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Minutes for September 9, 1996

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, September 9, 1996 in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senate Chair Richard Rink called the first meeting of the 1996-1997 academic year to order at 3:40 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

N. Davis G. Gow A. Patrick
M. Dean* K. Henson* T. Ricks*
H. Funderburk* M. McAdam V. Stubblefield*

*denotes prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary

Visitors to the Senate were: Mr. Harry Moberly, Jr., Judicial Affairs and Ms. Jennifer Almjeld, Eastern Progress


Senator Rink thanked Dean Daugherty and Mr. Greg Hopkins for providing refreshments for the first Senate meeting in the new location.  There is a need to fill two positions for the Withdrawal Appeals Committee.  If Chair Rink is unable to fill the positions, he will request the Senate Executive Committee to choose nominees from the list of Faculty Senators.  Finally, Senator Rink announced that in accordance with Senate by-laws, Karen Janssen has agreed to serve as Acting Faculty Senate Chair in the event that the elected Faculty Chair is unavailable for conducting Senate meetings.  Senator Willingham filled in for Senate Secretary Charles Hay.

Approval of the Minutes

Senator Rink called for additions or corrections to the May 6 minutes. There being none, the minutes were approved as distributed.

Report from the President: Senator Funderburk

Because President Funderburk was attending a meeting with other college and university presidents in North Carolina, there was no report.

Report of the Executive Committee: Senator Rink

The Executive Committee met on August 26.  Under old business, the Chair reviewed activities from standing and ad hoc committees having uncompleted business.  There was no report on COSFL.  Vice President Enzie had no report from the Council on Academic Affairs.

The Chair asked if it was necessary to establish an ad hoc committee to review the future of ERO.  While the question developed into a lively and informative discussion, the majority of Executive Committee members at the meeting were opposed to having the Executive Committee make such a recommendation.  This does not keep such a recommendation from being offered from the Senate floor.

Report of the Faculty Regent: Senator Freed

Senator Freed reported on three items of interest.  First, one item that came out of the August 1 Board of Regents meeting was the approval of an optional retirement program.  TIAA-CREF is now available on a very limited basis to new faculty.  The option is not available to those already participating in the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System.

Second, Governor Patton on August 24 called a meeting in Frankfort of the Task Force on Postsecondary Education Advisory Group Interest.  The Task Force was a large group that consisted of university board members, university presidents, community college and university faculty, students, and other friends of higher education from across the state.  The Governor spoke for nearly an hour and clearly stated that very significant change in higher education is both desirable and inevitable.  Aside from his familiar emphasis on technology, he did not give many specifics about the changes he says will come; in large part, he said, the specifics will be provided by those groups who were present at the session.  At the conclusion of his talk, Governor Patton stated that he would pin the judgment of his four years in office on his aspirations for changing higher education.

After Governor Patton's address, the assembly was divided into smaller "interest" groups.  Senator Freed was part of the faculty group rather than the regent/trustee group.  The faculty group were essentially two groups:  university faculty and community college teachers.  The community college group insisted on having a separate caucus, and it was agreed that each sub-group would select three representatives to reconvene on September 23 for the second meeting of the Task Force.  This was the only official action taken by the faculty group.  Senator Freed was selected to the Task Force's steering committee and will report back to the Senate about the September meeting.

Third, Senator Freed reported about an August 30 meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee, which consists of faculty trustees and board members from each university.  The Faculty Advisory Committee, which until last year had little influence, meets with the staff of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) four times a year.  Apparently because the Governor has expressed interest in getting faculty input, or for some other reason, the CHE staff now seem to be more genuinely interested in hearing from faculty.  The Faculty Advisory Committee will be meeting more often.

Report from the COSFL Representative: Senator Lee-Riffe

The members of COSFL met on May 13 at the University of Kentucky to discuss topics of importance on which to prepare White Papers that will present COSFL's point of view to the Governor and the Task Forces that have been appointed to make recommendations related to improving Kentucky higher education.  Drafts of the White Papers will be reviewed at COSFL's next meeting on September 28.

Report from the Student Senate: Ms. Melody Mason

Due to Ms. Mason's absence, no report was given.

Reports from Standing Committees

Committee on Elections: Senator Brown-Davis reported that the committee had met and elected Senator Brown-Davis as chair.

Committee on Committees: Senator Janssen reported that the committee had met.  Before the next Senate Executive Committee meeting, the Committee on Committees will provide the Faculty Senate Chair with a list of faculty for possible appointments as openings occur during the year.

Committee on Rules: Senator Lewis reported that the major work of the Rules Committee for the coming year will be a revision of the internal procedures of the Senate.  The internal procedures will not require formal passage by means of a Senate vote.  Once completed, the procedures will be printed in a booklet and made available to members of the Senate.

Due to the fact that the Board of Regents has not yet ratified the recently approved faculty-at-large revision of faculty by-laws, Senator Lewis moved that the standing rules of the Senate which requires distribution of the rules to the Senators at the second fall meeting be suspended until they are printed in their newly revised form.  The motion was approved.

Committee on the Budget: Senator Watkins reported that the committee met and decided to request a summary budget from Eastern's benchmark institutions, so that the committee could include a comparison of Eastern's budget with that of its benchmark institutions in the committee's annual report to the Senate.

Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities: Senator Kipp reported that the committee has met.  The committee is to serve the faculty on issues related to promotion, tenure, grievance, and workload.

Special Reports

Report on the Self-Study.  Senator Wisenbaker reported that the ten missing pages from the initial report of the reaffirmation committee of SACS has just been received.  Copies of the report are being made and will be distributed around the university and be on reserve in the library.  Assignments have been made to respond to the seventeen SACS recommendations  Eastern's final reports to SACS will be ready in early October.

Message from State Representative Harry Moberly, Jr.

Representative Moberly reported the Governor's and state government perspective on higher education.  Governor Patton is committed to seeing that higher education become more efficient and demonstrates greater institutional cooperation.  He is asking higher education leaders how these goals can be accomplished.  Beneath the Governor's seeming overemphasis on vocational education is his desire to see higher education become the economic engine of the commonwealth.  With higher and postsecondary education as Governor Patton's major priority, there is an opportunity for major input from public universities, perhaps in reducing some bureaucratic requirements of agencies such as the Council on Higher Education.  In addition, since the state has a budget surplus and generally is in a good financial situation, the time is right for higher education to get more funding.  Representative Moberly emphasized that it is the responsibility of higher education forces to continue to educate Governor Patton, the general assembly, and the public about their needs.

Mr. Moberly responded to several questions.  He does not believe the Governor is interested in creating a centralized higher education super board.  Mr. Moberly feels that it is essential to maintain separate boards of regents.  Senator Masagatani wanted to know how faculty can provide more input in the series of White Papers being developed.  Representative Moberly mentioned working with COSFL, Senator Freed's Task Force faculty group, and meeting with state representatives in small groups.  He emphatically stated that Governor Patton did not want to hear anything about collective bargaining.  Senator Engle raised a question concerning how the general assembly might respond to the Governor's proposing to match greater higher educational efficiency with additional dollars.  Representative Moberly briefly discussed the relationship of the general assembly and the governor concerning state funding and effect of federal mandates during the last decade.  Barring any severe federal budget cuts and clarification of the Kentucky intangible tax ruling, Mr. Moberly strongly feels that many higher educational goals can be attained with increased funding and a supportive governor.

Unfinished Business

Election of COSFL Representative.  Senator Janssen nominated Senator Lee-Riffe.  Senator Lee-Riffe was approved.

Election of two Alternates for COSFL Representation.  Senator Lee-Riffe nominated Senator Janssen and Senator Freed nominated Senator McCord.  Senators Janssen and McCord were approved.

Parliamentary Work.  Senate Parliamentarian Dr. Martha Grise was recognized to report about a planned Parliamentary Workshop for Senate members on Monday, September 30 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building.

New Business

Senator Lee-Riffe moved that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee appoint a five-member committee to study the matter of grade inflation and any problems associated with it and, after the study, to submit a report that includes recommendations to the Faculty Senate by the March 1997 meeting.  Senator Lewis seconded the motion.  The motion will be placed on the next Faculty Senate agenda.


Senator Enzie moved that the Senate adjourn. It adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

Charles C. Hay III, Faculty Senate Secretary
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