Faculty Senate Minutes October 21, 2021

Faculty Senate, October 21, 3:15 P.m.
Approved: November 18, 2021


University Senate President, Hossein Saiedian, Faculty Senate President, Remy Lequesne, Mizuki Azuma, Mahasweta Banerjee, Justin Blumenstiel, John Brickemyer, Nathaniel Brunsell, Chris Crandall, Lea Currie, Dan Dixon, Randall Fuller, Patricia Gaston, Nils Gore, Jeffrey Hall, Andrea Herstowski, John Hoopes, Tim Hossler, Allard Jongman, Barbara Kerr, Ani Kokobobo, Corey Maley, Margaret Marco, Amanda Mollet, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, John Poggio, Jeremy Shellhorn, Geraldo Sousa, Maya Stiller, Nicholas Syrett, Charlotte Tritch, Kyle Velte, Kristin Villa

Chris Brown, Jennifer Roberts, Alyssa Wingo


Approval of Minutes from September 23, 2021


Standing Report:

Faculty Senate President Remy Lequesne (see the end of minutes.)  Lequesne also added that SenEx members met with the KBOR earlier.  Several KBOR members gave the impression that they see it as their responsibility to advocate for higher education.  KBOR members noted that it is hard to relate what teaching is to the State Legislators. As faculty members, it is important that we continue to show our value in our research.


Standing Report
University Senate President (see the end of minutes.) 


Academic Workload Policy:

Lequesne added that numerous groups were working on a policy. 


The Senate discussed various concerns with the draft.  Lequesne requested that any further comments be sent to him.


Unfinished Business


New Business

Meeting adjourned.


Faculty Senate President’s Report to Faculty Senate 2021.10.21

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

  1. Program discontinuance:

    1. AP&P program discontinuance hearings concluded on 2021.10.14. SenEx will receive their recommendations and forward to the University Senate for a vote in early December.
    2. Several of the proposed discontinuances appeared uncontroversial at the hearings.
    3. Several of the proposed discontinuances were forcefully challenged by faculty/staff/students/alumni.
    4. AP&P has asked anyone with ties to the committee and affected units to recuse themselves (i.e. not attend) the deliberations related to their units.
    5. AP&P plans to not accept new information after the hearings (the policy on program discontinuance is silent on whether new information can be exchanged after the hearings). If new information is received, it will be shared with all interested parties to allow for review and comment.
  2. Financial situation
    1. Governance leaders met with CFO DeWitt on 2021.10.12 to discuss the need to invest in KU’s human capital – faculty, staff, and students.

      1. I left the meeting with the belief that CFO DeWitt has a good understanding of the low faculty/staff salaries and the impacts of low salaries on morale, retention, and recruitment. He also seemed to understand the seriousness of staffing shortages across campus and the impacts those shortages have on KU’s ability to grow.
      2. The CFO’s strategy for approaching KBOR and legislators is to be clear about our funding needs and to do the work needed to provide substantive justification and documentation of those needs.
      3. The CFO’s office also clearly prioritizes long-term planning/forecasting of budgets
    2. CFO DeWitt will be a guest at the 2021.11.04 University Senate meeting.
  3. KBOR redefinition of a baccalaureate degree (so-called “credit cap” issue)
    1. Governance leaders met with VP Roberts on 2021.10.05 to discuss KU’s plan. VP Roberts expressed openness to allowing KU-Lawrence units to accept up to 75 credits, but also acknowledged this will not be possible or appropriate in many programs. VP Roberts expressed an appreciation for the need to communicate with advisors at community colleges to ensure students are informed that not all degree programs will accept 75 credits.
    2. If/when KBOR passes this amendment, we will bring a proposal to modify FSRR 2.5.4 to SenEx for consideration
    3. Background:
      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. 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.
      3. Some related policies:
        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)
  4. KBOR General education policy
    1. Nick Syrett represents Governance on KU’s university-level working group. Syrett’s impression is that the working group is composed of appropriate campus stakeholders and that they are working to implement this thoughtfully. Next steps are not, however, clear.
    2. Background:
      1. KBOR aims to approve a plan for General Education credits that would allow courses meeting certain requirements to transfer freely among Kansas institutions.
      2. KU is represented by Provost Bichelmeyer on the statewide KBOR General Education Working Group
  5. Academic workload:
    1. The current academic workload policy draft will be discussed at the 2021.10.21 Faculty Senate meeting.
    2. Feedback from faculty and administrators is being collected and the draft will be revised. I will ask that the Faculty Senate vote on the final draft in the coming months.
    3. Background:
      1. KBOR is expected to require that KU adopt an instructional workload policy for T/TT faculty
      2. KU aims to preempt KBOR’s charge and has drafted an instructional workload policy in terms of university-wide averages for organized sections and SCH per T/TT faculty member.
      3. Kyle and I have worked with VP Brown and the chairs of FRPR and SPPT on the draft.
  6. Ad-hoc committee: FRB procedures for hearing a challenge to dismissal of tenured faculty
    1. Ad-hoc committee has met to discuss KU General Counsel’s markup of the current policy. The revised policy draft contains numerous editorial changes that are (in my opinion) largely an improvement as well as several substantive procedural changes.
    2. The ad-hoc committee will provide recommendations to FacEx addressing the merits of each of the substantive changes and proposed revisions to the latest policy draft. The Ad- hoc committee and FacEx aim to work with General Counsel to find consensus before bringing a draft to the Faculty Senate.
  7. Ad-hoc committee: University Senate procedures for program discontinuance
    1. Ad-hoc committee has met and is watching the ongoing program discontinuance proceedings. Several members of the ad-hoc and AP&P have noted areas for improvement of the current procedures. The Provost’s Office has also shared a markup with governance.
    2. The ad-hoc committee will report to the University Senate on whether the procedures were adhered to, observed issues with the process, and, possibly, recommended revisions to the procedures.
  8. Other policy changes in the pipeline
    1. Absent policy: A proposal to revise USRR 2.1.1 has been reviewed by AP&P and is being considered by FacEx/FRPR.
    2. Medical withdrawal policy: A proposal to revise USRR 2.3.3 has been received by SenEx and is being reviewed.
    3. Hearings on Dismissal of Tenured Faculty: A proposal to add a Section 7.5 to the FSRR document that states T/TT faculty may only be removed for cause (this language already exists in the Faculty Handbook) was approved by the Faculty Senate on 2020.04.23. The Provost rejected the amendment but would approve it if governance agrees to a proposed edit. FacEx will consider next steps.
    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, and some effort will be required to satisfy the Provost’s stated concerns. FRPR is considering next steps
    5. Proposed amendment to constrain the length of interim/acting appointments for administrators: A proposal to amend FSRR 7.3 Article III to limit the length of interim appointments was approved by the Faculty Senate on 2020.02.06. The Provost’s Office rejected the amendment. I believe it’s impossible to move forward with this amendment based on the rationale for rejection, but it will be discussed with FacEx.
  9. KBOR expectations for program review
    1. There are at least three types of review that a program can undergo: regular program review on a standard 8-year cycle, review for accreditation (if applicable), and other KBOR-imposed reviews like an under-enrollment inquiry.
    2. Governance leaders met with VP Roberts on 2021.10.05 and discussed program reviews. We learned there is no indication that KBOR will initiate an under-enrollment inquiry or other impromptu review this year. There are discussions between KBOR and Regents’ institutions regarding interim reviews so KBOR and University leaders have a better measure of program performance throughout the 8-year cycle.
    3. KU is considering how to implement interim reviews so they are useful, can spread the work of the 8-year review over several years, and do not create much extra work at the unit level. This work is ongoing.
  10. 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 one-year extensions available to tenure-track faculty. This change requires KBOR approval.
    2. This issue will be brought to KBOR this fall.
  11. Faculty Rights Board
    1. There is no update on the FRB issue discussed at the 2021.09.23 Faculty Senate meeting. I plan to meet with Provost Bichelmeyer to discuss the issue.
  12. DEIB VP Search
    1. We have been told a search will be announced later this semester.
  13. CLAS Dean Search
    1. We have been told a search will be announced soon.
  14. Sexual assault prevention
    1. No update on KU’s plans.


University Senate President, Hossein Saidian:

October 12, 2021 meeting

              A meeting was held on October 12, 2021, with Ada Emmett to discuss the annual review of the University Ombud's Office. Some of the shortcomings and challenges that were discussed were as follows: lack of visibility, short on staff, long-term use of acting and/or interim of essential position, and lack of data on participation diversity. The Ombud's Office is a definitely campus resource for students, staff, and faculty. Those who have used the Office have positive reviews.


October 12, 2021 meeting

              The senate leaders met with CFO Jeff Dewitt on October 12, 2021. Topics like compensation and inequities compared with the peer institutions, low morale, and retention concerns were discussed. CFO Dewitt promised efforts to make KU more competitive.


October 15, 2021 meeting

              The SenEx met to discuss the upcoming meeting with the KBOR on Thursday,


October 18, 2021

Per email communications with Dr. D.A. Graham, Interim Vice Provost for DEIB, KU is planning to roll out a DEIB mandatory training program early in November. This training is through My talent.