Minutes for October 5, 2020
The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, October 5, 2020 via Zoom. Chair Ciocca called the second meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The following members were absent:
* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ ALT Esther Randall attended for I. Powell
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Senator Woodruff moved approval of the September 14, 2020 organizational and regular minutes as written, seconded by Senator Schilling. Motion carried. (YES = 46 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 2 votes) (See Also: Individual Votes)
REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT: Senator McFaddin
Senator McFaddin shared the following information.
We have successfully responded to many of the challenges looming over the summer, meeting our goals to:
- offer in-person classes, on-campus programming, adapted athletic play, and residential housing for students
- lessen the impact of projected enrollment declines,
- manage the financial hits of the COVID-19 pandemic,
- and assure our faculty and staff could safely return to work or continue working remotely.
We have discovered opportunities for improvement and through it all, we have repeatedly reaffirmed our commitment at EKU to fulfill our mission of service to our students.
There are still several unknowns ahead. What we do know is that if we can collaborate and innovate possibilities are endless. Understandably, many of you have lingering questions related to the anticipated 8% cuts to our state allocation. I remind you the share of state funding in our overall budget has dwindled significantly, but this would still account for more than $5 million in decreased funding. This is still an estimate, and as soon as we have clearer information it will be communicated. We are currently developing a budget plan that looks for cost reductions or avoidances, but also areas we can invest in our programs and people. Our return to play for EKU Football is one example where a departure from normal operations does not always result in a net loss of revenue. With a non-OVC schedule, EKU Athletics has actually increased revenue opportunities. While there are additional COVID-19 related expenses, reductions in other areas will make many of these changes in revenue neutral or positive.
In terms of our course delivery during a pandemic, we are seeing gains here as well. Enrollment projections remain steady and we are adjusting advising and registration practices to allow full disclosure of how and where spring courses will be delivered to address some of the feedback received from students and faculty this semester. We are quite pleased to observe continued compliance with public health guidelines in our classrooms and campus facilities. To date, we have recorded less than 200 cumulative cases, less than 50 currently active cases reported as of last Friday. In terms of discipline related to compliance, we are managing only a small number of individuals or organizations requiring escalation of discipline procedures. To date the Dean of Students has reported:
- 363 COVID non-compliance reports.
- Most are for not wearing a mask and there are very few repeat offenders
- Educational sanctions for all but 4
- 4 students on university probation (means any further violations will result in suspension or eviction)
- 35 Organization Violations
- 11 are room reservation violations
- 3 organizations on university probation (means any further violations will result in organization suspension)
In the weeks ahead before on-campus courses wrap for Thanksgiving break, continue your commitment and diligence to mask-wearing, social distancing, good hygiene, and avoiding work or class when you are sick. As flu season approaches all of us are encouraged to get flu vaccines to limit the potential of a surge in both seasonal flu and COVID-19 this fall and winter. Employees have been notified of options for campus flu shot clinics, available at no cost to you, through our partnership with BluMine Health. Please refer to the schedule available here. The School of Nursing and Student Health Services will partner to deliver flu vaccines for students across campus, encourage your students to take advantage of this service as well.
Finally, Election Day is one month away. This is a University holiday in a Presidential election year. Please exercise your right to vote and plan the best option for you to cast your ballot safely.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dr. Dannie Moore, VP for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, was in attendance to provide a brief overview of his role and the different initiatives that are underway at the university. In addition, he announced that Dr. Roger Cleveland, Director of Faculty Diversity and Development, has been added to the staff to help lead some of the faculty initiatives.
Student Government Association. The new SGA President is Eyouel Mekonnen.
This year the Student Senate has an ambitious initiative to pass 50 pieces of legislation before the end of the semester. Some of the resolutions and legislations that have come up on the Senate floor so far include asynchronous classes, student representation, and financing student needs as it relates to technology and Zoom accounts. In the near future, there will be a new page posted on the SGA website listing the resolutions and legislations that have been reviewed. Contact Executive Vice President Nick Koenig if you would like to learn more about the Student Senate’s activities.
Policies for First Read. Chair Ciocca announced that the following two policies are presented for first read and will be on the November agenda for action.
- Policy 4.3.7 – Dual and Joint Degree Agreements between EKU and Other Institutions
- Policy 9.3.4 – Protection of Minors on Campus
Report from Council on Academic Affairs. Associate Provost Wies presented the following materials for consideration.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Curriculum and Instruction
- B.S. Middle Grade Education (5-9) Teaching
Update the MG English and Communications requirements to allow CMS 210 as an option for the supporting courses. In addition, two ENG courses need to be updated to reflect curriculum changes through the English Department. GLY 103 replaces GLY 102, and GEO 315 is removed as an option for middle grades science.
COLLEGE OF JUSTICE AND SAFETY
Fire Protection and Paramedicine Sciences
- B.S. in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology
Replace TEC 190-Technical Graphics (3) with AEM 195-Computer Aided Drafting (3) in FPSET degree supporting course requirements.
COLLEGE OF LETTERS, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Languages, Cultures, and Humanities
- B.A. Spanish
Revise B.A. in Spanish to replace SPA 206 with SPA 300 and revise upper-division credit hours needed.
- Certificate in Spanish Conversation and Culture
Revise program description; replaced a lower level course with an upper level course, and the credit requirements changed for both upper and lower division.
Senator Woodruff moved approval of items 1-4, seconded by Senator Crosby. Motion carried. (YES = 50 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 1 vote) (See also: Individual Votes)
Item #5 was presented as information only.
Election for COSFL representatives. Senator Woodruff self nominated to serve as representative while Senators Burns and Jarvis self nominated to serve as alternates. Senator Crosby moved to accept by acclamation, seconded by Senator Walz. Motion carried unanimously.
GENERAL & STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
REPORT FROM SENATE CHAIR: Senator Ciocca reported that the Executive Committee met on the 28th of September.
Senators Ciocca and Bishop-Ross are serving on a work group to determine guidelines that will need to be followed for different groups once campus facilities open back up again.
REPORT FROM FACULTY REGENT: Senator Marion shared the following information.
- Strategic Planning
At the last Senate meeting, a suggestion was made pertaining to faculty participation regarding the launch of the strategic planning process for going forward. The communication received was passed on to Drs. Jennifer Wies and Dr. Bethany Miller, who are co-chairing the process.
- Board of Regents Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for December 10.
- Consideration of Retired Faculty / Emeritus Faculty Returning to Classroom
As stated in the last meeting, the Board of Regents was obligated to end the retirement transition program (RTP). The issue of developing a replacement program that recognizes the valued talent of our retired faculty who do return to the classroom following a separation period was described at the Senate’s Executive Committee. The Provost conveyed genuine interest and that he has been already exploring options.
- Information from the Council on Post-Secondary Education (CPE)
The CPE will be hosting their second annual Higher EDquity Symposium on November 9-10 in partnership with the University of Louisville. This will be a virtual event with sessions and interactive activities addressing the latest topics on diversity, equity, and inclusion impacting higher education in Kentucky.
- Dual Credit in Kentucky
The CPE issued a report on a study of dual credit in Kentucky. A summary of the report was shared in one of their policy insights viewable here, and included in that summary is a statement indicating that Kentucky’s policymakers want all students to have some type of access to at least three general education dual-credit courses, and three career or technical dual-credit courses. Through a scholarship program, juniors or seniors can receive support for up to two college courses at no cost through college and/or career/technical education dual credit scholarships. More information on how dual-credit is being used in Kentucky with regards to enrollment is available on the dual-credit dashboard.
- Decline in Net Tuition and Auxiliary Revenue
Moody’s Investors Service provided information to Kentucky (and presumably other state higher education authorities around the nation) indicating that COVID-19 could result in a 5% to 13% decline in net tuition and auxiliary revenue in the near term. Although Kentucky modestly increased higher education support (0.7%) in FY2019-20, there were 45 other states that increased support more (as a percentage). The policy insight can be viewed here.
REPORT FROM PROVOST: Senator Pogatshnik shared a few brief announcements from Academic Affairs.
- Assurance of Learning Day
Last Friday, Dr. Wies and I were able to meet, either virtually or in person, with all of the academic departments during the Assurance of Learning day. There were a number of questions raised during these sessions on revisions to general education, support for scholarship, and how best to engage our students as the covid pandemic persists. Dr. Wies will be presenting an update on the General Education revisions to the Provost’s Council on Wednesday and will hopefully speak with the Faculty Senate soon.
- Faculty Advocate
With the recent loss of the Ombud position, President McFaddin and I have been discussing how we might maintain this service for the faculty. Dr. Beth Polin from the School of Business has agreed to take on the role of Faculty Advocate, starting October 1. Dr. Polin’s areas of expertise are in conflict management and negotiation and I’m confident in her ability to serve in this role. My sincere thanks to Dr. Polin for agreeing to take on this important function as a service to all faculty.
- Strategic Planning Process – Department/College Realignment
Discussions are underway with the Deans to consider possible realignments and consolidations among academic units to meet both budgetary and strategic objectives. These preliminary discussions will be on the agenda for Deans’ Council on Wednesday. Further updates to Senate will be provided as the process moves forward.
- Covid-19 and Attendance Policy Guidelines
With relation to Covid-19, the Contingency Group is putting together a list of revised guidelines for attendance policies. Those will be presented to the President’s Council tomorrow and if approved the faculty will be notified soon.
Academic Quality Committee. Senator Jones announced that she will be serving as chair again this year.
The committee is currently developing a survey for faculty which asks about the transition to fully online classes, what worked and what didn’t work. The survey should be finalized at the next meeting on October 12 and distributed to faculty in November.
Budget Committee. The committee is scheduled to meet on Monday for the first time this semester.
Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator McCardle announced that he will be serving as chair again this year. The committee is currently working on the part-time faculty representative election.
Information Technology Committee. Senator Nachtwey shared a link to the data collected from the spring 2020 Faculty IT Survey which was conducted in conjunction with the University IT department last April. The committee plans to meet with Jeff Whitaker in the University IT department to discuss several action items.
Senator Weise asked about the reliability of Wi-Fi access in the dorms as several students have complained about accessibility issues. Senator Nachtwey noted that one possible reason for issues is that some students abuse Wi-Fi by using it for online gaming and other kinds of activities which can cause the routers to fail. In response, Senator Weise asked if there is a current policy that regulates Wi-Fi usage in the dorms. Chair Ciocca announced that he would email Jeff Whitaker to ask about possible solutions.
Rules Committee Report. Senator Bishop-Ross announced that the first meeting will be next Monday.
Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Gremp was elected to serve as chair for the academic year.
Senator Gremp noted that the committee members would like to get clarification and guidance from the chair on how to proceed with their charge for the year.
Ad Hoc Committee on Open Textbook Resources. Senator Woodruff reported that the committee met earlier today. Almost all colleges are now represented on the committee. A volunteer is still needed from the College of Justice and Safety. Senator Pogatshnik suggested Brian Simpkins as a possible addition to the committee.
Chair Smith is serving on a committee for institutions that work through the CPE. They are working on applying for a federal open textbook pilot grant to get additional funding for more open access textbooks.
The PLC for the first OER grant cycle is underway. Chair Smith is working with Steve Shisley on an OER DEEP course module with the PLC.
Three sub groups (outreach, funding, and process) have been created to help streamline the process.
Senator Pogatshnik moved to adjourn at approximately 5:30pm.
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