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Minutes for November 1, 1999

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, November 1, 1999 in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senate Chair Phyllis Murray called the third meeting of the academic year to order at 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

J. Adkins* K. Dilka* R. Huebner*
D. Jackson C. Lewis M. Robinson
R. Thompson J. Vance* J. Wenegreen

*denotes prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary

Visitors to the Senate were: Rita Davis, Academic Affairs; Shirley O'Brien, Occupational Therapy; Elizabeth Wachtel, Academic Affairs; and Andrea Brown and Jessica Wells, Eastern Progress


Senator Murray called for additions or corrections to the minutes of October 4, 1999. There being none, the minutes were approved as distributed.


Senator Kustra reported on several matters which had been previously discussed in the Senate. Partially in response to Senator Dunston's October 4 statement on the future of an Early Retirement Option (ERO), Dr. Kustra stated that he is re-examining and studying the budgetary impact if some type of early retirement program was re-instituted. No decision at this time has been made, but President Kustra speculated that there will be some form of ERO. He stated that ERO will not be automatic, but probably some kind of a negotiated agreement between the university and retiree based on the needs of individual departments and colleges. Once financial data has been analyzed by the Vice President for Administration and Finance Office and studied by the ERO Committee, recommendations will be made to the president.

President Kustra mentioned that he strongly supports an article written by Provost and Vice President Marsden that recently appeared in the Eastern Progress concerning December graduation. He stated that it is very important at graduation to act as a complete university rather than a collection of colleges. Senator Kustra pointed out that in reality the new system of graduation is merely returning to an older tradition of bringing all graduates together to graduate in one ceremony. This new system does not preclude individual colleges from having their own ceremonies or functions after graduation.

Dr. Kustra mentioned that he had recently received information from the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) concerning budgetary matters. The CPE is calling for a 2.4% general appropriation budget increase for higher education for the next fiscal year. In part this modest increase is in response to uncertain state revenue projections. President Kustra stated that although some persons had reservations about the recently approved 7.5% EKU tuition increase, it appears that Eastern will need every bit of the 7.5% to achieve the goals and initiatives the institution has established.

Finally, Senator Kustra stated that he has been receiving very positive comments from alumni and friends throughout the state about the direction and changes which have been occurring at Eastern. Faculty willingness to accept the challenges of change has greatly contributed to Eastern's positive image. He mentioned the initiative under the direction of Dr. Karen Janssen to get Eastern faculty out to meet high school students, primarily freshmen and sophomores, in our service region. This outreach effort is intended to educate prospective college bound students to prepare themselves now to meet the challenges of higher education and linking the learning process with earning. Dr. Kustra is confident that Eastern will achieve the goal of 400 faculty visits to high schools by December 31, 1999.


Senator Marsden reported on several items that directly affect the faculty. He mentioned the fine web sites both Drs. Gary Kuhnhenn and Merita Thompson have developed to facilitate discussion among faculty and staff on academic issues of considerable importance. Gary's web site is devoted to the work of the General Education Review Committee, including their initial document, and Merita's web site is devoted to a variety of issues a Faculty Regent needs to access in order to represent the faculty well on the Board of Regents. Dr. Marsden has been invited by Faculty Regent Thompson to post a short article on the interrelationships of teaching and scholarship, a topic he hopes to continue discussing throughout this academic year.

Senator Marsden mentioned that he is in the process of sending out a letter to all faculty and staff in Academic Affairs concerning Phase II proposals. He has established a Phase II Proposal Review Committee composed the following individuals who will serve as a sounding board for Dr. Marsden:

  • Merita Thompson, Faculty Representative to the Board of Regents
  • Robert Miller, Faculty At-Large
  • Barbara Sowders, Faculty Senate Executive Committee
  • Fred Ruppel, Chair Association
  • Gary Cordner, Provost's Council

He has had an organizational meeting with them, and the group will be meeting shortly to do an initial review of the proposals to determine which of them will need open hearings. Open hearings will be scheduled as soon as possible on the appropriate proposals. 

Senate Chair Phyllis Murray will be calling a meeting of the Faculty of the Whole that Dr. Marsden will host. It is hoped this will be the first of a series of Open Faculty and Staff Forums to provide open discussion of a variety of academic issues.

Senator Marsden reported that the Council on Post Secondary Education had requested Eastern provide them with a revised Action Agenda for 1999-2004, which has been done. Copies of the report were distributed to Senators. Dr. Marsden emphasized "what we submitted," because the Council's circulated version is different from Eastern's submitted version in scope if not in actual content.

In the area of faculty development, Dr. Marsden reported that in addition to the special $20,000 initiative for enhanced faculty development he announced at the last Faculty Senate meeting and for which guidelines will be circulated shortly, he has been contemplating the establishment of a Task Force on Faculty Development which would report to him by no later than April 1, 2000. He would appreciate receiving faculty views on the matter at the earliest opportunity. Dr. Marsden stated that faculty development is a major issue for this administration and it would be best to have an inclusive plan in place for implementation through the new Center for Learning and Teaching.

Senator Marsden concluded his report by offering congratulations to several organizations and persons on campus. First, to the faculty, staff, and students of the Honors Program who fielded the largest number of undergraduate students "over 60" to present papers at the Collegiate Honors Council Meeting in Orlando, Florida, this past weekend. Second, to the staff of the EKU Libraries, who inaugurated the new e-Quest on-line catalog system in grand style last Thursday. Over 800 students completed an on-line quiz, thereby earning an e-Quest T-shirt, and/or consumed the complementary pizza and coke. But most importantly, the EKU main library was a scene of contagious and enjoyable learning about a new system that will aid the educational process. Third, to Professor Paul Blanchard and his colleagues who hosted the inaugural conference of the new Center for the Study of Kentucky History and Politics this past Saturday at the Perkins Building on "The Bingham Family and the COURIER-JOURNAL: Their Impact on Kentucky Historic Politics and Journalism." The Center is clearly off to an excellent beginning.


Senator Murray reported that the Executive Committee met at 3:30 on October 18th with full member representation with Dr. Merita Thompson attending as an invited guest. The committee also met on October 25th. Senator Banks was absent. Both meetings were held in the Martin Room.

On October 18th, Dave Freeland , Senior Director for Dining Services, met with the committee to discuss faculty access to the Powell Cafeteria. Mr. Freeland mentioned that arrangements have been made to allow faculty to enter the cafeteria without having to pay. Faculty who choose to meet with colleagues for a brown bag lunch may do so. They must bring food and drink; a la carte purchases are not possible. Also, faculty groups may call and schedule the use of one of the dining rooms for meetings, etc. The number to call is 2152. Further discussion resulted in Mr. Freeland's suggestion to set up an a la carte area in one of the dining rooms in which patrons would pay a reduced price for this option. He will look into the details of the plan. A survey may be done to determine interest in the option.

The committee also discussed the membership of the new Ad Hoc Committees. The Ad Hoc Committee for Domestic Partner Benefits was not established because of the committee's realization that it is appointing faculty to look at an issue that affects the entire university community rather than just the faculty. The issue of benefits is a university issue and any approach to looking at benefits should include appropriate representation from all employee groups. The Ad Hoc Committee for Honorary Degree Nomination Process members are Mark Wasicsko, John Harley, Merita Thompson, Alan Banks, and Phyllis Murray. General discussion about the membership of committees centered on having a process to assure that the membership reflects the new college structures, equitable representation from departments as well as from the five colleges, etc. The Committee on Committees will be asked to look at this issue when recommending faculty for next year's committees.

Senator Pam Schlomann was a guest at the October 25th meeting. She discussed her proposal for having a committee look at developing a policy that outlines the process for reorganization of academic units. The process should include a statement about faculty role in this process.


Senator Thompson reported on the October 9th Board of Regents meeting. The issue that drew the most discussion was adding sexual orientation to Eastern's anti-discrimination clause. The Board heard from several individuals who were on opposite poles on this topic. A couple of the Board members also spoke out against the proposal, some spoke for, and some raised questions. Most Board members were involved in the discussion. The proposal passed with a wide margin of 7 for, 2 against, and 1 abstaining. The other topic that drew quite a bit of discussion was the increase in tuition fee. The recommended 7.5 % increase was supported by the Board because of the expressed commitment to spending it on academic and student support initiatives.

The faculty regent's discussion web page, now named the Regent's Round Table, is now up, with the bugs out and one topic posted. Senator Thompson mentioned that more things need to be done, especially in clarifying and improving the look of the page and adding other topics for discussion.


Mr. Pace reported on several matters that the Student Senate has recently considered. He praised Dr. Kustra's efforts to establish a food court. He also mentioned that he personally favored the calling of individual names at commencement. Efforts to create greater unity, as evidenced by the Student Senate, RHA, and Greek organizations rallying around the campus United Way campaign and other events have been successful in Mr. Pace's opinion.

Future plans for the Student Senate include a series of town hall meetings on a monthly basis whereby students can interact with their leaders and President Kustra, revising the Colonel card so that balances can be carried over, online student elections next spring, which hopefully will increase student participation in their own government, need for short-term and long-term plans to address the campus parking situation, and the establishment of a crosswalk on Lancaster Avenue. 


Committee on the Budget: Senator Anderson reported that the Budget Committee met on Wednesday, October 13, 1999 at 4:00 p.m. in the Alumni Room of Keen Johnson. In attendance were Joy Anderson, Alice Jones, Kevin Rahimzadeh, Richard Rink, and Mark Wasicsko. The purpose of the meeting was to identify issues of faculty concern regarding University budgetary policies and to determine what role the committee might play in response to those issues. The committee determined that four merit attention:

  • Faculty development funds
  • Library resources
  • Technology resources
  • Employee benefits

In order to better understand how the University now allocates its resources in these areas, the committee's next step will be to compare current funding with that of Eastern's new benchmark institutions. 


There were no reports from Ad Hoc Committees. Senator Murray reported that Senator Collins has agreed to serve as chair of the AD Hoc Committee on College Credit for Workplace Training.


Proposal for A Policy on the Awarding of Posthumous Degrees.  Senator Marsden presented an amended version of a proposal for a policy on the awarding of posthumous degrees, which had been presented at the October 4, 1999, meeting of the Senate. Senator Marsden stated that concern about the original proposal had been expressed about the need to include of masters level students. He felt that the amended proposal addressed this concern and therefore moved approval. Senator Janssen seconded the motion. Senator Hill, referring to section four of the proposal, wondered what noteworthy contributions meant and how could they be documented. Senator Marsden responded that each department would have to evaluate a students contributions, but he generally felt that it meant accomplishment above and beyond the degree requirements. Senator Spears explained that the impetus for the proposal came from the Art Department shortly after the tragic death of one of their outstanding undergraduate students. Senator Goodwin suggested for editorial consistency and specificity "his/her" should replace "their" in section three and replace "appropriate time" with "designated time" in the next to the last sentence of the last paragraph. Further discussion centered on such issues as the need to clarify what noteworthy contributions means, the problem with automatically granting the degree without any apparent standards, and the need for faculty to determine policy rather than families. Senator Wasicsko suggested combining sections one and four. Senator Marsden accepted this. Senator Schlomann suggested a friendly amendment to the motion to change "noteworthy contributions" to "noteworthy accomplishments." Senator Falkenberg moved to amend the motion to read: "The student is nominated by the Chair of his/her major department giving consideration to academic standing and noteworthy accomplishments within the university community during his/her tenure at the university." The motion was seconded by Senator Janssen. Senator Wasicsko suggested that after the word "university" the words "and greater " be added. Senator Collins called the question. The amended motion was approved. The Senate approved friendly motions and editorial changes, which Senator Marsden had accepted to the amended motion. The approved amended motion reads as follows:

Eastern Kentucky University recognizes the importance of acknowledging significant student achievement at all times, including following the tragic death of a student who has made substantial progress towards the completion of a degree and who has made noteworthy contributions to the University community. Therefore, a posthumous degree be awarded if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The student is nominated by the Chair of his/her major department giving consideration to the student's academic standing and noteworthy accomplishments within the University and greater community during his/her tenure at the University.
  2. At the time of his/her death, the student had achieved senior standing/or was within one year of graduation in the case of a Bachelor's degree; fourth semester standing or within one semester of graduation in the case of an Associate's degree; have obtained Candidacy plus completed 75% of program requirements for the Master's degree.
  3. The student had been in good academic standing in his/her program of study at the time of his/her death.

Nominations for posthumous degrees should be forwarded to the Chair of the Faculty Senate and copied to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee will forward positive recommendations to the Faculty Senate, unless there is an emergency situation. The Faculty Senate will forward positive recommendations to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research for implementation. The appropriate degree would be awarded at the commencement at which the student would have been otherwise recognized. The student's family will be asked to identify an appropriate person to receive the diploma when the student is recognized at the designated time in the commencement ceremony. Except for the fact that the individual receiving the diploma on behalf of the student would not be attired in cap or gown, there would be no other changes in the ceremony.


Motion to Amend a Previously Adopted Motion: Senator Harley moved to amend a motion which was adopted at the Senate's May 3, 1999, meeting to read: "to amend section 3 of an action from the Ad Hoc Committee on Teaching by Contract Staff and Classified Personnel which was approved by the Faulty Senate on May 3, 1999. The change is to section 3 reads: Teach no more than one class (or 3 hour equivalent) during each term (fall, spring, intersession, summer)." Senator Banks seconded the motion. After some discussion which focused primarily on the issue of the possible discriminatory nature of the motion, the motion was approved.

Motions from the Council on Academic Affairs: Senator Marsden moved approval, seconded by Senator Dunston, of the following proposals from the Council on Academic Affairs:

  • Proposed program/course changes for the Master of Science in Industrial Education-Technology Education option in the Department of Technology;
  • Proposed program/course changes for the Master of Sciences in Industrial Education-Vocational Administration option in the Department of Technology;
  • Proposed option name change in the Master of Science in Industrial Education-Industrial Training option from Industrial Training option TO Occupational Training and Development in the Department of Technology;
  • Proposed option name change in the Bachelor of Science in Vocational Industrial and Technical Education-Industrial option from Industrial Training option TO Occupational Training and Development in the Department of Technology;
  • Proposed NEW OPTION (Multi-Disciplinary Ph.D. program in Rehabilitation Sciences in collaboration with the University of Kentucky) within the Occupational Therapy program;
  • Proposed program/course change for PHE 470 in the Department of Physical Education;
  • Proposed program/course change for PHE 471 in the Department of Physical Education;
  • Proposed program/course change for PHE 472 in the Department of Physical Education.

Dr. Elizabeth Wachtel, Associate Vice President for Planning and Program Coordination, responded to several questions raised primarily by Senator MacLaren concerning the nature, scope, function, operation procedures, and purpose of the multi-disciplinary Ph.D. program. Senator Marsden moved to amend the motion by separating from the original motion consideration of the multidisciplinary proposal until the December Senate meeting. Senator Dunston seconded the motion, which was approved. The Senate then approved the amended original motion.

Motion to Study Procedures for Future Reorganization of Academic Units.  Senator Schlomann moved that the Rules Committee be instructed to draft a proposed policy which specifies procedures for future reorganization of academic units and includes a statement about faculty role in this process. In drafting the policy, the committee will investigate policies of other universities, such as regional and benchmark universities. The draft shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for placement on the Senate agenda by the March 2000 meeting. Senator Thompson seconded the motion, which was approved.

Motion to Amend a Previously Adopted Motion. Senator Murray reported that at the last Board of Regents meeting considerable discussion surrounded the Senate approved recommendation to add the statement sexual orientation to EKU's non-discrimination clause. Staff Regent Ronnie Mink expressed concern that the staff had not been consulted about this matter before it was brought to the Board of Regents. Therefore, Senator Strong moved to amend an action to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to study the issue of equal benefits for all domestic partners for faculty and staff at EKU, which was approved by the Faculty Senate on September 13, 1999, to read that: the University President appoint an ad hoc committee comprised of faculty and contract and classified staff to study as well as make recommendations on the issue of benefits for domestic partners for faculty and staff at EKU and report the findings to the President. Senator Johnson seconded the motion. Senator Anderson wondered what equal benefits meant. Senator Dunston asked why there was no limitation to committee membership with this motion. Senator Janssen responded that the original motion called for the Senate to appoint a committee with a limited membership; whereas, this motion calls for the president to appoint a university-wide committee without a number limitation in an effort to be inclusive of all campus interest groups. Senator Thompson stated that she supported the inclusiveness of the motion. Senator Anderson moved to amend the motion by eliminating the word equal. Senator Collins seconded the motion, which was approved. The Senate then approved the amended motion.


Senator Murray encouraged faculty to attend an upcoming Open Forum. Senator Murray stated that due to some confusion over the passed Grade Inflation recommendations recently passe by the Senate, an information sheet has been distributed to clarify certain issues, especially questions about the moratorium on IDEA for merit and promotion and tenure. The moratorium will not become effective until the Fall 2000 semester and will run for a three year period. During that time IDEA can be used to improve instruction but not for merit and tenure and promotion decisions.


Senator Marsden moved that the Senate adjourn.  It adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Charles C. Hay III
Faculty Senate Secretary  

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