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FacEx-Faculty Senate Executive Committee 09/08/15

September 8, 2015 - 3:30pm
Provost’s Conference Room

September 8, 2015 – 3:00 p.m.

Provost Conference Room

(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)

I.          Announcements

II.        Approval of minutes from June 2, 2015

III.       Report of Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker

IV.       Three Proposed Technical Changes to University Senate Code Art XIII, Sec 2 (Research and two for Restricted Research) 

V.        Proposed Amendment to University Senate Code Art II, Sec. 4 (Secretary)

VI.       Proposed Amendment to University Senate Code Art II, Sec. 2 (Election)

VII.      Proposed Amendment to University Senate Code Art X, Sec. 2 (ACEC Faculty Senate/Faculty rep)

VIII.    Proposed Amendment to FSRR 1.1.1. (PTR)

IX        New Business

X.        Old Business
           Faculty Code


Faculty Code - Received from Provost 9/1/15

AGENDA (Closed Meeting)

XI.       Committee Appointment Changes



Approved as corrected September 22, 2015

MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, Pam Keller, Joe Harrington, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Sandra Gray

EXCUSED: Ron Barrett-Gonzalez

ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman, Kathy Reed, Amy Smith

Faculty Senate President and FacEx Chair Tom Beisecker called the meeting to order. 

MINUTES for June 2, 2015 were approved

Report of Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker

KBOR’s COFSP (Kansas Board of Regents Council of Faculty Senate Presidents) met on June 17 to approve budgets.  Tuition and fees were capped at 3.6%, making it impossible for universities to receive additional funds through fees which many of the universities were hoping for.  However KU was ready and planned for the possibility that these additional funds may not be available.

Beisecker informed the committee of one of COFSP’s agenda items for this year.  The council will explore ways that university faculties can work toward a policy to improve Kansans’ perception of them.  The concern of the presidents is how they can provide education without being tech schools.  Beisecker would like to explore with FacEx/Faculty Senate how KU can take a leadership role.

In light of the fact that Faculty Senate has an ad hoc committee on PTR and would like to look into what other schools are doing, Beisecker also requested that COFSP consider looking at implementation of Post Tenure Review (PTR) policies.  It will be discussed next week at the September meeting.  He also promised updates on COFSP meetings about once a month.

Beisecker reported that he and Mike Williams met with the Provost and Vice Provost Mary Lee Hummert this summer regarding implementation of the Social Media Policy.  Hummert informed them that the chancellor wanted an approved policy by the June KBOR meeting.  The policy was approved with only minor changes, and with the understanding that it should be subject to continued examination.  The Regents were pleased that Governance got it done in a year.  The Provost added that it is the administration’s wish that University Senate work with its counterparts at the KU Medical School to get the two campuses’ policies more in line with each other. Williams noted that the medical school’s policy is more cut and dried than ours, and added that it sounds like we’re far apart but he feels it is a matter of the different types of faculty and staff and the breadth of coverage.   He will report more as information unfolds.  Williams agreed with Joe Harrington’s request that the policy changes be made available and added that the changes were not substantive.

Beisecker also reported that he and Williams had a conversation with the Provost and Hummert about weapons on campus and that they emphasized that discussion will continue.  Williams reported that the University Senate’s Ad Hoc Weapons Committee is still waiting to hear from Zach George about suggested names of students to serve on the committee.  He added that the committee wants to hear all voices and that he has tried to populate the committee with a mix, not all anti-gun members.  Williams said that he will have conversations with other campuses.  He noted that the reality is that the law probably won’t change so KU needs to embrace how to inform the community.  He agrees with the Provost that the university needs to develop best practices—for example, how to deal with the presence of guns, threat identification, reaching out to CAPS, working with faculty that don’t want guns in class.  The actual date that the KU exemption expires is somewhat unclear and Williams has heard everything from January of 2017 to January of 2018; he calculates it will probably expire December 31, 2017. 

Beisecker reported that he discussed KU Core with Sara Rosen.  She is curious about faculty perception of the program.  Beisecker informed her that reassessment of the KU Core is an FRPR charge.  Sara wants the committee’s survey sent in spring not fall for a more accurate reflection of the KU Core.  Beisecker is concerned with who the KU Core committee is responsible to.  The faculty has representation on UCCC but he questions whether it is affective and accountable.

Beisecker also discussed KUAAP and Shorelight with Rosen, and he and Williams will meet with Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco (Associate Vice-Provost of International Programs) for further discussion.  Gronbeck-Tedesco also offered to attend a University Senate meeting to further discuss the program.

Beisecker met with Jim Tracy the new Vice-Chancellor of Research.  They discussed what Research will be doing for faculty.  Beisecker also explained the Faculty Senate Research Committee’s 3-yr review of GRF (Graduate Research Fund) to him.  The Office of Research has a specific goal, mandated by the University: to maintain research productivity as reviewed by AAU guidelines.  Tracy will focus on research in places other than hard sciences and he will support faculty.  He also agreed to come to a senate meeting. 

Beisecker reported that student retention was discussed at a chair and director’s meeting he attended and noted that KU is in a collective of 150 universities using big data to study the matter.  He will bring the conversation to University Senate this fall.

Beisecker said that he and Williams will have regularly scheduled meetings with student senate leaders.  He cited one of the issues is online publication of student evaluations of faculty.

Beisecker asked for questions.

In response to Pam Keller’s question regarding the campus climate survey and how involved we will be in the campus climate discussion, Beisecker said that he and Williams will need to discuss the issue with the Provost.  He agreed with Keller that we should have input.

Proposed changes to the University Senate Code and FSRR.

Beisecker explained the proposed changes and asked the committee to look at them for voting at the next FacEx meeting.

Three Proposed Technical Changes to University Senate Code Art XIII, Sec 2 (Research and two for Restricted Research)

Technical changes only need FacEx approval.          

University Senate Code Article XVII, Section 2. “Technical changes to this Code, the University Senate Rules and Regulations, and the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations are to be understood to include renumbering articles and sections, updating administrative titles, and making other non-substantive revisions that improve accuracy and clarity… It shall be the prerogative of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to make technical changes by majority vote to Articles II, VII, and XIII of this Code and to the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations.” 

Two Proposed Technical Amendment to University Senate Code Art XIII, Section 2 Membership

Proposed Technical Amendment to University Senate Code Art XIII, Section 3 Functions

Proposed Amendment to University Senate Code Art II, Sec. 4 (Secretary)

Beisecker explained that we need to start electing a secretary again since we need a parliamentarian.  Harrington agreed that it was a good idea. 

Proposed Amendment to University Senate Code Art II, Sec. 2 (Election)

Beisecker explained that approving this change of dates will simply make what is practice fact. 

Proposed Amendment to University Senate Code Art X, Sec. 2 (ACEC Faculty Senate/Faculty rep) Because ACEC is a University Senate Committee the final approval must be done by University Senate.  However since it concerns a faculty appointment (changing from four members from faculty at large and one faculty senate member, to five faculty at large) it is being presented to FacEx.  Beisecker pointed out that approval will make it possible to find someone who has the expertise for the committee since it opens appointments to a bigger pool.  Williams also added that this is a good idea because sometimes the committee gets stacked with big tech guys and not ordinary users; this will offer balance.

Proposed Amendment to FSRR 1.1.1. (PTR) will make a necessary addition not made when PTR was added.

IX           New Business

Williams wanted the minutes to reflect how well Kathy Reed handled a complicated basketball ticket eligibility matter this summer regarding eligibility of faculty who teach pro bono.  The committee thanked her for her work in remedying the situation. 

X.           Old Business

               Faculty Code

Beisecker said that the administration didn’t accept everything.  Referring to the handouts concerning the Faculty Code, he asked the committee to spend some time looking at the documents rather than completely going through them today.  (He noted the colors of one of the handouts and explained that it compared the November 2014 version returned by the Provost, the April 16, 2015 Faculty Senate/FRPR version sent to the Provost, and the version returned by the Provost on September 3, 2015.)  Beisecker told the committee that he met with Jan Sheldon and got her response and has also met often with Mary Lee Hummert to discuss the code.

Beisecker noted some of the changes:

  • Consistent insertion of “University Policy”
  • Article I.  “Substantive changes to this Code will be made only after approval by the Provost’s Office and Faculty Senate, subject to the ultimate authority of the Chancellor.”  Mary Lee Hummert’s response to Beisecker’s request that the “ultimate authority of the Chancellor” be stricken was that it could be stricken if it were part of other documents (such as FSRR), but this is stand-alone document.
  • Article III, rights 2 & 4.  “Consistent and unbiased” is now “impartial” (“impartial is used in FSRR PTR)
  • Beisecker tried to have Hummert strike the first sentence added to Article III, Number 5 by the Provost, which addresses faculty members’ right to be informed about files about them.  She said that this is an unenforceable right so instead listed what files the university has.  If a file is not an official university file it should not be used.  Williams observed that this is a limiting clause of the relationship of the university to files, and defines what is official.  We can’t control unofficial files.  Joe Harrington questioned it.  Beisecker responded that the conversation can continue, but it is an improvement.
  • Article III, right 7.  “If an appeal is filed, the University will stay imposition of the sanction pending disposition of the appeal.”  Beisecker feels this added sentence about appeals is good.
  • Article V.  “Leave without pay” is Beisecker’s biggest concern.  The justification is that the University feels there are circumstances when someone needs to be removed.  For example, when someone is violating safety policies in a lab.  Also, in the case of abandonment (someone deciding they don’t want to teach classes) leave without pay gets the faculty member’s attention.

In response to confusion about the handouts, Williams explained that the 09/1/2015 response from the Provost is the active document; the document with green highlighting on top is for reference, adding changes that have been made in the past, and the third document is the Provost’s September 2015 memo explaining changes. 

Beisecker asked that the committee look over the document for discussion at the next meeting.  He added that he will also give the document to FRPR for a response.  He is hoping to accomplish these things quickly and asked the committee to consider what’s not important, not worth fighting for; for example, “subject to the ultimate authority of the Chancellor” and “consistent and unbiased”.  He added that some issues are touchstones; “Leave without pay” is a touchstone.  Beisecker expressed that faculty codes are important but the more we focus on this one issue, the more we ignore other things.  We need to put it to bed.

No further business.

The open section of the meeting was adjourned at 4:20; the committee moved to a closed meeting to discuss committee appointment changes.

Respectfully submitted

Maureen Altman


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