined. “We want to make this an attractive place for faculty,” he said.

Deaton also wants to make the process of tenure review more consistent and dynamic. If a candidate, for example, publishes outstanding papers in a “B journal” and another candidate publishes average papers in an “A journal,” the former candidate should not necessarily lose out to the latter candidate, Deaton said. “Get rid of the labels,” he said.  

Deaton called Faculty Council’s Ad Hoc Root Causes Committee report regarding the closing of Missouri Press a “good report.” Released March 14, the 19-page report concluded that faculty were not consulted on the shuttering decision and asked that faculty have more input and consultation with administrators on issues that overlap faculty concerns. Deaton commended the five-member team headed by Arthur Jago, a professor of management and Faculty Council member.

After Deaton’s talk, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, a mathematics professor, presented two resolutions on the closing of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute (NSEI) one year ago. Included in the resolutions were, as with the Missouri Press issue, formation of a root cause analysis committee on the administrative actions surrounding the shuttering, and asking MU to audit NSEI in accordance with the Collected Rules and Regulations.

But council members wanted specifics on what the ad hoc committee’s goals were and the resolutions were tabled.