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FacEx-Faculty Senate Executive Committee 11/10/15

November 10, 2015 - 3:00pm
33 Strong Hall

(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)

  I.        Announcements

 II.       Approval of October 27, 2015 minutes

III.       Report of Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker

IV.       Report of University Senate President Mike Williams

 V.       Students Proposed Faculty Evaluations

VI.       Faculty Code

 VII.      Further Discussion of Student Success Practices Online Programs

 VIII.    Faculty/Staff Weapons Survey

 IX.      KU UAS (Drone) Policy Draft

 X.      University Academic Assessment Committee (UAAC) Member Selection Process Policy Draft

 XI.     Old Business     

 XII.    New Business


Student Senate Policy Proposal: Online Course Evaluations

Handout from Ron Barrett Gonzalez-KS Statue 45-221

FSRR 7.2.1

Brown University - Course evaluations

November 1, 2015- FRPR Comments on Provost Recommended Changes to Faculty Code, Responsibilities, and Conduct

UAAC Draft Policy




Approved December 1, 2015

MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, Pam Keller, Joe Harrington, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Amalia Monroe-Gulick


ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman, Kathy Reed, University Governance; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Kirk McClure, FRPR Chair; Jessie Pringle, Student Body President, Zach George, Student Body Vice President/Student Senate President, Tomas Green, Student Senate Development Director; Jonathan Clark, History

FacEx Chair Tom Beisecker called the meeting to order, announced that the meeting is recorded, and asked for announcements. 

MINUTES for October 27, 2015 were approved with the following change: in the last sentence of the first paragraph on page 2 “others” should read “other administrators”.


Beisecker said that he asked Sara Rosen about the total size of the KUAAP program and for clarification of Amalia Monroe-Gulick’s question about Rosen’s statement at the October 21 KUAAP Town Hall that all international students would come through KUAAP (Shorelight).  Total enrollment is expected to be between 600 and 800 for the program, split between graduate and undergraduate students.  Recruitment will not be restricted to KUAAP but the University will rely primarily on Shorelight.  Students who do not come into the university through Shorelight may avail themselves of some version of the program.  Williams explained ways in which international students are admitted: 1) good English skills and no need of help;  2) some improvement in English skills needed and may or may not use KUAAP; 3) fairly good English skills but need KUAAP; 4) poor English skills, fully remedial and are in KUAAP.  Ron Barrett-Gonzalez said that Engineering was told by their Dean that there is no direct recruitment outside of Shorelight for international graduate students and requested that Rosen be asked to put out a position paper clarifying recruitment.  In response to questions about release of the Shorelight contract, Beisecker and Williams questioned whether the original contract would actually speak to the recruitment issue since the program is evolving.  Even though the contract is non-exclusive, Monroe-Gulick asked whether there is an impact on how international students are recruited and on the University’s acceptance of students who don’t go through KUAAP.  Beisecker and Williams said they would check.Beisecker and Williams questioned whether the original contract would actually speak to the recruitment issue since the program is evolving.  Even though the contract is non-exclusive, Monroe-Gulick asked whether there is an impact on how international students are recruited and on the University’s acceptance of students who don’t go through KUAAP.  Beisecker and Williams said they would check.

Action: Mike and Tom will ask Sara Rosen for clarification information on international graduate recruitment and if there is impact on students who don’t go through KUAAP.


Mike Williams reported that he is going to the KBOR meeting in Wichita next week for Beisecker and added that he expects the gun conversation to be briefer than at last month’s meeting.  He said that after last week’s University Senate meeting, he received good feedback about the weapons issue which was consistent with comments made at the meeting and added that SenEx will discuss weapons again.  He informed FacEx that KBOR will be taking comments about changes to the KBOR Weapons Policy until November 13 for the November 18 meeting and additional comments until December 1.  He will have more to report after the KBOR meeting. 


Tomas Green distributed the Student Senate’s proposal for online course evaluations which he has been working on since June and which has been an initiative in Student Senate since the 90s (attached).  He noted some of the values of going online: paper evaluations are not sustainable; no class time would be needed; feedback will be more valuable since students will have more time to fill out evaluations.  He explained that while studies showed that participation may drop, qualitative values are often improved.  However, he admitted that that isn’t always the case since some comments online are more hurtful.   Green explained that the supplemental evaluation, which will be published online through each student’s KYou Portal for utilization in selection of courses, will use a dropdown menu in an effort to avoid personal comments about instructors.  For example, questions would relate to finances, workload, and what makes students most successful in the course.

In the ensuing discussing Williams said he is a little troubled by the proposal.  He noted that the proposal data is dependent on the University of Florida which is a different environment, particularly in that KU uses evaluations for personnel issues such as promotion and tenure.  Responding to Williams’ question of how this played into advising, Jesse Pringle said that she met with Randall Brumfield and the UAC (University Advising Center) and it was suggested that a question about whether a course prepared students to move on should be added.

Williams suggested Green consider making syllabi available to students online for course selection.  Green said adding a condensed syllabus was considered during discussion with Dr. Greenhoot in CTE (The Center for Teaching Excellence) but the pushback was that professors are influx in summer and syllabi might not be available.  Williams pointed out that there was a timeline problem since students enroll early.  Green agreed that timeline might be one of the bugs to work out but that they wanted a limited trial, perhaps in only one school to assess the supplementary evaluation.  

Referring to the handouts he distributed (attached) Barrett-Gonzalez questioned the legitimacy of the supplemental evaluation, citing in particular the Kansas Open Records Act, KORA 45-221(4) and Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations Article VII, Section 2 (FSRR 7.2.1).  Zach George said it isn’t a violation of Kansas law.  Green said he was familiar with both documents and felt the evaluation could be restructured around the course and not the professor.  However Barrett-Gonzales pointed out that if you know the course you know the instructor and Pam Keller added that the challenge is to not make it faculty centered.  

Barrett-Gonzalez also expressed concerns that the supplemental evaluation might exacerbate racism and sexism.  Green agreed that inappropriate comments were a concern which is why there will be student focused questions in a dropdown menu rather than written feedback.  Barrett-Gonzalez also asked Green to look over the AAUP materials he distributed (attached) and consider the seriousness of the project, advising that it not be a popularity contest.  Green agreed that they will have to think more critically about questions and felt a committee could help.  Keller expressed concern that the University’s allowing the supplement legitimizes it in a way Rate My Professor isn’t.  She felt it deprives instructors of learning from it and suggested the results just go to instructors.  Keller also worried that it might incentivize an instructor to change material to make it more popular.

Amalia Monroe-Gulick noted that there are really two steps being proposed, regular online evaluations and then the supplemental evaluation for student utilization, the supplement overshadowing the more palatable online evaluation.  Barrett-Gonzalez suggested implementing the first step of putting evaluations online.   

In response to Harrington’s suggestion that the proposal be brought back to the Student Senate, George said that they’ve been told that before and have already addressed issues.  He suggested it would show a full faith effort if the proposal were sent to a faculty committee; Green agreed. 

Pringle said that Sara Rosen has a working group to put the evaluation online now.  Williams added that he knows the students have spoken to Bob Lim in IT but pointed out that those steps are process issues and, while the efforts presented are admirable, the proposal isn’t really “fully cooked”.   Other issues such as legality and grade inflation need to be answered before the proposal would be remanded to a committee (perhaps FRPR, as suggested by Barrett-Gonzalez, since it involves faculty rights regarding personnel files).  Williams suggested he, Beisecker, Pringle and George work through the questions at their next meeting to put it in a form for action before sending it to a committee. 

Williams/Harrington moved to take the discussion to the next Faculty/University/Student Senate Presidents meeting.  Passed.


Beisecker said that discussion of Faculty Code between faculty and administration has reached the point of a line drawn in the sand.  Williams noted that, unlike the federal government, our governance has no means of closing the debate and asked how language could be presented to the Faculty Senate to show that the issue could be finite.  Harrington suggested that the responsibility of making the matter finite might be put on the Faculty Senate.  Barrett-Gonzalez thought that the administration might want the issue settled before the new provost is appointed and speculated that it might be better to have the current code than a bad code.

Beisecker assumed that points that were not commented on by FRPR were acceptable.  He said there were several but identified the following underlying issues.  He agrees with FRPR about “University policy” being a sticking point, citing the UCCC (University Core Curriculum Committee) as an example that the administration feels it is appropriate to develop policy without faculty governance.  Beisecker pointed out that Wichita State has a system in which University Policy includes working with University Governance and would like to have FacEx/Faculty Senate try and craft language to cut through the problem of the administration overriding faculty rights.  Concerning final approval by the Chancellor, Williams said that the Chancellor already has that right.  Kirk McClure, Chair of FRPR, disagreed.  On the point of importance of a hearing, Beisecker felt that if the time and place could be nailed down it might facilitate the issue.  It was pointed out that the administration’s rewrite allows for no due process before an appeal but FRPR insists that faculty must have due process at ALL points.  Beisecker wants an operational definition of due process. 

Beisecker will distribute the administration’s latest version of the Faculty Code and FRPR’s comments to the Faculty Senate and asked FacEx to look at both documents with the idea of trying to get some commonality.  Harrington observed that there appears to be a legal fear behind each change and asked if General Counsel could help clarify.  Beisecker said he will be asking Mary Lee Hummert about her concerns.

Harrington/Barrett-Gonzalez moved to submit the FRPR report to the Faculty Senate this week and invite FRPR Chair, Kirk McClure, or someone from FRPR, to the December 3 Faculty Senate meeting to discuss FRPR comments about the administrations changes to the proposed Faculty Code.  Passed.

Discussion about student success practices in the online programs

It was decided that discussion be deferred to a future meeting. 


Amalia Monroe-Gulick felt it is a poorly designed survey and had spoken to people very familiar with surveys who agreed.  She expressed concern that the survey could be misused and wondered what the survey is actually asking for, citing questions like “What is your political affiliation?”.   Monroe-Gulick said the survey draft would provide information about whether people wanted guns, which the Docking Institute has already surveyed, but contains no questions about recruitment or classroom change, for example.  Pam Keller agreed, pointing to the absence of questions surveying cultural change.  Williams asked Monroe-Gulick to meet with him to go over the survey so that he can bring comments to KBOR.  He suggested that he and Beisecker could contact other COFSP members to get their opinions about the survey.  

Action: Williams will talk to Monroe-Gulick, and possibly others about editing the survey.


It was decided that discussion be deferred to a future meeting.   

University Academic Assessment Committee (UAAC) Member Selection Process Policy Draft

Beisecker recommended we accept the proposal.  Monroe-Gulick explained that the proposal was the result of an action of herself and some others on the committee.

Harrington/Monroe-Gulick moved to accept the policy.  Passed.

Old Business


New Business


No further business.

Meeting adjourned at 4:57.

Respectfully submitted

Maureen Altman



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