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Minutes for February 2, 2009

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, February 2, 2009, in the South Room of the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Ware called the sixth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

A. Back D. Carter* M. Case
D. Whitlock* A. Chapman L. Collins*
D. Deaton J. Flanagan B. Foley*
S. Godbey* T. Hartch K. Kean*
P. Litzelfelner* D. May* M. McDermott*
B. Pruitt* R. Sales* C. Schmelzer*
C. Smith    

*Indicates prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary

Visitors to the Senate: Danielle Bentley, Student; Jim Conneely, StuDent Affairs; Tina Davis, Registrar; Angelique Hilmes, Student; Gary Kuhnhenn, Enrollment Management; Deborah Newsom, Financial Affairs; Jerry Pogatshnik, Graduate School; Sherry Robinson, Provost Office; and Janna Vice, Academic Affairs

The January 12, 2009 minutes were approved as written.


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

While the economic downturn has had some negative effect on certain categories of giving, the capital campaign finished more than a year early with a 16 percent increase in the number of donors.

Last week, Senator Whitlock reported to the Board of Regents on a number of initiatives, including the status of the Business & Technology Building Phase II and the New Science Building Phase I. He expressed to the Board his deep conviction in the importance of the New Science Building to the academic relevance of Eastern and EKU's ability to become a more significant actor in the STEM disciplines. He also indicated his intention to direct certain one-time monies to that project in order to assure its completion. These will be funds that cannot be used for recurring expenses such as salaries, benefits, new lines, etc.

EKU's administration is aggressively seeking ways to get economic stimulus funding for current projects. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Senator Whitlock stated that it was a personal honor and joy to have an opportunity to attend the inaugural festivities in Washington on January 19 and 20. Eastern's presence there was duly noted.

The size of the budgetary challenge for EKU continues to grow. Senator Whitlock remains firm that EKU's core instructional mission will be protected, personnel reductions will be handled through attrition and that reallocations will be strategically addressed.

Senator Whitlock told the Board last week that he is convinced that those institutions that will flourish when the economy turns around will be those who use these difficult days to reinvent themselves, and that EKU will come out of this recession poised to take advantage of a new day. However, the "Essential Eastern" must, and will, be preserved.

Senator Whitlock shared that his faith in EKU's faculty and staff was strengthened by the spirit, cooperation, and hard work displayed in dealing with the ice storm of last week. The examples of sacrifice, dedication, and care for students, colleagues, and persons in the larger community who were without electricity and heat were countless and truly reflective of the "Power of Maroon."


Policy on Evaluation of Non-Tenured Faculty. Dr. Sherry Robinson was in attendance to introduce the proposed revision to the Policy on Evaluation of Non-Tenured Faculty.

Senator Johnson moved that the policy be studied further and brought back for discussion at the March Senate meeting, seconded by Senator Phillips. Motion carried.

16-Week Semester Discussion. Senator Ware announced that the current 5-year calendar ends with the 2009-2010 academic year and that a new calendar needs to be drafted soon. Therefore the administration needs to determine quickly whether to have a 17-week or 16-week semester. A 16 week semester has been proposed for three main reasons: 1) so that teacher education graduates could get certified in time to begin teaching in August; 2) Health Sciences students could get notification of acceptance into the program in time to register for Spring classes and; 3) Health Sciences students need twelve weeks in the summer for internships, etc. Registrar Tina Davis mentioned that a tentative calendar should be presented to the Board of Regents at the April meeting, if at all possible.

Discussion on this issue will continue on the Senate's Blackboard space and/or through e-mail throughout February and then discussion will continue at the March Senate meeting. Items requested to facilitate discussions included: proposed 5-year calendar, calendar process survey comparing other institutional practices, and the deans' input regarding a 16-week semester.

Report from Council on Academic Affairs - Dr. Janna Vice

  1. Nursing Pre-RN (BSN) and also Plan for BSN Second Degree Option
  2. Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate - New Program
  3. Master in Community Nutrition - Revise Admissions Policy
  4. Recreation & Park Administration - (BS) Reflect addition of service-learning designation to REC 512

Senator Shordike moved approval of item #1, seconded by Senator Wray. Motion carried.

Senator Robles moved approval of item #2, seconded by Senator Reed. Motion carried.

Senator Robles moved approval of item #3, seconded by Senator Frisbie. Motion carried.

Senator Resor moved approval of item #4, seconded by Senator Gerken. Motion carried.


Senator Ware announced that a CACTUS-initiative program "Mend It Or End It: The Debate Over the 21-year-old Drinking Age" will be presented on February 4th at 2:30 p.m. in the Student Services Building Auditorium.

Senator Ware announced that a TLC-sponsored program "Is a Faculty Track System Desirable?" will be presented on Monday, February 9th at 11:15 a.m. in the Keen Johnson Faculty Lounge. Panelists will include Nancy McKenney, Mixon Ware, Bill Phillips, Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet. Feedback on this topic should be sent to Senator Ware prior to the presentation.

In her written report to the Senate, Senator Ware shared the following:

The Executive Committee met on January 26th.

The Board of Regents met on the morning of January 26th and Senators Ware and Taylor were invited to attend the interview sessions for the consulting firms under consideration for the presidential review. The Executive Committee will work with Faculty Regent Frisbie to coordinate its review with the efforts of the Board of Regents. This will also provide the opportunity to work with the outside consulting firm hired to coordinate the presidential review.

Special thanks to the Committee on Committees for their efforts in submitting nominations for the Strategic Planning Council to the President's Office. The following new members have been appointed to the SPC: Jo Ann Ewalt, Chair (Appointed by President from Membership); Alex Combs, SGA Representative (1 year term); Norm Spain, Faculty Representative (J&S) (1 year term); John Taylor, Vice-Chair, Faculty Senate Representative (1 year term); Dorie Combs, Chairs' Representative (2 year term); Pam Schlomann, Faculty Representative (HS) (2 year term); Aaron Thompson, Faculty Representative (ED) (2 year term); Marcel Robles, Faculty Representative (B&T) (3 year term); and Elizabeth Underwood, Faculty Representative (A&S) (3 year term). The Dean's representative is yet to be announced.

The Financial Planning Council met for the first time in January. Initially a 2%-4% budget reduction in Maintenance and Operation was being considered. Subsequent to the FPC meeting, the Board of Regents indicated at the January 26th meeting that there may be as much as a 6.7% mid-year reduction and possibly that much for next year as well. This will be a permanent reduction. There is a strong commitment to maintaining personnel and the mission of teaching. In the interest of conveying faculty feedback and concerns to the Financial Planning Council, Senator Ware spoke to the issue of personnel expenses related to the growth of administrative positions in recent years.

Senators Ware (Senate Chair), Taylor (Vice Chair), and Johnson (Budget Committee Chair) will meet regularly to stay abreast of issues discussed by the FPC, SPC, and the Senate Budget Committee.


The Board of Regents met on January 26th for a regular quarterly meeting.

The Board heard two interesting and inspiring reports, one about EKU's recent designation by the Carnegie Foundation as a Community Engagement institution and the other about EKU's forming CRAFT (Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies). The Carnegie classification is a distinction that is very hard to achieve. EKU was recognized in both possible categories (Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships). The CRAFT is a newly forming center that is part of the biotechnology alliance with General Atomics, which is generating interest from across the country and internationally.

The Board also received a report on the recently concluded audit (fiscal year 2008). The auditors issued an "unqualified opinion", which means that they found no substantial irregularities in EKU's accounting practices. The auditors did make a number of suggestions of ways to improve internal bookkeeping and financial management practices. Those recommendations are being implemented.

VP Newsom provided the Board with a financial update. At mid year, finances are about at the same point as this time last year in terms of percentage of revenues realized and expenditures completed. Last year approximately $3M was added to the fund balance at year's end. Obviously with the upcoming budget cuts, that won't be possible this year.

Phase I of the New Science Building was successfully bid in December, and construction should begin on that project any day now. The University will use up to $5.6M of its resources over the course of the next two years to enable this project to go forward. Phase II of the Business and Technology Center was also successfully bid in December and construction is already underway. The Ron and Sherry Lou Noel Library Studio is moving ahead in the design phase, and a Stratton Building addition is moving into the programming and design phase. The Board authorized the sale of up to $12M in bonds to renovate Walters Hall and to complete the renovation of the intramural fields.

On the academic side, the Board approved a host of proposals that came to it via the Senate and other recommending bodies. Included in the recommendations approved by the Board were policies governing syllabi, teaching faculty qualifications, baccalaureate degree requirements (changed to 120 hours), Latin honors, and transfer of credits to EKU after academic dismissal. The Board approved the 8 policies that the Senate discussed at length which are tied to procedures and administration of outside funding through the Office of Sponsored Programs. Seven program changes submitted by the Council on Academic Affairs were approved (4 program revisions, creation of 2 new minors, and elimination of 1 MS degree program).

Much of the morning session was devoted to discussions with potential consultants who would help the Board carry out its administrative review of President Whitlock. Two firms responded to the Board's request for proposals to facilitate this review. Senate Chair Ware and Vice-chair Taylor joined the Board's Executive and Academic Affairs Committee to interview representatives of the two firms and to discuss the merits of those two proposals. On the basis of the interviews and the ensuing discussion, the Board decided to ask both firms for their "best and final offers", and has sent to the firms an addendum to its original request for proposals which describes some limitations of the extent of the work that the Board wishes the consultant to carry out. The Board has set a limit of $20,000 for fees and administrative expenses for the consultant's services. Based on the original proposals and on experience with a consultant during the last presidential review, this figure appears to be one that will provide a very comprehensive and informative review. There is strong feeling on the Board that a comprehensive review facilitated by someone with some distance from the University will be helpful to both the President and the Board as they work together to set direction and goals for the President and the University. Senators Ware and Taylor will work with the Senate Executive Committee's survey of the faculty in conjunction with the consultant's effort so that the faculty voice can be heard as effectively as possible.

The Board's Executive and Academic Affairs Committee will meet in the next week or two to review best and final offers and to potentially engage one of the consultants to begin work on the presidential review.

The Board will next convene for a regular quarterly meeting on April 24th.


Senator McKenney announced that COSFL will be meeting on Friday, February 13th at the Council on Postsecondary Education in Frankfort. The purpose of the meeting is to receive intensive training from the CPE Academic Affairs staff members so that COSFL members can effectively operate as the faculty voice to the Governor's Higher Education Work Group and sub committees.

PROVOST REPORT: Senator Piercey

The following policies were submitted to the Board of Regents for approval at the January 26th meeting:
  • 4.1.2 Course Syllabi (revision)
  • 4.4.3 Cost Sharing on Externally Sponsored Projects (new)
  • 4.4.4 Cost Transfers on Externally Sponsored Projects (new)
  • 4.4.5 Direct Charges on Externally Sponsored Projects (new)
  • 4.4.6 Effort Reporting on Externally Sponsored Projects (new)
  • 4.4.7 Externally-Sponsored Program Submission and Award Acceptance (new)
  • 4.4.8 Salary Compensation on Externally Sponsored Projects (new)
  • 4.4.9 Subrecipient Monitoring (new)
  • 4.4.10 Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Recovery and Distribution (new)
  • 4.6.1 Determining Qualifications for Faculty Teaching Credit-Bearing Courses (new)
  • Baccalaureate Degree Requirements (changes minimum hours from 128 to 120)
  • Coursework Transfer after Dismissal (revision that allows transfer)
  • Latin Honors (changes EKU hours applied from fixed number to percentage)

In December, Eastern was notified that it was honored by The Carnegie Foundation and selected for recognition for community engagement for both its curricular engagement and its outreach and partnerships, and is among 119 U.S. colleges and universities that the Foundation selected for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification.

A SACS Review team focusing on the new Ed.D. program will be visiting campus February 10-12. The SACS Review Team will be evaluating the first year of implementation for Eastern's new Ed.D. program, which now has 28 students.

Representatives from CPE are scheduled to visit EKU in February to negotiate the Key Indicators for the coming year.

The final set of EKU programs identified by CPE in their Program Productivity Review (PPR) has been received. EKU must review each identified program and make a written recommendation about its continuation, modification, consolidation or elimination by March 1, 2009.


Budget Committee. Senator Johnson stated that the last meeting was canceled due to the ice storm. The committee will meet soon.

Rules Committee. Senator McKenney reported that the committee will meet at 9am tomorrow morning in the Library Cafe.

Elections Committee. Senator Randles reported that the committee will begin working on the election for a part-time representative soon.

Welfare Committee. Senator Foote reported that the committee met on January 23rd. One issue discussed was the possibility of having a retirement fair so that those close to retirement could have their questions answered. The committee plans to share this idea with Human Resources.

Ad Hoc Committee Report on EKU Community College. Senator Taylor reported that the committee is working on a report which should be submitted soon.

Work Group on Upper Division Electives. Senator Ware reported that the committee has met and that Dr. Liz Troop is the chair. Dr. Janna Vice indicated that a report may be forthcoming for next month.


Senator Reed expressed interest for having a regular discussion item on the agenda to channel suggestions for reducing drudgery and facilitating work for faculty.


Senator Piercey moved to adjourn at approximately 4:45 p.m.

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