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Minutes for October 4, 2021

The Faculty Senate of Eastern Kentucky University met on Monday, October 4, 2021 via Zoom. Chair Crosby called the second meeting of the academic year to order at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The following members were absent:

D. Fifer J. Mayer A. Sexten
V. Thomas*    

* Indicates prior notification of absence


Senator Winslow moved approval of the May 3, 2021 regular minutes, seconded by Senator Bishop-Ross. Motion carried unanimously. 

Senator Winslow moved approval of the May 3, 2021 organizational minutes, seconded by Senator Parsons. Motion carried unanimously. 

Senator Winslow moved approval of the September 13, 2021 minutes, seconded by Senator Price. Motion carried unanimously. 


    As we had planned and hoped, EKU has been able to return in person to a University that is recognizable as a true college experience with in-person classes and events. This is only possible thanks to your hard work and dedication to our students, and your willingness to go above and beyond to ensure we have a safe, transformational, and real college experience.

    This past weekend, Homecoming was held in person on campus for the first time since 2019; and, it felt great to wrap up a successful homecoming with victory by our Colonels! It felt tremendous to see so many of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni on campus once again.

    Homecoming also brings the opportunity to recognize the achievements of many of our alumni, faculty and staff. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Divine 9 Plaza in the Carloftis Garden, I encourage you to do so. The dedication we hosted for Divine 9 was highly moving and the installation is an impressive new addition to campus. We also recognized the work of Coach Rick Erdmann with the naming of the Erdmann Sports Complex as well as announced an endowment fund for the late Dr. Bruce MacLaren. In addition, I also announced the renaming of the Chautauqua Lecture Series to the Dr. Bruce MacLaren Chautauqua Lecture Series.

    Strategic Plan
    The Board of Regents met late last month and finalized the second phase of the strategic plan process that included finalizing our mission, vision, and goals for EKU. The next phase will be the engagement portion of the process that will take place from now until Spring 2022. During this time, we will distribute the proposed Strategic Plan to campus and community and host town halls and workshops. It is important to have your feedback in those sessions so I encourage you to participate when those event details are released in the coming weeks. 

    Corporate Partnerships
    We continue to provide educational opportunities through corporate and nonprofit partnerships that will bring more students to EKU. We recently added Google to our list of Corporate Partners where we will provide Google employees interested in our bachelor’s of Occupational Safety program and the master’s in Safety, Security and Emergency Management program with partnership rates. We signed a similar deal with the Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties, so that nearly every city and county employee in Kentucky can be part of our University. We continue to look at every avenue of bringing opportunity to as many students as possible.

    Enrollment Summit
    On the heels of enrollment increases for Fall 2021, we want to make sure we are continuing to engage faculty leadership on enrollment data, university goals, and strategic initiatives for achieving those goals. We have invited leadership from each of your colleges to participate on October 22, from 8:30am to noon in Powell 219. Topics for the 2021 Enrollment Summit will include Fall 2021 Recap, Fall 2022 Goals and Strategies, and Retention and Student Life. I encourage you to engage with those representing your areas to ensure we are all working toward those enrollment goals. 

    Open Enrollment
    Over the weekend, Human Resources mailed out information about the upcoming Open Enrollment period of October 18-November 2, 2021. I am pleased to announce that there will be no premium increase for the second year in a row in our Anthem health plan. In addition, there will be two in-person benefit fairs hosted on October 19 at Keen Johnson and October 27 at Perkins Quad. Additional information can be found by visiting


    I want to thank you for the extraordinary work you did in terms of the four-week progress reports. We had a reporting rate of about 94% from faculty. That will help us support our students and hopefully retain them and give them whatever assistance they need.

    An update on the hiring process some of you may have been involved in. The new position request system is up and running. I approved the positions and got the information out to the deans on Monday of last week. All of those positions that were approved can now be posted and the search process can go forward. There will be another position requests cycle in the spring, probably sometime around Valentine’s Day.

    We have four deans searches currently underway.

    • I interviewed semi-finalists for Justice, Safety and Military Science last week. The President and I are reviewing the recommendations from the search committee and hope to have that information out to campus soon.
    • For CLASS, we are still in the recruitment phase of that so we've got a little time before we've got the best consideration date. 
    • The same is true for the College of Business search. We are in the recruitment phase of that search as well.
    • Health Sciences, is just starting. We've got a list for the search Committee. The two co-chairs, Abbey Poffenberger and Shirley O’Brian, are reaching out to those committee members, today, to see if they're willing to serve. We will get that information out to campus hopefully this week.

    You should be getting a note sometime in the next day or so from Human Resources, providing information on mental and behavioral health resources available to faculty and staff, either as part of our Employee Assistance Program or, as part of our insurance coverage or services provided by the Psychology Clinic. We will send this out periodically to remind people of the many options that they have for those health care needs.

    You should be getting a note with instructions and further guidance on travel later this week. Essentially, we will be loosening some of the restrictions on travel. Ideally, if you can attend a conference virtually, we're still recommending that as the lowest risk approach; however, we are allowing both domestic and international travel. For international travel, in particular, there will be a web form that you need to fill out that will route through my office and specifically our Education Abroad Director Jennifer White will review the CDC guidelines for us in any state department warnings, so that we can make sure that the insurance coverage is in place and everything the faculty member needs to travel in a reasonably healthy way is in place for student travel.

    Finally, we are working on some renovations of spaces in Academic Affairs. We had a committee that was co-chaired by Rusty Carpenter and Emily Joe Davis, and they have been looking around at the spaces from a student perspective. The big changes like HVAC systems and roof repairs are going through the deferred maintenance process. I’ve been working with the deans on what building should be the priority. We will probably go building by building through the list and come up with a five-year plan for improving academic spaces. We have not made a final decision on that. However, I anticipate the Wallace building would be one of the first ones we look at, simply because so many of our students take classes there and we would like it to be a nicer experience than it is now.


    Policy Updates. Haley Norberg submitted Academic Regulation 4.1.2 – Academic Credit for information only. The policy is currently available for comments on the policy website. (See also: Memo)

    Ms. Norberg also wanted to remind everyone that our annual policy and regulation acknowledgement statement is available in EKU Direct and everyone should log in to complete the compliance requirement.

    Resolution Regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Mandate. Chair Crosby reminded that the resolution comes jointly from the Rights & Responsibilities Committee and the Faculty Welfare Committee and therefore doesn’t require a second. Motion to support the resolution carried . (YES = 41 votes | NO = 10 vote | ABSTAIN = 2 votes) (See also: Individual Votes)



    There have been two meetings of the Executive Committee since the beginning of the semester with the first largely being devoted to adopting charges for the Standing Committees of the Senate. The second, on September 27, included discussions with Bryan Makinen about reporting problems with vendors, a discussion about the interim P&T policies (during COVID) with Provost Zeigler, and a rough draft of the Resolution which was presented earlier. 

    I attended my first meeting of the Board of Regents on September 23 in the Powell Building and presented my report in person. The Regents devoted a good bit of time discussing Athletics, getting an update on the Strategic Plan from President McFaddin, and hearing positive news about enrollment numbers for this year’s freshman class.

    Standing committees have begun meeting, working on their charges, and seeking clarification regarding specific charges where necessary.


    Since our last meeting, the Board of Regents held their quarterly meeting on Thursday, September 23. The next meeting of the Board is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, December 9. Since the meeting occurred in-person (Powell 219), the video was not livestreamed and/or video. The highlight of the meeting was the enrollment update. A brief synopsis of the meeting is described below. Additionally, some CPE-related news items that may be of interest are also provided.

    The meeting agenda from the September 23rd meeting is available at the following link. The most significant information before the Board was the report given related to enrollment, student success, and campus programming for students. Additionally, helpful was the context provided by Dr. Richard Crosby in the Faculty Senate update regarding the teaching and meeting environment in the midst of significant COVID concerns. 

     Enrollment & Student Progress Update

    • For Fall 2021, the freshmen population is up 9% (n = 2,529). Also, transfers are up 11% (n = 1,044) year-over-year. 
    • Underrepresented populations are up 4.6%, mostly in the two or more races definition (8.6% increase). These increases, particularly in freshman, mark the most significant freshmen population growth in nearly ten years and with ongoing maintenance and/or growth of these numbers coupled with retention of these students, total headcount enrollment will be able to be flat or grow in future years after several years of decline. 
    • The BookSmart program continues to be viewed favorably as a possible contributor (among several) to supporting the growth in the new student populations. 
    • Residence halls currently have 3,800 students living on-campus and nearly 70% of the freshman class lives on-campus. 
    • Significant investments of the repurposed student recreation fee have led to the development and implementation of the Exceptional Eastern Experience (known as “E3”). Signature future concerts and programs were described including T-Pain, Pete Davidson, and JP Saxe. 

    Strategic Plan Update: 

    • The overview of the draft strategic plan (Experience Excellence) was presented by President McFadden. The mission, vision, overarching goals (Knowledge, Innovation, and Transformation), and values are on pdf pages 19-24 of the meeting agenda
    • Dr. Jennifer Wies and Dr. Bethany Miller continue to co-chair the planning process. 
    • We are in Phase 3 of the strategic planning process, the engagement phase. During this semester and Spring 2022, the process requires the solicitation of feedback about the plan by faculty, staff, and community members, as well as unit-level planning. 
    • The next phase, Phase 4, is the implementation phase, planned for Fall 2022. 

     Financial Update: 

    • The Board received a financial update regarding the prior quarter (through June 30) which is also the final quarter of the university’s fiscal year. 
    • The university budget was $245.8 million, and the overall revenue was below budget ($242.4 million) and accordingly, expenses were managed and finished at $241.3 million) for the year. 
    • Tuition continues to represent the most significant revenue source for the university. Actual tuition revenue for 2020-21 was $140.2 million. 
    • Tuition revenue in the prior year was $149.4 million, showing a $9 million difference. 
    • State appropriations were flat in 20-21 ($63.9 M) versus 2019-20 ($63.8 M). 

    Board Actions & Executive Session: 

    • The Board approved prior minutes, personnel actions since the last meeting, policy updates for Model Lab School, and a resolution to rename the old recreation center space now used as the Olympic Sports Training Center for the Division of Athletics. (The new space was named after the very successful, now retired, Coach Rick Erdman.) 
    • The Board did vote to go into Executive Session for deliberations on the future acquisition or sale of real property when publicity would be likely to affect the value of the property. 
    • Following Executive Session, the Board reconvened and approved the acquisition of approximately 300 acres of property adjacent to the university’s Meadowbrook Farm for a purchase price not exceeding $2.5 million. 

    Summary of the Board of Regents Meeting by local media:

    CPE Updates 
    Dr. Kellie Ellis, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Communication Disorders Program, was forwarded among three faculty statewide for consideration to serve as the faculty representative on the Council on Post-Secondary Education Board. On September 17, Governor Beshear appointed Dr. Ellis to that role. Congratulations Dr. Ellis! 

    • Education Pays!: The CPE’s report, Early Economic Return on Higher Education Investment Report was recently released that uses data following 43,655 Kentucky students who graduated from Kentucky high schools in 2011. The longitudinal data from 2011 to 2019 and the results, including data they describe as evidence that ‘Education Pays’ are described in their news release. The news release also links to the report. For more info, click here.
    • CPE Strives to Connect Education to Workforce Needs: The CPE recently received a grant from the Lumina Foundation to partner with Complete College America to focus on “Purpose First” strategies. The objective is to help students see the missing link between their career choices and their excitement as first-year students. The effort will try to get students to identify majors earlier in their college career among those striving to find purpose. Read more in the CPE press release here.

    Evaluation of the University President

    • As faculty, you should have received an email from the “Faculty Senate Executive Committee” inviting you to participate in the Faculty Senate’s evaluation of the President. Your confidential participation is valued and is occurring alongside concurrent evaluations among the Staff, Students, and External Community & Statewide Stakeholders. 
    • Together, the insights generated by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee along with the other constituencies are of great importance to the Board in gathering this feedback for enabling the Board’s annual (and statutorily required) evaluation of the University President, while also identifying opportunities for ongoing improvement.


    Academic Quality Committee. Senator Sands reported that the committee met on September 28 to review the charge for the year. There were several questions raised and clarification is needed on the proposed survey on instruction before the committee can continue. The Executive Committee liaison, Lisa Kay, agreed to get clarification at the next Executive Committee meeting. We’ll meet again after that meeting to consider our next steps.

    Budget Committee. Senator Yow reported that the committee met on Monday, September 20 and he was officially elected to serve as chair and Jessica Price was elected to serve as secretary. After that, the committee discussed the charges for this year with a primary focus on coming up with a compact budget for the university. Following that discussion, Senators Smit and Yow met with Barry Poynter on Friday September 24, to get clarification about some of the items that are in the budget, to know which forms to look at and what data the committee should use.

    Elections & University Nominations Committee. Senator Schilling announced that Senator Couvillon was elected at our last Senate meeting to fill a vacancy on the committee. As the membership is now complete, the schedule will be set for the remainder of the academic year at the next meeting.

    Information Technology Committee. Senator Hight reported that the group met on October 1 and began preliminary discussions on the charge to develop a survey to determine what streaming video resources are currently being used and what the future needs are for our faculty.

    Rights & Responsibilities Committee. Senator Nachtwey stated that the committee met on September 14 and and almost immediately began the process and drafting the resolution that we just voted on.

    Rules Committee Report. Senator Kay stated that the Rules Committee met on September 20th. Curtis Streetman was elected to serve as secretary. The charges for the year were discussed, most of which have something to do with the Faculty Handbook. Since some work has already been done on crafting language for updating the handbook, the co-chairs will meet prior to the next meeting to discuss what has been done so far and what needs to be done next.

    Faculty Welfare Committee. Senator Blair reported that the next meeting will be on Tuesday at 4pm. At that meeting the schedule will be set for the rest of the school year and then work will begin on the charges that were given to us.


    Senator Bishop-Ross moved to adjourn at approximately 5pm, seconded by Senator Burns.

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    (See Also:  Polling Results by Motions & Senators)

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