SenEx - University Senate Executive Committee 9/02/14
II. Approval of minutes from May 27, 2014
III. Standing Reports
A. University Senate President Jonathan Mayhew
B. Faculty Senate President Jim Carothers
C. Interim Student Senate President Tyler Childress
D. Unclassified Senate President Amanda Ostreko
E. University Support Staff President Chris Wallace
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
Approved September 16, 2014
Members Present: Jonathan Mayhew, Jim Carothers, Mike Williams, Katherine Clark, Lisa Friis, Jeremy Martin, Mike Krings, Chris Wallace
Excused: Amanda Ostreko
Also Present: Tom Beisecker, Faculty Senate President Elect; Zach George, Student Senate; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Kathleen Levy, University Governance; Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal-World
University Senate President and SenEx Chair Jonathan Mayhew called the meeting to order.
SenEx approved the minutes from May 27, 2014.
University Senate President – Mayhew reported that over the summer he headed the University committee charged with developing procedures for the University to follow in the case of possible misuse of social media. He noted that it is important for the University to develop such procedures because, if the University has no procedures of its own, KBOR procedures apply. The committee worked with KUMC but KUMC will have somewhat different procedures that reflect the differences in their structure. Mayhew gave an overview of the procedures. (The draft policy appears at the end of the minutes.) The draft procedures represent the collaborative effort of the committee, General Counsel’s office, and the Provost’s office. This draft has the approval of the Provost’s office.
SenEx members raised several issues. First, the time frame is very short especially if the accused person needs to engage a lawyer. Second, it is not clear what role General Counsel plays in the procedures. Also, members suggested that the third sentence under Substantive Review Board be amended to include bringing in legal counsel. The third sentence would be amended to read: If there are disputed issues of material fact, the accused employee shall have the right to counsel, to present relevant evidence, including the testimony of witnesses, and to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
Mayhew will look into these concerns. He also asked that members study the draft procedures in preparation for continued discussion at the next SenEx meeting.
Faculty Senate President – Carothers reported that the main issue at present is the revision of the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (Faculty Code). In the fall of 2013, administration forwarded its response to the proposed revision approved by Faculty Senate in the spring of 2012. This summer Carothers sent a memo summarizing FacEx’s initial discussion of the rights and responsibilities sections of administration’s draft. Carothers intent is to settle some key points before FacEx continues its review. There is now a response from administration. He and Mayhew will meet with administration this week and he will report to FacEx at its meeting next week. Carothers gave two examples of points for preliminary discussion. First, academic freedom language was removed in the administration version. FacEx would like to see this language restored. Second, the right of review is an important issue for faculty. Carothers stated that he assumes there will be a provision that faculty will be consulted before changes are made in the Faculty Code but he does not know at this point what form this will take. Carothers also noted that, based on the experience with post-tenure review last year, he expects Governance and administration to work toward a collegial and equitable compromise.
Student Senate President – Interim Student Senate President Tyler Childress was unable to attend the meeting. Zach George attended in his place and presented Childress’ statement explaining the situation with Student Senate elections. On August 22, the Judicial Board handed down a decision declaring the election results certified by the Student Senate Elections Commission last spring to be invalid. New elections are scheduled for September 9-10. The Elections Commission hopes to have the new election results certified after the required 48 hour period following the close of the polls. The new Joint Session of the Student Senate will be held on Monday, September 15, or Tuesday, September 16.
Mayhew noted that election of the University Senate Vice President (a student) had been scheduled for the September 11 University Senate meeting. It will now be postponed until the October meeting when new Student Senators will have been named.
Unclassified Senate President – Ostreko was unable to attend the meeting. Krings reported that Ostreko received the proposal from the One Staff Senate Task Force co-chairs. The plan is to present a proposal to both the Unclassified and the University Staff Senates in November. Appointments have been made to University Senate committees. Krings also reported that some employees lost vacation days when they changed from Support Staff to Unclassified Staff. Those days will be restored.
University Support Staff President – Wallace reported that the One Staff Senate Task Force is waiting for review of the draft proposal by the Unclassified and University Support Staff executive committees. Appointments have been made to University Senate committees.
Old Business – Carothers noted that the issue of short-term military leave that was presented to University Senate last spring has been referred to the Academic Policies and Procedures (AP & P) committee.
No further business. The meeting was adjourned.
DRAFT: Social Media Policy Procedures, Lawrence Campus 8/27/2014
Initial Review Panel (aka “The Trigger”)
In the instance that the Provost decides that a faculty or staff member may have engaged in an improper use of social media under the KBOR Social Media Policy, an initial review panel shall determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the faculty or staff member violated the social media policy. To reach its determination, the Initial Review Panel may receive and gather evidence and testimony. No charge shall proceed to the SRB unless upon a determination by the Initial Review Panel that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the member of the faculty or staff improperly used social media as defined by the Social Media Policy.
The IRP shall be composed of the Dean of the academic unit in which the faculty member serves in the case of an allegation against a faculty member, or the supervisor of the staff member in the case of an allegation against a member of the staff; a designee of the Provost; and a designee of the University Senate President. The designee of the University Senate President may be a member of the employee class of the employee who is facing the charge. All nominations to the IRP must be approved by the Chancellor.
Substantive Review Board (aka “The Recommendation on the Merits of the Case”)
In the event that the IRP has determined that there are reasonable grounds to proceed with a charge, the Substantive Review Board shall consider evidence and testimony to determine whether to make a recommendation for disciplinary action. The burden of establishing that there has been a violation of the Social Media Policy shall be on the University. If there are disputed issues of material fact, the accused employee shall have the right to present relevant evidence, including the testimony of witnesses, and to cross-examine adverse witnesses. If the SRB determines that there are no disputed issues of material fact, it may make its recommendation on the basis of written submissions and without an evidentiary hearing.
The SRB shall be composed of five members to be chosen on a case-by-case basis through the following procedure:
- In a case of a charge against a member of the faculty (including non-tenure-track faculty) , the members of the Committee shall be two tenured faculty members chosen by the Chancellor or designee, two tenured faculty members chosen by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and one tenured faculty member chosen by these four members. The Committee shall choose one of its members as the chair.
- In a case of a charge against any other University employee, the members of the Committee shall be two University employees chosen by the Chancellor or designee, two University employees chosen by the University Senate Executive Committee, and one employee chosen by these four members. The Committee shall choose one of its members as the chair.
All nominees to the SRB must be approved by the Chancellor.
Substantive Review Board Outcome
The SRB shall weigh the evidence for and against the charge of an improper use of social media under the KBOR Social Media Policy and shall report its recommendation to the Provost.
The IRP shall conduct its initial review within 5-7 days of being charged with a review; the SRB shall have 14-21 days to review information/hold a hearing and 5-7 days to write a report and make a recommendation. Any Board member not available to participate in a hearing within the required timeframe will be replaced. The SRB shall have the authority to adjust time frames for good reason, as it deems necessary, with appropriate notification to the involved parties.
In the event the Initial Review Panel or Substantive Review Board need or desire legal advice, such advice should be sought from the Office of the General Counsel.
Disciplinary action taken subsequent to the recommendation of SRB is subject to appeal in accordance with existing procedures for disciplinary action. In the case of faculty, the decision may be appealed to the Faculty Rights Board, which may consider whether there were any procedural errors affecting the outcome.