(immediately following the University Senate meeting)
Room 203 Green Hall (Law School)
(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)
I. Approval of minutes from October 8, 2015
II. Report of Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker
III. James Tracy, Vice Chancellor for KU Research
IV. Discussion of Faculty Code and FRPR comments with FRPR Chair, Kirk McClure
V. Old Business
VI. New Business
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
December 3, 2015 – 4:00 p.m. – 203 Green Hall
Approved as amended on February 11, 2016
MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, Mary Banwart, Philip Baringer, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Jim Carothers, Jay Childers, Kelly Chong, Jonathan Clark, Michael Davidson, Chris Elles, Charles Epp, Pam Fine, Christopher Fischer, Andrea Greenhoot, Lynn Hancock, Majid Hannoum, Joe Harrington, Pamela Keller, Paul Laird, Weishi Liu, Jason Matejkowski, Jonathan Mayhew, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Steve Padget, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Meagan Patterson, Angela Rathmel, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Geraldo Sousa, Bill Staples, Dean Stetler, Belinda Sturm, Barbara Timmermann, Lisa Wolf-Wendell
ABSENT: Faculty Lisa Friis (excused), Kissan Joseph (excused), Mario Medina, Susan Williams (excused)
ALSO PRESENT: Provost Jeffrey Vitter; Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Dave Smith, Sociology; Rudolfo Torres, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research; Kirk McClure, Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities (FRPR) Committee Chair.
Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker called the meeting to order.
MINUTES for October 8, 2015 were approved.
REPORT OF THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT
Beisecker referred the Senate to his report previously given at University Senate. He asked that if anyone wanted him to take any issues to the COFSP (Council of Faculty Senate Presidents) breakfast to let him know.
JAMES TRACY, VICE CHANCELLOR FOR KU RESEARCH
Tracy reported to the committee about his new role as Vice Chancellor. He said that his mission is to support researchers on campus and added that that is his his pledge. Tracy assured the Senate that he would support all University researchers, not just those in the sciences, and added that all researchers are to be celebrated whether they bring in money or not. Noting that there has been a dichotomy between the KU Research office and KUCR (University of Kansas Center for Research), he explained that KUCR was too remote and has been rebranded under the KU Office of Research. Acting on his goal to make the office more user friendly, Tracy has implemented a culture change where the first words aren’t “no” but “how”. Because a great deal of faculty time is spent doing mandatory effort certification reporting, efforts are being made to replace the cumbersome paper system with an online reporting tool, ECert. He added that he would like to hire professional grant editors but currently doesn’t have the money. Tracy informed the Senate that he spends a lot of time doing advocacy in Washington, D.C., for example, lobbying for more money for research, attempting to minimize administrative burdens (42% of faculty time is spent working on grants), and trying to get rid of mandatory effort certification reporting.
Tracy then opened the floor to questions.
Jim Carothers asked if continued membership in the AAU, which appears to be a priority with the University, is advantageous beyond just prestige, and what the disadvantages of discontinuing membership would be. Tracy said that the AAU commitment to scholarly effort goes beyond prestige. He cited his experiences at the University of Kentucky which was not AAU institution and said the difference was apparent, with many faculty retiring as associate professors. He felt those in AAU institutions push each other, are at a higher level. He added that the number one metric for AAU is federally funded research dollars. However Tracy noted that half of the AAU universities have been going down and questioned whether that will continue to be their metric.
Jonathan Clark said that he completely understood Tracy’s time being taken up with the natural sciences since that’s where the money is, but asked how the humanities could more effectively engage with that world of money raising. Influenced by his father’s work as an English professor and by his own research which included the history of infectious diseases, Tracy said he feels strongly about the importance of the humanities and doesn’t want to see research lose that influence. Dollars are important but that doesn’t mean research won’t support and celebrate the work of the humanities Tracy said that at the University of Kentucky, he created a program that matched humanities proposals dollar for dollar up to $50,000 and added that he is in favor of ways to peel off funds from the sciences to support the humanities. The Provost mentioned that the new integrated sciences building will include the Gunn Center for Science Fiction, mixing English and science to inspire each other.
Bozenna Pasik-Duncan affirmed that KCUR is campus friendly and that she had had a good and valuable experience, particularly working with Anita.
Belinda Sturm expressed her fear that industry funding is not weighted and asked if those numbers will be reported. Admitting that he is not an expert on academic analytics, Tracy assured her that they have to track every element that’s relevant. He said industry funding is important and is the second tier of funding after federal. Tracy added that foundations are more difficult to track since they are all different but they are counted. He said he would defer to Mary Lee Hummert (as former interim Vice Chancellor for KU Research) and Rodolfo Torres (Associate Vice Chancellor of KU Research) regarding academic analytics.
Beisecker said he had asked Tracy to speak because he was very impressed by his friendliness and approachability. He feels KU Research is in good hands and encouraged faculty to go to them for help. Hummert announced that there would be a research information fair on Monday 3:30 to 5:00. New faculty was invited but anyone can attend. Anyone interested should send her an email for details.
FRPR (Faculty Rights Privileges, and responsiblities) report on FACULTY CODE presented by frpr committee chair KIRK McCLURE
Beisecker referred the Senate to the most recent version of the draft of the Faculty Code which had been emailed to them prior to the meeting. The draft had been sent to the Provost by the Faculty Senate in April 2015 and returned to FacEx in September. FacEx then forwarded it to FRPR for their review. FRPR’s comments were returned to FacEx and emailed to Faculty Senate for their consideration. Beisecker asked Kirk McClure to comment on FRPR’s response before the Senate goes through the Faculty Code proposed changes one by one later in the meeting to determine which changes, if any, to accept.
McClure explained that the 1971 Faculty Code of Rights and Responsibilities is the code that is now in effect. FRPR believes it’s a good code which contents a good statement on responsibilities but lacks an good enumeration of rights. They also believe the Faculty Senates April 2015 Faculty Code draft is a very good code. McClure enumerated the four areas of the administration’s response to the April Code that are prohibitive to accepting that version:
- What instruments could override faculty rights.
With the Provost’s addition of “University Policy” in Article I, the administration alone, without shared governance, could override the faculty. The 1971 code and the 2015 proposed code do not include “University Policy”.
- An affirmation of shared governance
The administration’s change in Article III from the right to participate in the determination of school, department and university policies and procedures (in the 1971 and 2015 codes) to the right to participate in the development only allows input and dilutes the rights of the faculty.
- The protection of faculty due process.
The April 2015 Faculty Senate version gives faculty hearing rights during all disciplinary matters and during all phases of disciplinary matters; in the administration’s September version the faculty can regain rights only after sanctions through an appeal.
4. Circumstances under which Leave Without Pay can be imposed, which is a procedural statement for when a faculty member can be terminated.
McClure said number four is probably the most prohibitive item. In the April Faculty Senate version Leave Without Pay can only be imposed in situations where the conduct of a faculty member threatens the safety of members of the University community. In the administration’s version the definition of “failure to perform a primary job responsibility” would be determined by University Policy. The administration could simply terminate after demonstrating cause, which eliminates the faculty rights now afforded in the 1971 code.
In summary McClure said FRPR recommends not adopting the Provost latest version of the Faculty Code.
Joe Harrington moved to adopt the FRPR report and Ron Barrett-Gonzalez seconded. Many, expecting discussion, were confused by this motion. Carothers suggested that the Senate “receive the report with thanks”. Pointing out that FRPR didn’t report on all the changes, which was not the same as going through the report, Beisecker suggested that the Senate “acknowledge” the report. Harrington explained that his motion meant that the Senate agrees with FRPR’s report and endorses every word of the report. He added that passing the motion would require a two-thirds vote. Several people wanted to discuss FRPR’s comments and the Faculty Code before voting. Clark expressed concern that the Senate is too large a body to go through the Faculty Code line by line and suggested it be returned to FRPR for their suggestions of what the Senate should accept. Beisecker said that it is the ruling of the President of the Senate that we can move to adopt the report but it does not have any affirmative power on what happens from this point on, saying that the Senate will still go through the code and will still look at each individual proposed change, dealing with each one of those as the will of the body. In response to the question of whether the Senate could vote on the Faculty Code today, Harrington pointed out that there is a link in the FSRR that the code is pending and therefore the Faculty Code is in the FSRR and would have to follow the procedures of notifying the faculty at large before a vote. However, Kathy Reed explained that FSRR 7.1, the Faculty Code, was never approved to go into FSRR and is a stand-alone policy under the Provost Policy. Mary Lee Hummert confirmed that it had been agreed a long time ago that the Code was in the Provost policy. Sturm suggested removing “pending” from FSRR. Referring to Harrington’s motion to adopt the FRPR report Mary Banwart, an FRPR committee member, stated that it was her understanding that the report was never meant to be voted on but was meant to be advisory only. Beisecker asked that the vote be taken so the Senate could proceed to the discussion of the Faculty Code.
Move that the FRPR report be adopted: Harrington/Gonzalez. 17 for, 10 opposed. Motion failed.
Clark pointed out that since there wasn’t time to discuss the Faculty Code that the meeting be adjourned and discussion be postponed to the next meeting. Some members suggested the section of the FSRR that notes that the Code of Faculty Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct is “pending” should also be discussed. A request was made that the administration’s September draft version of the code with tracking changes in the margin be sent to the Faculty Senate before the next meeting; Maureen and Kathy agreed to send it.
ACTION: Since there was not enough time for the Senate to go over the Faculty Code, the decision was made to table discussion of the code until the next meeting where it will be the first order of business.
Sturm informed the faculty that there had been a forum at Hilltop about redevelopment in the area and asked them to be observant of the traffic concerns in the area.
No further business.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:57