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Minutes for February 5, 2018

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, February 5, 2018 in the South Ballroom in the Keen Johnson Building. Senator Winslow called the fifth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:45 p.m.

The following members were absent:

S. Adams* D. Corley* E. Eliassen*^
Z. Eser*^ A. Fleischer*^ J. George
J. Gershtenson* T. Marcum*^ T. Randles
D. Rothe T. Stevens*^ B. Shannon*

Indicates prior notification of absence to the Faculty Senate Secretary
^ ALT Mary Sciaraffa attending for E. Eliassen
^ ALT Ben Woodruff attending for Z. Eser
^ ALT Camille Skubik-Peplaski attending for A. Fleischer
^ ALT Karen Edwards attending for T. Marcum
^ ALT Daniel Roush attending for T. Stevens


Senator Turner moved approval of the December 4, 2017 minutes as written, seconded by Senator Mason. Motion carried. (YES =  52 votes NO = 1 vote ABSTAIN = 0 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)


President Benson circulated vouchers to all senators for one free meal in the new Case Dining Hall.

There is a reception at 5pm today for visiting Dean Toshitsugu Otake from the Graduate School of Management at Asia Pacific University, Japan. Dean Otake is on campus to form a partnership with EKU.

We continue to work hard to advocate for EKU in Frankfort and will be holding our annual “Colonels at the Capitol” on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. (See: EKU’s presentation last Thursday before the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education to learn more.)

Below are recent campus highlights:

  • Our second annual Faculty Leadership Institute attracted 17 participants for a series of sessions January 8-9.
  • Last week Eastern held its inaugural DEEP Week. DEEP is the acronym for Developing Excellence in Eastern’s Professors, an event that originated with our Faculty Innovation Workgroup.
  • On January 24, Dr. Qian Xiao, from Department of Management, Marketing and International Business, and Matt Schumacher, senior director for student success in the Office of Retention and Graduation, each received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. 
  • Recent or upcoming groundbreaking or ribbon-cutting ceremonies:
    • Just before the break in December, we broke ground for a new student recreation center. 
    • Immediately after the break, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new parking garage. 
    • Wednesday, February. 7, at 4 p.m., ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Case Dining Hall. 
    • Renovations are underway in the Powell Building. The ground floor of the renovated Powell is slated to be completed around the start of fall semester ‘18. 
  • After a six-year absence, Eastern again hosted the Kentucky All “A” Classic Basketball Tournament January 24-28. Attendance exceeded expectations, approaching nearly 40,000.


Ombud Minute. Ombud Joan Beck stated that Higher education institutions like EKU have begun to recognize that there are many disputes that can be resolved better, quicker and at lower costs by implementing an alternative dispute resolution system, like the Ombud. In addition to remediating disputes between colleagues, the Ombud may also work on conflict prevention, conflict management training, group facilitation, and coaching.

Plea for Faculty Support. Dr. Allen Engle reminded that the primary function of Eastern is teaching and learning and he encouraged the administration and the Budget Advisory Committee to remember the importance of tenure track assistant professors and newly tenured associate professors as they review and make recommendations for proposed budget reductions.


Policy 4.3.15 – Pass-Fail Option. Senator Turner moved approval of Policy 4.3.15, seconded by Senator West.Motion carried. (YES = 49 votes | NO = 1 vote | ABSTAIN = 4 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)

Policy 4.1.15 – Grade Appeals. Senator Slusher moved approval of Policy 4.1.15, seconded by Senator Swain. Motion carried. (YES = 50 votes | NO = 1 vote | ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)

Regulation 4.8.3 – Assignment of Summer Teaching. Senator Fitch moved approval of Regulation 4.8.3, seconded by Senator Bryden. Motion carried. (YES = 33 votes | NO = 18 votes | ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)

Regulation 4.1.2 - Catalog. Senator Slusher moved approval of Regulation 4.1.2, seconded by Senator Turner. Motion carried. (YES = 48 votes | NO = 2 votes | ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)


Budget Committee Election (1 vacancy). Senator Pinion was nominated and elected by acclamation to fill the vacancy on the Budget Committee.

Rules Committee Election (1 vacancy). Senator Carucci self-nominated and was elected by acclamation to fill the vacancy on the Rules Committee



The Academic Quality Committee met with the Executive Committee about the Student Success Initiatives Map. Gill Hunter was also in attendance in support of the AQC.

The Executive Committee has begun collecting faculty opinions of President Benson. Please complete the questionnaire and encourage colleagues to do so as well. Data collection will end on February 14. The committee will begin summarizing the data and writing the report to the Board of Regents shortly thereafter.

The Budget Advisory Committee has met with VP-level administrators from units across campus. Dean Zeigler and I have held three drop-in sessions for faculty in our roles as Senators. Approximately 25 faculty came to the first one, a similar number of faculty came to second, and three came to the third. One session was canceled because of inclement weather. The Committee also held a session for the full faculty on January 22 in the O’Donnell Auditorium with approximately 50 faculty in attendance. The Committee made a brief presentation about the state of the current budget, and outlined the process the Committee is going through. The bulk of the time was spent on faculty comments and questions. It was a productive and satisfying session. A $25M cut to our (unencumbered) budget (~$210M) is significant, and there is not enough money in M&O to absorb the entire cut, which will force us to recommend cuts to programs and personnel. I want to assure you that the Committee is considering cuts to every part of the University. Our process requires that every VP-level administrator submit proposals for cutting 15, 20 and 25% of their budget – that is the part of the process that will be equally shared across campus. While we have considered making across-the-board cuts of various types, we intend to make strategic cuts, meaning that not all sectors will be affected equally. Our goal is to come out of this process as strong an institution as possible, guided by the mission of the institution and our strategic plan. Our recommendations are due to the President’s Council on March 9.

The Colonels at the Capitol event will be held tomorrow, February 6. It is extremely important to make our voices heard in Frankfort. Please contact your representatives in State Government. In addition, two EKU faculty, including our very own Senator Dupont, have boldly entered the fray as candidates for political office in Frankfort.


In preparation for the impending reductions to EKU’s allocation from the state budget, President Benson established a University-wide Budget Review Committee to gather input and provide recommendations for reducing our budget by $25 million. That target amount is the product of anticipated increases in our KERS pension obligations of $10M; another $2-5M for KTRS; decreased tuition revenue; and multiple cuts to our base funding in FY 18 and again in FY 19.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy has been reporting on the current budgetary challenges which come on top of the nineteen rounds of budget cuts since 2008. This has resulted in a general disinvestment in a variety of public services. In support of this year’s budget cuts (the steepest yet) Governor Matt Bevin has pointed to reserve fund balances as an argument that universities have plenty of money. However, sound financial practices require the university (like most businesses) to maintain a certain level of funds to cover debt service, support our bonding capacity, manage our day-to-day cash flow needs, and assure a strong credit rating. There are important reasons for maintaining reserves, and once gone, they are very hard to replace.

Unfortunately, the legislature still shows little appetite for generating new revenue and seems to prefer cutting services to the citizens of Kentucky instead. But this is a very fluid situation.

Between now and April 15th, the General Assembly can amend the proposed Executive Budget or pass it “as is.”

Numerous meetings of administrative, academic affairs, and faculty groups have been taking place across campus. Prioritized input from the Deans has been received by the Budget Review Committee. Student Government has also weighed in with its ideas. The Committee plans to study that input and report its recommendations in early March. The President’s Council will review those recommendations and provide its input to the president by mid-March. The Board of Regents is scheduled to receive the president’s recommendations in a called meeting on April 6th (location TBD).

The Board has limited its involvement to assuring an open process with multiple opportunities for faculty and staff input, and looking forward to as positive an outcome as possible for the institution.

In other news, work continues on an interim policy pertaining to Time, Place and Manner restrictions related to free speech on campus. The drafting team was nearing completion when the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) came out with two new publications that prompted new language in the draft. The Drafting Team will be called together one more time to review the proposed changes. If approved by the team, the interim policy would then move on to the President for action, perhaps within the next few weeks.

The university is still seeking a legislative solution that would secure the long-term viability of Model Lab School by allowing us to tap into School Facilities Construction Commission funds. The Model Lab School Steering Committee is also working to re-envision the school program. We are exploring innovative ways to provide students with personalized, accelerated pathways to college degrees while strengthening the school’s connections to academic departments across the campus.


Senator Kopacz stated that COSFL has not met recently.

As a point of interest, Senator Kopacz noted that Robert H. Staat has been re-appointed as the faculty representative on CPE through June, 2021.

PROVOST REPORT: Senator Whitehouse

  • CPE Grant for Corequisite Education
    CPE has established a number of statewide academic policy priorities for 2017-18, including using corequisite education to increase student success and decrease time to degree completion. In keeping with these goals, CPE is proposing a policy change effective Fall 2019 that will no longer allow regional universities to offer stand-alone, pre-credit courses for students with academic readiness requirements.
    Last Fall, the Council announced an opportunity for universities to receive state funding to support full implementation by Fall 2018 of a corequisite model for students with academic readiness needs (ACT 14-19) in literacy (reading and writing) and quantitative reasoning (math). EKU has been awarded a $50,000 CPE grant for fall to scale corequisite education in these content areas. The grant funds provide support for peer tutoring, curriculum design, assessment, and faculty development to support corequisite planning during the full-implementation year.
  • Spin the Wheel Study Abroad Scholarships
    The 2018 Spin the Wheel Study Abroad Scholarship Event was held last week. Approximately 500 students submitted entries to win a study abroad scholarship, which covers complete program costs as well as airfare to the destination determined by the student’s wheel spin. Seventeen students received scholarships to Italy (four students), Spain (four students), London (three students), Costa Rica (two students), Thailand, Great Britain, Peru, and Germany.
  • Professional Development Opportunities
    • Inclusive Excellence Workshops – Offered through the EKU Diversity Office with Dr. Roger Cleveland, Inclusive Excellence Trainer.
    • Classroom Management - The Noel Studio is offering an interactive workshop, facilitated by Dean Sara Zeigler and Dr. Rusty Carpenter, on strategies for classroom management this Wednesday, February 7, 2-3 p.m. in the Noel Studio Discovery Classroom. This workshop is being offered as part of the Spring 2018 Teaching & Learning Innovation (TLI) series.

Please note the following upcoming events:

  • February 7 – Classroom Management Workshop - 2-3 p.m., Noel Studio Discovery Classroom
  • February 8 – Posters-at-the-Capitol 
  • February 22 – Vince Coakley: Making Your Media Career in the Digital Age - 7 p.m., Black Box Theatre (Meet & Greet 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Faculty Dining Room) 
  • May 18 – Pedagogicon


Academic Quality Committee. Senator Polin announced that the student success initiatives map is available in draft form for review. Please share feedback with The committee hopes to finalize the document by the end of the semester.

Budget Committee. Senator Ciocca stated that the committee met briefly to set the schedule for the semester. Dates are posted on the Senate website.

Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator Mason reported that the committee met last week with chairs and representatives of the Graduate Council, General Education, Research, and Libraries. Next month all faculty will receive a nomination ballot. Please encourage colleagues to self-nominate. The following month the election ballot will be distributed.

Rights and Responsibilities Committee. Senator Quan stated that that the committee recently reviewed the Intellectual Property policy and forwarded their recommendations for changes to Vice Provost Robinson.

The committee is also continuing to review the workload policy and guidelines.

Rules Committee. Senator Kay announced that the generic petition form that would trigger faculty-at-large voting is near completion. The committee has been working closely with Institutional Research on the development of the template.

The committee continues to work on the Senate internal procedures and hopes to submit a revised copy for review at the next Executive Committee meeting in March.

On behalf of the committee, Senator Kay moved approval of the following motions.

Motion 1 – remove merit pay guidelines from faculty handbook
Motion carried. (YES =  44 votes NO = 5 votes ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)

Motion 2 – XC Voting Clarification
Motion carried. (YES = 47 votes NO = 3 votes ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)


Senator Fitch stated that several colleagues contacted him with concerns over a new administrative hire in VP McFaddin’s office. Mr. McFaddin was unable to be here but has indicated his willingness to address the concerns at Faculty Senate.

Chair Winslow announced that he will issue an invitation to Mr. McFaddin to be a guest speaker at the March meeting.


Senator Whitehouse moved to adjourn at approximately 5pm.

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