Minutes for April 5, 2021
The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, April 5, 2021 via Zoom. Chair Ciocca called the sixth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The following members were absent:
* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ ALT Mengkun Yang attended for E. Styer
^ ALT Bob Houston attended for B. Woodruff
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Senator Crosby moved approval of the March 1, 2021 minutes as written, seconded by Senator Burns. Motion carried. (YES = 48 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 1 vote) (See Also: Individual Votes)
REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT: Senator McFaddin
Our students cannot reach their goals and dreams without you, and this holds true at any stage of the student life cycle. Those struggling with final assignments and projects need our support and encouragement to stay the course and button up these last few weeks to finish courses and degrees. Some will question their return to college and retention rates show some opportunities for intervention. Be mindful of the role we all play in keeping students here, returning students are an important piece of our enrollment picture. Summer term enrollment looks strong and has seen successful growth trends; please continue to encourage this option for students. The summer term is beneficial to the University in several ways.
We will continue to focus on student recruitment through the summer for our class of 2025. Next year’s incoming freshmen class will come to us with distinct experiences and potential challenges due to the level of disruption they’ve seen in their high school instruction, transfers could face similar challenges. In addition to academic support, we should be mindful of the unique social and emotional needs related to pandemic adjustments and will continue to support the full student experience through wraparound services like EKU’s Counseling and Student Success Centers. We will continue meeting students where they are, propping them up, and at times, pushing them forward. Giving students our support and personal attention is a signature piece of the Eastern experience, and they need it now more than ever. We see how it works in student after student. EKU changes lives, it changes families, it changes communities. When we celebrate the success of a student like Nick Koenig, Rhodes Scholar finalist, Goldwater Scholarship recipient, National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Student of the Year, and student leader, that success amplifies the work we all do to offer opportunity.
We not only recognize student success but also faculty achievement. Each year our highest honors go to our Foundation Professors. Congratulations to the latest recipients, Dr. Myra Beth Bundy, and Dr. Jennifer Spock. Faculty leadership is always vital, and faculty will be an important voice as we head into our next strategic planning process. I thank those of you already involved in our various President’s councils that are working to shape who we aspire to be as a university.
A campus message was sent out last week about a slight reorganization within the Student Success and Student Life Divisions. We’ve seen a few units moving out of what was the combined Student Success and Student Life Area to now reporting to Dr. Dannie Moore who has a very broad and very successful track record of leading in student success areas and student life areas.
We are excited to celebrate the success of our spring graduates May 7-8 with our first in-person commencement ceremonies in 17 months. There will be 5 ceremonies at Roy and Sue Kidd Stadium across Friday and Saturday. For those ceremonies, if the ceremonies are hosted outdoors, students will be allowed up to five tickets each. If the ceremonies are moved indoors, there will be no guest seating. The alternate location will be the Coliseum.
We have a more refined financial picture as we enter our budget building and planning phases. We are working diligently to overcome post-pandemic enrollment shifts and hope to continue closing gaps and yielding a strong class of new Colonels. In terms of legislative factors affecting our resources, the final budget bill does not change EKU’s base general fund appropriation. Performance funding will see an overall 2% increase with $17,307,100 available in FY 2021-22. Legislative changes to the performance-funding model call for new higher ed revenue to be applied through performance funding, while allocating base budgets through state general fund appropriations. This will be a much-improved performance funding model. With the passage of House Bill 8, a total of $8.9 million was allocated to cover EKU’s KERS employer contribution increase in FY 2021-22. The bill also includes changes to the employer portion of the state pension liability, and we will continue to work to ensure EKU only assumes our assigned and accurate pension obligations for our personnel, without taking on liabilities from other state agencies.
As we push through to close out this semester, thank you for your adaptation and perseverance. Our goals as an institution remain the same, but how we reach those goals and seek to educate and innovate will continue to evolve as we respond to internal and external factors.
Web-Based Trainings & Resources. Roshaon Tyter, EKU’s account representative with Academic Impressions, shared membership information and gave a presentation on skill building resources available for faculty through web-based trainings. The trainings and resources are available to all full-time and part-time EKU employees.
Increasing Diverse Faculty. Dr. Roger Cleveland informed the Senate that preliminary discussions are underway on campus to increase diverse faculty at EKU and to develop a diverse faculty recruitment and retention plan. It should be noted that in order to increase diversity and create a culture that is inclusive, we must first have an infrastructure that really says that we’re serious about this. That infrastructure is in place now.
He shared information compiled by CPE which shows that EKU has the lowest percentage of ethnically diverse tenured/tenure-track faculty of all public institutions in the Commonwealth. The question is why? Dr. Cleveland plans to visit with Senate and other groups on campus at a later date to solicit information, ideals, thoughts and strategies on ways to increase our diverse faculty.
Student Government Association. Eyouel Mekonnen announced that the SGA elections were held at the end of March. Jenna Smith was elected as the new SGA president with Kennedy Nguyen elected as Executive Vice President.
Policy 4.1.4 – Course Syllabi. Senator Winslow moved to approve the revision to Policy 4.1.4, seconded by Senator Cizmar. Motion carried. (YES = 45 votes | NO = 1 vote | ABSTAIN = 1 vote) (See also: Individual Votes)
Report from Council on Academic Affairs. Associate Provost Wies presented the following curriculum proposals for approval and additional materials for review and notification.
College of Health Sciences
Health Promotion & Administration
Educational Leadership and Counselor Education
- Ed.D. Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Create an additional concentration area in Curriculum Leadership for Social Justice
College of Business and Technology
School of Applied Sciences & Technology (AETM)
School of Business (SBUS)
College of Education
Curriculum & Instruction
College of Health Sciences
Applied Human Sciences
Exercise and Sport Science
- M.S. Exercise and Sport Science
- B.S. Sport Management
- B.S. Public Health
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) & Master of Public Health (M.P.H) Public Health Accelerated 3 + 2 Dual
- Minor in Public Health
- Certificate in Public Health
- Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
School of Nursing
College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
- M.S. in General Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration)
- Minor in Veterans Studies
- University Certificate in Veterans Studies
School of Music
College of Science
- Environmental Education undergraduate certificate
- Environmental Education graduate certificate
- Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship Undergraduate Certificate
- B.S. Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity
- Certificate in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics (undergraduate)
- Certificate in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics (graduate)
- M.S. in Computer Science
- Enrollment Management Memo: Non-Degree Seeking Language Update
- Recommendations for Accreditation Language for Admissions and Transfer Credit
College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work
- Memo: Departmental Reorganization
Separation and Creation of Dept. of Social Work.
Senator Crosby moved approval of items 1-31, seconded by Senator Winslow. Motion carried. (YES = 49 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 1 vote) (See also: Individual Votes)
Items #32-34 were presented for information only.
Nominations for Faculty Senate Chair. Senator Bishop-Ross nominated Senator Crosby for Senate Chair for the 2021-2022 academic year. Election will occur at the May Organizational meeting.
Nominations for Faculty Senate Vice Chair. Senator Bishop-Ross nominated Senator Kay for Senate Vice Chair for the 2021-2022 academic year. Election will occur at the May Organizational meeting.
Senator and Committee Vacancies List. The senators were encouraged to review the list carefully and inform the Senate chair and secretary of any discrepancies and/or updates.
GENERAL & STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
REPORT FROM SENATE CHAIR: Senator Ciocca
The Executive Committee met on March 22, 2021 at 3:30 PM via the Zoom Platform. Below are highlights from the meeting.
- Policy Update – Haley Norberg
- Policy 4.3.5 – Drop or Withdrawal from Courses, which was approved by Faculty Senate in March, was posted online for public comments this morning and will remain available through April 5.
- Senator Crosby moved to present Policy 4.1.4 – Course Syllabi at the April Senate meeting for action, seconded by Senator Woodruff. Motion carried unanimously. Immediately following the XC meeting, the policy was distributed to the senators to share with their colleagues to gather feedback for discussion at the April Senate meeting.
- Two policies (Academic Credit and Intellectual Property) are currently under review and revisions should be completed by the end of the semester. The policies should be ready for vetting in the fall semester.
- Policy Commenting Period for administrative Policies
Administrative policies are listed for information only on the Senate agendas so that faculty are aware of policy changes that may have an effect on employees. As administrative policies are not action items for Senate, paperwork for those policies will not be available until they are posted online for the 14-day commenting period. If available, Ms. Norberg will attempt to post administrative policies for the 14-day commenting period as close to Senate meetings as possible.
- 2021-2022 Senate Schedule
It is anticipated that in-person meetings will be possible next year. With that in mind, a tentative schedule of Senate meetings and XC meetings was shared. The tentative list will be included in the May Senate packets for the organizational meeting.
- Senator and Committee Vacancies
A tentative list of senator and committee vacancies was shared. The information has been shared with all chairs asking that replacements be named in time for new members to attend the May organizational meeting.
Chair Ciocca reminded senators of the following:
- Make sure to forward all committee minutes for fall and spring to our secretary for posting on the website.
- Inform the chair and secretary if you will be on sabbatical or other leave in the fall or spring and who your Senate replacement will be for the time that you are out.
Forward information on new senators and alternates to our secretary.
REPORT FROM FACULTY REGENT: Senator Marion
The Board of Regents met on Thursday, March 4th. The next meeting is scheduled for June 17th. The most recent meeting can be streamed on the EKU E-Presence YouTube page. Included in the meeting were approvals related to the Board Innovation Fund applications and Board’s support of an agreement to join the ASUN conference in athletics. A brief synopsis of the meeting and a recap of some follow-up that occurred after the meeting is described below. Additionally, some CPE-related news items are also provided.
Board of Regents Meeting Summary
The meeting agenda from March 4th is available at https://regents.eku.edu/agendas-0.
The Board received an update regarding enrollment and student progress (video link)
- Enrollment & Student Progress Update
- For Spring 2021, e-campus enrollment was up 5.2% (n = 3,440) and graduate enrollment was up 2.7% (n = 2,366). Also, new freshman and transfers were up 7.2% (n = 534).
- Total enrollment (N = 12,211) was down (-3.2%); however, some of the decline for the year was already anticipated and budgeted.
- In student life, signature event planning is on-going for closing out the spring term with a program to enhance the student life experience for students on-campus and in the community.
- o Downward statewide trends in FAFSA application rates and college-going student rates are requiring that the University remain vigilant in engaging everyone in an all-hands-on-deck approach related to enrollment, recruitment, and retention goals.
- University Budget: The university budget was designed to be smaller going into this year due to anticipated enrollment projections and while the amount of revenue from tuition and fees is lower than the previous year, expenses were also reduced, and the university remains on budget. The financial update report can be viewed here.
- Strategic Planning Process Update: The Board was apprised of the ongoing work of the strategic planning co-chairs (Drs. Jennifer Wies and Bethany Miller) and the Board also received an update on the timeline for the adoption of the next strategic plan. (View here)
- Phase I (done in 2020) indicated that EKU stakeholders are committed to “school of opportunity” mission including service to the EKU service region and first-generation college students.
- The creation of draft materials related to the mission, values, goals, and how to integrate reporting metrics remains on-going (Spring 2021) with the intent that in Fall 2021 a draft plan will be able to be released for stakeholder feedback.
- The planned timeline is that the new strategic plan will be finished/approved and launched in August 2022.
- Legislative Update: Ethan Witt and President McFaddin gave updates related to EKU’s position on a KERS-related pension bill, while also highlighting that EKU has identified at least $15 million of assigned pension liability that is presumably incorrectly assigned to the university. Ethan Witt also provided information on the status of a bill to revise the performance-based funding model to a model that received consensus support of the university presidents. The new model sets a base floor for each school and new funds coming into the system, would be able to be provided through performance incentives rather than using the performance funding model to remove funds from university base budgets to re-allocate elsewhere in the system.
- Board Innovation Funds: Dr. Tom Martin provided an introduction and gave a recap of the proposals reviewed by the Board Innovation Fund committee. Overall 12 applications were submitted requesting $600,000. Three awards were recommended for $115,000 in total.
- Alternative Textbook Challenge Grant, Round 2: Kelly Smith, University Librarian, provided a recap of the $23,000 spent from the initial $25,000 investment in the previous funding round. The projected savings from the first OER award are $327,000 annually. A total of $50,000 were requested in this round, and the anticipated impact would be $8.5 million in savings over the next five years. The savings will now be directly to the university rather than the students due to the textbook/book smart scholarship model. Chair Diaz was very supportive of OERs and the initiative of the Faculty Senate, the OER Committee, and Kelly Smith.
- Leveraging the Natural & Historic Capital of EKU’s South Campus for Education, Research & Public Engagement: Dr. Stephen Richter, EKU Natural Areas and Biological Sciences, provided information on upgrades for the Taylor Fork Ecological Area including the development of the Wilder Outdoor Education Center (named after Dr. Melinda Wilder). Numerous benefits to current students, research, and welcoming community members and prospective students were described. The total cost of $210,000 has been offset by the interdisciplinary team’s existing support of $30,000 coupled with $130,000 from a private donation. $50,000 were requested and approved.
- Foster Virtual Commercial Music Camp: On behalf of the legendary Stephen Collins Foster Music Camp, Dr. Joseph Carucci, presented how this new program will recruit 25-50 participants per year, and how it could possibly grow to 60. The support is expected to result in a self-sustainable program after three years. The program will welcome non-traditional students, highlight commercial music at EKU, expand the reach of Foster Camp through the virtual methods that will be used, and will establish greater notoriety for EKU as well as the instructors and guest educators.
- Athletics Update: The Board received updates on the amount of play the various teams were able to compete in this year which was a remarkable accomplishment relative to the rest of the NCAA. Most significantly, the Board voted in favor of an agreement for EKU to join the ASUN conference for EKU’s intercollegiate play.
CPE Statewide News Updates: Statewide news from CPE can be viewed at the following link: http://cpe.ky.gov/news/archive. Some highlights of the news are described below.
- Higher EDquity: The next Higher EDquity webinar will be at noon on Tuesday, April 13. The title is “Creating a Community of Inclusion: Actions for Accessibility Allyship”. To learn more or to register, visit: http://cpe.ky.gov/higheredquity/webinar-041321.html.
- Seeking Members: The Commonwealth Education Continuum Workgroups:
Governor Beshear created the CEC in 2020 and now the CEC is seeking members of the various workgroups. The three workgroups have their schedules posted and are seeking interested persons to apply for joining by April 7, 2021. The workgroup titles area as follows:
- Early Postsecondary Opportunities Workgroup
- Educator Workforce and Diversity Workgroup
- Success Transition to Postsecondary Workgroup
- The CPE received a $2.1 million grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation to create a statewide initiative that will improve equity and close outcome gaps on college campuses. (Read more)
- CPE is using $1.5 million in relief funds for improving mental health on campuses. (Read more)
Follow-up from EKU Board of Regents Meeting: During the most recent Board meeting, I was compelled to raise the issue of red-tape/maroon-tape reduction efforts on-campus given extensive faculty input to me. In the week following the Board meeting, I had significant conversation with university leaders regarding concerns raised by faculty and staff related to procurement-related difficulties and time being spent on purchasing in lieu of other mission critical duties. In short, there are and have been on-going efforts to continue to streamline and improve in these areas and a lot of difficulties encountered were likely related to the Banner system being slightly behind the newest JAGGAER procurement system rollout. Improvements are ongoing.
REPORT FROM PROVOST: Senator Pogatshnik
Senator Pogatshnik shared the following in his written report to the Senate.
- Scholars’ Week
Our annual Scholars’ Week is taking place this week (April 5-9, 2021) and features the scholarly and creative work of faculty and students from across campus. Scholars’ Week celebrates, showcases, and promotes the rich culture of faculty, student, and mentored scholarship, research, and creative endeavors across EKU.
You can access all sessions from the online version of the 2021 Scholars’ Week program at ekuscholars.eku.edu/.
- General Education Updates
The recommendations from the three Fall task forces were moved to an Implementation Team.
That team has now identified the responsible parties for advancing the recommendations:
- The General Education Committee will work to
- examine and possibly revise the General Education mission
- evaluate current goals and Element alignment
- focus on the “real world” connections between General Education courses an students’ futures
- highlight General Education teaching and learning in EKU’s communication structures.
- develop General Education-branded materials for students, faculty, and staff
- The General Education Skills Alignment Task Force recommendations will inform a project led by the Associate Provost for Academic Programs (Jennifer Wies). The goals of the project are to:
- Elevate the awareness, engagement in, and reflection of transferrable skills (campus-wide)
- Explain academic experiences using a common set of transferrable skills (students)
- Meaningfully engage transferrable skills within General Education courses through alignment between skills and student learning outcomes (faculty)
- Participate in discussions based on graduate experiences about the relationship between transferrable skills and disciplinary content (employers)
- General Education Teaching Certification Task Force recommendations have guided the design of the EngaGE program, led by the Assistant Provost (Russell Carpenter), prepared for a phased approach to implementation beginning with phase I in Fall 2021.
The EngaGE program will:
- Provide professional development programming related to teaching designed for all General Education faculty;
- Enhance resources and tools related to engaging and learner-centered teaching in General Education courses;
- Increase visibility of successful teaching in General Education courses through a new portfolio of faculty awards, each carrying university-wide recognition;
- Provide structured section- and course-level redesign programs that include incentives for successful implementation; and
- Provide structured programs to encourage faculty in the design and implementation of new or enhanced teaching approaches in General Education courses that include incentives for successful implementation.
- The General Education Committee will work to
- KY Science & Engineering Fair
During this previous weekend, EKU once again played host, virtually, to the KY State Science & Engineering Fair. I’d like to offer a special thank you to Faculty Regent, Dr. Jason Marion and to Ms. June Settle for their incredible work in organizing this showcase event once again. Next year will be the 20th annual event, again hosted by EKU.
- Spring Commencement
Final preparations are underway for our Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies which are planning to be held in-person at Roy Kidd Stadium. Ceremonies will once again be hosted by the Colleges with 5 ceremonies to take place on Friday, May 7 and Saturday May 8. Please look for additional information in forthcoming updates from the President’s Office.
Academic Quality Committee. Senator Jones reported that the committee was charged this year with surveying faculty to identify what worked and what did not work regarding instructional changes as a result of the pandemic. The survey was emailed to all full-time and part-time faculty in December with 172 faculty responding. The findings were compiled into a written summary report and a more detailed PowerPoint presentation which Senator Jones shared with the Senate. Chair Ciocca commended the members for a job well done.
Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator McCardle announced that nominations have been received for all the faculty vacancies on university standing committees. The email containing the link to vote for candidates should be sent out to faculty at some point this week.
Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator McKinney reported that the committee has been reviewing the Faculty Grievance Policy and will be forwarding a motion and a proposed revision to the policy to the Executive Committee for their review at their next meeting.
In addition, the committee received a couple of questions from faculty that were forwarded to the Faculty Welfare Committee as it fell under their purview (compensation for adjunct faculty teaching via eCampus v. In-person and the increase in cap related to eCampus facilitators).
Rules Committee Report. Senator Kay announced that the committee met on March 8th to continue working on the definitions of faculty in the Faculty Handbook. Associate Provost Wies and Ms. Haley Norberg joined us at the meeting. Moving forward, the Rules Committee will continue to work on this in the fall; and will work with Associate Provost Wies, Haley Norberg and possibly some others like John Dixon to make sure the language is accurately reflected in the Faculty Handbook.
The committee has also been working closely with the Senate IT Committee on the digital voting process. One of the questions raised was what happens if someone is late and doesn’t register their attendance? The Senate secretary indicated that she keeps a separate roster for attendance and compares the two to make sure there is an accurate record.
Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Gremp stated that the committee met last Tuesday.
The R&R Committee forwarded to our committee a couple of questions from faculty that deals with adjunct compensation for those teaching eCampus classes and the increase in class caps for eCampus facilitators. At our next meeting we plan to reach out to the respective people who can help us answer those questions and will report our findings back to Senate next month.
Senator Marion moved to adjourn at approximately 5:15pm.
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