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Minutes for March 2, 1998

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, March 2, 1998 in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senate Chair Karen Janssen called the sixth meeting of the academic year to order at 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

J. Beck* M. Chambers G. Cordner*
W. Davig R. Davis* P. Dean
G. Denham R. Enzie* V. Falkenberg
J. Flanagan B. Gallichio D. Halbrooks*
S. Jones* M. McAdam G. Rosenberg
T. Thompson V. Wisenbaker* M. Yoder

*denotes prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary

Visitors to the Senate were: Mr. James Clark, Planning and Budget; Dr. Paula Kopacz, English; Mr. Charles Lewis, Eastern Progress; and Dr. Gil Smith, Art


Senator Anderson moved that the Senate observe a moment of silence in honor for the recently deceased Dr. Klaus Heberle, a former Chair of the Faculty Senate. Senator Biesinger seconded the motion which was approved.

Approval of the Minutes

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

Report from the President: Senator Funderburk

Dr. Funderburk presented a brief report on the current status of legislative matters that affect higher education. The Kentucky General Assembly is considering several measures: the Appropriations Bill is moving through committees without much debate at this time; HB 1 (Postsecondary Reform Act of 1997) is still intact with no significant amendments at this time; Senator Philpot's post tenure review bill has been withdrawn and he is offering instead a Joint Senate/House Resolution instead; the Commonwealth Scholarship Program at this time does not have enough votes to get the bill out of committee; and the Collective Bargaining Bill has been introduced in the House but has not been assigned to a committee. The Council on Postsecondary Education has hired a consultant, Dr. Robert Shirley, for the planning and implementation of the Regional University's Program of Distinction Trust Fund.

Report of the Executive Committee: Senator Janssen

Senator Janssen reported that the Executive Committee met on February 9. Two faculty members were present at the meeting to inform the committee of concerns among faculty regarding discrimination related to sexual orientation. The Executive Committee discussed different actions that could be considered. In a meeting with Dr. Funderburk, he, stated that the University does not tolerate discrimination and that any instances of discrimination should be reported. The Board of Regents is currently considering this issue. The committee also discussed the status of various Senate committees and their reports. At the request of the Faculty Senate Chair, all Senators rose and applauded Senator Freed in recognition of his six years of excellent service as Faculty Regent.

Report of the Faculty Regent: Senator Freed

In his last report to the Faculty Senate as Faculty Regent, Senator Freed devoted considerable time to explaining the selection of Dr. Robert Kustra as Eastern's next president. Dr. Freed stated that from his perspective, the eleven person presidential search committee worked very diligently to come up with four excellent final candidates. The process which followed the work of the presidential search committee was inclusive and open. The campus visits by the finalists gave the university community a chance to meet and talk with each candidate and also gave the members of the Board of Regents an opportunity to assess the strengths of the candidates.

Dr. Freed explained the concluding part of the presidential selection process: Shortly after Dr. Charles Dunn left the campus at the end of his visit, the Board of Regents met to consider the possibility of making its final decision. The first order of business was to move into executive session. Immediately after that, each member of the Board spent well over two hours reading all of the comments submitted by faculty, students, staff, and community members. No discussion took place during this period. Comments which had been submitted earlier had already been read by Board members. The input of faculty, staff, students, and community participants was strongly felt during the Board's deliberation. At the conclusion of the reading session, Mr. James Gilbert, Chair of the Board, told the Board of his conversations with Dr. Dunn prior to his departure from campus. Mr. Gilbert conveyed Dr. Dunn's request to have his name removed from consideration if the university could not meet his salary request. The Board discussed that request and concluded unanimously that Dr. Dunn's name should be removed since the request was far out of line with the salaries of other university presidents throughout the Commonwealth. The Board then discussed the three remaining candidates and were able to select Dr. Kustra unanimously. He accepted the offer presented to him over the telephone by Mr. Gilbert.

Dr. Freed emphasized that the Board was very careful to avoid hurrying in making their decision. Dr. Freed pointed out that he insisted initially that the Board meet that evening with the purpose of determining if it could make a good decision that night and, if not, that the Board be prepared to put off making the decision until a later meeting. Freed felt that he was completely satisfied that the Board was able to make a sound and a good decision that evening, one that would not have been altered with the passage of more time.

Further explaining, Dr. Freed mentioned that he agreed with the recent Eastern Progress editorial which suggested that the Board meeting should have been held at a later time. While the procedure was not ultimately hurried in any way, and while the Board was able to choose the best candidate with the best fit for EKU, Freed stated that meeting so soon after Dr. Dunn's departure gave an appearance of haste. It was felt, however, that the difficulty of getting all Board members together for a series of meetings made it necessary to meet when all members were already on campus. Ultimately, the timing of the Board meeting had, Freed felt, no impact on the decision or on the process of making that decision. Freed reiterated that he was convinced that the Board made the best and right choice.

In conclusion, Dr. Freed stated that he appreciated the opportunity and honor of representing the faculty during the past six years as Faculty Regent. He was also very thankful for the wide range of support he received from many different people during his period of service.

Report from the COSFL Representative: Senator Sowders

Senator Sowders reported that COSFL met at the University of Kentucky on February 21, 1998, with every state university represented either at UK or at linked sites at Louisville, Murray, and Western. Merl Hackbart, faculty representative on the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), reported on a number of issues. He stated that the state budget process was working well, with more money than last year and with additional funding recommended for scholarships by the Governor and Senator Tim Shaughnessy. Hackbart mentioned that the CPE was still trying to define what the Virtual University will be like and how it will operate.

In referring to HB 1, Hackbart stated that the CPE was focusing on what the outcomes would be if goals are achieved and said that strategic implementation planning would involve many groups. Concerning trust funds, he reported that three to five trust fund requests will be received by the CPE in March with UK and Murray already prepared to present their requests. Dr. Robert Shirley, president emeritus of the University of Southern Colorado, has been chosen the advisor on regional university trust funds. COSFL members at that point expressed to Hackbart their concerns that universities would have to match funds on a 1 to 1 basis when their budgets are already stretched to the limit; that money going to only two areas of excellence perhaps might cause the neglect of other areas of the university, causing the whole university to change; and that there was the possibility of duplication of centers of excellence.

Hackbart's last comments had to do with a new phase of CPE activity concerning the academic program policies initiative (elimination, duplication, accountability, etc.). This, he said, brought into question the conceptual basis for the role of CPE and may result in a new set of policies. He also discussed the CPE's concern with admission requirements (pre-college curriculum, competency tests that some states are using), tuition policy review, and regional advisory boards (they have not yet determined how many boards there will be, but he was certain there would not be eight).

Finally, COSFL members discussed legislative matters such as Senator Philpot's post-tenure review bill, the Statewide Degree Program, collective bargaining for state employees, and the Karem-Shaughnessy merit scholarship bill. COSFL then approved on a request from the representative from Murray the following resolution on optional retirement programs:

WHEREAS, under current provisions of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System (KTRS) faculty members employed after July 1, 1996, may select either KTRS or an optional retirement plan; and,

WHEREAS, faculty employed by Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, and Western Kentucky University before July 1, 1996, may not select an optional retirement plan; and,

WHEREAS, having a choice of plans allows faculty to have more control over retirement planning;

WHEREAS, COSFL recommends to the Kentucky General Assembly that KTRS be amended to permit all affected faculty the right to select an optional retirement plan.

Report from the Student Senate: Mr. Mike Lynch

Mr. Lynch reported on the presidential search process and activities, and the recommendations of the Student Senate. After a study, the Senate has recommended the installation of twenty-two emergency telephones on campus and a new Health and Wellness Center to be modeled after the one at Western Kentucky University.

Reports from Standing Committees

Committee on Elections: Senator Chapman strongly emphasized to any senators whose terms expire in May to report to their department chairs and college deans that replacement elections should be held as soon as possible with the results reported to Senator Chapman. She reported on the results of the recently held Faculty Regent election. During February the Elections Committee mailed out 623 ballots. The return rate was 63.2%. Twenty-one of the returned ballots were eliminated because voter identification was not included, three ballots were eliminated because the voter was a Visiting Assistant Professor rather than a tenured or tenure-track Assistant Professor or higher. Committee members validated and counted 370 votes. Votes for each candidate were counted a minimum of three times.

The following are the results of the first round of the Faculty Regent election:

  • Dr. Allen D. Engle - 71 votes (19.2%)
  • Dr. Mary L. Fleming - 161 votes (43.5%)
  • Dr. Victor E. Kappeler - 23 votes (6.2%)
  • Dr. Bruce MacLaren - 70 votes (18.9%)
  • Dr. Aaron Thompson - 45 votes (12.2%)

Drs. Engle and Fleming will be in a runoff election, with results to be determined before the next Faculty Senate meeting.

Committee on Committees: Senator Taylor reported that the committee met on February 27 and approved the self- nomination form for university standing committees. The Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will initiate the distribution of the forms. The faculty should return the form to a member of the Committee on Committees by March 27, 1998.

Committee on Rules: Senator MacLaren - No report given.

Committee on the Budget: Senator Rink presented a detailed report on the state of the university budget. The primary function of the Senate Budget Committee is to review and analyze the University budget. The report of the committee consisted of a four-page narrative, followed by a glossary of terms, six tables (Current Unrestricted Funds 1994-1997; Annual Growth Rates in Revenues and Expenditures 1994-1997; Expenditures and Annual Growth Rates for Instructional and Institutional Support 1994-1997; Expenditures and Annual Growth Rates for Executive Management 1993-1997; Schedule of Revenues, Expenditures, and Transfers 1991-1998; and Expenditure Per FTE and Revenues Per FTE for Enrollments 1992-1996), and seven charts (Percentage of Total Estimated Revenues for 1997-98; Percentage of Total Estimated Expenditures and Transfers for 1997-98; Revenues - Estimated for 1997-98; Expenditures and Transfers - Estimated for 1997-98; Annual Percentage of Change for Revenues 1992-1997; Annual Percentage of Change for Expenditures 1992-1997; and Expenditures and Revenues per FTE 1991-1996).

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

Reports from Ad Hoc Committees

Ad Hoc Committee on Child Care Services on Campus: Dr. Paula Kopacz, Chair of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Child Care Services on Campus, presented a thorough interim report. On September 23, 1997, the Ad Hoc Committee was charged by the Senate Executive Committee to "evaluate the degree to which the present resources are meeting the needs of potential groups on campus (e.g. faculty, staff, and students with young children)." Members of the Committee are: Alan Banks, JoAnna Dickey, Terri Friel, Paula Kopacz (chair), Roy Meckler, and student member Holly May.

The Committee met several times during the Fall semester, and additionally each member of the committee individually toured the facility, met members of the staff, and observed the facility in operation. Kids Company, located at 509 Brockton Apartments on campus, is managed by the Community Education Development Corporation (CEDC), a non-profit organization. Initially the CEDC contributed $11,000 toward the start-up costs of EKU/Kids Company. The University renovated the Brockton duplex and contributes the space lease-free.

EKU/Kid Company became operational on August 18, 1997. Because startup time was so short, it did not reach its full day-time capacity until September 31, 1997. A total of 47 children from toddlers to pre-kindergarten were served during the semester. The population includes two children of faculty, two children of EKU staff, and 43 children of university students. Because of state licensing regulations, the size of the building caps enrollment at 33 children in the building at a given time. There are four full-time staff employed at the facility. They stagger their work hours so that the center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, five days a week. Kids Company hopes to expand hours to include Saturdays and evenings and will do so when demand reaches sufficient number to break even financially.

The Committee also has some areas of concern. Some needed actions will require the further assistance of Physical Plant; others may simply be a matter of informing the Executive Director of Kids Company of resources available at the University.

During the current semester the Ad Hoc Committee will administer a survey to gain input from the parents of children currently enrolled, and a short questionnaire will be published in the Eastern Progress to assess information from the university population that does not have children enrolled in the child care program.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Child Care Services is pleased first that the University finally does have an on-campus day care facility, and secondly, the Committee is pleased with the first semester performance of Kids Company.

Ad Hoc Committee on Cost Savings: Senator Quillen reported on recent activities of the committee. Based upon literature examination and discussions with outside experts, the committee has divided its recommendations into a set of general recommendations and a detailed set of specific recommendations along with a generalized implementation plan.

  1. General Recommendations:
    1. The University adopt a formalized system of generating internal suggestions and providing a system of providing "rewards" for ideas submitted that promote efficiencies in monetary expenditures, time savings, and in "morale building."
    2. The suggestion/reward approach is a "win-win" situation for the University as a whole and for students, faculty, staff, and administration in particular.
    3. The proposal is designed to be "revenue positive" and would be essentially "revenue neutral" at worst. "Good suggestions," by definition, are those that the University would likely adopt because it would be in the University's interest to do so. The "savings" to EKU should far exceed any "costs" involved with "rewards" to individuals, especially since the expectation is that the "reward" would overwhelmingly be recognition that is non-monetary in nature.
    4. The current environment of "cost cutting" and downsizing," both nationally and statewide, makes implementation at this time a special opportunity for Eastern Kentucky University. The grass-roots involvement of students, faculty, and staff in working to improve efficiencies at the University should place us in a position of leadership with respect to higher education in Kentucky.
  2. Specific Recommendations:
    1. The University, working through the Faculty Senate, appoint a permanent committee to oversee the final design and implementation of the "cost savings" plan. The committee should include representatives among students, staff, faculty, and administration. It is further recommended that the permanent committee be limited to a membership of seven to ten individuals and that the terms of membership be staggered in order to provide some continuity.
    2. Upon approval of the suggestion/reward system and the naming of the initial committee, a public announcement should be made to the University community and the public at large.
    3. A permanent committee be named and in place by the beginning of the 1998-1999 academic year. The permanent committee would be charged with the task of specific development of an appropriate system of generating and handling suggestions, preparation of a list of appropriate means of providing "rewards" and recognition. Further, the newly formed committee would explore various approaches to making the system work smoothly and would work on "fine tuning" and making changes as needed.
    4. For the 1999-2000 academic year (and subsequent years) the suggestion/reward system should be formalized and fully operational. The first set of new members would be added to the committee and one-third of the original committee would have served their terms of appointment. The system would continue to be involved with on-going periodic review as to the success/problems associated with the overall system.
    5. The search for appropriate "rewards" should never be limited to ideas generated within the permanent committee. Ideas for "rewards" for the University community would be welcome as would the "cost savings" suggestions.

Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Inflation: Senator Chapman reported for Dr. Jones that the Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Inflation has analyzed a random sample of 7,000 EKU student records. The records cover first-time, full-time, and traditional university students. Students' Grade Point Averages were analyzed at the following points in their university career: after the first semester, after 60 hours, and after graduation. At each point in time, the data was also analyzed according to the students' incoming ability level according to ACT scores: lower ability - ACT less than 17, middle ability - ACT from 17 to 22, and higher ability - ACT greater than 22.

The committee's data analysis is complete. The Committee, however, feels that the report would be insufficient without including information on how faculty perceive grade inflation. Thus, a survey has recently been mailed to faculty.


Senator Freed moved that the Senate adjourn. It adjourned at 4:20 p.m.


Charles C. Hay III
Faculty Senate Secretary

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