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SenEx-University Senate Executive Committee 10/18/2016

October 18, 2016 - 3:00pm
Provost’s Conference Room
  1. Announcements
  2. Approval of minutes from September 27, 2016
  3. Standing Reports
  1. University Senate President Joe Harrington
  2. Faculty Senate President Pam Keller
  3.  Student Senate President Gabby Naylor
  4. Staff Senate President Liz Phillips
  1. Rick Levy, regarding Ad Hoc Freedom of Speech Committee
  1. Chancellor Search
  1. Review University Program Policy amendments (“Policy on Policies”)
  1. Examine language on login page of Enroll and Pay.
  1. Unfinished Business
  1. New Business





October 18, 2016 – 3:00 p.m.

Provost Conference Room


Approved: November 1, 2016 as corrected

MEMBERS PRESENT: Joe Harrington, Pam Keller, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Ruben Flores, Charlotte Goodman, Dylan Jones, Brian Moss, , Gabby Naylor, Brittney Oleniacz,

FY17 MEMBERS ABSENT: Tom Beisecker (excused), Pam Fine (excused), Jacob Murray, Liz Phillips (excused), Suzanne Shontz (excused)

ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Rick Levy, Chair, Ad Hoc Freedom of Speech Committee; Jonathan Clark, University Senate; Mohamed El-Hidiri, AAUP; Sara Shepherd, LJWorld

Joe Harrington called the meeting to order and asked for announcements.

MINUTES for September 27, 2016 were approved.

  Report of University Senate President

Harrington noted that KU’s weapons policy which was submitted to KBOR had been sent to members of the University but has not yet been returned by KBOR.  The workshop to look at the rescinding of GTA health insurance funds continues.  He reported that University Senate committees are working but the Ad Hoc Cost Savings Committee is still being populated.


Pam Keller reported that she will attend the KBOR tomorrow.  Weapons policies which KBOR has reviewed will be discussed but KU’s has not yet been returned by KBOR.  She informed SenEx that FacEx had a good discussion with Stuart Day, Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, at its last meeting and FacEx as well as a Governance committees will be working on ways Governance can be involved in UCCC (University Core Curriculum Committee).


Gabby Naylor reported that Student Senate discussed the student representative position on UCCC.  Because the committee is year-long it is difficult to find students since their schedules change every semester.  Student Senate’s Graduate Affairs Director is finalizing the petition on the website regarding GTA health insurance funding.  She explained that 100,000 signatures are needed before the petition can be sent to the White House and encouraged SenEx members to sign.  At tomorrow’s meeting Student Senate will look at legislation to form an ad hoc religious holiday committee which will look into clarifying what the policy is concerning being excused to observe a religious holiday since there is no clearly defined policy.  The Student Senate code [Code of Student Rights and responsibilities] was revised over fall break, including a bill or rights.  In response to a question about her report at the last SenEx meeting that Student Senate was attempting to find clarification regarding who had made changes to the document after they had submitted it, Naylor said that changes had been made by General Counsel. 


Reporting for Liz Phillips Brian Moss said that Staff Senate would meet tomorrow.  The Legislative Affairs Committee had provided a voter registration table.  Moss said he received an email right before the meeting informing him that nine new policies have been drafted by HR regarding issues such as evaluation, evaluation appeals, etc. and that more information will follow.  The Chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee had heard from members of the committee who were concerned that there could be retaliation for voicing issues at meetings, for example citing something that had happened in their unit.  It was suggested to them that a possible solution might be to express their concerns to someone before the meeting who could bring them to the meeting without identifying the source.  At their meeting with the Provost Moss and Phillips found that she wasn’t aware of the budget cut to the Professional Development Fund.  At one of Staff Senate’s meetings guest Jamie Shew, Douglas County Clerk, expressed the need for people to work the voting polls.  A request was made to the Provost for a day off for staff who volunteered.  She agreed to talk HR Director Ola Faucher about granting a half day; Faucher was very much in favor of the idea.  Moss said that staff also discussed many of the usual concerns such as health insurance and weapons.  He announced that the libraries were hosting a debate watch party.

Rick Levy, Chair of ad hoc freedom of speech committee

As background to the discussion, Harrington read the committee’s charge.

The purpose of this committee will be to develop the language for and prepare for University Senate consideration of a policy for inclusion in the University Senate Code to guarantee its campus will be a safe, free and inclusive environment for freedom of speech, thought and expression by all members of the University community.  This committee should address the issues affecting freedom of speech on campus, including, but not limited to: diversity, campus carry, hate speech, the Regents’ Social Media Policy, and academic freedom. 

Explaining that he was attending the meeting to request clarification of the charge Levy noted some of his concerns.  He informed the committee that there were difficulties in scheduling meetings to include all the committee.  In response to Harrington’s question of whether it would be helpful if committee membership were reduced, Levy said he worried that that would reduce diverse viewpoints.   

Levy requested clarification as to whether the committee was expected to produce a set of rules that could be implemented as Code provisions or a set of principles that can be reaffirmed by the University.  He noted that the charge called for inclusion in the University Senate Code, yet the model the committee received were statements from other universities and AAUP, not examples of regulations.  He also had concerns about the charge to “guarantee”, noting that the committee could promote but not guarantee.  Keller thought the intent was to produce a cohesive set of principles that were not so broad that they repeated what already existed in other places.  Amalia Monroe-Gulick agreed but added that the committee might also conclude having a set of principles in one location wasn’t desirable.  Everyone agreed that the intention was not to develop strict rules but rather to clarify and reaffirm principles of free speech into something cohesive.  Keller noted that free speech polices exist now in several documents but that it could be valuable if the committee could produce something that would have a clarification of free speech in one place.  Ruben Flores said that in earlier discussions he remembered a colleague suggesting that it be a preamble to the University Senate Code.  Levy said he was also concerned that there might be a perception among some constituencies that the committee had been established to create a policy to silence certain groups or situations.  SenEx assured that the intent was not to be reactionary but rather to articulate the right to speak and to recognize the university community can have lots of different speech.  If this could be put in one specific place that would be valuable however if the committee concludes the ideas already exist they would point them out.  Returning to the question of what SenEx is asking the committee to produce, Levy said he felt more comfortable in developing a statement of principles.  He added that he could reassure those on the committee who were skeptical that the reason for the committee was not a reaction to particular incidents and that the goal is not to suppress particular viewpoints but rather to develop a consensus policy.  He also noted that discussion of the question of free speech may be as important as product.  He suggested that one model would be for the committee to submit a policy recommendation to University Senate who would use it as a conversation.  SenEx agreed. To that end he said that the committee would continue to look at statements from other universities, particularly the new document from the University of Pennsylvania, which addresses the perception that free speech can be a means to silence minorities. 


Chancellor Search   

Harrington informed SenEx that he and Keller had sent a letter to the Regents with their personal view requesting governance representation on the chancellor committee search but haven’t yet heard back.  KBOR has said it will be closed search which he said is a concern in light of the situation at Kennesaw State University in Georgia in which the Board of Regents appointed the new president with no university input.  Harrington suggested that SenEx send a statement to the Regents regarding the Chancellor search.  After reading the statement, with an amendment by African/African American Studies professors Clarence Lang and Cecile Accilien, he asked for reactions. 

We, the members of the K.U. University Senate Executive Committee, call upon the Kansas Board of Regents to conduct an open search for our new Chancellor. We feel it is essential for the new Chief Executive Officer of this institution to have the opportunity to interact with the people s/he will be serving and supervising. Accordingly, there must be open, public presentations and question-and-answer sessions for each finalist.

Moreover, we urge KBOR to include, in the search committee, elected representatives of the Staff, Student, and Faculty Senates of the University of Kansas. Only in this way can we insure that all stakeholders on campus have a voice in the process. And it is crucial that the students, faculty and staff, as well as community leaders, play a vital role in selecting the next Chancellor – especially in light of the challenges of weapons on campus, and achieving greater diversity, equity and inclusion.  

We thank the members of KBOR for their consideration.

SenEx discussed “open search”.  Keeler explained that KBOR’s reason for not allowing an open search is that it limits applicants since, for example a president from another university might not apply if information of the application were made public.  SenEx agreed that the model of the Provost search which keeps the search private until the three finalists are named would be a good compromise.  The document was amended to omit open search (“We, the members of the K.U. University Senate Executive Committee, call upon the Kansas Board of Regents to conduct an open search for our new Chancellor. We feel it is essential…) and in the interest of gender neutral language the suggestion was made to change “s/he” to “they”.

Motion to send the Chancellor search statement to KBOR.  Oleniacz/Naylor.  Passed.

Amendment motion to change “s/he” to “they”.  Monroe-Gulick/Naylor.  Passed.



Harrington reminded SenEx that at its last meeting University Senate had remanded review of the policy to SenEx.  Since Clark had moved the issue in University Senate Harrington asked him to comment.  Clark reminded SenEx that the policy had been discovered last spring and that he has since discovered another related Policy Office document, “Process for Developing a University Policy”.  He expressed concern that while the Policy Office encourages that all policies reside in the Policy Library, Governance is not involved in the process, adding that it is a top-down command process from the administration.  Clark asked SenEx to go back to Senate to formulate a policy in which Senate and administration share in reviewing policies.  Recognizing that there are numerous policies, some of which may be routine and not requiring governance input, Clark asked SenEx to consider the following draft:

                Sense of the Senate motion, October 18, 2016

SenEx recommends that the Senate pass the following 'Sense of the Senate' motion:

The Senate recognises the policies placed in the Provost's Policy Library as Governance documents that require the approval of both the Chancellor and the Senate. The Senate hereby constitutes an ad hoc committee to report to the Senate on what policies currently in the Provost's Policy Library should receive approval by the Senate as they stand, and which policies need consideration and a separate vote by the Senate.

Keller pointed out that according to the Process for Developing a University Policy (link at the end of the minutes) the Policy Office already determines if a policy involves Governance and they should be trusted in the spirit of shared governance.  Monroe-Gulick believed that there is a more fundamental issue which needs to be addressed which is that the process is not applied uniformly across the university, for example IT doesn’t go through this approval process.  She also said she has an issue with every policy needing Governance approval since there are numerous policies involved.  Giving the example of library fines, she said that some policies don’t involve Governance; some issues are autonomous.  Harrington pointed out that at his request the Policy Office added a section to the Process for Developing a University Policy stating that Governance doesn’t follow the same process and providing a link to explain Governance’s procedure.  Responding to the question of what he would like SenEx to do, Clark said he would want to see Senate (1) reaffirm the principle of shared governance in the area of policies being available online; (2) develop a simple common sense means of distinguishing which policies are not at issue and which policies might be.  Noting that Senate had given SenEx the charge to review the “Policy on Policies”, Harrington asked for a motion, suggesting that SenEx could (1) do nothing and leave the policy as is; (2) adopt Clark’s recommendation; (3) remand the issue to a committee or create an ad hoc committee; or (4) table discussion.   

Motion University Senate President will be advised of a KU Lawrence policy prior to its enactment.  Keller/Oleniacz.  Motion withdrawn.

Clark objected that that would give authority to only one person, adding that an ad hoc committee would be more democratic.  Monroe-Gulick pointed out that the motion would require a lot of work for one person and moved the issue should be tabled to allow time to clarify and parse out the issue.  Keller withdrew her motion in favor of Monroe-Gulick’s.

Motion to table the University Senate charge to the next SenEx meeting on November 1.  Monroe-Gulick/Keller.  Passed.

Harrington asked SenEx to please send any ideas on the subject to him, Keller, Maureen Altman or Kathy Reed.



Harrington reminded SenEx that University Senate had questioned whether the language of the login goes beyond what is needed to assure responsibility of the user.  Keller said that she doesn’t understand the reason for the new language which seems to only refer to students, and questioned how it corrects an owner’s responsibility.  Naylor confirmed that students are reminded that they are charged for classes in later steps of enrollment on Enroll and Pay.  Since faculty and staff use Enroll and Pay differently from students the language doesn’t really pertain to faculty and staff.  SenEx questioned where the language had come from.  Reed thought is may have been created by the Registrar and suggested talking to Cindy Sanders (Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, University Registrar, and Director of Student Information Systems).  Harrington offered to look into where it originated and the rationale behind it; Keller said they could ask the Provost.  Monroe-Gulick asked if the language appeared on any other website; it is not on myKU or Blackboard.

Motion to contact the Provost about the language on the Enroll and Pay login and if not satisfied to go to General Council and the Registrar.  Keller/Oleniacz.  Passed.

Clark said he had notified the Provost and the result was that he received a letter from his chair demanding he use the login or resign his position.


In response to Oleniacz question as to the status of O&A’s charge concerning gender neutral language for the University Senate Code, USRR and FSRR, Maureen Altman said that O&A are working on it and are aware of their November 1 deadline. 


Noting that it would require an amendment to the University Senate Code, Monroe-Gulick asked SenEx to think about the possibility of changing the requirement that the University Senate President be a faculty member.  Harrington said he would put it on a future agenda. 


Meeting adjourned at 4:26.

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Altman


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