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Minutes for October 7, 1996

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, October 7, 1996 in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senate Chair Richard Rink called the second meeting of the 1996-1997 academic year to order at 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

E. Baldwin* A. Banks* R. Baugh*
J. Biesinger* G. Calkin* N. Davis*
P. Dean* V. Falkenberg J. Frazier
L. Gaines G. Gow K. Henson*
K. Johnson S. Jones N. Lee-Riffe
N. Mackinnon* G. Masagatani P. Murray
A. Patrick T. Ricks* J. Wells*
J. Willett    

*denotes prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary

Visitors to the Senate were: Mrs. Jill Allgier, Registrar, and Ms. Jennifer Almjeld, Eastern Progress


Senator Rink announced that the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on the Study and Replacement of Grades and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Study Procedures for Appealing Withdraw from Courses and/or the University had completed their work and were discharged.

Approval of the Minutes

Senator Rink called for additions or corrections to the September 9 minutes. There being none, the minutes were approved as distributed.

Report from the President: Senator Funderburk

The President reported on the recent activities of several committees that are studying Kentucky higher education. The final draft of the Commission on Higher Education Institutional Efficiency and Cooperation report has been approved and will be submitted to the Council on Higher Education and the Governor's Office on October 15th. The report contains fifteen recommendations. The main recommendations concern the creation of a virtual university, the Commonwealth University, and the forming of Kentucky Electronic Library System. Dr. Funderburk referred to an article entitled "Virtual Universities Could Produce Only Virtual Learning" by Kenneth H. Ashworth, commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, that appeared in the September 6, 1996, issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (page A88) which assesses the effect of technology on higher education. Currently 8/10ths of one percent of all coursework in Kentucky higher education is being delivery through technology. Undoubtedly, this figure will rise in the future. A copy of the Commission's report will be placed in the library.

The Commission's work is rather narrowly focused, and it will tie in with activities of the Task Force on Postsecondary Education. The Task Force is composed of six state senators, six state representatives, five members of the Governor's cabinet, with Governor Patton chairing the committee. The Task Force meets monthly and has hired consultants to gather information on subjects such as finance and governance of higher education. Consultants will be conducting a telephone survey of selected Eastern faculty and staff in the near future. Several other groups have been asked to prepare White Papers on various aspects of higher education and submit their reports to the Governor's Office by October 15.

President Funderburk responded to several questions. He believes that the Governor is very serious about calling a special session of the General Assembly devoted to higher education. The Governor wants to find more resources in state government for higher education. Consultants to the Task Force have pointed out that from 1978 to 1994 Kentucky is last among the states in support for public higher education. There will probably be two special sessions before a higher education session is called sometime next spring.

Report of the Executive Committee: Senator Rink

Senator Rink reported that a motion for having a committee to study grade inflation will be placed on the October agenda. Vice President Enzie reviewed a draft proposal on the "Commonwealth Open University" by the Council on Higher Education. Dr. Enzie stated that there will be a final proposal that goes before the Task Force for approval and that he will share that proposal with all Faculty Senate members. The Chair reviewed a list of four names as candidates for the Withdrawal Committee. The Executive Committee submitted Senator Joseph Beck as the elected member of the Faculty Senate. They announced that Dean Kleine has agreed to be the academic dean for the Withdrawal Committee.

Vice President Enzie announced that state universities and colleges are required to have a committee, composed of faculty and students, for reviewing appeals on the status of state residency. For EKU, this committee will be composed of two faculty members, one being an alternate; two students, one being an alternate; and a university administrator. The Executive Committee suggested two faculty names for faculty representative and alternate. Marijo LeVan has agreed to serve as the faculty representative and J. Allen Singleton as the alternate. Both names have been submitted to President Funderburk.

Report of the Faculty Regent: Senator Freed

Senator Freed presented a detailed report on the various groups that are currently involved in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of Kentucky higher education as a prelude to possible action by Governor Patton. Dr. Freed believes that faculty may now have a unique opportunity to become a part of the decision-making process. The groups are:

  1. The Governor's Task Force on Postsecondary Education. This is a group of legislators and representatives of the executive branch that is chaired by Governor Patton. Faculty are not directly involved with this group. However, members of the Advisory Group to the Task Force were invited to attend its meeting on September 23 to hear the report of Mr. Dennis Jones, lead consultant for the Task Force. Mr. Jones's report suggested that many of the problems of Kentucky higher education are caused by factors outside of the higher education structure; he noted especially the lack of a solid socio-economic base of support in Kentucky. As a member of the Task Force Advisory Group, Senator Freed will attend future hearings.
  2. The Advisory Group to the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education. This large group, that first met in Frankfort in August, has nine representative sub-groups that are responsible for writing position papers. Representatives of this group met for a second time with Governor Patton. The Governor assured the group that he would read and consider carefully any position papers submitted to his office.
  3. The Commission of Higher Education Efficiency and Institutional Cooperation. This group, consisting of the eight university presidents and several representatives of the executive branch and the staff of the Council on Higher Education, has become the chief vehicle for the university presidents to provide input to the Task Force.
  4. Council on Higher Education Faculty Advisory Group (FAC). This group, consisting of faculty regents and trustees, meets four times a year with the staff of the Council on Higher Education. Last week members of the FAC received copies of the Council guidelines for Program Review, one of the major functions of the Council, so that at the next meeting FAC members might provide input on the revision of those procedures. This kind of participation by members of university faculty is new--and perhaps indicative of the coming of a real voice for faculty.
  5. Congress of Senate and Faculty Leaders (COSFL). This, the only statewide organization of faculty, has taken on a much larger role than in the past. The chief request that COSFL will present to the governor is that he support a bill establishing a faculty position on the Council on Higher Education.

Senator Freed concluded his remarks by stating that he is cautiously optimistic with recent developments in higher education.

Report from the COSFL Representative: Senator Lee-Riffe

In the absence of Senator Lee-Riffe, Senator Janssen, COSFL alternate, presented the report. On September 28 COSFL met to discuss the contents of position (white) papers that will be presented to the Governor. After much sharing of information and opinions, consensus was reached on priority to address. Priority topics included technology, distance learning, libraries, and faculty collaboration. Based on the input of all participants, the authors of the drafts are rewriting and the group will reconvene soon to agree on content. Senators Freed and Lee-Riffe were selected to edit the final documents.

Report from the Student Senate: Ms. Melody Mason

Ms. Mason reported that the Student Government Association has been very active this semester. She was extremely pleased with the high voter turnout for the Fall elections. Every college should now have a student representative. A fitness/wellness brochure has been prepared for distribution. Ms. Mason mentioned that the student telephone directories are expected next week and will be distributed. Future plans for the Student Government Association include, December study break during finals week, a delegate program to begin in November for student organizations on campus that do not have representatives on the Student Senate, EKU reachout to help needy families on campus and in the Richmond community, and partime students being able to vote in student elections.

Reports from Standing Committees

Committee on Elections: Senator Brown-Davis - No report given.

Committee on Committees: Senator Janssen - No report given.

Committee on Rules: Senator Lewis - No report given.

Committee on the Budget: Senator Watkins mentioned that sixteen benchmark institutions have been contacted requesting summary budget information to use for comparison with Eastern's budget. Six institutions have already sent budget information.

Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities: Senator Kipp - No report given.

Unfinished Business

Senator Rink brought to the Senate the motion submitted by Senator Lee-Riffe and seconded by Senator Lewis at the September 9, 1996, Senate meeting concerning the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee to Study the Matter of Grade Inflation (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). Discussion centered on the possible duplication of the proposed committee with work of the Office of Institutional Research. Senator K. Jones suggested that if the committee is approved that one member be appointed who has a good knowledge of statistics. The motion was approved.

New Business

Report from the Council on Academic Affairs: Senator Enzie moved approval of the suspension of the minor in Political Science (teaching) of the Department of Government. The motion was seconded by Senator McCord and approved.

Report of Campus Voice Response System: University Registrar Allgier gave a very detailed report on the current status of the campus voice response system. Aside from activities of the registrar's office, the voice response system covers other campus areas such as admissions, housing, billings and collections, and student financial aid. Ms. Allgier reviewed the test results of telephone registration during the spring and summer semesters. Although not many telephone registration surveys were returned, the vast majority of the respondents felt the system was efficient, effective, and economical. For the first time since registration for the Spring 1983 semester, demographic sheets will not be used. The Registrar continued that it is the opinion of persons who have worked to put the voice response system in place that it is successful and with the advent of registration for the Spring 1997 semester, a majority of students will take advantage of this new process. However, for students who do not want to use the telephone, the registration center will still be open.


Senator Enzie moved that the Senate adjourn. It adjourned at 4:31 p.m.

Charles C. Hay III, Faculty Senate Secretary
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