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Faculty Senate - 4/16

Faculty Senate
April 16, 2015 - 3:30pm
Room 203 Law School


I.          Announcements

II.        Approval of minutes from March 26, 2015

III.       Report of Faculty Senate President Jim Carothers

IV.       Revisions to the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct

V.        Old Business

VI.       New Business



April 16, 2015 – 3:30 p.m. – Law School #203

Approved: 4/23/2015

MEMBERS PRESENT: Jim Carothers, Jonathan Mayhew, Mahasweta Banerjee, Phil Baringer, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Tom Beisecker, Katherine Clark, Antha Cotton-Spreckelmeyer, Chuck Epp, Christopher Fischer, David Fowle, Sandra Gray, Pamela Keller, Nancy Kinnersley, Paul Laird, Elizabeth MacGonagle, Jeremy Martin, Kirk McClure, Mario Medina, Jerry Mikkelson, Steve Padget, Allan Pasco, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Angela Rathmel, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Bill Staples, Barney Warf, Michael Williams, Lisa Wolf-Wendel.

EXCUSED: Jay Childers, Kelly Chong, Mohamed El-Hodiri, Lisa Friis, Andrea Greenhoot, Kissan Joseph, Stuart Macdonald, Meagan Patterson, Marlesa Roney, Barbara Timmerman, Susan Williams

ALSO PRESENT: Vice Provost Mary Lee Hummert; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Molly Mulloy and Kathy Reed, Governance Office.

            President Jim Carothers called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.


            Carothers announced that the new president-elect for the Faculty Senate, as well as six new members for FacEx, will be elected at next week’s meeting.

MINUTES for 3/26/2015 were approved.


            Carothers reminded members that at the March 26th Senate meeting, the body voted to send the Faculty Code to the FRPR (Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities) committee for a final review. Other proposed amendments recently received by FacEx (Faculty Executive Committee) were also sent to FRPR for consideration. When FRPR chair Jan Sheldon forwarded FRPR’s proposed new amendments to FacEx and met with them for a collegial discussion last Tuesday, substantial consensus was reached on many of FRPR’s new amendments. A split-page handout for today’s meeting has the original 3/3/15 FacEx version of the Faculty Code on the left side, with FRPR’s 4/14/15 version incorporating the latest changes on the right side. Carothers announced that Jan Sheldon and FacEx member Mike Williams would lead today’s discussion and answer questions about the changes.  

            Mike Williams/Jonathan Mayhew moved to adopt the Faculty Code version entitled “FacEx w/FRPR Amendments 4/14/15.”

Prior to the discussion, Williams announced that Vice Provost Mary Lee Hummert would like to make a brief presentation to the Senate. VP Hummert noted that while she has not been present at Faculty Senate meetings this year because of her interim appointment to Research, she has been attending Senate meetings since 2006. She stated that KU’s shared governance process was not really followed when changes to the Faculty Code were approved by the Faculty Senate in May, 2012, and it took nearly a year for the administration to clarify the numerous changes and repositioning of text throughout the document. Following that, the Provost sent a memo to FacEx with detailed comments about the 2012 version and has continuously discussed these and other changes with faculty leaders. In the spirit of shared governance, Hummert urged Senators to not vote on the Faculty Code as presented today, but to wait until faculty leaders have had time to discuss FRPR’s new amendments with the Provost. Williams thanked VP Hummert.

            Referring to the handout distributed with the agenda, Williams said the combined version on the right side of the page is truly the result of collaborative endeavor with FacEx and FRPR. He and Jan Sheldon proceeded to explain and answer questions about the various changes.


Art. I.  Sheldon said FRPR removed references to the Provost and Chancellor from the last sentence of Art. I because they felt a faculty code should only be made by the faculty. Lisa Wolf-Wendel said the reality is that all university policies ultimately have to be approved by the Chancellor, so deleting the references in Art. I doesn’t change reality. Jeremy Martin said the version on the left side is a statement of the procedure, and the version on the right is a statement of principles.

Art. III, Right #2 Williams said Sheldon and FacEx agreed that the words “consistent and unbiased” were preferable to the words “fair” and “non-discriminatory” and inserted those in Rights #2, #3, and #4. In response to a question, Williams stated that the basic premise of the word “consistent” is to be within the parameters of one’s sphere of operation or department.

Art.III, Rights #3  Sheldon said FRPR thought it was important to insert the words “to participate in the determination of”  in place of the words “to provide input in the development of” school, department, and University policies and procedures. FRPR also added the new second sentence regarding the right to consistent and unbiased treatment in the application of policies and decisions.

Art. III, Right #4 Sheldon pointed out that, similar to FRPR’s new text in Right #3, FRPR deleted the phrase “right to provide information to assist” and replaced it with “right to participate in” in the determination of their teaching, administrative and other university assignments and responsibilities.

Art. III, Right #5  Sheldon said FRPR felt strongly that faculty have a right to know about files being kept on them and to be able to challenge their accuracy.  In response to a question, Williams said the FRPR version is consistent with Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations 7.2.  [Note from M Mulloy: See changes made to Right #5 toward the end of the meeting.]

Art. III, Right #8. In response to a question about the phrase “requirements for use of University facilities,” Wolf-Wendel explained that she serves on a University time/place/manner committee that considers whether a controversial person or group will be safe when using University facilities.

Art. III, Right #10. Williams clarified that the words “state and federal law” added by FRPR refer to things such as FERPA or copyright law.

Art. III, Right #13. Williams said FRPR’s new Right #13 clarifies that if a faculty member is sued while doing his/her job, legal counsel will be provided by the Kansas Attorney General’s office, not the KU General Counsel’s office. Ron Barrett-Gonzalez expressed appreciation for the addition of this language.  

Art. III, Right #16.   A member stated that FRPR’s new final sentence (“Only as a last resort…. removal of faculty.”) does not seem consistent with the first sentence of #16. The last sentence refers only to financial exigency, while the first sentence refers not only to financial exigency but also to dismissal for cause or program discontinuance. In the discussion that followed, it was apparent that many agreed that the last sentence should be reworded. Williams said we would come back to this one later in the meeting. [Note from M Mulloy:  See changes made to Right #16 toward the end of the meeting]

Williams said that after the Faculty Code is approved by the Chancellor, the Policy Office will be asked to electronically cross-link references in the Faculty Code to other related policies.

Art. III, Right #17  Williams pointed out that this right has to do with the 2009 Furlough Authorization Policy, which would allow furloughs though financial exigency was not declared. In such cases, this right would require the administration to show why a faculty member was put on furlough.  

Art. IV, 5. Subsection i: Sheldon said FRPR felt it was important to add that behavior must be intentional and injurious to another person, and Williams added that the new text clarifies “moral turpitude.”

Art. V – Administrative Leave:Sheldon said FRPR recommended that the phrase “without pay” be deleted in the title and in six places in the second paragraph.  FRPR also added the phrase, [when a faculty member’s]  “conduct presents an imminent danger to the safety of ”  in place of the phrase “failure to perform a primary job responsibility creates a threat of irreparable harm…”. FRPR also added the words “with pay” to the end of the first paragraph.  Sheldon pointed out that if the administration wants to put a faculty member on leave without pay, this constitutes a suspension and would fall under the sanctions listed in Art. VI.   

Art. VI - Sanctions. Sheldon said a major change inserted by FRPR was to add the due process language in the preamble to Art. VI.  Williams explained that the Judicial Board hears appeals of the first two sanctions (warning and restitution), and the Faculty Rights Board hears appeals for the other three sanctions (censure, suspension, dismissal). FRPR deleted item 2.d (Administrative Leave without Pay) because it is duplicative of text in Art. V.

 Mikkelson urged Senate members to vote in favor of the FRPR-FacEx 4/14/15 version of the Faculty Code. He commented that the term “shared governance” is obviously interpreted differently by faculty governance and by the administration, and his concerns about shared governance were the same both in the University Senate’s action on the Social Media Policy and in the Faculty Senate’s action on the Faculty Code.

Carothers thanked Mike Williams and Jan Sheldon for leading the discussion and asked if there were any further amendments to the Faculty Code document. The following comments were made:

  1. Art. II, Right #5, second sentence, Martin/Mayhew moved to delete the phrase “With the exception of files listed in FSRR 7.2.1,” and replace it with the phrase  “Subject to the provisions of FSRR 7.2.“  The motion passed.
  1. Art. II, Right #16, Wolf-Wendel/Martin moved that the following phrase be added at the beginning of the third sentence: “In cases of dismissal for financial exigency, tenured faculty may be removed…” and that the phrase “may the University consider the removal of faculty” at the end of the third sentence be deleted. However, following discussion, Wolf-Wendel amended her motion to delete the entire final paragraph (“Only as a last resort… consider the removal of faculty.”)  The amended motion passed. Item #16 now states: “Tenured faculty may be removed only for cause, in cases of program discontinuation, or in cases of bona fide financial exigency consistent with FSRR 6.1.2. In all of these cases, the University has the burden of proof to establish grounds for dismissal.”
  1. Williams/Mayhew moved to refer final corrections to the Governance Office before the document is sent to all faculty. Passed.
  1. A member suggested that new Right #13 regarding legal defense be moved and replaced right before Right #18. Following brief discussion, there was no second to the motion.

Clark urged senators to vote unanimously in order to send a powerful message to the administration that faculty worked hard for five years to create a document that respects us as faculty. The motion to approve the document entitled “FacEx with FRPR Amendments 4/14/2015,” with the amendments approved today, passed without dissent. Noting that the 21-day review period for the Faculty Code will be completed by the end of the semester, Mikkelson urged the administration to review and scrutinize it in as short a time as possible.

Carothers thanked everyone for their tolerance in respecting the opinions of others during today’s meeting.  Mikkelson expressed appreciation to Carothers for his guidance on the Faculty Code project this year, and members warmly applauded.


No further business.

Respectfully submitted,

Molly Mulloy




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