University Senate Executive Committee (SenEx) Minutes November 2, 2021


University Senate Executive Committee Minutes November 2, 2021
Approved: November 16, 2021, Corrected November 29, 2021

 

Present:
Hossein Saiedian, Remy Lequesne, Nick Syrett, Corey Maley, Ani Kokobobo, Kyle Velte, Patricia Gaston, Nate Brunsell, Tim Spencer, Teri Chambers, Camden Baxter, Mary Morrison, Ethan Roark, Hollie Hall

 

Visitors: Chris Brown, Jennifer Roberts, Jeff Chasen

 

Also Present: Tessa Maclean, Kathy Reed

 

Jeff Chasen: Assistant Vice Provost, Employee Growth, Development, Accessibility, & Inclusion & Director of the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility           

 

Chasen opened by providing members with an explanation of his focus:

  • His goal is to support faculty, staff, and students, including graduate students, as well as student employees,
  • There are many excellent employees on campus.  They are one of our most valuable resources.  We need to invest in them as they invest in KU.  
  • A vital component of this position is serving as the director of the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility
  • KU recently completed work on the institution's first code of Ethical Conduct. One of Chasen's primary initiatives was to include a group of about 60 stakeholders, of which there were five faculty (senators*) and five staff (senators*).  Governance was on the ground floor of these discussions.   
  • Governance and the Administration need to work together.

 

Question:

As we deal with budget cuts, you mentioned staff retention, and people are generally tired of the work culture here. What sort of trends are you noticing during exit interviews, both positive and negative?

 

Reply:

I'm not regularly part of the exit interviews.  Although anecdotally, I've had conversations with my network of relationships across campus. From a trend standpoint, due to the COVID experience, some people are reprioritizing their expectations.  People also need to feel a sense of purpose and connection to the work of the institution.

We are stretched too far, and compensation isn't where it should be.  We must invest in our resources. More importantly, we need to provide qualitative compensation, some of which have economic value. Finally, we need to provide people growth path.  If people really wanted to advance generationally at the university, they either left or waited until their supervisor left or retired.

I continue to think our greatest untapped resource is our people. It's also our most heavily tapped resource.  We need to give people the opportunity to do things, work to better themselves or their positions, and to feel enriched in their position.    

 

Question:

Sometimes while KU is trying to protect itself, it has a chilling effect in unintended ways. 

Event planning, for conferences require people who are attending the conference on campus to register to identify their citizenship.  This was prompted by an effort to somehow control risk as if somehow danger is associated with citizenship.

 

Reply:

What are the specific requirements? First, we don't want to jeopardize federal funding. We don't want to let our staff and faculty to engage in behavior that might make them the subject of prosecution by the same token. It's important to keep in mind that if we only focus on the problem and don't really focus on what we are trying to accomplish, we don't gain anything. 

 

Question:

How does your position interact with Mike Rounds? 

 

Reply:
Chasen noted that he still meets and talks directly to the Provost, but he reports to Mike Rounds. 

 

Question:

Would you describe the employee growth initiative and how you see institutional knowledge and promoting longevity at the university. 

 

Reply:

KU has spent a lot of resources developing our people. It is hard when good people leave the university.  I think it's important that we're proactive, that we get out in front of issues, and that we support people on their path. It is fundamentally important to provide that and to recognize that it's not a matter of not being able to afford our people; it's that we can't afford to lose our people.

The employee relations unit is already working as part of this Employee Growth and Development Initiative on a paradigm, trying to address the problem of untrained supervisors and leaders.  The Provost is very committed to providing support and training, and mentorship for supervisors and managers, and leaders..

 

Saiedian thanked Jeff Chasen for attending and added that SenEx looked forward to an update later in the spring. 

 

Approval of minutes from October 19, 2021

Approved.

 

Standing Reports – email to members earlier:

Student Senate Vice President Ethan Roark – (see the end of minutes)

 

Staff Senate President Tim Spencer – (see the end of minutes)

Faculty Senate President- (see the end of minutes)  

University Senate President Hossein Saiedian

  1. USRR 2.3.3. revision. October 19, 2021
    1. SenEx met with Susan Klusmeier, VP for Academic Success, RE:  USRR 2.3.3 modifications. SenEx members will review and revise the modifications to remove redundancy and inconsistencies.
  2. KBOR meeting. October 21, 2021
    1. Senex met with the KBOR board. Students, staff, and faculty reps discussed their needs, expectations, and challenges. Each had a set of specific requests or concerns. The meeting was productive and mutually beneficial. Some KBOAR members showed an interest in following up about certain issues.
  3. Vaccination mandate. October 22, 2021
    1. The Chancellor announced that all KU employees will be required by law to be vaccinated. This requirement follows President Joe Biden's executive order requiring employees of institutions that contract with the federal government to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by December 8.

 

Review of amendment to USRR 2.3.3

              There does not seem to be an agreement on what the policy should say.  Lequesne is waiting for replies to questions that were asked.

 

Unfinished Business

              Climate Study, The Staff Senate learned that DEIB will be working on a climate survey.  DEIB, is interested and open to including governance in discussions regarding an all campus survey questions:

 

  • Questions to Consider:
    What questions/topics are must-ask?
  • How do you envision campus implementing the study's recommendation?  And who do we stay accountable to?
  • What does the campus community want/need to know about the climate?
  • What DON'T we want from this study?
  • Who should conduct the student?  Possible venders/scholars? What considerations should be made in that decision?
  • What should be the goals for the campus climate study? What specifically should we focus on, prioritize, "get at"? possible examples
    • How has climate changed since 2016?
    • How do different people perceive KU's climate?
    • How does the institution support DEIB efforts? 

 

New Business

              Ad-hoc Committee Program Discontinuance:

                             The committee is starting from scratch and rewriting the policy, taking into account the intellectual concerns members had, and that came from the administration.  Kokobobo will keep SenEx updated on the status of the committee. 

             

 

Meeting adjourned

*Added Senators at the request of the speaker on 11/29/21

 

Student Senate Officer Report

 

  1. The Student Senate received notice with the KU Community that suspects had been identified in the vandalism that occurred at the Spencer Art Museum. This administration continues to stands in solidarity with the indigenous community at KU and in Lawrence as the Douglas County DA’s Office evaluates what justice looks like after this incident.
  2. The SSRR Re-Write Committee is continuing to meet. Attendance has not been high over the course of our past few meetings, but we are still making good progress on the document, and have arrived at amending the Budget and some relevant appendices related to Senate Planning and Rule Extensions/Exemptions. We will be presenting the new document in the Student Senate’s 7th Legislative Cycle, so that the Student Senate may prepare to operate under the new document in Spring 2022.
  3. In collaboration with Amanda Mollet from University Senate and our Grad. Vice President, Hollie, we were able to get student appointments onto nearly every University Senate board that was once vacant. These appointments were able to be gathered through messaging and announcements amongst the students in the Higher Education program at KU. We are hoping that we can use this achievement to establish a long term partnership with the Higher Ed Program to gauge student interest for experiential learning opportunities in shared governance.
    1. We are continuing outreach in this area and are working on getting more appointments out as soon as possible.
  4. The Student Delegation met with the Board of Regents on Thursday morning, where we discussed a plethora of topics amongst faculty and staff reps that were relevant to KU such as the nature of a student fee increase, student wages, student housing accessibility, gender inclusive student housing, and student health insurance changes.
    1. This meeting was eye opening and has laid some clear ground for how the Student Senate plans to engage with KBOR this year. Ultimately, Student Outreach and Town Halls might be the best strategy we have to give KBOR strong evidence to support the policy decisions of our student government.
  5. [TW: Sexual assault, Suicide] Niya, Hollie, and I met with the Provost and Chancellor on Friday morning…
    1. We discussed the need for a town hall regarding sexual assault that needs their attendance and the attendance of folx in Student Affairs from a meeting we had a few weeks ago. We are hoping this can open a great dialogue on campus sexual assault amongst the student body. We are planning to have this in mid-November.
    2. We discussed some issues with student housing suicide prevention training and trans accessible housing options. This coalesced into a conversation on the need for a trans scholarship hall and/or residence hall. This administration will be

entering into conversations with Student Housing to discuss the feasibility of this project. An intentional community is necessary for the accessibility of KU Student Housing and enhancement of Student Housing’s social justice centred curriculum.

    1. We discussed the hiring timeline for a permanent Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. The Provost said that the plan is to have someone hired by the end of Spring 2022.
  1. Niya and our Policy & Dev. Director, Ari, are working on a warm clothes drive that they are hoping to make a permanent fixture in Student Senate’s commitment to community service in the Jayhawk community. Collection is planned for throughout the month of November with distribution via Tabling in Late November or Early December, depending on the amount collected.
  2. The CCO is planning another Covid-19 Testing Drive in partnership with the Lawrence Department of Public Health and will be engaging in some fun programs over the course of the next few weeks. If you are interested in this or more fun community service events, make sure to sign up at volunteer.ku.edu.
  3. A committee of randomly chosen Senators will be convened by the Chief of Staff to appoint new judges to the Student Senate’s judicial branch per SSRR. If you know anyone who might be interested in applying, please make sure to point them to the form located on our Senate MS Teams.
  4. The old Student Senate website has been updated with Senate officers and funding information. Minimal maintenance will continue to take place on this website as our Communications Director, Azja, continues to prepare the new Senate website to be published. The focus of the new website has been oriented around three values:
    1. Accessibility- Understandable language and easy processes to find info.
    2. Communication- Listening to Student Feedback and Utilising it to improve the website and Student Senate’s student services
    3. Aesthetics- Making sure the website is overall… great to look at and interact with.
  5. Our Government Relations Director, Birdie, has been preparing for Holidays in Higher Ed. and plans to send invitations over the course of the next few weeks. It will be on 02 December this year, so make sure to save the date if you are interested in interacting with legislators.
  6. The Internal Demographics Survey was sent out on 01 November 2021 on the Student Senate MS Teams and ListServ! Members of the Student Senate are required to fill out this survey by 08 November 2021 so that our Internal Affairs Director, Max, can have results prepared ahead of the Cycle Six(6) Full Senate.
  7. The Student Senate Standing Committees will be having Fee Review Subcommittee Elections this week as we prepare to begin the application process on 01 December 2021.

 

Staff Senate President Report November 2021

 

Oct 8, Policy Office meeting

  • Overview of the policy process at KU
  • Office recommends being involved as early as possible in the process, units are responsible for contacting
    • Clarifying scope, timeline, impacted parties, more art than science, policy office helps navigates
  • Two‐week comment periods seek feedback from the campus community, governance presidents copied
  • Some policies may not have comment periods based on technical edit, Chancellor authority, etc.
    • The unit creating/modifying the policy should be responding to comments
    • Approval process discussed, finalized policy is published in the Policy Library
  • Unit should be communicating policy creation/changes out to the campus community once approved
  • USRR, FSRR, and Code changes go through Governance office, while policies go through the Policy office
    • Start with SENEX on policy revisions, will make determinations and then how to proceed from there
    • Can use Policy Office for strategy/advice behind the scenes

 

Oct 8, KU Unified Command Situation Report from Andrew Foster

  • Regional Updates
    • Positivity numbers/percentage in DGCO and on campus have continued to decline consistently.
    • Hospitalizations are still staying up a little, but it is almost entirely unvaccinated people that are filling hospitals in all local hospitals.
    • Some unknowns could disrupt progress (more indoor events, travel for breaks, less masking, etc.).
    • Overall in a good place as long as we don't get another variant that causes more issues.
  • New Developments
    • Pfizer could be approved for 5–11‐year‐olds with the next week or two.
      • They have submitted all the required documentation to the FDA and we're just waiting on a ruling.
      • We've been working with school districts, LDC Public Health, Watkins, and the State to make sure we're able to administer the shots ASAP after it's approved for kids.
    • Anyone that received Pfizer is now eligible to receive their booster shot (if it's been at least 6 months since your second shot). You can call Watkins and get scheduled for a booster or do the drive through at LMH.
    • Moderna will likely be approved for boosters soon, but I'm not sure what is going to happen with J&J boosters.

 

Oct 11, Staff Senate Visioning Process

  • Modified current mission/vision of Staff Senate to read “Staff Senate provides all staff with a voice, a forum, and avenues for growth.”
  • Brainstormed topics that would fall under these three vision points, to assist in outlining 3‐5 bold steps (actionable items) for Staff Senate to focus on for the remainder of the academic year
  • A voice
    • Represent staff with University Governance
    • Promote Work‐Life Balance
    • Official statements out to the whole campus community
    • Diversity Equity Inclusion – relaying hopes and concerns from marginalized communities to other channels
    • Represent KU staff with the Kansas Board of Regents
    • Represent staff with internal KU leadership
    • Better benefits like tuition assistance for spouse and dependents
  • A forum
    • Recruit and retain DEI representation
    • Newsletter and social media
    • Seek feedback
    • Identifying shared opportunities
    • Identifying shared challenges
    • Engagement with central support offices
    • Committee involvement
    • Communicating with the broader KU community on current initiatives
  • Avenues for growth
    • Onboarding
    • Diversity Equity Inclusion training
    • Support the mission of the university
    • Retention
    • Anything in our regular communications – identifying opportunities for taking part
    • Professional development fund
    • Adequate resourcing for services provided
    • Professional growth

 

October 12, Ombuds Review

  • Q. Staffing?
    • A. To fully support all at KU, would need 3 FTE. When DA came in numbers bumped up, our cases haven’t decreased overall, faculty increase with staff decrease (UPS decrease and USS low use), some Ombuds at other universities have specific to the types (faculty, staff, students) while some have individuals that serve all. Provost has signaled and understands that they are understaffed, currently at

1.5 FTE, currently contracting while DA is working with DEIB. Mostly in person or phone calls prior to pandemic, now have more flexibility in engaging and connecting with people, even outside standard office hours.

  • Q. Diversity?
    • A. Staff are the majority, but demographically don’t have good data (must self ID) and BIPOC and LGBTQ+ make up a small %. Need to connect with those from marginalized communities and build working relationships with those offices that support those individuals.
  • Q. Marketing/promoting?
    • A. Have to do more, have their approach compliment other parts of campus services, Tim brought up onboarding, KU Today, use of Chancellor’s weekly message, working with HR workshops that support those, co‐sponsoring events, how to maintain/nurture/grow these active relationships while still not having access to lists. Could have Ombuds provide a quick bio that can be provided to Senates for distribution.
  • Q. Mediation?
    • A. Continuum, there are processes both formal (HR, Title IX) and informal (facilitated dialogue, no formal written agreement), idea of having more formal mediation available in the Ombuds office, somewhere in the middle where individuals sit down and discuss, several contacts in this area, would like to have some trainers visit and create a cohort with a two‐year cycle (possible fellows with a certificate), need to identify gaps across the university and what offices need to bring in or together.

October 12, Governance leadership meeting with CFO Jeff DeWitt

  • Governance concerns raised
    • Biggest need is human capital; salaries, FTE, resources for faculty and staff
    • Need to measure and address below market salaries for hiring and current employees
    • Need to measure and address staffing levels, including increased responsibilities and workload due to attrition, and not rehiring
    • Need visibility into the five‐year plan and how that is integrated with Jayhawks Rising strategic plan
    • Need insight in how to effectively advocate for KU with KBoR

 

October 13, Staff Senate

  • Reference report from Jena Gunter, Staff Senate Secretary
  • Standard monthly reports provided by President, committee chairs and ex‐officio reps
  • Significant time used to discuss faculty and staff attrition and workload, wages, and benefits

 

October 15, Senate Leaders Meeting

  • Primarily focused on how students, faculty and staff will prepare to speak with KBoR representatives the following week

 

October 19, UPS/USS Council Joint Meeting

  • Reference report from Brian Moss, UPS rep
  • Standard monthly reports provided by Presidents
  • Significant time used to discuss winter break closures, satisfaction survey, COVID and remote work policies, inclement weather policies, staff attrition and workload

 

October 19, SENEX Meeting

  • Reference report from Kathy Reed, Governance office
  • Standard monthly reports provided by Presidents
  • Significant time used to discuss medical and compassionate withdrawal petitions, and membership to the University Senate Retirees Rights and Benefits committee

 

October 20, KBOR Meeting

  • Over the past 20 months, staff at the University of Kansas have witnessed tremendous change. These changes have included:
    • navigating a balance of work with the added COVID responsibilities of childcare, eldercare, and safeguarding family members with compromised immune systems;
    • navigating fluctuating work locations (remote, in‐person or hybrid) due to the various needs of the students, faculty, and fellow staff they serve;
    • navigating increased workloads due to pandemic‐expedited retirements, loss of colleagues to COVID, and subsequent labor market shortages;
    • navigating increased output and growth goals for student recruitment due to in‐person and online market competition, as well as increasingly smaller pool of students;
    • and navigating increased costs of living due to COVID supply chain disruptions, compounded by years of stagnant wages and salary compression
  • Staff have adapted to these changes by:
    • using masks in the workplace, receiving vaccinations, and following CDC and KDHE recommended guidelines for mitigating COVID spread;
    • remaining agile and flexible to support themselves and the students and faculty they serve, which have been an even heavier lift for Facilities & Operations, IT, and department administrative staff who have remaining fully in‐person;
    • working harder and smarter to maintain pre‐COVID customer service levels and COVID‐increased workloads;
    • and stretching household incomes to meet family needs while balancing the costs of education.
  • Although staff have adapted and persevered, these changes are taking their toll, specifically:
    • fatigue from the unknown of how long COVID will be around, when vaccines will be available for all children, and the long‐term effects of COVID;
    • burnout from a constant state of readiness and need for greater flexibility to support students, faculty, and fellow staff, falling the heaviest on those staff who have implemented campus operation changes;
    • increased attrition and turnover, struggles to retain and recruit quality staff due to below‐market wages, salary compression and unsustainable workloads;
    • and balancing the cost of higher education with basics needs, putting staff with families in an increasingly difficult financial bind, and forcing staff to prioritize short‐term survival over long‐term economic growth through education.
  • All of these changes have amplified inequities that existed prior to COVID, and all negatively impact staff morale.
  • Where staff at the University of Kansas see an opportunity for Kansas Board of Regents to advocate for and support is the area of recruiting and retaining quality staff. We humbly submit two requests of the Kansas Board of Regents:
    • to support a broad market study comparing current university employee wages against those in the private and other public sectors, identifying gaps for both current employees and those being recruited;
    • and to support a broad tuition assistance study comparing current university employee tuition assistance programs (including spouse and dependents) against other peer and state institutions, including the identification of gaps in support.
  • By addressing these two items, this will send a clear message to staff that they are a priority. Implementation of these requests, through additional financial support from the state, would improve morale, keep the University of Kansas competitive in the public and private sectors, and ultimately improve the quality of work and customer service levels provided to students and faculty.
  • Staff are dedicated to their institutions, our universities would not function without the hard work and dedication our staff put forth every day, and we are here for the long‐haul. While our governance works to address these challenges directly with our administration, support from the Kansas Board of Regents would add additional weight to these needed changes.

 

October 20, Provost Meeting

  • A thank you for approving paid time off from December 26 through January 1. This will help with staff morale and allow for some much‐needed down time.
  • Provost previously advised that Staff Senate leadership email her and cc David Cook to arrange a meeting and discuss options/restrictions on broad, formal communication channel
    • Will have email sent by end of week
  • Provost was to provide an update at our October meeting regarding a discussion on the disconnect between some supervisors and deans on broad decisions with remote/hybrid work arrangements. What update is available?
    • Did have the meeting, deans argued with one another (some fully embraced, some not ready), Provost pushed its inequitable to not have the policy implemented the same across the board, 2‐3 out of 13 apprehensive
    • Planning of the spring semester now, before Thanksgiving if we haven’t heard any rumblings then communicate back to Provost for additional pressure
  • Provost was to provide an update at our October meeting regarding Jayhawks Rising team makeup and greater visibility in how they are recruiting and engaging with DEIB voices. What update is available?
    • Just received all recommendations last Friday from objective co‐leads (one dean, one VP), cutting out overlap and then they start creating the team, no team calls out yet
    • Most important thing is that the agreed upon goals, as deans and VP work together to own this, silos are breaking down and deans are seeing opportunities to connect, and VP are seeing the day‐to‐day challenges as deans
    • Next hope is that this becomes their regular job, not just setting aside, one reason why working with them as a leadership before smaller groups, VP have to drive the improvements and deans have to buy in, have to have the shared priorities
    • Jessica reemphasizes the DEIB focus, Provost response is that there’s two focused on DEIB (inclusion and international), each unit has an equity advisor as well as the ACE Internationalizing Lab, both will have tasks/activities/metrics under each of the 13 groups
    • Need to have goals and metrics under each 13, not just voices
  • Provost previously mentioned that during the fall semester, campus leadership (including deans/directors) would be looking to identify supervisors who have not completed STEP training and to get them involved. What update is available?
    • Have asked Mike Rounds and Kathleen A‐S on their strategizes, have sent an email to follow up, finding balance with scope and scale in‐person and digital use, bigger transition plan on comprehensive work
  • Provost previously mentioned that during the fall semester, she would be able to provide us with lists/details regarding the Service Experience Councils and staff involved, so that Staff Senate could engage with them. What update is available?
    • Making a webpage that will have everyone listed, councils and members, and some are still formalizing, will be long‐term use, next time ask about the website status
  • Provost was previously provided information from staff regarding the Edwards Campus strategic enrollment management plan, which includes reported quotas for units and leads to unsustainable workloads for staff, and that this would be discussed with Edwards leadership. What update is available?
    • Connected with Stewart Day at Edwards, talking about the navigators, have some transition (Misty and Alex), their ratio is high as is at Lawrence campus, figuring out the right ratio load is on our radar, out of line, need to invest in student enrollment and student success
  • SENEX meets with the Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday morning, October 21, and Staff Senate representatives will request two items of support from KBoR in regard to recruiting and retaining quality staff:
    • to support a broad market study comparing current university employee wages against those in the private and other public sectors, identifying gaps for both current employees and those being recruited;
    • and to support a broad tuition assistance study comparing current university employee tuition assistance programs (including spouse and dependents) against other peer and state institutions, including the identification of gaps in support.
  • KU CFO Jeff DeWitt has hinted at support for a broader market study (last one completed in 2012‐13), and at building in tuition support coverage for dependents into the budget over a 3–5‐year timeframe. What tangible movement can be anticipated to see from university leadership within this current fiscal year and next fiscal year regarding these two items?
    • Support of broad market study, if they don’t, we will
    • Developing key initiatives behind Jayhawks Rising, have solved ½ of our challenge, the remainder is growth, duplications, spending across both campuses, not talking about people but processes
    • Told Jeff and Jason that Provost needs between Dec‐Mar a true 3‐year financial plan for investments and savings, what those dollars are to growth and efficiencies, and include wage increase pool and tuition assistance (including dependents), needs to see the margin on net growth
  • What movement is occurring within the state legislature on either mandating vaccines state‐wide, or allowing for flexibility to mandate at a county or university‐level?
    • Letter drafted with WSU, K‐State and KU will move to mandate for all employees, have been told that AG will sue us, have notified KBoR about the financial impact of not having vaccine requirements, KU is going down this path and will see what pushback will be
    • Will be released by end of week to meet December 8 date, so next week is the date for the first vaccine, Chancellor is clear in the message to not jeopardize federal funds, there will be exemptions (medical and religious) and will need guidance from General Council and/or Federal government

 

Oct 22, KU Unified Command Situation Report from Andrew Foster

  • Lower COVID rates in Douglas County
    • Those unvaccinated are still being hospitalized
    • Some breakthroughs
  • Mask compliance
    • Will continue through the fall semester
    • On‐campus and county continue to improve with compliance
  • Mandated vaccines
    • Federal government had the executive order, but didn’t relay how to go about it
    • Renewing or starting federal contract have this language, KU received their first from NIH (on Monday)
      • Friday before WSU received their NASA contract
    • Federal executive order supersedes state mandates through the contracts
    • Applies to all KU employees and affiliates
  • Supervisory
    • Supervisor will not review documents, may be notified that employee needs to upload information in HR/Pay
    • Employee will see documents, supervisor will not
    • Once accommodations are brought to the table, ADA fields this and will be largely based on the position (in‐person, hybrid, remote)
  • Using work time to get vaccine (for self or dependents)
    • Can get your vaccine during work time
    • For dependents, not during work time
  • Booster requirements/mandates
    • No mandates for boosters, not anticipated
  • If out sick due to COVID (sick/shot), still be paid
    • Used to have the COVID paid leave, but now sick leave is being used for that
    • Plan accordingly when taking the shot (on a Friday, or take a sick day the next day)
  • Exemptions
    • Medical exemption, provided through doctor
    • Religious exemption, wording still being determined and will be thoroughly reviewed by third‐party blind committee
    • Exemption deadline by mid‐November, outside review board overseen by KU Med as external review
    • Accommodation process will be sought, and will be addressed on a case‐by‐case basis
    • Monday afternoon, Tuesday at latest with answers, all handled through HR/Pay module (upgraded)
    • Those who refuse to follow the process, by December 8 there’s a high chance of termination
  • Dismissals
    • Will use the current channels as much as possible

 

Oct 25, Staff Senate Visioning Process

  • Brainstormed 3‐5 bold steps (actionable items) for Staff Senate to focus on for the remainder of the academic year
  • Top 5 bold steps
    • 11 votes – advocate for mandatory supervisor training and mandatory DEIB training for all staff
    • 10 votes – create communications plan, specifying types of communications, audiences, and channels, leveraging this plan to communicate more frequently with staff, and a plan to engage various university leaders on a regular cadence
    • 09 votes – develop multiple avenues of communication to collect feedback from constituents
    • 05 votes – advocate that all departments/units are required to incorporate DEIB efforts
    • 03 votes – award at least 60% of professional development funds each academic year

 

Oct 28, University Senate

  • Reference report from Kathy Reed, Governance office
  • Provost in attendance, Teri Chambers reemphasized the two topics brought forth at the KBoR meeting

 

Oct 29, Staff Senate reading discussion

  • Discussion with Aaron Quisenberry and Jessica Chilcoat (Jui‐Sheng Wang and Robert Waller absent)
  • Topics from Chapter 4 covered and applied to real‐world situations as supervisors and individual units

 

 

Faculty Senate President’s Report to SenEx 2021.11.02

The following is a partial list of ongoing issues, with brief status updates on each

  1. Vaccine mandate:
    1. To comply with a federal mandate, the University of Kansas has mandated that all employees be fully vaccinated by 2021.12.08 or receive an approved exemption.
    2. See this page for more info: https://protect.ku.edu/vaccine
  2. Academic workload:
    1. A draft academic workload policy draft was discussed at the 2021.10.21 Faculty Senate meeting, and considerable feedback was received. Feedback and suggestions were also solicited and received from Deans, Chairs, FRPR, and SPPT.
    2. A small group of faculty governance leaders met with VP Brown and Associate VP Ng on 2021.10.29 to discuss a revised draft. Work is ongoing. A revised draft will be brought to the Faculty Senate for consideration.
  3. Ad-hoc committee: University Senate procedures for program discontinuance
    1. Discussions are underway about how to approach proposing revisions to the policy. Kokobobo will provide an update at the 2021.11.02 SenEx meeting.
  4. Ad-hoc committee: FRB procedures for hearing a challenge to dismissal of tenured faculty
    1. The committee has finished revising the policy and will bring a list of substantive changes to FacEx for discussion on 2021.11.09. Pending FacEx support, Ad-hoc Chair Mulligan and Lequesne will engage with the Provost’s Office to negotiate revisions before bringing it to FacEx for a vote.
  5. Other policy changes in the pipeline
    1. Hearings on Dismissal of Tenured Faculty: FacEx voted on 2021.10.26 to approve a revised version of the amendment rejected by the Provost. The amendment will be taken to the Faculty Senate on 2021.11.18.
    2. Medical withdrawal policy: A proposal to revise USRR 2.3.3 was received by governance and discussed by SenEx on 2021.10.19. Syrett, Baxter, and Lequesne worked on a revised draft that will be shared with SenEx on 2021.11.02.
    3. Absent policy: A proposal to revise USRR 2.1.1 has been reviewed by AP&P and FRPR. FacEx discussed the amendment on 2021.10.26 and will continue the discussion at a future meeting.
    4. Proposed new Faculty Right Concerning Curriculum: A proposal to add a 17th right to Article III of the Faculty Code was approved by the Faculty Senate on 2020.02.20. The Provost’s Office rejected the amendment. FacEx discussed this on 2021.10.26 and will revisit it at a future meeting.
    5. Proposed amendment to constrain the length of interim/acting appointments for administrators: FacEx discussed the Provost response to the proposed amendment on 2021.10.26 and agreed to not work to revive the effort. There is no clear path to gaining approval.
  6. Sexual assault prevention
    1. The AAU announced new principles to prevent sexual harassment: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/10/27/aau-adopts-principles-prevent-sexual-harassment
    2. Kokobobo is working to understand how KU is going to work to align our work with these principles.
  7. Faculty Rights Board
    1. I met with Provost Bichelmeyer and VP Brown on 2021.10.25 to discuss an issue related to resolution of an FRB case that was discussed at the 2021.09.23 Faculty Senate meeting.
    2. I left the meeting with the understanding that the Provost will work with Governance and the FRB chair in future cases to make sure there is a common understanding of the facts involved with a case before overturning an FRB recommendation.
  8. Faculty data
    1. The switch this semester from PRO to an Academic Analytics platform has raised wide- ranging questions about the use of faculty data on this campus. How are data collected? How are they verified? Who has access to the data? Are the data used for faculty evaluation and retention decisions? These questions are not limited to Academic Analytics; which other platforms (JayhawkGPS? SLATE? Canvas?) collect data on faculty activities and how are they used?
    2. Preliminary discussions are underway with VP Brown about how to have these important conversations in an informed and constructive way. There need to be guidelines for use of data as well as transparency and accountability.
  9. KBOR expectations for program review
    1. Governance leaders will meet with VP Roberts in November to discuss updates.
  10. Extra tenure year for faculty incoming in Fall 2020?
    1. No update until the November KBOR meeting.
  11. Program discontinuance:
    1. No update until SenEx receives AP&P reports.
  12. Financial situation
    1. No update. CFO DeWitt will attend the 2021.11.04 University Senate meeting.
  13. KBOR redefinition of a baccalaureate degree (so-called “credit cap” issue)
    1. No update until the November KBOR meeting.
  14. KBOR General education policy
    1. No update.
  15. DEIB VP Search
    1. No update. We have been told a search will be announced later this semester.
  16. CLAS Dean Search
    1. No update. We have been told a search will be announced soon.