University Senate 3/5/15
II. Approval of minutes from February 12, 2015
III. Report of Faculty Senate President Jim Carothers
IV. Report of the Bi-Campus Committee on Patent Ownership and Faculty Consultation (Andrew Torrance, chair)
V. Status of Revisions to the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities & Conduct
VI. Old Business
VII. New Business
March 5, 2015
3:30 p.m. - 203 Green Hall
MEMBERS PRESENT: Faculty – Jonathan Mayhew, Jim Carothers, Mahasweta Banerjee, Philip Baringer, Thomas Beisecker, Jay Childers, Katherine Clark, AnthaCotten-Spreckelmeyer, Mohamed El-Hodiri, Chuck Epp, Lisa Friis, Kim Glover, Andrea Greenhoot, Kissan Joseph, Pam Keller, Kirk McClure, Gerald Mikkelson, Allan Pasco, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Meagan Patterson, Angela Rathmel, Marlesa Roney, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Bill Staples, Barbara Timmerman, Mike Williams, Lisa Wolfe-Wendel, Susan Williams. Students – Alex Montgomery, Garrett Wolfe, Harrison Baker, Sarah Elliot, Miranda Wagner, Bren Lee .Unclassified Staff – Mishelle Denton, David Day, Keah Cuningham, Elizabeth Phillips, Michael Krings. University Support Staff – Charlotte Goodman, Chris Wallace, Peggy Robinson.Ex-Officio non-voting – Provost Jeff Vitter, Unclassified Senate President Amanda Ostreko.
EXCUSED: Faculty – Jeremy Martin, Susan Williams; Kelly Chong, Nancy Kinnersley, Paul Laird, Steve Padget Elizabeth MacGonagle, Stuart Macdonald.. University Support Staff – David Weakley Unclassified Staff – Greg Smith; Students - Kaitlyn Klein; Michael Walker, Emma Halling, Omar Rama, Logan Sutton, Rickie Hernandez, Carla Rivas-D’Amico
ALSO PRESENT: Molly Mulloy and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Marta Caminero-Santangelo, Provost’s Office; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Julie Petr and Amalia Monroe-Glick, Libraries.
President Jonathan Mayhew called the meeting to order and welcomed members, guests, and the media who were present today. He noted that the Faculty Senate had a guest presentation today and hoped to begin their meeting at 4:15 p.m.
MINUTES for February 12, 2015 were approved.
University Senate President – Jonathan Mayhew announced that Senate vice-president Miranda Wagner will conduct the meeting on March 26th when he is out of town. The agenda for March 26th includes presentations from Nate Thomas, Vice Provost for Diversity, and Margaret Severson, chair of the Task Force on Domestic Partner Benefits. The survey regarding the annual review of the Ombuds Office was emailed to all faculty, staff, and students this week. Mayhew encouraged members to complete the survey if they have had contact with the Ombuds Office in the last year. Yesterday was the end of the 21-day review period for the University Senate Code amendments regarding the new Staff Senate and the proposal has now been sent to the Provost for approval.
Faculty Senate President – Jim Carothers announced that Andrew Torrance, chair of the bi-campus committee recommending revisions to KU’s Intellectual Property policies regarding patents and faculty consultation, is speaking to the Faculty Senate today. He invited anyone interested to stay for that presentation. Last Tuesday, an agreement was reached with the Provost on a final change to the Faculty Code of Conduct proposed by FacEx. The revised draft of the Faculty Code will be emailed to all faculty next week and will be discussed by Faculty Senate later this month.
Student Senate President – Miranda Wagner reported that she and two other students just returned from Washington, D.C. where they visited with members of the Kansas delegation and other legislators. The Student Senate election season is beginning, and Student Senate will be transitioning to new leadership in six weeks. At its meeting last week, the Student Senate discussed funding requests and fee increases but tabled action until after Spring Break.
Unclassified Senate President – No report at this time.
University Support Staff (USS) Senate President – No report at this time.
KU PROCEDURES FOR THE BOARD OF REGENTS SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY POLICY (“SMP”)
Jonathan Mayhew said KU’s draft procedures were first developed in the summer of 2014 by an ad hoc committee of faculty, staff, students, and administrators and have been discussed and vetted by SenEx during several meetings this year. In addition to the SenEx proposal, an alternate version will be offered later in the meeting by senate member Jerry Mikkelson.
He reported that at the February 12th Senate’s discussion of the SMP, a major objection was that the Provost had too much power over appointments to the Initial Review Panel (IRB) and the Substantive Review Board (SRB). To address that concern, Mayhew and Carothers met with the Provost last week and he agreed to the following new wording [bold font] in the sections on the IRP and SRB: “All nominations to the IRP [or SRP] must be approved jointly by the Provost and the President of the University Senate.” Mayhew said this is a significant change that SenEx did not vote on but forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
Mayhew said the proposal now adequately reflects the consensus view, offers robust protection for faculty rights, supplements existing due process rights, and provides more protection than faculty and staff have in other policies. Jim Carothers/Tom Beisecker moved adoption of the KU Procedures for the Social Media Policy, as discussed by University Senate on 12/4/2014 and 2/12/15, with the new text forwarded by SenEx for consideration on March 3.
Harrision Baker asked about the question he raised at the previous meeting to include a student on the panel if a student were charged with violating the policy. Mayhew said that point was not discussed with the Provost, but that Baker could offer that as an amendment later when we know which policy we will be voting on.
Katherine Clark, member of SenEx, said she will vote for Mikkelson’s proposal for a couple of reasons. First, she believes that the SenEx draft was based on what the KU Medical Center had decided to do and was put together in the summer when some of us were not here. Tom Beisecker said a motion has not been made on the Mikkelson proposal so discussion of it is out of order until after one is made. Clark’s second concern was that the new language providing for joint approval of appointments by the Provost and the University Senate President places a lot of responsibility on the University Senate President. She suggested that it would be far better to have appointments approved by a group like SenEx, in its entirety, rather than just the Senate president. Mayhew pointed out that the president of the University Senate is elected by this body.
Chuck Epp, a member of the ad hoc KU committee that drafted the original proposal sent to SenEx, said it is not accurate to say that the SenEx procedure is a copy of the KU Medical Center version. He stated that the basic structure of the policy came out of the Lawrence campus committee and was later adopted by the Medical Center. Clark said she stands corrected, but had been told that our version was largely similar to that of the Medical Center.
Several questions regarding parliamentary procedures were raised. Baker said he’s confused and asked if the motion he heard was to approve the SenEx policy, and then to hear the second [Mikkelson] version of the policy. Mayhew said yes, and clarified that he would like to hear from everyone who has something to say about this policy first before recognizing Prof. Mikkelson.
Carothers observed that the last change agreed upon with the Provost should have the confidence of the Senate, and that the issue about student appointments could be considered as an amendment to the main motion. Lisa Wolf Wendel said it would be easy to reconcile the two proposals. Wolf-Wendel/Baker moved to add the following text to the section entitled Substantive Review Board Outcomes: “….. and shall report its recommendation to the Provost and to the faculty, staff, or student member who is the subject of the review.” The motion passed.
Sara Elliott/Baker moved to insert the following text as the second sentence under Substantive Review Board, subsection ii: “One of these five members must be a student enrolled in a minimum of six hours of coursework as an undergraduate or graduate student.” Following discussion, Elliott/Baker modified their motion to: “In the case of a student employee, one of the five members must be considered a student by the University.” Further discussion ensued, the question was called, and the motion passed.
Mayhew recognized Prof. Jerry Mikkelson. Mikkelson/Ron Barrett-Gonzalez moved to adopt Mikkelson’s substitute version of KU procedures for the Social Media Policy. Mikkelson distributed and read a memo he wrote favoring passage of his motion and noted that it was supported by both the FRPR Committee (Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities) and the KU Chapter of the AAUP (American Association of University Professors). Mikkelson stated that the two panels should not be dominated by the Provost or persons who serve at the pleasure of the Provost. He urged members to vote their conscience and requested that the voting today be by secret ballot.
David Day offered an amendment to Mikkelson’s motion to change “shall” to “may” in the second paragraph under the section “Initial Review Panel” (“One of the designees ..
shall may be a member of the employee class…”.) He said that as a staff member, he believes that the protection offered by having a tenured faculty member on the committee may be valuable to a staff member. Mikkelson accepted it as a friendly amendment.
Baker/Elliott moved to add the identical amendment approved earlier to the SenEx version regarding the Substantive Review Board, subsection ii, which is: “In the case of a student employee, one of the five members must be considered a student by the University.”
In response to a question, Mayhew clarified that the SenEx proposal has already been approved by the Provost. If the Senate approves Mikkelson’s substitute version, the changes will need to be negotiated with the Provost and will be returned to the Senate for further discussion, if needed. Clark commented that just because the Mikkelson version hasn’t been previously negotiated by the Provost does not decrease its merit.
Chuck Epp stated that the Mikkelson version essentially says to start over on a couple of things, such as how we populate the panels and the role of the provost in the process. Those issues were debated at great length by the original ad hoc committee, and the latest SenEx version resolves those issues, though not to the complete satisfaction of either side. As an advocate for academic freedom and the freedom of expression, he personally believes that the SenEx version is workable and that we gained a lot that is not in other disciplinary processes on campus, such as a peer panel that hears facts and a prior panel that decides if a case should go ahead. He cautioned against opening up a “can of worms” at this late date and said he supports the SenEx proposal. David Fowle also expressed appreciation to Mikkelson for his work on the proposal but said he supports the SenEx version.
Barrett-Gonzalez said it’s critical to look at past precedents at KU and how committees are selected and steered. He stated that the KU AAUP believes pressure from the administration has inappropriately compromised due process in several faculty dismissal cases.
Wolf-Wendel requested to yield the floor to guest Jonathan Clark, and there was no objection from members. Clark voiced his support of the Mikkelson version, noting that the original KU case regarding social media attracted widespread national publicity. He stated that if a new case comes up, under the SenEx proposal the spotlight will focus on the Provost and he will suffer grave personal damage, whereas the Mikkelson version would shield the Provost from criticism. Tom Beisecker objected to that statement, stating that the SenEx version provides equal veto power for the University Senate President and the Provost, which is much more fair.
Baker/Elliott moved to have a secret ballot on the Mikkelson motion. Debate for and against a secret ballot followed. Mikkelson noted that the University Senate voted two years ago to allow secret ballot voting under special circumstances, and Mayhew reminded members that a secret ballot required a 2/3 vote to pass rather than the usual majority vote. Day/Carothers called the question. The motion to have a secret ballot failed.
Baker/Elliott moved to substitute the Mikkelson proposal for the SenEx version. The motion passed 23 to 16. Mayhew said at this point we could have further debate on the merits of the Mikkelson proposal or someone could call the question. Mikkelson raised a point of order and asked if the motion was to allow his motion to be accepted as a substitute for the SenEx motion or was it a vote in favor of his proposal. Mayhew said it was a vote to allow his proposal to be discussed as a substitute for the SenEx version.
Barrett-Gonzalez/Jerod Wolf moved to amend the motion by adding the following paragraphs regarding conflict of interest and legal advice to Mikkelson’s draft. Barrett-Gonzalez said the AAUP believes that legal counsel attached to hearing bodies sometimes sways decisions or deliberations and that his amendments would prevent a person with a conflict of interest from serving in an advisory role on these panels. The proposed amendment is:
“ Conflict of Interest. Actual or perceived conflicts of interest between any and all of the entities and individuals in these proceedings are to be discouraged. All participants in the hearings whose positions are not specifically described in the sections above must be free of even the appearance of a conflict of interest with any of the parties or entities in the case. Any and all individuals whose positions are not specifically described in the above sections outlining the “Initial Review Panel” or “Substantive Review Board” and are asked to render advice or opinions to the Panel or Board must be proposed to the Faculty Rights Board no less than two weeks in advance of the hearing (in the case of the hearing for a faculty member) or the University Senate Executive Committee (in the case of any other university employee) and approved by those bodies no less than one week in advance of the hearing as having neither actual nor perceived conflicts of interest with any of the parties or entities in the case.”
“Legal Advice. In the event the Initial Review Panel or the Substantive Review Board need or desire legal advice, such advice should be sought from an independent consulting attorney whose fees are to be paid by the Main Administration.”
In the discussion that followed, Chuck Epp said he’s uncomfortable voting on these amendments until we have further information and Bozenna Pasik-Duncan expressed similar concern. Barrett-Gonzalez subsequently withdrew his amendment, and Montgomery/Baker moved to table discussion on Mikkelson’s motion. Clark called the question [to vote on the Mikkelson motion]. Much debate ensued about proper parliamentary procedure. Beisecker stated that the motion on the floor to table discussion took precedence over other motions. The motion to table discussion passed. Mayhew stated that the Mikkelson motion will be discussed at the April 9 University Senate meeting.
No further business.