Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty.
It is my intention to be as brief. First of all, a couple of housekeeping matters. If you find errors in the Faculty Council directory, e-mail corrections to either me or Rosemary so you will get some practice in using your e-mail. Because one of the objectives I want to try to strive for over the next two or three years is to reduce the amount of paper that comes into your inbox and to substitute e-mail messages with attachments, to the extent that we can. That's going to mean two things. First of all, I have to know your correct e-mail address, and thatís not necessarily the one in the phone book. And second, you're going to have to learn how to download documents from Pine - God help you! [chuckles] All right.
Attendance at Faculty Council meetings. The Code says that you are expected to attend. What we would like to know in the Office of Faculty Governance is, if you cannot attend, we would just like for you to tell us that. And your telling constitutes an excused absence. We don't go into the details of why. The Code says that if you have missed two meetings without having told us about it, we're supposed to report that to the Council., and what I'm really going to assume is, if you missed two meetings and didn't tell us about it, I'm going to assume you have just sort of resigned by not showing up. So, how do we find out who was here? The check-in list. After each Council meeting I will send you an e-mail stating that our records show that you were absent.
We have a new telephone system. It is now possible to leave a voice mail message just for Jane, or just for me, or just for Rosemary. The numbers are on the top of the Faculty Council directory. That's a change from last year. If you like to go through computer driven menus - you know, punch 1 or punch 2, you will just love our new system. If you hate it, you will hate it. But it's more efficient. [laughter]
The Faculty Code: If you don't have a copy of The Faculty Code, send me an e-mail or call Rosemary and leave a voice mail message. [chuckles] And one will appear in you mailbox in the mail. We need to get a new edition of this. I don't know if we have enough money in the budget to do it. But it is getting confusing to me to know what's current and what's not, because there have been so many amendments.
On the question of parliamentary procedure: The Faculty Council generally operates in an informal manner of discussion, question, answer, give-and-take. The only time when procedure is important is when we are being asked to take action on some formal proposal, like amending The Code or adopting a resolution or giving official sanction to some very complex document. At that point, procedure does become a means, not to confuse you, but to keep you from getting confused. Some people like to say that Robert's Rules of Order are really Robert's Rules of Disorder. I don't think anybody really follows Robert's Rules of Order, because so few people really understand them. That includes me. But I do know a good bit about legislative procedure, and one of my little publications is a simplified set of rules for small governing boards, because Robert's Rules are so hard to understand and apply. But what I will try to do, if we get confused about what is the question before us, is to tell you what the current question is, so that you can at least be clear about that. And if that's not what you want to talk about, you need to vote on the matter on the floor or else set it aside with a proper motion. So that's what I'll try to do on procedure. Thank you.
[Unidentified member]: Are we all one down from Fran in terms of excused absences? [laughter]
Professor Ferrell: Everybody gets a plenary indulgence. [laughter]
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