University Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2023
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Lauren McKown (Vice Chancellor, Civil Rights & Title IX)
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Ani Kokobobo
  • Nate Brunsell
  • Rafael Acosta
  • Mizuki Azuma
  • Mahasweta Banerjee
  • Betsy Barnhart
  • Justin Blumenstiel
  • Rana Esfandiary
  • Patricia Gaston
  • Victor Gonzalez
  • Andrea Herstowski
  • Tim Hossler
  • Marike Janzen
  • Anne Patterson
  • M. Hashim Raza
  • Tarun Sabarwal
  • Roberta Schwartz
  • Sean Seyer
  • Jeremy Shellhorn
  • Maya Stiller
  • Kristin Villa
  • Liz Barton
  • Kim Conard
  • Scott Cossel
  • Mary Dykmann
  • Ryan Edmonds
  • Jeremy McLeod
  • Sarah Wilson Merriman
  • Brian Moss
  • Robert Waller
  • Chris Wallace
  • Angela Davis
  • DaNae Estabine
  • Alessia Garcia
  • Nathaniel Garcia
  • Ethan Sharp
  • Rosbel Garza
  • Bander Almohammadi
  • Hollie Hall
  • Jessica Chilcoat
  • Sadie Williams

Other Attendees

  • Suzanne Scales
  • Caty Movich
  • Lauren McKown
  • Savannah Lucas
  • Susie Geiger
  • Abby Ropes
  • Amara Simons
  • Ben Brown
  • Bill Burley
  • Billie Archer
  • Cambrey Nguyen
  • Jeff Chasen
  • Jennifer Roberts
  • Jo Hardesty
  • Kaitlin King
  • Kelly Chong
  • Kevin Miles
  • Kevin Wickliffe
  • Laurie Harrison
  • Lumen Mulligan
  • Mandi Chase
  • Marie Taylor
  • Melissa Foree
  • Nicole Norvell
  • Rebecca Crumley
  • Sam Klecan
  • Kevin Mies
  • Susan Williams
  • Ashley Strecker
  • Beth Benfield
  • Autumn Bertels
  • Shawn Emran
  • Whitney Juneau
  • Jane Boyd
  • Ada Emmett
  • Ben Eggleston
  • Marissa Marshall

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from 2022-10-06. Motion to approve by Hollie Hall. Seconded by Chris Wallace. Motion passed unanimously.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Lauren McKown (Vice Chancellor, Civil Rights & Title IX)
  1. Ani introduced and welcome Lauren. Lauren talked about her academic and professional background working in law and Title IX coordination.
  2. The Office of Civil Rights & Title IX, formerly the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, oversees all discrimination complaints that come into the university, specifically those involving all 16 protected classes. These classes are covered through KU’s sexual harassment policy, e.g., our Title IX policy, and the non-discrimination policy. The office intakes the reports, does outreach, oversees investigations, and assists with hearings and decision processes, which vary. The office also assists with the appellate process, if necessary.
  3. The office also:
    1. Provides support measures for students and employees, for both complainant and respondent, if “reasonable and appropriate.” Connects students and employees with resources, makes appropriate referrals, etc.
    2. Provides Clery Act action report and fire safety report.
    3. Provides SAPEC (Sexual Assault Prevention & Education) training with HR.
    4. Will soon take over affirmative action plan.
  4. The new proposed Title IX regulations came out on the 50th anniversary of Title IX (late June). These are only proposed and are not the final regs. The comment period ended in September and the office is expecting the final regs to be announced around June 2023 and in place around Aug/Sept 2023. The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights received far more comments on the proposal this time than ever before and they are required to reply, which may delay the process.
    1. Coverage highlights:

      1. The regs codify protection of LGBTQIA individuals, as well as pregnant and carrying students.
      2. The office no longer has to have a formal signed complaint from complainant in order to initiate investigation. They are allowed to take in verbal complaints.
        1. This is a significant proposed change. Under the Obama administration, the regs did not require signed complaints. Under the Trump administration, they were required. Lauren observed a dramatic decrease of complaints.
      3. The regs return the single-investigator model, which allows the Title IX coordinator to serve as investigator and decision-maker. Currently each component requires separate person.
      4. The office is allowed to shift to “clear and convincing” standard for evidentiary review, which is a return to the original standard.
      5. The office no longer must find a case to be severe, pervasive, AND objectively offensive to move forward with an investigation. The requirement is changed to severe OR pervasive.
      6. The regs make a distinction between discrimination and harassment, which produces a slight distinction within the process the office has to follow.
      7. The regs allow for different groupings of mandatory reporters. Currently KU’s policy is that every employee is a mandatory reporter (with some exceptions, e.g., Watkins, CAPS, Ombuds). The office will have more leniency in how we designate and define different groups.
  5. Q&A
    1. Hollie Hall

      1. Q: What kind of timeline are you planning to get investigations done within?
      2. A: The office is aiming for 60 business day guideline, though some cases take less time and others take more; it’s dependent on many variables.
    2. Ani Kokobobo
      1. Q: When you talk about national regs and how they apply to individual campuses, how strict is that? Any leniency?
      2. A: There are certain things for which we have a lot of leeway. Other things are very fixed.
    3. Rafael Acosta
      1. Q: Has the office disciplined anyone recently for discriminatory behavior? What kinds of steps will the office take to protect people from retaliation?
      2. A: The office cannot disclose whether anyone has been disciplined recently. Lauren perceives that they are receiving more reports of retaliation than the previous administration. They are investigating. They are also implementing different types of support measures to make complainants more comfortable. The office has carved out a clear definition for what constitutes retaliation, and when retaliation protection kicks in. They are beginning protection earlier in the process.
      3. Q: What are the support measures?
      4. A: Whatever the parties need to feel comfortable, though it must be “reasonable and appropriate,” e.g., changing someone’s workplace or supervisor, moving housing, changing class schedules/modality. It is very dependent on individual case.
    4. Alessia Garcia
      1. Q: Can you elaborate on new reg protections for LGBTQIA individuals?
      2. A: The regs clearly articulate and codify that gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are included under Title IX.
      3. Q: What elements of the university are bound to this?
      4. A: It includes anything within the university, but dependent on the student organization’s charter, for example. Vendors and random visitors are covered. KU’s DCRP (Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process) has a broader scope and picks up where Title IX ends.
      5. Q: There was a recent case in the Student Senate with student religious organizations being allowed to deny membership to LGBTQIA individuals due to religious freedom state laws. Would the new regs clash with those guidelines?
      6. A: Not sure. Lauren thanked Alessia for putting it on her radar.
    5. Ani Kokobobo
      1. Q: How does the broader outreach/educational mission of the office function? Do they provide trainings?
      2. A: The office works closely with SAPEC and provides training within the STEP (Supervisory Training for Excellence in Performance) program that HR provides. The office has done class visits and is trying to increase awareness. They are revising old materials that can be disseminated for increasing awareness.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: Alessia Garcia (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. Student Senate passed 2 resolutions in the past cycle. One ensures adequate representation and support for indigenous students, staff, faculty, and admin and the other supports Iranian students and community members.
  2. Student Senate gave feedback on recent KU student housing and dining rights proposal along with ASHC (All Scholarship Hall Council). The Senate voted in support but there was division re: whether the rate increase was necessary.
  3. The Senate is reviewing amendments to their constitution, focusing on the structure of representation and internal functions.
    1. They passed an amendment re: disciplinary and removal procedures for student council leadership, which was originally in SSRR but was lost in a re-write.
    2. They transitioned the policy director role to the outreach director, and codified and endorsed the role transition.
  4. The Senate loosened guidelines on food funding for student organizations, shifted DEI’s 100% funding limit from $1,000 to $1,500.
  5. The Senate held freshman elections and welcomed 5 new senators. There were many candidates, which is hopeful going into spring.
  6. Sadie, Hollie, and Alessia met with the Provost last week to discuss:
    1. The university’s response and messaging when tragedies occur on campus
    2. Both resolutions that Alessia already mentioned
    3. Amendments by admin to the Student Code of Rights & Responsibilities that was just ratified a few months ago
    4. The addition of a new student services and resources page on Canvas and the open syllabus project
      1. The open syllabus project is something that KU is doing as part of HLC accreditation.
  7. The Student Senate fee process is set to begin its cycle.
    1. Elections will be held next week. New representatives will undergo training in January.
  8. Hollie hosted a graduate student meet-and-greet with great turnout. Flyer distribution seemed very successful.
  9. Student Senate will be hosting “Holidays and Higher Ed.” Look for invitations.

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Jessica Chilcoat (Staff Senate President)

Survey results were posted to the Staff Senate website. They will drive a lot of recommendations and actions over next year. Ani added that Jessica will present more about the survey at the January University Senate meeting.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Nate Brunsell (Faculty Senate President)
  1. An email went out to faculty with initial results/preview report from COACHE survey. Nate and Ani are involved in figuring out the next steps. Data is still being processed.
  2. Governance leaders met with each candidate for the CLAS dean position and submitted recommendations.
  3. Nate reported on KBOR’s efforts related to RPK statewide initiatives on academic workload and portfolio work. RPK is now requesting feedback from faculty.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Ani Kokobobo (University Senate President)
  1. Ani added that, regarding COACHE, they will work for both sharing data and moving resolutions forward.
  2. The whole advisory team for Shared governance is meeting on 11/15, and Ani has been meeting with Nicole Hodges-Persley and Mike Rounds to figure out how to approach the different phases. They are currently focused on Phase 1—what it means to be an exceptional learning community—and are hoping to have a visioning event before the end of the semester. Ani is encouraged by the progress made so far.
  3. The policy changes on USRR 1.3.12 and 2.6.5 are now approved and will be updated in the CODE.
  4. The language around Ombuds (CODE 1.8.3) is still out for 21-day campus review.

New Business

Academic Policies and Procedures (AP&P) Recommendations for Active Program

  1. AP&P has approved the Certificate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies discontinuance. The statement articulates the value of the field of studies and that the courses will continue, as well as some alternatives for the certificate.

    1. Motion to vote by Justin Blumenstiel. Seconded by Alessia Garcia. No discussion.
    2. VOTE: 25 in favor; 2 not in favor. Passed.
  2. Visual Art BA/MA is going to be discontinued and replaced by BFA track at BA level. We’ve completed our portion through the AP&P recommendation.

Calendar Committee Academic Calendar proposal for KBOR (USRR 1.1.1)

  1. One of the changes will be that Spring Break is moving from early to mid-March to not conflict with the KBOR meeting schedule.

    1. Alessia Garcia

      1. Q: Did they investigate the effect this would have on students?
      2. A: No, it is just to align all KBOR schools.
    2. Motion to approve by Chris Wallace. Seconded by Nate Brunsell. Motion passed unanimously.

International Affairs Committee Charges

  1. The IA Committee wanted to update their charges to reflect that the ACE Internationalization Lab process had been completed. SenEx made some additional changes to include more international student groups.
  2. Hollie Hall explained that previously, the charges required only that the International Student Association be contacted, as opposed to other international student organizations. The ISA is mostly UG students and hasn’t re-registered in Rock Chalk Central this year. The new charges ensure that we have voices from across campus.
    1. Motion to approve by Hollie Hall. Seconded by Alessia Garcia. Motion passed unanimously.

Excused Absences Policy

  1. Today is the first look and discussion, with voting in December. This was an effort by Susan Williams. It began with student athletes and now involves other situations. FRPR has accepted draft with minor changes.
  2. Susan Williams (Faculty Athletic Representative—liaison between Chancellor’s Office and Athletics) spoke about the motivations for the proposed policy.
    1. There is currently no policy that defines rights for students for if they must miss classes outside of exams. This has been a long effort to clean up language and reduce redundancy.
    2. The goal was to make the policy inclusive of things that might warrant an excused absence, but not so overly broad as to be able to be abused.
  3. Nate added that this is a much more inclusive policy and that he applauds Susan’s efforts. It protects students on university business, such as athletes or students attending academic/professional conferences.
  4. Susan added that they have been utilizing other institutions’ policies to be more informed.

Other Pending Policy Updates

AP&P is working on the Academic Forgiveness policy and considering the 4-year period a student must wait before re-enrolling in the university. They are currently researching peer institutions. Ani plans to attend their meeting on 11/16 and the policy may be voted on at the December University Senate meeting.

University Senate - Nov. 3, 2022

Member for

11 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on Wed, 02/01/2023 - 11:04