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Minutes for March 3, 2008

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, March 3, 2008, in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Eakin called the sixth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

C. Blades* M. Ciocca* D. Clay
M. Kolloff* S. Neumann* B. Phillips
D. Phillips* R. Piercey*^ S. Shaffer*
B. Wesley    

*Indicates prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary
^ Janna Vice attended for R. Piercey

Visitors to the Senate: David Fifer, SGA; Deborah Newsom, Financial Affairs; Sherry Robinson, Academic Affairs; Virginia Underwood, Chief of Staff; and John Wade, Arts & Sciences

Senator Wray moved approval of the February 4, 2008 minutes, seconded by Senator Hesse.

Senator Kristofik moved to add an asterisk to the discussion on the Colonel 1 Card and to the discussion on the Policy on Policies to indicate that the full transcript is available for review, seconded by Senator Winslow. The majority were in favor and the motion carried.

Senator Hunter moved, seconded by Senator Winslow, to revise the official minutes for February to include at least a comment that there were several points of discussion and some disagreement about the Colonel 1 Card. The majority were in favor and the motion carried.

The majority were in favor of approving the amended minutes and the motion carried.


The state budget is unknown at this time. However, the House will be meeting with the Governor on Wednesday to share their recommendations before going to the General Assembly. They are proposing a multi-part program that, if enacted, will generate $400-$450 million dollars in recurring money that could help address the current budget crisis. If approved, this may mean that EKU could begin the '08-'09 fiscal year with less state support than was received in '07-'08, but that would still be better than the potential 12% reduction originally proposed.

Senator Whitlock reported that the higher education community has been actively lobbying the General Assembly. EKU Faculty Regent Malcolm Frisbie has been involved in a number of these kinds of events, as well as Mrs. Darlene Eakin, Director of the Kentucky Optometric Association.

The Council on Postsecondary Education recently approved EKU's Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership. Senator Whitlock reminded that funds to support the doctoral program have already been allocated in the University's strategic plan.

A press conference was held this morning at 10 a.m. to accept a check from Congressman Ben Chandler for approximately $300,000 in federal funds to help purchase equipment, primarily for the Department of Chemistry, for the new science building.

Senator Whitlock reported that Ron and Sherrie Noel recently donated more than $1 million for the University's soon-to-be-constructed Studio for Academic Creativity which will be located in the Crabbe Library.

On Tuesday, March 4th, a press conference will be held at 9 a.m. in Keen Johnson to announce the energy management contract EKU has entered into with Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. The total scope of this project is $18 million which makes it the largest such project that has ever been entered into on a college campus. Siemens has guaranteed that EKU will save $5,900 a day in energy costs on campus which will go towards paying off the $18 million for the project. If those savings aren't realized, then Siemens will reimburse the University for any shortfall.

Senator Whitlock continues to visit alumni across the United States. He recently returned from California where he visited with alumni in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

There will be an installation ceremony for President Whitlock on the afternoon of April 25. Everyone is welcome to attend, if schedules permit.


Welfare Committee Resolution on Budget Cuts. Senator Waters indicated that the Welfare Committee worked on the resolution to provide additional support for the letter written by the university presidents to the Governor, as well as to support other faculty senates in the state who have previously written resolutions, and to express EKU's particular perspective about the budget. Senator Waters moved approval of the resolution, seconded by Senator Johnson. The resolution was approved unanimously by the Senate.

Rules Committee Motions on New Senator Orientation. Senator Kristofik moved, seconded by Senator Resor, to approve the motion to include the section on new senator orientation in the Faculty Handbook under Part VII, section e. Committees of the Senate. The majority were in favor and the motion carried. This motion will need to go before the Faculty-at-Large for a vote in August, 2008.

Senator Johnson moved, seconded by Senator Randles, to approve the motion to include the section on new senator orientation in the Senate's internal procedures. The majority were in favor and the motion carried.instructions are taken from procedures that have been followed by the Ad Hoc committee.

Report from Council on Academic Affairs - Dr. Janna Vice reported for Senator Piercey.

  1. Bachelor of Music - Program Revision to change title of program
  2. Fire & Safety Engineering Technology (B.S.) - Program revision to drop Safety & Industrial Relations Option
  3. Emergency Medical Care (B.S.) - Program revision to add Emergency Services Administration Option

Senator Robles moved approval of item #1, seconded by Senator Koontz. The majority were in favor and the motion carried.

Senator Hunter moved approval of item #2, seconded by Senator Collins. The majority were in favor and the motion carried.

Senator Hunter moved approval of item #3, seconded by Senator Collins. The majority were in favor and the motion carried.


Senator Eakin announced that the Senate is still working on two issues with the Student Government Association: Dead Week Policy and Bulletin Board Postings.

Senator Ware announced that she just met with the joint Ad Hoc Committee on Dead Week Policy and the students seem to be very proactive and are going about this issue very systematically. The committee has received some very good input from faculty and are putting together an updated dead week policy which should be shared with the Executive Committee in the near future. One issue of concern shared by several faculty was the fact that certain courses such as praticums and lab courses do not have a set exam schedule while other courses are designed for the final lab exam to be administered during dead week. Senator Eakin suggested that all concerns relating to the dead week policy should be forwarded to members of the joint committee. The names of the committee members are available from the Senate website.

Senator Waters asked for clarification in the chair's report regarding the transference of policies into the new policy template and if that meant the Policy on Policies is already in effect without Senate approval. Senator Eakin assured her that the Policy on Policies document, which the Senate has discussed at least twice now as an informational item, will eventually come back to Senate as an action item.

In addition, Senator Eakin shared the following in his written report to the Senate.

The Executive Committee asked Dr. Sherry Robinson to provide three or four academically related policies in the new policy template as examples to consider, which she supplied. Those were discussed at the February 18th meeting. The Executive Committee suggested that the former University Faculty Handbook Committee should be reconstituted with one of its charges to be to help Dr. Robinson's office with the policy review process. Ultimate responsibility for any wordsmithing needed in order to transfer old policies into the new template would fall to Dr. Robinson.

In addition, the committee agreed that once an existing policy has been completely transferred to the new template - and all relevant constituents are in agreement - a University Policy Review Committee be created with the sole responsibility to carefully review the implementation process of each policy. After that review, all policies dealing with academia would then come before the Senate for review.

Senator Johnson introduced a proposed resolution from the Faculty Welfare Committee to send to the members of the General Assembly. The Executive Committee offered several suggestions to strengthen the language of the resolution.


The Board will next convene on April 11, 2008 for a regular quarterly meeting.

PROVOST REPORT: Janna Vice reported for Senator Piercey

Senator Piercey shared the following in his written report to the Senate.

The Office of Academic Affairs continues to work on reviewing and organizing the University's body of policy relating to Academic Affairs. Existing policies are being converted to the new policy template and then being reviewed for accuracy, currency, and consistency. Currently, four existing policies in this format have been submitted as examples to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate for their review. Additionally, 4.1.2 (Course Syllabi) will be presented to the Provost Council in an upcoming meeting. The existing policy has proposed revisions and a syllabus template, which is based from the recommendations of a work group formed by former Provost Chapman. Following Provost Council review, 4.1.2 will be submitted to the Executive Committee.

The Office of Academic Affairs is also working on two proposed policies. The first is 4.6.1 (Determination of Qualifications for Teaching Faculty). The recent SACS reaffirmation process revealed the need for EKU to have more explicit qualification guidelines in its policy. In addition, this policy will establish explicit procedures for ensuring these qualifications and ongoing compliance with accrediting standards. The draft policy is currently being reviewed by the Provost Council. The second proposed policy is also an outgrowth of the SACS reaffirmation. Policy 4.3.4 (Joint Curricular, Collaborative, and Consortial Agreements), which is in early draft form, will ensure that Academic Affairs Memoranda of Agreement comply with SACS policies and that all agreements are properly vetted and periodically reviewed.

Finally, The Office of Academic Affairs is working on providing some clarifications to the recently passed 4.6.4 (Promotion and Tenure). As soon as these clarifications are vetted through appropriate channels, including the Executive Committee, they will be published to the academic community. Additionally, 1.1.1 (Formulation and Adoption of University Policies) continues to be vetted across campus. Comments made at the last Faculty Senate meeting have been noted and revisions will continue to be made. A revised draft will be re-submitted to Faculty Senate in the future.

Senator Piercey shared updates on the following areas within the Office of Academic Affairs: Institutional Effectiveness and Institutional Research.


Budget Committee. Senator Johnson reported for Senator Ciocca.

The committee met on February 20. The main emphasis of the meeting dealt with the actions the administration was in the process of taking in view of the budget cuts. Dr. Piercey reiterated the intention of President Whitlock to front these cuts without layoff but through attrition and hiring freeze. Further, there will be no cuts across the board, but more of a strategic nature.

The amount of the cut is not certain, and, according to Dr. Piercey and Vice President Newsom, the University is well poised to face all cuts, even the worst case scenario of 12% reduction in state's appropriation. These cuts, no matter at what level, should be considered as permanent. The state budget, however, will not be available until the month of April. In the event of cuts less than 12%, there could be funds available for various initiatives.

While waiting for the amount of the cut to be known, Dr. Piercey has therefore asked the faculty at large, through their representative on the Faculty Senate and the Faculty Senate Budget Committee, to help set priorities in case the cuts are less than the worst case scenario.

Please e-mail a member of the Budget committee with suggestions of which of the following items are the most important. Please rank them in order of importance. Additional items may also be added to the list. Please respond as soon as possible or no later than March 21st.

  • Keeping existing faculty/staff lines
  • New faculty/staff lines
  • New/expanded student services
  • Student recruitment
  • Equity adjustments for faculty/staff
  • Equipment
  • Operating money
  • Across the board compensation increase
  • Merit compensation increase
  • Technology refresh/enhancements
  • Professional development for faculty/staff
  • Capital expansion debt service

Committee on Committees. Senator Foote announced that the committee will be meeting after spring break.

Welfare Committee. Senator Waters reported that the committee met with Provost Piercey on February 29 to discuss a number of issues. Senator Ciocca shared a secondary analysis of the hiring trend data that was received previously from the University. To summarize it, from 2002 2007 there was not a significant increase of full-time, tenure-track faculty. There was, however, a significant increase in the number of part-time faculty hired and the number of administrators hired.

Pursuant to a question raised by Senator Shadur in the December Senate meeting, the committee talked at length about the lifetime maximum benefit of $1 million on the current health care plan and also compared plans from other benchmark universities. In comparison, EKU's maximum lifetime benefit should be re-considered and that concern was conveyed to Provost Piercey.

The committee also discussed compensation and benefits issues with the Provost. In addition the importance of continued shared governance was discussed.

Colonel 1 Card Work Group Report. Senator Noblitt gave a detailed report on her initial meeting with Karen Pettit, the Colonel 1 Card Office Supervisor, and several meetings she attended with the work group working on the Colonel 1 Card project. The impetus for the project for the Colonel 1 Card is that the University basically wants to stop cutting checks for students. The process of cutting financial aid checks and work checks for students is very expensive and this was a way to outsource that function. In addition, this initiative would allow students to get their residual checks from financial aid more promptly; though how much more promptly the process would be versus direct deposit to a regular bank account is questionable. Last year EKU sent out an RFP to several banks and financial institutions, and the University decided to go with Higher One which is the bank that will be sponsoring the Colonel 1 Card. Higher One was chosen in part because students would not be offered any credit through the Colonel 1 Card or through Higher One.

As currently proposed, all students, faculty and staff will be issued Colonel 1 Cards and this will be EKU's official identification card, replacing the current system. The MasterCard debit logo and a Higher One Bank logo will appear on all cards, along with EKU's logo. In order to issue the cards, Higher One has already been given a database which includes the following information: all faculty, staff, and student names; month and year of birth for everyone, everyone's EKU I.D. number, and their campus mailing address.

The senators raised a number of issues regarding the new card system, some of which included:

  1. Personal information could be at risk through the new card system and identify theft could be more likely to occur.
  2. Information regarding fees, etc. to use the Higher One accounts seems unduly difficult to find and therefore students may not fully understand the terms of the accounts.
  3. The new I.D. card was viewed as unprofessional by faculty because of the credit card logo. It is possible faculty might not be eligible for special pricing discounts and perhaps the card will not be accepted at professional events.
  4. The colonel 1 site does not indicate that there are other options available to students and prospective students, and parents may mistakenly assume they have to open a Higher One account for their student in order to attend EKU.

Senator Noblitt requested that comments on this issue should be e-mailed to her, and she will share those with the work group.

Senator Whitlock informed the group that in light of the conversation at today's meeting, the plug on this project is pulled pending all of these questions and others being addressed.

Senator Eakin thanked Senator Noblitt for her excellent work on this issue and asked that she share her report electronically with the Senate secretary so that it can be distributed to all the Senators in the future.


The topic of discussion was "Identifying Barriers for Working More Effectively and Efficiently"
examples: availability of records, ways to reduce "drudgery", etc.

The discussion was postponed to the April meeting due to time constraints. Senator Carter requested that at least 30 minutes should be devoted to this topic at the next meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:30 p.m.

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