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Minutes for February 1, 2021

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, February 1, 2021 via Zoom. Chair Ciocca called the fourth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members were absent:

L. Jones*^ E. Meiners F. Sands*^
E. Sokolowski E. Styer*^  

* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ ALT Gina Purdue attended for L. Jones
^ ALT Catherine Edwards attended for F. Sands
^ ALT Mengkun Yang attended for E. Styer


Senator McGlown moved approval of the November 2, 2020 minutes as written, seconded by Senator Walz. Motion carried. (YES = 49 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 2 votes) (See Also:  Individual Votes)


    With the first few weeks of the spring semester underway, I hope you all are settling into the new schedules and positioning our students for another successful term. With lessons learned and established practices for masking, social distancing and hand hygiene, we can take some comfort in the knowledge gained that we are fully prepared for the remainder of this academic year. We all undoubtedly crave more normalcy, and with the hope of vaccines on the horizon, there is great optimism for more freedoms ahead. We are already envisioning what in-person commencement ceremonies could look like for our spring graduates and are planning to gradually resume some of the traditional activities to welcome our incoming class of freshmen next fall.

    A new regional vaccination center will open in Lexington at the Kentucky Horse Park for its first appointments this week. This is anticipated to greatly increase the volume of vaccines available to our region and will hopefully expedite the transition into the Phase 1C vaccination schedule that includes higher education employees. If you meet any of the criteria for Phase 1A or 1B as outlined by the Kentucky Department for Public Health, you are highly encouraged to explore any current opportunities within our area to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We are in frequent and deep discussions with local healthcare partners and state officials to relay our interest in establishing a vaccine clinic in Madison County here on the EKU campus to accommodate our local and regional communities. As those efforts continue, please take advantage of any vaccine registration options through regional providers if appointments are available. (Visit for the latest information on vaccine resources.)

    In terms of financial health for the year ahead, we see both encouragement and opportunities for FY22. Overall our fiscal position as an institution is strong. We are certainly pleased with Governor Beshear’s proposed two-percent funding increase for higher education that would equate to 1.2 million for EKU. In terms of federal funding EKU is expected to receive approximately $17 million in CARES funds. These funds are targeted at supporting students, expanding COVID-19 protocols and positively impacting some of our revenue declines associated with the impact of this pandemic. Our FY22 budget will be built over the next 90 days and will reflect both increased expenses related to added health and safety measures and anticipated revenue declines as we observe notable decreases in our numbers of applicants, admits, and returning students directly associated with COVID-19. It is our hope many within the high school class of 2021 are merely delaying their college decisions, and not abandoning them entirely. Now is the time for all of us to put on our recruiting hats and share your connections, influence and ideas to help in both recruitment and retention of students.

    One of the most exciting and unique campaigns we can promote for next fall is our EKU BookSmart program. This book scholarship, provided at no additional cost to undergraduate students, will save students an average of $1,200 annually and lower our overall cost of attendance. We know this has generated a lot of interest and questions and you will find an overview of the program and some FAQs at the EKU BookSmart website.

    Finally, beginning this July, EKU Athletics will be joining the ASUN conference. You will find more background on this decision and the benefits this transition brings to EKU in the recent campus message. As we learn to embrace the identity of our new athletic conference, I am drawn to the ASUN “beams”, pun intended, that represent their vision for student athletes and the institutions where they learn and compete. These include academic excellence, student success and institutional distinction with goals for the teams, universities and communities that form the ASUN conference to: 1. Put Students First 2. Impact 3. Connect 4. Rise. These ideals directly align with our mission as the School of Opportunity. I understand there are likely questions on a conference change, and it will require some adjustments, however the visibility the ASUN brings EKU in a growing area of the U.S. offers exciting possibilities not only for EKU athletics, but the university as a whole. It is important to note that we have been able to enter into this new partnership with prudent and intentional strategies focused on fiscal responsibility that will offset potential cost increases and generate additional revenue opportunities. At EKU we have always sought to broaden the horizon for our students, and this is a new chance for both our athletic and academic programs to shine brightly in a new landscape.


    Student Government Association. Eyouel Mekonnen announced that SGA is reviewing some of the diverse courses that are offered at Eastern, specifically African/American and African history, to see if some of those courses might fit well into the general education curriculum to fulfill the Gen Ed requirements. SGA would like to have Faculty Senate feedback on this. Senator Marion suggested that once SGA’s proposal is more formalized, they could provide a presentation to the General Education Committee and/or to Faculty Senate to gather feedback at that time.

    Spring elections for student government are coming up in mid-March. Please have any students who are interested in running on the spring ballot contact


    Academic Policy Process. Ms. Haley Norbert spoke with the Executive Committee last week regarding how to move policies forward in a more efficient and timely manner. A slight tweak to the process was suggested and approved by the Executive Committee. Academic policies will be presented to the Executive Committee for their review and they will filter those to the full Senate for either a first read or a vote at the next Senate meeting, depending on the content of the edit. Minimal edits would be presented for an immediate vote, whereas substantive changes that would require more robust discussion would continue to come forward for first read and then be voted on the following month.

    Policy Updates. The following policies are currently being vetted with the President’s Cabinet and are presented to Faculty Senate for information only. Faculty are encouraged to review the policies and provide feedback once the policies are posted online for the 14-day commenting period later this week. The goal is to present the policies to the Board of Regents at the March meeting.

    • Policy 3.1.1 – Fundraising
    • Policy 5.1.2 – Student Organizations
    • Policy 8.2.2 – Employee Leave
    • Policy 8.3.3 – Employee Conduct

    The following item was presented for first read and will be on the March agenda for action.

    The following item was presented for action.

    Senator Winslow moved approval to repeal Policy 4.1.10, seconded by Senator Woodruff. Motion carried. (YES = 50 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 4 votes) (See also: Individual Votes).

    Report from Council on Academic Affairs. Associate Provost Wies presented the following materials for consideration.

    College of Business and Technology

    Management, Marketing, and International Business

    1. Minor in Sales

    College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences


    1. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) English
      Accelerated 3+2 Dual Degree Program - Revise program name and course requirements.
    2. Master of Arts (M.A.) English - Revise program name and course requirements.<

    History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

    1. Master of Arts (M.A.) History - Add an Applied History Plan to the M.A. in History.

    Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

    1. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Spanish Teaching - drop a lower level course and replace it with an upper level course, revise credit requirements for both upper and lower division.

    Physics and Astronomy

    1. Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Physics - Add CSC 185 and EET 351 and remove EET 350 as restricted elective options For Engineering Physics Concentration. Remove CSC 190 in Supporting Course Requirements of General and Engineering Physics.

    College of Health Sciences

    Exercise and Sport Science

    1. Minor in Physical Education (Non-Teaching)


    1. College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences Memo:
      Merging Art & Design, Communication, and the School of Music to become: The Institute for Creative and Collaborative Arts: Art, Communication, Music, and Design (ICCA).

    Senator Nachtwey moved approval of items 1-7, seconded by Senator Crosby. Motion carried. (YES = 50 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See also: Individual Votes)

    Item #8 was presented as information only.



    The Executive Committee met on January 25, 2021 at 3:30 pm via the Zoom Platform.

    Kelly Smith and Matthew Winslow were in attendance to learn more about the EKU BookSmart Program. Ms. Smith is the Chair, and Dr. Winslow is a founding member of the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate for OER (Open Educational Resources).

    President McFaddin and Steve Caudill provided the following information on the BookSmart program.

    • The bookstore is working on information to send out to faculty within the next month.
    • While physical copies of textbooks are free for students to use during the semester, they are expected to return the books at the end of the semester. If the student wishes to keep the textbook, they can pay the replacement cost which is the buy-back amount that the bookstore normally pays when books are sold back. 
    • The process for digital workbooks that require an access code will remain the same.
    • Barnes and Noble is the preferred provider and faculty should submit their textbook orders through the bookstore. Those not submitted through the bookstore will result in an additional cost to students.
    • Please keep in mind that while physical copies of textbooks are free for students, they are not free to the University. The university pays a discounted volume rate to Barnes and Noble. So, please be mindful of that when choosing textbooks. 
    • In order for the program to be effective, faculty must submit textbook orders to the Bookstore, even if OERs will be used instead. The use of OERs is encouraged and is financially advantageous for the university because the more quality OERs we produce, the less books we will have to purchase.
    • The university is not locked into a flat fee with Barnes and Noble. This is a year-to-year partnership. We will be analyzing the financials of the previous academic year with performance every year and will be able to audit the types of instructional materials that are being used.

    Kelly Smith stated that having BookSmart and OER initiatives work together makes a really powerful statement about what EKU is doing for our students. In addition, Ms. Smith suggested including a zero textbook cost designation in the catalog as a way to track the number of faculty who have adopted OERs.

    The Executive Committee discussed a recommendation for increasing faculty compensation and for reviewing class caps for summer and winter courses. Also discussed was a recommendation for increasing part-time faculty compensation and addressing compensation for retired faculty who want to teach part-time.

    • Senator McFaddin noted back in December when the Colonels Care payment was distributed that this was the beginning of a journey of sustainable systemic regular compensation and adjustments for the campus. However, one of the key factors to making that a reality is having a more sustainable revenue stream. Top priority is increasing the base compensation for full time faculty and staff.
    • A work group has been formed to look at Winter and Summer carefully. The group will be focused on gathering input on how we structure winter term and how these need to be adapted. Compensation, and caps, for the summer and winter terms will also be part of that conversation.
    • Senator Pogatshnik stated that it has been about eight years since the last pay increase for part time faculty. Given the cost (about $600,000 a year in resources) and other priorities (in agreement with Deans and Chairs), there will be a pause to reflect where the increase could fit in the priorities of Academic Affairs.
    • The end of the RTP program fostered the discussion on retired faculty returning to teach part time classes. It would be wonderful if we could pay those with a distinguished record of teaching a little more to come back and teach part time courses. It was recommended that the Faculty Welfare Committee take a look at and make some recommendations as to both financial and non-financial types of considerations that could be given to retired or emeritus faculty as a way of keeping them in the loop.
    • Senator McFaddin reminded that there are federal laws that required ending RTP programs. However, it should be possible, on a non-prearranged basis, to have an exceptional experience pay scale for our retirees who choose to come back as part time instructors, after that initial employment separation period.


    Since our last Faculty Senate meeting, Board members participated in the Governor’s annual trusteeship program on December 9. The major item of interest in the program was the one-hour webinar featuring remarks and discussion with Governor Beshear and CPE President Thompson. Highlights of the webinar included the following: 

    • The Governor pledged to not cut higher education this year and said he would recommend an increase in base funding for KCTCS and the universities in his budget proposal. (*On January 7, the Governor indicated in his State of the Commonwealth Budget Address that his budget proposal included an increase in the higher education budget by $17M [which would represent an approximate increase of 2%]. The budget proposal he presented also included scholarship funds for 6,300 students to complete associate’s degrees and certificates. The state legislature is also involved in the budget process and the legislature may or may not include these budget proposals).
    • Several of the themes discussed during the webinar included discussion of how trustees and regents needing to be cognizant and effective listeners on issues related to social justice and also how demographic patterns in Kentucky and surrounding states are likely to result in a reduction in the enrollment of traditional students. New strategies to mitigate enrollment declines, including outreach to populations historically forgoing university and KCTCS enrollment, were encouraged.

    The Board and other higher education stakeholders receive routine updates from the Council on Post-Secondary Education (CPE). The CPE publishes a substantial amount of research and higher education news via the CPE Policy Insight. One of their recent stories from January 21 is likely of interest to you and your colleagues. (What does Kentucky’s vaccine push mean for college campuses?)

    The Board of Regents met on December 10 for their last regular meeting of 2020. The meeting occurred via Zoom and can be viewed on YouTube using the EKU E-Presence channel. Some of the highlights of the meeting included:

    • COVID-19 Update: Dr. Bryan Makinen and Dr. Sara Zeigler provided updates on the university response to COVID-19 and how the university was adapting to COVID-19 for the Spring 2021 term. The slides presented are viewable on pages 108-119 of the Board Agenda book, viewable here.
    • Student Success & Enrollment Report: Dr. Tanlee Wasson presented enrollment and retention data along with updates regarding the implementation of some university’s enrollment enhancement strategies. The 15-minute report can be viewed here.
    • Financial Update: Vice President Barry Poytner provided the Board with a Financial Update. The update is viewable here and the materials presented were included on pages 121-127 of the Board Agenda book.
    • President’s Report: Dr. McFaddin provided a report on many items of significant importance to the university and the university’s stakeholders. The full report as given to the board can be viewed here.
      • Employee Support/Compensation: The President announced the Colonels Care employee initiative, which included a $1,000 investment into all full-time employees as of September 30 with the exception of the President and the President’s Council who forgone participation.
      • Athletics: The President requested the Board support him and Athletic Director Roan in continuing to pursue opportunities related to conference affiliation with a focus on opportunities that minimize time away from campus for our student-athletes, allow the university to continue to control expenses in our right-sized athletics budget, increase revenues, and compete for NCAA championships through automatically-qualifying access opportunities.
      • Legislative Update: The state budget forecast as of the time of the meeting was deemed much more favorable than previous estimates from earlier in the pandemic.
      • Performance Funding: The Post-Secondary Performance Working Group is advocating for a change to the performance-based funding approach. The agreement within the group is that each university’s base budget will be maintained, and going forward, performance-based funding schemes will only be able to be applied to new funds coming into higher education above the base budgets set this year.
      • Provost Announcement: Dr. McFaddin announced that Dr. Pogatshnik advised him that he would be retiring on June 30. Dr. McFaddin announced that Dr. Sara Zeigler would be named Provost starting July 1.
    • President’s Contract: The Board approved the permanent contract for Dr. McFaddin.

    The university continues to gather stakeholder input for the 2022 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning Stakeholder Survey is available in EKU Direct.

    The next Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for March 4.

    REPORT FROM COSFL: Senator Woodruff

    COSFL has met a couple of times now since the re-boot. CPE President Aaron Thompson was the guest speaker at the last meeting.

    REPORT FROM PROVOSTSenator Pogatshnik

    Over the Winter break, EKU announced the start of the BookSmart program that will provide the use of textbooks at no cost to undergraduate students beginning in Fall 2021. This initiative aligns with the work of the Faculty Senate during the past few years that have focused on reducing the costs of textbooks as many of our students struggle with this.

    At its core, this is a textbook rental agreement but where the rental cost is absorbed by the University rather than the student. I appreciate the collaboration between EKU and Barnes & Noble that has made this program possible. But the long-term success of the program will depend on the continuing efforts of the faculty to minimize textbook costs for our students. In particular, the collaboration between the EKU Libraries and the faculty on developing free textbooks, the adoption of open-source textbooks where appropriate, and the continued focus on longer-term adoptions and cost consciousness during the selection process will be critical for this program to be sustainable. I deeply appreciate the contributions of the faculty in reducing textbook costs and hope that efforts in these areas continue to move forward as we launch this program in the Fall.

    Last Friday, EKU announced that it will be leaving the OVC Athletic Conference and moving to the ASUN Conference beginning July 1, 2021. Although I anticipate there may be questions about this change, I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why I supported this proposal. For me the two most important factors were no net additional costs and the opportunities that this presented in terms of student recruitment. To the first point, remaining in the FCS Football Subdivision will not require the substantial investments that were a part of previous discussions. While there may be additional costs associated with travel, these should be more than offset by additional revenues that will be captured from athletic events in both football and basketball. But, by far, the most influential factor was that the conference realignment presents significant opportunities for EKU to establish a presence for student recruitment in larger markets than currently offered through the OVC. These include major metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Louisville. Recent initiatives such as the establishment of our Smart Rate have positioned us to be more effective in recruiting out of state students form regions of the country where they are more likely to attend EKU due to our greater alumni presence in these areas.

    Although Fall 21 seems a long way off, we need to be mindful of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. As of this meeting, we are seeing less than anticipated numbers of applications and admissions for the Fall 21 term.

    There is reason for optimism, however. In spite of the difficulties with the vaccine roll-out, it appears highly likely that our faculty and staff will be able to receive their vaccinations well in advance of the Fall semester. As we cautiously plan for fall, we are anticipating that we will be able to move toward a more “normal” class scheduling pattern and make every effort to provide the true college experience that many of our students are missing.

    Finally, please do not underestimate your impact on student recruitment. While I fully understand the additional strains on faculty during the pandemic, students respond to faculty. The examples that you set and the experiences that you provide to our students are important.


    Academic Quality Committee. Senator Crosby announced that the first meeting of the semester is scheduled for next Monday.

    Budget Committee. Senator Woodruff stated that one of the charges to the committee this year included checking the impact of Covid on the Athletic budget and how that affected revenues and expenses. The Athletics department has provided that information and the committee will be reviewing the data at the February 8th meeting.

    Senator McFaddin asked the committee to think about what is most important to this body, as it pertains to the budget, and to list one to three things of most importance that needs attention as this would provide immense value to the administration during the FY22 budgeting process over the coming months.

    Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator McCardle stated that the committee met last week and is working with Associate Provost Wies to determine vacancies for the university standing committees for next year. A notice will be sent to the different colleges in the next month to solicit nominations for those vacancies.

    Information Technology Committee. Senator Nachtwey reported that the committee met last week and discussed a new rotation for people to run voting during the meetings. Anyone with suggestions on how to improve the voting process using google forms should contact

    Rights & Responsibilities Committee. The committee met last week and Senator McKinney was elected to serve as chair.

    The committee is continuing to review the Faculty Grievance Policy this year. Members of the committee are concerned that there is no longer an official Ombud position and are interested to know how the administration would feel about proposed changes to the policy. The committee would be happy to present a new draft, with the administration’s support.

    Rules Committee Report. Senator Kay noted that the committee has reviewed the current voting process and recommends sticking with goggle forms once face-face meetings resume.

    The committee is continuing to review and update the faculty handbook, in particular the various definitions of faculty and when and where to include adjunct faculty.

    Committee chairs should review their internal procedures for updates and forward revisions to Internal procedures for committees are available on the Senate website at

    Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Gremp announced that the committee recently received an additional charge from the Executive Committee to review the emeritus policy and ways to keep retired faculty engaged with the university community. The committee met earlier today to discuss the new charge.

    Chair Ciocca noted that there are ongoing discussions about increasing part-time faculty compensation when funds become available. The Faculty Welfare Committee has been charged with reviewing the Faculty Emeritus policy to see if, within the confines of the policy, it would be possible to offer a different pay scale to retired faculty who return to teach part time. Any committee recommendations should also include ideas for non-financial incentives as well. (It should be noted that federal law stipulates there can be no pre-arrangements made prior to retirement.)

    Senator Pogatshnik suggested that the Budget Committee should probably be included in those meetings to discuss where this might fall within the priorities for academics.


    Senator Pogatshnik moved to adjourn at approximately 5pm.

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