Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2023
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Jennifer Roberts (Vice Provost, Academic Affairs & Graduate Studies)
Minutes Recorded By: Suzanne Scales
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Nate Brunsell
  • Ani Kokobobo
  • Mizuki Azuma
  • Andi Back
  • Mahasweta Banerjee
  • Purnaprajna Bangere
  • Justin Blumenstiel
  • Samuel Brody
  • Lea Currie
  • Patricia Gaston
  • Victor Gonzalez
  • Andrea Herstowski
  • Laura Hines
  • Tim Hossler
  • Marike Janzen
  • Randy Logan
  • Corey Maley
  • Russell Ostermann
  • Hashim Raza
  • Roberta Schwartz
  • Sean Seyer
  • Geraldo Sousa
  • Maya Stiller
  • Kristin Villa

Other Attendees

  • Dea Follmer
  • Susie Geiger
  • Julie Hartness
  • Karen Lavendusky
  • Marissa Marshall
  • Caty Movich
  • Amos Olagunju
  • John Rinnert
  • Jennifer Roberts
  • Suzanne Scales
  • John Stobaugh

Approval of Previous Minutes

Roberta Schwartz made a motion to approve the minutes from the Faculty Senate meetings on September 15 and October 20.  Geraldo Sousa seconded the motion. None opposed.  The motion passed and minutes from both meetings were approved.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Jennifer Roberts (Vice Provost, Academic Affairs & Graduate Studies)

Nate Brunsell introduced the guest Vice Provost Jennifer Roberts to give an update on the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) efforts, specifically what is of interest to faculty.  She shared the presentation “HLC requirements for Accreditation”.  There are a few things going on with the process and some things have changed since the last time.  KU is accredited though the Higher Learning Commission, one of six agencies in the US Department of Education.  All KU campuses are seen as one campus through the accreditors.  HLC accredits most of the school is the middle region, including our peers.  Accreditation is important for a couple of reasons.  HLC ensures KU meets federal compliance for students to receive financial aid.  KBOR needs HLC accreditation to award KU degrees.  Many programmatic accreditors require this.  It shows our stakeholders that we are in line with peers and meeting expectations.

We are on the open pathway review, a ten-year process.  We are currently undergoing the comprehensive review.  Our next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is March 3, 2025. The dates for the onsite review are March 3 and 4.  In 2015, we had our last review.  We were accredited without concerns, though we were noted for a few things: lack of integrity statement, salaries, range of activities for undergrads, and coordinated institutional assessment processes.  In 2019, we received a “met with concerns” on assessment practices.  They asked us to create policies and structures to promote, monitor and support program assessments.  They asked us to create accessible repositories.  A report was submitted in September 2022, and they were satisfied with our plans for these things.

The Quality Initiative was based on trying to achieve these goals.  Suggestions from the report include adopt and implement Institutional wide learning goals, develop curricular maps (consistent with recently released Boyer Commission Report), and revise program review processes to achieve a better alignment with assessment pieces.  Starting this year towards 2025, the process has changed.  It involves a larger and more diverse community.  More committee input will be needed.  The Assurance Argument, to prove our case will be limited to 35,000 words and evidence focused.  The reviewers will look at our repository of syllabi and make sure everything is there.

There are some specific criteria we are looking to provide evidence for.  The way it is structured is we have committees:  executive, steering, federal compliance and five criterion.  We’ve tried to staff all committees with governance representatives. We will need to have processes that show we are trying to improve, both academic and research.  This needs to be accessible to all of KU.  It can be behind a single sign on but must be accessible.  The onsite review is March 3-4, 2025, and we will have to stop the committee work in Fall 2024 to do edits and site checks.  It will go into the HLC site system late fall 2024.

Here is what faculty can expect to come their way.  What’s going on now is we are trying to find all the documents.  It is evidence based and we will need to find documents that show that we are continuously trying to improve. 

There are things HLC requires that we have not done.  We need to have a repository of syllabi.  We have groups working on this.  We will need to show a plan to moving towards this.  Another is that we need the highest credentials for all faculty.  We are working on ways to get submissions from faculty in the next six to nine months.  We also are trying to figure out a system for assessment.  Right now, it is decentralized, and we need a more coordinated effort.  Where we can coordinate with KU Med, we need to.  One place is the policies.  As policies are coming in, we need to make sure they are going through the proper policy channels.  We’ll ensure we have public facing information on website and that it is accessible. 

A Q&A session followed.

Question.  If the syllabi and credential for faculty will all be stored in a central location, who will have access to this?  What about privacy and copyright for syllabi stored in central station?

Answer.  In terms of credentials, that will be HR and it will be private. HR will say they verified everyone’s credentials.  Syllabi will be open to academic, staff, and leadership.  Faculty can opt-in if they want to have open syllabi for their classes. 

Question.  Will there be coordination with Edwards Campus?

Answer.  KU Lawrence and Edwards are they same thing.  It’s one campus and Edwards is one location.  The Med Center and Lawrence are different. 

Question.  How far do we have to go back with syllabi?

Answer.  Once we have a plan, we’ll collect from the schools.  We won’t have individuals collecting syllabi. 

Question.  Repository.  Do you envision we upload syllabi of a course with the date changed each time it is offered?  Or is it more of uploading a syllabus without dates, such as a general course offering?

Answer.  It would be for a semester that you teach a course, you would upload it.

Next, Jennifer Roberts continued with her presentation.  She talked about the Quality Initiative.  They hope to give reports in December.  This was requested by 2019 Assurance Argument reviewers and provides a visible framework for assessment.  Six institutional learning goals were developed by predecessor, Holly Storkel.  These are close to KU Core goals and are standard.  She emphasized they should be changed as necessary, as these are not set in stone.  The Core Goals align loosely with the learning goals. 

Another thing we have asked you to do is to see where your individual degree is aligned with learning goals.  More than half of programs covered all six outcomes.  These goals are embedded in the work you are doing.  This year we are asking for people to create curricular maps.  It is meant to think about how students are moving through your program.  We’ll take this information you submit, and we will have a student facing app for students to investigate pathways. 

Academic Program Review, mandated by KBOR, states every program must be reviewed every 8 years.  We are considering a 4-year interim review, created with governance.  A final draft will go to deans and governance.  We’re paused with KBOR as they realign revisions.  We’ll create a faculty review committee to give feedback on the review.

Next, the key personnel and committees was shared.  She shared the accreditation site where all the committees are listed.  Jennifer Roberts will send the slides to Suzanne.

Question.  The HLC expectations are like Engineering review.  Why reinvent the wheel?

Answer.  They need not reinvent.  They can submit what they have. 

Question.  What is the timeline from the department’s perspective?  What will be asked of us?  How much advance notice will be given?

Answer.  The artifact will be aligned with recertification in core-which happens in October every year.   The degree assessment is due in February.  CTE has great resources in terms of syllabi.  In terms of syllabi and credentials, once a plan is finalized, it will roll out.  The deadline is Spring 2025, hopefully months and months of notice will be given.  You can expect October is recertification and February is degree assessment annually.

Question. In terms of assessment, what are peer institutions doing?  What is the level or granularity for assessment?

Answer.  HLC expects participation from the entire campus and evidence of a sustainable cycle of continuous improvement.

Dea Follmer from CTE provided additional comments.  Assessment should be useful for you and your students.  The level of assessment is to have assessments and assignments well mapped to the outcomes. Many institutions need to improve in assessments.

Question. These institution learning goals seem parallel to KU Core goals.  Why are we duplicating efforts?

Answer.  See how the learning is moving across the degree and be transparent to the students.  The learning goals are meant to be higher level. 

Question.  Regarding graduate programs.  From experience, the forms we completed tell a story of how we are doing.

Answer.  If you have rubrics, that is great.  Basic guidelines will be provided, but it’s up to you how specific you want to get.  For assessments for doctoral programs and research-based programs, we’ll be looking at the milestones reached.

Question.  When is the next draft of program assessment?

Answer.  A data packet will be given to you all and the deans, again.  We should move ahead with the metrics we think are important, even though revisions are at KBOR.  It will be January before it gets to the Faculty Senate.


Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Nate Brunsell (Faculty Senate President)
  1. Campus went to all Lawrence Faculty on what Governance has been working on.
  2. COACHE Survey is moving along.  The next meeting is Dec. 1.  Recommendations will come out of the committee work. 
  3. Rpk work is happening at KBOR.  They are continuing their analysis of Faculty Workload and Academic Portfolio Analysis with pushback. Nate shared the KBOR website and forms.
  4. Nate gave an update on the General Research Funds (GRF) report recently submitted by the Faculty Research Committee.  We control the allocation of these funds, which is now apparent, and previously thought to be controlled by Office of Research.  The allocation has not changed since the mid-90’s.  The Research Committee chair made a presentation to FacEx.  The co-chairs and VCR Simon Atkinson will be present in December Faculty Senate Meeting to discuss.  We’ll pass out the report.  The plan is to have the committee revise and then present to FacEx and the move to Faculty Senate for a vote. We will promote the meeting and hope to get input from the broader community.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Ani Kokobobo (University Senate President)
  1. A message was sent on Nov. 17 to faculty, staff, and students on ongoing activities in Governance. 
  2. We had our first meeting of shared governance.  We are on Phase I.  We will use the Groves Visioning Process to create a vision statement.  We would like to articulate what we would like to be.  We want input from the campus community and not just the committee writing a statement.  The advisory committee will take input and send it out again—there will be a continuous feedback loop.
  3. The Excused Absences goes back to the University Senate with revisions. 
  4. The Academic Policies and Procedures Committee will consider revisions to the Academic Forgiveness Policy. 

New Business

Nate made a request for the senators to raise awareness of the upcoming Senate meetings that faculty will be interested in.

Faculty Senate - Nov. 17, 2022

Member for

11 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on Wed, 02/01/2023 - 11:06