FacEx Minutes October 5, 2021

Faculty Senate Executive Committee – FacEx

October 5, 2021

Approved: October 26, 2021

Remy Lequesne, Nate Brunsell, Patricia Gaston, Hossein Saiedian, Kyle Velte (she/her), Ani Kokobobo, Hossein Saiedian

Alyssa Wingo, Chris Brown

Governance Office:
Kathy Reed


Approval of September 21, 2021, Minutes


University Senate President Report: Hossein Saiedian

KBOR will be meeting with SenEx on October 21, at 9:15.  There needs to be a discussion regarding the questions, what order. Faculty, Staff, and Students will all be asking questions. 


Faculty Senate President Report: Rémy Lequesne

              See the report at the end of the minutes. 


FacEx went to a closed meeting to discuss a FacEx Petition.

Move to open meeting


Academic Workload Policy Draft

Lequesne updated members on why KU was working on an Academic Workload Policy.  The KBOR discussed publicly on multiple occasions wanting universities to have a university-wide standard for tenure and tenure track-faculty teaching loads.  Lequesne did ask the KBOR questions about the policy.  He asked if the KBOR would be ok with saying that units shall have individual policies.  The KBOR was not receptive to the idea.  They want a clear statement and expectations that are university-wide.   The KBOR would like to point to a policy when state legislators ask, "what do faculty do with their time?" 


Question: In what way do we believe that this policy would change our day-to-day operations?



It is necessary to understand these requests come from the KBOR and are of interest to the Board. I hope this policy would give them a sense of what we do teaching-wise, even with a university average. 

When I looked back at what the KBOR has asked for in the past, it was a complete spreadsheet with;

  • Each faculty member
  • What they taught
  • How many students they taught
  • what their salary was. 

This policy needs to get us past that type of data.



I envision a scenario where we are not meeting the average or falling below or above the level.  It could create discontent and problems.  Is there a way to spell out that this is an average for the whole, but we anticipate X, Y, and Z areas falling above and below?


Brown: When we discussed averages.   Most departments will be concerned if they fall below the average.  The average is over three years and is reassessed. So there will be an ongoing conversation about it and not just something that's fixed forever.


Lequesne: The earlier drafts of the policy were more explicit about being an expectation for faculty or at least units. We intentionally moved away from that with the expectation that some units will have lower student credit hours or lower section loads, and others will be higher. The intention here is for units to be able to set their averages.  It is part of the faculty evaluation plan (bottom row), and faculty evaluation plans have to be approved by the faculty in the unit.


FacEx continued to discuss the workload policy.  Members were encouraged to share it with their colleagues and gather their comments and forward them to Lequesne. 


KBOR redefinition of a baccalaureate degree (so-called "credit cap" issue):


a. KBOR will vote this fall on a policy change that would allow Kansas universities to elect to

accept as many as 75 credits from community colleges.

b. Governance leaders are meeting with VP Roberts soon to discuss KU's plan for this.

c. Currently, the KU Edwards campus accepts up to 75 credits from JCCC. Otherwise, the

number of credits a student may transfer to KU from a community college is capped at 64

by FSRR 2.5.4.

d. Other relevant policies include:

     i. A KU Baccalaureate degree requires 30 credits from KU.


     ii. A KU Baccalaureate degree requires 45 credits of "upper-level" courses:


     iii. All community college credits transfer to KU as "lower-level" courses (per KBOR

         and HLC policy)


Question: Is changing the FSRR something that FacEx would like to consider? 

Reply: Students must understand that they might not meet the degree requirements just because they're transferring in many credits. Also, students need to know that credits won't transfer in at the upper level. 

Lequesne will draft language from the FSRR to review.


KBOR General Education Policy Update (Nick Syrett)

Syrett attended the working group meeting. It was noted that the change is going to take place,  with the idea that it will take effect next fall. The working group seems to have all the right people involved, there are people from the provost office, core committee, and others, and they're thinking about how this will impact KU and trying to implement it reasonably.


Ad-hoc Committee Updates

  1. Program Discontinuance (Ani Kokobobo)                                                   

    1. The committee has met, and some members are trying to attend hearings.  Currently, the committee is in a fact-finding mode, looking at metrics, how decisions are made, has the policy been implemented correctly. 
  2. FRB Procedures Related to Tenured Faculty Dismissals (Rémy Lequesne)
    1. The committee has met once and reviewed the current policy and a document from General Counsel with changes. There were substantial changes made, and the committee is reviewing them.  The committee wants to improve the formatting and flow of the process. 


Old Business –


New Business –

  1. Discuss Format for Presidents Reports

    1. A request was made the Senate Presidents submit witting reports before the senate meetings. 
    2. Senates need to review the procedures of debate. 
  2. Faculty Senate DEIB Committee
    1. A suggestion was made that Faculty Senate should have a DEIB Committee.  A discussion took place, and the following questions were asked:
    2. What would the charges be? 
    3. Could we start with an Ad-Hoc Committee?
    4. Or could we try to modify the rules to have a new faculty senate committee now?   
    5. Would the work be looking inward, as to what Faculty Senate could do, or working outward? 
    6. Possibility work with the Staff Senate, Student Senate, and the VP of DEIB.

A consensus was to gather more information about what the work/tasks of the committee would be, what gaps this committee would be filing, and present the information to the Faculty Senate.  Kokobobo will gather information and submit it to FacEx. In addition, Kokobobo will talk to the Staff and Student Senates about their DEI committees.

  1. Climate survey:

    1. Staff is participating in a KBOR regents Climate survey.  Is this something faculty would also like to do?   


After much discussion, the members did not take action on this. 


Meeting adjourned.


Faculty Senate President's Report to FacEx 2021.10.05

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

  1. Sexual assault prevention

    1. We've heard from Provost Bichelmeyer and VC Dave Cook that KU. leaders are meeting with leaders of the student protests that occurred a couple weeks ago.
    2. We are also advocating that campus leaders reach out to experts on this campus to think about what KU can do to improve our assault prevention strategies. Let's look at what we, as a community do well (like SAPAC), and where we can improve.
    3. University, Staff, and Faculty Senate leaders met with the Chancellor, Provost, and other campus leaders two weeks ago to discuss campus communications related to the reported sexual assaults and racist acts on our campus this month.
  2. Program discontinuance:
    1. AP&P program discontinuance hearings have started and will continue until mid-October (https://governance.ku.edu/ActivePrograms). SenEx will receive their recommendations and forward to the University Senate for a vote in early December.
    2. I have been cc'd on numerous statements addressing the proposed discontinuance of the Visual Arts Education program. Kathy Reed has been uploading all received statements here: https://governance.ku.edu/visual-arts-education-submitted-statements
    3. Ad-hoc committee is observing the process and noting potential improvements to the procedures for University Senate to consider.
  3. Financial situation
    1. I have heard little about KU's financial situation since the Provost Office's email in July. Last Thursday's KU. Today headline said 1st year student enrollment is near pre-pandemic levels.
    2. Governance leaders will meet with CFO DeWitt in October to discuss the need to invest in KU's human capital – faculty, staff, and students. CFO DeWitt will also be a guest at the November 4 University Senate meeting.
  4. KBOR redefinition of a baccalaureate degree (so-called "credit cap" issue)
    1. KBOR will vote this fall on a policy change that would allow Kansas universities to elect to accept as many as 75 credits from community colleges.
    2. Governance leaders are meeting with VP Roberts soon to discuss KU's plan for this.
    3. Currently, the KU Edwards campus accepts up to 75 credits from JCCC. Otherwise, the number of credits a student may transfer to KU from a community college is capped at 64 by FSRR 2.5.4.
    4. Other relevant policies include:
      1. A KU Baccalaureate degree requires 30 credits from KU. (https://policy.ku.edu/governance/FSRR#art4sect5)
      2. A KU Baccalaureate degree requires 45 credits of "upper-level" courses: https://policy.ku.edu/governance/USRR#art3sect1
      3. All community college credits transfer to KU as "lower-level" courses (per KBOR and HLC policy)
  5. KBOR General education policy
    1. KBOR aims to approve a plan for General Education credits that would allow courses meeting certain GE requirements to transfer freely among Kansas institutions.
    2. KU is represented by Provost Bichelmeyer on the KBOR General Education Working Group.
    3. Nick Syrett represents Governance on KU's university-level working group. We hope to have more information to share soon.
  6. Academic workload:
    1. KU is drafting an academic workload policy that would define expectations for university- wide average teaching loads for faculty. The aim is to produce a policy before KBOR charges KU with developing one.
    2. I continue to work with Chris Brown and the chairs of FRPR and SPPT on the draft. We aim to bring the draft to our respective committees as well as deans and chairs in the coming weeks, with an eventual vote at the Faculty Senate.
  7. FRB procedures for hearing a challenge to dismissal of tenured faculty
    1. Ad-hoc committee met this week to review KU. General Counsel's markup of the current policy. The revised policy contains numerous editorial changes that are (in my opinion) largely an improvement as well as several substantive procedural changes. The substantive changes have been identified and the ad-hoc committee will provide recommendations to FacEx addressing the merits of each of the substantive changes. If it appears the proposed revisions are, overall, worth pursuing, I aim to work with the Ad-hoc committee, FacEx, and General Counsel to find consensus before bringing a draft to the Faculty Senate.
  8. KBOR expectations for program review
    1. KBOR has expressed a desire to understand how universities conduct program reviews.
    2. We are meeting with VP Roberts soon to understand what that might mean for KU.
  9. Extra tenure year for faculty incoming in Fall 2020?
    1. Provost Bichelmeyer and VP Brown support allowing an automatic one-year extension of the tenure clock for faculty who started in Fall 2020 that is in addition to the two optional years available to all tenure-track faculty. This change requires KBOR approval.
    2. This issue will be brought to KBOR this fall.
  10. Faculty Rights Board
    1. There is no update on the FRB issue discussed at the 2021.09.23 Faculty Senate meeting.
  11. CLAS Dean Search
    1. We have no update.