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Minutes for March 2, 2015

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, March 2, 2015 in the South Ballroom of the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Day called the sixth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members were absent:

D. Allen* D. Embury J. Fitch
E. Morrett J. Pogatshnik* T. Reed*
D. Robinson*^ B. Shi C. Sommer*
S. Szabo* D. Travis  

Indicates prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary
^  SUB G. Jefferson attended for D. Robinson


Senator Day thanked Senator Benson for his assistance in securing a new podium and an improved sound system for the meetings.

Senator Day welcomed the JOU 401 students who were in attendance as guests.

The AAUP has rescheduled the forum on faculty governance in Kentucky for Friday, March 20, 3:30-5:30pm in the Faculty Lounge.


The February 2, 2015 minutes were approved with the following correction.

Remove notation that Senator Lowry was absent.


Senator Benson commended the Division of Facilities Services for their efforts to clear the campus during the recent snow storms.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee now meets monthly with the president to discuss faculty issues and concerns.

Last week the Board of Regents and the president’s Leadership and Action Academy travelled to Frankfort to meet with legislators.

The two new Foundation Professors for 2015-17 is David Mohallatee, Art Department and Tom Appleton, History Department.

It was also another month marked by progress on many fronts and remarkable achievements by faculty, staff and students. Below are just a few.

  • Bullhorn Creative Assisting in Development of Brand Strategy
    In early February, Bullhorn Creative, of Lexington, was selected to provide expert guidance in the development of a new brand strategy for the University.
  • Diversity Initiative Aims to Help Us All See We’re Part of Same Fabric
    A new diversity and inclusion initiative at EKU is aimed at helping each and every one of us understand that we’re all part of the same fabric. The initiative, headed by Interim Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Sherwood Thompson and a 30-member team from a cross-section of campus, will develop a plan that positively impacts the entire University.
  • Finalists Announced for Athletics Director
    Four outstanding finalists are coming to campus March 8-19, and open forums will give the campus community and public a chance to meet each of these individuals and hear what they have to say.
    The finalists are Jude A. Killy, senior associate athletics director for external operations at Miami University (Ohio); Stephen Lochmueller, owner and president of Direct Attention Inc.; Derrick Ramsey, director of athletics at Coppin State University; and Christopher Walker, associate athletics director for development at Washington State University
    To see the schedule of open forums and more information on each of the finalists, visit
  • Admissions Staff Accepts Challenge, Turns South Laurel Senior into Candy Man
    When Chris Butcher, a senior at South Laurel High School, tweeted, “@EKUAdmissions better step up their game because (a rival school) sent me some candy,” he soon found out just how seriously Eastern Kentucky University was taking his interest.
    Just three days later, with permission from the school’s guidance counselor and Butcher’s teacher at that time, Fe’Lisa Wilson and Beth Brashears from the EKU Admissions staff, along with a current EKU student and the Colonel mascot, made the 50-mile trek to London and appeared at his South Laurel classroom door with a surprise treat. A basket was filled with not only his favorite candy but also an EKU banner, some EKU shirts, and other University paraphernalia.
    Butcher was not alone in feeling special. For the 86 other South Laurel students who had also applied to the University, Wilson and Brashears brought each a bag full of Starbursts with a note that said, “We are bursting with happiness that you’re a #FutureColonel.”
  • Eastern, Western Partner to Enhance Worker Safety
    Here at Eastern, we house one of only 27 OSHA Training Institute Education Centers in the U.S. Now that Center has partnered with the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach at Western to deliver OSHA safety courses in Bowling Green and Owensboro. This will make safety instruction more seamless, more convenient and less costly for industries in western Kentucky.
    EKU will provide all the instructors, curricula and material assignments, as well as process registration, fees and prerequisite verifications. Western will assess needs in the region, promote the courses and provide space and on-site coordination.
  • Regents Designate Mary Roark as Eastern’s Second President
    The Board of Regents officially designated Mary Roark as our second president.
    Mrs. Roark served 1909-10 – at a time when women couldn’t even vote in state or federal elections. She followed her husband, our first president, Ruric Nevel Roark, when he became ill and passed away a few months later. Although her title at the time was “acting president,” she was quickly embraced by students, faculty, staff and the public as a legitimate leader in her own right.
    Mary’s official portrait will be unveiled this month as we have invited members of the Roark family to join us in Keen Johnson for the ceremony and a luncheon.
  • EKU Online Programs Ranked Most Affordable in U.S.
    EKU’s online degree programs are ranked among the most affordable in the nation. Best Masters Programs published a list of the 50 Most Affordable Online Master’s Degree Programs, and EKU Online programs ranked No. 36 overall.
    Our online programs have received numerous accolades for quality and affordability. In January 2015, U.S. News placed them among the Top 50 best online bachelor’s degree programs, the Top 50 best online graduate degree programs in Education and the Top 100 best online graduate degree programs in Nursing.
  • Bertee and Retta Faye Adkins Scholarship Established
    Dr. Bertee Adkins taught business courses here from 1973 until he retired in 1998.
    Dr. Adkins recently established the Dr. Bertee (Bert T.) and Retta Faye (Jett) Adkins Endowed Scholarship for deserving students in our College of Business and Technology.
  • Public Health Major One of 108 Gilman Scholars Nationwide
    Tori Caldwell, a junior public health major and McNair Scholar from Louisville, is one of only 108 recipients in the U.S. of the prestigious Gilman International Scholarship.
  • Student-Athlete Wins National Honor in Risk Management and Insurance
    Taylor Speaks, Somerset, a member of our football team and a junior risk management and insurance major, is one of only 30 students nationwide selected for the Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program.
  • Three Students Participate in Nationwide Train Jam
    Three students in our video game development program, the only such program in Kentucky, are enjoying a unique trans-continental experience: a 52-hour Train Jam on which they and 27 students from across the U.S., Netherlands and Australia are developing games while on an Amtrak trip from Chicago to California.
    Participating students are Mark Cahalan, Austin Areaux and Daniel Marifjeren.
  • EKU to Host International “Living with Animals” Conference March 19-21
    Presenters and attendees from at least 11 countries will converge on our campus March 19-21 for the second biennial “Living with Animals Conference.”
    The event is sponsored by our Animal Studies program, the only such undergraduate program in the world. The sessions, much like the EKU academic program, are quite multidisciplinary in content, blending psychology, gender studies, literature, the arts, law, agriculture, ethics and many more diverse disciplines.


Academic Quality Committee Election (1 vacancy). Senator Adams self-nominated. Senator Slusher moved to accept by acclamation, seconded by Senator Ciocca. Motion carried.

Rules Committee Election (1 vacancy). Senator Resor self-nominated. Senator Turner moved to accept by acclamation, seconded by Senator Ciocca. Motion carried.



During the past month, Senator Day appointed the following faculty to serve on policy drafting teams:

  • Employee (Staff) Evaluation: Dr. Tim Forde
  • Personnel Appointments: Sen. Debbie Whalen
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: Sen. Jerry Palmer
  • Policy on Policies: Sens. Ida Slusher and Richard Day
  • Reorganization of Units within the University (New Policy): Sen. Beth Polin

Faculty Senate Elections are coming up soon. Plans to elect a Part-time Faculty Senate representative are already underway. It is also time for Senators to review their own departmental representation. If terms are expiring (and remember, Senators may be reelected for a second three-year term) it would be helpful if the names of new Senators are available by the March 23rd Executive Committee meeting.

It is also time to start thinking about Senate leadership for next year. Since the Senate Chair is elected from all members who have previously served on the Senate, if your 2015-2016 department representative is not currently serving, but has served in prior years, they are eligible to be elected Chair. Nominations for Senate Chair will be taken at the April meeting, with the election to be held at the organizational meeting in May.

The Executive Committee has begun preparations for a full faculty review of the president’s performance. According to policy, the “President shall be reviewed by the faculty during the second…year of service….All faculty… shall be given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire… [and] members of the Executive Committee will be responsible for the tabulation of the responses and the transcription of comments. A summary will be transmitted to the President and to the Board of Regents” in time for the June meeting. “The individual review forms will be confidential and…shall solicit responses in the areas of leadership, management, communication, personal relations, fairness and overall evaluation.” There will also be an opportunity for faculty to respond to open-ended questions. Procedures for the distribution of the questionnaires and verification of respondents will mirror those used for the election of the Faculty Regent.

The Registrar’s Office is implementing a new technology solution called Astra Schedule which will eliminate hand scheduling and reduce the time it takes to schedule courses into classrooms down to a few days. In addition, Astra Schedule can analyze trends, search for bottlenecks, and recommend the number of course sections that students need, and the time of day that departments should provide them. The Schedule Book is going to become a web-based form, inside of EKU Direct.

Strategic Initiative Teams are forging ahead and early reports are that they are producing the desired effect. The Academic Excellence SIT, one of eight such groups, is a 29-member multidisciplinary team of faculty and staff focused on high impact strategies aimed at improving the educational experience for students. People are beginning to better understand the direct connections between, for example, academic goals and budget priorities. The Board of Regents  has also taken a special interest in the process and has asked for a separate session to review the plan before it comes to them for action in June.

The Council on Postsecondary Education continues to look at Performance-based funding. They envision that a percent of all new money received by the university will be based on degree and credit hour production, with some adjustments for STEM degree production, and service to low SES students. While it is unclear how much, if any, new money will be forthcoming, even at low levels the publication of student data surrounding the performance funding will likely drive some amount of change. But higher Education in Kentucky has lost $170 million since 2008.

Warnings from Frankfort that a mid-year budget cut might occur, delayed some hiring this fall, but that problem has passed. Now, with the strong encouragement of the Chairs, an effort to streamline faculty hiring procedures, and allow departments more control in determining where want ads are placed, is underway.

As the university approaches reaffirmation with SACSCOC we will become even more accustomed to what regulators call “evidence-based accountability.” Previously universities had to report results. The new concept is “meaningful change” and SACSCOC will look for assessment data that will describe the status of programs. Faculty may begin to hear the phrase, “If it’s not in TracDat, it doesn’t exist.”

The Executive Committee reviewed the recently revised Annual Review of Tenured Faculty Policy and sent it back to the drafting team for more revisions. Work is also progressing on the Evaluation of Academic Administrators policy. In response to concerns heard from some faculty members, the Executive Committee plans to bring both policies forward at the same time – and soon. There is some time pressure to have the policies in effect by August 1, in order to satisfy SACSCOC requirements. That means both policies need to reach the Faculty Senate for action in May, and the Board of Regents by June.

The Executive Committee continues to look at two interim policies and one interim regulation that come from the administrative side of the institution. They are:

  • Policy 9.1.1: Consumption and Serving of Alcoholic Beverages on Campus.
  • Policy 8.2.6: Faculty and Staff Tuition Waiver Program.
  • Regulation 8.3.9R: Return to Work Program.

As you know, the Faculty Senate is designed to approve academic policies. Historically, administrative policies did not come before the Senate. The Executive Committee is discussing a process for determining the conditions that will help us determine when an administrative policy should come before the full Senate. 


Senator Thieme thanked David McFaddin and his team for the work they did to get the Board of Regents to Frankfort.

The president’s second year review is due to be completed soon. Senators Day, O’Brien, and Thieme along with a couple of staff members plan to meet with Board of Regents Chairman Turner tomorrow to discuss a coordinated effort.

The Board of Regents will meet on March 16th to review the strategic plan. The next formal Board meeting will be in April.


The Fourth Annual Assurance of Learning Day will be Friday, September 25, 2015.

One of EKU’s primary focal points going into 2015-16 will be identifying meaningful changes relating (but not limited to) student learning. The TracDat column “Use of Results” has been changed to “Meaningful Changes.” Programs that routinely report, “No change needed” will be asked to re-evaluate their process and take a closer look at their student learning outcomes.

As a result of the inclement weather, Dr. Saundra McGuire’s visit to EKU has been postponed until the fall semester.

SACS-COC has granted EKU approval to offer the Psy.D. in Psychology. SACS-COC has also changed our status from Level V to Level VI. EKU is the first Kentucky comprehensive university to move to Level VI and to offer four advanced practice doctorates.

Lunch with the Provost is canceled for March.


Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator Johnson reported that nominations for the part-time faculty representative in Faculty Senate are being accepted now through March 18th. The nomination must come from department chairs and all chairs have been notified. The election, which is open to part-time faculty only, will be held by electronic ballot and is tentatively scheduled for April 1-15, 2015.

Senators with expiring terms should notify department chairs that replacements should be elected or chosen by April 15th. The department chair should email the name(s) of new senator(s) to April Brumfield ( and/or Bob Johnson (

Openings for 2015-16 University Committees are being gathered now. An electronic survey for self-nominations will be circulated once those openings are determined. This will be emailed to all tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Nominations for Senate Chair and Vice Chair for 2015-16 will be taken at the April Senate meeting. The election will be held at the May organizational meeting.

Information Technology Committee. Senator Kilgore reported that faculty can upgrade to one of the following computers:

  • HP EliteBook 840, i7, 2.9 GHz Intel, 8GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, no internal DVD, weight ~3.5 lbs., 14” screen. 
  • HP ProBook 640, i7, 2.9 GHz Intel, 8GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, internal DVD, weight ~4.5 lbs. ., 14” screen.
  • Apple MacBook Pro, 2.6 dual core, i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB Flash Storage, no internal DVD or network jack, USB network adapter, VGA adapter, 3.5 lbs., 13” screen.

The lease for current laptops ends at the end of the month. If laptops have issues, turn them in early so that issues can be resolved before the lease runs out. The old laptops will be reissued to adjunct faculty.

Senator Kilgore reminded everyone that the 2-3000 line to report IT issues has an automatic call back feature to help eliminate long waiting periods. Requests can also be submitted through the online trouble report or by email.

A committee is being formed to review Blackboard and other LMS systems. Anyone interested in serving on the committee should contact Senator Kilgore or Jean Marlow.

Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator El-Amouri reported that the committee is still working on the summer pay issue. Once data is collected from other institutions to see how they are handling summer pay, a short survey will be sent out to all the deans on campus.

Ad Hoc Committee on Legislative Forum. Senator Hatcher announced that the forum will be rescheduled for either the week of April 13th or April 20th.


Senator Vice moved to adjourn at approximately 4:30 p.m.

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