Board Promulgates Academic and Staff Updates at June Meeting
The board of directors met on Friday, June 24 in room 401 of the Hannah Administration Building. After a two-day retreat, the board voted to approve the University Life Updates.
The operational budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year has been approved along with tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year.
Undergraduate tuition fees will see a 3% increase for the 2022-23 academic year. Last June, the trustees established this budget for the next three years, taking inflation into account. The university will also invest more in financial aid. Deputy spokesman Dan Olsen said that would help offset that 3% increase for families with incomes below $75,000.
“That inflation is going down both ways,” said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “The college pays more for its goods and services, more for its housing. So in fact if you look at some of the increases that we’re doing, they’re below the expected level of inflation that would take place in society. I hope the wages for these families are more in line with inflation and I think we are really trying to reduce costs overall.
Council chair Dianne Byrum also noted that the budget would be earmarked for student success. She said helping students graduate on time will hopefully reduce student debt.
Another approved item was revisions to Policy 04-17-07, the emeritus title given to retired professors. The revisions change the process for granting and revoking status to a more rigorous process.
“This is part of an ongoing effort by the provost’s office to review policies across the university,” Byrum said. “The title emeritus has done several things. This confirmed the quality of the academy in terms of quality and behavior, becoming a faculty member as well as the gender neutrality of the term.
Provost Teresa Woodruff commented on the revisions.
“Current policy has no checks and balances to ensure past misconduct is reviewed and considered when a retiree is awarded the emeritus,” Woodruff said. “This leads to circumstances where the university’s own policy can inadvertently cause harm, particularly to survivors of past misconduct and to the reputation of the institution.”
These revisions also allow for more inclusive language, changing the general term to “emeritus” rather than gendered “emeritus.” Faculty, academic staff, administrators, and senior managers can choose a gendered term to describe their title.
“This is another way the university is making inclusion part of MSU policy,” Woodruff said.
Another approved item was a fund operating as an endowment for the Katherine B. and Floyd W. Miles Scholarship for Medical Education. This initial funding of $283,840.43 from the university gift account will establish the scholarship.
Administrators made a number of congratulatory comments to university staff, including the hiring of three new coaches for hockey, softball and tennis, the confirmation of Professor Lisa Cook to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Stanley’s nomination to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Woodruff Award as a distinguished woman in higher education.
They also recognized a variety of retirees, including the Vice President of University Communications Merri Jo Balesexecutive director of the Wharton Center Mike brand and Dean of MSU Libraries Joseph Salem Jr..
Former First Lady of MSU Joanne McPhersonrecently passed away, was honored at the reunion for her involvement in the creation of MSU Safe Place.
“Joanne was a remarkable woman whose loss will be deeply felt in our University community and beyond,” Stanley said. “She and (her husband) Peter both welcomed and supported me when I came to Michigan State and she has continued to support the university they both love with generous donations and commitment. “
The Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty, or UNTF, has reached an agreement on its contract with MSU from 2022 to 2026. This agreement included many changes, including a 3.5% salary increase for all union members . UNTF President Kate Birdsall made a public comment at the meeting, acknowledging the work the union has done with the university and how the process has gone.
“We accomplish a lot more working together, and the university’s negotiating team has shown a real willingness to work with us through the contract cycle,” Birdsall said. “At this point, an ongoing commitment to problem-solving constructively and creatively is central to this agreement.”
Stanley mentioned the contract in his report to the board.
“This agreement is the result of a successful collaboration between us and a testament to the university’s commitment to faculty success,” Stanley said. “I am very satisfied with the budget proposed today.
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Additionally, during the public comment section, Ponsella Hardaway of the Defend black voters campaign spoke about voter suppression and asked for university support.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher,” Hardaway said. “If black voters in Detroit are having a harder time voting, the ramifications are nationwide and the architects of voter suppression efforts know it. Michigan’s Blue Cross Blue Shield and Delta Dental used taxpayer and tuition money from their contracts with Michigan State University to fund lawmakers behind the effort.
Administrator Rema Vassar acknowledged Hardaway during his comment period.
“I just appreciate you raising your voice,” Vassar said. “I urge us to analyze this moment. We are at a critical moment. Black voters, … we are changing the outcome of the election. As a result, extremists are running an aggressive agenda to make it harder for blacks, browns and working class people (to vote).
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