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University Senate - 04/07/16

University Senate
April 7, 2016 - 3:30pm
Green Hall-Room 203

(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)



    I.      Announcements

   II.     Approval of minutes from March 24, 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 Proposed Amendment USRR 1.3.1

  V.      Discussion of Proposed Amendment USRR 2.2.8

 VI.      Discussion of Proposed Amendment USRR 2.2.10

 VII.      Unfinished Business

VIII.    New Business






April 7, 2016 – 3:30 p.m. – 203 Green Hall

Approved April 21, 2016

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Faculty Mike Williams, Tom Beisecker, Mary Banwart, Philip Baringer, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Jim Carothers, Jay Childers, Kelly Chong, Jonathan Clark, Michael Davidson, Chris Elles, Charles Epp, Pam Fine, Lynn Hancock, Joe Harrington, Kissan Joseph, Weishi Liu, Jason Matejkowski, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Meagan Patterson, Angela Rathmel, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Geraldo Sousa; Students  Harrison Baker, Erin Fowler, Brent Lee, Chance Maginness, Brittany Oleniacz; Staff Chris Wallace, Keah Cunningham, Michelle Ginavan-Hayes, Charlotte Goodman, Emily Lee, Liz Phillips, Peggy Robinson

ABSENTFaculty Christopher Fischer, Lisa Friis, Andrea Greenhoot (excused), Majid Hannoum (excused), Pamela Keller (excused), Paul Laird, Jonathan Mayhew, Amalia Monroe-Gulick (excused), Steve Padget, , Mario Medina, Bill Staples (excused), Dean Stetler, Belinda Sturm, Barbara Timmermann, (excused); Susan Williams, Lisa Wolf-Wendell (excused); Students Chancellor Adams, Sarah Elliott, Thomas Green, Nobus Oghenekaro, Logan Sutton, Sophia Templin, Sophie Wang, Taylor Zabel; Staff Terri Chambers, Kristine Latta, Margaret Mahoney, Anna Paradis, Susan Shaw, Tanya Spacek

ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Mary Lee Hummert, Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Kirk McClure, FRPR (Faculty Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities) Committee Chair; Kevin Fullerton, Pharmacy

President Mike Williams called the meeting to order, announced that the meeting is recorded, and asked for announcements

MINUTES for March 24, 2016 were approved.


University Senate President

Mike Williams reported that although the KU Weapons Policy is not yet complete, the Provost’s weapons on campus implementation committee has begun working on its charge to implement the policy.  The committee which Williams co-chairs with Chris Keary, Interim Chief of Public Safety, hopes to complete its charge by the start of 2017 in order to have procedures in place before July 1, 2017.  Williams will continue to update the Senate.  He reported that he has done information sessions at the Edwards campus and at KU Med.

Faculty Senate President

Tom Beisecker reported the FacEx approved the Course Level Transfer Policy which basically stipulates that a lower division course from a junior college will get lower-level credit at KU, and upper-level courses will be eligible for higher credit; lower-level courses can’t give higher credit.  In answer to Erin Fowler’s question of when the policy would take effect Beisecker said that the rule is in practice now. 

Beisecker also reported that FacEx is working on the Faculty Code. 

Student Senate President

In Chancellor Adams place Chance Maginness reported that Student Senate ceded power to the Multicultural Student Government for fee review and scholarship funds if they are recognized as an appropriate government group by all the proper governance channels, University Senate, the Chancellor, KBOR, etc.; he added that operationally speaking they are now just a student group and do not have governance powers.  The Student Senate also passed the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities, making sure the University has off campus jurisdiction in some cases; freedom of the press and freedom of expression issue were also addressed.  Harrison Baker added that they also passed a resolution against the physical privacy rights bills currently in the legislature.

Staff Senate President

Chris Wallace reported Staff Senate elections ended Friday and nearly all seats have been filled; about one third of the staff (836) voted.  He announced that the Mini-Wheat-State tour will be held on Stop Day.

Discussion of proposed amendments

Williams announced that he will give information today about the proposed amendments which University Senate will vote on at the next meeting.

USRR 1.3.1

Williams explained that the amendment basically served to codify final exam procedures, and the Calendar Committee’s requirement to report exam exemption in their final report, both of which have been in practice of years.  In response to Beisecker’s question whether the intention of the amendment is to freeze a final exam, Williams answered it was not, pointing out that the exam schedule would continue to rotate so the same class didn’t have the last final of the year over and over.  Jonathan Clark questioned why instructor’s minimester classes are held on Stop Day and wondered if the Calendar Committee has thought minimester’s through.  Williams noted that that doesn’t concern the USRR 1.3.1 proposed amendment but suggested that looking at minimesters should be a charge for the future Calendar Committee. 


USRR 2.2.8

As a member of the Academic Procedures and Practices (AP&P) Committee, Williams reported that the committee has been looking at the grade replacement policy for a few years.  The practice has been (and remains in the amendment) that when a student retakes a class in which he/she has received a D or F and receives a higher grade the higher grade replaces the lower grade in the GPA and both grades appear on the transcript.  However the question for AP&P to consider was what happens if the grade of the class that was retaken is lower than the original grade.  AP&P’s proposal that the lower grade be counted in the GPA and appear on the transcript was modified at the last SenEx meeting to give a lesser penalty; the lower grade/s in a retaken class/es would still appear on the transcript but would NOT be counted in the GPA.  Williams read a statement (included at the end of the minutes) sent to University Governance which objected to restricting students to five attempts to retake a course.  Referring to the objection he added that a student can take a class multiple times for the sake of learning the material but only a maximum of five times for grade replacement.  Williams went on to explain that the five attempts limit has always been in effect and was made in part to avoid the potential problem of seating capacity.  Maginness agreed with the objection, citing that some students have difficulty with a class.  Brittany Oleniacz echoed Maginness’ sentiment; she also pointed out that the limit would harm a student in the potential situation where he/she may have an emergency and have to drop and then attempt to retake multiple classes. Williams explained that there are appeals in such cases.  On the other hand, Jonathan Clark questioned whether it is really in the interest of the student to allow so many attempts.  Williams explained that the hope was that students would be advised about taking the same course several times; some of the students senators noted that not many students use the rule to take the same course five times but usually use it for multiple classes.  Lynn Hancock asked why the rule was restricted to a D or lower, citing that a C could be detrimental to some students attempting to get into post-graduate school.  Williams answered that it was probably because a C is a passing grade.  Some students noted that sometimes students will intentionally “throw” a grade so that they can get a D or F rather than a C in order to be allowed the chance to replace a grade.  Williams agreed that that was something AP&P might consider in the future.  Hancock inquired why the rule was allowed only for courses 300-level and below.  Williams explained because courses over the 200-level are different and concern continuity of flow of students as they progress in their academic career.  Responding to Sousa’s question of why the lower grade remains on the transcript Williams explained that each course is part of a student’s academic record that demonstrates what the student has done.  

USRR 2.2.10

Williams explained that this amendment concerned Preceptors (pharmacists) who recommend grading for clinical rotations.  Kevin Fullerton from the School of Pharmacy noted that this would solve the problem of grade inflation while still allowing the grade of E to show good work.  Baker pointed out that this amendment is similar to the amendment to USRR 2.2.5 which the Senate approved at the last meeting. 

In conclusion Williams said that the Senate will vote on the amendments at the next meeting.

Unfinished Business


New Business


The meeting adjourned at 4:12

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Altman




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