Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2024
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Jennifer Roberts, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies
Minutes Recorded By: Suzanne Scales
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Andi Back
  • Becci Akin
  • Ben Chappell
  • Betsy Barnhart
  • Bozenna Pasik-Duncan
  • Brad Osborn
  • Brendan Mattingly
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kristi Neufeld
  • Kristin Villa
  • Kristin Villa
  • Lorin Maletsky
  • Marike Janzen
  • Mat Johnson
  • Mugur Geana
  • Roberta Schwartz
  • Samantha Bishop Simmons
  • Samuel Brody
  • Stacey Vanderhurst
  • Stacey Vanderhurst
  • Tim Hossler
  • Tim Hossler
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Billie Archer
  • Esmeralda Phillips
  • Gina Wyant
  • Gwen Geiger Wolfe
  • Jean Redeker
  • Jennifer Roberts
  • Kim LaFever
  • Maja Holmes
  • Michael Vitevitch
  • S Jonathan Yuen
  • Suzanne McAlister
  • Suzanne Scales

Approval of Previous Minutes

The minutes from Nov. 16 were distributed before the meeting. Hearing no corrections, Victor Gonzalez announced the minutes were approved.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Jennifer Roberts, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies

Jennifer Roberts, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies was the guest speaker. VP Roberts gave a presentation on the requirements and timelines for the Higher Learning Commission. The following comments were made. KU is accredited by Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of the largest regional accreditors. KU Campus and Med Center are viewed as one organization. Accreditation is important because of the need to meet compliance for student financial aid, and it is a KBOR requirement. Most programs require HLC or regional accreditation. It is meant to show stakeholders that we are taking part in continuous improvement. Students are getting the education we said we would give.

VP Roberts discussed the open pathway: Assurance Review in 2019, comprehensive review in 2025, and a required quality initiative between 5 and 9 years. March 3, 2025, is the next onsite comprehensive review. Three reviewers will be onsite and draft a report.

In 2019, KU received some “met with concerns” on assessment practices. KU was asked to do certain things. An interim monitoring report was given in September 2022. HLC does not need to see anything else until their comprehensive review.

Quality Imitative was written to address concerns from the 2019 review. There were three phases: adopting learning goals, developing curricular maps, and revising program review processes. The curricular maps provide pathways for students. A pilot project is being done now to streamline the process. KBOR changed the program review process. KBOR is requesting we provide our own process.

We are preparing for a comprehensive review. Because of the system between KU’s two campuses, we are looking for committee members who are diverse across the two campuses. From this we prepare an “argument” to prove the plans from departments. VP Roberts showed the structure of the reaffirmation.

VP Roberts gave an update on where we are now with a comprehensive review. The committees have collected evidence which is being archived. We will have a mock review and revisions. Everything will be finished about November 2024. VP made comments on the Quality Initiative. We are working on the pilot for academic program review. The graduate degree maps are due February 2024, and the final report is due June 2024. We’ve identified areas we need to improve.  These areas are catalog cleanup, syllabus policy, and credential checks for instructors on file.

Question and Answer (Q&A) Session.

Q.  What were the issues with KBOR that you mentioned?

A.  KBOR was set to revise their academic review policy. They collected data. We advocated that the process be internal. KBOR is required to look at academic portfolios from a data standpoint. R1s will be compared, KU and K State. It will be a 4 year instead of 8-year cycle going forward. Recommendations are due in March to KBOR about certain programs. It is a process that is moving from KBOR. The provost has said these programs are critical and we will improve these.

Q.  Who are the reviewers?

A. There will be a draft review. We will ask someone who is familiar with KBOR and another with medical. The actual one is reviewers by HLC who are trained and do this regularly.

Q. The beginning of the semester we must provide a syllabus. Is there anything else that faculty must do for the review?

A.  Syllabus will go into a repository. The reviewers want to see we are giving students what is needed. Reviewers will select 50 syllabi at random.  Syllabi will not be made public. The syllabi are still confidential.

Q.  Med School and others have their own accreditation. How is this different?

A.  Most must be HLC accredited to qualify for the specialized accreditation. The structures we have created for HLC, we would like to make these available for the programs. It would help them. The accreditations are all different.


Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)

Victor gave an update. SenEx has been meeting with candidates for deans in engineering and music. SenEx will provide some suggestions to the provost. Victor took part in a meeting for Council of Senate Presidents. They discussed guidelines for faculty awards for KBOR. KBOR will recognize two faculty (tenure and tenure track) from each of the six universities. The presidents are expanding on the broad KBOR guidelines. The two faculty members will be selected by July 2024. The survey for the Excused Absence Policy will be delivered to faculty. The AP&P committee provided their input.

Question. What do you want to get from the survey? What are you asking?

Answer. We have been receiving comments from faculty and how this policy affects them in the classroom. We want to know how much they understand the policy and what impact it is having on them.

This is a short quick survey that we hope to gather info and get a response from faculty before they need to get out their syllabi. A larger survey will go later in the spring. Another survey will go to GTAs.

Comment. It would be good to reach out to instructors of large classes. Can something specific go to large course instructors? Consider these for the spring with large classes.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Kristin Villa (University Senate President)

Searches for the deans are finished and feedback will be given. Simon Atkinson, VC of Research, has left. We have an interim VC in research. Kristin reported that last week there was a forum with the CFO. We had about 240 people attend (online and in person). The presentation is available online now. Kristin posted the link in the chat.

New Business

Mat Johnson would like to discuss the negative consequences of the grade replacement policy. It requires that to replace the grade you must take the exact class   This work, except in Honors classes. Honors students may fail a class and do not have the opportunity to retake the class. Can we build in some type of flexibility in the policy? Kristin mentioned the grade replacement policy is in the USRR so it will go through University Senate. It will come back to Faculty Senate. Victor asked if this problem is unique to Honors, or do other departments have issues.

Brendan Mattingly discussed two issues in Professional Studies. One is Core 34 KBOR requirements and prerequisites. This has led to problems. Is this affecting other people? This could go to the academic policies and procedures committee. Kristin asked if she could email Brendan with more questions. The second issue is the elimination of High Flex modalities. Starting fall 2024, you can no longer offer high flex classes. It must be in person or online. Is this something of interest for Faculty Senate to consider?

Q.  Where did you hear this?

A.  This is coming from assistant deans. We can no longer offer an in person and online class at the same time.

Victor said we can investigate this more.

The meeting was adjourned.

Faculty Senate - Nov. 16, 2023

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1 year 7 months
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