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Minutes for February 1, 2016

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, February 1, 2016 in the South Ballroom in the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Day called the fifth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members were absent:

M. Benson* R. Brubaker K. Gray-Denson
D. Mohallatee E. Morrett T. Reed
D. Robinson* H. Taylor* A. Thieme*

Indicates prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary


Senator Day welcomed new Parliamentarian Melanie Adams-Johnson to the Senate and thanked her for volunteering her services.


The December 7, 2015 minutes were approved as written.


Senator Benson, who had to be in Frankfort today, shared the following in his written report to the Senate.

In the next few weeks, demolition of Martin Hall and a section of Brockton will begin in order to build a couple of badly needed new residence halls. The razing and subsequent constructions have necessitated a reconfiguration of parking spaces and will, no doubt, create some temporary issues. The construction fencing will be erected around Martin Hall on February 6, 2016. The parking currently utilized in that lot will be unavailable. Hence, the creation of employee parking in the Lancaster Lot. Handicapped spots will be provided. Please see the map which has been circulated widely to the campus community.

At its meeting last week, the Board of Regents authorized the University to proceed with finalizing a facilities lease with F2 Companies/Grand Campus Properties LLC for the construction of these two new halls. 

The following highlights were also shared at Monday’s Board meeting.

  • Executive Vice President Dr. Laurie Carter reported that a new welcome center and student success center will open soon. She also detailed continued improvements in retention and graduation rates.
  • Dr. David McFaddin, Executive Director of Engagement and Regional Stewardship, told the Board that a large campus and local contingent will converge on Frankfort on February. 17 for our annual Colonels at the Capitol Day. He also noted that our regional campus enrollment is on the upswing and that demand is high for EKU’s popular Dual Credit program.
  • Nick Perlick, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, noted that giving for the first six months of this current fiscal year easily surpassed totals for the same period the previous fiscal year. Some more exciting news about additional gifts will be forthcoming.
  • Provost Dr. Janna Vice also shared some very good news related to the latest National Survey of Student Engagement, better known as NSSE. Eastern exceeds similar benchmark institutions and other comparison groups on measures of student engagement, especially in the areas of academic challenge and experiences with faculty

Other campus news includes the following:

  • A new Scholar House, expected to open on the EKU campus in the summer of 2017, will offer a “transformative” experience for single parents pursuing a college education. This facility, to be built in the 800 area of Brockton, will provide a “one-stop shop” of services. In addition to the 36 two-bedroom apartments, residents will also enjoy an on-site, certified child development facility for up to 80 children; receive counseling; participate in life skills workshops; and be near all the services and amenities of the Richmond campus. Most services are free, while the cost of housing and childcare will be income-based. The $9.5 million project is primarily funded by the Kentucky Housing Corporation and will be managed by Kentucky River Foothills. Eastern provided the land via a long-term lease. Single parents are given first priority to reside in the House. Residents must be at least 18, be eligible for a Housing Choice voucher, and be full-time students at any degree-granting or specialty institution of higher learning. Pending legislative approval, construction is expected to begin this summer.
  • A proposal to involve all EKU students in public service captured the top prize in the University’s first Campus Challenge competition. “Race to the Next Greatest Generation: Making EKU a Force for Good,” developed by four construction management faculty members – Scott Arias, Bryan Dyer, Anthony Lamanna and Chengyi Zhang – includes two components: a public service exchange where providers such as Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army post opportunities for assistance, and an academic requirement that each full-time undergraduate student contribute one hour a week throughout the school year in service. We would be the first public university in Kentucky, and one of just a few nationwide, to adopt such a requirement. The winning team received $10,000 from the University to begin implementing its plan, which requires $50,000 in start-up costs. The payoff would be approximately 300,000 volunteer hours contributed each year by Eastern students.
  • A newly established doctoral fellowship, the result of a partnership between EKU and the Madison County School District, will allow one Madison County Schools administrator or teacher a year to pursue, with all tuition and fees paid by the University, an Ed.D. degree in educational leadership and policy studies on the Richmond campus. We selected Madison County Schools Superintendent Elmer Thomas to be the program’s first Fellow.
  • Undergraduates at EKU and at colleges and universities throughout Kentucky now have another venue to showcase their scholarly and creative work. The multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed Kentucky Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship, housed here at Eastern and the first of its kind in the state, will be published online twice annually and include entries from life sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, creative writing and the performance arts. The Journal will be housed at the EKU Libraries Encompass portal, and its online format will enable the Journal to cut costs, accept more submissions and include audiovisual elements. Submissions are invited from undergraduate students at all public, private and community colleges and universities across Kentucky. Submissions are coming in for the inaugural issue, expected to debut by June 2016. Dr. Jonathan Gore, our director of undergraduate research, is serving as editor-in-chief.
  • A $3.5 million expansion of our Ashland Inc. Fire and Safety Laboratory is now complete. The two new labs, one for special hazards and one instructional lab, will allow current lab space to be used more efficiently and permit greater flexibility. The expansion will also provide a better location to perform additional undergraduate and graduate research, reinforce student learning outcomes by allowing more demonstrations to be conducted within the building and better enable the fire science programs to meet the high standards required by external accrediting bodies.
  • EKU Online graduate nursing degree programs are No. 18 in the nation on U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 list of best online degree programs. This is the second national accolade EKU’s Department of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing has received in a month. The online RN to BSN
    program was ranked No. 11 in the nation by Affordable Colleges, which rates institutions for quality and value.

Last week a note was distributed to all faculty and staff from President Benson after Governor Bevin’s budget address. There is much work to be done and each of you needs to get involved in the process of making a case for the value of higher education generally and for EKU particularly.


LMS Evaluation Update.  Dean Betina Gardner announced that an LMS Evaluation Group has been established to create a draft timeline and develop a process by which faculty and students will evaluate systems. Members of the group are: Dr. Mary DeLetter, Dr. Jeffery Kilgore, Dr. Shirley O’Brien, Dr. Matt Winslow, Dr. Gene Kleppinger, Betina Gardner (facilitator), Jean Marlow, Jon Sikora, Tim Mathews and Dr. Steve Dwinnells.

The draft timeline is shared below:

January |construct website and determine content| finesse timeline| communicate with Provost and Senate and …
February |update faculty senate |take self-nominations for the tiger teams| develop evaluation tool for demos |select participants for tiger teams 
March | early in the month, demos for targeted audiences |later in the month narrow list of LMSs for consideration| 
May | Sandbox
June |Sandbox
August |Pilot
September |Gather feedback | Student and faculty 
October |Gather feedback | Student and faculty
November |Gather feedback | Student and faculty
December |Gather feedback | Student and faculty
Spring | January or February | decision finalized
Summer | Implementation | 1st phase  
Fall | Implementation | 2nd  phase
Spring | Implementation| 3rd  phase
Summer | Implementation | Final phase

BoR Actions on Senate-Approved Policies. Vice Provost Sherry Robinson shared the following amendments which were made by the Board of Regents prior to adoption of Policy 1.1.1 and Policy 11.3.1 at the January 25, 2016 meeting.

Policy 1.1.1 – Policy on Policies

  • Add University Counsel to list of potential stakeholders (page 2)
  • Revise language in 6(ii) (page 4) from “approve as a University Regulation in cases where the Board of Regents has no specific statutory authority and approval is not required” to “approve as a University Regulation where Board of Regents approval is not required.” [The Board rejected the proposed new language “no specific statutory authority”]
  • Add language to 7 (page 4): The President will submit policies to the Board of Regents, which has authority to approve University Policies.

For Policy 11.3.1 – Records Management

  • Add language to the policy statement as follows: “Eastern Kentucky University is committed to obeying state and federal laws governing the retention ….” 


Rules Committee Election. Senator Day announced that there is one vacancy to fill on the Rules Committee. Senator Kopacz nominated Lisa Kay. Senator Ciocca moved to close nominations and accept by acclamation, seconded by Senator G. Hunter. Motion carried.

Policy 4.3.13 – Course by Special Arrangement. Senator Day announced that Policy 4.3.13 is presented for a first read only. Senator Irvin moved approval of Policy 4.3.13 for discussion, seconded by Senator Slusher.

Senator Kopacz offered a friendly amendment to change the word “term” to “year” on the first page under “policy statement” in the second sentence. Upon further discussion Senator Vice suggested using the phrase “last two terms” in place of “year”. Senator Kopacz agreed to the change.

Senator Day stated that the policy would go back to CAA for further review before returning to Senate for action.

Report from Council on Academic Affairs - Senator Vice 

Program Revisions:

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

  1. Bachelor of Social Work in Social Work - Increase Core Course Requirements from 48 to 51 hours; remove POL 101 from Supporting Course Requirements, allow SOC 400 to count towards GE-Element 6, and reduce hours from 9 to 6; revise Free Electives language to include “and Social Work.”

Department of Biological Sciences

  1. Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences - add CIP Code; add language regarding equivalent SAT score; strike language regarding academic probation; add PHI 383W.

Department of Geosciences

  1. Certificate in Geographic Information Systems - Add courses to the introductory geoscience laboratory requirement options; edit the list of accepted electives.

Department of History

  1. Bachelor of Arts in History - Remove courses dropped in Spring 2015 from list of options in area distribution requirements. Add courses added in Spring 2015 to list of options in area distribution requirements.
  2. Bachelor of Arts in History/Teaching - Remove courses dropped in Spring 2015 from list of options in History area distribution requirements. Add courses added in Spring 2015 to list of options in History area distribution requirements. Update Professional Education Requirements to reflect changes in College of Education portion of the program. Update effective communication clause of Program Objectives.

Program Suspensions:

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geosciences

  1. Bachelor of Science in Biology - Suspend the Concentrations in Pre-Medical, Pre-Veterinary and Microbial, Cellular and Molecular Biology (MCMB).
  2. Minor in Geographic Information Systems
  3. Bachelor of Science in Earth Science/Teaching

Information Item:

  1. The Department of Music is changing its name to EKU School of Music.
    The attached memorandum from Department Chair Rob James and Dean John Wade, College of Arts and Sciences, provides rationale for the change. The name will reflect the size and scope of EKU’s music program and stand well among other institutions that have already made this change. The name change is effective Fall 2016.

On behalf of CAA, Senator Vice moved approval of items 1-8.  Motion carried.

Item 9 was listed for information only.

Paid Notetakers. Senator Swain asked the Senate for guidance on how to best address the issue of students who sell their class notes to online websites. Senator Vice stated that this could be viewed as an ethical issue and might be addressed through the academic integrity policy.

Senator Day announced that this topic will be included on the next Executive Committee agenda for further discussion. Anyone with thoughts or suggestions on the issue should share those with members of the Executive Committee.



Last Tuesday night in his budget address before the General Assembly, Governor Matt Bevin chose not to mention tax reform. In the midst of other bad news, it seems that this omission was perhaps the worst news of all because without a modernized tax code--one that closes existing loopholes and broadens the state’s revenue base--the state is going to be forced to cut more and more programs in the foreseeable future. Services shrink along with the size of government. Instead of building a foundation for a stronger economy, as President Benson noted, the Governor’s proposed budget is only “addressing the collateral symptoms and outcomes of systemic problems”.

The Governor also spoke about performance measures as a new way of looking at higher ed funding. This idea has been under discussion for several years but only as an incentive for a relatively small percentage of the budget. However, under Governor Bevin’s plan, the entire budget could be performance-based. That necessitates a few and reasonable set of metrics; but there are indications that the governor’s office might choose to dictate those metrics. The governor’s budget calls for a 4.5% cut to higher education during the current semester, followed by a 9% cut over the next 30 months. While it may be useful to note that this is a cut in state appropriations only and not the entire University budget, still with approximately 85% of the University budget comprised of personnel, people and programs are surely in jeopardy.

The total current operating budget for the University is just under $240 million. According to the summary of revenues and expenditures for 2015-16, about $68 million of that total is state-appropriated funds. Nine percent of that amount would be approximately $6 million.

In the short term, university administrators will have to conduct a thorough review of the budget. President Benson has hit the brakes on planned increases to Athletics spending. He has also agreed to produce a comprehensive listing of all building projects along with their funding sources so that everyone can have a clear understanding of what are general fund monies and what are not. After the General Assembly, there will be opportunities for faculty input. Faculty are encouraged to work closely with the administration to identify areas of excess in the budget.

In December, Faculty Senate approved a motion that calls for a change in members’ term limits. If ratified by the Faculty-at-Large it will raise Senators’ potential service from two three-year terms to a possible third three-year term.

The precedent for requiring Faculty-at-Large meetings was established when the faculty was much smaller and met more frequently. Today it is much more difficult to assemble the faculty and the practice has dwindled down to once per year, immediately following fall convocation. President Benson has encouraged the Senate to seek a more efficient way of conducting the faculty’s business. To that end, Senate Day has asked the Rules Committee to work with university counsel to design a new process for amending the Faculty Handbook.

The Senate is currently vested with substantial authority to act on behalf of the faculty-at-large. The solution being considered would extend Senate authority to the approval of changes to the bylaws as printed in the Faculty handbook. That would allow for any such changes to take place in an open forum (a regular or special Faculty Senate meeting), with appropriate notification, and discussion, consistent with the Open Meetings Act. However, consistent with current practice, a significant minority (10%) of the Faculty-at-Large should still be able to halt any controversial actions until approved by the Faculty-at-Large in a meeting, should that be deemed necessary.

Within the past couple of weeks, concerns have surfaced about a new events speaker form wherein faculty members are told that they cannot invite a speaker to campus without also insisting that that individual provide proof that they have an individual liability insurance policy of $100,000. This has created a bit of a problem for some faculty members.

Upon investigation, it turns out the form is not new but it has not been in regular use until recently. It is being newly enforced without any particular communication to the faculty on the matter, and it does not appear to be backed up by policy.

Senator Day’s recommendation is that the university either 1) restrict use of the Event Speaker Form to only those presentations where hazardous conditions may apply, or 2) remove the Event Speaker Form from use until such time as a university policy can be crafted to clearly state the institution’s intentions.


The Board of Regents met on January 25, 2016 for a quarterly meeting in the Carpentry Shop of The Gentry Building. Below are highlights from the meeting:

Election of Officers

  • Mr. Craig Turner was elected to a one year term as Chairman of the Board of Regents and the current slate of officers was renewed for another term.

Bullhorn Presentation

  • Mr. Doug Cornett, Assistant Vice President of Communication & Marketing, introduced Bullhorn for a presentation and update on the EKU Branding initiative. Brand framework: 4 key tenants: (1) School of opportunity; (2) The Family Portrait; (3) Where Teachers Teach; (4) Practical Skills.
  • EKU Visual identities were reviewed.

Committee Reports

  • The five sub-committees of the BOR presented their business meeting reports to the Board.

Action Items

  • All action Items from the morning business meetings were presented to the Board. All action items were unanimously approved.

Executive Session

  • Mr. Turner entertained a Motion pursuant to KRS 61.815 to enter closed session for the purposes stated in KRS 61.810(1)(b), regarding discussion of the future acquisition or sale of real property, and KRS 61.810(c), regarding discussions of pending litigation against the University.

The Board reconvened in open session at 4:56 p.m. Upon returning from closed session, Mr. Turner reported only matters stated in the motion prior to going into closed, executive session were discussed and no action was taken.

  • Ms. Craig moved to reopen the agenda and to declare certain properties 100 and 200 Brockton disposed of. Unanimously approved.
  • Ms. Craig moved to declare Case Hall and Annex and Brockton 700 declared surplus and disposed of by demolition. Unanimously approved.
  • Turner called for a motion authorizing the University to move forward to finalize the facilities lease with F2 Companies/Grand Campus Properties LLC. (This company was awarded the bid to build the new residence halls on campus.) Unanimously approved.

The next quarterly meeting of the Board will be April 27, 2016, hosted by SGA.

For additional budget information go to:


With the new Strategic Plan: Make No Little Plans, the number one goal is Academic Excellence. Measuring excellence is not always easy. However, we can pursue excellence by targeting specific academic initiatives with a commitment of doing better in each. (See chart depicting the relationship between our commitment to academic excellence and student achievement.)

EKU continues to make gains and to meet or exceed peer and national institutions in a number of key metrics, according to the National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE).

In preparing for our 2017 SACS reaffirmation, our QEP Design Team (based on campus-wide input last year) has developed the following statement: The purpose of the QEP is to develop independent learners by improving critical reading skills through the use of meta-cognitive strategies.

On Friday, Chief Academic Officers from Kentucky’s four- and two-year higher education institutions met with Registrars, Transfer Coordinators, and Associate Provosts to discuss a statewide transfer initiative. Some goals identified for the initiative are (1) to identify and eliminate regional-level transfer issues and (2) continue the momentum created by House Bill 160 and the Transfer Implementation Plan in order to create a more seamless transfer system in Kentucky. The KnowHow2Transfer Statewide Campaign is expected to launch on November 15, 2016.

Dr. Peggy Maki will present to the campus regarding assessment of 21st Century students. Dr. Maki will give two 2-hour presentations (morning and afternoon) on April 11. Further information and pre-registration will be available soon. All faculty are invited to participate in this excellent professional development opportunity.

Below are several upcoming dates:

  1. Monday, April 11 – Dr. Peggy Maki, O’Donnell Auditorium, Whitlock Building (morning and afternoon sessions)
  2. April 11-15 – 2016 Scholarship Week
    Scholarship week will feature a number of important events, including:
    • April 11 – Art Student Association Annual Juried Exhibition, 2-4 p.m., Giles Gallery
    • April 12-14 – Honors Program Thesis Presentations
    • April 15 – University Scholars Assembly, 8:30-11 a.m., Grand Reading Room
    • May 20 – Pedagogicon – Conference theme “Exploring High-Impact Educational Practices Using Scholarly and Creative Teaching


Recent highlights and upcoming activities include:

  • The LiveSafe app was officially launched this morning. The app is available for use by anyone associated with the EKU community.
  • SGA elections will be held on Tuesday, March 22.
  • Student Activities has a new series, Thursday Night Live, on Thursday evenings for the rest of the semester
  • On Friday, March 11 there will be a murder mystery dinner/comedy in Powell Underground. Tickets are $5 each or $8 per couple.


Academic Quality Committee. Senator Howell reported that the committee had a focus group to discuss e-Campus, online stand-alone courses, as well as hybrid and blended courses. The main outcome of the meeting was that oversight of online courses is really difficult. The committee will continue to investigate and are asking faculty to share their experiences or offer suggestions on how to insure quality for online courses. Send feedback to Senator Howell.

Budget Committee. Senator Fitch announced that the committee is seeking input from faculty on ways to save money on campus. A survey will be sent out on Wednesday and all feedback will be kept anonymous and confidential. Encourage colleagues to participate in the survey

Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator Irvin reported that the committee is working on the Faculty Regent election process. There will be two candidates’ forums: February 16 and 17, 3:30-5pm in Keen Johnson. The forums will be videotaped and links will be shared when available.

Information Technology Committee. Senator Smith announced that the committee met in December and January to draft and finalize a technology-related survey. The survey will help the committee address three of its charges for the 2015-16 academic year:

  1. Survey faculty to identify technology training needs and work with IT to provide them.
  2. Investigate the current status of faculty development and technology support for instruction (including but not limited to Blackboard, 24/7 student and faculty support, computer applications…) and make appropriate recommendations. 
  3. Investigate technology issues related to effective teaching and learning.

The survey will be distributed in early February and analyzed in March. Survey results, analysis, and recommendations will be presented at the April Faculty Senate meeting.

Rights and Responsibilities Committee. Senator Mason reported that the committee met last Wednesday to continue work on the shared governance report which should be presented at the March Senate meeting.

The next charge to be reviewed will be the Ombudsperson issue. Anyone with experiences from previous institutions with an Ombudsperson should contact Senators Mason or Fitch.

Rules Committee. Senator Neugebauer reported that the committee met on Thursday last week with Senator Day and a representative University Counsel to discuss forming a new policy to clarify the process for amended information in the faculty handbook.


Athletics and Academics. Senator Carpenter reported that the committee is meeting bi-weekly this semester to analyze research gathered and to begin drafting an overall report.

Senate Transparency. Senator Givens announced that the next committee meetings will be February 10 and 24 from 10-11am in Keen Johnson.


Senator Vice moved to adjourn at approximately 5:00 p.m.

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