FacEx-Faculty Senate Executive Meeting 12/01/15
December 1, 2015 – 3:00 p.m.
University Governance Conference Room, 33 Strong Hall
(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)
II. Approval of November 10 minutes
III. Report of Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker
IV. Report of University Senate President Mike Williams
V. Faculty Code
VI. Further Discussion of Student Success Practices Online Programs
VII. KU UAS (Drone) Policy Draft
VIII. Old Business
IX. New Business
December 1, 2015 – University Governance Conference Room, 33 Strong Hall – 3:00
Approved February 2, 2016
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; Sara Shepherd, LJ World.
Faculty Senate President and FacEx Chair Tom Beisecker called the meeting to order, announced the meeting is recorded, and asked for announcements. Joe Harrington asked what Vice Chancellor Jim Tracy will be discussing at Thursday’s Faculty Senate meeting and asked if the agenda order could be changed to allow enough time for the Faculty Code discussion. Beisecker explained that he invited Tracy to inform Faculty Senate about his plans to make his office more user friendly and explain how it will be different than before. He felt that he can control the time and that Tracy’s talk won’t be too long. Beisecker added that he is more concerned with time that might be taken by University Senate and added that he will call an additional Faculty Senate meeting if necessary.
MINUTES for November 10, 2015 were approved.
REPORT OF FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT TOM BEISECKER
Beisecker said that he and Mike Williams haven’t met with the Provost since the last SenEx meeting so he hasn’t been able to ask about the KUAAP questions which were brought up at that meeting—particularly Ron Barrett-Gonzales’ request that Sara Rosen provide a position paper clarifying KUAAP recruitment—but he will discuss KUAAP at tomorrow’s meeting.
Beisecker reported that he has been added to the Provost Search Committee after it was brought to the Chancellor’s attention that Governance had no representation on the committee.
REPORT OF UNIVERSITY SENATE PRESIDENT MIKE WILLIAMS
Mike Williams reported that COFSP (Council of Faculty Senate Presidents) is still reviewing the weapons policy and will probably have the edited policy in February. He said discussion of the policy will move to the full board in December with full consideration in January. WOCC (Weapons on Campus Committee) plans to have their version of a weapons policy in place by end of spring 2016. The Weapons Information Session had been planned for spring but due to the large number of email responses generated from the November 11 Town Hall Meeting on Race, Respect, Responsibility and Free Speech, the meeting has been scheduled for December 8 at 2:30 in Budig Hall Room 120. Although Budig holds nearly 1000 Williams asked Kathy to look for an additional overflow room. Williams said he has received approval from the administration. He explained that the meeting would be informational rather than town hall style and he plans to move the session forward and keep it focused. It will be streamed to the KU campuses and those who cannot attend will have the opportunity to email questions during the meeting. The ad Williams is placing in the UDK next Monday will contain an information section which he will preview for accuracy. Williams said he has invited members of the media and legislation. Ron Barrett-Gonzales and Amalia Monroe-Gulick encouraged him to invite the governor. Williams said he could but feels that the weapons issue is really with the legislators. He added that he would appreciate support for weapons info meeting.
Williams announced that he has been appointed to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group.
Williams thanked Monroe-Gulick for her help with the faculty/staff gun survey. He admitted it’s not perfect, but it’s better. The survey should be out tomorrow or Thursday and will be available until December 31. Williams hasn’t received any results from the student survey as yet. Beisecker said FacEx needs to coauthor something to encourage people to complete the faculty/staff survey.
Faculty Code Discussion
Beisecker said that at this point FacEx will just see what happens on Thursday at the Faculty Senate meeting on Thursday. FacEx members agreed.
Further Discussion about student success practices in the online programs
FacEx revisited the procedures of contacting students about instructors that Paul Atchley, Associate Dean of Online and Professional Education, College of arts & Sciences, explained at the October 27 FacEx meeting. Several ideas were expressed regarding what to do about the practices. Harrington and Barrett-Gonzales said they were against them. The latter felt that despite Atchley’s emphasis that the practices are not evaluations he felt they fall under evaluation rules. Barrett-Gonzalez also expressed concerns about how to protect someone from an objectionable review later. Williams observed that the heart of Paul’s Atchley’s effort is to support students but that the procedures opened places where information can be shared inappropriately. It was suggested that the Student Success practice of letting students know they can express problems is more appropriate. Beisecker pointed out that this issue isn’t just about online instruction, noting that there are many kinds of intervention in the Student Success office. Pam Keller observed that there is a difference between asking one student about their progress/work as opposed to questioning a whole class about an instructor. Harrington felt that it would be appropriate if the questions come from the department, and that the unit should be responsible. Beisecker offered to consider today’s comments and put a response together for Atchley. The committee agreed that it’s necessary to put student success and faculty protection together.
ACTION: BEISECKER WILL WORK ON A RESPONSE REGARDING THE ONLINE PRACTICES.
KU UAS (DRONE) POLICY DRAFT
Beisecker asked the committee for comments on the policy. Barrett-Gonzalez said that he ran it by some of the members of the Aerospace department and they agreed it is flawed. He enumerated the following problems:
- Unmanned aircraft systems are not well defined
- Infringes on personal rights
- Will allow dangerous items while disallowing harmless aircraft
- No experts included on the policy committee
- Will hamper research
- Violates academic freedom. (For example, will it be necessary to get approval for every student in every class which uses drones?)
- Required prior approval not possible, nor legal, since only the FAA can required it
- Duplicates regulatory functions
- Reaches into functions that are not allowed
- Indoor use not addressed
Barret-Gonzalez suggested the committee be abandoned and replaced with a new committee with experts, particularly the Chair of Aerospace. Amy Smith, who was part of the team that developed the policy clarified that the committee did have an aviation expert, Jeff Long. Barrett-Gonzalez countered that Long is not qualified for the job. Asked about the history of the committee Amy explained that it was initiated by KU Public Affairs in response to drones flying over graduation ceremonies last spring. She further explained that the intention of the policy is not to prohibit drones but to regulate their use. Beisecker said that FacEx can’t disband the committee since it wasn’t created by FacEx but added that the concerns need to be expressed to the Provost. Smith encouraged that FacEx approach the committee instead. Beisecker asked Barrett-Gonzalez to express his concerns to the Policy Office and said he and Williams will talk to the Provost. Beisecker acknowledged that this was an example of the larger issue that Governance needs to be involved in Policy Library changes and has a responsibility to be heard on policy matters. Williams agreed, adding that the University Senate Code gives Governance authority to monitor and advise (or words to that effect). (Writer’s note: “It [Faculty Senate Executive Committee] may advise administrative officials on statements of University policy or procedure that are generally applicable to the University community, University Senate Code Article VII, Section 3 Functions and Quorum).
ACTION: Beisecker AND WILLIAMS WILL BRING CONCERNS OF POLICY BEING MADE WITHOUT CONSULTING OR NOTIFYING GOVERNANCE TO THEIR NEXT PROVOST MEETING. (GOVERNANCE RECEIVED INFORMATION ABOUT THE DRONE POLICY AFTER THE FACT THROUGH THE DEANS AND DIRECTORS EMAIL).
ACTION: BARRETT-GONZALEZ WILL SUBMIT HIS CONCERNS TO UNIVERSITY POLICY.
No further business.
Meeting adjourned at 3:54.