FacEx-Faculty Senate Executive Committee 02/02/16
University Governance Conference Room, 33 Strong Hall
(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)
II. Approval of December 1 minutes
III. Report of Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker
IV. Report of University Senate President Mike Williams
V. Election of Secretary for FacEx/Faculty Senate
VI. Academic Freedom Affirmation (sent by Provost Vitter on behalf of CLAS associate deans)
VII. FRB Charge 1 -Revisit policies and procedures for faculty dismissal proceedings (formerly proposed FSRR 7.3.4) and related issues.
VIII. FRB Charge 3 - Examine the appropriateness of Kansas District Court Judges ruling on cases of KU Personnel while on KU Payroll.
IX. Old Business
X. New Business
FACULTY SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (FacEx)
February 2, 2016 – University Governance Conference Room, 33 Strong Hall – 3:00
Approved as amended February 16, 2016
MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, Pam Keller, Joe Harrington, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez,
ABSENT: Amalia Monroe-Gulick (excused)
ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman, Kathy Reed, University Governance; Mohammad ElHodiri, AAUP;
Faculty Senate President and FacEx Chair Tom Beisecker called the meeting to order, announced that the meeting is recorded, and asked for announcements.
MINUTES for December 1, 2015 were approved. Corrections: line 2, bullet 2 Beisecker reported to KBOR, not the cross section of institutions. Line 9 bullet point 3, COFSP, not Regents
REPORT OF FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT TOM BEISECKER
Beisecker noted that the number of FacEx members remains the same this spring and he is still a voting member. (Writer’s note: Due to resignation of Sandra Gray for Spring 2016).
He reported on the last KBOR meeting of January 20, 2016:
- The weapons policy was passed at the last KBOR meeting and will be implemented in October when each university will produce its own plans and procedures which KBOR Governance will review and approve.
- Representing COFSP Beisecker reported the results of the faculty/staff weapons survey to the Board of Regents. He felt that the report did not have much effect. Beisecker asked Kathy Reed to distribute the link to the survey results. Offering some highlights of the survey Williams reported that Fort Hayes had the highest percentage of survey returns. KU’s attitude against the law was usually at the higher end of the scale than most of the other universities. He was surprised that about one third of KU faculty don’t think the new law will be that bad. Some people felt staff had been left out of the survey. Agreeing that it was flawed in that respect, Williams said he hoped to do something specific to KU. Ron Barrett-Gonzalez said he had hear from students who wanted to protest. Williams was aware of faculty as well but suggested that taking the high road might be better. However he noted that protest has some support with the administration. He reiterated that one of his main points at the Weapons Information Session in December was that people in the university community could protest but must do so as a private citizens.
- COFSP discussed issues of course transfer, in particular the Regent’s interest in transferring credits from one of the six Regent universities to another, as well as transfer credits from community college. Traditionally only general education courses were accepted but transfer credit has now been expanding to introductory courses toward a major and may even expand to system wide transfers of 300-level courses. Beisecker observed that this is something of a turf battle and tug of war between community colleges and Regent universities. There is concern about TAAC, KBOR’s Transfer and Articulation Council, which looks at learning objectives in deciding on transfer courses; there are currently about 60 courses on the transfer list. Beisecker said that his COFSP colleagues want more faculty input since the transfer practices are now driven by registrars and the like. Barrett-Gonzales echoed that concern, citing current issues regarding inequality of Math courses. Williams noted that unit accreditation standards are an issue; a particular community college course may be good or even better than a university course but it might not be accredited. Beisecker said that COFSP will meet with TAAC about the issue. He has also talked informally to Sara Rosen as well regarding institutional involvement.
- Referring to last meetings discussion, Beisecker said he will contact online programs to relay FacEx’ position on their student success practices which were presented to FacEx by Paul Atchley at the October 27 meeting.
- Beisecker told the committee that he and Williams will meet with Interim Provost Sara Rosen a week from tomorrow. He and Williams spoke to her informally about KUAAP and Stuart Day, Acting Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, will talk about KUAAP at the next FacEx on February 16.
ACTION: BEISECKER WILL WORK ON A RESPONSE REGARDING THE ONLINE PRACTICES.
ACTION: Reed will distribute the link to the COFSP faculty/staff weapons survey results to FacEx.
REPORT OF UNIVERSITY SENATE PRESIDENT MIKE WILLIAMS
Referring to AP&P’s charge to “consider the request from the Office of the Registrar to add grades SP (Satisfactory Progress), LP (Limited Progress) and NP (No Progress) for thesis and dissertation hours for graduate students”, Williams explained that one reason for adopting the new grading system is that the current “s” and “u” system, is in violation of the CLAS graduate policy. The question of where to locate the policy will be discussed with administration and others.
He announced that the Weapons on Campus Committee (Ad Hoc Weapons Committee) will meet next week. Williams said that Sara Rosen would like to see a unified implementation committee put together. He expressed to her that it makes sense that the Weapons on Campus Committee evolve into a bigger university committee.
As a current member of the Diversity, Equity, and inclusion Committee (DEI), Williams plans to insist that the University Senate President remain as a member of DEI in the future so University Governance will have representation, because he suspects that DEI will begin to consider places to put specific inclusive language. It is his opinion that we need flexibility rather than strict codified language, and noted that DEI are now in the phase of selecting language; “underserved” and “underrepresented” are the current working words. In response to Joe Harrington’s question about student representation on DEI, Williams said that at least fifty percent are students and representation is very inclusive. Barrett-Gonzalez asked about rural working poor representation. Williams answered that he didn’t have numbers or selection criteria but that some of the first generation college students had rural backgrounds.
Williams reported that the Weapons Information Session on December 8 reached at least about 1000 people which he considered a small victory.
Ron Barrett-Gonzalez requested a brief closed session.
Election of secretary for FacEx/Faculty Senate
Motion to elect Joe Harrington as Secretary of the Faculty Senate (who also serves as the Parliamentarian). Barrett-Gonzales/Keller. Passed. Williams asked what it would take to make it a standing policy for the president-elect to be secretary. It would entail changing the University Senate Code which was just changed to add the duty of Parliamentarian to the Secretary position. It was suggested that the President-Elect serving as Secretary could be made a custom. However Mohammad ElHodiri pointed out that there could be an instance in which the President-Elect is an ex officio, non-voting member of FacEx.
Academic Freedom Affirmation (sent by Provost Vitter on behalf of CLAS associate deans)
The request made by CLAS associate deans and Former Provost Vitter that Faculty or University Senate affirm the associate deans’ statement on academic freedom for the whole university was discussed. Barrett-Gonzalez said that academic freedom is covered in FSRR 6.1. He felt that if the CLAS associate deans were serious they should fold in the AAUP 1940 and 1970 interpretive statements of academic freedom, adding that otherwise the statement is window dressing. In answer to Beisecker’s question of how to respond to the request Williams, Barrett-Gonzalez and Harrington agreed that he should thank the associate deans for the statement.
Williams noted that some of the discussions regarding concealed carry are in the same vein, in that they reference restrictions of academic freedom. Beisecker added that in his weapons survey report at KBOR he had emphasized the law will restrict academic freedom of students.
ACTION: BEISECKER WILL REPORT FACEX’S RESPONSE TO CLAS ASSOCIATE DEANS.
FRB Charge 1 (Revisit policies and procedures for faculty dismissal proceedings (formerly proposed FSRR 7.3.4) and related issues.
Since Keller and Barrett-Gonzalez are members of the FRB, Beisecker asked them comment on the 7.3. Barrett-Gonzales said there are holes in FRB procedures that are being filled by Provost procedures. Keller added that the committee’s main concern was with hearings and appeals. Responding to Beisecker’s question why the section containing “burden of proof is on the appellant to prove by clear and convincing evidence” (f) was deleted, Keller explained that FRB didn’t want the burden of proof to be on the appellant so that section was amended.
Beisecker asked why 7.3.4 which was noted in FRB Charge 1 wasn’t addressed. Keller responded that it was her understanding that 7.3 needed to be clarified to show both that faculty have the right to a hearing as well as an appeal and hearings are within the jurisdiction of FRB. Therefore FRB reviewed, and reaffirmed, the FRB draft that had been confirmed by FRB March 13, 2015 and presented to FacEx on March 24, 2015. (Writer’s note from FacEx March 24, 2015 minutes: “The consensus of FacEx was to postpone discussion of the FSRR at this time until the Faculty Senate completes its discussion of amendments to the Faculty Code”). Reed explained that 7.3.4 had been denied by the Provost and was not looked at again. Keller said that FRB would look at 7.3.4 at another meeting.
Motion to forward 7.3 draft to Faculty Senate, Harrison/Barrett-Gonzalez. Passed.
ACTION: Forward 7.3 draft to Faculty Senate.
FRB Charge 3 (Examine the appropriateness of Kansas District Court Judges ruling on cases of KU Personnel while on KU Payroll).
In their report on Charge 3, FRB expressed concern not only about the lack of knowledge that faculty may have regarding litigation but also about the larger problem of faculty not understanding the procedures that must be followed to assert their rights within the University system. Referring to FRB’s intention to communicate information to faculty about procedures, Reed informed FacEx that when the Faculty Code is passed FRB will be charged with creating a chart of procedures. FacEx decided that the report should be forwarded to the Ombud.
Motion to forward FRB’s report on Charge 3 from Governance to the Ombud. Barrett-Gonzalez/Harrison. Passed.
ACTION: FORWARD FRB’S REPORT ON CHARGE 3 TO OMBUD
Harrison noted that according to Robert’s Rules “old” business should actually be “unfinished” business.
FacEx requested that the Faculty Code draft be re-sent to Faculty Senate before the discussion at the February 11 Faculty meeting.
ACTION: Re-send Faculty Code draft to Faculty Senate for February 11 meeting.
No further business.
Meeting adjourned at. 4:17
ACADEMIC FREEDOM AFFIRMATION DRAFT STATEMENT
Created by CLAS associate deans
(Emailed to FY16 Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker from Provost Jeff Vitter, Dec. 4, 2015)
Below is a draft statement the CLAS associate deans developed regarding faculty concerns about being stifled in thought and word, particularly in the classroom:
The University of Kansas recognizes the concerns raised by members of our community about the classroom as a safe place for productive dialog about issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The University of Kansas administration and the members of the Faculty Senate continue to endorse the principles of First Amendment rights, academic freedom, and due process, and will work to see that these principles are followed with respect to all faculty in compliance with University Rules and Regulations and with the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.
They would like to see something similar affirmed for the university. I discussed this matter with my leadership team, and it seems right up the alley of the University or Faculty Senate. Perhaps you might want to have someone consider something like it and present it for the appropriate Senate consideration.