SenEx Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2023
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Betsy Barnhart
  • Justin Blumenstiel
  • Samuel Brody
  • Nate Brunsell
  • Teri Chambers
  • Jessica Chilcoat
  • Alessia Garcia
  • Ani Kokobobo
  • Corey Maley
  • Kristin Villa
  • Chris Wallace

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from November 1, 2022. Motion by Chris Wallace. Seconded by Teri Chambers. Motion passed unanimously.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: Alessia Garcia (Student Senate Vice-President)

Alessia will report at next University Senate meeting.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Jessica Chilcoat (Staff Senate President)
  1. Staff Senate is finishing up the new website, which is almost approved.
  2. Chris and Jessica will be meeting with the Chancellor and Provost the week after Thanksgiving.
  3. Staff Survey out for public viewing and will be presented at KBOR in December and at University Senate in January. The DEI staff committee met today and discussed. They are looking forward to making recommendations.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Nate Brunsell (Faculty Senate President)

The COACHE group is moving forward and scheduling meetings.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Ani Kokobobo (University Senate President)
  1. Shared Governance
    1. Ani has been meeting with Mike Rounds and Nicole Hodges-Persley. She gave a presentation to the All Teams (vice provosts and deans at KU), at which she provided a functional definition of shared governance. Phase 1 consists of articulating values around a vision statement. Because it could be a tense/difficult process, utilizing the Grove visioning process will be valuable. The kick-off for this is in January, which we are still organizing.
    2. Ani shared with the advisory group a chart that shows decision-making areas and gives a more tangible idea of what shared governance can be, but it is very faculty focused. This will be in Phase 2.
    3. Phase 3 consists of decision-making processes, involvement, communications, etc.
    4. Phase 4 consists of strategic planning and finance.
    5. How do we memorialize this? Should it be a charter in the policy library? Should it be disseminated in other forums?
    6. The central goal is to maintain an ongoing feedback loop around the various work products so that everyone feels involved.
  2. COACHE group
    1. The group is working on establishing an engagement plan before diving into gathering recommendations. The plan will operate at both campus-level and with different constituent groups. The plan is to have these conversations in January and February and gather recommendations in March.
    2. Ani asked if there could perhaps be a parallel process for the staff survey.
  3. Ongoing policy
    1. The Ombuds language updates have been sent to the Provost and the Chancellor. We are still waiting to hear back about the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Certificate program discontinuance. SenEx will look at the excused absences policy today, and AP&P committee is currently working on the academic forgiveness policy.

Unfinished Business

Excused Absences

  1. Recent edits
    1. Added professional association or conference participation at suggestion of Graduate Student Body President
    2. Added mental health emergency
    3. Clarified who at Student Affairs Office should be engaged (Student Support and Case Management Office)
  2. Discussion
    1. Justin: Is there a mechanism for verifying absences?
    2. Ani: Policy provides a list of circumstances, for which there is usually some sort of documentation. Student Support office is there if student doesn’t want to directly provide details to instructor.
    3. Justin: What about when documentation is impossible due to time constraints, accessibility, etc.?
    4. Ani: Not sure there is a clear mechanism, but the policy’s intent is setting down circumstances that qualify for an excused absence.
    5. Justin: Conclude that the mechanism of verification will still be at discretion of instructor.
    6. Kristin: This now becomes a question of equity. Faculty members will handle such things very differently. Is Student Affairs the ultimate arbitrator?
    7. Ani: The status quo is that faculty treat students differently, so this is a step forward in terms of providing more equity.
    8. Kristin: Is there any ultimate decider?
    9. Ani: It is the faculty member. We can only provide guidance, and faculty will have to utilize some level of judgment.
    10. Alessia: Will students bypass instructors and go straight to Student Support Office? Is this shifting responsibility?
    11. Ani: The intention is for Student Support Office to be just if student doesn’t want to disclose detailed info.
    12. Alessia: Will students preferentially go to Student Support Office? Is there any check in place?
    13. Ani: The intent is to give students a choice and make sure they know their options, rather than push them away from instructors.
    14. Nate: Not concerned with students going around faculty, as Student Support Office will just confirm whether it’s verifiable. Also, it doesn’t necessarily matter if it increases the burden on Student Support Office, as that’s their purpose. Office will have to come up with what verifiable means.
    15. Ani: The policy presumes that the norm is for students to go to faculty but provides another option.
  3. Language
    1. Nate: Redundance in “mental health crisis” vs. “mental health emergency” (2.2.3)
    2. Justin: “Unforeseen life event” vs. “compelling circumstance beyond the student’s control” both have same examples in parentheses (2.2.3)
    3. Changed to only have parentheses list once
  4. Discussion
    1. Alessia: Could this policy apply to student organizations that don’t have a university authority requesting participation?
    2. Ani: That would be too frequent, and we won’t get support from faculty. There are any number of campus events that could conflict with class and the expectation is for students to prioritize class.
    3. Nate: The original intent of the policy was to cover off-campus situations.
    4. Ani: The policy is not meant to cover every reason a student might miss class.
    5. Alessia: Supportive measures could improve student engagement with organizations that are under-utilized due to student schedules. Could the policy give number of absences?
    6. Ani: Probably not, e.g., athletes are going to have more absences.
    7. Nate: Policy meant to provide general guidance rather than specific rules.
    8. Ani: This won’t solve all of our problems but will solve some of them and provide guidance around giving students flexibility.
  5. University Senate has had the first read-through and the policy will soon go to campus 7-day review, then to University Senate to vote on at the 12/1 meeting, and finally to campus 21-day review.
  6. Motion by Justin Blumenstiel to move the policy forward to University Senate. Seconded by Corey Maley. No objections.
  7. Nate will have FRPR co-sign.

New Business

Governance leaders met the new Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs and invited her to speak at the University Senate meeting in January.

SenEx - Nov. 15, 2022

Member for

1 year 7 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on