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SenEx-University Senate Executive Committee 11/17/15

SenEx
November 17, 2015 - 3:00pm
Provost’s Conference Room
Agenda: 

(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)

  1. Announcements
     
  2. Approval of minutes from November 3, 2015
     
  3. Standing Reports
  1. University Senate President Mike Williams

            B.        Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker

            C.        Student Senate President Zach George

            D.        Staff President Chris Wallace

  1. Nate Thomas, Vice Provost For Diversity and Equity

(Follow-up to November 11 Town Hall Meeting on Race, Responsibility, Respect, Free Speech)

  1. Weapons Update
  1. KBOR meeting on November 18
  1. Revised charges for Athletic Committee
  1. Old Business
     
  2. New Business
Minutes: 

 

November 17, 2015 – 3:00 p.m.

College Conference Room, 210 Strong

Approved February 9, 2016

PRESENT: Mike Williams, Joe Harrington, Pam Keller, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Shegufta Huma, Brent Lee, Chance Maginness, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Liz Phillips, Peggy Robinson, Chris Wallace

ABSENT:  Tom Beisecker (excused)

ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Sara Shepherd, LJ World, Paige Stingley UDK, Ian Appling, Student

         Mike Williams called the meeting to order and announced that the meeting is being recorded.  He welcomed visitors, and asked for announcements. Williams requested a motion to approve guests speaking from the floor.

Motion to allow guests to speak: Maginness/Huma.  Passed

MINUTES for November 3, 2015 were approved.  

STANDING REPORTS

University Senate President/SenEx Chair

Williams thanked the other Senate presidents for responding quickly so the senate presidents email response to the Town Hall Meeting on Race, Responsibility, Respect and Free Speech could be sent.

Faculty Senate President/FacEx Chair

In Tom Beisecker’s absence Mike Williams reported that the Faculty Code is still paramount on Beisecker’s list and information will be updated at FacEx.

Student Senate President

Zack George reported that the Student Executive Committee passed a vote of no confidence and demanded the resignation of the Student Body President Jessie Pringle, Vice President (George) and Chief of Staff, Adam Moon by tomorrow at 5:00.  If that doesn’t occur the Student Executive Committee will call on the Student Senate to begin the impeachment process.  Shegufta Huma summarized the resignation issue.  Huma explained that the vote of no confidence was catalyzed by the November 11 Town Hall on Race, Respect, Responsibility, and Free Speech.  Besides the objection some members of the Student Senate had with the officers’ response to demands made by the Rock Chalk Invisible Hawks, the Student Senate also asked the officers to justify incidents from last semester.  These issues prompted a vote of no confidence which passed 6 to 3 to 1.  Chance Maginness objected that the vote was a rash decision and stated he was against the motion, especially since the executives were not present.  Acknowledging that this was a very complicated issue, Brent Lee said that while some were on the fence, many were strongly for resignation, feeling as he did that there wasn’t enough being done regarding the diversity issue.  He added that he was pleased with the officers ensuing response to the Rock Chalk Invisible Hawks’ demands and hoped Student Senate would do their best to be proactive and not reactive.  Huma said that accusations of dishonesty and the issue of potential tampering of records made her decision to call for resignation.  She further explained that in addition to the voting members of the Student Executive Committee, executives and leaders from other committees had also shared their observations and opinions.  Huma admitted it was not an easy decision and was not a simple question of whether the officers stood up in agreement with the Rock Chalk invisible Hawks but rather reflected months of problems.  Maginness felt that there were other voices against resignation but the voices that were present were one-sided since those who felt differently weren’t present. 

George reported that the Student Senate Executive Committee has released a resolution supporting the Rock Chalk Invisible Hawks (RCIH) and their demands, and the Student Rights Committee has created two bills, which will go to the Student Senate tomorrow, supporting RCIH as well.  Student Senate will also consider a bill to lower the cap on election spending to $1000.  The Senate is opposing the Safe Campus Act initiated in Washington, DC which they believe creates challenges when reporting sexual assault.  Student Senate Executive Committee has released a resolution supporting the Rock Chalk Invisible Hawks.  The student gun survey will end November 25. RCIH) and their demands, and the Student Rights Committee has created two bills, which will go to the Student Senate tomorrow, supporting RCIH as well.  Student Senate will also consider a bill to lower the cap on election spending to $1000.  The Senate is opposing the Safe Campus Act initiated in Washington, DC which they believe creates challenges when reporting sexual assault.  Student Senate Executive Committee has released a resolution supporting the Rock Chalk Invisible Hawks.  The student gun survey will end November 25. 

Staff Senate President

Since Staff Senate won’t meet until tomorrow, Chris Wallace had nothing to report.

Nate Thomas, Vice Provost For Diversity and Equity

(Follow-up to November 11 Town Hall Meeting on Race, Responsibility, Respect and Free Speech)

Mike Williams asked Nate Thomas to share his perspective on how the administration is approaching diversity issues and how Governance can help.  Thomas reported that the Office of Diversity and Equity’s diversity report is almost ready.  He noted that two major challenges are minority retention and increasing enrollment.  Quoting 2014 statistics, he reported that retention of white students was 91 percent in the first semester and 82% in the first year as opposed to 82 percent minority retention in the first semester and 58 percent in the first year; 77 percent of Hispanic students leave in their first year.  In response to Maginness’ question of what actions have been taken to address retention, Thomas said that last year the Hawk Link program was inaugurated to help first generation students of color.  He announced that he worked with Maritza (Machado-Williams) in the Trio program and Ann Cudd, (former Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies) to develop a pilot, bridge program and attempts are being made to get more funds to continue and expand the program.  He explained that retention is more successful when students enter the University early and are part of cohort programs like MSPS (Multicultural Scholars Program) and Hawk Link which has an 80 to 85 percent enrollment of students of color.  The early programs have worked well and he has been working with First Year Experience to expand the programs to the third and fourth semester but the time to get cohort classes through is frustratingly long.  Thomas said that he also works with superintendents of Kansas schools and that KU holds college prep courses in the summer for minority students.  Ron Barrett-Gonzalez suggested that faculty involvement be a part of the promotion and tenure process, and that every department have a minority advocate.  Thomas added that mentoring is key and that diversity should be woven into every aspect of the university.  In answer to Williams earlier question of how Governance can help Thomas said that the KU community needs to consider: (1) what diversity looks like in our syllabi and classrooms, considering how minorities are made to feel comfortable, and how we can prepare students for a diverse world; (2) how faculty, staff, and students work to become champions in recruiting diverse faculty and staff; (3) everyone’s responsibility; no one can be a bystander to discrimination, expecting administration to solve problems.  Mike Williams responded that Governance is in a position to make things happen and can do things more quickly.

After Thomas left the meeting discussion continued regarding what Governance can do.  Williams urged SenEx members to go to faculty/unit/constituency meetings to talk about the issue.  Liz Phillips informed SenEx that diversity was the biggest discussion at today’s staff training session; people are talking about the issue.  Zach George suggested faculty should add student resources to their syllabi and that course evaluations include provisions evaluating teachers on cultural sensitivity.     

ACTION:  Williams asked SenEx members to have some specific ideas next time about dealing with the diversity issue.SenEx members to have some specific ideas next time about dealing with the diversity issue.

Guest Ian Appling, a junior, commented on the diversity issue.  He stated that the Bill of Rights and the state constitution protect freedom of speech, which he noted even includes hate speech.  Although as a minority student identifying as black, white and Native American he has experienced hate speech, he said that he is still worried about suppressing free speech, and as a veteran has served to protect that right.  Appling said that he doesn’t want KU to become like the University of Missouri where free speech is suppressed.  Addressing the Rock Chalk Invisible Hawks’ demands made at the Town Hall meeting he observed that some are legitimate but some are unlawful.  Appling also noted that mandatory training, one of the RCIH’ demands, can’t always change people.  In summary, he expressed concern about the direction KU may be going, believing that everyone’s life matters, and that there are others who share his feelings. 

Weapons Update

Williams said that despite the fact that the RCIH’s demand to repeal the concealed carry law received the loudest response at the Town Hall Meeting on Race, Responsibility, Respect and Free Speech, there isn’t much the University can do.  He announced that the Ad Hoc Weapons Committee (Weapons on Campus Committee, WOCC) is planning an information session on December 8 and requested that the SenEx meeting that day be cancelled.  SenEx agreed.  In anticipation of a large crowd, the meeting will be held in Budig 120 which holds 999.  Williams is working with the UDK and hopes to have them publish an information packet on December 7; information will also be available on the Governance website in preparation for the meeting.  He explained that he had planned to meet with small groups before having the information session but KBOR moved up their work on the concealed carry issue which changed the timing of the WOCC’s plans.  Unfortunately the staff and faculty survey is still being modified and will not be ready for the meeting.  As a result of consulting with WOCC member Steven Levenson, Associate Director of Environment Health and Safety, about being inclusive of staff who cannot attend the meeting, Williams and some of the WOCC members will meet separately with the night staff.  He asked for suggestions for other ways of getting out information about concealed carry beyond the information meeting and social media.  Chance Maginnness suggested an email account for responses and questions.  Williams agreed.  Liz Phillips noted that many staff members don’t have email so Williams said the UDK could be used. George suggested a follow-up to the survey.  Williams said he will do informational meetings with more people in spring.  Since students are bombarded by electronic media Brent Lee suggested student meetings in residence halls and Greek houses.  Pam Keller suggested that the information packet be sent in a faculty email.  Williams agreed, adding that the packet should be available as a follow-up for those not able to attend the meeting.  Ron Barrett-Gonzales reported that AAUP met to discuss concealed carry and felt there may be some technical solutions to the issue of guns on campus.  AAUP sent a resolution to KBOR. 

KBOR Meeting on November 18

Williams said he will share KU’s thoughts on weapons at the KBOR meeting in Wichita tomorrow and explained KBOR’s timeline regarding the Weapon’s Policy.  There will probably be a first reading in December with revisions or a full vote in January.  Williams clarified that the policy is not new but will be amended to reflect the July 2017 expiration of the concealed carry exemption.  KBOR is asking campuses to come up with an implementation plan for the new law which the Ad Hoc Weapons Committee will work on in spring.  He will also be filling in for Beisecker at the COFSP (Council of Faculty Senate Presidents) meeting.    

Revised charges for Athletic Committee

Williams explained the amended charges made by Chair Max Ustler and the Athletic Committee don’t contain new content but rather simplify language to focus on the heart of the issues.  If approved, the amendments will go to University Senate.

Motion to accept changes in Athletic Committee charges.  Huma/Phillips.  Passed.    

Old Business

None

New Business

Peggy Robinson informed SenEx that the LIUNA (Laborer’s International Union of North America), Public Service Employees Local Union 1290, is currently negotiating their contract with KU and added that the union’s manager Jeremy Hendrickson is a registered lobbyist. The union represents 600 to 700 employees.

There was no further business.  The meeting was adjourned at 4:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Altman

Attachments 

 

 


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