University Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2024
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Lauren Jones McKown, Associate Vice Chancellor, Office Civil Rights & Title IX
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Aaron Howard
  • Alexander Erwin
  • Alicia Swimmer
  • Angela Robb
  • Becci Akin
  • Brendan Falen
  • Chris Wallace
  • Colin McRoberts
  • DaNae Estabine
  • David Day
  • Deanne Arensberg
  • Hara Talasila
  • Jason Dailey
  • Jeremy McLeod
  • Jessica Chilcoat
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kevin Barnes
  • Kim Conard
  • Kristi Neufeld
  • Kristin Villa
  • Liz Barton
  • Lorin Maletsky
  • Marissa Marshall
  • Mary Dykmann
  • Mugur Geana
  • Robert Eppler
  • Sam Brody
  • Sam Evans
  • Sarah Wilson Merriman
  • Simrah Javed
  • Teri Chambers
  • Trina Weekly
  • Vance Sorell
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Sony Heath
  • Angela Perryman
  • Alane Thomas
  • Akiko Takeyama
  • Lauren McKown
  • Heather Haughton
  • Jeff Chasen

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from Oct. 5, 2023. Motion to approve by Kevin Barnes. Seconded by Brendan Falen. Motion passed unanimously.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Lauren Jones McKown, Associate Vice Chancellor, Office Civil Rights & Title IX
  1. Lauren Jones McKown began with an update on the Title IX regulations that the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX (OCRTIX) was awaiting last fall. The regulation changes are still pending, and it is not clear what is causing the delays.
  2. The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX has expanded to include more staff members, including a Director of Investigations, more investigators, a Program Director, an Administrative Associate, a Clery Compliance Officer, and a Case Manager. Part of the reason for this expansion is due to the office becoming a “one university” office, in that it covers all of KU beyond the Lawrence/Edwards campuses.
  3. Lauren can share more about the types of reports and cases than she could when she spoke at a University Senate meeting in Fall 2022. In all of 2022, the office received about 500 reports for Lawrence/Edwards and the KS Law Enforcement Training Center. So far in 2023, which includes all of KU, the office has received 559 reports. These numbers include all areas of civil rights. We are seeing an increase, but Lauren said that she was expecting this increase for an institution of this size and nature.
  4. Lauren reviewed the purpose and responsibilities of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX.
    1. The office is responsible for issuing the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, aka the “Clery Report.” This includes the Clery crime statistics.
    2. Lauren reviewed the definitions of discrimination and related retaliation, as well as the 16 protected classes recognized at KU. She reviewed potential types of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment that can be reported to the office.
    3. Lauren reviewed the definition of microaggressions, which can become harassment when they are based on a protected class and are severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive. Microaggressions can be reported to the office, and Lauren shared that it is important to have a record of microaggression if it is happening.
  5. Lauren reviewed the office’s grievance procedures.
    1. Lauren reviewed the mandatory reporter policy. She clarified that mandatory reporters do not have to report their own incidents, though they are encouraged to do so. This also only includes incidents that employees learn of in the scope of their employment. Lauren reviewed the list of confidential resources at KU: the Care Coordinator, CAPS therapists, Watkins medical providers, the Ombuds Office, Student Legal Services, journalists, and the General Counsel Office.
    2. People can submit complaints in a variety of ways; this is not limited to the form anymore. The reporter receives acknowledgment of the report but might not be contacted again. Anonymous reports can be submitted online. Lauren provided tips for anonymous reports: write the report in third person; include as much detail as possible; include a generic contact if willing so that the office can request more information, if needed.
    3. An outreach email is then sent to the complainant. If the complainant does not respond after a follow-up, the case is closed. If the complainant accepts the invitation to meet, either Lauren or the Director of Investigations will meet with the complainant and offer both support measures and the option of an informal or formal resolution.
      1. Informal resolutions include mediation (complainant and respondent are face-to-face) and shuttle diplomacy (complainant and respondent are not face-to-face).
      2. Formal investigations require a formal complaint, which is a federal requirement, and must be within the office’s jurisdiction and meet the threshold of severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive. Formal investigations involve interviews, evidence gathering, preliminary report review, and assessment for policy violation. The case then moves on to adjudication, which can take a variety of routes. Lauren also reviewed appeal options.
  6. Lauren reviewed trauma-informed responses to reports, which included guidance to disclose mandatory reporter status, to involve as few people as possible, and to listen and reflect without interrogating. She also reviewed the ways someone can make a report: 785-864-6414;;; Dole Human Development Center 1000 (Lawrence), Regnier Hall 270L,M,P (Edwards), Smith West 1006 (KUMC).
  7. Lauren reviewed the differences between privacy and confidentiality.
  8. Lauren highlighted three points of emphasis: OCRTIX is a neutral factfinder; both parties (complainant and respondent) are treated with respect, sensitivity, and discretion; both parties are given equal access to resources, support measures, and due process.
  9. Lauren reviewed the Clery Act, which requires the university to make disclosures about crime issues on campus and how prepared the institution is to address those issues.
    1. Certain people are designated as Campus Security Authorities (CSA), who are required to report crimes related to the university. They are different from mandatory reporters in that they don’t need to report certain specific information. The Clery Compliance Officer is currently finalizing the list of CSAs.
  10. Q&A
    1. Q: Can you talk about reporting and the confidentiality of reports? What happens if someone shares confidential information that is not supposed to be shared? Can follow-ups on information be considered retaliation or intimidation?
      1. A: The office does not release reports until a formal investigation begins or if other offices need to be involved. The incident report itself is not shared. The office is setting up safeguards to ensure that confidential information is not released. This can involve clarifying information or withholding unnecessary information. While follow-ups could potentially be considered retaliation or intimidation, providing the most information to the office will help the office avoid follow-ups that could harm the reporter.
    2. Q: What has surprised you about KU? In what areas is KU on par/not on par with our peers?
      1. A: Lauren was surprised to learn more about the structure of KU, its work processes, who is involved in decision-making, and in what units we have issues and in what units we don’t have issues. She thinks that the size of the OCRTIX office has historically been, and remains, not on par with our peers. Lauren also shared that issues around mandatory reporting and fear of retaliation remain issues.
    3. Q: Regarding microaggressions, are you hoping that increased reporting can create a body of evidence if is present?
      1. A: Sometimes the “microaggression” is egregious enough that OCRTIX can move forward immediately. Other times, a collection of more minor reports can constitute a complaint by OCRTIX on behalf of the university. The office might follow up with some of the reporters.
    4. Q: What can University Senate do to support the office?
      1. A: Be an active and good bystander. Participate in training provided by HR, the Office of DEIB, and SAPEC. OCRTIX will be hosting a large training in December and people outside the office can participate if they are interested. There are a few seats available.
    5. Q: How does mandatory reporter and CSA apply to students?
      1. A: Mandatory reporting includes all employees, so that includes Gas, GTAs, and student employees. The Clery Compliance Officer is still developing the list of CSAs. There will be training and more information in January.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: DaNae Estabine (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. There are still a few University Senate committee student vacancies. Student Senate Advisory Boards are almost fully appointed. DaNae introduced the new Graduate Student Body President, Brendan Falen.
  2. Freshman elections were supposed to occur this week, but there have been some technical and communication challenges, so they are being pushed out a couple weeks.
  3. Planning for Big XII on the Hill is continuing, which is from Feb. 26th-28th. The advocacy points that Student Senate has chosen for this year are college affordability coupled with mental health and Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) support for athletes.
  4. DaNae and Turner Seals have been working to be more visible on campus, including tabling and reaching out to various student organizations.
  5. DaNae and Turner have been meeting with KU Athletics to discuss better tailgating experiences and to re-work the allocation of Student Senate reserved basketball tickets. 10 tickets will be reserved for Pell Grant students and 10 tickets will be raffled off to the general student body. Students can enter by attending tailgating events and completing surveys.
  6. Turner is still working to get holiday lights installed on Jayhawk Blvd.
  7. Student Senate hosted a Big Event jobsite at the Spooner Hall Courtyard on Oct. 21st. The Sunrise Movement at KU assisted.
  8. There are video resources posted on the Student Senate YouTube chancel that explain what Student Senate is and how to request funding.
  9. Student Senate merch is still in progress.
  10. Student Senate held its first ever tailgate with SUA on Oct. 7th. They also hosted the first ever student Homecoming game tailgate on Oct. 28th.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Chris Wallace (Staff Senate President)

The Employee Constituent Survey Implementation Team has met and is currently considering the COACHE and Docking recommendations.

Wellness Week has been approved. Juneteenth as a KU holiday has not been finalized.

Staff Senate leaders have been meeting with the dean candidates for the Engineering and Music school searches, along with the rest of SenEx.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)

Victor also participated in the first meeting of the new constituent survey implementation team and the dean candidate meetings. SenEx will be able to provide feedback to the search committees on each of the candidates.

Victor also participates in the honorific award meeting with Academic Analytics. The goal of the meeting was to brainstorm and develop strategies for recognizing faculty for their research, teaching, and service. This effort is partially an outcome of the COACHE recommendations.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Kristin Villa (University Senate President)
  1. The Provost held the State of the Campus on Oct. 24th. A video recording is now available on the Provost’s Office website, as well as a survey to gather feedback on how the presentation could be more effective in the future. There will also hopefully be States of the Schools.
  2. The upcoming public forum with the CFO will be on Nov. 6th, 2:30-4:30 p.m., in Burge Union Forum C and on Zoom. This will be an opportunity to ask questions about the budget and other financial items. There is also a Qualtrics survey available if you want to submit questions beforehand. Kristin and Jin Feng, chair of the P&R Committee, will moderate the Q&A and ensure that those questions are asked.
  3. The HireRight process for faculty credential verification deadline has passed. If people have questions or still need to provide their transcript, they can reach out to Faculty Affairs.
  4. Our Vice Chancellor for Research will be leaving KU for another position. The Provost has accepted nominations for the interim position and will work to appoint someone within the next few weeks. The Provost’s Office will move forward with a candidate search soon.
  5. The first constituent survey team meeting was primarily about discussing the status of the effort. This process will continue as additional surveys are completed, rotating the focus between students, faculty, and staff.
  6. SenEx met with KBOR a couple weeks ago.

New Business

DaNae shared a complaint that a student had sent to herself and Turner regarding a social media post on a departmental account. DaNae asked whether there is a faculty code of conduct that regulates social media activity, particularly when it comes to statements of support. Kristin asked if any faculty members had insight regarding the conduct question and reminded the body of the presentation from OCRTIX. There was some discussion of the dynamics of departmental social media accounts and possible next steps for the students.

University Senate - Nov. 2, 2023

Member for

1 year 7 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on