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

  • Alessia Garcia
  • Andi Back
  • Andrea Herstowski
  • Angela Davis
  • Ani Kokobobo
  • Anne Patterson
  • Bander Almohammadi
  • Barbara Bichelmeyer
  • Barbara Kerr
  • Ben Chappell
  • Brad Osborn
  • Brian Moss
  • Chris Wallace
  • Corey Maley
  • DaNae Estabine
  • Deanne Arensberg
  • Ethan Sharp
  • Hara Talasila
  • Hollie Hall
  • Jeremy Mcleod
  • Jessica Chilcoat
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kim Conard
  • Kristin Villa
  • Lea Currie
  • Margaret Marco
  • Marissa Marshall
  • Mary Dykmann
  • Maya Stiller
  • Muhammad Hashim Raza
  • Nathaniel Garcia
  • Nils Gore
  • Patricia Gaston
  • Rafael Acosta
  • Rana Esfandiary
  • Randy Logan
  • Roberta Schwartz
  • Russell Ostermann
  • Samuel Brody
  • Sarah Wilson Merriman
  • Sean Seyer
  • Teri Chambers
  • Tim Hossler

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Heather Cook
  • Sydney Stone
  • Mason Jackson
  • Maddie Klepzig
  • Ana Chicas-Mosier
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Erin Duran
  • Emily Shipley
  • Ben Eggleston
  • Millinda Fowles
  • Doug Ward
  • Margaret Hair
  • C. Camp
  • F. T.

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from Jan. 26, 2023. Motion to approve by Chris Wallace. Seconded by Teri Chambers. Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting minutes from Feb. 23, 2023. Motion to approve by Chris Wallace. Seconded by Teri Chambers. Motion passed unanimously.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer
  1. Barb remarked on how busy this academic year has been in terms of governance activities, including the shared governance initiative, the COACHE process, and the KBOR gen ed re-alignment. She thanked governance leaders for their roles in these efforts.
  2. HLC accreditation effort is ongoing. We are hopefully refining the process so that it is a bit easier this year and in the future. The HLC conference in Chicago had attendees from KU. One area that still requires significant work is the function of the Registrar.
    1. Barb hopes that some of what we learn from this process will help us differentiate KU from other state schools.
  3. Fiscal planning is a spring priority. We are waiting to see how the state legislature responds to the governor’s budget. This will determine whether we have a small tuition increase. Barb encourages inviting Jeff DeWitt to come share further information.
    1. We currently have ~$5-7 million that we can put into increasing university wages.
    2. Enrollment is looking healthy, but there is a lot of noise in enrollment projections at this point in the timeline.
  4. The market-based wage study is ongoing. We have completed analysis of staff positions, but we are still working on faculty positions. We are also working on the annual evaluation process so that we can improve framework of merit-based wages.
  5. Jayhawk Elevate will be a great opportunity for improvement, as it brings ideas from across campus together. We want to utilize the expertise of faculty, staff, and students.
  6. Searches are beginning for School of Music Dean, School of Engineering Dean, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. There should be an announcement next week regarding the Dean of Libraries search.
  7. Questions
    1. How do we improve transparency around wages? This is technically public information online, but it is not always accurate. Talking about it could improve equity.

      1. Job Title table available on the HR website (, but there are several inaccuracies with.
      2. There is an absence of many resources and processes like this, which we are currently building. Barb will think about incorporating wage transparency. Part of this is figuring out what entities should be centralized and what entities should be within units.
    2. What is happening with recycling on campus? Student Senate has been funding this, but KU needs to take responsibility.
      1. We need to better figure out what should fall to Student Senate and student fees, and what would be the responsibility of the campus community at-large.
      2. This is also complicated due to all the separate financial entities/501(c)(3)s.
      3. This is also part of a larger conversation about sustainability, about which we haven’t had a big enough conversation yet.
    3. What is being done to build community among faculty? Is there the possibility of something like a faculty club?
      1. Barb has brought up the possibility of incorporating the Jayhawk Welcome Center’s bar as a potential gathering spot. They are working on the logistics of this.
      2. The Office of Research will be hiring a Director of Honorifics and Faculty Recognition, which will help faculty get both internal and external recognition.
      3. The Jayhawk Welcome Center also has potential for recognizing faculty and staff beyond athletics.
    4. The KBOR Gen Ed shift will have an impact on course enrollments. For departments that depend on non-majors taking their courses for enrollment numbers, there is concern for the health of these departments. Since faculty have been encouraged to maximize enrollment as a marker of success, how can we adjust this?
      1. Barb’s experience at other universities going through a similar process makes her optimistic about KU. We will advertise other aspects that make KU Core unique, such as the wide variety of courses one can take her to fulfill Gen Ed. Differentiation is both the breadth and depth of teaching. We should highlight KU as a research university, a quality that makes it into Gen Ed courses as well.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: Alessia Garcia (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. Line and block allocations were passed in student assembly and by the student body president, for a total of $700k. The focus was on equitable spending and prioritizing student funding.
  2. Passed 2 constitutional amendments: modified 11 positions on the president’s cabine; modified the budget code to loosen funding regulations for reimbursements for student events.
  3. Funded 3 student organizations from the unallocated account for a total of $11k (remaining is ~$0, which is appropriate for this time of year).
  4. New student council leadership will be elected next week.
  5. Student Senate elections will take place from 6 a.m. on April 17th to 4 p.m. April 20th. The joint Senate meeting will take place on April 26th. Livestream debate will take place today at 6 p.m. between the four student body vice president candidates. Student Senate executive staff are preparing documents for the transition.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Jessica Chilcoat (Staff Senate President)
  1. Staff Senate elections are completed. We are in the process of confirming senators. The transitional meeting will be on April 12th. At that meeting, we will nominate committee chairs and chair-elects and University Senate representatives.
  2. We are working on our staff satisfaction survey response. We had a meeting today with AIRE on our initial plans. We will bring the whole committee together in the coming weeks and have a virtual session for campus.
  3. We are working on developing guidelines around professional developments funds, specifically to make them more available and accessible to more staff members.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Ani Kokobobo (University Senate President)
  1. There will be a public forum on April 27th to present the COACHE recommendations. The working groups are currently working on these proposals
  2. For Shared Governance, we are working on a document that will become the vision statement for the university. We will have a virtual opportunity to contribute further to this statement. We are currently planning for the other charges, including defining roles and responsibilities (Phase 2) and being more transparent with the fiscal situation and fiscal decision-making (Phase 4). Phase 3 will be partially accomplished through the COACHE transparency efforts.

Unfinished Business

Capstone Requirement

  1. The University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) has asked us to incorporate the capstone requirement into the USRR definition of the bachelor’s degree, as it would not fit within the re-worked KU Core.
  2. The language of the amended policy allows for unit-level determination to allow for flexibility within different fields and with different resources. There was discussion of the specific language to improve clarity on requirements.
  3. Motion to suspend the rules and vote on the capstone requirement amendment. Motion by Alessia Garcia. Seconded by Angela Davis. Motion passed unanimously.
  4. Motion to approve the capstone requirement amendment. Motion by Teri Chambers. Seconded by Roberta Schwartz.
    1. 38 in favor; 0 not in favor. Motion passes.

Academic Forgiveness

  1. The AP&P committee has revised the policy on academic forgiveness.
  2. There was discussion of the length of time required before returning to the university. This revision reduces the length of time from 4 to 2 years, which is the standard among other universities. There was concern over the arbitrary nature of this requirement, and whether it would dissuade students from returning to the university. Students have the option to appeal for an exception to these requirements via a FacEx petition.
  3. The Senate decided to vote on this policy amendment now to make positive change immediately, and to revisit the time requirement with AP&P later.
  4. Motion to approve the academic forgiveness amendment. Motion by Chris Wallace. Seconded by Alessia Garcia.
    1. 38 in favor; 0 not in favor. Motion passes.

New Business

University Senate Organization

  1. University Senate is supposed to bring together faculty, staff, and students as peers and equals, but the current representation does not match that. However, faculty need to maintain control over academic policy due to their credentials. Ani has worked with Rick Levy and the ad hoc committee to develop language that meets both aims.

    1. There would be equal representation of 18 representatives from each senate, with academic policy amendments requiring an additional approval from Faculty Senate.
    2. SenEx would likewise be reorganized with 3 representatives from each senate.
    3. Any future changes to the membership would require 2/3 majority from each constituency group.
  2. Today constitutes a first reading of the amendment.

University Senate - March 30, 2023

Member for

11 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on Wed, 02/01/2023 - 11:52