SenEx Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2024
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Ada Emmett, University Ombuds
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Becci Akin
  • Brendan Falen
  • Brian Moss
  • Chris Wallace
  • DaNae Estabine
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kevin Barnes
  • Kristin Villa
  • Sam Brody
  • Teri Chambers
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Ada Emmett
  • Herschenia Brown
  • Mike Rozinsky

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from Aug. 29. Motion to approve by Teri Chambers. Seconded by Brendan Falen. Motion passed unanimously.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Ada Emmett, University Ombuds
  1. Ada introduced the current makeup, background, and mission of the Ombuds Office, particularly in its role as a confidential, independent, informal, and impartial space. She spoke about the services that the Office provides and what types of issues people bring to the office.
  2. The Ombuds Office presents their annual report to the Provost’s Office and University Governance each year. Their main data sources for feedback are visitors and survey respondents. This year, far fewer people opened the survey and responded that they were familiar with the Ombuds Office and had used their services.
  3. The main observations from visitor data were an increase in number of visitors and visits, an increase in faculty and graduate students visiting, and evaluative relationships as the top concern. The main observations from the survey data were a decrease in the respondents, continued overall satisfaction with the Ombuds Office, and the need for more outreach. The Office has also noticed a decrease in identity self-disclosure from visitors, an increasing need for informal resolution practices, and an increasing need for extended support for accommodations.
  4. Looking forward, the Office’s priorities are reaching more of KU, increasing survey options to better reach visitors, and taking advantage of the recent growth of the Ombuds Office. Ada reviewed how visitors can access the Ombuds Office services.
  5. Questions
    1. Q: Was the survey communicated to campus in any ways other than email? Was a reminder sent? A: No, and there was an issue sending the email to students at first. Much of campus communication is controlled by the Office of Public Affairs. This is part of a larger issue of email fatigue, and SenEx will be exploring better ways of surveying campus.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: DaNae Estabine (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. Student Senate has made appointments to almost all University Senate committees, with just a few vacancies remaining. The Senate is also working to fill Advisory Boards. This will hopefully be done soon so that they can get an earlier start on the fee review process. A few students have indicated interest.
  2. Freshman elections are coming in two weeks. The Senate has appointed judges and have worked out the courts, though they still need to fill commission seats.
  3. Turner and DaNae have started a monthly news article with the University Daily Kansan to promote transparency. In these interviews, they will give a debrief of what’s happened recently in Student Senate and the status of their platforms, i.e., what they are doing outside of the Student Assembly space. They are also trying to use the YouTube channel and Instagram more.
  4. Turner has met with the Parking Commission to discuss the possibility of a new bus route down Tennessee Street, which has several Greek life houses. He has also met with the City of Lawrence folks in charge of downtown Christmas lights regarding potentially expanding those lights to Jayhawk Blvd.
  5. DaNae has met with the director of facility services to discuss increasing and expanding the use of water bottle filler stations. Some specific campus buildings have plenty of drinking fountains but no/few bottle fillers. They also discussed cleaning up the courtyard next to Spooner Hall and making that a Student Senate volunteer event. The goal is to create more outdoor study spaces. Another space they are considering is the lower outdoor patio next to the Kansas Union.
  6. DaNae has been working with the PR Director to create Student Senate merchandise and sell it through the bookstore. They are also working with their Outreach Director to plan the first ever Student Senate tailgate for the Oct. 7th football game, with a second event at the homecoming game.
  7. Questions
    1. Q: Are there any updates on recycling? A: Turner is working on this. He is having conversations with the university, though there haven’t been updates. We have heard that anything “recycled” on campus, if it has any food residue, is thrown away and KU is charged. Perhaps some education about proper recycling could be useful.
    2. Q: Have you reached out to Lori Schlenker regarding the work around Spooner Hall? She is from the Biodiversity Institute and it would be good to touch base with her to make sure they don’t have any upcoming plans for the building that would need to interface with the beautification plans.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Chris Wallace (Staff Senate President)

The Staff Satisfaction forum went very well, with about 20 in-person attendees and about 290 virtual attendees. The forum presentation and the recommendations report have both been posted to the survey response website.

Staff members have been asking about what effects a federal government shutdown may have.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)

We have been receiving questions from faculty regarding the COACHE recommendation outcomes. We are still waiting to hear more details from the Provost’s Office.

We have also been hearing about instructors and students not knowing about the Excused Absences policy or not knowing how best to manage absences. We are considering doing a survey of faculty to hear feedback, concerns, and suggestions. There has also been an uptick in absences due to illnesses. Watkins Health Center will be taking over the services that have been historically provided by ProtectKU.

The KBOR meeting was last week over two days. Victor was able to attend the second day and meet the board. Anyone can access the minutes on the KBOR website.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Kristin Villa (University Senate President)
  1. Senate Presidents should try to provide written reports for University Senate next week.
  2. Kristin reminded SenEx of the Canvas training site for senators. She asked that members review it so that we can move it forward for University Senate. She also wants the other senates to consider whether it could be expanded to include constituent senates.
  3. The State of the University will be next week and is a great opportunity to hear from the Chancellor. The Provost will be doing a State of the Campus later in October and she has asked Deans to do similar presentations for their schools.
  4. Kristin and Victor are working on the culture charter that was created out of the Shared Governance Advisory Team last year. They have discussed it with the Provost’s Office.
  5. The Ombuds survey results are in and we will be looking at how that survey can be more effective for the Office.
  6. We’ll have the CFO public forum in early November, which will be hybrid and co-moderated by Kristin and the P&R Committee chair. Attendees can ask questions about KU Endowment, West Campus, the Gateway District project, and budgeting and salaries.
  7. Faculty received higher ed credentialing emails last week. Emails are intended to verify transcripts for highest degree obtained, but the email mentioned background checks, which concerned many faculty. Some faculty were left out but they have now been included. Anyone with concerns should go to Faculty Affairs.

Unfinished Business

Kristin introduced Brendan Falen as the new Graduate Student Body President. Brendan spoke briefly about his academic and student government background.

New Business

  1. AP&P Recommendations on Program Discontinuance
    1. Inactive program: Doctoral of Education in Special Education, School of Education and Human Science
      1. The Academic Policies and Procedures Committee (AP&P) has reviewed the documentation for discontinuance of this inactive program. On September 13, 2023, the AP&P committee met and discussed the submitted documentation. The AP&P Committee recommends by majority vote that the EdD in Special Education be discontinued.
    2. Active program: Graduate Certificate in Law & Society, School of Public Affairs and Administration
      1. The Academic Policies and Procedures Committee (AP&P) has reviewed the documentation for discontinuance of this active program. On September 22, 2023, the AP&P committee held a public hearing and discussed the submitted documentation. The MPA Program Director attended the hearing and shared the motivation for discontinuance. The AP&P Committee recommends by majority vote that the EdD in Special Education be discontinued.
    3. These will both be going to University Senate next week for their vote.

SenEx - Sept. 26, 2023

Member for

1 year 7 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on