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

  • Becci Akin
  • Brendan Falen
  • Brian Moss
  • DaNae Estabine
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kristin Villa
  • Sam Brody
  • Teri Chambers
  • Trina Weekly
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Charlotte Tritch

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from Oct. 31, 2023. Motion to approve by Kristin Villa. Seconded by Teri Chambers. Motion passed unanimously.

Reports

Student Senate Report

Reporter: DaNae Estabine (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. Freshman elections have been completed. There was a lot of interest, so Student Senate is looking into how to involve students outside of that official capacity.
  2. Turner is still working on getting holiday lights set up on campus, including purchasing and coordinating.
  3. The Coordinator of Staff is working on creating a Student Senate Canvas page to provide all students with resources and updates. They are also working on a move-out donation process. Other schools have these systems.
  4. The Speaker of the Assembly and the Chair of Finance have had conversations with Student Affairs and Recreation Services. We will be moving into the next phase of the Recreation Center over the next fiscal year. This would require a student fee increase.
  5. The last tailgate of the football season is this Saturday.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Teri Chambers (Staff Senate President-Elect)

Staff Senate leadership had to miss the last Provost meeting due to schedule conflicts.

There are a few Staff Senate leadership vacancies that need to be filled.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)
  1. Victor met with the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents last week. They discussed guidelines to select 2 faculty members from each KBOR school, who will be awarded in Fall 2024 in recognition of excellence in teaching, research, and service. The discussion centered around the selection process amidst different types of roles across universities. Their goal is to establish procedures for future awards. The awards are currently limited to tenure and tenure-track faculty.
  2. Victor and Kristin are working on finalizing a faculty survey for the excused absences policy. They have received some feedback and will be meeting with AIRE about how to proceed and send out the survey before the end of the semester.
  3. At the Provost meeting last week, Victor updated the Provost on the status of excused absences policy efforts. They discussed the dean candidates and SenEx submitted their recommendation on the engineering candidates. They also discussed the Gateway District project and the Lawrence Journal World article about the project’s financials. Finally, they discussed proactivity about reducing harm on campus that is related to the Israel-Gaza conflict.
  4. There was some discussion around the excused absences policy.
    1. Josh Arpin presented on the policy in a recent Athletics Committee meeting, of which he is a member. He shared some personal data, including performance of students utilizing excused absences. Josh has had good interactions with students, who are very appreciative. The main challenge has been finding resources for make-up exams. This is particularly challenging for students utilizing the SAC testing center, which adds to the scheduling logistics. Josh has only had two students use the policy twice, and he is only concerned about one of these cases.
    2. Kristin shared that the survey has been reviewed by several folks. She will be meeting with the AP&P Committee on Thursday about their feedback since this is one of their charges. The survey is focused on learning more and assessing understanding.
    3. Victor shared that this Thursday at noon, Ani Kokobobo and Susan Williams will be hosting a lunch-n-learn workshop on the excused absences policy for the Biology Department, which is open to everyone.
    4. Teri added that we should consider the impact on staff, especially with the potential development of an additional testing center.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Kristin Villa (University Senate President)

The last lunch with the Music Dean candidates is tomorrow, after which SenEx can submit their recommendation to the search committee.

The Public Forum with the CFO was last Monday, which was about 2 hours of presentation and Q&A. We heard good updates about continuous improvement, salaries, improvements to Concur, and more. KU may be backing the stadium project, but only to acquire lower interest rates. This is still not guaranteed.

New Business

  1. Calendar Committee recommendation to survey students and faculty regarding final exams.
    1. Charlotte Tritch, co-chair of the Calendar Committee, presented a recommendation to survey students and faculty about the timing and modality of final exams and student workload during the last week of the semester.
    2. Q: Does the committee have any ideas about what could solve this issue, if the data indicates there is a problem?
      1. A: The committee is hesitant to present solutions if we don’t understand the issue yet. One option that has been discussed is expanding the 2-exam/day limit to the entire semester.
    3. Q: It is additionally important for departments to hold instructors accountable. I have heard anecdotes of instructors holding final exams during the last week of classes and breaking the policy.
      1. A: It seems there are a myriad of issues at play: space, workload, policy compliance.
    4. Q: It might be good to ask about other graded assignments during the last week, other than exams and projects. We could also open the survey to historical experiences, not just the past semester.
      1. A: We need to keep the survey very brief since it will be text message-based, but we will incorporate these suggestions.
    5. Q: Is there any way to include a question about instructor adaptability to offer extensions, etc.? Also, are there currently any rules or regulations to limit the weight of a final exam?
      1. A: We will consider it. There is no policy in place to limit the weight of a final exam.
    6. Q: What about the motivation of the instructors? Can the faculty survey ask about motivation in addition to facts?
      1. A: W will be surveying instructors later, as we want to avoid overlap with the excused absences survey.
    7. SenEx does not need to formally vote to move the survey forward, but the body supports the initiative and will continue providing feedback.
  2. Calendar Committee recommendation to incorporate Juneteenth into the summer academic calendar.
    1. Given the recent designation of Juneteenth as a state holiday, Casey Wallace has put together a recommendation to alter the dates of Summer Session 1 to accommodate Juneteenth. This involves shifting the start date from Tuesday to Monday. The Tuesday start date was due to the Session 2 holiday of July 4th.
    2. Comment: It is unclear what the deadline is to get this approved in order for it to be incorporated into Summer 2024. This is more complicated now that USRR Article 1 needs to go through FacEx/Faculty Senate.
    3. Comment: It is important for student and employee holidays to align so that staff do not accrue too much comp time that units then must pay out.
    4. Motion to approve recommendation by Teri Chambers. Seconded by Kristin Villa.
      1. VOTE: 6 in favor. 2 abstain. Motion passed.
      2. The Governance Office will work on getting the official recommendation to Calendar Committee to send to Casey and KBOR.
  3. USRR 9.2.13 Research Integrity Officer
    1. Kristin has recently had a conversation with the Office of Audit, Risk, & Compliance about the variability of policies across the different KU campuses.
    2. At KU, the Research Integrity Officer is the Vice Chancellor for Research. Simon Atkinson has had other assistance with this and the Provost makes the final decision.
    3. AT KUMC, a faculty member is designated as the Research Integrity Officer. A different person makes the final decision.
    4. One possibility is to define a Research Integrity Officer at KU and define the deciding official. This would involve a change to USRR 9.2.5 and 9.2.13. This would be an ongoing process that Kristin will explore, and she hopes to get it finalized before we have a permanent Vice Chancellor for Research.
  4. The University Daily Kansan just posted that Lewis Hall will be closing for next year. Student housing is already impacted. The Master Plan presentations are this Thursday and Friday and are a good opportunity to learn more and then bring questions to the Provost.

 

Move to closed session to discuss Engineering dean and School dean candidates. Motion to approve by Brendan Falen. Seconded by Kristin Villa. Motion passed unanimously.


SenEx - Nov. 14, 2023


Member for

1 year 7 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on