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Faculty Senate 2/09/17

Faculty Senate
February 9, 2017 - 3:30pm
Green Hall-Room 203 - Law School

I.  Approval of minutes from December 1, 2016

II.  Report of Faculty Senate President Pam Keller

III.  Unity and Community Discussion Continues - Shannon Portillo, Co-chair of DEI Advisory Group    

IV.  Unfinished Business

V.  New Business



Approved February 23, 2107

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Pam Keller, Cecile Accilien, Mary Banwart, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Tom Beisecker, Naima Boussofara, Jonathan Clark, Pam Fine, Christopher Fischer, Ruben Flores, Lisa Friis, Sandra Gray, Megan Greene, Lynn Hancock, Jason Matejkowski, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Paul Outka, Meagan Patterson, Edward Peltier, Lance Rake, Angela Rathmel, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Suzanne Shontz, Geraldo Sousa, Dean Stetler, Belinda Sturm

ABSENT:  Joe Harrington (excused), Ben Chappell (excused), Kelly Chong, Chris Elles (excused), Jane Gibson, Majid Hannoum, Kissan Joseph (excused), Elizabeth MacGonagle, Margaret Marco (excused), Ebenezer Obadare, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan (excused), Tom Prisinzano, Bill Staples (excused)

ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Shannon Portillo, Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Group;

President Pam Keller called the meeting to order.

MINUTES for December 1, 2016 were approved. 


Same as University Senate report


Keller introduced Shannon Portillo, Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Group. Portillo told Senate that she would like to give some background about the DEI committee, go over faculty centered recommendations of the committee, explain how this year’s committee is moving forward, and brainstorm about how Faculty Senate can work with DEI.  Portillo said that the requests of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawks at the November 2015 Town Hall prompted the creation of the DEI task force which created a report last May that is on the Provost website.  The task force recommended continued work to implement recommendations so this year’s twelve-member committee which she and Lisa Wolf-Wendell co-chair are focusing on prioritizing the 38 recommendations and doing an update of: what’s happened in this academic year; what offices have gotten involved and which have responsibility for moving goals forward; how to work on what’s not been done. To further inform Senate Portillo then made a PowerPoint presentation.

Topics specific to faculty: 

  • Shift away from a deficit centered discussion regarding hiring faculty from underrepresented groups.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan related to hiring faculty from underrepresented groups.  There currently are ideas but no a plan.
  • Revive the Dean’s Scholar Program as a pipeline for developing faculty of color. The program, started by Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, targets KU undergraduate students of color to encourage them to attend graduate schools and then attempt to get them to return to KU.  Portillo said that two current members of the faculty are from the program.  She added that recruiting scholars back to KU is a problem. 
  • Hold academic departments and deans accountable for making progress towards hiring and retaining more faculty from underrepresented groups.  Similar to bullet point two.
  • More carefully and explicitly disaggregate how faculty members of color are counted and where they are located in faculty ranks and University departments.  Portillo said they are using OIRP but getting accurate numbers is difficult because of how faculty identify; she added that they are also getting pushback on some requests.
  • Foster opportunities for mid-career faculty of color in the areas of professional skills building, advancement, pathways to promotion, and opportunities for leadership at the department, school/college, and University level. 
  • Develop a more robust and formalized mentoring program for all faculty, including midcareer scholars.  How are we thinking though questions of leadership from mid-career on?
  • As an alternative to outsourcing diversity, equity, and inclusion work to paid consultants, make fuller use of campus expertise among faculty and staff, by identifying creative ways to recognize and compensate additional service work. Look at how diversity work is compensated and recognized.

Framing DEI work

  • Representation-who is here.  Realizing that the DEI committee can’t represent everyone they have reached out to hear other voices. 
  • Climate-how do people feel included.  They are attempting to find out if people feel included and how they respond to the university environment.
  • Curriculum-what do we teach.  Focus is on students.  DEI has looked at KU Core.
  • Organizational Strategy-how do we make decisions (structural).  Portillo noted that consideration of diversity issues isn’t new but asked how the University and faculty can make it stick this time.

What are ways that Faculty Senate Can Engage in DEI work?

  • How are we valuing DEI work in P&T? What kinds of recognition and support are we giving colleagues?  How is this evaluated?  . 
  • What kinds of support are we providing faculty colleagues (i.e., mentoring)?
  • What kinds of professional development opportunities are we taking? How are we rewarding faculty for doing this?
    • Safe zone training
    • Cultural competence workshops
    • Working on our pedagogy and curriculum with CTE or national associations
  • How are we recruiting new colleagues? 
  • How are we supporting our students? 

Portillo asked for comments and discussion


Lynn Hancock observed that not many people of color apply for positions, particularly in certain disciplines, and asked for ideas. Ron Barrett-Gonzalez noted that there might be an issue with the competitive packages KU can offer.  Portillo agreed that competition is a consideration but noted that in her experience in Washington D.C. diversity numbers weren’t any better.  She also cited an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that said that the argument that there aren’t any potential applicants in the pipeline isn’t true, the numbers are increasing.  She added that some universities are recruiting at an associate level and suggested chairs look at where potential people of color hires might be graduating.  It was expressed that who is doing the searching and hiring is an issue in that sometimes there is implicit bias, for example in where we hire from.  Members questioned how training to change implicit bias would be incentivized and encouraged.  Mandatory training was mentioned.  A suggested hiring incentive was that a department who hires a person of color would get priority in hiring next time

Credit for faculty

Noting that some departments like hers rarely hired Meagan Patterson said that there are other areas to consider such as teaching, advising, syllabi; others agreed, adding inequitable distribution of diversity work, committee membership.  Since many people of color are asked to do diversity work which means they don’t have time to do other things, there needs to be a way of recognizing their value.  Portillo gave an example of her colleague taking on some of her responsibilities so she could work with students of color.  Senate discussed the possibility of formalizing a system where colleagues could do something similar.  It was pointed out that there could be difficulties involved in this: the faculty of color might be perceived as not working as hard as others; it’s the responsibility of white faculty to learn to be more open to encouraging students of color to talk to them as well as their colleagues of color; there is the possibility of creating a two-tiered system, ghettoizing students and faculty of color.  Faculty buy in is needed and support needs to come from colleagues, departments and administration.    

Noting that consideration of the issue continues, Keller asked senate to consider what they could do.  She asked that they send her or Maureen Altman action items regarding anything big or small to continue the conversation. Portillo asked senate to please be in touch with questions and ideas.  She informed that DEI would be sending an updated report in May.



Unfinished Business


New Business

In Ben Chappell’s absence Ron Barrett-Gonzalez moved, and motion was seconded, to consider that proposed amendment FSRR 7.5 to be considered at a later date, preferably the next Faculty Senate meeting.  Passed.

Barrett also moved, and motion was seconded, to consider proposed faculty unionization resolution at the next meeting.  Passed.

The meeting adjourned at 5:03.

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Altman



Shannon Portillo’s PowerPoint Presentation “Engaging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work”.


(The following two documents were sent to Faculty Senate before the meeting)

DEI Advisory Group Report


A Response to the National Post-Election Climate

The KU Black Faculty and Staff Council; Latino Faculty and Staff Council; and the Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council recognize ways that the 2016 presidential election has altered discourse in this nation. Since the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded over 850 incidents of hate and harassment.[i] Of those, “K-12 settings and colleges — have been the most common venues for hate incidents.”[ii] The University of Kansas campus itself has been the site of recent incidents of harassment and intimidation of populations marginalized on the basis of such identities as race, nationality, religion, gender, and sexuality.[iii]

Throughout this election season, and in the weeks since, LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) people, Muslims and Arab-Americans, Mexicans, Jewish people, Black people, Indigenous people, Latinx[iv], immigrant communities, the undocumented, and people with disabilities have been exposed openly to bias, bigotry, and vitriol. Those who face multiple forms of marginalization are in most danger because they exist at the intersections of various targeted identities. The toxic electoral climate has normalized views promoting racism, ableism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-trans harassment and violence, misogyny, rape culture, and anti-Semitism.  This has provided justification for hateful and dangerous acts. Additionally, anti-scientific thought and anti-intellectualism have further endangered the aforementioned marginalized populations.

Policies proposed by the incoming presidential administration[v] include canceling funding to Sanctuary cities, forcibly deporting more than 2 million people, suspending immigration based on race and religion, and imposing an “ideological test” on refugees fleeing war.  Additionally, the Kansas legislature passed a concealed firearms law several years ago that soon will be implemented on our campus.  This will contribute to a climate of fear and danger for marginalized students, staff and faculty, and aggravate a situation in which campus sexual assault also remains a clear and present danger.

It is within this social and political context that our Faculty Staff Councils call for a renewed commitment to the safety and well being of students and colleagues who are vulnerable and whose protection is in question. We follow in the tradition of global and domestic activism, and call on the University community to strongly reject hate speech, and the intimidation and assault that can result from them. The passive acceptance of these forms of violence promotes a climate of fear and exclusion among marginalized people.

Over the past year, KU has affirmed a commitment to inclusion “to eliminate campus disparities, discrimination and harassment”[vi] through the Vision Statement of the Office of Diversity and Equity. We urge the University to renew, fortify, and boldly declare this commitment.

This can only be accomplished by acknowledging that the role of a university is to create an environment that rejects fear mongering and exposes arguments without factual basis as myths. Moreover, the University must refuse the notion that open debate requires the acceptance of all ideas as equal. This leads to false equivalencies that presuppose that all ideas, no matter how hateful or untrue, have merit. Instead, we must renounce ideas that deny the humanity of any group of people. Inclusivity does not require legitimizing hate speech and acts.

Further, we call on University leadership to protect its marginalized students, staff, and faculty who have come under attack for their work to develop and support a Sanctuary Campus. We request that University leaders affirm their support and commitment for persons or groups that research, teach, and perform service in and with targeted communities. This critical inquiry and service provide a necessary foundation for challenging false narratives about minoritized communities and constructing opportunities for understanding and growth.  Like those working for justice around the country, we believe that “to do otherwise is to remain silent and to side with the oppressors, of which we outright reject.”[vii]

Our Faculty and Staff Councils send this message to marginalized KU students, staff, and faculty:

We are with you against hateful speech, acts of violence, and other forms of intimidation.  We join you in advocating for a fair and safe KU.

You are welcome here.

We see you.

We invite you to contact us.


Black Faculty and Staff Council

Latino Faculty and Staff Council

Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council

The University of Kansas




[iv] This term is used as a gender-neutral alternative to “Latino,” “Latina,” and even Latin@. It disrupts the traditional gender binary and acknowledges the vast spectrum of gender and sexual identities. 


[vii] http://static.ehe.osu.edu/downloads/diversity/EHE-DICE-Position-Statement.pdf









(The following two documents were briefly presented as New Business)


New FSRR 7.5


Background justification for FSRR 7.5:

Because FSRR 6.1.2 and KBOR Policy F.8.b.1 (July 1995 KBOR Policy and Procedures Manual) declare that:

 “The precise terms and conditions of every appointment should be stated in writing and be in the possession of both institution and teacher before the appointment is consummated.”


 There are no instances of any faculty member who has been hired prior to 2 April 2015 as having been informed that individuals with no training will be allowed to legally carry firearms in nearly every venue across campus,

 The Faculty Senate of The University of Kansas declares that enforcement of the weapons on campus provisions of KSA 75-7c et. seq. would constitute a substantial, adverse and unilateral change in the terms and conditions of employment with neither the consent of the faculty nor compensation for the degradation of workplace safety.


 FSRR 7.5

Because the University of Kansas has advertised, adopted and adheres to Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations FSRR 6.1.2, The University of Kansas allows all faculty members to conduct their teaching, research and service duties in a weapon-free environment as such an environment was presented to them as the terms and conditions under which they were appointed. Methods to produce this weapon-free environment may include: allowing faculty members to conduct all University-related duties remotely, allowing faculty members to perform their duties in venues which have “adequate security measures” as prescribed by KSA 75-7c et. seq. or allowing faculty members to conduct their duties in private or Federal, weapon-free, off campus facilities.


Unionization Resolution

Because KSA 75-7c et. seq. will place armed individuals with no training in most university facilities, counter to the original terms and conditions of employment of nearly all faculty members, with neither faculty consent nor compensation and those armed individuals induce a considerable degradation of Workplace Safety, The Faculty Senate of the University of Kansas hereby requests that the Kansas National Education Association initiate organization activities so as to form a faculty union on all campuses of The University of Kansas with the goal of reestablishing otherwise compromised workplace safety as the top condition of contract negotiations with The University of Kansas.



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