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B. Proposal to Disband the Committee on Student Affairs (D 5810).

Professor Karrol A. Kitt (human ecology and committee chair) said her committee’s motion to disband the Committee on Student Affairs was based on input from committee members over the last two years. Due to an administrative reorganization, committee members thought the committee’s charge was no longer relevant and the composition of the committee duplicated membership on other committees that were effectively dealing with student matters. Former Council Chair Linda Golden noted that the report of the previous year’s committee did not formally recommend disbandment, and she was “a bit uncomfortable saying the Faculty Council doesn’t want to advise” the vice president on student affairs. Professor Kitt said the previous year’s committee chair had not put the recommendation in the annual report but had asked that this year’s committee consider disbandment.

Vice President Juan Gonzalez (student affairs) said he had discussed the situation with his predecessor, Professor Jim Vick, who said the committee generally got off to a slow start, and the redundancy of having five of the committee members also serving as chairs of other active student-related standing committees was a deterrent to committee functioning and attendance. He said there had been discussion that the committee might be re-energized if it were reconstituted with a different function and composition. He said his office wanted advice and interaction with faculty members in a continuing dialog throughout the year, but he thought the goal of “rebooting” the committee with a new charge and a composition that includes a broader spectrum of students and staff as well as faculty who are not burdened with other important committee work would be worthwhile.

When Professor Golden asked if there wasn’t a mechanism to study revamping the committee rather than just eliminating it, Professor Kitt said there no doubt was, but she thought this was less likely to happen unless the current committee was disbanded first. Professors Kenneth Ralls (mechanical engineering and Committee on Committees chair) said that he was in favor of disbanding the committee. Liz Cullingford (English) said they were surprised to discover that that they ended up being on the student affairs committee because they had agreed to chair another student-oriented standing committee. Both spoke in favor of disbandment and pursuing a fresh start with a new committee charge and composition.

An unidentified member of the Council audience called the question. When Professor Pauline Strong (anthropology) asked if there might be a corollary to the motion asking the Committee on Committees to review the situation, Vice President Patti Ohlendorf (legal affairs and parliamentarian) reminded everyone that further discussion could not occur after the question had been called. Both Professor Strong and Chair Burger said they had not heard the call. Chair Burger proceeded with the vote on whether to stop discussion of the motion; the motion passed by voice vote. He then asked for the vote on the motion to disband the committee, and the motion passed by a show of hands.