March '24 Updates from University Governance

Dear all,

It’s been a little while since our last update, and now we find ourselves halfway through the spring semester already! The Governance Office has been busy facilitating transitions, both for this year and the next. Faculty Senate has accepted nominations and will be moving on to their election soon, while the Staff Senate ballot opened earlier this week. Student leaders are organizing their platforms and campaigning in anticipation of Student Senate elections.

We also have new University Senate leadership. Josh Arpin from the School of Business was elected as President-Elect on Feb. 1st and has stepped up to lead the senate in the absence of a President. Kevin Barnes, undergraduate student and University Senate Vice President, helped us bridge the gap and presided over several meetings before Josh’s election. The senates and the Governance Office are grateful to them both for taking on these responsibilities—thank you!

Finally, we want to provide a brief update on the status of the community petition that was sent to University Senate. After reviewing community feedback that was received by the Governance Office and further discussion within University Senate on Feb. 29th, the senate decided to return the petition to the Executive Committee (SenEx). Minutes from that meeting will be available online following approval at the next senate meeting.

Opportunities for Involvement

There are several upcoming opportunities for you to participate in shared governance.

Ombuds Survey

Governance is facilitating a survey to gather information on the functioning and benefits of the Ombuds Office. You can read the original announcement to learn more. Even if you have not heard of or used the Ombuds Office, they want to hear from you! The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and closes on April 26th.

Employee Peer Recognition

The Provost’s Office recently announced a method for nominating peers and colleagues for their exceptional work embodying the five IRISE values. The IRISE Charter came directly from work that the Shared Governance Advisory Committee undertook in early 2023. Please take this opportunity to recognize the people around you!

State of the Libraries

Dean Carol Smith will be presenting information about the state of KU Libraries on March 21st, 11 a.m., in Watson Library 3 West. The event will also be streamed online. She visited University Senate last month and has been adamant about wanting to meet with campus constituents and learn directly from their experiences. You can also read the meeting minutes from Dean Smith’s visit to hear about their upcoming strategic plan.

Senate Meetings

We have a series of important speakers lined up for Senate meetings this Spring! Attending Governance meetings is a great opportunity to hear from campus leaders and gain insight into how University Governance functions. See below for the upcoming schedule and meeting information.

University Senate

Thursday, March 28th, 3:15 p.m. – Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer

Join via Zoom:

  • Meeting ID: 978 7161 2506
  • Passcode: 956978

Faculty Senate

Thursday, April 4th, 3:15 p.m. – Jeff Stolz, Director of Mental Health and Wellbeing

Join via Zoom:

  • Meeting ID: 978 1872 2442
  • Passcode: 916411

Staff Senate

Wednesday, April 10th, 12:00 p.m. – Organizational Meeting

Join via Zoom:

  • Meeting ID: 980 4342 1602
  • Passcode: 442266


As always, please contact your senate president or the Governance Office if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

Rock Chalk!

Victor Gonzalez, Faculty Senate President

Chris Wallace, Staff Senate President

Turner Seals, Student Body President

DaNae Estabine, Student Body Vice President

Josh Arpin, University Senate President-Elect