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Minutes for February 4, 2002

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, February 4, 2002 in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Schlomann called the fifth meeting of the academic year to order at 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

M. Baxter* C. Callahan* L. Collins*
M. Everett* M. Hodge C. Hubbard
D. Jones S. Long C. Melton*
F. O'Connor* J. Payne T. Reed*
E. Rini C. Siegel* J. Stephens*

*denotes prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary

Visitors to the Senate were: Rita Davis, Student Affairs; Richard Freed, English; Shayla Handley, SGA; Eli Hollon, SGA; Karen Janssen, COSFL; Ken Johnston, Finance; Erin Michalik, Academic Affairs Committee; Lance Melching, SGA; T.J. Phillips, student; Steven Richardson, Eastern Progress; Jennifer Rogers, Eastern Progress; Aaron Sams, SGA; Chip Smith, Athletics; Vern Snyder, Advancement; David Sutton, SGA; Aaron Thompson, Enrollment Management; Doug Whitlock, Administrative Affairs; Lenora Young, Student


The December 3, 2001 minutes were approved as written.


President Glasser's first Board meeting was on Thursday, January 31 in Frankfort. The governor briefly addressed the Regents. He asked that we join with him in the educational reform effort during this next biennium and asked that we remember his support continues for education. He is taking a lot of criticism in the press because of some of the draconian cuts he has placed on a number of social service agencies and other agencies in the state while he continues to support higher education. While we did receive a minor budget adjustment, it pales in comparison to the cuts that other agencies in the state are receiving. After the board meeting, EKU hosted a reception in the History Center for the legislators. Many senators and representatives came by to express their support for EKU.

President Glasser shared with the Board of Regents a brief snapshot of what she has been doing in her brief tenure at EKU. So far she has attended 23 breakfast meetings, 40 lunch meetings, 25 dinner meetings, 47 CPE and other government related meetings, 15 media show appearances, 21 athletic events, 15 addresses to civic and social groups, two national conferences--both the SACS and the ASSCU conference, held two conversations with the President and has had 265 meetings with faculty, staff and students.

The President has expanded the membership of the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Council to include all academic colleges and the graduate school.

President Glasser's priorities during the development of the budget for the next year includes protecting all institutionally funded faculty and staff positions, maintaining current health care benefits for all employees, and hopefully providing at least a modest salary increase to faculty and staff.

The governor presented the budget in Frankfort on January 21. The proposed budget includes again a recommendation for $120 million for "Bonds for Brains". A total of $100 million of that will go to U of L and UK, and the other $20 million will be distributed among the other six regional universities. An additional $25 million will be recommended by the Governor for continued enrollment and retention trust funds. President Glasser is working diligently with the other presidents and CPE to make sure there is a fair and equitable distribution of the $25 million. Negotiations are still in progress and the President will keep the Senate informed when the final allotment is determined for each institution.

Enrollment and retention continues to be a top priority for the University. The positive attitude of current students is absolutely critical to any marketing and future admissions for this institution. President Glasser is putting together a task force composed of a representative from each academic college as well as a representative from Admissions to review how money has been spent in the past and to come up with new recommendations for effective admissions recruiting.

President Glasser announced that the AACSB accreditation team will be on campus through Wednesday to assess our candidacy for accreditation for the College of Business. President Glasser thanked Dean Robert Rogow, Associate Dean Janna Vice, the faculty and other volunteers who helped to prepare for this visit.

On a similar issue, EKU has been advised by the NCAA that the five year interim certification report has been accepted and that EKU's status of full certification is reaffirmed.

Plans for the presidential inauguration on March 8 are progressing. Dr. Mike Marsden and Dr. Skip Daugherty are co-chairing this. It is going to be a celebration of Eastern Kentucky University. A tentative schedule of events is listed on the web. During the week long celebration there are going to be both intellectually and socially stimulating events. The schedule includes but is not limited to college based lectures showcasing our talented faculty, a town gown event with the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, an EKU theatre production, a student reception, a staff reception and a Richmond community event co-hosted by representative Harry Moberly on main street.

President Glasser has been working with the Student Government Association leadership as well as local and state-wide leadership on the Lancaster crosswalk issue. We are working hard to resolve this matter in a way that addresses the Grand Jury's concerns, the community's concerns and the students safety. President Glasser wished to acknowledge the leadership of Nick Bertram, SGA's President, for his role in helping to resolve the crosswalk issue. At present what is being considered and what has been endorsed by SGA is the removal of the Lancaster crosswalk and the rezoning of the Lancaster parking lot to residential. A new student commuter lot is being discussed to address the parking needs for our commuter students. When the location is determined and plans are approved by the local and state officials, President Glasser will share that information with the Senate.

The Alcohol Task force is busy at work. This task force was put together by Dr. Hughes, the Interim President, during his tenure here and was asked to review and make recommendations. As soon as information is received, President Glasser will share it with the Senate.

The Diversity Task Force co-chaired by Marta Miranda and Michael Foster is studying strategies to make our campus more inclusive. A day retreat was recently held at Hampton Inn with an outside facilitator in attendance. President Glasser has authorized an expenditure of money to bring an experienced trainer to campus to work with faculty, staff, students, and the entire campus community.

In Governor Patton's budget, no new funds will be allocated for capital construction in the next biennium. Therefore, the president has decided to move ahead with the $7 million that has already been allocated to construct a new student wellness center project. Recently the President and several members of the faculty, staff and students traveled to the Georgetown Community Parks and Recreation Center. Their facility cost approximately $8 million and is quite impressive. The President has asked Dr. Rita Davis and a committee to make recommendations within 30 days regarding programming, usage of the facility, and the exact location for the facility. This building should prove to be an important recruitment and retention tool for our students and for our campus and will be a good way to better serve our students. The objective is to present the architectural plans to the Board of Regents for their approval in April and hopefully start the project in early summer. The Georgetown project took only eighteen months to complete from start to finish.

The President announced that much of her time during the next couple of months will be spent in Frankfort with the General Assembly in order to maintain a very active and visible presence in Frankfort while the budgetary issues are being debated.


Senator Schlomann reported that the committee met on January 14, 2002 to prepare today's agenda and discuss concerns presented by SGA about the plus/minus grading system. The discussion was predicated on awareness that though this policy was not approved by an overwhelming majority of the Senate, it was based on the very significant work done by the Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Inflation and extensive debate by this body at various times over the last decade. The Committee therefore was hesitant to reverse/revise a policy without good cause. Nevertheless, the Committee also felt an incumbent need to respond to the SGA's concerns. Discussion therefore considered two issues: 1) concerns raised by SGA and 2) how policies are made and modified.

Attempts made to validate or refute concerns which have been raised were to a large extent unsuccessful other than by providing more anecdotal or very limited data. For example, concerns have been raised about the impact on scholarships. What is known is that if we had recertified scholarships this spring, based on the fall GPA's, almost three times the typical number of students would have lost their scholarships. However, while there is no other obvious reason, at this time we do not know if that was in response to a change in the grading scale.

We also know that meeting enrollment/retention goals is critical to the University. This is heightened by the current budget situation. We cannot afford to lose ANY students without good cause. We only have anecdotal reports that the plus-minus system may negatively impact our endeavors to meet these goals. These unsubstantiated reports suggest that some students may leave or never come to the University because GPA's were actually lower secondary to the change in grading or because of fear that this might happen. Both mathematical models and the experience of other universities suggest that plus-minus grading has no effect on aggregate GPA's. Nevertheless, individual students, especially those at the upper end of each grade step, will experience decreases in GPA. Concern has been raised about how responses to this might affect recruitment and retention efforts, especially since no other undergraduate program in Kentucky uses the system. Nevertheless, the possibility also exists that some students, believing the plus-minus scale will make them more competitive, would be attracted to EKU.

The addition of an A+, equal to higher than 4 points, was suggested as a compromise which might soften both the potential reality or perception that the plus-minus system could negatively affect the best students. However, concerns were raised that students might be harmed by this as some graduate programs might normalize GPA's that were based on a higher than 4.0 system. Again, attempts to verify or refute the degree to which this might be true were inconclusive, but did suggest that some programs would do it. Therefore, the Committee did not believe it was in the students' best interest to make such a recommendation.

A related issue, not included in the SGA report is ambiguity about the meaning of some minus grades, especially C- for undergraduates and B- for graduate students. Since a C- corresponds to less than 2 on the GPA scale some programs do not consider it passing while others do. Problems arise when a "passing" grade is required in a support course and the support course department has a different interpretation than the major department. Similarly, at the graduate level, students with B- are in jeopardy of being placed on probation. While this issue was mentioned in our discussions, the Executive Committee did not directly address it.

The Executive Committee struggled with balancing 1) how to appropriately respond to concerns about the grading scale and 2) ensuring there is adequate time to evaluate policies before changing them. As many conversations about plus-minus appear to end, we did not reach consensus in this discussion. Virginia Falkenberg, as a member of the Senate, proposed a motion to bring to the Senate floor in order to facilitate broader debate on this topic. With consensus, the Committee placed it on the agenda, under new business, for today. As it is substantive, action will be delayed until the next meeting.

Senator Schlomann announced that a current draft of the work on the Strategic Planning Council has been distributed. The draft is also being distributed to the departments via the Provost and Dean and the draft is also available on the web. Feedback on the draft is encouraged from the Senators and their colleagues.


Senator Thompson reported that the Board of Regents met last Thursday at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort. The primary purpose of meeting in Frankfort was to provide a reception for legislators. All Board members attended, along with many legislators.

All personnel recommendations passed without comment, including the individual salary adjustments for the 26 faculty as per the $50,000 recommended last year.

The mission statement for Model and the policy for students called to active military duty also passed without comment.

The contract for our current external auditors was extended for one year, with comment and motion from the Board that next year bids would be accepted for a new provider.

A naming policy for University properties, programs and facilities was proposed; it was postponed until the next Board meeting.

The Board also received several reports, including a budget update, a report on voluntary support and grants, and an update on the Combs Hall renovation and development of the student wellness building. Dr. Rita Davis reported on a tentative plan to build the center behind the Moberly Building, using the allocated $7 million dollars.

Senator Thompson announced to the Senate that she will be entering the retirement transition program in the fall and will be relinquishing her term as Faculty Regent. The process will begin soon to elect a new faculty regent.


Senator Marsden reported that the scholarly and creative works of 22 EKU students were displayed in a program called "Poster-At-The Capital" in Frankfort on January 10.

Senator Marsden reminded the Senate that President Glasser's Inauguration will be at 3:00 p.m., Friday, March 8. The tentative schedule for the inaugural activities is available on the web. Senator Marsden indicated that any expenses incurred for the Inauguration are being handled through private fund raising.

The Board approved the $50,000 in salary adjustments. This affected 13 professors, 10 associate professor and 3 assistant professors. Senator Marsden thanked Senators Schlomann and Johnson and Patsy Renfro for their hard work on the salary equity adjustment process.

Rebecca Blanton, who recently received her Master's degree in Biology from EKU and who is currently a doctoral student at Tulane University, was recently named recipient of the 2002 Master's Thesis Award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. This award for the most outstanding thesis in life sciences is presented every two years. Congratulations to Rebecca and her thesis advisor, Professor Guenter Schuster.

A report on Sponsored Programs was presented to the Board of Regents in Frankfort. EKU is approaching $50 million dollars per year in grants and contracts with a significant increase in federal grants. Congratulations to Scott Tracy and Gus Benson in the Office of Sponsored Programs, as well as the many faculty and staff who have worked hard to attract those external resources to campus.

Senator Marsden indicated that he and Senator Schlomann will be appointing a task force to develop an appropriate set of guidelines for EKU on interdisciplinary and team teaching. The task force will report by their findings by April 1.

EKU's new summer school format is now being advertised. Special thanks to all who have participated in this process, with special thanks to Aaron Thompson for his leadership in redefining summer school.

Senator Marsden distributed a hand out on the multi-year proposed academic priorities. The handout represents the campus' consensus on the priorities for academic affairs for the foreseeable future.


Mr. Bertram was unable to attend today's meeting and therefore e-mailed his report to the Senators.

  • Lancaster Avenue Crosswalk. As the Progress reported, The student senate has been working hard to determine a solution to this pressing issue. At Tuesday's meeting we forwarded recommendations to the President, which included removal of the crosswalk and re-zoning the Lancaster Lot to residential. There were additional parts, but that one is probably of most interest to you and your constituents. I feel good about the quick reaction to our Richmond/Madison County Leaders' request.
  • The Powell Student Center will be getting a face lift. As many of you know from visiting other institutions, our Student Center isn't as lively or as functional as many competitors. The Student Senate voted to appropriate 20,000 to Rita Davis' office, for the first of several phases in updating Powell. All of you will notice some immediate changes when visiting Powell in the upcoming months, with many more to come. To ensure input all around, I have decided to create an Ad Hoc Committee on the Student Center Improvements. It is chaired by Student Senator Matt Horn, and currently includes representatives from Student Affairs, Student Development, and student leaders. I would also like to have representation from the Faculty Senate on this committee. So if any of you are interested, please contact me.
  • Winter Vacancies. Often times, you get a lot of turnover in leadership during the semester. We have had some positions open up in each of the branches, and I have been advertising to fill them for the past two weeks. To date, we have applications on file to fill all but one position, the Senator representing Undeclared Majors. If any of you can help me identify a person that could fill this spot, I would be grateful. The GPA requirement is 2.50, and there is a requirement to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours this Spring.
  • Plus/Minus. Erin (Michalik, Academic Affairs Chair) contacted me before classes began, and informed me that the Executive Committee had drafted a motion that would answer our request from the Fall. After reading Senator Falkenberg's proposal, I can let you all know that I support it. I never truly expected that we would be able to stop plus/minus, nor did I want to. Senator Falkenberg's motion is a good compromise between the desire of students and that of the faculty who supported the original move to a 12 point scale. Neither Erin or myself see this motion as an end to plus/minus, but rather as a beginning to some much needed dialogue and much needed forecasting as to the impact of the system. I like the motion because it will continue to give students an exact evaluation (which we deserve) of progress. I also like the motion because it will prevent any possible recruitment/scholarship/retention problems while we study it, together. So, my thanks goes out to the Executive Committee for giving students all that I asked for, a voice in this enhancement of our academic program.

It's hard to believe, but after today there will only be two more meetings where I have the honor of delivering a report to you on behalf of the student body. I want to thank each of you for making this part of my 'job' so much fun. It has truly been a pleasure. Erin Michalik will be present at today's meeting, and is available to elaborate and/or answer questions regarding Student Government.


Budget Committee Report. Senator Rink reported that the committee met three times during the fall semester. The next meeting is scheduled for next Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Ad Hoc Committee on Compensation & Benefits. Senator Johnson reported that the Ad Hoc Committee on Compensation & Benefits will be hosting two open forums for faculty to discuss salary/merit and salary equity issues on Monday, February 25 and Tuesday, February 26 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Ferrell Room in the Combs Building.

However, since the budget process still continues, the committee wishes to propose a short term approach dealing with salary and merit issues, as well as salary equity. Senator Johnson moved to approve the following motion, seconded by Senator Miranda:

Whereas:Higher Education is faced with increased pressure to be financially viable at a time when recessionary influences require creative solutions, and
Whereas:The current system of a 50/50 division of across the board/merit salary increases exacerbates faculty equity issues by not maintaining current base pay at market rates as reported by CUPA's National Faculty Salary Survey, and
Whereas:The merit increase system has been influenced by the University's ability to pay and as budget dollars become tighter the traditional merit reward system will undergo a thorough review,
We Move:The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University adopt these recommendations as a short-term approach to faculty compensation for a period of two years, 2002-2004.
  1. The University shall replace the current 50/50 division of the across the board/merit pay system with a general increase Cost of Living Allowance based on the National Consumer Price Index. Any remaining funds allocated for salary increases should then be used to address merit pay.
  2. The University shall provide a pool of money each year to address salary equity issues based on CUPA data.

Senator Schlomann reminded the Senate as this is a substantive motion, discussion and a vote will be postponed until the March 4th meeting.

Ad Hoc Committee on Lecturers/Part-Time Lecturers. Dr. John Taylor presented the report and introduced the following motion in Senator M. Everett's absence on the lecturers/part-time lecturers. Senator C. Everett moved approval of the motion, seconded by Senator Fisher.

EKU should introduce a non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank with the following conditions/guidelines:
  1. This rank will not be considered tenurable regardless of years re-hired into rank.
  2. Non tenured renewable faculty should constitute no more than 15% of the total instruction within the institution and should be no more than 25% of the total instruction within any given department.
  3. The faculty member hired into the non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank would be hired into a fixed 9 month term with limitless renewals.
  4. Credential requirements could be less than those for tenure track faculty (MA/MS required, plus any additional credentials as required by individual departments).
  5. All appointments in the non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank should have a description of the specific professional duties required in the position.
  6. The performance of faculty members on non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) tracks should be regularly evaluated by the respective department with established criteria appropriate to their positions.
  7. Faculty in the non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank should be eligible for merit pay based on the specified duties of the position.
  8. Compensation for non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank faculty should include such essential fringe benefits as health insurance, life insurance and retirement contributions.
  9. Faculty in non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank who have been employed consecutively for 3 or more terms should receive at least a full term's notice of non-reappointment.
  10. Departments with faculty in non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank must pride the conditions necessary to perform the assigned duties in a professional manner, including such things as appropriate office space, necessary supplies, support services and equipment.
  11. Faculty in non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank should be included in the departmental and institutional structures of faculty governance.
  12. Faculty in non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank may be eligible for advising.
  13. Faculty in the non tenured, renewable (indefinitely) rank should be permitted to count some portion of their years in the non tenured position toward tenure when and if the faculty member applies for a full-time tenure track position.

Senator Schlomann indicated that the motion will be listed on March 4's agenda for debate and for a possible vote.

Report on the National Survey of Student Engagement. Karen Carey presented the 2001 report on the National Survey of Student Engagement.

Report on the Council on Postsecondary Education. Richard Freed, statewide faculty representative on the Council on Postsecondary Education, reported about the CPE. Its function is to set up statewide policies that relate to higher education and to set up the budget. Any issues of faculty concern may be forwarded to Dr. Freed.

Report on General Education. Gary Kuhnhenn presented the report on the working draft of the General Education reform. Any comments or suggestions should be forwarded to the General Education committee.

Report on the Alcohol Task Force. Senator Schlomann announced that the committee is not ready to give a report at this time.


New motion on Plus/Minus Grading. Senator Falkenberg moved approval of the following motion, seconded by Senator Flanagan.

Whereas:There continues to be controversy over the issue of plus/minus grading, and

Whereas:The student government perceives that it had insufficient input into the establishment of the plus/minus grading proposal, and

Whereas:The full impact of the plus/minus grading system on the University's current recruitment and retention efforts is unknown, and
Whereas:The full impact of the plus/minus grading system on the University's scholarship programs is unknown, and
We Move:That, a temporary moratorium beginning Fall 2002 be placed on the continuation of the plus/minus grading scale and the University return to the previous four point grading scale by assigning the grades of A and A- four points, the grades of B+, B, and B- three points, the grades of C+, C, and C- two points, the grades of D+, D, and D- one point, and the grade of F zero points.
And:That the University continue to collect plus/minus grades with the above grading scale for the purposes of research and expanded information for students concerning class performance,
And:That, a special ad hoc committee be appointed by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Student Government to study the impact of the plus/minus grading scale and report the results of that study to the Faculty and Student Senates in the Fall of 2003.

Senator Schlomann announced that as this is a substantive motion, discussion and a vote on the motion will be discussed at the March 4 meeting.

Council on Academic Affairs

  • Senator Marsden presented the Model Laboratory School Mission Statement as an informational item only.
  • Senator Marsden moved approval of the motion to creating a Nursing (B.S.N.) Second Degree Option, seconded by Senator Konkel. The motion was approved by the Senate.
  • Senator Marsden moved approval of the motion to create a B.S. in Health Information Management, seconded by Senator Jackson. The motion was approved by the Senate.
  • Senator Marsden moved approval of the motion to create a BS in Leadership in the Military Science Department, seconded by Senator Reynolds. Senator Fisher moved to postpone the vote on this motion until the next meeting so that a representative from Military Science could be present to answer questions regarding the new major, seconded by Senator Rainey. The Senate approved to motion to postpone.


Senator Marsden moved to adjourn at 5:35 p.m.

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