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Minutes for March 7, 2022

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

The following members were absent:

J. Brent*^ P. Calie A. Cizmar
V. Grabeel M. Henton C. Hughes
J. Mayer J. McCardle S. Zeigler*

* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ ALT Betsy Matthews attended for J. Brent


Senator Walz moved approval of the February 7, 2022 minutes as written, seconded by Senator Kelley. Motion carried. (YES = 43 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 0 votes) (See also:  Individual Votes)


    A quick legislative update. We are expecting the Senate to release a budget later this week. All indications at this point are that we should, again, see another Chamber supporting a strategic investment of higher education in Kentucky. It will likely look a little different from the House, and a little different from the Governor and so the reconciliation process will begin likely early next week with the idea that a comprehensive conference committee budget would likely come out by the first of April.

    We have been fortunate institutionally to be able to host a few key events here on campus since the last time we were together--the 44th District Tournament and the Regional Tournament. These events provided a great opportunity to recruit students to EKU.

    On the enrollment front, we have surpassed both the applications and admits for all of last year. 

    We plan to have an open call to all faculty for a student recruitment seminar. We felt like there was some faculty at large who want to get more involved in recruitment and who want to understand what the best practices are and how to make good use of the kind of tools available. So, we’re planning to schedule about a two-hour seminar on an upcoming Friday morning. More details will be shared when available.

    There are 92 submitted applications for the President's Excellence Awards, so we will be spending the better part of spring break vetting those nominations. Finalists will be recognized at our award ceremony on Wednesday April 27 along with some of our milestone EKU employees as we have an opportunity to celebrate excellence at EKU.

    The search window for the College of Health Sciences dean has been extended for a few more weeks. The search for the College of Education dean will probably start sometime in the summer.

    Please mark your calendars for the presidential installation on Friday, April 29. There will also be a number of activities going on during that week that build around student success and academic excellence.

    A special thanks to Dr. Blair as we hosted the FBLA here on campus last week with about 400 students. I think we are the only school who provided school visit tours while they were here.

    Graduation is on Friday, May 13. We will be doing two outdoor ceremonies at Roy Kidd stadium. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate but we will have weather plans intact just in case.

    We continue to monitor the covid rates. The positivity rate continues to decline and Madison County has now moved into the moderate category from the high category. If covid numbers continue to fall moving into the spring break week, we may try to relax some of the additional restrictions.


    Provost Zeigler shared the following in her written report.

    Facilitator threshold update: Per the announcement on Friday, e-campus facilitator thresholds will be lowered to 30 (undergraduate) and 25 (graduate), effective July 1, 2022. This decision was made in response to input from faculty and coordinators and after careful review of budgets and reductions that covered the costs.

    Hiring process: The Spring position requests have been reviewed and departments notified as to which positions were approved. Deadlines for the Fall cycle will be released within the next week.

    Tenure and Promotion: Applications for tenure and promotion have been reviewed, notifications have been sent to the faculty members, and, subject to the President’s approval, all candidates will be on the Board of Regents’ agenda for approval in June.

    Upcoming events and activities:

    • Faculty Leadership Institute: March 11 (in-person) and April 22 (virtual). Please register at
    • Provost’s Faculty Internship Program - FY 2022-2023: Please consider applying for this new program! The program has been designed to provide rich leadership experiences for faculty who seek to influence the institution and participate in meaningful shared governance, as well as those who are interested in exploring roles as academic administrators.


    SGA Report. Ms. Jenna Smith reported the following:

    • SGA is launching a month-long campaign to increase awareness of mental health and mental health resources.
      • Last week a kickoff event was held where students could come make stress balls, take a yoga class, and get information from different groups on campus on how to access those resources.
      • A social media campaign is scheduled this week to highlight those resources.
      • Sweatshirts will be given away at different times. Information is available on Instagram.
    • Two weeks ago, the dinner with the university president and the SGA president was well received. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and air concerns. 
    • SGA has formed a committee to work on outreach efforts so that students know how to access student leadership as well as university leadership.
    • Last week, the Student Senate appropriated $20,000 to registered student organizations.
      • NOTE: Faculty and/or departments can also request money from the IT fund for IT-related expenditures. Requests must be received by this week. Send to If not this year, remember that opportunity is available again in the fall.
    • An invitation is extended to attend our executive debates on Tuesday at 7pm in Combs Ferrell Auditorium.
    • SGA elections will be on March 22 from 8am to 6pm.
    • Safe Sex Bingo is scheduled for Wednesday night in the Ravine.


    Academic Regulation 11.3.2 – Information Technology and Data Governance. Chair Crosby announced that Academic Regulation 11.3.2 has been posted for comments.



    The Executive Committee met on February 21 and received reports from Standing Committee liaisons. Faculty Welfare is compiling and reviewing data from the recent survey of full-time faculty and will present their report at our April 4th meeting.

    Meetings of the Problem Solvers group (myself, Regent Marion, Vice Chair Kay and Provost Zeigler) continue to be productive. There will be clarification to Deans and Department Chairs that the Senate Vice Chair is to receive ¼ reassigned time.

    Some positive news—as of now, faculty who retire will be given free parking privileges on campus in Employee zones. Those in the process of retiring are guided through how to enroll, and faculty who have previously retired should contact HR if they would like to take advantage of this benefit.


    The next scheduled quarterly meeting of the Board of Regents is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14.

    The most recent Board of Regents meeting was on Friday, February 25. The Board agenda along with prior Board agendas can be viewed at: Highlights are described below:

    Student Success/Programming Update:
    [See Board Agenda Book, pdf pages 4-12]

    • Updates were given on the estimated number of student participants at Exceptional Eastern Experience (E3) events, as well as a presentation of the different types of E3 event offerings from this academic year including a focus on those programs reflecting upon and celebrating diversity and/or inclusivity.
    • Updates on the positive social media traction related to the T-Pain concert (Fall 2021) and upcoming Pete Davidson event (March 24) were presented.
    • New high-profile E3 events for students for Fall 2022 that are already generating substantial earned social media attention include a Welcome Week Concert with rapper-songwriter Wake Flocka Flame, as well as other programming in the semester with Saturday Night Life stars Ego Nwodim and Heidi Gardner, country music artist Tenille Arts, and singer-songwriter Tai Verdes.

    Student Success/Recruitment & Retention Update
    [See Board Agenda Book, pdf pages 15-20]

    • The Fall 2022 goal for New First-Time Freshman (NFTFs) was announced as 2,750. In context, this goal exhibits planned momentum towards EKU becoming the school of first-choice among Kentuckians seeking a rich undergraduate student experience. Specifically, there were 2,531 NFTFs this current academic year (as of September 23) which was a 10% increase over Fall 2020, and Fall 2021 was the first positive NFTF report in six years.
    • Currently, over 7,967 applications have been submitted, representing a year-over-year increase of 18%.
    • The university has admitted 6,752 potential new students, representing a 20% increase year-over-year.
      • Supporting these admitted students to get to the enrollment process will remain vital to achieving goals.
      • *To see enrollment data in near real-time, visit EKU’s Data Page at
    • Retention continues to be monitored closely as new initiatives are in progress around One-Stop Student Services and innovations in the Freshman Experience.

    Academic Affairs Update:
    [See Academic Affairs Report from Board Meeting]

    • The Provost gave updates on three Dean searches/appointments, faculty collaborative work, and highlighted faculty and students.
    • Integrated Behavioral Health: EKU has adopted a more intentional effort at collaborative work to respond to and hopefully be proactive towards addressing the existing mental health crisis impacting EKU and the nation. Resources are being pooled together integrating the Psychology Clinic, Counseling Center, and Student Health Services with executive leadership of the Integrated Behavioral Health by Dr. Dustin Wygant in collaboration with Dr. Theresa Botts, Dr. Melissa Bartsch, and Dr. Brenda Caudill.
    • Developing Single Entry Point at EKU for Mental Health Services: Relocating Psychology Clinic to Rowlett, proximal to EKU Student Health.
    • A total of six new cross-college collaborations were announced with approximately 15 faculty coming together to enhance student satisfaction, retention, career success, and research collaboration on data use.
    • A formal center designation was given to the Center for Outdoor Education and Research which gives EKU’s Natural Areas and many cross-college faculty/students and programs to work together more to leverage these resources for obtaining external funds and generating new forms of interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • College, student, and faculty highlights were also provided.

    Budget/Financial Update:
    [See Board Agenda Book, pdf pages 23-28]

    • Revenues were reported as up from last year, which were influenced by $6.5M additional dollars from tuition and fees and $5M more in state appropriations.
    • Expenses are also up from last year, led by $5.1M increase for instruction, $2.5M increase for student services, $9.2M in institutional support, and $1.2M in scholarships.
    • Auxiliary revenues are currently exceeding expenses and are currently adding financial value to the university.

    Development/Advancement/Alumni Engagement Update:
    [See Board Agenda Book, pdf pages 30-36]

    • The Foundation’s Endowment Market Value is or was at an all-time high ($94M) - far surpassing last year’s value ($69.8M). The value is dynamic reflecting new inputs and changes in overall market performance.
    • The Make No Little Plans Capital Campaign raised $56M as of the end of 2021, which exceeded the $50M goal.
    • The Foundation is actively allocating $2.4M towards the university this year.
    • EKU’s Giving Day is Wednesday, April 13, and EKU’s Keeneland Day is April 14
    • EKU is planning to celebrate the capital campaign success in late September.

    Athletics & Campus Recreation Update:
    [See Board Agenda Book, pdf pages 38-57]

    • Performance updates on academic and competition success of teams were presented.
    • EKU Student-Athletes had an average fall GPA of 3.17, which was the highest fall term GPA for EKU Student-Athletes.
    • 11 of 14 teams earned a 3.0 or better team GPA last Fall.
    • EKU will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Title IX throughout the 2022-2023 academic year
    • Revenues are up in Athletics 182% from last year’s unusual year with a 40% increase having been observed in Football attendance, including a recent single game high mark in student attendance not observed since 2016.

    Government Relations:
    The legislative update given by Ethan Witt was very positive in regard to likely increases to the university’s operating budget and asset preservation fund. The status on both capital budget priorities (Alumni Coliseum and Model Lab School) also remains favorable. Final decisions and actions on the state budget by the legislature and the Governor will likely not be fully known until the session ends in April. The Board and EKU was also commended by Ethan and legislators for such a strong showing at Colonels at the Capitol, as EKU is the only institution in Kentucky that sends such a large delegation to interact with elected officials in such an intentional and direct way.

    Faculty Senate Report:
    [Board Agenda Book, pdf page 58]

    • Senator Crosby’s report included general Senate information items including a compact budget report weblink to the Faculty Senate’s Budget Committee’s work as presented by Senator Don Yow, Faculty Senate Budget Chair.

    Board Innovation Fund:

    • The Board approved three faculty ideas that have the potential to materialize into commercializable intellectual property for the university. Dr. LiLi Zyzak (Chemistry), Dr. Thomas Jarvis (Physics), and Dr. Jamie Fredericks (Chemistry) represented the faculty exquisitely well.

    CPE Update: Not part of the Board meeting, but part of general information sharing to regents statewide, please know that the CPE President, Dr. Aaron Thompson, gave a State of Higher Education address and led a panel with Kentucky education leaders on Wednesday, February 9th at 11:30 a.m. More information is available at the CPE webpage or by checking out the CPE’s YouTube channel.

    • The Higher Education Matters campaign is underway and CPE is looking for ways to have advocates for higher education assist. More details will be in an upcoming message to the faculty at-large in a Faculty Regent Update.
    • Learn more about how Kentucky is trying to better articulate the value of higher education at the following link:


    Academic Quality Committee. Senator Sands reported that the committee continues to work on the charge of assessing online education pre-pandemic through pandemic to the present. Provost Ziegler will be attending our meeting this month so that we can touch base with her and get her input as the administrative lead for academics for the university. We anticipate a final report to Senate in April.

    Elections & University Nominations CommitteeSenator Meiners reported that the forum for Faculty Regent was held via Zoom on March 1. The link for the election ballot has been distributed and voting remains open until 4:30pm this Friday.

    Information Technology Committee. The committee last met on March 3. Senator Hight stated that they now have a Google drive set up which will house all of the committee’s communications including Senate votes on motions so that everything is centrally located and easily accessible by current and future committee members.

    Our next meeting is scheduled for March 31.

    A brief update on the status of new laptops for faculty. The RFP has been submitted and they are waiting for bids.  However, with the current shortages this is taking much longer than anticipated.  Provided the supply chain increases, the new rollout should begin by the end of summer.

    Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator Nachtwey reported that the committee met on February 10 and talked about following up on revisions to the Faculty Grievance policy which has been on hold for a while. Dana Fohl from University Council informed us policies are at a standstill until a new hire is in place. Once the new person is on board, the Executive Committee of Faculty Senate will be contacted to set up a drafting team to work on the Faculty Grievance policy.

    We also discussed another issue that came up in response to the Budget Committee’s report from last month. The loss of 67 full-time faculty positions over the last five years is an alarming number. We would like the Provost in Academic Affairs to make sure that the academic mission of the university has not been harmed by that, and we would also like to see more detailed information of where those positions were lost.

    Rules Committee Report. Senator Kay announced that the committee is wrapping up their charge to review Part 7 in the Faculty Handbook and the Senate Internal Procedures. A report should be available by the next meeting.

    Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Blair thanked everyone for completing the Faculty Welfare Committee survey. A large number of responses was received from both full-time and part-time faculty. The committee is in the process of cleaning the data and starting to run some preliminary analyses. Once a draft report is available, it will be shared with other committees and stakeholders for feedback. A final report should be available to present to Senate soon.


    Senator Burns moved to adjourn at approximately 4:15pm, seconded by Senator Bishop-Ross.

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