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SenEx - University Senate Executive Committee 11/04/14

November 4, 2014 - 3:00pm
Provost’s Conference Room

I. Announcements

II. Approval of minutes from September 30, 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.  Update on Reaccreditation Report and Visit – Susan Twombly

V.   Topics/Questions for Meeting with BOR on November 14

VI.  Old Business


VII.      New Business




University Senate Executive Committee – SenEx

November 4, 2014 – 3:00 p.m.

Provost Conference Room


Approved as corrected 12-2-2014

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Faculty –Jim Carothers, Mike Williams, Katherine Clark, Lisa Friis.  Students – Miranda Wagner, Alex Montgomery, Emma Halling.  Unclassified Staff – Mike Krings, Amanda Ostreko.  University Support Staff Chris Wallace.

EXCUSED:  Faculty – Jonathan Mayhew, Jeremy Martin.  University Support Staff – Charlotte Goodman.

ALSO PRESENT:  Tom Beisecker, Faculty Senate President Elect; Mohamed El-Hodiri, AAUP; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Kathleen Levy, University Governance; Susan Twombly, Reaccreditation Committee Chair

University Senate Vice President Miranda Wagner called the meeting to order.

SenEx approved the minutes for September 30, 2014.


University Senate President – No report.

Faculty Senate President – Carothers reported that their central issue continues to be revision of the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.  He and Chris Steadham (FY14 Faculty Senate President) met with the Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities committee (FRPR) about their recommendations.  The FRPR recommendations have been forwarded to FacEx members.  There will be no Faculty Senate meeting this week.

Student Senate President – Wagner reported that their full senate will meet tomorrow.  They will consider a resolution in opposition to BOR proposed amendment of KSA 76-742 regarding student fees that will be before BOR on November 19.  She also noted their efforts to register voters on campus.  Wagner took this opportunity to acknowledge faculty concerns that were expressed at the last University Senate meeting about dealing with students experiencing sexual assault or mental illness.  Halling asked faculty and staff members what they see as the most effective form of training to help them deal with such situations.  Faculty members responded that general training is not particularly useful.  Rather they would prefer to have someone to call or a resource page in an obvious web location.  Halling noted that she envisions the creation of a “road map” to direct faculty, staff and others to the appropriate resource for the situation.

Unclassified Senate President – Ostreko reported that Unclassified Senate recently had two speakers.  Associate Vice Provost for Human Resource Management Mike Rounds spoke about new programs.  Director of Human Resources Ola Faucher spoke about the proposed KU Tobacco Free Policy.  The Unclassified Senate Professional Development Committee is sponsoring a stress management workshop.  They also had a session with Jayhawks for Higher Education concerning talking points for communicating with state legislators.

University Support Staff Senate – Wallace reported that the One Staff Senate Task Force is waiting to hear from General Counsel about their draft document.  Ola Faucher will be visiting their senate also concerning the proposed KU Tobacco Free Policy.

Update on Reaccreditation Report and Visit – Susan Twombly – Reaccreditation Committee Chair Susan Twombly reported that the Reaccreditation Report will be released next week.  She asked SenEx members to review sections particularly relevant to Governance and give her feedback on them.  (These sections are included at the end of the minutes.)  She informed SenEx members that the ten reaccreditation commissioners will meet with various Governance groups when they visit KU in February.  There will also be forums open to the entire University community.  She will have more specific information for SenEx in February. 

Twombly took questions and comments.  Faculty members raised the issue of distrust of administration and asked how that issue would be addressed.  Twombly responded that it is important to acknowledge this problem but there is no way to verify how widespread the problem might be.    Faculty members were also interested in how the report deals with the Core Curriculum which is new since KU’s last reaccreditation.  Twombly noted that it is a signature achievement but the report also acknowledges that faculty morale is mixed regarding its adoption and implementation.  Another area of concern was declining state support for higher education.  Twombly noted that the report addresses declining state support and the lack of room to increase tuition, which makes the case for Changing for Excellence.  Because state funds are not certain, Changing for Excellence and stabilizing enrollment are important.   Faculty noted that many are skeptical about savings from Changing for Excellence and noted that at least some of the skepticism may come from lack of access to budget information. 

Twombly stated that the reaccreditation committee is interested in comments.  The committee will not be able to make major changes at this point because the report is due soon, but they will read all comments and acknowledge when there are a number of people making similar comments.  They will also correct inaccurate information. 

Topics/Questions for Meeting with BOR on November 14 – Williams led a discussion about possible topics and questions for the upcoming meeting with BOR.  He noted that representatives of each constituent senate should be prepared to ask about issues that are unique to their group.  He then invited members to offer suggested topics that affect the University community.  First, members are interested in the BOR’s response to the state of the state budget.  Specific questions include (a) what new ideas does BOR have to convince the state legislature that higher education is important, and (b) given the lack of support for public education at all levels, in what ways is the BOR cooperating with K12.  Second, there is continued concern about transfer and articulation agreements.  Third, concealed carry will become an issue very soon and members are interested in how BOR and the BOR schools can be proactive on this issue.  Fourth, expanding domestic partner benefits remains an important issue. 

No further business.  The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Levy

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