University Senate Minutes March 3, 2022


University Senate, March 3, 2022

Approved: April 7, 2022

 
Present: Hossein Saiedian, Ben Chappell, Geraldo Sousa, John Poggio, Ani Kokobobo, Patricia Gaston, Nick Syrett, Amanda Mollet, Nate Brunsell, Lea Currie, Margaret Marco, Rana Esfandiary, Kyle Velte, Rafael Acosta, Charlotte Tritch, Sam Brody, Mahasweta Banerjee, John Bricklemyer, Tim Hossler, Corey Maley, Justin Blumenstiel, Maya Stiller, Allard Jongman, Antha Spreckelmeyer, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Barbara Kerr, Chris Crandall

 

Matt Deakyne, Jessica Chilcoat, Brian Moss, Chris Wallace, Robert Waller, Michelle G Hayes, Aaron Quisenberry, Tim Spencer, Liz Barton

 

Hollie Hall, Andrew Moore, Ethan Roark, Wesley Cudney

 

Visitors: Corrine Bannon, Chad Lawhorn, Matt Jacobson, Jennifer Roberts, Jeff Chasen, Chris Brown

 

Also present: Kathy Reed, Tessa Maclean

 

Corrine Bannon, JayhawksRising

  • Shared Jayhawk’s Rising website: https://jayhawksrising.ku.edu/
    • Strategies have been defined within objective areas, and the work has begun
    • Action plans are very detailed, help AIRE track progress
    • There will be a dashboard for priority areas that provides status updates
    • Robin Lehman, has come back to support Jayhawks Rising

 

 

Approval of Minutes from February 3, 2022
Motion made by Kokobobo, seconded by Sousa. No discussion, approved unanimously.

 

Presidents Reports -see below.

    1. Staff Senate – Tim Spencer
    2. Student Senate- Ethan Roark
    3. Faculty Senate – Remy Lequesne
    4. University Senate- Hossein Saiedian
      1. VP Brown evaluation has been completed and submitted to the Provost
      2. A search committee for DEIB has been created
      3. Weekly COVID meetings: there has been a statement from the Chancelor, the mask mandate has expired for Douglas County, KU has followed with the exception of classrooms, health center, buses, and childcare services.
      4. COACHE job satisfaction survey
      5. Still accepting nominations for faculty senate
         

DISCUSSION:

Amendment to the Retroactive Withdrawal USRR 2.3.3 (see below)

 

Question:

What is the relation between this and FacEx petitions? Retroactive withdrawal doesn’t address the issue of having a W on a transcript.

 

Reply Kokobobo:

A W is better than an incomplete that cannot be completed and later turns into an F.

 

Reply Reed:

The only way the student can get rid of that W is to cancel through the FacEx petition process.

 

 

Comment Syrett:

Yes, the W would remain, there are ways to remove it, the students are given time to explain why they have so many W’s.

 

Question Hall:

I see that graduate students have been excluded from this amendment, was that intentional or an error?

 

Reply Syrett:

It was not an error, the schools wanted it to apply only to undergraduate students as graduate students have different processes in place to help them through similar situations.

 

 

Motion to suspend the rules that require senate to wait to vote next meeting and vote on this today, made by Sousa, seconded by Hall. The motion passed by a unanimous vote.

 

 

Motion to approve the amendments as presented, Sousa, seconded by Syrett. The motion passed by a unanimous vote.

 

 

Amendment to University Senate Code: Retirees Rights and Benefits Committee (see below)

 

Question:

Does the retired person have to be from the Endacott Society?

 

Reply Poggio:

To be a member of the [Endacott] Society you have to be retired, but not retired from KU necessarily, and that was the problem.

 

Reply:

There is no requirement to be a member of the Endacott Society.

 

Reply Reed:

The only thing we are changing here is that the [chair of the committee] has to be retired from KU. It states “[t]he committee shall also include the President of the Endacott Society or designee…” it has always read that way, it’s always been a designee of the Endacott society, this is the first time we have had someone who hasn’t been retired from KU and John is supportive of this. If you would like to clarify this issue, we could need to make separate revisions (this is not what we are voting on today).

 

After some discussion, a motion was made to suspend the rules that require senate to wait to vote next meeting and vote on this today by Sousa, seconded by Poggio. The motion passed with 33 votes in favor and 1 against.

 

 

Motion to approving the changes to the amendment made by Poggio, seconded by Sousa

The motion passed by a unanimous vote.

 

 

 

Discussion and Vote: University Senate Resolution, Restore Shared Governance at KU (see below)

  • We met with the Provost yesterday (University and Faculty leaders) the provost did agree that the Governance should be more involved in the decision-making.
  • She wants to have more meetings with Senate Leadership in order to increase involvement
  • We expressed that we wanted to improve the current situation, and the Provost seemed open to that

 

During the discussion, issues were brought up such as:

  • There shouldn’t be more closed-door meetings
  • We followed the rules, they [the administration] did not
  • The resolution feels like another example of the university senate rallying around faculty being excluded from a process/procedure
    • Where is the same energy for budget cuts, the hundreds of staff that have been fired, policy brutality, or issues impacting students?

It was identified that budget cuts and other issues are often not a direct violation of policy and therefore are more challenging to form resolutions about. That program discontinuance affects everyone, faculty, staff, and particularly students’ learning opportunities. Agreement was had over the limited extent of University Governance's power over policy and procedures. A more extensive conversation about the imbalance of power in the University Senate needs to continue.

 

 

Comment:

I think the key points should be added to the first paragraph as they are important and the public likely won’t read through the whole thing.

 

Syrett edited the document on the floor to include the key points at the beginning of the resolution.

 

 

Question:

Is everyone going to be included in the task force, with equal representation?

 

Reply:

Assuming we get a task force, yes.

 

 

Motion to approve the amendment to the resolution on the floor made by Deakyne, seconded by Sousa. The motion passed with 28 votes in favor and 1 against.

 

It was decided that the resolution would be sent on Monday to allow for the staff appreciation email to be sent out (alone) on Friday.

 

Unfinished Business

  1. Update: Sexual Harassment Policy
    1. Shared most recent language
  2. Update: Review Program Discontinuance Committee
    1. The visual arts program is still in the process of being worked out

 

 

 

New Business

            None

 

 

Meeting adjourned

 

 

 

University of Kansas – Staff Senate President Report – January-February 2022

 

Dec 8, Staff Senate

  • Reference report from Jena Gunter, Staff Senate Secretary

 

Dec 9, Staff Senate Leadership Reading Discussion

  • Discussion of Chapters 5-6 in relation to leadership experiences at KU

 

Dec 14, Staff Senate Leadership meeting with Provost

  • What is the status of the Service Experience Councils website?
  • What is the status of revising broadcast emails and communications? If daily communications are the approach, how is messaging prioritized within the communication? o Chancellor and Dave Cook are meeting with their teams over winter break for a hard reset
    • Looking to create a once-a-day notification, would post on your website, and then aggregate up with title and headline (30-50 words) a link to your website, and this is organized by sections
    • Developing principles of engagement, including organizing by target audience and clickable expansion for review
  • What is the status of deans and VPs developing their goals and metrics under the 13 Jayhawks Rising initiatives? How are the equity advisors contributing to a DEIB lens in each initiative?
    • Collected all strategies, Provost and leadership reviewed the proposals to then develop teams
    • Jeff DeWitt working on costs, investments and revenue generating tasks associated with these strategies
    • Figuring out how to roll out and communicate membership in these teams in the Spring semester
    • Provost reviewing these 13 initiatives with VPs on a monthly basis to ensure their work is aligning
    • Embedding equity advisors in each initiative, working to craft inclusive excellence network with DA Graham
      • Access and Success
      • Institutional Climate and Intergroup Relations
      • Education and Scholarship
      • Institutional Infrastructure
      • Community Engagement
    • At end of spring semester will have a report out, moving forward from there will use those meetings as presentation to DEI Council
  • What is the timeframe for conducting a market study? How will this be implemented into next fiscal year and/or the five-year budget model?
    • Market study included in one of the strategies of the HR Service Experience Council with HR
    • Pressing to have that done as soon as possible, Jeff, Doug and Barb met to discuss how to approach balancing within inflation period, both cost of living and merit, determine base, and then looking at how to equitably approach those raises
  • What is the timeframe for making a decision on the interim status of the DEIB director?
  • Doing a search, ideally that would be forming right now, will be crafting committee and search will occur in the spring
  • Have been conducting the Dean of CLAS currently, will also roll out in the spring, as well as VP for Jayhawks Global (retooling Sharron Graham position)
  • Would like to meet in early January with Governance to discuss where we’re going with online instruction (currently presented to Deans and VPs)
  • Jessica requests that Governance be included in these searches, on-campus visits with finalists would include Governance
  • What information can you share about how the DEIB office and HR are addressing the recruitment and retention of staff, including those from marginalized communities?
    • Some of this is included in future plans from DEIB office, some is tied into Jayhawks Rising
    • All things HR in the spring, in terms of searches, must have much more coordinated searches (approval to search and approval to hire)
    • Better Up, focused on leadership and culture change, pilot group right now and how to roll out broadly, doing better than most organizations however we have work to do
      • Help the Provost support those who are doing the work (there is a lack of trust across the board)
      • Keep asking about that and how we get traction on how to help lead Jayhawks with heart

 

 

  • What information can you share about how your office and other campus offices are working to address sexual assault prevention?
    • Tamera Durham having meetings with protestors to discuss where we’ve been, where we’re going
    • Chancellor Sexual Assault and Prevention Task Force, existed under former Chancellor Bernadette Grey-Little, Provost will reinstate and review what did and did not happen, what can and cannot be done (due to current laws), report out and then formulate next steps from there

 

Dec 17, Bi-Weekly Governance Leadership meeting with Andrew Foster

  • Heavy discussion of the Omicron variant
  • Sense of defeat from the majority of Governance leadership

 

Jan 5, Staff Senate Executive Committee

  • Reference report from Jena Gunter, Staff Senate Secretary
  • Discussion of various topics, including:
    • Public Affairs revamp of campus communications to a once-a-day email, concerns regarding how to prioritize information, and will we be able to send out separate emails (i.e. senate newsletters, elections, surveys, etc.), Tim will follow up with Provost in February meeting
    • Warranties & Representation Document, would request in-person job candidates sign that they are not sexual offenders, with General Council for review, question on status, Policy Office not aware, Remy and Tim to follow up with General Council
    • Use of PD funds, need ideas for using funds beyond individual and unit PD, possible ideas include supporting university events (PR for us), staff appreciation items (possible distribution logistics issues), Tim will follow up with KBoR USS/UPS on there senate PD uses in February meeting
    • DEI position review being conducted across campus, in coordination with Erin Duran
    • New staff handbook currently with DEI and HR for revising, will need report out on status
    • DEI training that is not publicly announced as mandatory is considered mandatory, reservations from campus leadership on having DEI training be the first required training due to possible blowback from the state, Provost supports mandatory approach but doesn't want DEI at the forefront, will push this coming academic year.
    • Staff Senate chairs and chair-elects are tasked with reviewing the revised Staff Senate mission, five bold steps, and Jayhawks Rising initiatives, and comparing how their committee charges support those items by Friday, January7, for compiling and presenting at the Staff Senate Leadership Retreat next Wednesday
    • Staff Senate beta website up, looking for senators to review and provide feedback, new site available via https://staffsenate.cms-dev.ku.edu/
    • Broad concerns about Governance members not being permitted to serve on major university hiring committees and instead meeting with final candidates during campus visits (digital),Governance was involved with the Provost search, will need additional information on the validity of these concerns
    • Governance non-involvement in Chancellor searches, but were involved in the Provost, some told that Governance is not directly involved in search but invited to meet with candidates for questions.
    • Concerns over current staff taking on additional workload due to attrition, not a sustainable approach and many units are not rehiring, need breathing room to take time off and pursue PD,  breathing room for staff to have days off, have PD, turnover leading to higher volume for longer periods of time, additionally those that are retiring need to be celebrated

 

Jan 5, Staff Senate Leadership meeting with Provost

  • COVID
    • How does KU leadership work with Athletics in making decisions regarding health and safety?
      • Athletics is informed from Chancellor and Pandemic Medical Advisory Team for making decisions
  • How will KU leadership address community spread concerns due to Athletics lifting the mask requirement?
    • Shift from requirement to recommendation, based on inability to enforce the policy for the individual’s entire visit
    • Staff on sight with signs that masks are required consistently berated and yelled at, can’t shut down game to require compliance, can’ opt out of contracts with Big 12 and others
    • The fundamental question that comes up from staff on sight is that they can’t enforce the requirement, so how do we go from there?
    • From the Chancellor’s perspective, what’s core and what’s not, so will continue to focus on protecting the academic areas (classrooms, etc.)
    • Concern from Hossein is that any protective measure is beneficial due to high-density  environment
        • Provost responds that we have little to no backing from the city or county, continue to have very pointed questions between our leadership and their leadership regarding this
    • How will KU leadership address other large venue decisions regarding the mask requirement (i.e. Lied Center)?
      • For the Lied Center, and similarly with the Spencer Art Museum, we carved out a requirement with the state that we are contractually obligated due to performances/touring companies
      • For the Union, while they are separate, they are on-campus, and their events are also covered by those contractual obligations
  • Provost mentioned that decision on how classes will be conducted in the spring will be communicated to campus by the end of this week (1/7)
  • CPO
    • What is your vision for the new CPO? What kind of vision does the new CPO have for their role at the university?
      • Provost not involved in hiring committee
  • Part of work with CFO Jeff DeWitt and reorganization of work off of Jason Hornberger, including Procurement, is to move from transactional to strategic sourcing
  • Fundamental tasks are to look at data, policies, and processes, assess how our organization can start vetting purchases on the front-end vs on the back end, how to work with Finance and Marie Taylor to assess redundant big-ticket items (including CRM systems), and then how to govern and sustain that vetting on a regular basis
  • Provost advises that next time Staff Senate visits with Jeff DeWitt, to ask him what his vision is for this role and see how they align with the Provost’s vision

 

  • What kind of support will the new CPO and her office provide to staff regarding best procurement practices?
    • After data, policies and processes are reviewed, the CPO will provide recommendations, with perspective from Jeff DeWitt
    • Need to have the most efficient and effective processes, make as simple as possible for all parties, and staff need policy backing to be successful
    • Provost advises that next time Staff Senate visits with Jeff DeWitt and CPO, to ask them what principled guidance will be provided and how they will be able to support staff

 

  • What are the next steps post-consolidation for the CFO office?
    • Provost clarified and Tim confirmed that this question is geared towards next steps after the move of Craig Alexander’s portfolio from under Jason Hornberger to Jeff DeWitt
    • Next steps are to develop a controller/comptroller role with a clear position description, watching how that shift occurs, see if that role has the capacity to execute, and then what needs to be modified to be successful, which included hiring a new CPO
    • For Craig Alexander’s role, he has a unique skillset both in Finance and Financial Operations, will move towards a role of quality improvement officer looking at functions, processes and procedures that require continuous improvement
    • Believes we have made the big cuts to personnel and programs, and in order to avoid this again KU needs growth, disciplined spending, and improved processes, all of which can be generated through the CFO and CPO work
    • For Jason Hornberger’s role, has had the biggest change, has passed a fair amount of reports to university-wide functions (AP/AR, Purchasing, Procurement), will move towards a role of future-oriented financing with dotted-line reporting for those making unit financial decisions
      • This will include 4+8 and 8+4 (described by the Provost as comparing budgets to actuals and year to year for variances at unit levels), how to manage finance during the course of the year and move towards future-oriented financing and strategic alignment
  • Moving from general to all-funds budget reporting, when looking at all funds in those reports can identify accounts not fully utilized
  • Advise unit leaders to spend instructional fees first, then restricted KUEA, and then come and ask for general fund requests (state, tuition) from common pool
  • With KUEA, working to review stipulations and go back to donors to see if they modify the restrictions or go fallow for general ROI

 

January 7, Bi-Weekly Governance Leadership meeting with Andrew Foster

  • Heavy discussion of the Omicron variant
  • Hospitals are primarily seeing unvaccinated individuals - very few vaccinated are in the hospital and even fewer in ICU
  • Discussion of start date and presence on campus for the spring semester
  • Discussion of face masks and effectiveness against the Omicron variant
  • Discussion of student housing, spread and isolation availability
  • Discussion of flexibility level for faculty and staff

 

January 12, Staff Senate Leadership Retreat

  • Presented details on the revised Staff Senate mission and five bold steps, KU mission and Jayhawks Rising initiatives
  • Staff Senate chairs and chair-elects presented an assessment of how their current charges support the revised Staff Senate mission, five bold steps, KU mission, and Jayhawks Rising initiatives
  • Conducted breakout sessions to discuss how Senator Responsibilities (Article XII) are supportive of leadership roles in Staff Senate and the greater university
  • Conducted breakout sessions to discuss select topics from the Fall 2021 Staff Senate leadership reading The Extraordinary Power of Leader Humility by Marilyn Gist, specifically focused on diversity and leadership humility

 

January 18, UPS/USS Councils Monthly Meeting

  • University reports
  • Satisfaction Survey update
  • Council bylaws/policies in Microsoft Teams (via Kansas State University)
  • Discussion of availability and use of professional development funds for staff at KBoR institutions
    • KU – Senate budget, state allocation of $4,200 (general use, no carry forward), private $10,000 via Pepsi (PD use, carry forward), PD award up to $500 per staff member, have opened up to departments up to $500, looking to include professional memberships (approval TBD)
    • ESU – No specific allotment, allotted professional development funds by each department ($ known), pool of funds at university level ($ unknown, previous $70-50K)
    • PSU – No specific allotment, requests funds for PD from foundation (private), allotted certain amount and administer distribution, first come first serve through application, unused portion is returned to the foundation (private), during COVID numbers have decreased but still have some staff attending conferences
    • WSU – Senate budget, not specifically allocated for PD, something we’ve talked about with administration, Adhoc requests currently for PD support, ideas of informal remote gathering every Friday (provided funding for giveaways during that time)
    • FHSU – No specific allotment, $13,000 account from administration that staff can apply for PD use, foundation account employees can donate to in support of course textbooks ($200 per individual), PD day offered twice a year for faculty and staff with many tracks geared directly towards staff
    • KSU – Senate budget, foundation allotment for PD ($500 per individual, carry forward) and textbook reimbursement ($100 per individual)

 

 

 

Cycle Eight (8) Joint Officer Report (Student Senate)

Policy Director

This cycle I am beginning work for the following projects in the following ways

Campus Fee Advisory Board

  • I chair this board and it is my responsibility to coordinate monthly meetings to assess our campus fee amongst our fee managers.
  • I will be assigning senators to these different fees to help with research.

Establishing a warm clothes/coat closet

  • I am getting in contact with those at Watkins who oversee their warm clothes closet to see how we can expand and make it more readily accessible

Improving recycling in residence halls

  • Working with Student Housing to improve recycling habits and standards for our residence halls, apartments, and scholarship halls.
  • Working with the sustainability funds we have to potentially aid this issue

Civil Rights education

  • Working with the Social Justice Council and other entities on campus to provide a seminar on how to manage situations with law enforcement and what your civil rights are on campus and abroad.

 

Graduate President

Met with Nicole Reiz from Office of Graduate Studies to set a plan in place for applying for funds for the next academic year. It was decided to apply for EOF funds due to the way we distribute the funds for graduate student travel grants. This also means we will be able to increase grants from 500 to 750 per student which will more easily allow for international travel.

 

We had our biweekly meeting with Dr. Durham and discussed various matters such as how to better distribute the clicker program to under resourced students and how to address fee review in a way that would be receptive from KBOR with the current talk of keeping fees flat from the governor's office.

 

Met with the Chancellor, Chief of Staff and Dr. Durham. We discussed the recent plagiarism from the DEIB office and how students had yet to receive communication, only faculty had. Dr. Durham mentioned she would get a message out to students. We also discussed the fee package with the Chancellor and his advice was similar to Dr. Durhams which is to have 2 fee packages, one ideal and one flat to present.

 

Aside from the meetings mentioned above, at the request of GSAB I have been researching how student governments in the Big 12 work and what their graduate student input is like.

 

I have also reached out to all graduate student senators from last semester and now have a concrete list of those returning to serve and those who relinquished their roles.

 

Lastly, today I will be emailing all of the graduate student body to garner interest for the last fee review positions we have left. I already reached out to students within the higher education administration program with no luck, so this is my final attempt to garner interest.

 

All GSAB meetings have been scheduled for this coming semester also.

 

Associate Treasurer

I am currently working on adding the last touches to the Budget Book and then I will be starting the process of renaming the Associate Treasurer position as well as redefining what this position contributes to the Student Senate. This project will have the majority of my attention outside of Fee Review.

 

President

- SUA and Student Senate T-Shirts are here in the Student Senate Office

- planning a round table with our multicultural student groups

- working with OMA on the new Black Student Advisory Committee

- following up with council leadership on projects for the semester

- working with our gov rel director on Big 12 and Higher Ed Day

- organizing turn over documentation

- interviews this week for Comms position

 

Internal Affairs Director

Hello and I hope everyone had a good break. I have been working with administration to get the clicker program going for the spring semester. It is currently by appointment, so if you would like one feel free to email me at senateinternal@ku.edu. Additionally, the mentorship program is still open, and I will soon have advertisements for that all around campus. Lastly, I will hopefully begin working on matching students to areas that they have interest in from the campus wide interest survey. Thanks.

 

Vice President

  1. Niya & I have established our 1:1’s with cabinet members and are going to continue to engage in these meetings on a biweekly basis throughout the semester. We are hoping that this will help to keep the office connected on a myriad of projects and that it will provide some communication links as we engage in Senate work in a hybrid/virtual format across these next few weeks, due to the Omicron Variant.

 

  1. Hollie & I met with the Chancellor, the Chancellor’s Chief of Staff, and Dr. Durham on 21 January 2022. The following items were brought to their attention:

 

    1. COVID-19 concerns ranging from testing availability to issues with in-person instruction. We also discussed the need to reconsider the restrictions on hybrid attendance currently put in place by the Provost’s Office. Students simply need more choice on how to attend class during a global pandemic.
    2. The plagiarism of the MLK Jr. Day Email committed by the Provost’s Office, specifically the Office of DEIB, was discussed. It was relayed that students find this behaviour unacceptable and are seeking an official apology from the Provost’s Office. Simply put, if the Provost wants to reorganize DEIB Efforts under the Provost’s Office, this must coincide with a willingness to take responsibility for the actions, good and bad, that come out of this office. As it stands now, students have still not been informed by the university through email that the MLK Jr. Day's email was largely plagiarized from the words of Curtis L. Coy. They stated that they were also unaware of the reason why the Provost’s email that addressed Dr. Graham’s resignation from earlier this week did not also go out to students.
    3. We, once again, brought up the issue of communication at KU and approached the topic in two ways. In the end, Dr. Durham said that she would be able to send out Senate Emails if we could provide a good amount of information on the email for

the remainder of the semester. Dr. Durham also spoke to the development of a newsletter that will benefit next year’s administration.

    1. The University continues to send out faulty messages that have had negative impacts on our university community as a whole. It is now becoming rare to see a quality email be pushed out from the University’s communication specialists and that is simply not acceptable.
    2. We advocated that if the University can have so many mistakes that students are expected to forgive officials for, we should be able to send out information to University of Kansas students (our constituents), without approval from a university official. It is a matter of free speech at this

point.

  1. I am working with Humberto to set a date for cabinet members to have their office hours posted, either virtual or in-person.
  2. I am continuing to look at the Office Policy Manual to formulate it into more of a guidebook for future administrations. This will hopefully aid the transition process as we get closer to the Spring Elections.
  3. I am working with Humberto to finalize the time and day of StudEx meetings for the remainder of the Spring Semester. If you have not filled out the When2Meet that was emailed to StudEx, please be aware that responses are due back on 28 January (this Friday), otherwise we might be unable to accommodate the needs of all members’ Schedules.

 

  1. I plan to host the remainder of Cycle Eight (8) virtually as we continue to see Covid-19 cases rise at KU. So, the Student’s Assembly meeting this Wednesday will be hosted exclusively on MS Teams. I will update folx on whether or not Cycle Nine (9) will be virtual or hybrid by next Monday when I send legislation to the Council Chairs.

 

Social Justice Director

EOF meeting dates have been set and all board members have been selected. The application review process is contingent on a possible amendment. I believe Hammad will be bringing that through the Student’s Assembly this week.

Social Justice Council is going to be tabling soon. They're working on recruitment efforts to get numbers up, and they have some really great ideas for this semester. I'm excited to see the outcome and to support them as best I can.

I'm still waiting for the final draft of the grant proposal I've been helping with. As soon as I am able, I will share more information on the topic.

And lastly, DEI Retreat planning is fully underway. I'm looking at hosting the week in April. Each day will be representative of a different group of students on campus. Niya and I have talked about food trucks and music groups along with tabling. So, I'm currently going through and compiling a list of possible caterers along with the price and all the other necessary information. As soon as we have all the bids for everything we need, we'll be asking the DEIB Administration to match our budget. If you have any recommendations/suggestions/or ideas for the fair please let me know! I'm always open to hearing them.

Vice Provost of DEI resigned from their position last week due to an act of plagiarism. I have not heard anything about how the office is looking at filling the position or taking action, but as soon as I do I will be sure to send out an update!

 

Government Relations

COVID

 

Chief of Staff

COVID

Working on the new website. Will be ready for revision this Friday.

 

Working on making the changes that need to be made to the Student Senate to match our new Constitution while also revising our new constitution for mistakes or possible changes.

 

 

 

 

Faculty Senate President’s Report to the University Senate 2022.02.03

(Updates since 2022.01.27 Faculty Senate meeting are underlined)

 

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

  1. COVID
    1. VP Brown, VP Roberts, and A. Foster will take questions from faculty and staff during the 2022.01.27 Faculty Senate meeting.
    2. The Provost’s Office issued guidance for the spring on 2022.01.10, with more detailed directions sent to deans/directors later that week.
    3. Governance leaders have been meeting with VP Brown and A. Foster weekly to receive updates and advocate for changes to the plans for spring, but Governance leaders had no role in determining the plans for spring.

 

  1. Program discontinuance: a. For programs that the Provost and University Senate agreed to discontinue, final recommendations to discontinue have been forwarded to the Chancellor. As of 2022.01.31, final recommendations for the remaining programs have not been issued.

 

  1. Financial Situation a. Governor’s budget includes increased support for higher education, including raises and increased need-based support for students. This is great news, but it is still early in the legislative session.

 

  1. Email communications from governance leaders

 

    1. The Chancellor and Provost have said there will be a reworking of campus communication strategies this spring, and that governance messages will be part of the new system. It is not clear to me exactly what is being proposed or how it will work.
    2. My position is that governance must have the right to email constituents directly regardless of the new campus-wide communications strategy.

 

  1. Policies and Procedures
    1. Policies/Procedures Previously Approved by Faculty Senate
      1. Academic workload policy:
        1. On 2021.11.18, the Faculty Senate voted in support of a draft academic workload policy. It was then sent for public comment, and the only comment received prompted no revisions. The draft will next be sent to the Provost and Chancellor.
      2. Hearings on Dismissal of Tenured Faculty: 1. Faculty Senate passed an amendment to FSRR Article 7 on 2021.11.18. No comments were received during the public comment period, so the amendment has been sent to the Provost and Chancellor for approval.
    2. Faculty Senate Policies/Procedures
      1. FRB Procedures for Dismissal of Tenured faculty:
        1. Ad-hoc committee chair L. Mulligan and member R. Lequesne met with VP Brown and M. Taylor, Associate General Counsel, to discuss the ad-hoc committee’s draft. Although there is much agreement, substantive unresolved issues remain.
        2. These procedures cannot be changed without the support of the faculty senate, so no changes will be made unless they are a net positive for faculty.

It is not clear whether consensus will be reached in time for the senate to vote on the draft this term.

 

      1. FSRR 2.5 – KBOR redefinition of a baccalaureate degree (so-called “credit cap”) 1. In response to changes to the KBOR definition of a Baccalaureate degree, revisions to FSRR 2.5 have been proposed and are being reviewed by AP&P. The changes concern the maximum number of credits that may be transferred to KU from a community college.
    1. University Senate Policies/Procedures
      1. USRR 2.1.1 – Excused absence policy:
        1. A proposal to revise USRR 2.1.1 has been reviewed by AP&P and FRPR. AP&P supports the draft but FRPR was divided. FacEx discussed the draft on 2021.11.30 and asked K. Reed, C. Maley, and S. Williams to revise the draft and bring it back to FacEx/FRPR.
      2. USRR 2.3.3 – Medical or compassionate retroactive withdrawals: 1. Revisions passed SenEx on 2021.12.07. It will be on an upcoming University Senate agenda.

 

      1. USRR Article VIII – Program discontinuance
        1. The Ad-hoc committee drafted a substantially revised Article VIII that was sent to the Provost’s and General Counsel’s Offices for review. Ad-hoc committee chair H. Feldman and members R. Levy and A. Kokobobo met with VP Roberts, VP Brown, and M. Taylor, Associate General Counsel, to discuss the draft. Discussions are ongoing.
        2. These procedures cannot be changed without the support of the University Senate, so no changes will be made unless they are a net positive for campus. It is not clear whether consensus will be reached in time for the senate to vote on the draft this term.
      2. USRR XX – Accommodations for students victimized by sexual assault
        1. A. Kokobobo is working with a group to draft rules that would articulate that faculty are to provide reasonable accommodations for students victimized by sexual assault.
    1. Other/Misc.
      1. Policy Development
        1. Governance leaders discussed revising the policy on policy development (https://policy.ku.edu/university-policy-program) with Provost Bichelmeyer. The Provost will not change the policy, but suggested maybe changing the procedures.
        2. We proposed changes to the procedures (https://policy.ku.edu/policy-development-process) that would give the Governance Office authority to determine whether University Governance must review a draft policy. Currently the authority to determine whether governance must review a draft lies with the Policy Office (see step 1d of procedures). Discussions are ongoing.

 

 

  1. KBOR
    1. Extra ‘tenure-clock’ year for tenure-track faculty who began at KU in Fall 2020
      1. KBOR voted 8-0 in favor of extending by one year the probationary period for tenure-track faculty who started in Fall 2020. I’m told VP Brown’s office will issue revised guidance this term.  
      2. This is the same extension previously approved for tenure-track faculty who were in their probationary period during the spring of 2020.
      3. No extension was requested for faculty who started in Spring of 2021, as their ‘clock’ starts the following fall (fall 2021) by rule.
    2. AP Cut-scores review
      1. By rule, the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents is to engage with chairs every five years to review the minimum AP score accepted for each topic area. The review is required this spring.
      2. If your unit wants to change the currently-accepted minimum AP score (a so-called ‘cut-score’) for a course taught in your department, please contact your chair. K. Reed is sending the request for review to chairs during the week of 2022.01.24. We hope to receive responses by mid-February.
    3. KBOR General education policy
      1. There is a statewide effort to create a general education transfer system, wherein designated courses are guaranteed to transfer freely within the Kansas system.
      2. A framework has been mostly established, and an implementation committee consisting largely of registrars and advisors has been assembled. I have not seen the proposed framework.
      3. Later this spring a statewide committee of faculty will be assembled to write learning outcomes for affected general education courses. I will share whatever I learn about this.
    4. KBOR-mandated program review
      1. In a meeting on 2021.11.23, VP Roberts shared that KU is working on a data-driven approach for program assessment founded on Academic Analytics data compiled in an rpk-assembled dashboard available to campus administrators. The stated goal is to reduce the workload on chairs associated with the 8-year program review required by KBOR and to provide more frequent assessments of program performance throughout the review cycle.
      2. KU’s efforts seem aligned with KBOR’s desire to move the KBOR system towards ROI-based program review. It appears KBOR might also hire rpk to lead a statewide look at program review.
      3. Governance leaders raised concerns about accuracy of data and emphasized the need to contextualize the data before making inferences about program value, quality, or performance.
  2. Data analytics on campus
    1. In Jan. 2022, Governance leaders proposed forming a task group of faculty and administrators to discuss the increased use of quantitative data and metrics to inform campus decisions. The aim of the proposed effort is to “Agree to a set of principles that inform the role of data analytics in decision making processes at The University of Kansas. The aim is to increase trust and openness, and also to guide appropriate and fair use of data in decision making. These principles should be written into policy and reassessed periodically.”
    2. Discussions with the Provost’s Office are ongoing. I aim to get this moving early this term.
  3. 8. CLAS Dean Search
    1. Search committee was named, but I am not aware of a position description.
  4. DEIB VP Search
    1. We have been told a search will be announced in the spring.

 

 

 

U.S.R.R 2.3.3 Compassionate Withdrawal

 

Approved by FacEx: 11/30/21
Approved by SenEx:  12/7/21
Send to Faculty, Staff, and Students, for seven-day notification: January 27, 2021
Discussion University Senate: February 3, 2022
Motion was made to suspend the rules and vote on the amendment at the March 3, 2022, meeting, it passed.
Out for twenty-one-day review: March 8, 2022

Recommended edits related to the Retroactive Withdrawal Recommendations from the 2020-2021 pilot for Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal led by the Office of University Registrar and all KU Academic Units.

 

University Senate Rules and Regulations (USRR)

Article II. Academic Work and Its Evaluation

Section II Change of Grade

 

2.3.3 In the most extreme and unusual circumstances, a student may petition to either for retroactive relief in some or all courses in which they were enrolled.

a. withdraw from all the courses in which the student was enrolled. In this case a properly constituted committee from the school or College in which the student was enrolled may assign the letter W in all courses of that semester. The faculty members (s) in charge of the course(s) need not be consulted.

Or

b. if the student is asking for selective relief in a course in which the student was enrolled, a properly constituted committee from the school or College in which the course was taken may assign, after consultation/concurrence with the faculty member in charge of the course, the letter I, incomplete, or W, withdrawal. If the incomplete is assigned, it is to be in accordance with University Senate Rule 2.2.3. The work necessary to complete the course and remove the incomplete is to be determined by the faculty member in charge of the course. If the faculty member in charge of the course is unavailable or otherwise unable to provide a regime of work to complete the course, the department will take responsibility to determine the required work.

Each course is to be considered separately but the same committee may consider more than one course at the discretion of the dean of the school responsible for the course.

 

2.3.3.1 Undergraduate students may submit a petition for retroactive medical or compassionate withdrawal from courses, as defined in USRR  2.3.3.1.b, to the Office of the University Registrar. The petition must then be reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from the school or College in which the student was enrolled, the Office of the University Registrar, Financial Aid, and Student Affairs. The committee may elect to assign the letter W in either all courses or no courses of that semester. This committee is not empowered to enact selective relief. The faculty member(s) in charge of the course(s) need not be consulted. 

2.3.3.1.a. A school or College has the authority to submit a petition on behalf of a student for consideration in accordance with USRR 2.3.3.1  when expedited petition approval is in the best interest of the student and the University due to severe or egregious circumstances.

2.3.3.1.b. A medical withdrawal may be granted when extraordinary circumstances, such as a serious illness or injury, prevent a student from continuing classes. USRR 2.3.3.1 covers both physical health and mental health. Examples include but are not limited to sudden debilitating illness, hospitalization, mental health crises, or exacerbation of a chronic health condition. 
A compassionate withdrawal may be granted when extraordinary personal reasons, not related to the student's personal physical or mental health, prevent the student from continuing in classes. Examples include but are not limited to a death in the student's immediate family or care of a seriously ill child, spouse, or close family member.

2.3.3.2 To be considered for retroactive relief from a course, undergraduate students whose reason(s) for withdrawal are not covered under USRR 2.3.3.1 and graduate students should submit a petition to the school or College in which they were enrolled.

2.3.3.2.a. A petition to withdraw from all courses in which the student was enrolled must be reviewed by a committee from the school or College in which the student was enrolled. This committee may assign the letter W in all courses of that semester. The faculty member(s) in charge of the course(s) need not be consulted.

2.3.3.2.b. A petition for selective relief in a course in which the student was enrolled must be reviewed by a committee from the school or College in which the course was taken. This committee may assign the letter I, incomplete, or W, withdrawal for one or more courses after consultation with or concurrence of the faculty member in charge of the course in accordance with school or college policy (USRR 2.3.4) If the incomplete is assigned, it is to be in accordance with USRR 2.2.3 The work necessary to complete the course and remove the incomplete is to be determined by the faculty member in charge of the course. If the faculty member in charge of the course is unavailable or otherwise unable to provide a regime of work to complete the course, the department must take responsibility to determine the required work. Each course is to be considered separately but the same committee may consider more than one course at their discretion.

2.3.4 To ensure uniform implementation of these procedures a) each school and the College will develop a written policy for the guidance of the committee and b) each school or College will adopt a uniform policy as to whether concurrence or only consultation is required. The policies are to be made available to faculty and student.

 

 

Amendment to University Senate Code, Article X. Standing Committees of the University Senate, Section 3. Membership

 

SenEx Approved: October 9, 2021

Sent to all faculty, staff, and students for the seven-day review: January 27, 2021

Senate Discussion:

Sent to University Senate-Vote:
Under the University Senate Code, Article 1.8.2, a motion may be made to suspend the provision to discuss at one meeting and vote at the second.  It passed by a 2/3 majority. 

21-day review sent out: March 8, 2022

 

The University Senate Retirees Rights and Benefits Committee. 

 

Rationale:

This year for the first time, when the Endacott Society appointed their Vice-President as the member of the committee representing the Endacott Society, the person was not a retiree from KU.  The committee is charged with promoting communication with KU Retirees, seeking information about their needs, concerns, and updating the Retirees Handbook.  Members of the committee thought the Endacott Society member should be a retired KU faculty or staff person. 

 

Recommendation:

 

University Senate Code, Article X. Standing Committees of the University Senate, Section 3. Membership

 

The Committee on Retirees Rights and Benefits shall be composed of one active faculty member, who shall serve as chair; one retired faculty member; one active and one retired unclassified professional staff member; and one active and one retired university support staff member. All of the aforementioned shall serve three-year staggered terms. The committee shall also include the President of the Endacott Society or designee who has retired from the University of Kansas, and an ex-officio, non-voting member from the office of the Provost.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Approved by University Senate, March 3, 2022
 

Resolution to Restore Shared Governance at KU

 

University Leadership has repeatedly violated the principles of shared university governance. During the pandemic and the fiscal crisis that preceded it, decisions have been made for the University community and not with us. We have had our working conditions altered and offices restructured without consultation, through unexpected public announcements. We have seen DEI efforts on campus regress dramatically after the restructuring last year, as faculty, students, and staff of color leave. We have been forced into in-person work and teaching in a pandemic through mandates, with no dialogue, despite many of us having vulnerable or unvaccinated family members. We have seen carefully reasoned recommendations of the Faculty Rights Board overturned without prior consultation or communication with governance leaders. We have seen communications from governance to constituents blocked. Most recently, after years of pushing in person teaching, a centralized, online, curriculum-based initiative was announced, with potential ramifications on the working conditions of many, once again without consultation with governance or other stakeholders. Often the people most affected by drastic administrative moves have had the least opportunity to influence them.

 

In order to illustrate the failure of University leadership to work cooperatively with university governance, we draw upon the example of the recent program discontinuance procedures. In October 2020, at the request of KBOR, the Provost's Office began a process of evaluating programs deemed “under-enrolled” due to having fewer than 25 junior/senior majors. There was no announcement to the university community, which only learned of this process from press coverage. However, there were communications to external stakeholders: in February 2021, Provost Bichelmeyer informed KBOR of the discontinuation recommendations eventually presented to governance. The report makes no reference to processes laid out in USRR Article VIII on program discontinuance, which requires the review of program discontinuation requests by the University Senate and its committees. This policy reflects the University’s commitment to principles established by the AAUP, including that responsibility for the curriculum belongs with the faculty. In light of the external report, which makes no mention of Article VIII, and in the absence of any broader university communications about these matters, many affected students, staff, and faculty reasonably assumed that the discontinuation proposals were settled last year without governance input. 

 

Six months after telling KBOR that these programs would be discontinued, the Provost’s Office delivered requests to discontinue 42 academic programs to governance in early Fall 2021. The Academic Policies and Procedures Committee of the University Senate convened hearings on each of the programs, soliciting extensive written and oral testimony. AP&P delivered its recommendations to discontinue 28 of the 42 programs considered and to allow the remaining 14 programs to continue. The recommendations were informed by many factors, including poor communication with, and involvement of, affected parties; lack of evidence that discontinuation was in the best academic interests of the university; lack of adequate information demonstrating the financial effects of program discontinuation; and the absence of proper provisions for the faculty, students, and curriculum displaced by closures, as required by USRR Article VIII 8.2.5.

 

The closure of programs alters the substance of our university. Although sometimes justified by academic considerations and the natural evolution of academic work, program discontinuation can also diminish opportunities for students and remove material supports for the work of faculty and staff. The processes of Article VIII may, on the surface, appear lengthy, but they are intentionally so. Program discontinuation is a serious decision that requires deliberation and input from a diverse set of stakeholders; it should not be a reaction to financial or political pressures. The processes of shared governance exist to make informed decisions possible – in this case and in other cases. 

 

On 12/2/2021 the University Senate overwhelmingly voted to endorse the AP&P recommendations. Per policy, the University Senate Recommendations were then submitted to the Provost’s Office, where the requests originated. The Provost ultimately chose to discontinue all of the programs (with two discontinuations delayed until May 2022), consistent with her statement to KBOR in February 2021 and in opposition to the recommendations of the University Senate. By contrast, the AP&P committee, an independent body of faculty, staff, students, who should have decision-making power over the curriculum, accepted many of the administration’s recommendations. A process where requests are made and adjudicated by the same entity, with an outcome that matches their stated plan to the Board of Regents, cannot be a shared governance process. 

 

In the course of this process, many of you have asked governance representatives: “How much weight do the recommendations of the AP&P hold?” The answer is that these recommendations bear as much weight as the weight of shared governance at KU. From these events we conclude that shared governance is not functioning properly at the University of Kansas. 

 

Contrary to established policy, the decision to close programs was made prior to any deliberative process involving the elected representatives of the University. The process required by policy to evaluate requests for program discontinuance went forward with the good faith of its participants, but the decisions were settled already, presented to the Kansas Board of Regents already, and nothing would ultimately be changed by the governance review. The proper process dictated by policy amounted to a waste of extensive time and effort on the part of elected members of governance. The process was not in keeping with AAUP standards of shared governance. 

  

As the work of AP&P and the University Senate showed, members of the University community are capable of supporting difficult decisions when they are consensus-based decisions, when we are involved in making themand know that our perspectives have been heard and considered. Faith in shared governance is undermined when campus leaders act unilaterally, without engaging stakeholders, and in a manner that is inconsistent with campus policies and procedures. Seemingly efficient in the short term, disregard for shared governance processes is causing long-term harm to our university. 

 

As an AAU member and flagship university in the state of Kansas, KU must be a leading light in the advancement of democracy in our society, and democracy should be practiced within and furthered outside by instilling its principles in our students. Unshared governance creates a toxic, undemocratic institutional environment pervaded by insecurity, confusion, fear, lack of trust, and demoralization. This is the current state of our university.

 

KU is as strong as its people. To serve its students and to serve our broader communities, KU needs to harness the talents of all of its people. Faculty, staff, and students are strengthened when we are engaged and feel a sense of agency and ownership over the direction and work of the university. This university cannot rise without us, and we are being left behind at every turn. 

 

To repair relationships with faculty, staff, and students who are represented by the University Senate and who constitute the University itself, we call upon the Chancellor to take immediate action to restore shared governance at KU. 

 

  • A starting step toward this goal would be for the Chancellor to work in conjunction with faculty/staff/student governance to craft a plan for the creation of a task force, equally inclusive of students, staff, and faculty, to propose concrete action steps for the restoration of shared governance, including: 

 

  • An evaluation of decision-making processes at the university and whether these are in compliance with longstanding university policies and practices.
  • Steps to move away from the top-down, centralized decision-making model of the last two years.
  • Development of a comprehensive communication strategy, in partnership with stakeholders, to assist the practices of shared governance and to better serve stakeholders. 

 

   

 

 

Approved by the University Senate Executive Committee on February 15, 2022, to forward to University Senate.