SenEx Meeting Minutes


Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2024
Date:
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:

Attendance

Attending Members

  • Brendan Falen
  • Chris Wallace
  • DaNae Estabine
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kevin Barnes
  • Sam Brody
  • Teri Chambers
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Suzanne Scales
  • Amy Mendenhall
  • Jeff Chasen

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from Jan. 30, 2024. Motion to approve by Chris Wallace. Seconded by Kevin Barnes. Motion passed unanimously.

Reports

Student Senate Report

Reporter: DaNae Estabine (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. KU Student Senate hosted Big 12 on the Hill. There were 75 participants in total. KU representatives had great conversations with both KS and other state legislature members.
  2. Turner Seals and DaNae are now focusing on other platform items, including a move-out donation project. They are meeting with folks from Student Housing and using other Big 12 universities’ programs as models.
  3. DaNae is continuing to work on the Spooner Hall courtyard in collaboration with the Sunrise Movement and the Indigenous Stewardship Club.
  4. Tomorrow, Student Senate will be in Topeka for State Higher Education Day.
  5. The Fee Review Committee meetings were last week. The final fee package will be presented at the Student Councils next week. Assuming it passes, it will be presented to the Students Assembly. Then there will be block-and-line hearings to allocate that funding.
  6. Questions
    1. Josh Arpin is on the Women’s Basketball Advisory Committee. They are working on improving attendance at games. They have gotten concession tickets for specific dates. Josh and DaNae will work together to get these to students.
    2. Victor Gonzalez asked for more information about the status of the Spooner Courtyard project and for an update on recycling.
      1. DaNae has ordered seeds and they will also be utilizing seeds provided by the Sunrise Movement, which will be planted in the spring. They have also started budgeting for other items to replace, such as the benches and a table and lighting.
      2. Turner is forming an advisory board to work on the recycling issue. The goal is to develop a university recycling program, rather than relying on Student Senate. He is meeting with the Provost, Student Affairs, KU Recycling, and the City of Lawrence.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Chris Wallace (Staff Senate President)

The Personnel Affairs Committee is working on the Inclement Weather policy. Mike Rounds, Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety, Facilities and Operations, is retiring at the end of March. Angie Loving will be the Interim VP for Human Resources and Callie Long will be the Interim VP for Operations.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)

Victor is still working with the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents to set guidelines for the KBOR-sponsored faculty award. The final draft will be presented to KBOR tomorrow. Victor will share the guidelines at the next Faculty Senate meeting.

Victor and Suzanne Scales have been working on filling faculty governance vacancies (Faculty Senate, FacEx, standing committees).

Josh asked for more details about how the award nominations will work. Victor shared that the guidelines would provide specificity but also be flexible to work for the variety of KBOR schools. Each university will have individual say over how nominees are selected.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Josh Arpin (University Senate President-Elect)

Josh was elected as University Senate President-Elect and will help the senate transition between years. He has been working with Suzanne to get acquainted with the current issues and initiatives.

Josh is also in the University Senate Athletics Committee, which has been discussing the excused absences policy. There may be some progress being made towards a campus-wide testing center. The Provost and Chancellor have heard instructors’ concerns and are working on developing a resource, hopefully for Fall 2024. The Student Access Center (SAC) Testing Center would also hopefully be able to expand and serve more students, without taking on the burden of accommodating excused absences.

Unfinished Business

Petition for Ethics Requirement Amendment to USRR

Josh presented further discussion of the potential amendment with the goal of getting better clarification of what the concern is and what the proposed policy language should be. Josh has had further meetings about Core 34 and has concerns about the necessity of a separate ethics requirement. There seems to be a bucket that contains predominantly ethics-driven courses, so he wants to clarify: are there ethics courses that used to meet a core goal that are now begin excluded, or is the concern that students will be able to get out of taking any ethics courses? Or is the major goal that we have policy language that prevents KBOR from changing our degree requirements? Josh asked for insight and discussion to improve his understanding before he has further conversations with the authors of the petition.

Victor noted that at the December SenEx meeting, there was discussion of forming an ad hoc group to work on gathering more information, which would include folks from UCCC. Josh has heard concern from the authors and signatories of the petition that the formation of a working group would slow down the process too much. They would like this discussed in the broader University Senate first. Josh’s goal is to get better consensus on what the core concern is and what the desired change is, whether that is before or during the University Senate discussion. The petition author will be invited to the University Senate meeting to provide more perspective and answer questions.

Sam Brody presented an explanation of the concern. Individual schools and departments can still have more specific degree requirements that have to do with ethics, so Josh may be seeing a Business School-specific bucket requirement with ethics courses. However, Core 34 across KU will no longer have these buckets as requirements. Originally, many people thought that Core 34 would align more with the old KU Core structure, but everything that currently fulfills the ethics requirement will be classified as “Arts & Humanities.” There is no requirement to take an ethics-driven course unless a specific school or department incorporates that into their degree requirements. Moreover, it is unclear whether KBOR would allow such degree requirements.

There is a KU webpage (https://kucore.ku.edu/ku-core-34-0) that seems to present the Arts & Humanities Core Goal (6 credits) as a mandatory split between general Arts & Humanities (3 credits) and Ethics & Social Responsibility (3 credits), but Sam clarified that this is not mandatory. UCCC advised that we can only strongly advise this split, not require it. The petition authors are hoping that this exact structure could be enforced through a USRR policy change since it is not a KBOR requirement.

Departments have put in a lot of work over the past five years developing courses to fill core requirements, and now there is concern that these courses will no longer enroll. The new requirements, while providing flexibility for transfer students, may hurt current students by taking away opportunities for double-counting classes.

This information clarified the issue for Josh, and he will contact the petition authors about attending the February University Senate meeting, where the petition will be discussed.

New Business

Public Safety Advisory Board

University Senate received a request to send representation from the body to an advisory board that has been recommended by the Chancellor’s Task Force on Community-Responsive Public Safety. The advisory board would “focus primarily on matters of policy, practice, and patterns of the KU Public Safety Office.” They suggested the University Senate President potentially serving in this role, but others from the Senate could also serve. Josh is willing to potentially serve but is also aware of other time obligations he may have that are still emerging. He is unsure whether the representative can be either a faculty or staff member. The advisory group will also have a Student Senate representative. This will go on the agenda at the next University Senate meeting.

Annual Required Training for Employees

The Governance Office received a complaint about the required annual trainings, with specific concerns about the time commitment, frequency and passing marks, and relevance of trainings to faculty. The complaint requested that Governance address the administration regarding whether these courses are reasonable. Josh asked if anyone has input on these issues. He also asked if students are required to complete trainings. DaNae reported that students are required to do certain trainings, which cover their trainings as student employees. There was consensus that the trainings are reasonable and are valuable as refreshers. The quizzes are not onerous and there does not seem to be widespread concern about this.

Jeff Chasen clarified that the trainings are only facilitated, not required, by HRM. The requirements come from the state of KS. The purpose of the “quizzes” is to identify gaps in knowledge to provide more targeted training, which allows the general trainings to be as short as possible. HRM always accepts feedback about the trainings.


SenEx - Feb. 13, 2024


Member for

1 year 7 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on