SenEx - University Senate Executive Committee 9/16/14
(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)
II. Approval of minutes from September 2, 2014
III. Standing Reports
A. University Senate President Jonathan Mayhew
B. Faculty Senate President Jim Carothers
C. Student Senate President Miranda Wagner
D. Unclassified Senate President Amanda Ostreko
E. University Support Staff President Chris Wallace
IV. Social Media Policy Procedures
V. Old Business
VI. New Business
Approved: September 30, 2014
MEMBERS PRESENT: Jonathan Mayhew, Jim Carothers, Lisa Friis, Katherine Clark, Jeremy Martin, Miranda Wagner, Michael Walker, Mike Krings, Amanda Ostreko, Charlotte Goodman, Chris Wallace
EXCUSED: Mike Williams
ALSO PRESENT: Tom Beisecker, Faculty Senate President Elect; Mohamed El-Hodiri, AAUP; Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal-World; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Kathleen Levy, University Governance
University Senate President and Chair Jonathan Mayhew called the meeting to order.
SenEx approved the minutes for September 2, 2014.
University Senate President – No report.
Faculty Senate President – Carothers reported that FacEx will be working on the Faculty Code. Nancy Kinnersley has volunteered to be the Faculty Senate representative to the Unclassified Senate. Carothers will attend the Board of Regents meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.
Student Senate President – Wagner reported that election results have been certified and their joint senate will meet tomorrow. Student Senate has been very active regarding the current sexual assault issues on campus.
Unclassified Staff President – Board of Regents Unclassified Council will meet on Wednesday. The One Senate proposal has been sent back to the Task Force. November is the target for presentation to each full senate.
University Support Staff – Wallace introduced Goodman who is the new University Support Staff representative to SenEx. Wallace reported that the One Senate Task Force is working on the suggestions received from each senate. The proposal will be reviewed by General Counsel and then it will be presented to both senates.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY PROCEDURES
An amended version of the policy was distributed. It is included at the end of the minutes. Acting Vice Provost Marta Caminero-Santangelo changed the references from Chancellor to Provost. The purpose of this change is to make the Chancellor less involved in the process.
SenEx members discussed the policy. The following concerns were raised.
1. Clark was concerned that the method of selecting members of the Substantive Review Board (SRB) does not comply with AAUP standards. Beisecker pointed out that the method currently in the policy is a standard method for selecting arbitration panels. Clark moved that the process for selecting the SRB members when the accused is a faculty member be changed to selection of ten names by FacEx from which the Provost selects five to be on the panel. There was no second. Consensus seems to be that members favor the method currently in the policy.
2. A question was raised whether SenEx is the appropriate body to select SRB members when the accused person is a staff member. When the accused person is a faculty member, the body selecting SRB members is FacEx. When the accused person is a staff member, the body selecting SRB members should be the executive committee of the staff senate to which the employee belongs. SenEx members representing the staff senates have no problem with SenEx deciding the SRB members.
3. Questions arose about exactly which student employees are covered by the policy. It was suggested that it should be explicitly stated in the policy.
4. It was noted that notification to the accused person is absent from the policy. SenEx members would like notification as a first step before the Initial Review Panel (IRP) is convened. Suggested language for the second sentence of policy is “The Provost shall notify the accused employee that an Initial Review Panel is about to be convened.” Clark and Friis moved that notification should be its own section in the policy and steps should be identified as a sequence. Passed with Mayhew abstaining.
5. Concern was raised about the role of the Provost in the first stage of the process (first sentence of the policy). The Provost decides so it is not appropriate for him to have a role in forming the committees. The point was made that the first sentence reads “may have engaged in” which limits what is decided at this point in the process.
6. In addition to notification before the IRP is convened, the procedures should provide for a role for the accused person in the initial review process; the accused person should be an active participant from the very beginning. Two suggestions were (a) change the language in the second sentence to read “To reach its determination, the Initial Review Panel
may shall receive and gather evidence. . . .” and (b) add a line that the accused person has the right to present his/her evidence at this stage as well as the SRB stage.
7. Procedures should make it hard to “pull the trigger.” It was suggested that a third level be added but consensus was that a two-step process is preferable.
8. Concerns were raised about the lack of a method for challenging and removing members of the SRB for bias, conflict of interest, etc. It was suggested that FRB language could be used for this purpose. Members would like committee to look at the FRB procedure to see if it can be incorporated. The point was made that the current method of selecting SRB members recognizes that both sides may have bias.
9. There were concerns about “reasonable grounds to believe” language in the first paragraph of the policy. Perhaps more should be required at this stage. Mayhew pointed out that this level is more of a grand jury standard—is there enough to warrant going forward.
10. Martin was concerned that language concerning the time frame is unclear and he will work on better language.
11. Concerns were raised about Appeal Rights. Clark would like all six grounds in FRB procedures to be included. Mayhew suggested that academic freedom and tenure rights are the applicable ones here. Clark and Friis moved to change the language to “may appeal to FRB, which may consider any reason under its authority” (or something like that). Passed unanimously.
12. It was noted that the University Support Staff appeal procedures should be added to the Appeal Rights section.
Mayhew will work on these suggestions through appropriate channels.
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 theProvost.
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 Provost 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 Provost 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 Provost.
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.