Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2023
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer and Kim Edwards (Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Edwards Campus)
Minutes Recorded By: Suzanne Scales
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Ani Kokobobo
  • Nate Brunsell
  • Rafael Acosta
  • Josh Arpin
  • Andi Back
  • Mahasweta Banerjee
  • Justin Blumenstiel
  • Samuel Brody
  • Yvonnes Chen
  • Lea Currie
  • Rana Esfandiary
  • Patricia Gaston
  • Victor Gonzalez
  • Nils Gore
  • Andrea Herstowski
  • Laura Hines
  • Tim Hossler
  • Randy Logan
  • Corey Maley
  • Amanda Mollet
  • Russell Ostermann
  • Anne Patterson
  • Muhammad Hashim Raza
  • Roberta Schwartz
  • Sean Seyer
  • Jeremy Shellhorn
  • Maya Stiller
  • Kristin Villa

Other Attendees

  • Barbara Bichelmeyer
  • Chris Brown
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Emily Conrad
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Kim Warren

Approval of Previous Minutes

Approval of minutes. Amanda Mollet made a motion to approve the minutes from April 21.  Roberta Schwartz seconded the motion.  Minutes approved.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer and Kim Edwards (Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Edwards Campus)

Provost Bichelmeyer

Nate Brunsell welcomed Provost Bichelmeyer and thanked her for joining.  The provost thanked all for their service in the senate.  The provost reported that there were plenty of meetings with governance throughout the summer.  Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is what is most on the provost’s mind.  It is 2.5 years away and the process has changed since we last did this. They are getting ready for the next phase of work on the finances and some of the work with the Regents and the metrics they are developing.   Three years back when the provost was applying for the position, she was talking about technology and fiscal issues that were transforming higher ed. When she started, we almost immediately went remote.  Faculty and students had to shift to meet where we were.  A year ago, we confirmed a $50 million deficit and how we would move forward.  In the retreat we were talking about strategies on where we would go. We talked that we had resolved $25 of the $50.  We will provide a 5% raise.  It looks like we have a large freshmen class and that we turned the ship around.  Our strategic plan is what any research school would have: research, student success and stewardship   We have some unique strategies that are our own.  The continuing work we need to do, student success aspect, is aligned with HLC.  We are bringing students in and helping them achieve.   Regarding the 11th and Mississippi project, the provost suggested to check with Jeff DeWitt about events and conferences.

Ani Kokobobo thanked the provost for shared governance and for the willingness to work together.  Role around student success, faculty development and improving conditions for faculty—improvements for non-tenured track.  The provost mentioned the shortage of student employees and that we don’t pay them enough.  Other comments were made. Three to five years to get above the medium mark in AAU. Help students complete their degrees.  We need to bridge the 20% gap that exist between black/white, first generation, pell/not pell.

Kim Warren

Kim Warren from the Edwards Campus was a guest speaker to talk about the upcoming KBOR policy on credit transfer.  She has been in her role as Associate Dean on Academic Affairs for three weeks.  The role helps people commute out of community colleges.  Kim is looking for an endorsement from the Faculty Senate.   It will help with retention.  We are asking KBOR to change the transfer policy which generally limits 60 hours of transfer credit.  Kim said they’d like to do away with 60-hour limit, but it doesn’t change the degree requirements.

JCCC and Edwards Campus collected data over the last 2 years.  The data shows that the higher transfer of credit resulted in higher retention and higher GPAs.  Those students at community colleges are more likely to be traditionally marginalized.  The pilot program worked well.  They are doing another pilot program with Kansas City College.  The increase will make KU more competitive with Park University and others who have limits of 80-hours of transfer credits.


Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Nate Brunsell (Faculty Senate President)

There aren’t many new updates.  Suzanne Scales is the new executive assistant. The interviews are completed for the administrative associate position and an offer soon to be offered. 

Nate has been at meetings at KBOR last two days, where issues of Emporia State have been discussed.  They are invoking the COVID policy to remove faculty, discontinue programs.  The faculty councils have issued a statement to encourage that all voices are heard—faculty, staff, and students.  They should consult with governance before enacting decisions.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Ani Kokobobo (University Senate President)

There will also be an employee tuition assistance, available for faculty too.  The announcements are forthcoming.  She talked about the colleagues at Emporia.  This was a much- discussed topic at the KBOR meeting, too.  HLC accreditation, they will use policy as evidence.  We’ve met with the administration, and they are including Governance, which will be Ani.  She asked that anyone that is part of the HLC process to keep us in the loop of anything you hear about this.  As our representatives this is part of our shared governance.

Nate said that the entire conversation at KBOR that morning was about Emporia.  When asked, they said they had no intention of reinstating the policy that was enacted at Emporia.

Unfinished Business

KBOR Policy on Credit Transfer Endorsement

Nate Brunsell added that the proposed increase also makes it less burdensome as it will eliminate the need for Memorandums of Understanding.  He expressed that he is in favor and opened the floor for discussion.  Ani Kokobobo also said she is in favor.  There was a question on what the proposed number of transfer credits would be and Kim replied she thought it was 75.

One concern expressed was that in the Professional Schools, there are still so many more classes to take, they may seem elitist.  Though in support of this, a concern is that some students will come in with 75 hours and still have three more years to complete the requirements.  Early advising will be necessary.  Another comment was that in Engineering, they have two courses in sophomore year.  They’d like to get it to a 2 plus 2 program but it might end up a 2 plus 3 program.

A vote was taken by Zoom poll:

Credit transfer

  • I support the proposed credit transfer
  • I don’t support the proposed credit transfer

The vote passed with 20 votes in favor and 1 vote against.

Committee Charges

There was no discussion.   Russell Osterman moved to accept the committee charges.    Ani Kokobobo seconded.  All were in favor, and none opposed.  Motion passed unanimously.

Election of Faculty Senate President-Elect

The next agenda item was to elect a faculty senate president elect.  Nate Brunsell nominated Victor Gonzalez who accepted the nomination.  Victor introduced himself.  He is originally from Columbia and is Director of Anatomy Labs.  He said he is new to the faculty senate and interested in learning and connecting with faculty.  Nate asked for any other nominations.  None were offered.  He asked if there were any objections to Victor Gonzalez, and there were none.  Victor Gonzalez was named faculty senate president elect.

Faculty Senate - Sept. 15, 2022

Member for

11 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on Wed, 02/01/2023 - 10:58