Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2024
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer
Minutes Recorded By: Suzanne Scales
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Amanda Mollet
  • Andi Back
  • Anne Patterson
  • Barbara Bichelmeyer
  • Becci Akin
  • Ben Chappell
  • Betsy Barnhart
  • Brad Osborn
  • Brendan Mattingly
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kristi Neufeld
  • Kristin Villa
  • Lorin Maletsky
  • Margaret Marco
  • Marike Janzen
  • Matt Jacobson
  • Mugur Geana
  • Muhammad Hashim Raza
  • Roberta Schwartz
  • Sam Brody
  • Stacey Vanderhurst
  • Tim Hossler
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Amy Mendenhall
  • Brian Moss
  • Bryan Mann
  • Doug Ward
  • Jamene Brooks-Kieffer
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Jennifer Ng
  • Jennifer Roberts
  • Jin Feng
  • Joni Bisco
  • Julia Henson Radley
  • Kelcy Darr
  • Logan Miner
  • Michael Peper
  • Michael Vitevitch
  • Nate Brunsell
  • Roberta Pokphanh
  • Sheri Phillips
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Teresa Reiter
  • William Collins
  • Yunfeng Jiang
  • Zachary Foste

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from April 20, 2023. Motion to approve by Kristin Villa. Seconded by Roberta Schwartz. Motion passed unanimously.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer

Victor Gonzalez, Faculty Senate President, was the presiding officer. Victor announced the Open Access Policy will be discussed at the Oct. 12 meeting.

Victor introduced Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, the guest speaker.

The Provost welcomed everyone back and thanked them for their support of students. Provost Bichelmeyer discussed the Provost’s Annual Retreat with Deans and Vice Provosts. Governance Leaders attended this year, as well. Though not official yet, KU has the largest first-year class this year. KU has different entry requirements and improved financial aid. KU is competitive with other institutions. This enrollment positions us well for the enrollment decline expected in the future.

The Provost gave updates. At the Provost Retreat we updated on Jayhawks Rising. Over the last year, we accomplished some things. One is mental health and wellness support for faculty and staff. We have improved retention and recruitment rates. We have made investments in research enterprises. Beyond wages, we are supporting quality of life. We will improve our value for students. Research infused into the classroom gives students a learning experience. Students get cognitive skills, which we talk about as part of the learning goals and outcomes we provide to HLC. As a research institution, it is a different value proposition. We will talk more about how research influences classroom learning. This is how KU is different and how we will be talking about ourselves to KBOR and others.

We made progress on two initiatives. We are verifying data for the salaries to know the market ranges for the mean, 25% and 75%. We’ll see how much money it will take to get us where we need to be.  It will be tens of millions of dollars. The adjustments will be based on titles and years of service. We built the data infrastructure to do this. There will be market adjustments and a look at merit pay. The group leading this charge hopes to present the findings Oct. 15. Donna Ginther, economist at KU, and Jeff Dewitt, CFO are working on the initiative. What they are doing goes beyond COACHE, to get us to where we are competitive. The cost-of-living adjustment was 2.5%. All other state agencies received 5%. KUs State appropriations are about 17%. With the growth in enrollment, we should be able to put some dollars back into people.

Another thing is an improvement in HR. We are creating HR centers of excellence. Departments will have dedicated people in units. There will be special support in all areas of HR. This complements the work in Faculty Affairs.

Vice Provost Amy Mendenall, Faculty Affairs, gave a brief update of the office. Faculty Affairs is clarifying the areas of responsibility of the office: faculty advancement and support (examples are hiring, tenure, sabbatical), faculty relations and policy (such as policy development with other offices and governance and policy review and interpretation), and faculty development and growth. Amy reported that Faculty Affairs is working with an advisory group to identify the needs of faculty throughout their career. They are looking across units and identifying areas they are doing well and areas where they can improve.

Vice Provost Jennifer Roberts, Graduate Affairs, made comments. KU is aligning the Core to Gen Ed. We are working with KBOR to align and preserve the CORE. Last year Core Goal 6 was changed to be a capstone. KBOR mandated that we have 100 to 300 level classes in Core. KBOR has said that professional schools will not have Core. The number of courses in Core will decline. There will be refinement of the Core outcome. There will be a change in the number of courses and how they align. We do not have an approved list from KBOR.

Question and Answer Session (Q&A)

Q.  Will any core classes be above 200?

A.  None will be above 300.

Q. The numbers include online courses?

A. Gen Ed is the content, not the format. We do need to figure out how to offer Gen Ed online. We need to serve students in different formats.

Q. We are including research and globalization in the classes. Will these also be included in online education?

A.  It is ongoing. We have a rich group of international areas and centers. We are working with Megan Greene who is doing internationalization for mainly STEM courses.

Q.  About the Docking Report. In addition to salary, what other common issues do faculty and staff have?

A.  First, KU does continuous improvement. The biggest complaint about our surveys is that we get results but do not make the changes. Jayhawks Rising is the framework where we agree on our priorities. This year we are creating a reporting structure for our surveys, so we are ensuring continuous improvement. COACHE is every three years. KU participates in Chronicles Great Places to Work. This measures a healthy workplace environment,

We have one group each year and cycle through the three. We are putting together an administrative group that will have governance representation. We will review the recommendations three times a year and have a meeting. We will report the outcomes on the website. We are creating the infrastructure that keeps things moving. We are working with the new Wellness Director. We will report what we need to do to improve faculty and staff mental wellness. We all want to improve the culture. What does this look like behaviorally? Prov. Gave acknowledgement to the work of Ani Kokobobo, Nicole Hodges Persely and Mike Rounds for their work last year on Shared Governance. They had open sessions and created a report that came from that. Kristin Villa will collaborate with the provost’s chief of staff to document how we want to be in relationship to each other.


Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)

Victor reported that he and Kristin attended the Provost’s annual retreat. Governance leaders had the first of the regular meetings with the Provost. Governance leaders met with Amy Mendenhall, Faculty Affairs. Victor is following up with the commitments made in the retreat. Victor met with the Council for Faculty Senate Presidents, the presidents from senate president from universities across the state. We are getting an agenda and understanding of our roles.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Kristin Villa (University Senate President)

We plan to meet with the Chancellor in the upcoming weeks.  Kristin thanked those serving as University Senators this year. The representation among senates was made more equitable with the reorganization. The Docking Survey presentation is next week. They will present the recommendations from the survey. Kristin put a link to the charter the provost put on the website about the Shared Governance work last year. The new Excused Absence Policy that went into effect has issues. Jen and Tammara Durham are available to answer questions. Any issues of governance, please contact Victor or Kristin.

Unfinished Business


New Business

Victor asked for questions and comments on the distributed Faculty Senate standing charges. No comments. Becci Akin made a motion to approve all the standing charges for the Faculty Senate Committees. Roberta Schwartz seconded the motion. Motion approved.

Victor announced we have a vacancy for FacEx. He asked for nominations. Kristin nominated Betsy Barnhart. Betsy declined due to other obligations. Victor requested all to send nominations later.

Meeting adjourned.

Faculty Senate - Sept. 14, 2023

Member for

1 year 7 months
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