FacEx Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2023
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Minutes Recorded By: Suzanne Scales
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Ani Kokobobo
  • Nate Brunsell
  • Justin Blumenstiel
  • Sam Brody
  • Corey Maley
  • Amanda Mollet
  • Kristin Villa

Other Attendees

  • Chris Brown
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Shannon Portillo
  • Kim Warren
  • Suzanne Scales

Approval of Previous Minutes

The first item on the agenda was the approval of the May 7, 2022, minutes. Amanda Mollet made a motion to approve the minutes. Justin Blumenstiel seconded the motion. Motion passed and minutes approved.


Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Nate Brunsell (Faculty Senate President)

Nate Brunsell reported what was completed over the summer.  Shared governance has been the focus.  There was an open forum on shared governance August 30.  Roles and responsibilities and decision-making is being discussed.  This is ongoing.

Ani Kokobobo said resolutions were approved March 3.  They met provost and chancellor in May.  Ani worked with other governance leaders.  Expectations and decision-making processes will be explored.  Timing and having input before and after decisions, instead of shell shock after decision.  We’ve asked the CEO to come to the University Senate this fall, as well as give an open public report to resources and planning committee before he goes to KBOR.  We are asking for a broader disclosure to the institution community and using the Planning and Resource committee for this.  We will share reports as they become available. 

Nate Brunsell said that one of the things happening at KBOR is the review of the workload and academic portfolio.  Workload is like what we did last year with Chris Brown on a teaching load policy.  RPK is supposed to finish report in October when they will start presenting.  The second part is the academic portfolio.  It’s looking at the effectiveness of all the programs in the State.  Example, what’s the market for Biology in the State and look at all the programs.  Look at employment of those that stay in the State with that major.  Once they are done with the data, they will return it to KBOR and the institutions. 

Opened for comments. Leadership at KU has expressed as an RO1 institution, has a range of program that do not fit within the RPK metrics the way that smaller institutions do. KU leadership seems to have expressed this to RFK too. 

Another thing to watch this year is the general education policy.  The use of data and data analytics on campus is another issue.  The use of Academic Analytics and transparency used for evaluations and program review is another issue.  What are the best policies to address this, get feedback if data is wrong or misleading, so we can address it upfront before decisions are made? 

Higher Learning Commission is in full swing.  The emphasis is on assessment.  Governance has been involved with some membership on committees.  One thing that will be problematic is that there is a one university policy so Med School versus Lawrence campus will be problem.  We will need to align both policies.  Ani and Nate will meet with Jen to discuss this.  If there are exclusive policies or they are not in line with one another, that will be a problem.  There may be changes to policy.  HLC is a two-year process.  If policy changes are needed, that will take time. 

A concern is USSR and FSSR because these are the policies that we hold onto over the years.  Only Governance can change these unless the chancellor changes.  If there are areas of conflict, then we will create an ad hoc committee to address these changes, which is preferrable to it being done externally.  It will likely involve several people and committees, but it is important to remain in control of our policies. 

We’ve seen preliminary results from the climate survey of faculty.  It is best to identify generalities and what they say and address any systematic issues.  That should be coming soon.

Will the group who was omitted in the climate survey be able to provide feedback?  We’ve raised the issues and looking into solutions, which seem problematic due to identification.  They are still looking for solutions.  Focus group would not be the best route-as it is too open.  About 100 people were omitted inadvertently.  The challenge is to get feedback without singling out individuals.  Another idea is to get other faculty intermingled with focus groups to diffuse the focus. 

We don’t have a faculty president elect.  That will be on the agenda for the full senate meeting.  That election will be at first meeting.  If you are aware of someone, we would like anyone to come forward to serve.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Ani Kokobobo (University Senate President)

Ani Kokobobo  gave a university update.  We did the resolution, and it is something that captures COVID time.  She would like the outcome of the effort to have some concrete policies memorialized as our efforts are time limited.  She said she is grateful for those before her who think her thoughts and if we have outcomes and come to agreement, where do these live?  She’d like them to live in USSR, as it continues.  We are working on program review.  Program review cycle is eight years, and it would be good to have a four year check in to get feedback and have the chance to make changes.  If that comes through, we can go back to Article 8 in Program Discontinuance and say that programs should have a negative review before they go down discontinuance lane.  We want to provide more constructive feedback to our programs.  Others are working on revisions to Article 8, and she hopes to move that forward.  We have one public program discontinuance this year.  It isn’t contentious as not many students are involved.  AP&P will handle a few others that are not public.   There are less program discontinuances this year.  Last year we had code changes that passed:  compassionate withdrawal language and transfer hours, which will become mute with larger KBOR agreement.  We did the sexual assault accommodations language that also passed.  Two other code changes in the pipeline are religious holidays and final exams and language that would prevent students charged with academic misconduct to bypass the sanction of reduction of course grade to changing to credit/no credit.  That came through the AP&P.  They are now with the chancellor.  There’s a campus master plan around building maintenance.  The university has hired a consultant to work with space optimization.  The employee dependent tuition assistance, we will see some positive change.  It will be shared soon.  We have the DEIB vice provost search coming up.  No decision yet on VP of Strategic Communications.  Ada Emmett was chosen for Ombuds.  We have things coming up with Dean of Libraries Search.  She reported on Core Goals. Core Goal 5 and 6 will be an issue.  Core Goal 4 will be reserved as is.  It’s important we preserve the Core.  Ani attends the APCC which is a provost-level committee for the review of new programs and occasional policies.  Right now, they are talking about process for renewal of graduate certificates.  There are many certificates and not many students.  They have not panned out in enrollment, and they are thinking of ways to retire these and courses too.  The catalog will need to be up to date and active.  Catalog should be reflective of what we do. 

Unfinished Business

Shannon Portillo and Kim Warren were invited guests to discuss the current regulations around transfer hours and proposed changes before the board.  Kim Warren is taking over for Shannon.  Shannon sent a two-page document on Transfer Background.  KU is introducing policy language at KBOR in the fall of 2022 which will do away with the 60-hour cap of transfer hours from a community college.  It will equalize transfer between community colleges and four-year institutions.

A discussion followed.  Does this in anyway impact meeting core requirements, and degrees that have more restrictive requirements, how does that affect these programs?  Shannon said as far as general education, 37-42 hours, this is something that is still being worked out and this shouldn’t affect this.  We have program by program agreements with Edwards.  We suggest students reach out to advisors first and work out requirements.  With some of the professional schools, students may not be able to bring the full amount, but they can bring beyond the 60 hours. 

Shannon said we are looking forward to the vote from the full faculty senate.  The faculty vote is to support this so when it goes forward to KBOR, they can say they have the support of faculty.  There would be certain schools that would have their own requirements.  There was a question if there is a big concern there could be financial repercussions.  The study at JCCC was that academically, this was favorable.  Do you have thoughts on the financial side of this decision? 

If we can fix our retention issues at KU, that would fix all problems.  The retention piece is important.  The bigger policy issue is that less than 25% of students starting at community colleges transfer to a four-year school because transferring is difficult.  There are 50,000 community college students in KC metro.  If we could get more percentage of those starting at community college and don’t transfer, that is helpful.  Allowing more credit hours to transfer, would help with retention and the data supports this.  Kim will be at the meeting on Sept. 15.  The Sen Ex is in favor of moving this forward.

New Business

There have been some conversations regarding faculty rights.  There is a lot of discrepancy between departments on voting rights.  We don’t have a solution at this point.  FRPR could do a study on this and report back to us and see if this is an issue and if we need to create code for this.  We should figure out what is going on and how to best proceed.  A broad guidance could be helpful to departments.  Resolutions are a measure of last resort.  If there is a place to put it in the Code, it could be broad and vague.  A policy could be problematic as there are different cultures in departments. 

We can send to FRPR to gather info.  For those departments where non-tenured faculty have no vote in meetings, they may attend meetings just as service.  It’s a good project to find out what is going on in the departments at KU.  We need to recognize and confront what is going on.  It’s good to get out in front of this.  At least know what the status is.  No other comments.

Amanda Mollet made a motion to move to a closed meeting.  Justin Blumenstiel seconded. Motion passed to move to closed meeting.

FacEx - Sept. 6, 2022

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