SenEx-University Senate Executive Committee Meeting 5/10/16
JOINT MEETING OF FY-16 AND FY-17 SENEX
(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)
AGENDA – FY-16
II. Approval of minutes from April 26, 2016
III. Standing Reports
A. University Senate President Mike Williams
B. Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker
C. Student Senate President Chancellor Adams
D. Staff Senate President Chris Wallace
IV. Discussion of Potential Ad Hoc Committee
V. Old Business
VI. New Business
AGENDA – FY-17
I. Report of University Senate President Joe Harrington
II. Information for SenEx Summer Meeting
Joint Meeting of FY16 and FY17 SenEx Committees
MEETING OF THE FY-16 SENEX
Approved with amendments, correcting spelling of “Brittany” (Oleniacz) to “Brittney” and (Suzanne) “Schontz” to “Shontz”
FY16 MEMBERS PRESENT: Mike Williams, Joe Harrington, Tom Beisecker, Pam Keller, Harrison Baker, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Brent Lee, Chance Maginness, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Liz Phillips, Peggy Robinson, Chris Wallace
FY16 MEMBERS ABSENT: Chancellor Adams
ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; FY17 SenEx members, Suzanne Shontz, Pam Fine, Ruben Flores, Charlotte Goodman, Zoya Khan, Gabby Naylor, Brittney Oleniacz; Sara Shepherd, LJ World; Roze Brooks, Member of the Sexuality and Gender Consortium of the University of Kansas
Mike William called the meeting to order, announced the meeting was being recorded, and asked for announcements.
MINUTES for April 26, 2016 were approved.
University Senate President/SenEx Chair
Williams reported that he is scheduled to meet Thursday with the Chancellor, the Multicultural Student Government (MSG), and others about the Chancellor’s decision to veto funding for MSG. He told SenEx that he had met previously with MSG to help clarify their questions about the procedures necessary to form their proposed government and had explained to them the difficulty of moving the government through the University Senate Code, especially so close to the end of the semester. Adding to Beisecker’s report on weapons discussions at COFSP (Council of Faculty Senate Presidents) Williams gave an update on the weapons committees; he reported that the KU Weapons Policy is not yet completed, and the larger implementation group has been meeting in subcommittees and full groups, moving toward a July 1, 2016 deadline. He thanked everyone for their service to Governance this past year.
Faculty Senate President/FacEx Chair
Tom Beisecker noted what he felt was the major accomplishment of this year, passage of the new Faculty Code. He told SenEx that he and Pam Keller would be attending two COFSP meeting next week which would wrap up the year. He reported that COFSP had discussed weapons this year and had briefly talked about the budget. Beisecker reminded SenEx that Keller would be chair of COFSP next year. In response to Ron Barrett-Gonzalez’ question of whether the concept of disproportionate threat venues regarding weapons on campus, had been discussed by COFSP, Beisecker said he hadn’t heard anything and asked Barrett-Gonzalez to send him some more information. Mike Williams also offered to send Beisecker information from Jim Pottorff, chair of the Chancellor’s weapons committee, about the weapons policy for next week’s COFSP meeting.
ACTION: BARRETT-GONZALEZ WILL EMAIL BEISECKER INFORMATION EXPLAINING THE CONCEPT OF DISPROPORTIONANT THREATS. WILLIAMS WILL SEND INFORMATION FROM POTTORFF REGARDING THE WEAPONS COMMITTEE.
Student Senate President
In Chancellor Adams absence Gabby Naylor reported that Student Senate has completed the transition to the FY17 senate. They have had conversations with the Multicultural Student Government (MSG), in particular to consider what should be done with the two dollar fee in light of the Chancellor’s veto of the fee for MSG.
Staff Senate President
Chris Wallace reported that Staff Senate has completed the transitioned to the FY17 senate.
Discussion of potential ad hoc committee
Williams reminded SenEx that a few weeks ago he had mentioned the possibility forming an ad hoc diversity committee. However, since then the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has given their report which advised continuity and continuance regarding work on diversity. Citing his many discussions about weapons as an example, Williams explained that he has noticed that interactions in the university community seem strained and our campus is challenged on how we are allowed to express ideas and do our work. He also noted that the first amendment has been reduced over the years, and proposed creating an ad hoc committee to investigate the value of implementing a freedom of speech and expression policy at KU which would be owned by University Senate (document included at the end of the minutes). He explained that while there are several references to freedom of speech and expression in the Policy Library, there isn’t a single document referring to KU’s full support of the issue. Williams emphasized that respectful communication is vital and affects several campus issues such as academic freedom, weapons on campus, research and publishing, diversity, etc. He asked for suggestions on the proposal which he had handed out.
Change Maginness moved, and Barrett-Gonzalez seconded, that SenEx accept Williams’ proposal to form an ad hoc committee on freedom of speech and expression be approved.
In the discussion that followed Harrison Baker asked if Williams intended that the chair would be a voting member, pointing out that that would create a disproportionate number of faculty. Williams responded that he didn’t consider that a problem and was confident that the chair would be a fair, neutral committee member. Brittney Oleniacz asked if one member could be a graduate student; Williams agreed that that would be a good idea and was open to any suggestions. Chance Maginness suggested three members per constituency rather than two which wouldn’t be unwieldly and would solve Baker’s concern about having an extra faculty member. Pam Fine questioned whether it would be better to identify and address existing policies rather than create a new policy, adding that in her opinion the goal of creating a policy has limited value. Noting that freedom of speech is critical, Barrett-Gonzalez pointed out the value of having a succinct document. Fine asked if adherence to the policy would be required or just a guideline. Williams said the intention was that the policy would be a codified rule; he added that a policy would have been helpful during the University’s social media issue in FY15. Referring to the URLs at end of the proposal, Williams pointed out that many other universities have addressed the issue of freedom of speech and expression which they consider a critical issue.
Motion to change committee membership suggested in Williams’ proposal to three members of each constituency (faculty, students and staff) rather than two. Maginness/Baker. Passed unanimously.
Motion to call the question (regarding Williams’ proposal). Maginness/Baker. Passed.
Motion to accept Mike Williams’ proposal to form an ad hoc committee on freedom of speech and expression. Maginness/Barrett-Gonzalez. Passed.
Maginness introduced Roze Brooks of The Sexuality and Gender Consortium to explain the consortium’s letter which had been distributed to SenEx (included at the end of the minutes). They [Roze’s preferred personal pronoun] explained that the consortium, composed of faculty, students, and staff, was asking for endorsement of their statement of objection to the state healthcare position regarding transgender health benefits. Responding to a question, Brooks answered that they thought the policy was contained in all health plans; Baker asked that the record show that even if it were only in one plan it was still a problem. Beisecker offered that the presidents, including himself and Williams, take the issue to the Interim Provost at their meeting tomorrow. He also suggested that the incoming SenEx discuss the issue and possibly propose charges. It was suggested that the consortium talk to HR before the healthcare cycle changes in October. Liz Phillips noted that there had been an ad hoc committee on domestic partnerships two years ago which might be worth looking at; Kathy Reed informed Brooks that their report is on the Governance website. Fine added that there still are no domestic partner benefits. Baker suggested that for the record SenEx should have a formal vote to accept the letter and encourage FY17 SenEx to continue the conversation.
Motion that FY16 SenEx accept the letter from the Sexuality and Gender Consortium and encourage FY17 SenEx to move forward on the issue. Baker/Maginness. Passed.
ACTION: BEISECKER, WILLIAMS, KELLER, AND HARRINGTON WILL SPEAK TO THE PROVOST AT THEIR MAY 11, 2016 MEETING ABOUT THE SEXUALITY AND GENDER CONSORTIUM OF THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS’ LETTER CONCERNING THE SEHP POLICY REGARDING HEALTH BENEFITS FOR TRANSGENDER-IDENTIFIED PEOPLE.
ACTION: FY17 SENEX SHOULD MOVE FORWARD ON THE HEALTHCARE ISSUE RAISED BY THE SEXUALITY AND GENDER CONSORTIUM.
Barrett-Gonzalez stated that the drafts of the IP (Intellectual Property) Policy and Employee Inventions Assignment Agreement are still a problem. Since many faculty/students will be starting summer jobs/fellowships/internships soon he asked if at their meeting tomorrow the presidents would ask the Provost to hold off on enforcement of the restrictions this summer.
Motion to ask the administration to hold harmless those who signed the Employee Inventions Assignment Agreement. Barrett-Gonzalez/Baker. Passed with one abstention.
FY16 members provided some background for FY17 members. After discussing the IP Policy draft which they received in mid-April FacEx realized that they needed the employee agreement draft before a decision could be made about the policy. After receiving the agreement FacEx discussed the policy and agreement drafts at their May 3 meeting. Since an agreement couldn’t be reached in the time remaining Barrett-Gonzalez and Keller promised to look at it this summer. The University wants a response from FacEx as soon as possible especially since they have buy-in from the medical center.
The presidents agreed to make the issue part of the discussion tomorrow with the Interim Provost. Williams asked Barrett-Gonzalez if it would be acceptable if they asked if faculty members who were afraid of jeopardy could ask for a dispensation instead of the presidents requesting a blanket dispensation. Barrett-Gonzalez said either is all right but faculty needed to know soon.
ACTION: ACTION: AT THEIR MAY 11, 2016 MEETING BEISECKER, WILLIAMS, KELLER, AND HARRINGTON WILL SPEAK TO THE PROVOST ABOUT HOLDING THOSE WHO SIGNED THE EMPLOYEE INVENTION ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENT HARMLESS.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:54 p.m.
DOCUMENTS DISCUSSED AT FY16 MEETING
MEETING OF THE FY-17 SENEX
FY17 MEMBERS PRESENT: Joe Harrington, Suzanne Shontz, Pam Keller, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Pam Fine, Ruben Flores, Charlotte Goodman, Zoya Khan, Gabby Naylor, Brittney Oleniacz, Liz Phillips
FY17 MEMBERS ABSENT: Ebenezer Obadare, Jacob Murray
ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; FY16 SenEx members, Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, and Brent Lee; Sara Shepherd, LJ World
Joe Harrington called the meeting to order and asked for announcements. He told the FY16 committee members they were welcome to stay but that is wasn’t required.
The members of the FY17 SenEx committee introduced themselves.
Report of University Senate President
Reporting on the May 5, 2016 University Senate meeting Harrington said that Suzanne Shontz and Brittney Oleniacz had been elected President-Elect and Vice President of the Senate, respectively. He also said that he and Pam Keller had presented outgoing presidents Mike Williams and Tom Beisecker with thank you gifts of gavels.
INFORMATION FOR SENEX SUMMER MEETING
Giving information on the summer meeting Tom Beisecker explained that SenEx will create charges for the FY17 University Senate committees. He further explained that Faculty members on the committees are chosen by FacEx while student and staff membership is populated by their respective constituencies. He strongly encouraged SenEx to think about possible charges before the meeting, explaining that the effectiveness of the University system is only as good as its committee structure and the charges the committees are given. Keller and Harrington agreed. Harrington emphasized the importance of the committees whose recommendations for actions often set the tenor for the year. Kathy Reed explained that the meeting information notebooks, which SenEx members will receive from Governance before the meeting, will contain FY16 University Senate Committee final reports SenEx members can read prior to the meeting to help them create charges to suggest to Harrington who will draft a template of potential charges for SenEx to discuss at the meeting. Noting that in the past Staff Senate hasn’t had clear charges for its committees, Liz Phillips said that, since Staff Senate committees somewhat mirror University Senate committees, she planned to hone the University Senate committee charges to create Staff Senate committee charges and hoped to have the same staff committee members on University Senate committees. Reed will schedule the SenEx summer meeting and will try to have the notebooks available four to five days ahead of the meeting. Brittney Oleniacz reminded SenEx that University Senate had voted to establish an ad hoc committee on gender equality which had been proposed by Jonathan Clark.
Citing that his involvement in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee was the result of his position as University Senate president, Mike Williams encouraged both FY17 presidents to make sure they remind the Chancellor and the Provost that Governance is expected to be involved in all committees, adding that the door has been opened for conversations with the administration to talk about money and advised they keep that door open.
Meeting adjourned at 4:11