University Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2023
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Rafael Acosta
  • Bander Almohammadi
  • Mizuki Azuma
  • Mahasweta Banerjee
  • Betsy Barnhart
  • Liz Barton
  • Barbara Bichelmeyer
  • Justin Blumenstiel
  • Samuel Brody
  • Nate Brunsell
  • Teri Chambers
  • Jessica Chilcoat
  • Kim Conard
  • Scott Cossel
  • Lea Currie
  • Mary Dykmann
  • Rana Esfandiary
  • DaNae Estabine
  • Nathaniel Garcia
  • Alessia Garcia
  • Patricia Gaston
  • Nils Gore
  • Hollie Hall
  • Andrea Herstowski
  • Tim Hossler
  • Marike Janzen
  • Ani Kokobobo
  • Randy Logan
  • Jeremy Mcleod
  • Sarah Wilson Merriman
  • Brian Moss
  • Muhammad Hashim Raza
  • Tarun Sabarwal
  • Roberta Schwartz
  • Sean Seyer
  • Ethan Sharp
  • Geraldo Sousa
  • Maya Stiller
  • Hara Talasila
  • Kristin Villa
  • Chris Wallace
  • Robert Waller

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Aimee Losey
  • Alyssa Reed
  • Ana Chicas-Mosier
  • Angela Andres
  • Ben Eggleston
  • Billie Archer
  • Bob Goldstein
  • Bozenna Pasik-Duncan
  • Brian Vancil
  • Cardy Bush
  • Carmen Orth-Alfie
  • Chris Anderson
  • Chris Elles
  • Chris Lyon
  • Coral Huntley
  • Cortney McKay
  • Dan Dixon
  • Darin Beck
  • Dave Rahn
  • Denise P.
  • Dina Pannabecker Evans
  • Don Haider-Markel
  • Doug Ward
  • Dr. Alan Street
  • Emily Eichler
  • Emily Shipley
  • Erin Duran
  • Faunia Tuma
  • Gwen Geiger Wolfe
  • Heather Cook
  • Hume Feldman
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Jeff Long
  • Jennifer Hanson
  • Jennifer McBee
  • Jennifer Roberts
  • Jeromy Horkman
  • Jessy Ayestas
  • J. Hyde
  • J. O’Connor
  • Julia Henson Radley
  • Kim LaFever
  • Mandi Chace
  • Mason Jackson
  • Melissa Foree
  • Michael Vitevitch
  • Michelle Ginavan Hayes
  • Nelda Buckley
  • P. Buskirk
  • Rachel Sherman Johnson
  • Samantha Raines
  • Sarah Weygand
  • Satya Mandel
  • Scott McEathron
  • Shaunna Price
  • Silvia Sanchez Diaz
  • Sonya Lancaster
  • Susan Williams
  • Tarun Sabarwal
  • Tim Jackson
  • Whitney Denning

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from November 3, 2022. Motion to approve by Teri Chambers. Seconded by Geraldo Sousa. Motion passed unanimously.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer
  1. Accomplishments Barb is proud of

    1. Reminder of the context that Barb is nearing the end of three years in office in February. During this time, we have laid foundations and made transitions. Personnel efforts and hiring have been the most important work in that time.

      1. Recently announced new hire of CLAS dean. Expressed appreciation for John Colombo.
      2. This year we announced the vice provost for the DEIB office, which was in progress since before Barb started. While Nicole Hodges Persley has been interim, she has been working on something important to Jayhawks Rising, specifically a framework for elevating goals around diversity and equity, and a sense of inclusion and belonging.
      3. Getting things ready for Dean of Libraries search.
      4. Will soon be starting search for a Dean of Music.
    2. Covid adds further context to the past three years.
      1. Year 1: Understanding data and being informed.
      2. Year 2: Getting our bearings in finance; Jayhawks Rising and letting our mission drive our finances rather than vice versa.
      3. Year 3: Talent development.
    3. 5% raise was only possible through changing financial approach. We also thought differently about benefits, e.g., tuition assistance.
    4. Unfinished
      1. We are making progress on the wages and salary study. We must get to market-based, competitive, and equitable pay. We are still figuring out where we are and developing a strategy. That plan is to have the data in place by 12/15.
      2. Unfinished: Work is being doing on how we can better organize to strengthen our HR functions in terms of professional development.
    5. Other things that are more visible
      1. Starting to see alignment about Jayhawks Rising strategic plan and we are starting to see benefits.
      2. Research Rising
      3. Refining ability to align academic and administration units
      4. KBOR Academic program reviews and HLC (Higher Learning Commission)
  2. Shared accomplishments from Others
    1. Ani Kokobobo mentioned her honors seminar that addressed the coverage of war in Ukraine. Yesterday she brought Ukrainian students who are here on raised funds to the class to have dialogue. It has been an achievement just to bring them here to KU and very cool to see them connect with students. Ani is also proud of the progress in Shared Governance since the March resolution. She urged participation in the upcoming visioning event.
    2. Nate Brunsell brought up the work that the Faculty, Staff, and Student senates have done, especially tuition assistance and holiday leave. Nate is proud of the work that has been done to repair relationships between administration and Governance and is looking forward to it continuing.
    3. Barb
      1. Expressed appreciation for Nate and Ani. Nate inherited Faculty Senate leadership role in a year when KU is responsible for facilitating all KBOR groups.
      2. How does KU position itself amongst state higher education? We want to be good stewards of the state and be respectful of sister institutions, but also being an AAU research institution is a unique thing.
      3. Shared governance is a big opportunity. No institution is going to look in the future like what we were prior to the pandemic. It is an important time to re-evaluate and is an opportunity to do more than just respond to the March resolution. We can define what it means to be a post-covid era university.


  1. Maya Stiller

    1. Q: How is KU thinking about salary report?
    2. A: Preface with why we are doing this. We are either going to grow or continue suffering from budget constraints, a decline in enrollment, etc. We must position ourselves to be as strong as we can, by growing enrollment, having disciplined spending, and holding on to people. The latter requires providing competitive wages. We must attract students through great staff and faculty, who are supported so that they can support students. We need to think seriously about what it means to support people.
      1. We need to know where we are and where we aren’t competitive and how much it’s going to cost to be competitive. We are still getting an idea, while actively dealing with our structural deficit. In our 5-year plan, we have opportunities for growth.
      2. In December we will get data to know exactly how much it will cost and we can look at where inequities occur. Going into fiscal planning for FY24, we will know more specifics (how much and how long).
      3. We won’t get to better salaries by cutting people.
  2. Alessia Garcia
    1. Q: Student Senate is proud of the addition of embedded advising. What impact do you think embedded advising might have on PELL-grant and low-income students?
    2. A: This comes down to retention/persistence and completion. There is a 20% point gap in our persistence and completion rate between under-represented/minority and white students, our PELL-eligible and non-PELL-eligible students, and our first-gen and multi-gen students. Closing that gap represents millions of dollars of tuition revenue. Better for both students and KU. Embedded advising can help students in this way because we have uneven advising loads between units. The HLC expects us to have 1:300 advisor to student ratios. In some units it’s currently 1:500. Embedded advising invested $2 million into advising to create succession, career ladders, and equitable pay for advisors to create more continuity in advising for students. Hope to see % point jump in the next few years. Goal is to see 10% gain in target populations and 5% overall.
  3. Maya Stiller
    1. Q: (in chat) If I may make a suggestion on how KU could save a lot of money on travel costs: Establish an airport shuttle from Lawrence campus to MCI airport. Currently a return shuttle costs $300!
    2. Ani: Chancellor seems receptive to shuttle between Lawrence campus and med center.
    3. Barb: Jeff DeWitt can talk about continuous quality improvement initiative. Empowers employees to provide suggestions and ideas regarding increased revenue or savings.
  4. Satya Mandal
    1. Q: (in chat) Do you envision two tier tuition rates: (1) One for in-class courses, (2) One for online and/or hybrid courses?
    2. A: Regarding pure tuition at the undergraduate level, we are trying to move in the direction of reconciling where all modes look the same. There are different fees, but that is already the case across different units. We will make clear the base rate, what fees add to that, and rationalize why. Master’s level can be market rate.
  5. Sarah Weygan
    1. Q: Are there any updates on Jayhawk Global creation?
    2. A: We’ve launched the website. (Ani: Michelle will be coming to talk about it.) Need to remember that Lawrence experience is a research-residential experience. Some students want that, but others don’t, which means it is important to grow the Edwards campus along with Lawrence for people who want different things. Same goes for online, graduate online, and non-credit bearing programs. Cyber-security could be a huge area for growth with our expertise. Jayhawk Global will use same systems as on-campus experience.
  6. Rafael Acosta
    1. Q: (in chat) In regard to Concur, can we get an option to purchase trips elsewhere if it’s cheaper than Concur?
    2. A: I don’t know, will ask about that. Part of the point is to save funds, and Concur contracts help us do so, but it also helps us mitigate risks. Concur helps institution know where people are and get them support if something requires it. Balance between price, support, and risk.
  7. Shaunna Price
    1. Q: RE: MCI to Lawrence transportation. I would think KU could negotiate a contract rate with a service provider so that we have something more reliable than UBER/LYFT, and more time conscious than a shuttle.
    2. A: Great idea, will pass along to Jeff DeWitt and Jason Hornberger.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: Alessia Garcia (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. Fee review committee has been elected. Constitutional amendment was passed that amended campus fee approval process. Senate allocated $1,030 to the KU Period Program, $23,750 to fund Jayhawk Aero Design’s participation in AIAA Design-Build-Fly competition in Tucson Arizona.
  2. Next week Senate will be reviewing constitutional amendments, a funding bill, and a student referendum regarding increasing student wages.
  3. Completed reformatting of the constitution into an accessible Google Doc. Also provided templates/guidelines for legislative process. Treasurer’s office will be making funding guidelines more accessible.
  4. Sadie and Alessia planned and hosted, respectively, a forum on the EOF funding process. Plan to make application review process clearer.
  5. Sadie, Hollie, and Alessia met with the Chancellor and received updates on KBOR food security funding. $110,000 in funding to Campus Cupboard.
  6. Discussed goals and outcomes for State Higher Education Day in Topeka, specifically a focus on advocating for increase tuition support from state, deferred maintenance funding, food access, recycling and sustainability support, and mental health funding.
  7. Brian Moss
    1. Q: (in chat) Has the NYTimes readership program been restored yet?
    2. A: Passed that legislation earlier in semester and the contract is on its way through General Counsel. Still working out the best deal. Hoping it will be finalized and available in spring semester.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Jessica Chilcoat (Staff Senate President)
  1. Celebrating holiday leave. Met with the Chancellor and the Provost and discussed economic development and the gateway project, staffing recruitment and retention, market study and its long-term plan, and the importance of connecting staff back to university.
  2. Brian Moss
    1. Q: (in chat) KBOR report of staff survey results has been pushed back to January, no?
    2. A: Yes, Jan. 18.
    3. Ani: Perhaps COACHE protocol can be useful to moving forward with staff survey.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Nate Brunsell (Faculty Senate President)
  1. Does not have a formal report to share.
  2. Email went out with links to share opinions on RPK work at KBOR. RPK will be sharing results of its work at the KBOR meeting on 12/14.
  3. There will be discussion of the GRF allocation recommendations at the upcoming Faculty Senate meeting. The Research committee will share their work and there will be an opportunity to share feedback. There will be an online survey to gather feedback as well.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Ani Kokobobo (University Senate President)
  1. Does not have a formal report to share. Recent update shared with campus.
  2. The Shared Governance advisory group has met and are moving forward, thinking about visioning and what kind of community we want to be. We need to decide how we want visioning to happen. The website is updated and will continue to be updated.
  3. Met with COACHE advisory group today and hoping to have update soon.
  4. AP&P committee has been working on revising the Academic Forgiveness policy. Ani hopes to present on this in January. Hopefully getting an update soon on student transfer policy.

Unfinished Business

Excused Absences Policy

  1. Has gone out to campus for 7-day notice. Ready to vote. Motion to approve by Nate Brunsell. Seconded by Geraldo Sousa.
  2. Susan Williams: There have been a few technical changes since the first presentation to University Senate.
    1. Grammatical typos
    2. Suggestions from the Policy Office to resolve potential ambiguities
      1. E.g., required military service
      2. E.g., redundancy in listing of mental health in two places
      3. E.g., making language clearer in 2.2.4
    3. Added ability to appeal
    4. Language consistency
  3. Discussion
    1. Geraldo Sousa: There is a system of giving a student an “Incomplete” for some of the same reasons within this policy. What does one do if they do not hear from a student at the end of the semester?

      1. Ani: The incomplete situation is different from the Excused Absences policy because it explicitly states that a student needs to notify the instructor. We also passed a compassionate withdrawal policy last year regarding a situation where a student hasn’t communicated.
      2. Geraldo: What if instructors are not contacted and must make decisions?
      3. Susan Williams: 2.2.4 states that if a student cannot notify the instructor, Student Case Management Office will communicate to the instructor. The situation Geraldo described is not the intent of the policy, which is not intended to cover students who have not communicated. The policy communicates responsibility to the student.
    2. Sarah Wilson Merriman: Student Support and Case Management is not the only office that can provide verification. Student Access Center establishes this communication for a few thousand disabled students on campus. This office should be added as a valid contact and verifier.
      1. Ani added this language into the policy draft. When the Senate votes it will be with the assumption that this language is added.
    3. Hollie Hall: Conference participation was also added to list.
    4. Alessia Garcia: Proposed an amendment to 2.2.3 to add participation in elections to the list of absences allowed. She suggested that it would be a good alternative to making election day a holiday, an effort that hast not been successful so far.
      1. Teri Chambers: Supports this. Helpful for students who are caught by surprise by an election.
      2. Liz Barton: Are we talking about giving student workers time off or allowing students to be excused from class?
        1. Alessia: Allowing students to be excused from class.
      3. Sam Brody: (in chat) Isn't there early voting in KS, though? There's usually an opportunity to vote starting a few weeks before ED. Should be encouraging that as well.
      4. Sean Seyer: (in chat) I agree it should be a national holiday, but that could be tricky considering there is so much earlier voting now and students vote in various jurisdictions.
      5. Ani: This is about access and encouraging civic engagement.
      6. Brian Moss: (in chat) Staff Senate had ongoing talks with Provost Bendapudi about a floating "civic engagement day" for serving at the polls, etc.
      7. Susan: Civic engagement is important, but it might be difficult to convince all faculty members. This is not necessarily in the spirit of the policy intent. Susan is not opposed to adding the amendment but is concerned about faculty agreement.
      8. Ani: There have already been concerns from faculty regarding accommodation and workload. Ani doesn’t anticipate the policy, as it stands, as increasing absences, but adding voting amendment might increase absences.
      9. Hollie: Campus members who cannot vote would lose out on class time for something in which they cannot participate. International students are already voting from a different country.
      10. Ani: We must remember to distinguish between policy vs. practice. If we’re going to have a civic engagement day, that’s good, but that is outside the power of this body.
  4. Motion to approve amendment proposed by Alessia Garcia. Seconded by Nathaniel Garcia.
    1. (in chat) “Participation in election day activities by voting or working in a polling place in local, state, and federal elections.”
    2. Vote: 16 in favor; 18 not in favor
    3. Amendment failed
  5. Motion to approve policy (as sent out to campus, with technical changes as made by Susan Williams and suggestion by Sarah Wilson Merriman) by Nate Brunsell. Seconded by Geraldo Sousa. [from beginning of discussion]
    1. Vote: 27 in favor; 3 not in favor
    2. Policy approved

New Business

  1. Excused Absences Notation on Senate Meeting Minutes

    1. Geraldo Sousa: We used to have an excused absences section for faculty, staff, and student senators. We should continue this and have a list of attendees and those excused.

University Senate - Dec. 1, 2022

Member for

11 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on Mon, 01/30/2023 - 11:20