SenEx-University Senate Executive Committee 3/14/17
I. Approval of minutes of February 28, 2017
II. Standing Reports
A. University Senate President Joe Harrington
B. Faculty Senate President Pam Keller
C. Student Senate President Gabby Naylor
D. Staff Senate President Liz Phillips
III. Proposed amendment USRR 1.3.2
IV. Agenda Time Limits
V. University Senate Code Amendments Regarding Proposed Enactments, Amendments or Repeals
VI. Proposed amendment to USRR Article IX
VII. Unfinished Business
VIII. New Business
UNIVERSITY SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - SenEx
March 14, 2017 – 3:00 p.m.
Provost Conference Room
Approved April 4, 2017
MEMBERS PRESENT: Joe Harrington, Pam Keller, Suzanne Shontz, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Alex Erwin, Pam Fine, Ruben Flores, Charlotte Goodman, Dylan Jones, Brian Moss, Jacob Murray, Gabby Naylor (arrived late), Liz Phillips (left early)
MEMBERS ABSENT: Ebenezer Obadare (excused)
ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Rick Hale, FRPR (Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities Committee) Chair; Jim Tracy
Joe Harrington called the meeting to order and announced that the meeting was recorded.
MINUTES for February 28, 2017 were approved
Report of University Senate President
Harrington reported that he transmitted the campus carry notification resolution to the appropriate authorities but has received no response yet. The Kansas City Star published his letter about the campus carry website which included the URL. He explained that today is the last day for SenEx to approve amendments to the USRR or University Senate Code that would have time to go through the 21-day review before the end of the year. However an amendment could be approved later with the 21-day review period going into the next academic year.
REPORT OF FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT
Pam Keller wanted to make SenEx aware that she was notified Sunday that a group of students who were leaving a meeting were verbally assaulted by a women yelling offensive, discriminatory remarks. They reported the incident to Jennifer Hamer, Acting Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity, and other appropriate administrators. Charlie Bankart, Interim Associate Vice Provost for International Programs, and others set up a meeting regarding the incident. Keller reported that the meeting was positive and students felt supported. She said she will report back on any procedures planned in case of a recurrence of a similar occurrence.
REPORT OF STUDENT SENATE PRESIDENT
Gabby Naylor attended the meeting later but left a message that she had nothing to report.
REPORT OF sTAFF SENATE PRESIDENT
Liz Phillips thanked Kathy Reed for putting together the University Support Staff (USS) and University Professional Staff (UPS) report for the KBOR Council of Presidents (COPS) meeting tomorrow. She said that discussion of the KBOR Governance Committee amendment which excluded staff from reporting to COPS was on the agenda for tomorrow and the staff representative from Wichita State will be presenting their case. Phillips reported that there is concern and outrage over the depletion of the tuition assistance program and that there is a town hall meeting planned at 4:00 today to discuss it. She explained that people think assistance is a benefit but it is actually a gift from Endowment and the money in the account is decreasing. Harrington pointed out that the University wants to reduce tuition coverage from a course a semester to $1000 toward a course. Phillips explained that the original intent of the assistance was to cover basic undergraduate courses and assistance for graduate courses had been a nice bonus. She added that HR Director Ola Faucher had said that with changes in tax regulations the assistance may become taxable. Brian Moss reported that Staff Senate is still working on the virtual handbook for staff personnel affairs which the Provost wants completed by fall. The Staff Mini Wheat State tour will be a trip to the Nelson Atkins Art Museum on June 2. Some staff expressed concern that if they might be bombarded with notices if they showed up as obese on the HealthQuest website. They also were worried that the swabbing procedure to detect tobacco use might be used to acquire DNA results, but Phillip said HR assured that was not the case.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO USRR 1.3.2 (at end of minutes)
Harrington explained that the proposed amendment which came from the Calendar Committee reflected language in USRR 1.4.2 regarding conflicts between non final regular exams and final online/non regular exams. Keller moved and Flores seconded that the word “shall” in the proposed amendment be changed to “will” because “shall” is inherently vague. Passed.
Motion to approve the proposed amendment as changed. Passed.
The proposed amendment will be forwarded to University Senate at the next meeting after the notification email is sent.
ACTION: MAUREEN ALTMAN WILL SEND NOTIFICATION EMAIL REGARDING DISCUSSION OF THE AMENDMENT SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THE MARCH 30 UNIVERSITY SENATE MEETING.
AGENDA TIME LIMITS (at end of minutes)
Harrington reminded SenEx that because of concerns that University Senate meetings have gone overtime on several occasions, taking away from time Faculty Senate, several people had suggested time limits. He explained that according to Roberts Rules limiting discussion is more complicated than just putting time limits on the agenda; it would require voting and probable discussion to approve the limits which would take up more time. As a possible solution he suggested senate presidents put less rigid “suggested times” on the agenda. Amalia Monroe-Gulick agreed adding that while limits on library meeting agendas sometimes stopped good discussions there are times University Senate discussions need to be stopped. Dylan Jones and Jacob Murray explained that in Student Senate a motion can be made to extend set times for speakers. Harrington asked SenEx members to email him with more ideas and suggested University Senate try the limits.
University Senate Code Amendments Regarding Proposed Enactments, Amendments or Repeals (at end of minutes)
Harrington said that he emailed O&A (Organization and Administration Committee) as well as former Faculty Presidents Tom Beisecker and Jim Carothers to see if there was any internal conflict in the proposed amendment. Beisecker, the only one who responded, answered that he saw no problem and thought it was a good idea. Harrington reminded SenEx that the intention of his amendment was to obviate the confusion of whether something is an initial consideration with the required seven-day notification even if it did not go through FacEx/SenEx; he also added that he had changed the original suggestion of 24-hours’ notice to 48 to give staff more time to distribute the information and senators more time to consider. (In response to Suzanne Shontz’s question Harrington said that they were 48 real hours not school hours). Ruben Flores thought 48 hours was too short because he felt senators don’t look at notices after the initial agenda is sent. Monroe-Gulick noted that it should be made clear that amendments could still be introduced from the floor. Harrington said that he would tweak the proposal and SenEx would look at it later.
Action: harrington will tweak the proposal FOR LATER CONSIDERATION and requested imput from presidents and presidents-elect.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO USRR ARTICLE IX (link to amendments at the end of the minutes)
FRPR Chair Rick Hale explained that amendments to USRR Article IX addressed an FRPR charge which he had recommended while on FY16 FRPR because of problems he and fellow FRPR member Kirk McClure had observed while serving on scholarly misconduct investigation committees. Two of their concerns were the difficulty of getting times for the committees to meet and that the committees had devolved into mock hearings although they had been meant to be a peer reviews. FRPR found language problems in Article IX that were inconsistent and not aligned with federal regulations. Because there were so many problems FRPR decided it was better to started over in rewriting USRR IX and met with Jim Tracy, Vice Chancellor, Office of Research, and his staff. Hale explained that Tracy and his staff had taken the lead on initial editing and FRPR looked at the article line by line. In response to a question Tracy explained that because the University accepts federal funds compliance was critical and added that the language in the current Article IX regarding compliance with federal regulations has big problems. Tracy said that in the 1990’s the Fed created a definition of misconduct because of problems, and the Public Health Service is the source that KU follows. The goals are to protect 1) the respondent, 2) the complainant, and 3) KU. Keller asked if there was any sense that issues that were not federally funded were considered. Hale responded that the committee attempted to broadened language to include all types of scholarly misconduct; Tracy assured that the policy is the University’s policy and is for everybody with the only difference being that if the misconduct issue being considered goes to investigation it has to be reported to the Fed. Monroe-Gulick noted that improper use of funds and violations regarding protection of human or animal research subjects was not included. Tracy explained that, while a serious wrongdoing, hurting animal or human subjects was not scholarly misconduct unless subjects were used to falsify data. Hale explained that animal and human subject abuse was covered by other policies and that misuse of funds isn’t included but in the future FRPR should look at including it somewhere. Tracy added that misuse of funds is covered by the Fed.
Hale noted some of the changes that were made. The procedure for making a complaint was broadened. The treatment of the external and internal complainant was changed to protect the University and provide protection to the University community; in the current USRR article the external complainant is treated the same as the internal complainant which puts the University at risk because, since 100% disclosure of all relevant information is required, anyone could make a complaint in order to receive propriety data whether justified or not.
Harrington asked Hale to walk SenEx through the amendments:
- Assessment phase. Reports of scholarly misconduct would go to the Research Integrity Officer for assessment to determine if they fall under the definition of scholarly misconduct and if there is reason to proceed. Tracy observed that often reports concern authorship conflicts but are not misconduct. Hale noted that the old policy had dangerous language to the Feds about negotiating discussion.
- Inquiry phase. If the assessment determines there is reason to proceed an inquiry committee (similar to a Grand Jury) would be formed to determine if there is reason for an investigation.
- Investigation phase. Regarding the investigation committee Hale explained that the minimum of five members was changed to three because it is more difficult to get a committee of five together to complete the investigation by the deadline. FRPR retained the FRB (Faculty Right Board) or Judicial Board observer since they thought it was a good rule. (In response to Harrington’s question Hale explained that if the observer found a problem they would send it to the Research Integrity Officer who would send it to the proper authorities; for the sake of confidentiality they could recommend sanction but not in the report which is sent to a larger group). Tracy said that if the investigation involves federal funds he has to notify the Fed who can step in if they don’t like what’s being done.
- Administrative Actions and Sanctions. Tracy observed that in the current policy all the power is with the Chancellor but the amended procedures protect the respondent from the one judge process. Revisions reflect the Fed’s provision that the adjudication and investigation phases are separate. If there is a sanction from the Provost it is reported to the Fed but University sanctions stand for the University.
Citing that not amending USRR Article IX puts the University at risk, Tracy and Hale urged SenEx/Senate to act as soon as possible. Naylor asked if this is a policy that’s familiar to everyone doing research or only known if there is a problem. Hale said it should be known but may not be. Tracy explained that federal agencies require the University to train but most training involves graduate students, adding that some think faculty should be trained on responsible conduct and research. Hale concluded by telling SenEx that he and Tracy are available for questions.
Harrington suggested SenEx take a week to look at the proposed amendments and email him or Governance with problems. SenEx will take the issue up at its next meeting.
ACTION: SENEX WILL LOOK AT THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS AND EMAIL HARRINGTON OR GOVERNANCE WITH CONCERNS. SENEX WILL DISCUSS AT ITS NEXT MEETING.
Treatment of male and female athletes regarding dismissal/suspension.
Referring to an incident on the website Deadspin which had been reported by the Kansas City Star regarding suspension of the woman athlete involved but not the male athlete, Pam Fine asked if it was within the purview of SenEx/University Senate to look into the appearance of unequal treatment of male and female athletes regarding dismissal or suspension. Fine asked if it would be appropriate for University Senate to ask the Chancellor to inform the public of what actions were taken and explain what her expectations or views are. Gabby Naylor asked how it is different than two students of different genders saying they received unequal grades. Keller said that she would be comfortable with asking about procedures but not details of individual events and suggested SenEx ask someone from Athletics or the Chancellor’s Office to talk to SenEx particularly regarding what procedures are in place to protect, to treat fairly, and to comply with the NCAA. Harrington suggested SenEx members should start by reading the Athletics Committee Report [sent to SenEx 1/23/17] before inviting people to speak, and then possibly make a resolution. Fine expressed that SenEx should act sooner. Keller and Harrington said they would be meeting with the Chancellor soon and will ask her for more information.
Action: keller and harrington will ask the chancellor about the question of equal treatment of male and female student athletes regarding suspensions.
Action: senex members will read the athletic committee report regarding sexual assault and follow up with discussion.
Questions for April meeting of SenEx and KBOR.
Harrington asked that SenEx members consider questions for the meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 4:14
Proposed Amendment to USRR 1.3.2 (from Calendar Committee):
If a “take home” exam or an online exam is given in a class with a regular meeting time, it may not be due prior to the end of the regularly scheduled final exam period for the class. If a proctored or online exam is given for an online course, the due date shall be noted in the course syllabus. When the final of an online/non-regular course conflicts with a student's obligation to other regularly scheduled university classes, the student
shall will be accorded the opportunity to take the final at a time not in conflict with other regularly scheduled university classes. The above does not apply to assignments such as projects, performances, or papers. These may be due or take place during the last week of regular classes. Projects, performances, paper, and other coursework may be due during finals week only in lieu of a final exam. This rule does not apply to coursework for which the student has received an extension.
The above particular sentence (in red) proposed to be inserted in the third paragraph of USRR 1.3.2 is essentially copied from USRR 1.4.2 (which governs special exams), but currently is not explicitly included in USRR 1.3.2 (which governs final exams). It is obvious that the spirit of this rule applies to the finals, and it is better to reiterate this sentence explicitly in USRR 1.3.2, since online and non-regular courses seem to be involving more students now and questions about such time conflicts did
Agenda Time Limits
Here is a digest of Robert’s Rules on the issue of time limits/time-lines for agendas (in section 41).
- The presiding officer (or SenEx) could assign start times for each item (presumably in consultation with the Gov Off staff). These would be guidelines and would have no binding force, unless:
- the body votes to adopt the agenda (with the time limits). In that case, each item becomes a “special order,” meaning that the time assigned for discussion of the next item cuts off discussion of the previous one (which then becomes a “general order”).
- In this case, if debate on a main motion is still underway when the time allotted to that item expired, it would be tantamount to calling the question – a vote must be taken then and there. Consideration of amendments is included in the time allotted to the item.
- The adoption of an agenda is a main motion. It must be seconded, and may be debated or amended. Given that we have a new agenda for each meeting, the agenda would have to be approved (and any amendments considered) at the outset of each meeting. After it is approved, it may only be changed (e.g., to limit or extend debate on a particular item or items) by a 2/3 vote to suspend the rules.
- Robert opines: “While this practice may be necessary in some cases, the resulting loss of flexibility often outweighs any benefits that may be gained.” (Robert was not a KU Faculty Senator.)
- Or: the body can opt to continue debate during “Unfinished Business” – which would subject it to the time limits for that item. If the time for Unfinished Business expires, a vote must be taken, regardless of whether or not people feel that debate is done. This is a motion to postpone, and so would require a 2/3 majority to pass.
- Or: of course, the body can postpone the item to the next meeting, refer it to a committee, or lay it on the table.
- Even if everything on the agenda is a special order with a time limit, a member may also move to limit (or extend) debate on a particular item – either by changing the time allotted to an item or the number or duration of speeches during debate on that item. This motion requires 2/3, is amendable but not debatable.
- N.B.: Even without time limits/special orders, a member may move the previous question on any item any time another does not have the floor. It requires a 2/3 vote, but closes debate. The same is true of a motion to postpone. A motion to lay the question on the table only requires a majority.
- N.B.: A motion to adjourn (or recess) may be made at any time another does not have the floor. It requires a simple majority.
University Senate Code Amendments Regarding Proposed Enactments, Amendments or Repeals
Two recommendations for additions to the University Code:
(1.) Addition to Article I, section 8 [new 1.8.2(a) & renumber rest of sections]
. . . The University Senate Rules and Regulations so formulated may be enacted, amended or repealed by majority of the University Senate members present at a regular or special meeting pursuant to the following procedure:
(a.) A proposed enactment, amendment or repeal shall be presented for initial consideration by the University Senate by any one of the four following procedures:
i.) The University Senate Executive Committee may propose an amendment by a two-thirds vote of the SenEx members present and voting.
ii.) Any of the three constituent senates may propose an amendment by at least a majority vote.
iii.) A petition containing the proposed amendment and signed by one hundred members of the University Community (including faculty, staff, and students, as defined in their respective Codes) may be delivered to the University Senate.
iv.) A proposed amendment may be presented from the floor by a member during any regular or special meeting of the University Senate, provided that said amendment is submitted in writing to the University Governance Office at least 48 hours prior to the meeting at which it is to be proposed. A majority vote of the Senate members present and voting at that meeting shall be necessary for the amendment to receive initial consideration as a main motion at the following meeting of the University Senate.
Although the University Code provides specific details as to the process of enacting an amendment to the USRRs, it is currently silent as to how that process is initiated. The amendment proposed above would remedy this problem by setting forth the ways that a USRR amendment can be brought to the University Senate. The language is based on Article XVII.1 of the University Code, which outlines the possible avenues for introducing an amendment to the Code itself. I have added the stipulation that the amendment be presented to the Governance Office 48 hours in advance, in order to give the senators time to review it and the staff time to prepare a handout and slide of it.
(2.) Addition to current 1.8.4
1.8.4 The University Senate may also approve statements of University policy or procedure that are generally applicable to the University Community, provided that such proposed statements are submitted in writing to the University Governance Office at least 48 hours prior to the meeting at which they are debated and approved.
except that, By vote of one-third of its members who are present and voting, the University Senate may cause notification of the opportunity to request a review to be sent to the members of the three constituent senates as provided above.
Senators have complained bitterly about being asked to vote on resolutions or other proposals without being able to review them in advance. This amendment would ensure that senators would have at least 48 hours to consider any main motion prior to voting on it. It would also allow time for the University Governance Office staff to prepare handouts or slides for the University Senate meeting at which the proposal is to be formally debated and voted upon, so that senators can have the text of the motion before them. This amendment would not prevent a proposal from being informally introduced and discussed without prior submission. However, a motion to approve, a formal debate, and a vote on the motion would have to wait until the subsequent meeting; and the proposed motion would have to be submitted in writing 24 hours prior to that subsequent meeting. This proposal is in keeping with Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, section 4, “The Handling of a Motion,” p. 33, paragraph 2.