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Minutes for April 4, 2022

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, April 4, 2022 via Zoom. Chair Crosby called the seventh meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members were absent:

R. Bishop-Ross* J. Blair* J. Brent*^
T. Couvillon J. George S. McGuffin*^

* Indicates prior notification of absence
^ ALT Betsy Matthews attended for J. Brent
^ ALT Tracy Stepanyan attended for S. McGuffin


Senator Walz moved approval of the March 7, 2022 minutes as written, seconded by Senator Feltus. Motion carried. (YES = 46 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See also:  Individual Votes)


Legislative Update
The Kentucky legislature placed a significant amount of resources in higher education initiatives this session, with EKU securing funding in several key areas. These items are included in the compromise budget proposal between the House and the Senate and all are awaiting signature on Governor Andy Beshear’s desk.

  • Model Laboratory School: $90,000,000 to construct a new Model Lab School in year 2 of the biennium (July 1, 2023)
  • Performance Funding Model: $97,307,100 in FY 2022-23 and $97,307,100 in FY 2023-24 to fund the performance funding model. This is a significant increase over current levels.
  • Alumni Coliseum: $31 million
  • Employer Contribution: $8,909,700 in FY 2022-23 and $8,023,100 in FY 2023-24 to cover the KERS employer contribution cost increase. This represents 100% and 90% respectively of the total cost increase.
  • KCFEF: $300,000 is being transferred from the Kentucky Coal Field Endowment Fund to fund Clay County Eastern Kentucky University Scholarships at EKU Manchester.
    • $100,000 in the current fiscal year; $100,000 in FY 2022-23; $100,00 in FY 2023-24
  • Center for the Arts: $200,000 in FY 2022-23 for Center for the Arts.
  • Approval to issue additional agency bonds to renovate residence halls.
  • Budget language was added requiring collaboration between EKU’s College of Education and Model Lab to advance childhood education in the Commonwealth.

Strategic Planning Process

The first phase of the strategic planning process is ending. Currently, the team is reviewing those plans and will begin formalizing documents.

COVID Update
National, state and local data show significant declines in COVID infection rates and health care utilization related to COVID. In Madison County and on campus, we have reduced COVID infection rates to a manageable level where indoor masking is considered optional so we currently are operating under a campus-wide mask optional status. We will remain diligent in protecting the health of our EKU community and will adapt as necessary.

EKU will continue to adhere to the Commonwealth’s current guidelines for isolation and quarantine as conditions warrant. We also will continue to provide surgical-style and KN-95 masks to those who wish to have that masking option.

While contact tracing efforts were vital during the early months of the pandemic, we are now transitioning away from contact tracing and asking members of the EKU community to continue to notify those they have been in close contact with during the infectious period.

All members of our campus community should continue to self-report through the self-monitoring tab located on EKU Direct. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms, has tested positive, or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus should utilize this form so that we can continue to monitor its containment

Presidential Installation
I am looking forward to celebrating the long-standing tradition of the Presidential Inauguration. I cannot extend my appreciation enough to the Installation Committee for their hard work on the ceremony. Visit the full installation schedule at

In particular, please mark your calendar for Friday, April 29, 9 a.m. at the EKU Center for the Arts. The ceremony provides an opportunity for me to share my vision for the future of our great institution as we celebrate being One Eastern. The reason the theme “One Eastern” was chosen is because we want to remind our community that we are working together toward one goal: to provide a transformational experience for all who walk through our gates.

I am proud to serve as the 14th president of this institution and will remain focused on leading with excellence and innovation. I trust that you will join us in this tradition.

Recognition ceremonies for our spring graduates will occur Friday, May 13 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Roy Kidd Stadium. I know that many of you will want to celebrate this monumental occasion with our students, some of whom probably never thought they would get over this finish line. It’s important to recognize every student who walks across that stage because it is now that their lives may now commence into greatness.


The College of Health Sciences dean candidates are on campus today, tomorrow, Thursday and then April 21st. Please participate in the open forums. They are in virtual format so you can participate from wherever is convenient for you. Your input is invaluable in helping us reach a good decision and making an offer to the right candidate. The survey links should be available soon and they will remain open for at least a week to give you ample time to provide your input on those candidates.

In terms of the College of Education and Applied Human Sciences, Gill Hunter will serve as Interim Dean for the coming year. We hope to have a permanent dean in place by July 1, 2023. The search committee is chaired by Jeremy Mulholland and Kim Puckett and they are going to be leading a series of open sessions for faculty members both inside and outside of that college as well as for other constituents to determine what the composition of the search committee should be and how we should frame the leadership profile. We want to get a lot of information from those constituents prior to making those decisions. Those will probably start as soon as next week. For those of you who work in teaching programs that are housed outside of that college, it is particularly important that we get your input as well. In addition, the co-chairs will hold some open office hours for individual input if that is desired. 

I am continuing to have meetings with every department on campus to gather information about faculty concerns and issues that may need to be addressed. I still have nine visits left between today and April 20th.

Below are upcoming dates for activities within Academic Affairs:

  • Scholars Week runs from April 4 – April 15
    • Faculty Awards and Recognitions Ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5th at 5pm. Wine and snacks will be served
    • University Presentation Showcase is on April 13th
    • Dr. Holden Thorp will be the keynote speaker on Thursday April 14th.
  • Deadline for faculty internship applications is April 15th.
  • Ken Bain Virtual Workshop is on April 19th from 10am to 12pm.

Senator Nachtwey stated that after the Budget Committee report a couple of months ago the Rights and Responsibilities Committee met to discuss the report and were alarmed that there was 67 full-time faculty lines that were lost over the period covered by the report. The committee wondered about the means by which all of those faculty lines were lost and if that loss is sustainable in terms of the academic mission of the university going forward. In response, Provost Zeigler stated that during that time there was some major budget retrenchments and those lines would have been lost through attrition, mostly due to faculty retirement. In addition, enrollment was also down by about 3000 students in that same time period. If our enrollment recovers, we will need to staff appropriately to meet those enrollments and to handle the workload.


Student Government Association Report. Ms. Jenna Smith introduced President-Elect Paige Murphy and Executive Vice President-Elect Travis Pendygraft.

In addition, she shared the following SGA highlights.

  • Safety Week, a new initiative, is scheduled for April 11th to 15th.
  • Earth Week will be on April 18th to 22nd. 
  • JP Saxe will be in concert at EKU on April 30th


Report from Council on Academic Affairs. Associate Provost Wies presented 32 items for approval. (12 new certificates, 6 program revisions, and 14 new courses)

Senator Winslow moved to combine all 32 items into one motion and approve, seconded by Senator Johnson. Motion carried. (YES = 47 votes | NO = 0 votes  | ABSTAIN = 3 votes) (See also: Individual Votes)

Faculty Senate Resolution on Cancelling Student Debt. Senator Winslow stated the resolution is being proposed by Debt Collective and is supported by AAUP. Their hope is to have support from faculty senates across the nation. Senator Winslow updated the sample received to include EKU’s information and moved to support the resolution, seconded by Senator Nachtwey.

Senator Price moved to postpone further discussion to the May Senate meeting, seconded by Senator Kelley. Motion carried. (YES = 44 votes | NO = 2 votes | ABSTAIN = 4 votes) (See also: Individual Votes)

Nominations for Faculty Senate Chair. Senator Streetman nominated Richard Crosby for chair for the 2022-23 academic year. Senator Johnson moved to close nominations and accept by acclamation, seconded by Senator Walz. Motion carried. (By hand vote: 41)

Nominations for Faculty Senate Vice Chair. Senator Jones nominated Lisa Kay for vice chair for the 2022-23 academic year. Senator Johnson moved to close nominations and accept by acclamation, seconded by Senator Cizmar. Motion carried. (By hand vote: 44)

Faculty Senate Meeting Location for 2022-2023. Senator Bussan moved to continue with Senate meetings through Zoom next year, seconded by Senator Buck. Motion carried. (YES = 43 votes | NO = 7 votes | ABSTAIN = 2 votes) (See also: Individual Votes)

As our meetings will continue through Zoom, Regent Marion suggested that the Senate leadership should work with either the president or the provost to create a few opportunities for social gatherings, so the senators have a chance to get know one another.



The Executive Committee devoted a considerable amount of time discussing proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook to be presented by the Rules Committee in their report to you. Academic Quality and Faculty Welfare also have significant reports to make. Due to the scope of the response to the survey from Faculty Welfare I am giving them another month to prepare their data, so their report will be presented in May.

We also discussed the proposed Resolution concerning forgiveness of student debt which will be presented by Senator Winslow under New Business.

Further discussion included looking ahead to the fall and whether we will return to face-to-face meetings or not. The consensus was that we would like to meet face-to-face if it is feasible in light of COVID.


The Board of Regents has not met since Friday, February 25th. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14.

Please continue to forward comments or suggestions to me on ways to help departments do their own recruitment. 


Academic Quality Committee. Senator Sands presented the report on online education and Senator Kay explained the graphs in the report. [See also: PowerPoint presentation, Additional Information]

In conclusion, the committee made the following recommendations:

  • continue with ongoing monitoring of enrollment patterns in online and on campus courses
  • continue to watch student outcomes and DFW rates
  • continue to monitor resource needs for faculty

Senator Sands also noted that in the appendix section of the report is information that Dr. Weis shared which was presented to the Board of Regents. While that data was calculated a little differently, there is other data there for you to view.

Information Technology Committee. Senator Hight reported that the committee met on Thursday March 31. They are in the process of finalizing the information on the streaming video usage survey and the report should be available to present to Senate in May.

Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator Nachtwey announced that the committee is meeting on Thursday.

Rules Committee Report. Senator Kay presented the changes recommended to the Faculty Handbook, Part 7 for approval. Motion carried. (YES = 44 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 1 vote) (See also: Individual Votes)

Senator Kay presented the changes recommended to the Faculty Senate internal procedures for approval. Motion carried. (YES = 44 votes | NO = 0 votes | ABSTAIN = 1 vote) (See also: Individual Votes)

Faculty Welfare Committee.Senator Streetman reported for Senator Blair. There was a huge response rate on the faculty survey that was distributed, and we are in the process of compiling all of the data received. Our report will be presented at the May meeting.

Ad Hoc Committee on OERs. Senator Marion announced that Chair Kelly Smith plans to submit a year-end report for the May meeting.


Senator Grabeel moved to adjourn at approximately 6pm, seconded by Senator Smit.

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