University Senate Meeting Minutes

Meeting Details:

Fiscal Year: FY2024
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Guest Speaker: Ada Emmett, University Ombuds
Minutes Recorded By: Caty Movich
Minutes Approved on:


Attending Members

  • Aaron Howard
  • Alexander Erwin
  • Alicia Swimmer
  • Andi Back
  • Angela Robb
  • Becci Akin
  • Ben Chappell
  • Brian Moss
  • Chris Wallace
  • Corinna Lynn Johnson
  • Colin McRoberts
  • DaNae Estabine
  • David Day
  • Deanne Arensberg
  • Hara Talasila
  • Jason Dailey
  • Jeremy McLeod
  • Jessica Chilcoat
  • Joe Walden
  • Josh Arpin
  • Kevin Barnes
  • Kim Conard
  • Komal Kaur
  • Kristi Neufeld
  • Kristin Villa
  • Liz Barton
  • Lorin Maletsky
  • Margaret Marco
  • Mary Dykmann
  • McKenzie Henderson
  • Mugur Geana
  • Robert Eppler
  • Russell Ostermann
  • Sai Mittapalli
  • Sam Evans
  • Sarah Wilson Merriman
  • Simrah Javed
  • Teri Chambers
  • Tim Hossler
  • Trina Weekly
  • Vance Sorell
  • Victor Gonzalez

Other Attendees

  • Caty Movich
  • Suzanne Scales
  • Ada Emmett
  • Allison
  • Celeste Smith
  • Cortney McKay
  • Ellen
  • Emily Shipley
  • Garrett Davidson
  • Heather Haughton
  • Herschenia Brown
  • Joni Bisco
  • Julia Radley
  • Lauren Shull
  • Mike Rozinsky
  • Suzanne McAlister
  • Teresa Reiter
  • Jeff Chasen

Approval of Previous Minutes

Meeting minutes from Sept. 7, 2023. Motion to approve by Kristin Villa. Motion passed unanimously.

Guest Speaker Presentation

Guest Speaker: Ada Emmett, University Ombuds
  1. The KU Ombuds Office is one of the longest-standing offices of its kind in the country. It began with a part-time faculty member filling the role and now has grown to two full-time positions. The charter designates the purpose and mission of the Office. Ada reviewed the guiding principles of the Office, specifically confidentiality, independence, informality, and impartiality, and the unique role that Ombuds plays in the university support structure. She also reviewed what the Office does, including providing feedback to the institution about patterns and trends of their visitors. The report that is the focus of today’s presentation is this kind of feedback.
  2. Ada provided highlights of the annual Ombuds Office report. She summarized the qualitative (gathered from visitor data) and quantitative (gathered from survey results) data. The survey goes out to campus every year in the Spring semester. Some notable observations from visitor data include: an increase in the number of visitors; an increase in the percentages of faculty and undergraduate student visitors; a slight decrease in the percentages of staff and graduate student visitors; the top issue identified by visitors this year was “evaluative relationships.” Some notable observations from survey data include: a decrease in respondents; continued overall satisfaction with the Ombuds Office; 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; an increasing need for extended support for accommodations. An example of the last item is the recent hiring of a Director of Mental Health and Wellbeing.
  3. 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.
  4. Questions
    1. Q: What do you envision for the survey to be more beneficial for your office? A: We really need a larger number of respondents. Perhaps it would help to provide questions for people who have heard of the office but have not utilized it.
    2. Q: Is there a possibility of expanding your services to the KUMC campus? A: Possibly, but making this interest vocal would help. So far the interest has been limited, and the Med Center has considered handling it internally.
    3. Q: What are good moments to refer someone to the Ombuds Office? A: The sooner someone comes, the better. People often think that they should wait until a situation has escalated to come to the Office. The Office can serve people at the beginning of a situation as well.
    4. Q: Where do you see the Office growth going? A: We want to focus on outreach and workshops, as well as figuring out whether there are pockets of the university that could use particular attention. Ada wants to partner with other offices as well.


Student Senate Report

Reporter: DaNae Estabine (Student Senate Vice-President)
  1. Student Senate has filled most student seats on the University Senate committees. Turner has began appointing some seats to the Advisory Boards. Last night at the Student Councils meeting, they voted on some Councils seats as well. These groups will begin discussing fee review soon. Freshman election judge seats have been filled, as well as the Election Commission.
  2. The Student Senate website is up-to-date and the Senate has been utilizing their YouTube channel. There are a couple “how-to” videos as well.
  3. The Government Relations Director has began the first steps for Big XII on the Hill.
  4. Some projects for Student Senate include:
    1. Adding a bus route on Tennessee Street, which would include a direct connection between Cap Fed and Jayhawk Blvd
    2. Adding holiday lights to Jayhawk Blvd
    3. Adding more water bottle filling stations to campus buildings
    4. Beautifying outdoor spaces, such as the courtyard next to Spooner Hall (this has been added as a Big Event workspace)
    5. Creating and selling Student Senate merchandise in the bookstore
    6. Co-hosting the first-ever Student Senate tailgate on Oct. 7 with Student Union Activities (SUA)

Staff Senate Report

Reporter: Chris Wallace (Staff Senate President)

Staff Senate finished up the Docking survey response with the final forum a couple weeks ago. The event had fantastic attendance.

Faculty Senate Report

Reporter: Victor Gonzalez (Faculty Senate President)
  1. Victor and Kristin participated in the Provost’s retreat in August. They discussed how recent Governance recommendations will fit into the university’s strategic goals.
  2. The Faculty Senate Committee charges have been approved and are almost fully appointed.
  3. Victor is meeting with the new Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs tomorrow to discuss improved collaboration.
  4. Victor and Kristin met with Jill Hummels, the Chief of Staff and Director of Internal Communications for the Provost’s Office, about the new culture charter (IRISE) that came out of the Shared Governance task force last year. They discussed ways to disseminate the parts of the charter and hope to highlight how individuals on campus are working with these values.

University Senate Report

Reporter: Kristin Villa (University Senate President)
  1. The Governance Office is working on creating a training module for senators so that they are better prepared to serve. We would like to hear feedback from current senators on what they wish they would have known or do not know.
  2. The Chancellor hosted a State of the University address yesterday and the Provost will be hosting a State of the Campus address later in the month. There will likely be analogous States of the Schools.
  3. We are hoping to provide more resources and education about the Excused Absences policy soon, including surveying faculty about their practices and experiences.
  4. We are hosting a forum with the CFO on Nov. 6th, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in Burge Forum C. The event will be hybrid and we will be sending out more information about that soon.
  5. HireRight emails have been sent to faculty for credential verification. Anyone who has questions or is having trouble using the link, does not want to use HireRight for verifying this information, or did not receive an email should contact Faculty Affairs.
  6. There will be some upcoming changes to KU Core and the General Education requirements. This will interface with the KBOR transfer requirements. Some courses above 300-level will be removed from the list of eligible KU Core courses.
  7. KBOR will be visiting campus and meeting with SenEx on Oct. 19th. Please tell members of SenEx if you have specific questions or concerns you would like raised to the visiting regents.

New Business

  1. AP&P Recommendations for Program Discontinuance
    1. Active Programs
      1. Graduate Certificate in Law and Society, School of Public Affairs and Administration
        1. Will not impact faculty or staff in that space. The one remaining student will complete the program this semester and will not be impacted by the discontinuance.
        2. Motion to vote by Kevin Barnes. Seconded by Sarah Wilson Merriman. Motion passed unanimously.
          1. VOTE: 31 in favor; 2 not in favor. Passed.
        3. University Senate recommends discontinuance of the Graduate Certificate in Law and Society.
      2. Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting, School of Business
        1. Will not impact faculty or staff in that space. There has been a low completion rate of the certificate by students. There are no students enrolled in the program currently.
        2. Motion to vote by Vance Sorell. Seconded by Joe Walden. Motion passed unanimously.
          1. VOTE: 33 in favor; 0 not in favor. Passed.
        3. University Senate recommends discontinuance of the Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting.
    2. Inactive Program
      1. Doctorate of Education in Special Education, School of Education and Human Sciences
        1. Motion to vote by David Day. Seconded by Vance Sorell. Motion passed unanimously.
          1. VOTE: 33 in favor; 0 not in favor. Passed.
        2. University Senate recommends discontinuance of the EdD in Special Education.

University Senate - Oct. 5, 2023

Member for

1 year 7 months
Submitted by Caty Movich on