FacEx Minutes November 9, 2021

Faculty Senate Executive Committee – November 9, 2021

Approved: November 30, 2021

Present: Hossein Saiedian, Rémy Lequesne, Nate Brunsell, Nick Syrett, Corey Maley, Patricia Gaston, Ani Kokobobo, Kyle Velte


Also Present: Kathy Reed, Tessa Maclean, Lumen Mulligan, Alyssa Wingo


Lequesne introduced Lou Mulligan. General Counsel wanted procedures for the dismissal of Tenured Faculty reviewed.  In the Fall of 2020, FacEx asked General Counsel to review the procedures, and supply their draft.  These were received in the spring (2021).  FacEx created an Ad-hoc committee to review. Mulligan went through and reviewed the changes noting what they liked and didn’t like.  The Ad-Hoc committee is asking FacEx to support Mulligan and Lequesne in negotiating with General Counsel before draft procedures are taken to Faculty Senate.



Chair of Ad-hoc Committee on FRB Procedures Related to Tenured Faculty Dismissals – Lou Mulligan:


Mulligan noted that one area there could be some disagreement with General Counsel is the burden of proof. The policy from the 1970s requires clear and convincing evidence (~70% chance that it’s true). General Counsel said we need to change this to the lower standard because of Title IX.


General counsel recommending lower to Preponderance (50.1% likely the underlying event occurred)

This is what is used for sexual harassment (law requires that they are equal for students and faculty, not that it’s this low).


Question: Students and staff are held to the lower standard for sexual harassment related issues. Title IX requires that faculty be held at that lower standard for sexual harassment cases, but not necessarily for any other case.



This new federal regulation requires the standard for sexual harassment dismissal we use for students and staff; the same standard of proof must be used for faculty. The University has already chosen to use this lowest level for dismissal for students and staff in federal law. Then would require faculty dismissals to be at that same standard. Our approach is to carve out sexual harassment-based dismissals from any other type of dismissal for faculty. So, that faculty charged with sexual harassment, would comply with that regulation. Faculty who are being dismissed for failure to teach classes, misconduct, etc., would be at the traditional older standard.



Why is the policy written so that it’s dated backwards from the hearing?



We don’t have the other dates, so we have to use the hearing date. Common language for audience is with the idea that they are lawyers, not faculty members.



Comment: I support the proposed plan — to give Lequesne and Mulligan to move forward and negotiate with General Counsel Office.


Mulligan: One of the other changes that we made is that the acting Chair of FRB must be the JD member at least for the purposes of the dismissal hearing.


Motion to empower Lequesne and Mulligan to meet with General Counsel. Made by Syrett, seconded by Kokobobo

Motion approved unanimously


Approval of October 26 Minutes

Motion: Syrett

Second: Gaston
Minutes approved unanimously


University Senate President Report: Hossein Saiedian; Report was sent earlier

    1. Meeting with Dave Cook, the conversations were overall very positive. He is open to coming to come to SenEx.
    2. Earliest time to meet is January.

Kokobobo noted that it would be good to get this on the agenda as soon as possible.


Lequesne noted that he is going to raise this with the Provost at their next meeting.   



Faculty Senate President Report: Rémy Lequesne

  1. See 2021.11.04 University Senate report for updates on items not on this agenda (see below)
  2. Nothing else to add


Resolution to support KU Library negotiations with Elsevier

  1. Lea Curry will be at the Faculty Senate next Thursday
  2. Share this resolution with Senate if approved by FacEx


Motion to send the resolution to Faculty Senate made by Kokobobo, seconded by Syrett

No discussion

Motion approved unanimously



Academic workload policy

  1. After extensive feedback, the policy was revised. 
  2. There is information at the beginning about what Faculty do beyond classroom instruction
  3. The policy summarizes with reporting what we do already in terms of number of courses per faculty member and this is based on (department level) Faculty Evaluation Plans
  4. FRPR committee is reviewing it. SPPT is in favor unanimously



This is a much-improved version. I think it’s important to have the additional teaching responsibilities (keeping as is). This is important for KBOR to be aware of long term.


After much discussion, a motion to approve the Work Place Policy Draft, as present at the meeting today was made by Kokobobo.  Seconded by Brunsell.


Motion approved unanimously.


A motion to forward the Work Place Policy to Faculty Senate was made by Kokobobo. Seconded by Brunsell.

No discussion.


Motion approved unanimously.


Will send out to Faculty Senate prior to meeting.


Amendment to Faculty Code
Lequesne went through the history of why the document was proposed.

After much discussion, it was decided that the amendment should be taken to the Faculty Senate to decide whether to go forward with amendment or to leave it.


Faculty Data at KU

  1. Faculty will gain access to the replacement for Faculty Pro in the next few weeks.
  2. Some questions (from colleagues) about how the data we enter is used, how are we checking that auto populated data is correct, will analytics sell the data, is it used in evaluations and retention decisions?
  3. Other universities have created a committee to develop restrictions for the academic analytics
  4. Would something like this be useful and helpful for KU?



A committee is fine.  It is important to know how this system reflects people accurately varying on disciplines (single author vs group authored articles). I wonder what is the best approach to represent our scholarly achievements depending on our disciplines?



That is how many other people have felt about this at different universities. There is potential for bias amongst disciplines and grant types etc.  



I’m less worried about how that data is being used because there are different department processes for that already. I’m worried about the research part of the budget distribution for departments. Pro didn’t account for all citations e.g., within books.



Data being sold is concerning, we should take an active role in this so that it’s done in the best way. I would volunteer to be on a committee. It can be a powerful tool. Are we using this for annual evaluations?


Lequesne: The earliest would be set up in the Spring. I have been told we are using this for evaluations. I was part of the beta testing for this, it had a lot of bugs, but maybe it has been improved since then.



I agree it is better to be proactive. I recommend John Simmons – he might not have time. 


Lequesne will talk to Chris Brown to see if he can obtain more information. 


Old Business –

Sexual Assault Prevention at KU (Kokobobo)

      1. I have continued to reach out to people, trying to set up meetings to talk about possibilities for trainings.
      2. There is the question of do we have an established protocol for reporting sexual assault?
      3. I have been invited to join the Culture of Respect to see where the conversation is. They are open to having Governance representation there. I’ll report back and maybe ask for volunteers.

Potential Faculty Senate DEI Committee (Kokobobo)

  1. I met with the committee chairs (for staff DEI committee) and went through the work that they do in their committee. Ani shared their standing charges
  2. Whiteness in the Workplace course could be attended by faculty
  3. Both student and staff senates have DEI committees, but faculty don’t.  Having one would allow for collaborate at University Senate



I have been attending sessions called Teaching at a Predominantly White Institution. These sessions have been great. It’s one thing to experience microaggressions from colleagues or in a newsroom, it’s another when it’s coming from students. If we could get this type of work going in our own group, that would be great, and with the students and staff.



Given that the students and the staff are already doing this, it’s important for us too also. We should have clear concrete goals (not just talk).



I also support this. What are the next steps?



I talked about this with Kathy, the paths are to create an Ad-hoc committee or a regular committee. I think it’s important to make it a regular committee. We could run our applicable statements by the committee. It could start the next academic year. I can write the charges and base them on the staff’s charges.



We could bring this up at the January Faculty Senate meeting and ask for volunteers to help. Can we create a standing committee, or do we have to change the rules?


Reed:  I have created a template for how we could amend the rules. I’ll send it to both Kokobobo and Lequesne.


After much decision it was decided that this will be brought up in the January meeting and go from there.


Ad-hoc Committee on Program Discontinuance (Kokobobo)

  1. No new updates since SenEx meeting.
  2. Levy and Kokobobo are going to meet with General Counsel



General Education Package (Syrett) Have not meet yet, no update.

USRR 2.3.3 Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal

Lequesne, Syrett, and Baxter have met several times.  Graduate students are excluded.  Lequesne will reach out to Klusmeier regarding the revisions.  


USRR 2.1.4 Excused Absence Policy

Susan Williams and Emma Scioli are attending the November 30 FacEx Meeting

 The FRPR committee was split on the policy.   


New Business –

Email policy

Most of us want to revise the policy, who wants to volunteer to think about what we would want to change specifically? Maley volunteered.

Velte also volunteered. 


No further discussion.

Meeting adjourned.




Faculty Senate President’s Report to SenEx 2021.11.02


The following is a partial list of ongoing issues, with brief status updates on each

1. Vaccine mandate:

  1. To comply with a federal mandate, the University of Kansas has mandated that all employees be fully vaccinated by 2021.12.08 or receive an approved exemption.
  2. See this page for more info: https://protect.ku.edu/vaccine


2. Academic workload:

  1. A draft academic workload policy draft was discussed at the 2021.10.21 Faculty Senate meeting, and considerable feedback was received. Feedback and suggestions were also solicited and received from Deans, Chairs, FRPR, and SPPT.
  2. A small group of faculty governance leaders met with VP Brown and Associate VP Ng on 2021.10.29 to discuss a revised draft. Work is ongoing. A revised draft will be brought to the Faculty Senate for consideration.


3. Ad-hoc committee: University Senate procedures for program discontinuance

  1. Discussions are underway about how to approach proposing revisions to the policy. Kokobobo will provide an update at the 2021.11.02 SenEx meeting.


4. Ad-hoc committee: FRB procedures for hearing a challenge to dismissal of tenured faculty

  1. The committee has finished revising the policy and will bring a list of substantive changes to FacEx for discussion on 2021.11.09. Pending FacEx support, Ad-hoc Chair Mulligan and Lequesne will engage with the Provost’s Office to negotiate revisions before bringing it to FacEx for a vote.


5. Other policy changes in the pipeline

  1. Hearings on Dismissal of Tenured Faculty: FacEx voted on 2021.10.26 to approve a revised version of the amendment rejected by the Provost. The amendment will be taken to the Faculty Senate on 2021.11.18.
  2. Medical withdrawal policy: A proposal to revise USRR 2.3.3 was received by governance and discussed by SenEx on 2021.10.19. Syrett, Baxter, and Lequesne worked on a revised draft that will be shared with SenEx on 2021.11.02.
  3. Absent policy: A proposal to revise USRR 2.1.1 has been reviewed by AP&P and FRPR. FacEx discussed the amendment on 2021.10.26 and will continue the discussion at a future meeting.
  4. Proposed new Faculty Right Concerning Curriculum: A proposal to add a 17th right to Article III of the Faculty Code was approved by the Faculty Senate on 2020.02.20. The Provost’s Office rejected the amendment. FacEx discussed this on 2021.10.26 and will revisit it at a future meeting.
  5. Proposed amendment to constrain the length of interim/acting appointments for administrators: FacEx discussed the Provost response to the proposed amendment on 2021.10.26 and agreed to not work to revive the effort. There is no clear path to gaining approval.


6. Sexual assault prevention

  1. The AAU announced new principles to prevent sexual harassment: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/10/27/aau-adopts-principles-pr…
  2. Kokobobo is working to understand how KU is going to work to align our work with these principles.



7. Faculty Rights Board

  1. I met with Provost Bichelmeyer and VP Brown on 2021.10.25 to discuss an issue related to resolution of an FRB case that was discussed at the 2021.09.23 Faculty Senate meeting.
  2. I left the meeting with the understanding that the Provost will work with Governance and the FRB chair in future cases to make sure there is a common understanding of the facts involved with a case before overturning an FRB recommendation.


8. Faculty data

  1. The switch this semester from PRO to an Academic Analytics platform has raised wide-ranging questions about the use of faculty data on this campus. How are data collected? How are they verified? Who has access to the data? Are the data used for faculty evaluation and retention decisions? These questions are not limited to Academic Analytics; which other platforms (JayhawkGPS? SLATE? Canvas?) collect data on faculty activities and how are they used?
  2. Preliminary discussions are underway with VP Brown about how to have these important conversations in an informed and constructive way. There need to be guidelines for use of data as well as transparency and accountability.


9. KBOR expectations for program review

  1. Governance leaders will meet with VP Roberts in November to discuss updates.


10. Extra tenure year for faculty incoming in Fall 2020?

  1. No update until the November KBOR meeting.


11. Program discontinuance:

  1. No update until SenEx receives AP&P reports.


12. Financial situation

  1. No update. CFO DeWitt will attend the 2021.11.04 University Senate meeting.


13. KBOR redefinition of a baccalaureate degree (so-called “credit cap” issue)

  1. No update until the November KBOR meeting.


14. KBOR General education policy

  1. No update.


15. DEIB VP Search

  1. No update. We have been told a search will be announced later this semester.


16. CLAS Dean Search

  1. No update. We have been told a search will be announced soon.