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Minutes for February 7, 2022

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, February 7, 2022 via Zoom. Chair Crosby called the fifth meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m. 

The following members were absent:

J. Brent*^ A. Cizmar*^ K. Foltz
F. Sands*^    

* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ ALT Betsy Matthews attended for J. Brent
^ ALT Matthew Howell attended for A. Cizmar
^ ALT Catherine Edwards attended for F. Sands


Senator Winslow moved approval of the December 6, 2021 minutes, seconded by Senator Kelley. Motion carried.  (YES = 49 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 2 votes) (See also:  Individual Votes)


Legislative Update
The Legislative Session is in full swing. I am pleased by the prioritization of higher education in both Governor Beshear’s proposed budget and the budget that passed out of the House last month. We are currently working with the Senate to move a variety of bills forward as well as some key budget projects forward. The EKU budgetary highlights are:

  • Asset preservation - This will allow us to address maintenance issues on campus. The list of projects is lengthy and this will not repair all of our needs, however, it will make a substantial difference in our most needed places on campus. 
  • Model Laboratory School Construction - This project will support the connectivity between our College of Education, Model Lab, and Burrier Child Development Center by creating a space where we can lead the way in the PreK-12 educator preparation. 
  • Alumni Coliseum Renovation - As the front door for our students on campus, the home of the Bratzke Center and our hands-on classroom for students in broadcasting and sports medicine, this project will address much-needed deferred maintenance on the facility while providing a space for multipurpose use for our students and community. 
  • Full funding of our KERS pension liability subsidy. 
  • Nearly $50 million in new performance funding in each year of the biennium. 
  • Increase in the College Access Program (CAP), Kentucky Tuition Grant Program, and Work Ready Scholarship Program 

EKU Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations Ethan Witt has done an excellent job helping to plan our Colonels at the Capitol this Thursday. If you have questions regarding any of our legislative positions, please contact Ethan at or 859-622-6220.

COVID-19 Update
Campus health and wellbeing continue to be a top priority as we learn to live with COVID-19 and its variants. We continue to provide KN-95 masks to those faculty and staff that request them. In addition, we are providing testing and vaccinations through Student Health Services.

We will continue contract tracing those students in residential spaces. All other positive students, faculty, and staff should continue to follow the guidelines of the CDC.

Fundraising Goal Exceeded
I want to commend the work of our Alumni Development team who recently announced the end of the Make No Little Plans Campaign. This campaign was the largest and most ambitious fundraising effort in EKU’s history and has exceeded its $50 million goal. This ensures that we can maintain and strengthen our excellence in academic programs, student success and campus revitalization. This effort allows us to enhance opportunities for professional development, reward innovative research and promote applied classroom learning. We know that through investing in our faculty, we will continue to achieve academic excellence. 

President’s Excellence Awards
Serving as president of an institution with faculty and staff who provide excellence daily is inspiring. We want to recognize those in our campus community who demonstrate excellence in leadership, engagement, hospitality, philanthropy, diversity and inclusion, and innovation during our first-ever President’s Excellence Awards on Wednesday, April 27. The ceremony will be held on the main stage of the EKU Center for the Arts. I invite you to nominate a deserving colleague or yourself for the award. Winners receive an award and $2,500. Nominations are due Friday, February 25. Visit the President’s Excellence Awards website for criteria and nomination information. 

Presidential Installation
I am excited about the upcoming Presidential Installation, and more importantly the campus-wide celebration of our institution. Mark your calendars for the week of April 25, 2022, and specifically the Installation day of Friday, April 29, 2022. The installation theme, One Eastern, will play triple duty and also serve as the mantra for our Strategic Plan and the upcoming fundraising campaign. 

Strategic Planning
This month we will begin the faculty-based portion of the strategic planning process. I want to encourage everyone to think about the areas of Knowledge, Innovation, and Transformation. This will be the foundation of our strategic plan but it will also be the barometer by which we will measure employee performance. I encourage you to be thoughtful and participatory in your division's planning process. 

All “A” Classic
Alumni Coliseum once again served as host to the All “A” Classic basketball tournament. Despite the winter storm, we still hosted a record number of students and parents, many from our EKU service region. Showcasing all that EKU has to offer potential students is the main reason why we invest time and resources into this event. We know that getting potential students and their families to physically visit campus is a great recruiting tool. Thank you to those of you who volunteered to serve at this year’s event.


Faculty position requests for spring have been finalized and the list of those approved will be shared within the next day or so.

Last week an email was sent out about the cross-college collaboration and interdisciplinary projects that were funded by Academic Affairs. Six projects were funded, and I’m working on trying to find some resources for some of the others that weren't able to be funded this time. On the next round, I hope to send out information a little earlier so that no one is working on them over break.

Last week we had dean candidates for the College of Business on campus. There are two more candidates coming tomorrow and the next day. The surveys have been re-opened for the first two to make sure that folks have an opportunity to watch the recordings and provide feedback. All of the surveys will be open until Friday, February 11.

College of Health Sciences’ dean search is underway. The search committee is doing an initial review of the applications. Recruitment will probably be extended for another week. Updates will be shared as additional information becomes available.

There are 53 people signed up to attend the Colonels at the Capitol event, so EKU will be well represented on Thursday.

The Faculty Leadership Institute is scheduled for two Fridays this spring semester--March 11 and April 22. The session on March 11 will be an in-person option which includes a breakfast and a reception at the end and the April 22 session will be held virtually. Rusty Carpenter is the contact person for the events. The registration link is available at Focus areas will be navigating leadership challenges, and student achievement, conflict management resilience, and building effective teams.


SGA Report. Ms. Jenna Smith reported the following:

  • E-3 is hosting Pete Davidson, a well-known comedian, on Thursday, March 24 at 8pm in the EKU Center for the Arts. Tickets go on sale to the public on February 24.
  • SGA annually hosts a diversity week, but this year we are changing it to Diversity Days to host throughout the month of February. The schedule will be posted on Instagram and our website when finalized.
  • We are expanding our Mental Health Week to be Mental Health Month. Please let me know if you or your colleagues or department would like to participate in this initiative.
  • Our spring RSO funds will be distributed on February 22.
  • SGA is working on an initiative called Bring Back the Fun which is an endeavor to find creative ways to make the student center in the Powell building more inviting for students.
  • SGA will be hosting Dinner with the President at Case Dining Hall on February 24 and March 31 from 5pm to 7pm. This event will provide an opportunity for the president to answer questions and address student concerns.
  • SGA elections will be held on March 22. 


Tenure and Promotion Documents for Review. Senator Crosby introduced the following documents for information only. He encouraged the senators to review, share with their colleagues, and forward comments on to Dr. Jennifer Weis, Associate Provost for Academic Programs.

Academic Regulation 4.1.11 – Awarding Incomplete Grades. Senator Crosby announced that Regulation 4.1.11 – Awarding Incomplete Grades is currently open for the 10-day public comment period. Please share with your colleagues.

Information Technology Committee Vacancy. Senator Streetman nominated Senator Couvillon. Senator Winslow moved to accept by acclamation, seconded by Senator McGuffin.

Detailed Presentation on the Budget. This year the Budget Committee was charged with working closely with the VP for Finance to review EKU’s budget from the past 5 fiscal years and then produce a compact budget report focusing on major categories such as Academics (including eCampus), Administration, Athletics, Infrastructure, and contracted services (mailroom, Aramark), in broad terms, and as percentages of the budget. Senator Yow presented the committee’s final report. Chair Crosby thanked the committee for their excellent work.



The Executive Committee met a couple of weeks ago and briefly discussed the promotion and tenure documents.

The Rules Committee asked for clarification on the term limits for members of the Senate and how that applies to term limits for the Chair. The current language leaves a loophole whereas a senator who has completed three terms could then be elected as chair for an additional one or two years. I stated that the Senate chair should operate within the same term limits as the senators and should not be able to get extra time on Senate just by being elected chair. The Rules Committee will discuss the issue further and may bring a recommendation forward to change that language later in the semester.

The deadline for the Faculty Welfare Committee report to Senate has been extended until April 1 because the faculty survey was just recently distributed. Please encourage your colleagues to complete the survey because that could be very helpful information as the committee puts together the report on faculty feelings about compensation issues.

The Faculty Regent election is coming up later in March. The Elections and University Nominations Committee will share more about this in their report.


The most recent meeting of the Board of Regents was on Thursday, December 9th in the Powell Building. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 25th. The agenda for the upcoming meeting will likely become available around February 18th.

Highlights from the December 9 meeting are as follows:

  1. The Board approved the following: (1) $1,000 Performance Distribution Payment, (2) $500 Healthy You Vaccine Incentive Payment, (3) Experience Excellence Strategic Plan, and (4) the return of men’s and women’s tennis as a sponsored sport.
    • For persons who have not yet received the vaccine incentive payment, the university encourages eligible vaccinated persons to upload their vaccination information before February 28. As of the December Board meeting, the university estimated at least 85% of full-time faculty and staff were vaccinated. 
  2. Other Updates from the Board Meeting
    • Dr. Betina Gardner announced that the Make No Little Plans fundraising campaign exceeded its $50 million goal at the end of June 2021
    • Dr. Bryan Makinen indicated that the Eastern Bypass Pedway should wrap up and open this semester and there’s some ongoing planning/ideas on how to best update the Powell Plaza area
  3. Discussion/Acceptance of President’s Performance Evaluation
    • A brief summary of the evaluation was provided. Overall, the President consistently was rated as being effective or very effective in overall performance across all constituency groups. The President along with his administration and the university at-large were commended for having the first increase in fall freshmen enrollment in six years, which was accomplished during his first year in the position. The President was consistently identified across all groups as being a highly effective and passionate representative of the university in all settings, especially government relations. The President’s unique experiential authority to speak as a first-generation college graduate and EKU alumnus from Kentucky at-large and Appalachian Kentucky was deemed as an ongoing strength.
    • The Board recognized and shares a desire for market-competitive compensation for faculty and staff, and acknowledged the strides by the administration in this area. Overall, from July through December 2021, with the President’s leadership, the university added $5.1 million in employee compensation, and the President with Board support remains committed to making more progress in this area
    • Overall, the review was favorable, and it was apparent the President has support from university boards, external stakeholders, faculty, staff and students.
  4. Supporting/Supplemental Documents Received
    • Annual Report 2020-2021, which summarizes the prior calendar year, is an excellent document for reflection of what was accomplished at the university in the midst of a pandemic.
    • The Economic Impact of Eastern Kentucky University: 2021 by Dr. James Maples, Kobe Perry, and Dr. James Blair, demonstrated the value of EKU to Kentucky and our local economy. The document provided a key finding, whereby the researchers estimate “EKU generates $580.63 million dollars in university, student, and visitor expenditures each year, supporting over 6,600 jobs and $247.01 million in labor income in Madison County and the region.” The document was also a true testament of the value of our faculty as the report was generated in-house by our colleagues for a fraction of the price such an important policy-impacting document would cost on the private market. Kudos to Dr. Maples and Dr. Blair and their student researcher (Kobe Perry) for representing the academic enterprise so effectively.

CPE Update: The CPE President, Dr. Aaron Thompson, will be giving a State of Higher Education address and leading a panel with Kentucky education leaders on Wednesday, February 9th at 11:30 a.m. No registration is necessary. More information is available at the CPE webpage. The event will also be archived on the CPE’s YouTube channel.

Lastly, members of the Board of Regents continue to monitor the legislative session and the Board has been kept apprised through the updates shared by the President with the campus community. The proposed investments in higher education this session are very significant; however, the budget discussions among legislators remain very fluid. On Thursday, February 10, Regents along with other university and local leaders will participate in Colonels at the Capitol whereby our community can collectively educate and support our legislative partners and state leaders with recognizing the importance of the proposed investments in Eastern Kentucky University and statewide higher education, not only for our local community, but also the citizenry, and the future of the Commonwealth.


COSFL and AAUP met jointly on January 7. Stephanie Lamore, Government Relations Specialist for the national AAUP organization, was our guest speaker. Kentucky is one of the states that Ms. Lamore has identified as a priority, because of Anti-CRT bills that were pre-filed in the Assembly before session started. These bills were filed later as House Bill 14 and 18.

State Representative and Western Kentucky Professor Patti Mintor also attended the COSFL meeting, and she encouraged all members and faculty to write emails to their individual legislators with any concerns related to the pre-filed house bills. However, pre-filed bills may never make it out of subcommittees. So, it may be best to wait and see what happens before doing anything further.

Members were encouraged to attend the Rally for Truth for Education at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday January 12.


Academic Quality Committee. Senator Kay stated that the committee met on January 31 and continues to work on a report on instruction, in particular with regard to formats of instruction that are currently being used on campus. A final report should be available before the end of the semester.

Elections & University Nominations CommitteeSenator Meiners announced that the deadline for the petitions to self-nominate for the Faculty Regent Election is Friday February 18 at 4:30pm. The committee will vet the petition signings and then plan to have the forums via Zoom on February 28 and also on March 1, if necessary, depending on the number of self-nominees. Voting will begin in early March and run through March 11.

Information Technology Committee. Senator Hight reported that the committee met on Thursday February 3. They are still working on compiling a video services usage survey which will be sent out soon to the faculty for comments.

Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator Nachtwey announced that their next meeting will be on Thursday.

Rules Committee Report. Senator Bishop-Ross stated that the committee will work on clarifying the language on what happens if you become chair at the end of your 3-term limits. We are also continuing to clarify other language in part seven of the Faculty Handbook.

A recent major accomplishment for our committee was getting a list of adjunct faculty for our part time representative, so she can share regular updates about Senate business and find out part time faculty needs.

Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Blair reminded that Chair Crosby recently distributed their faculty survey on compensation issues. Prior to the start of this meeting, we had collected 199 responses. Please encourage your colleagues to complete the survey. This data will be really helpful for us in moving forward in making recommendations.

Ad Hoc Committee on OERs. Senator Marion announced that the OER Committee met just before the semester started and awarded seven faculty members with about $15,000 total for those OER resources which will benefit 1300 students per year and generate an ongoing substantial savings. By further expanding the use of OER resources where practical and where quality can be maintained, it could really generate savings that, hopefully, would get reallocated back towards scholarships or towards maintaining our teaching faculty.


Senator Kelley moved to adjourn at approximately 5pm, seconded by Senator Walz.

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