College Council prepares for its end

By Amanda Murphy

At what may be one of the last meetings of the College Council, two new groups were presented as the solution to replacing the council when it dissolves.

The main topic discussed at the April 1 meeting in 1104 Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. was the successor to the council, which will disband by Thanksgiving 2011, according to Theater Department Chair John Green.

Taking its place will be the new Faculty Senate which will handle academic issues, and a Provost Advisory Council, which will handle topics outside academics.

Council members at the meeting passed a motion to form a committee that would determine the logistics of the provost’s council and draft a founding document. The decision to disband the College Council will allow more focused committees like the Faculty Senate and the Provost’s forum to discuss various issues.

“My proposal was based on the premise [that] although College Council is in the process of transition, there still is a great desire on the part of the college community to have a forum or venue for discussions and recommendations on a wide range of issues that aren’t specifically academic in nature,” said Steve Kapelke, provost and senior vice president.

The Provost’s Advisory Council will be composed of 15 representatives from the college community, including students, staff, part-time faculty, the Faculty Senate and the Chairs Council. There will be three members chosen from each group.

Kapelke said the forum will not focus on academic issues, but ones of significance to the larger Columbia community. He emphasized the council is in the early stages of organization, and the ideas are more an outline rather than concrete details.

There will be no administrators present except upon invitation, and Kapelke will be the chair of the meetings, he said.

The motion approved a committee of five representatives from different constituencies of Columbia that will work with the provost to create finite details of what the forum will accomplish.

Green said the committee will likely begin its work in the fall.

“The nature of this will be different,” Kapelke said. “This council will be muchmore broadly based.”

Other ground covered at the meeting included Kapelke’s announcement that the decision on who will become the dean of the School of Media Arts is in the final stages. He and Louise Love, vice president for academic affairs, will make the final decision in the next week.

Additionally, Director of Academic Initiatives Pegeen Quinn said the Museum of Contemporary Photography in the Alexandroff Campus Center, 600 S. Michigan Ave., was accredited for the third time by the American Association of Museums.

“This really helps Columbia’s national reputation and gives our students access to works of art,” Quinn said.

New additions to the Columbia curriculum were also mentioned, including a number of classes in the Science and Mathematics, American Sign Language and Education departments.

The classes approved include Fundamentals of Physics, Cancer Biology and Child and Family in American Society: Images and Issues.

Robert Gordon, adjunct faculty in the Art and Design Department, spoke on behalf of the other part-time faculty regarding P-Fac contract terms with Columbia.

Gordon said Love sent an email to other members on March 31, presenting a proposal the college board made. The members are awaiting an outcome.

“The negotiations will affect all of us,” he said.