Minutes for May 3, 2021
The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, May 3, 2021 via Zoom. Chair Ciocca called the seventh meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The following members were absent:
|C. Budano*^||P. Calie||D. Enz|
|P. Kraska||J. LaPlante||R. Weise*|
* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ ALT Mary Henton attended for C. Budano
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Senator Crosby moved approval of the April 5, 2021 minutes as written, seconded by Senator Woodruff. Motion carried. (YES = 46 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 1 vote) (See Also: Individual Votes)
REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT: Senator McFaddin
This year has certainly tested our resolve. The dedication our faculty, staff, and students have demonstrated to push through incredible trials affirms that EKU is a community full of heart and determination, willing to take any challenge head-on and come out stronger in the process. That fortitude is worthy of celebrating whether it came in the form of redesigning your courses or your classroom, taking the time to support students or colleagues through illness or anxiety, following all the proper health protocols, getting tested and quarantining if sick, and getting vaccinated to stay well.
Because of our success in controlling the spread of illness within our campus community and the diligent work of many departments and committees, our commencement ceremonies this week will be once again in-person for the first time in a year and a half! Commencement will look different and will observe attendance limits, however, it is an honor to be able to greet our graduates for the first time as EKU’s President and confer the degrees they have worked so hard to complete. Thank you especially to our COVID-19 and contingency task forces, commencement committee, the Registrar’s Office, Deans, Public Safety, and Conferencing & Events for all the work that has gone into reinventing spring commencement at EKU.
We are planning much more “normalcy” for the fall semester. As long as current state and federal health guidelines allow for it, we are fully expecting a return similar to fall 2019 on-campus course delivery. We are resuming in-person admissions activities, restrictions are easing on student housing and programming, and we are planning to welcome our next freshmen class to campus with a redesigned and reinvigorated “Big E Welcome”. Along with many of our traditional experiences that have become hallmarks of the EKU experience, the Exceptional Eastern Experience (E3) team is planning some new and innovative programs for this upcoming year. A signature concert the Saturday of Big E welcome, new post-athletic student /community events in Powell Plaza, a Halloween Bash, beer gardens, comedians and food trucks will help headline a calendar of events and engagements that will far exceed anything ever done before.
We do anticipate some enrollment decline as college planning nationwide has been distinctly impacted by COVID-19 uncertainties, but we remain dedicated to closing the gap between those who have applied and been admitted to EKU and are yet to fully enroll. This is a very important finish line we must all work toward crossing. We want EKU to be the first choice for both students and our faculty/staff. No one can tell the story of Eastern better than we can. Our graduating students often express incredible gratitude for the caring faculty who helped them reach their academic goals, and as faculty you are able to offer first-hand accounts of our outstanding programs and the career successes of our alumni. You can also share examples of excellence in your profession as we look to recruit top talent to join us in these efforts. We are ALL recruiters and that holds true now more than ever in a highly competitive and untraditional higher education recruitment year. I urge you to use your voice and influence as much as possible to promote your programs and our institution.
As we finalize budgeting in the upcoming months, we will do all we can to keep college affordable, maximize resources, and be strategic in our investments. Evolving consumer behaviors will require us to be flexible and nimble, with goals of innovation and excellence in all areas and practices. Some visions will take time to achieve, but we must keep pressing forward to show our state and the world that Eastern innovates!
A few successes in this vein to note include our recent EKU Giving Day. The engagement of more than 1,800 donors shattered the initial goal of 1,000 in 24 hours. This will help us foster a culture of giving among all our constituencies. To those of you who gave, and advocated for giving, a sincere thank you for supporting this campaign and leading by example.
The EKU BookSmart program that will launch this fall has received a great amount of buzz and excitement among both new and returning students. This program sets us apart from any other institution in Kentucky, and perhaps the entire nation, in removing barriers to success when students struggle to afford their textbooks and required class materials.
We have seen incredible progress in our CPE Diversity Report this year. This is an area where we deployed targeted resources and attention to improve. Some of the highlights include:
- EKU received a score of 32 out of 36 which highlights our institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- URM retention rate (80.3%) is the highest among the regional comprehensive Universities and significantly surpasses our 67% target
- Retention of low-income students is 76.7%, the highest among the regional comprehensives and surpassing our target of 72%
- To expand recruitment efforts, MOUs were signed with Adelante Hispanic Achievers in Louisville and the Cincinnati Public School System
- Enrollment of Undergraduate URM has increased 8.2%
- Enrollment of Undergraduate Latino/a population has increased 43%
- Graduate URM enrollment has increased 25.2%
There is still much work to do, but this is encouraging data that will help strengthen our campus community as a welcoming and inclusive environment where all students can embrace opportunity and succeed. Huge thanks to the drafting team members for this report: Dannie Moore, Gill Hunter, Lisa Day, Bethany Miller, Roger Cleveland, and Ron Jackson.
As we head into the summer months, please remain engaged in our ongoing searches for college deans. The timing of the search cycle will require work through the summer. Take advantage of the opportunities to share your feedback at various stages. The national search firm assisting us in this process will work diligently to identify the best and brightest candidates near or far to move into these important academic leadership roles. We hope to have announcements on these hires at the end of the fiscal year.
Finally, we have some important leadership changes to note. Thank you to Senator Marco Ciocca for his leadership as Chair of Faculty Senate as he finishes his second term. We must also bid farewell to an incredible Provost, Dr. Jerry Pogatshnik. His wisdom, leadership, and dedication have proven invaluable both to EKU and to me personally. After 15 years at EKU and three decades in higher education, he certainly has earned his retirement that will become official June 30. I am certain we will have a successful and seamless transition as Dr. Sara Zeigler assumes leadership of Academic Affairs this summer.
Student Government Association Update. Chair Ciocca introduced Ms. Jenna Smith, the new SGA president for the 2021-2022 academic year. Ms. Smith and the SGA Vice President will be on campus during the summer working on orientation. If anyone has any concerns involving the student body, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policy Updates. Ms. Haley Norberg presented the following policies for information only.
- Policy 8.3.2 - Nepotism and Amorous Relationships
- Policy 3.2.1 - Intellectual Property
- Policy 1.1.1 - Policy on Policies
R&R Motion on Proposed Revision to Policy 4.7.4 - Faculty Grievances. The motion was submitted by the Faculty Rights & Responsibilities Committee for review and action. Since it comes from a standing committee, a second is not required. (See also: proposed policy revision and current policy) Motion carried. (YES = 44 votes |NO = 0 votes |ABSTAIN = 2 votes) (See also: Individual Votes)
The approved recommendation will go back to a drafting team for consideration and will move through the vetting process again upon completion.
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
Applied Human Sciences
College of Justice & Safety
Safety & Security
School of Justice & Safety
College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
Anthropology, Sociology, & Social Work
- Academic Bankruptcy to Academic Fresh Start
- Proposed CAA Process Revision, Spring 2021 (Fall 2021 implementation)
- Revised Recommendation for Revisions to Certificates
- COLLEGE OF EDUCATION - organizational change in collaboration with the College of Business and Technology
- COLLEGE OF LETTERS, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - organizational changes, dept. restructuring
- COLLEGE OF SCIENCE - transitioning to the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Senator Crosby moved approval of item #1, seconded by Senator Woodruff. Motion carried. (YES = 48 votes |NO = 0 votes |ABSTAIN = 2 votes) (See also: Individual Votes)
Items #2-10 were presented for information only.
Bookstore Advisory Committee Update. Senator Winslow reported that at the time of their last meeting the book adoption rate at Eastern was at a record high of 93 percent. The previous record was never higher than 70 percent.
GENERAL & STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
REPORT FROM SENATE CHAIR: Senator Ciocca
The Executive Committee met on April 19, 2021 at 3:30 PM via the Zoom Platform. The following items were discussed:
- Policy Updates
The Executive Committee approved adding Policy 8.3.2 – Nepotism and Amorous Relations and Policy 1.1.1 – Policy on Policies to the September Senate agenda as information items only.
Ms. Haley Norberg announced that Policy 4.1.4 – Course Syllabi, which was approved by Senate in April, has been posted online for public comment and will remain live until April 30.
- Rights and Responsibilities Committee Motion to Revise Policy 4.7.4 – Faculty Grievances
Senator Nachtwey and AAUP Representative Nancy McKenney introduced the motion and the proposed revision to the policy which was submitted by the Rights and Responsibilities Committee. [See also: Current Policy] Ms. Norberg noted that if the motion is approved by Senate, the policy would need to go back to a drafting team of key stakeholders for review and would then go through the vetting once again. As such, Faculty Senate will have another opportunity to review any revisions made to the policy.
- Changes to Faculty Senate Organization
Chair Ciocca and Chair-Elect Crosby met recently with President McFaddin and ProvostElect Zeigler to discuss the organization of the senate. When the faculty senate was originally formed, it was comprised of 50% faculty and 50% administrators. By the late 1990’s, the membership had changed to include only the president, provost, and one dean representative from the administration.
At this time, the senate leadership would like to consider the faculty senate an independent body and would like to recommend that the president, provost and dean’s
representative no longer be included in the membership of the Senate. Instead, they should be invited to attend meetings as guests of the Senate to provide monthly updates.
This change would bring EKU more in line with other institutions. Both President McFaddin and Provost-Elect Zeigler were supportive of the recommendation.
Senator Bishop-Ross noted that section 7 of the Faculty Handbook will need to be revised if this recommendation goes forward.
Chair-Elect Crosby and President McFaddin plan to meet again in the near future to discuss further and to collaborate on an update to share with the faculty.
REPORT FROM FACULTY REGENT: Senator Marion
The Board of Regents met in special session earlier today at 1 p.m. to install a new member to the Board. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Regents is scheduled for June 17th. View today’s meeting at the EKU E-Presence YouTube page.
Today’s Board Agenda Items: Recently, Governor Andy Beshear appointed Mike Eaves of Richmond to serve a term ending on June 30, 2025. Mike Eaves is an attorney in Richmond and a partner at Eaves, Olds, Bohannon & Floyd PLLC. Per Board Bylaws and KRS regulations, “each member appointed to the Board shall take the oath of office within thirty days after receiving notice of appointment.” Based upon scheduling availability, and a busy week for commencement-related activities, today’s date at 1 p.m. was determined to be the most suitable time for welcoming Regent Eaves to the Board and administering the oath.
In addition, the Board Agenda (linked here), included a financial update from Barry Poynter, a President’s Report from Dr. McFaddin, two resolutions, and the election of Vice Chair and Secretary. In addition, the Board recognized our EKU Cheerleaders who won their respective national championships for the All-Girl and Co-Ed squads last Tuesday (April 27) as part of the UCA College Virtual National Championships.
REPORT FROM COSFL: Senator Woodruff
COSFL met on April 9th. Most of the discussion centered around Gray Associates, the role being filled by those consultants, and the lack of consistent understanding among the different campuses as to the exact procedure being followed.
One of the discussion items that continually comes up is whether a cost-of-living allowance will be possible.
The next COSFL meeting is on Friday.
We hope to see more faculty senates across the Commonwealth communicating with each other to help ensure that faculty are getting a voice in decisions that are being made.
Chair Ciocca stated that COSFL had basically disappeared over the last four or five years. This year we were able to get it started back up again.
REPORT FROM PROVOST: Senator Pogatshnik
During my time at EKU, it has been my great fortune to have Dr. Sara Zeigler as a friend and colleague, and she will be formally stepping into this role on July 1 of this year. I can’t imagine Academic Affairs to be in better hands.
Ryan Baggett has been appointed Dean of the Graduate School. I know that the Graduate School will continue to thrive under his leadership.
Our College Dean searches for the College of Business and the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences are well underway and candidate reviews will begin soon for both searches. The search for the Dean of the College of Justice, Safety and Military Science is proceeding as well. Please look for forthcoming announcements on candidates and interview schedules.
Congratulations to the newest EKU Foundation Professors: Dr. Myra Beth Bundy from the Department of Psychology, and Dr. Jennifer Spock from the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies.
As we look forward to Fall 21 and beyond, all of us need to be fully cognizant of the pressures on higher education and how they will affect our institution. EKU will need to rely on the creativity, innovation, and intellectual vitality of the faculty more than ever. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it is that our faculty are resilient and responsive. It is my sincere hope that all of us will continue working toward the “One Eastern” to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
Finally, it has been my extreme privilege and pleasure to work with so many distinguished faculty throughout my career at EKU. EKU is a special place. We do amazing things for our students, and we should take pride in this every day.
Academic Quality Committee. Senator Jones stated that the committee submitted their final report a couple of meetings ago.
Budget Committee. Senator Woodruff stated that the committee worked on the following charge this year:
Determine how exactly the current pandemic has changed revenue and expenses in athletics. If there is a significant disruption to FCS football, will this result in cost savings with regard to travel and lodging? What is the loss of revenue to EKU due to the loss of summer programs?
Results were shared with the Senate in March. The pandemic did disrupt football; however, it actually resulted in significant financial gain for EKU.
The committee suggests the following charge for next year:
Examine the pay structure for EKU faculty members. Currently we have not experienced cost of living allowance for several years and this does have significant issues when we try to hire new employees. A larger issue that has developed is that we have significant salary compression. This is when new hire assistant professors make close to the salary of full professors with tenure. This can even get as bad as salary inversion which is when new hires would actually make more. This discussion could also include the idea of salary floors for each level.
Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator McCardle reported the following.
- During Fall 2020, we had a part-time faculty election for a Senate representative.
- In February, we solicited a list of standing committee vacancies from Associate Provost Jennifer Wies.
- In March, we sent out a list of vacancies to Meagan Murray in the Office of Institutional Research for the dissemination of self-nomination forms to each college.
- Ballots with nominations was sent to faculty on April 8.
- On April 26, the committee will meet to verify the results and report the results.
Senator McCardle reminded that next year the committee will be working on the Faculty Regent election.
Information Technology Committee. Senator Nachtwey shared the year’s charges as well as a status report for each.
The 2020-21 IT Committee Charges were as follows:
- Provide summary of 2020 Faculty IT survey to Division of Information Technology and Faculty Senate.
STATUS: A summary of results of the 2020 EKU Faculty IT Survey was provided at the October 5th meeting of Faculty Senate, and a written report was submitted to CIO Jeff Whitaker. Key findings included: a call for more instruction to students on how to use in-class technologies; more tutorials for faculty on how to utilize Blackboard and Google. YouTube was identified as an increasingly important platform for instructional content. Finally, the survey highlighted faculty misunderstandings about the differences between synchronous and asynchronous online courses and the ways in which such courses should be listed in the Online Course Catalog.
- Monitor use of Google Forms as alternative to Turning Point for Faculty Senate Voting.
STATUS: While this was generally successful, we continued to encounter difficulties with a handful of faculty not having access to voting (but see (4) below).
- Coordinate with the Rules Committee to assess and update rules regarding voting.
STATUS: Near the end of the Fall semester, Senator Gooch of the Rules committee contacted the IT Committee to communicate that the Rules committee would like to continue using Google Forms to manage voting into the 2021-2022 academic year, even if meetings can take place face-to-face. Google Forms were felt to be marginally more efficient for voting than the Turning Point software, but the use of this open-web resource would represent a significant cost savings for the University. The IT Committee did end the year suggesting that the Rules Committee should develop a “provisional ballot” system for Senators having technical difficulties with Google Forms.
- Continue to provide IT support during Faculty Senate Meetings.
STATUS: Acknowledging the decision of the Rule Committee to continue using Google Forms, but cognizant of the issues some Senators had using the technology, the IT Committee drafted a Troubleshooting document to guide Senators in accessing forms. They also ended the year proposing that the University Division of IT might designate Faculty Senate liaison who could attend meeting to provide further technical support.
Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator McKinney reported that the committee continued to work on the Faculty Grievance Policy that had been started in a previous year. The Senate voted on our motion earlier today and the information will be reviewed by a drafting team in the fall. The Senate will have an opportunity to view the policy again when it moves through the vetting process after the drafting team has completed their work. AAUP Representative Nancy McKenney will serve as an excellent resource for the new Committee Chair related to this policy.
Rules Committee Report. Senator Kay reported the following:
- The committee worked with the Elections & Nominations Committee to clarify eligibility for the General Education Committee and other committees. The committee also collaborated with the Information Technology Committee to suggest an approach to voting to be used after the Faculty Senate returns to in-person meetings. In addition, the committee asked other committees to submit any needed updates to Internal Procedures; the Rules Committee moved one task from April to September, and no other committees submitted any changes.
- Rules Committee members reviewed the Faculty Handbook and faculty definitions. Associate Provost Jennifer Wies and Director of Policy Development Haley Norberg attended the March Rules Committee meeting. Haley Norberg noted that policies should not reference definitions in external documents, such as the Faculty Handbook. The Rules Committee determined that the discussion of faculty definitions should continue in 2021-2022 and that the senate-approved changes from 2019-2020 should be re-evaluated before being presented to the faculty. The committee will need to work with Jennifer Wies, Haley Norberg, John Dixon, and other relevant individuals to finalize the descriptions of faculty in the Faculty Handbook and consider whether it is necessary or beneficial for the Faculty Handbook to use the same terminology employed in policy documents and contracts. The Rules Committee will also need to clarify the explanation of term limits and edit punctuation in the handbook in 2021-2022.
The following are recommended charges for 2021-2022 for the Faculty Senate Rules Committee:
- Work with other relevant entities on campus to review and update definitions pertaining to faculty and any related references. Make sure the Elections & Nominations Committee knows these new definitions.
- Clarify explanation of term limits in the Faculty Handbook.
- Edit punctuation in the Faculty Handbook.
- Update Internal Procedures as needed.
Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Gremp stated that the committee was charged with exploring faculty health and well-being of faculty considering the ongoing challenges and demands during the Covid 19 pandemic. We worked with Human Resources to make sure that employees were aware of the services provided by the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through announcements about this as well as the various counseling opportunities in the EKU Today daily announcements.
Additional topics that arose throughout the remainder of the year included the following:
- Reported on employee health benefits –no change in premiums for 2020-2021.
- Obtained information about the role of the new Faculty Advocate to replace the Ombud position which was lost due to budget cuts. Dr. Polin addressed the Faculty Senate to explain this new role.
- Generated, at the request of the Provost, a list of possible ways to attract and retain retired faculty as instructors for various courses.
- Chair Gremp attended a Faculty Senate Budget Committee meeting which discussed the desire to address faculty salary issues. There is potential for an ad hoc committee for this.
- Sought clarification on Policy revision and creation from Haley Norberg, Director of Policy Development—awaiting information at this time.
- Met with Tim Matthews Executive Director, Office of e-Campus Learning, to gain clarification on various processes and relationship of eCampus programs within the university.
Below are potential charges for 2021-2022 academic year:
- Review internal procedures to ensure that a representative attends summer Benefits Meeting as outlined in committee duties.
- Continue contact with Budget Committee regarding faculty salary discussions.
Ad Hoc Committee on OERs. Senator Woodruff reported that the committee awarded $23,000 in grant funding to faculty this year to develop OERs. The projected annual savings to EKU students this year was $327,000.
Below are some future recommendations:
- Consider moving the ad hoc committee to a Senate Standing Committee or a University-wide Committee
- Work towards a completely zero textbook cost gen ed program by 2026
- Develop approximately five short, infographics to share university-wide over the fall semester
- Host an OER information week (Open Access Week - October 25-31) in collaboration with the library
- Explore other funding opportunities
In the good of the order discussion in a Council on Academic Affairs meeting, Dr. Wies charged the committee to bring a proposal to CAA in the fall for how we might implement a catalog designator, including best practices from other universities and recommendations for EKU.
Senator Marion moved to adjourn at approximately 4:45pm.
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