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Minutes for March 12, 2012

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, March 12, 2012, in the South Ballroom of the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Noblitt called the sixth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members of the Senate were absent:

F. Awang A. Back Z. Eser*
L. Heath* K. Johnson* K. Keltner-Previs*^
A. Kipp* M. Martin A. Matthews*
D. Miller* G. Purdue* J. Vice*
D. Whitlock* S. Zaragoza*^ Z. Zhang*

* Indicates prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary
^ ALT John Taylor attended for K. Keltner-Previs
^ ALT Erik Liddell attended for S. Zaragoza

Visitors to the Senate: Nancy McKenney, AAUP; Sherry Robinson, Provost Office; Elizabeth Wachtel, Enrollment Management, Marketing & University Relations


The February 6, 2012 minutes were approved as written.


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

There were a number of significant developments in Frankfort during spring break.  The House passed the 2012-2014 budget in a form very similar to that proposed by the governor.   The 6.4 percent reduction in state appropriations for all of higher education was part of the House’s approved budget which is now under consideration in the senate.   The only capital project for EKU in the House version is the refinancing of the energy management project to obtain a lower interest rate.

The effort – for this biennium, at least – to make a ninth public university of the University of Pikeville has been pulled in favor of an alternative approach to improving educational attainment in the coal counties.    The House Education Committee Substitute to HB 260, would create a scholarship program for junior and senior level study to students from 16 coal producing counties.    The action by the House Committee would provide the bulk of this support to students attending private institutions in the region or to students at Morehead State University and Eastern Kentucky University’s regional campuses.   Under discussion are conditions under which students could attend the main campuses of the senior public institutions.

In testimony to the House Education Committee Senator Whitlock advocated the following:

  1. These grants should be portable and allow students from these counties to attend any institution in the state, public or private. If they are restricted to institutions in a certain geographic area, student choice of degree options will be limited.
  2. They should be in the form of forgivable loans, with perhaps 20 percent of the loan forgiven for each year the recipient lives in the appropriate counties following receipt of the baccalaureate degree.
  3. There should be an economic development initiative built around small business development, entrepreneurial development, and business incubators.   This should be done simultaneously with implementation of the grant program and should include provisions for venture capital.

This approach would allow students to access a much broader array of career-oriented programs than would otherwise be available.   The loan forgiveness aspect would encourage individuals to stay or return to these counties, and the economic development initiative would be the most effective way to grow jobs attractive to college graduates.

To this point, there has been no serious discussion at the state level of what tuition increases might be considered for the coming year. The simple fact of the matter is that the 2012-13 budget cuts cannot be made up through increased tuition.

Every possibility is being examined as next year’s budget is developed. The combined strategic and financial planning councils are meeting regularly and will have options to share with President Whitlock soon.


Faculty Authored Texts Policy.  The motion, as moved and seconded at last month’s meeting, carried.


Posthumous Degree.   Senator Wray, seconded by Senator Jackson, moved to approve awarding a posthumous degree for Tiare Obenauer.  Motion carried.

Developmental Math Summary.  Senator Noblitt announced that developmental 090, 095, and 098 math courses will be changing structure beginning in Fall 2012.  Questions or comments on the new program should be directed to Senator Pat Coen or the Mathematics Department Chair, Daniel Mundfrom.

Promotion and Tenure Policy.  Senator Thieme moved, seconded by Senator Hensley, to approve the proposed promotion and tenure policy.  Senator Noblitt opened the floor for discussion only and announced that the policy would not be voted on until the April or May Senate meeting.

In the early stages of the P&T revision process, AAUP was invited to review the document and provide feedback.  All of their concerns have been fully addressed in the latest draft which was included in the Senate packets.

In the ensuing discussion, the main concern raised by the Senators was whether or not to include “collegiality” in the policy.  Prior to the meeting, Dr. Doris Pierce shared with the senators her arguments against including “collegiality” in the policy.  Former Senator Nancy McKenney shared a copy of AAUP’s current definition of collegiality.  AAUP’s basic point is that if “collegiality” is mentioned, it should be included in the P&T policy within the accepted criteria (teaching, scholarship, and service) but should not be listed as a separate criterion.  Dr. Sherry Robinson mentioned that in tenure-related court cases, the courts have ruled in favor of institutions saying that collegiality is an implicit part of an employment agreement and therefore it is acceptable for universities to use it, even if it is not mentioned explicitly in faculty handbooks and/or policies. While “collegiality” is implied in the current P&T policy, the drafting team felt it might help reduce lawsuits if it was clearly stated in the revised policy.

In answer to Senator Summers question on the P&T drafting team membership, Dr. Robinson stated that of the 14-member team, nine members are faculty and five members are administrators (the Senate Chair is an administrator).

Senator Noblitt reminded everyone that the P&T policy is posted on the policies website for a 30-day comment period.  Faculty with questions or concerns can post their comments online or address them directly to Dr. Sherry Robinson or Senator Jerry Palmer.  Please encourage faculty to carefully review the policy, and the Senate will continue discussion at the April meeting.

Dr. Robinson stated that at the end of the 30-day commenting period, she will compile the comments and share those with the Senate prior to the vote on the policy.

Report from Council on Academic Affairs - Senator Pogatshnik Reported for Senator Vice

Program Revisions - Lowering Hours Required

  1. Biology Teaching B.S.
    Incorporate new courses, update degree requirements to reflect changes in course numbers; reduce degree requirements to 125-129 hours
  2. Environmental Studies B.S.
     Incorporate new courses, update degree requirements to reflect changes in course numbers; reduce degree requirements to 120-122 hours

Program Revisions

  1. MAEd in Communication Disorders
    Add CDS 897; revise admission requirements; revise program requirements; Clarify exit requirements
  2. Admission to Teacher Education
    Update admission to Education Preparation to comply with 16 KAR 5:020
  3. Field Placement: Student Teaching and Field Experiences, Teacher Education Services
    Update admission, placement, and supervision in student teaching to comply with 16 KAR 5:040
  4. Policy and Procedure Section, Teacher Education Services
    Add EPSB mandate: “Undergraduate students shall not enroll in any educator preparation program courses restricted to admitted candidates.”
  5. Minor and Certificate in Women and Gender Studies
    Add WGS 201W to the minor and certificate programs
  6. Professional Track B.A. General Studies
    Change the program description, as shown in Part III, to de-emphasize the collaborative aspect of the program with Morehead State University. While students still have the option of taking available crosslisted courses at MSU the existing Memorandum of Agreement, taking such courses at MSU (as opposed to EKU) is not essential to the completion of the Professional Track concentration
  7. Bachelor of Science in Nursing Pre-RN
    Add the new General Education elements
  8. Bachelor of Science in Nursing Post-RN
    Add the new General Education elements
  9. Bachelor of Science in Nursing 2nd
    Add the new General Education elements
  10. Early Childhood Development A.A.S.
    Add CDF 147, 310, 399; drop CDF 343, 344, 450
  11. Child and Family Studies B.S. Area Major
    Add new courses; revise core requirements; institute additional admission requirement in the Child Development and Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education options
  12. Agriculture B.S.
    Revise courses within the program
  13. Agriculture with General Pre-Veterinary Option B.S.
    Revise courses within the program
  14. Agriculture with General Pre-Veterinary Transfer Option B.S.
    Revise courses within the program
  15. Horticulture B.S.
    Revise courses within the program; add new option in Fruit and Vegetable Production; Delete the Business Minor Option
  16. Communication Studies B.A.
    Add a 1 to 3 credit-hour course as an elective to the major
  17. Minor in Social Welfare
    Change the Social Welfare Minor program requirements
  18. Minor in Chemistry
    Modify the minor to reflect recent changes in the department curriculum and list Information for the teaching certification

Senator Pogatshnik moved approval of items 1-20, seconded by Senator Pianalto.  Motion carried.



This month Faculty Senate has been actively involved in continued drafting of the Promotion and Tenure Policy.  The Rights and Responsibilities Committee hosted two public forums as well as a forum open to all department chairs.  During these forums, there were several comments regarding issues of collegiality, the role of administrators in committee meetings, and alteration of the probationary period.  The drafting team carefully considered all comments and met on February 29 to incorporate these comments into the draft.  The latest draft of the policy will be available for further online public comments on the policies website during March.

This policy must be voted upon by the faculty-at-large.  Such votes are traditionally held at fall convocation.  To make such a vote possible, Senate will need to debate and vote on the policy by the May meeting.

The Implementation Team has created a set of workgroups that are reviewing issues related to student recruitment and retention.  The goal of these workgroups is ultimately to assist the university in reaching CPE goals for credential production.  The team is also mindful of the effect such recruitment and retention efforts will have on the university budget through increasing tuition revenue and performance-based funding in future state appropriations.

Work on the Implementation Team clearly shows how pivotal the faculty are to both student recruitment and retention. Studies demonstrate that while both traditional and non-traditional college students consider a number of factors when deciding upon a college, academics is the most important factor.  Prospective students and their parents must see that faculty members are engaged and available to help students succeed.

Once students arrive on campus, the faculty plays a crucial role in making sure that students successfully graduate.  The Implementation Team is carefully studying actions that other universities have taken to improve student graduation rates dramatically and is considering how these could be adapted at EKU.  There were also several excellent proposals being reviewed that resulted from the Provost’s recent call for suggestions.

Many of these efforts will mean that faculty must work closely with student services and the greater campus community to identify students who require assistance and support services that the faculty member cannot provide.  In the coming months, the Implementation Team hopes to establish effective communication between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to provide students with the support they need when faculty-student engagement is simply not enough.  


The next Board meeting will be on April 26.

REPORT FROM COSFL: Senator Summers

 COSFL met on Wednesday, February at the Council on Postsecondary Education in Frankfort.  Dr. Robert King, president of KY CPE, and Dr. Aaron Thompson, senior vice president for academic affairs at KY CPE, were guest speakers at the meeting.

The following issues were addressed:

  1. Why CPE requested a huge budget to the Legislature for new buildings and repairs when the budget is bare bones?
    1. To create a bucket of money as a base to support and create student success, and to significantly elevate the capacity of new teachers in the public schools
    2. To create a bucket of money as part of the $25 million for performance funding
    3. To create a $40 million bucket of money for new buildings, or for ones that are on-line for construction or repairs, and O & M funding.
    4. To create a mechanism for funding for UK and UL for flat research dollars—not “Bucks for Brains”
  2. Capital Requests (ratio of funding for new buildings versus ratio of funding for deferred maintenance of existing buildings)
  3. What will CPE allow in terms of tuition increases, as state funding has dropped and cuts have gone up?  Suggestions for what campuses might do to improve the situation included:
    1. Considering a fixed tuition for four years if students agree to earn 30 credit hours per year
    2. Removing textbook costs via online content.
    3. Moving to a per credit hour tuition model such as Morehead.
  4. Creation of a State-Supported University in Pikeville
    1. What impact would this have on other state universities in Kentucky once the coal severance money is no longer available?  An outside agency is examining this issue and plans to offer alternative suggestions.

Dr. Thompson stated that the number one variable regarding retention and the number one reason why students choose a campus is FACULTY. Interaction of faculty in and outside of class is the number one predictor and variable regarding students’ retention and success.

The Student Success Summit is scheduled for April 2-3 at the Louisville Marriot.

Ms. Heidi Hiemstra, Assistant Vice President, Information & Research, distributed copies of the Stronger by Degrees Strategic agenda for 2011-2015 (available on-line at:

The next COSFL meeting will be the joint meeting with the Kentucky AAUP on Friday, April 13 from 1-4pm in Frankfort, Kentucky.  All interested faculty are invited to come. Guest speakers will include the President of the Tennessee AAUP Conference and former EKU Senate Chair John Taylor.

PROVOST REPORT: Senator Pogatshnik Reported for Senator Vice

 Senator Vice shared the following in her written report to the Senate.

When the hiring freeze was announced, each dean was asked to identify vacant and critical positions.  As that would take a few days and there were a number of open searches, the President approved the following steps:

  1. Identify the stage for each search currently underway.
  2. No offers are to be made until priorities are established and approvals are given.
  3. However, continue the search process if a short list of candidates has been identified and interviews are scheduled. Honor the scheduled interviews.
  4. If a position has been posted and applications have been received, be prepared to notify the candidates that the position has been placed on hold for now--unless the position was determined to be essential.

On March 21, the deans reviewed the status of all vacant positions and prioritized which ones to send to the President for approval. The deans considered the following criteria:

  1. Program productivity and change over time.
  2. Accreditation constraints/requirements.
  3. Potential for growing enrollment and increasing revenue.

With the President’s approval, $1.9 million, plus benefits, was moved forward to fill vacant positions. Hopefully after spring break a second round of approvals may begin using the same process.

Realistically, Academic Affairs will experience additional cuts. Therefore all programs and initiatives must be carefully reviewed to determine which ones are critical to EKU’s mission.

A number of proactive initiatives are underway to help offset the budget cuts—including increasing Fall 2012 enrollments, retaining a higher percentage of current students, offering a robust summer school, and increasing the number of online and transfer students.

With the goal to increase transfer students, representatives from EKU and Somerset Community College met in London on February 24. The result of that meeting included agreements for six 2+2 degree programs with SCC.

As Dr. Vice will be out of town this week, the Wednesday luncheon with the Provost is canceled.


The Council met on February 14 and will meet again in a couple weeks.


Budget Committee.  Senator Wray reported that the committee met before spring break to review the CPE budget information for the state and the universities.  The committee has requested additional budget information from the Provost’s office and from the SPC/FPC.

Committee on Committees.  Senator Roush announced that the committee has revised the self nomination survey form.  The updated survey has been distributed to faculty and the deadline for responses is by the end of March.

Elections Committee.  Senator Day reported that the committee is in the process of reviewing the procedures for next year’s Regent election.

Rules Committee.  Senator Hensley reported that the committee is considering a proposal to create a new Information Technology Standing Committee.


The meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:55 p.m.

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