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Minutes for November 3, 1997

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, November 3, 1997 in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senate Chair Karen Janssen called the third meeting of the academic year to order at 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

E. Baldwin* J. Beck L. Collins*
R. Enzie* W. Farrar* H. Funderburk*
S. Hunter K. Johnson* M. McAdam*
J.R. Miller D. Quillen* T. Ricks*
J. Thomas R. Thompson  

*denotes prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary

Visitors to the Senate were: Mr. James T. Gilbert, chair of Eastern's Board of Regents; Mr. Mike Lynch, president of Eastern's Student Senate; and Ms. Julie Clay, Eastern Progress

Approval of the Minutes

Senator Janssen called for additions or corrections to the October 6, 1997, minutes. There being none, the minutes were approved as distributed.

Report from the President: Senator Funderburk

There was no report given by President Funderburk because he was attending a meeting of the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) in Frankfort.

Report of the Executive Committee: Senator Janssen

Senator Janssen reported that at its meeting on October 20, 1997, the Executive Committee heard an interim report from Kirk Jones, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Inflation. The Executive Committee reviewed a one-page survey that the Grade Inflation Committee is preparing for distribution to all faculty which should be returned to the committee as soon as possible.

The Executive Committee discussed the membership of the Faculty Senate. Issues that were raised included: the number of voting administrators, the loss of representation of a department when their senator performs the duties of the Senate Chair, and the possibility of part-time faculty representation. Also discussed was faculty perception of the Faculty Senate and ways in which those perceptions may be inaccurate. In addition, discussion centered on when senators can speak during Senate meetings. Senator Janssen will be inviting senators to voice questions and concerns at the end of her report at each Senate meeting.

Senator Janssen reminded senators that Faculty Senate procedures do not allow senators to send a replacement when they are absent from a meeting. Only elected and ex-officio members of the Senate can make motions and vote. Senators are encouraged to ask their colleagues to come to the Senate as guests.

Rather than sending out a questionnaire Senator Janssen would appreciate hearing from each senator by e-mail ( in response to the following question: What do you like or dislike about the Senate's present meeting room and room arrangement?

Report from the Presidential Search Committee: Mr. James T. Gilbert

Board of Regents Chair and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee Mr. James T. Gilbert reported on the current status of presidential search activities. Mr. Gilbert stated that a firm timetable has been established with fourteen desired criteria adopted for prospective applicants. All applications and nominations should be sent to the Presidential Search Committee office, Perkins Building. The committee will spend time during the next two months reviewing extensively each candidate's credentials. Sometime in January approximately six to eight candidates will be invited to meet with the committee off campus for an interview. By February 1, 1998, the committee will present three to five names to the Board of Regents. Each candidate will be invited to the campus for an interview. The new president will begin work July 1, 1998.

In response to several questions Mr. Gilbert encouraged nominations and applications. He stated that the search will be inclusive, open, and as broad as possible. The committee desires input from all constituencies. No list of formal questions for candidates have been developed by the committee at this time. Senator Freed mentioned that the list of fourteen desired presidential criteria can be found on Eastern's homepage.

Report from the Institutional Planning Committee: Senator Murray

Senator Murray presented an extensive report on recent activities of the Institutional Planning Committee (IPC). The IPC met three times in October. The first meeting was informational--President Funderburk and Director of Planning and Budget Mr. James Clark shared their thoughts on the recent special session of the General Assembly on postsecondary education. The discussion included the link between House Bill 1, which identifies goals for postsecondary education in Kentucky to be achieved by the year 2020, and EKU's strategic plan. Of particular importance was the discussion of the Strategic Incentive and Investment Funds created by HB 1 and the impact that the allocation process will have on EKU. Attention of the IPC was directed to the Regional University Excellence Trust Fund. To qualify for funding for this trust fund, regional universities must submit a strategic plan, approved by the institution's Board of Regents, for a program of distinction. The basic criteria for a program of distinction are: (1) the program will meet the identified needs of the Commonwealth; and (2) the graduates of said program will have achieved a nationally recognized level of mastery in a particular field of study (including cutting-edge knowledge and demonstrated competencies as well as preparation to enter the workplace or advanced graduate study). The outcome of the first meeting was the decision to ask deans and department chairs to submit proposals for programs of distinction.

The second meeting of the IPC involved the presentation of two proposals or concept papers. Dean David Gale of the College of Allied Health and Nursing presented a proposal for a program of distinction in Occupational Therapy. Dean Truett Ricks of the College of Law Enforcement proposed a program of distinction in Justice and Safety. Both proposals included a program plan, a budget, and an assessment plan. Each of the Deans responded to questions from IPC members. Discussion was somewhat limited since copies of the proposals were not available prior to the meeting.

The third meeting of the IPC focused on updated information regarding activities of the CPE and reaction to the two program proposals. the CPE had not solidified principles and criteria for the trust funds; specific elements to be included in proposals to the CPE have yet to be established; details regarding requirements for matching funds had not been determined. Despite this obvious limitation, the IPC feels that it is in the best interest of EKU to participate in the Regional University Excellence Trust Fund. Thus, the decision was made to submit both proposals to the CPE after they have been revised to comply with specific criteria.

Report of the Faculty Regent: Senator Freed

Senator Freed briefly reported that the Board of Regents' recent meeting was of a routine nature. He mentioned that the CPE has just established criteria for Strategic Incentive and Investment Funds. He also stated that he feels faculty now have more input at higher political levels in higher education decisions than in the past. Lastly, he encouraged presidential nominations.

Report from the COSFL Representative: Senator Sowders

Senator Sowders reported at length about the October 18 meeting of COSFL. Through the efforts of Richard Freed, the meeting was held in EKU's Distance Learning room in the University Building so that the meeting could be linked with COSFL members meeting at Western Kentucky University. This was the first time such a linked meeting via distance learning had been held. However, some technology problems were encountered at the WKU site.

Dr. Merl Hackbart of UK, the faculty representative on the CPE, reported that the CPE would meet in Frankfort on October 20-21, preliminary to an important meeting on November 2-3 at which it would approve operating budget requests for the biennium as well as capital budget requests, tuition policies, new programs and degrees, and a pre-college curriculum. Gary Cox, who had been interim president of the CPE, left on October 15, and his position had been filled by Ken Walker, who had been interim staff director for CPE. His two principal duties will be to deal with routine activities and with activities arising from House Bill 1. Two transition committees are addressing issues coming out of HB 1--a Budget and Finance Committee to prepare budget recommendations for the meeting on November 3; and a Virtual University Committee to study the technology required, tuition funding, and the cost of developing courses for the Virtual University.

Dr. Hackbart said that at the meeting on October 21 there would be distributed for discussion a set of guidelines about enhancement trust funds for regional and research universities. Many concerns were expressed to Hackbart by COSFL members. These included a concern that the enhancement funds, which seem to be largely the source for new money at the universities, would go to only one program with other programs overlooked. He replied that university budgets will probably be adjusted as usual with a cost-of-living adjustment and that if the dollar-for-dollar match is not achieved by the university, the monies would remain in a trust fund for future use by those universities.

Another faculty concern related to the possible inability of individual universities to increase tuition sufficiently to meet increased expenses so that schools would be limited to cost-of-living increases which are insufficient to meet university expenses. Dr. Hackbart replied that the CPE will basically set the funding formula aside and will allow universities to make judgments aside from the enhancement funds. With equity funding, the universities should be up to 95% and community colleges to over 100% of benchmark institutions. One COSFL representative pointed out that universities can set fees to increase tuition.

The next issue had to do with whether or not the number of programs of distinction is fixed. Dr. Hackbart replied that the selection of centers of excellence is left up to the individual institutions. Some concern was also expressed that perhaps only one group on campus, the administration, would make the decision about the programs of distinction.

Next followed a discussion of the spending of funds in general, with some members noting that "glitzy" uses (such as the Virtual University) would be funded when basic needs of faculties and departments are not being met. Hackbart pointed out that the allocation of money to the university is effectively like a block grant: the allocations are up to the university. Another faculty representative discussed the need for more private funding for public universities, stating that Kentucky now has the lowest such funding in the nation. As Hackbart's report ended Loys Mather, COSFL president, stated that this was the first time that COSFL had had any real idea of what was going on at the CPE.

Following Hackbart's report, some routine business was conducted, including a brief discussion of the post-tenure bill, with the consensus that the policies should be left up to individual universities.

Report from the Student Senate: Mr. Mike Lynch

Mr. Lynch mentioned four recent activities of the Student Senate. Representatives from the Student Senate, Richmond city government, President Funderburk, and personnel of the Kentucky Department of Transportation met to discuss the safety issues surrounding the Lancaster Avenue parking lot. Apparently better lighting and more signs will be erected. The Student Senate will continue to pursue this issue. A recent safety walk on the north end of campus identified the need for more lighting and emergency telephones. All 8,000 student telephone directories have been distributed. Lastly, Mr. Lynch mentioned, that contrary to rumors, there is no student movement to abolish the student attendance policy.

Reports from Standing Committees

Committee on Committees: Senator Taylor reported that a list of faculty names for ad hoc committees has been compiled.

Committee on the Budget: Senator Rink reported that all committee members have received copies of the budget report from the Office of Planning and Budget.

Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities: Senator Rink reported that he has sent a letter to each committee member reviewing several previous suggestions for the committee to review.


Senator Davis moved that the Senate adjourn. It adjourned at 4:24 p.m.

Charles C. Hay III
Faculty Senate Secretary

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