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FacEx-Faculty Senate Executive Committee 09/20/2016

September 20, 2016 - 3:00pm
33 Strong Hall

(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)

  1. Announcements
  2. Approval of September 6, 2016 minutes
  3. Report of Faculty Senate President Pam Keller
  1. Report of University Senate President Joe Harrington
  1. Discussion of Intersession Courses
  1. Unfinished Business

(Discussion of diversity and inclusion efforts)

  1. New Business



Approved October 4, 2016

FY17 MEMBERS PRESENT: Pam Keller, Joe Harrington, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Suzanne Shontz, Tom Beisecker, Pam Fine

FY17 MEMBERS ABSENT:  Ruben Flores 

ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman, Kathy Reed, University Governance; Mohamed El-Hodiri, AAUP; Provost Neeli Bendapudi

Pam Keller called the meeting to order, informed FacEx that the meeting was being recorded, and asked for announcements.

MINUTES for September 6, 2016 were approved.


Keller reported that the Chancellor approved the Faculty Code.  Joe Harrington said that an official announcement should be made in the Faculty Senate, thanking Tom Beisecker and others who had worked on it.  The Provost informed the presidents that Stuart Day, Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, spoke to her about making a joint announcement about the Faculty Code and she suggested that he contact the presidents since it is totally up to them.  Harrington said he has put the announcement in the new Governance newsletter which is about to go out.  Keller thanked him for creating the newsletter, noting it is more tangible than simply directing people to just read a report. 

Reporting on KBOR (Kansas Board of Regents) Keller said that she attended the breakfast for members of KBOR and COFSP (the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents), as well as the KBOR meeting last week.    KBOR adopted the system-wide budget proposal.  Schools are asking that cuts from last year be restored, the main focus being to get back the four percent.  Every school proposed enhancement goals.  KU proposed 1.3 million dollars for the Jayhawk Success Academy, a summer bridge program for low income and first generation students.  Ten million dollars over two years was proposed to expand the medical education program for the School of Medicine in Wichita.  KBOR hoped that the enhancement goals and cut restoration would be approved, and that there would not be further cuts, but is not optimistic. 

KU and most of the schools submitted the draft of their weapons implementation policy to KBOR.  Keller said she would check with the Provost to see if the submission might have been made earlier than the formal October due date so KU could get feedback.  Tom Beisecker asked if someone from KU attended the Governance Committee since that is where the weapons policy will go.  Keller responded that while she was unable to attend someone from COFSP did.  She said that she didn’t get the sense from their agenda that the policy had been presented at the Governance Committee but would ask the Provost.  Keller added that other universities did present their policies but ours seemed more in-depth. 

COFSP worked on the credit by examination policy which, pending approval from one last committee, will soon go into effect.  In seeking system-wide uniformity in awarding credit for AP and CLEP scores, it was decided that default scores for credit would be set at 3 for AP credit and at the basic CLEP score accepted by the American Council of Education.  To accommodate the request of faculty presidents, KBOR made an allowance that a discipline can require a higher score if the disciplines from each university agree to the score.  Since each faculty senate president is responsible for communicating this possibility to their institution Keller will check, with the help of Stuart Day, which disciplines at KU are interested in requiring higher scores and let COFSP know by October.

Keller announced that Stuart Day will attend the next FacEx meeting to speak about UCCC (University Core Curriculum Committee).

Regarding FacEx committee appointments Keller announced that Doug Ward will serve on the Chancellors Teaching Award Committee, and Mike Williams will serve on KBOR’s TAAC (Transfer & Articulation Council).  She is still looking for someone to serve on the Academic and Quality Assurance Committee for the Academic Acceleration Program.  FacEx members noted that the appointee needs to be someone who understands KUAAP’s impact. 


Joe Harrington reported he and Keller met with Jennifer Hamer, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, today.  While they are still mulling over ideas on how to best approach the diversity and inclusion issue, they had received good input.  The issue will be discussed during a later agenda item.  Harrington said that SenEx will further consider the Ad Hoc Committee on Cost Saving at its next meeting.  Jeff Chasen, Vice Provost of Compliance, and Jenn Anderson, Interim Policy Office Director, will attend the next SenEx meeting to talk about the University Policy Program, which SenEx refers to as the “Policy on Policies”. 


Keller explained that she had been notified by a faculty member of concerns about intersession courses.  (Courses offered between semesters).  The concerns were: 1) oversight departments had in the process of selecting courses and how courses are being reviewed; 2) implications for junior faculty, particularly in regard to possible impact on earning tenure; 3) academic quality.  Noting that intersession courses may be good for some Suzanne Shontz questioned whether junior faculty should be disallowed from teaching.  Others noted that sometimes faculty who taught intersession courses didn’t have to teach an extra course during the semester.  Shontz also noted that in Engineering there is a process to monitor courses.  Offering his view as a department chair Beisecker addressed the issues of academic quality and junior faculty.  First, short courses have been offered for over a decade and, while intensive, they can be done effectively.   Secondly, he pointed out that junior faculty sometimes taught intersessions courses not because of financial reasons but in order to free up time for research in spring.  Amalia Monroe-Gulick reminded the committee that Paul Atchley had addressed FacEx last year and we know online courses, which the faculty member mentioned as a concern, are being reviewed.  Keller also noted that mentoring junior faculty is already a charge for one of the Faculty Senate committees.  She said she will respond to the faculty member with FacEx’s general thoughts that they are not sure that there is an issue on the academic side and that the mentoring issue is being addressed.


Revisiting the issue from the last meeting of how FacEx can contribute to creating a more inclusive climate on campus, Keller suggested that FacEx do something at the November Senate meeting.  She reminded members that they had decided against forming a committee and had discussed other ideas: having a working discussion; inviting a speaker; conducting a panel; having a faculty introduction about the issue, followed by a panel; having a conversation with students; offering training; having a discussion of faculty retention.  The idea of online training was not considered valuable.  Keller said that Jennifer Hamer leaned toward a faculty presentation and had suggested some faculty from American Studies. The Provost suggested contacting Shannon Portillo and Lisa Wolf-Wendel from the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Committee.  Keller said that, while sometimes uncomfortable, the Law School’s session in which alums presented their experiences regarding inclusion was valuable, there was power in the stories alumni told.  Referring to a recent Johns Hopkins study which showed that a large percentage of faculty don’t think their minority students will graduate, Fine suggested the November meeting begin with an introduction explaining that there was a problem followed by a discussion of examples of what to do about the problem.  (She said she will forward the study to FacEx).  Keller offered that a panel would be a way to start small, more could be done later.  In response to Beisecker’s question of what FacEx would like the faculty to buy into Keller said she would like them to leave the meeting recognizing that there is a problem and feeling empowered that they can do something.  Monroe-Gulick cautioned about making people defensive.  The Provost emphasized the importance of a strong narrative.  Whether to present the November panel in a joint senate meeting was discussed.  The advantages of having the panel for both senates were that it would allow the panel to use the hour allotted (after reports) to both senates, and would receive input from faculty, students, and staff.  However since the other two constituencies are already addressing the issue, having the panel for Faculty Senate only would allow faculty to focus on issues relevant to them.


Harrington expressed concern that the template departments had received regarding the three-year review of their faculty evaluation process integrated post-tenure review.  He explained how this was problematic.  First it included boilerplate items which were presented as an unchangeable part of university faculty evaluation policy although faculty evaluations rules are made by departments, not the university.  Secondly, he explained that faculty had been at pains to separate evaluations and post-tenure review, adding that evaluations can lead to dismissal while post-tenure review can’t.  Harrington said this is a Governance issue, a policy issue, and a departmental issue which he wanted to make FacEx aware of.  Concern was expressed that the College is arbitrarily rewriting policy. 

Responding to Fine’s mention of a recent LJWorld article concerning a parent’s concern that the University did not inform parents and students about weapons on campus, the Provost said that the University can’t really do anything until the weapons policy is blessed by KBOR.  During a brief discussion on active shooting training, which some said they had already attended, the Provost said that she would share information with FacEx about receiving training but, as he had said in the last SenEx meeting, Beisecker suggested that it would be better if everyone waited until the policy was official so procedures would be consistent. 

No further business.

Meeting adjourned at 4:11

Respectfully submitted

Maureen Altman


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