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Faculty Senate 12/04/14

Faculty Senate
December 4, 2014 - 3:30pm
Room 203 Law School


Faculty Senate

December 4, 2014

(immediately following the University Senate meeting)

Room 203 Green Hall (Law School)


(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)


I.          Announcements

II.        Approval of minutes from September 11, 2014

III.       Report of Faculty Senate President Jim Carothers

IV.       Discussion Items

            A.  Prosecution of Academic Misconduct

            B.  The Budget News

            C.  “Excused absences”

            D.  Reconciling our various Codes, Rules, and Regulations

            E.  The Provost’s Review

V.        Old Business

VI.       New Business



December 4, 2014 – immediately following University Senate

203 Green Hall


MEMBERS PRESENT:  Faculty – Jim Carothers, Jonathan Mayhew, Mahasweta Banerjee, Philip Baringer, Ronald Barrett-Gonzalez, Thomas Beisecker, Kelly Chong, Katherine Clark, Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer, Mohamed El-Hodiri, Kim Glover, Sandra Gray, Andrea Greenhoot, Kissan Joseph, Nancy Kinnersley, Paul Laird, Jeremy Martin, Gerald Mikkelson, Paul Outka, Steve Padget, Allan Pasco, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Meagan Patterson, Marlesa Roney, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Bill Staples, Barbara Timmermann, Barney Warf, Mike Williams, Lisa Wolfe-Wendel.  Ex-officio non-voting – Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

EXCUSED:  Lisa Friis, Pamela Keller, Elizabeth MacGonagle

ALSO PRESENT:  Kathleen Levy and Kathy Reed, University Governance

President Jim Carothers called the meeting to order.

Faculty Senate approved the minutes for September 11, 2014. 

Carothers announced that there were several discussion items on the agenda for the meeting.  Carothers noted that Barrett-Gonzalez brought the issue of “Prosecution of Academic Misconduct” to him and asked Barrett-Gonzalez to give some background on this issue.  Barrett-Gonzalez reported that Engineering is seeing an increase in student academic misconduct at all levels.  Because of the threat that academic misconduct poses to institutional integrity, he urged Faculty Senate to address the issue. 

Carothers noted that the only metric of evaluation in post-tenure review is student evaluations. There is potential for abuse and there ought to be more sophisticated metrics for assessing student response.    It is also unclear how well evaluations reflect the quality of teaching.  In addition, students are interested in having student evaluations of faculty available online.  He supports the student effort to disseminate information about courses, but not information about instructors.  Further, there are faculty who decline to give student evaluations.

Barrett-Gonzalez noted that historically Engineering students have not been prosecuted for academic misconduct.  Recently some faculty did seek prosecution and their evaluations “tanked,” so the instructors were punished for prosecuting misconduct.

Faculty Senate members made a number of comments concerning academic misconduct.

  • Academic misconduct should not be seen as just a faculty problem but rather a university wide issue.
  • Students need to be educated about their responsibilities.
  • KU has no honor code.
  • General Counsel’s Office should support faculty members in situations of student academic misconduct.  Perhaps there should be an independent office to deal with this.
  • Mentoring new teachers regarding these issues should begin in the department.
  • Students need to be part of the discussion as they have a huge interest in institutional integrity because it impacts the value of their diplomas.
  • Faculty need to be proactive as advisors because it makes a difference in students’ attitudes toward their education.
  • Department chairs should encourage faculty to prosecute academic misconduct and support them when they do.
  • Prosecution cuts down on instances of academic misconduct.

Chancellor Gray-Little noted that student academic misconduct is a very serious issue.  At this point, KU is a long way from instituting an honor code.  The lack of a code, the new information age, and student attitudes affect academic misconduct.  She stated that it is important to discuss this issue with students  because the seriousness of academic misconduct needs to be embedded in KU’s culture and documents. 

Regarding other items on the discussion agenda, Carothers noted that the review of the Provost is considered a personnel matter and there will be no announcement concerning it, and there is no information regarding the budget.

No further business.  The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Levy



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