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Minutes for March 1, 2010

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, March 1, 2010, in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Ware called the seventh meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

F. Awang* A. Back S. Farrar
J. Kilgore M. Martin S. Merlin*
K. Minor A. Nix* G. Potter
D. Whitlock*    

*Indicates prior notification of absence

Visitors to the Senate: Sandy Cain, Registrar; Tina Davis, Registrar; DaJuane Harris, SGA; Debbie Newsom, Financial Affairs; Sherry Robinson, Provost Office

The February 1, 2010 were approved as written.

Senator Whitlock is traveling for alumni/development work and will be unable to attend the meeting. He shared the following in his written report to the Senate.

Senator Whitlock attended two meetings in Frankfort last Friday. The first was an opportunity to meet with representatives of the Kentucky Medical Association to allay their concerns about the proposed change to the statutes to enable the offering of the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Their issues centered primarily around the matter of "scope of practice" and Dr. Deborah Whitehouse, Associate Dean in Health Sciences, did an excellent job of addressing their questions.

The second meeting involved meeting with CPE President Bob King, five other university presidents, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, and the rest of the House leadership. The university presidents were clear about the needs and financial challenges facing the campuses and the House leadership was also quite clear about the performance and accountability expectations of public policy makers. Senator Whitlock came away from the meeting more convinced than ever that our primary focus should be on student success and regional stewardship efforts since future funding will probably be dependant on retention and graduation rates.

Despite the state's fiscal condition, Speaker Stumbo indicated that the House would make every effort to protect higher education's spending base. He also mentioned his commitment to increased accountability. But, even if base funding does not get cut, we will still have to contend with significant increases in payments made into the two state retirement systems, bringing two buildings on line with maintenance and operations funding, and meeting other fixed and unavoidable cost increases.

A final resolution on the state budget will not be available for some time. After the House is finished, the document will go to the Senate. After the Senate approves a budget, the leadership of the two chambers will go into a conference committee where the final details of the 2010-2012 budget will be hammered out. There also remains discussion about the possibility of a special session late this year to deal with aspects of the second year of the biennium.


16-week vs. 17-Week Semester. Senator Wade moved, seconded by Senator Collins, to approve moving to a 16-week semester.

Registrar Tina Davis reported that there are a couple of things to remember when discussing a 16-week semester. One, the U.S. Department of Education regulations regarding title IV funding requires that an academic year must consist of 30 calendar weeks of instruction, or 15 weeks per semester. Title IV funding affects approximately 80% of EKU’s students. With a 16-week semester, there are fourteen weeks of classes, one week of finals, and one week of various vacation times. Therefore, in order to have a 16-week term with 15 weeks of instruction, finals week would have to be declared as an educational week. This would mean that attendance during finals week would be mandatory and that there would need to be some kind of educational experience during that time. Another consideration with a 16-week term is that class meeting times and the inclement weather schedule would also need to be altered.

The majority were opposed, and the motion failed for lack of support. Therefore, the University will continue to use a 17-week semester.

Policies under Review. Senator Vice moved approval of the Policy on Policies and the Policy on Authorization for Regulations, seconded by Senator Foote.

Senator McKenney moved to amend the Policy on Policies (listed below), seconded by Senator Johnson. The motion to amend the Policy on Policies carried.

  1. On page 2, under item number 3 concerning the formation of drafting teams, add the following statement:
    "When the policy at hand concerns an area that is primarily a faculty right and responsibility (e.g. promotion, tenure, appointment or dismissal of faculty, etc.) the drafting team should be formed by the Faculty Senate, and its membership should consist of faculty majority, plus any other necessary stakeholders."
  2. On page 3 under the Faculty Senate section, after the words "faculty welfare", add:
    "faculty rights and responsibilities, including promotion and tenure"
  3. On page 8 under the category Faculty Senate, add the following to the first bullet point:
    "or faculty rights and responsibilities such as promotion and tenure"

Senator J. Palmer moved to further amend the Policy on Policies (listed below), seconded by Senator McKenney.

Under item number 3 on page 2, change the language to:
"Members of drafting teams shall include all campus constituents that might be affected by the proposed policy."

Senator Vice pointed out that the proposed language was similar to the language presented in the most recent Policy on Policies draft which included language suggested by the Rights & Responsibilities Committee. The motion was withdrawn.

The motion to approve the amended Policy on Policies and the Policy on Authorization for Regulation carried.


Report from Council on Academic Affairs - Senator Vice

Program Revisions - Reducing Hours Required to Graduate
  1. Agriculture (B.S.) - Change the number of hours required for degree from 128 to 120 by reducing Free Electives by 7 credit hours. Reduce the practice requirement (AGR 301/302/349) from 4 credit hours to 3. Designate all courses < or > 3 credit hours.
  2. Horticulture (B.S.) - Change the number of hours required for degree from 128 to 120 by reducing Free Electives by 8 credit hours. Correct the Major Requirement hours from 60 to 59. Designate all courses < or > credit hours.
  3. Journalism (B.A.) - Change the number of hours required from 128 to 120 by excluding Block VII SBS in the General Education Requirements and reducing Free Electives by 6 credit hours. The department has moved most of the NON-JOU prefix classes to supporting course requirements as suggested by the Gen. Ed. Committee. COM 201/301 remain in Major courses as they are core classes in the JOU curriculum
Program Revisions
  1. Master of Arts in English - Eliminate "emphases" and all references to "emphases" from the program.
  2. Certificate in French Conversation and Culture - Add FRE 310 to course option
  3. Occupational Therapy (M.S.) - Eliminate one core course and add new core course
  4. MAED Elementary Education - revise the program to align with the Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement
  5. MAED Middle Grade Education - revise the program to align with the Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement
  6. MAED Reading/Writing - revise the program to align with the Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement
  7. MAED Library Sciences - revise the program to align with the Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement
  8. MAED Secondary Education - revise the program to align with the Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement
  9. MAED Gifted Education - revise the program to align with the Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement
  10. MAED Elementary Education Teaching (B.S.) - revise the program to allow appropriate exceptions for elementary education students who are also in the Honors Program
Catalog Revisions
  1. Concurrent Degrees Catalog Revision
  2. Subsequent Degrees Catalog Revision
Information Items

The Council on Academic Affairs also voted in support of the following policies:
  1. Interim Policy on Policies
  2. Policy on Authorization for Regulations

    The Council on Academic Affairs reviewed the memo from the Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies as an information item.
  3. Department Name Revision - Change the name of the Department of Criminal Justice and Policies Studies to Department of Criminal Justice

    The Council will take action on the following items in the March 18, 2010 CAA meeting.
  4. First Day of Class Attendance: Use It or Lose It
  5. Admission Requirements for Associate of General Studies, Catalog Revision
  6. Academic Dismissal Catalog Revision
  7. Clarification of Credit/Non-Credit Coursework, Catalog Revision

Senator Vice moved approval of items 1-3, seconded by Senator Frisbie. Motion carried.

Senator Vice moved approval of items 4-13, seconded by Senator Day. Motion carried.

Senator Vice moved approval of items 14-15, seconded by Senator Schmelzer. Motion carried.

Items 16-22 were presented as informational items.


Feedback from the last Senate meeting and Executive Committee meeting regarding whether or not faculty at the instructor level were eligible to serve as Faculty Regent was shared with President Whitlock, at his request. The general consensus was that current practice should continue,wherein only full time, tenured faculty are eligible to serve and the only administrative faculty eligible are at the chair level. WKU has been pressing for inclusion of instructors and House Bill 374 was brought before the legislature. The language regarding instructors being eligible to serve has been struck.

A faculty volunteer to serve on the drafting team for a "Missing Student" policy is needed. This policy is in response to mandates from the Higher Education Responsibility Act. Senator J. Palmer volunteered.

HB 160 appears likely to pass and while there will be some challenges, EKU's input did make a difference in getting some changes included in the final draft that will make it more palatable.

Barbara Szubinska spoke to the Executive Committee about environmental stewardship. The Executive Committee suggested that the Teaching and Learning Center should be contacted about offering a future session on environmental stewardship efforts at EKU.

The Board of Regents will meet next on April 19th.

COSFL hasn't met since the last Senate meeting. However, Senator McKenney reported as Faculty Representative on the Council on Postsecondary Education. President Robert King has begun the practice of calling each CPE Council member once a month to provide an update and to give an opportunity to raise issues of concern.

President King is talking with CPE staffer John Hayek about simplifying the CPE's annual accountability report so that it will be easier for legislators and others to understand data for higher education. He noted that currently the data doesn't cover the graduation rates of students who transfer from one school to another. Obviously this omission makes statewide graduation rates look worse than they actually are, and this data should be collected.

Senator McKenney shared that some faculty in COSFL are concerned about the increase in administrative positions versus the number of faculty positions at their institutions. President King said that while the CPE does not plan to micro-manage in an area such as this, the CPE does plan to look at staffing across the state and will try to come up with ratios and guidelines based on student enrollment.

Senator McKenney also inquired about the high school graduation bill, which would mandate that students could not drop out until age 18. President King fears that the political dynamic may keep that bill from passing.

At a meeting last Friday at Western, Senator Vice learned that Western will be closing their community college on June 30th.

Kati Haycock, President of Education Trust will visit EKU on Wednesday, March 31. The campus will have two opportunities to interact with her:

10:00 ­ 11:30 a.m. - University and Academic Affairs Leadership Library 108
Focus: Ways Student-Success Data Should Impact our Decisions (e.g., Provost Council, Administrative Council, Council on Academic Affairs, Faculty Senate Executive Committee/Committee Chairs, Chairs' Association, SPC, and FPC)

1:30 -2:30 p.m. - General Session ­ Open to everyone SSB, O'Donnell
Focus: Ways Schools Enhance Student Auditorium Success, according to national data
Education Trust highlighted EKU in one of two recent reports on higher education. "Top Gainers" and "Top Gap Closers" focus on public institutions nationwide that are ensuring more young Americans of color earn a bachelor's degree.
EKU ranked 1st in the nation among "Top Graduation-Rate Gap Closers among Public Master's Institutions, 2002-2007."

EKU ranked 2nd in the nation among "Top 25 Gainers in Underrepresented Minority Graduation Rates among Public Master's Institutions, 2002 -2007."

These studies examined data from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Results Online ‹a unique Web-based tool that allows the public to view college graduation rates by race, ethnicity, and gender ‹to identify institutions that are making the biggest improvement in either graduating students of color or in closing graduation-rate gaps.
Dr. Abdul Kalam, India's 11th President, 2002-2007 will speak at 10am on Tuesday, April 13th in Brock Auditorium. The presentation is on "Energy Independence ­ Alternative Energy for 2010 and Beyond". Admission will be by ticket only. Tickets will be available via SGA beginning March 29th.

Faculty Senators are invited to eat lunch with the Provost on Wednesday, March 3rd at 11:45 a.m. in the Powell Cafeteria. Please sign in at either register.

STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION: DaJuane Harris reported for Afsi Siahkoohi

Mr. Harris made the following announcements:
  1. The Rally for Higher Education was held last week in Frankfort. EKU had the biggest group attending.
  2. The spring funding meeting was held last week and $34,783 was appropriated to 21 of 38 organizations who applied for funding
  3. The spring concert will be held in Alumni Coliseum on March 15th at 8pm. This year's concert will feature Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Bowling for Soup. Tickets are on sale in the SGA office.
  4. SGA is currently revising their bylaws, working on amendments to their constitution, and working on a new strategic plan.


Tuition forums are being held to garner student and faculty input on the per credit hour model under consideration.

The FPC discussed fixed and standing costs and what, if anything, could be done to be responsive in this budget climate. Reallocation was mentioned but not pursued. Senator Ware mentioned faculty concerns regarding administrative costs, buildings being brought online without maintenance and operating expense funding, and an apparent lack of commitment to human investment compared to capital projects. Ware further referenced concern about the KERS/KTRS funding issue and reminded the Council of WKU's lawsuit in this regard.


The Strategic Planning Council will meet on Wednesday at 1:30pm to continue developing the vision, the mission and the values.


Academic Quality Committee. Senator Schmelzer:
The committee continues to represent the Senate on CAA, the Final Exam Drafting Team and other groups as requested. The committee will be meeting later this month and one of the items for discussion will be the issue of assessment of general education.

Budget Committee. Senator Johnson:
The committee met last Friday and a report similar to the one enclosed with this report was presented with stats from 2007. The committee has asked for clarification of some of the statistics which should be forthcoming at the next meeting.

Included with this report is:

  1. a copy of the information given to us by Institutional Research the end of January
  2. a copy of statistics from the Counsel on Postsecondary Education web site.
  3. a copy of the draft report received from Institutional Research at the end of January and passed out by the Interim Provost at the AAUP meeting a few weeks go.
  4. a copy of a page from the EKU Budget report for 2010 copied from the Financial Affairs web site which can be found at:

Copies of past Budget Books can be found at the following web site.

The Budget Committee has sponsored a zoomerang poll asking two questions of the faculty. The survey will be active until Thursday this week. Please ask faculty to participate in this poll. The two questions are:

  1. In your opinion what should be the top 3 priorities or funding at the university given the flat rate of economic growth?
  2. In your opinion what should be the lowest 3 priorities for funding at the University given the flat rate of economic growth?

Interesting statistics may also be found in the EKU fact book at the following web site.

Committee on Committees. Senator Staddon:
Work continues on streamlining the charge for the committee.

Elections Committee. Senator Randles:
The Faculty Regent forum was held recently and for those who were not able to attend a video is available from EKU's homepage. The two candidates are Dr. Jack Rutherford and Dr. Malcolm Frisbie. The online election will launch sometime this week, run through spring break and into the following week.

Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator J. Palmer:
Senator J. Palmer has been appointed to serve on the Social Web Policy drafting team. The draft policy attempts to address concerns that someone appearing to represent EKU might do something egregious online. However, crafting language to discourage or prevent egregious behavior while not trampling free speech or appearing like "big brother" has been a problem for the drafting team. The committee believes the drafting team has good intentions, and a very difficult task.

The committee posted a statement about the draft Policy on Policies to the policies comments page recommending that A) a faculty member be included in any team drafting a policy and B) that there should be a control to ensure that unnecessary draft policies do not proliferate.

The committee reviewed the new handbook tenure and promotion policies and met with the EKU AAUP representative. The T&P policy has not changed.

The committee recommends approval of the new faculty handbook. Older versions of the handbook consisted of policies considered most important; for brevity's sake many other existing policies were summarized or even omitted. The new format includes A) a printable handbook and B) links to all official EKU policies.

Senator Taylor reported that the committee is in the process of interviewing five candidates on a pre-interview basis. Once the candidates are narrowed down, the campus visits should begin no later than April 1st.

The topic of discussion was "Assessment--specifically the nature and value of assessment"

A number of issues were raised:

  1. There is much confusion about the current system and concerns about exactly what is the value of all of those assessment reports
  2. There is a lack of clarity as to how assessment data will be used
  3. There seems to be an infringement on academic freedom. By asking common assessment questions, the freedom to test how we want and teach topics may be compromised
  4. There seems to be confused purposes. Higher education has been against standardized exams and standardized testing and yet we seem to be pushed and pulled into that direction
  5. Time is an issue. The faculty's job is to assess students with a grade, exams and papers. There are already a number of different assessments for faculty such as peer evaluated tenure process and yearly evaluations, etc.
  6. Poorly designed and executed assessment measures and poor analysis of results. That assessment appears to be taken in a variety of ways, designed by people who are not experts in assessment, and there are all kinds of issues and lack of consistency
  7. Students don't care about assessment other than their own grade; they would rather have a faculty member type up an extra review sheet or have an extra study session
  8. It's not environmentally friendly or cost effective with the increase in size of the average syllabus.
  9. Some assessments deal with the cumulative year and some deal with the school year. The time for those falls too close together and the formatting is totally different so it's double the work

Senator Vice stated that we need to work on bringing all those other assessments into the annual program assessment, as much as is possible.

Senator Wilson reported that her department is very assessment heavy and is being asked to create multiple assessments across same sections of a course.

Senator Ware stated that it seems like higher education is moving the way P-12 has gone, but higher education should be handled differently.

Senator Day shared that in the educational field, there is serious talk about measuring faculty performance based on the success of their graduating students as they go out in the field and teach.

Senator Biggin stated that there seems to be a move toward centralized education and that's a problem because different counties have different educational needs.

Senator Wade reminded that eight years ago EKU did not have an assessable general education program and since that time a new general education program was developed which can be assessed.


Senator Vice moved to adjourn at approximately 5 p.m.

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