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Senate Council Minutes - October 20, 2003

The Senate Council met on October 20, 2003 at 3:00 pm in the Keeneland Room of the W.T. Young Library and took the following actions:

The meeting was called to order at 3:02 pm.

The Chair discussed the recent COSFL conference in Frankfort, noting the emphasis one of the speakers, AAUP President Jane Buck, placed on the use of part-time instructors and lecturers and the importance of ensuring their role in shared governance and in receiving benefits.

Minutes from October 6, 2003

The Chair asked if any corrections were needed. The minutes were approved as written. The Chair thanked Ms. Scott for doing a thorough job on the minutes.

GR Revision Discussion

GR Revision Discussion (PDF)

The Chair introduced Phyllis Nash, Chair of the AR/GR Task Force. The Chair provided background on the GR issue, noting the difference between housekeeping changes and substantive changes. He reported that the task force is in the final stage of compiling input from various groups around campus, and added the Senate Council would be given the opportunity at this meeting to provide input to those items which might be deemed controversial. Nash said her committee would send multiple versions of the GR's to the President if no consensus could be reached by the committee.

Questions

Debski asked if the GR recommendations made by the Senate last May were automatically supposed to be forwarded to the President. Nash replied those changes had gone to the committee since it was the President's committee.

Jones asked Nash to describe the method by which changes to the GR's might be made in the future. Nash replied that the committee will codify a process to allow for changes to the GR's. Jones asked if Nash would like to have Senate Council input into what that process should look like. Nash replied yes, as well as soliciting feedback from other groups.

Tagavi asked what entities would have the privilege of their input been sent to the president if no consensus was reached. Nash replied that various campus entities are represented by committee members. Tagavi said Dembo and Jones, the two faculty representatives on the committee, were not nominated to the committee by the Senate Council and asked if they represented themselves or the Senate Council. Nash said they represented the Senate Council. Tagavi expressed his disappointment that the Senate Council had not been asked to nominate its own representatives. Nash said the Senate Council should carefully monitor what comes out of the committee, what gets forwarded to the Board by the President, and then act accordingly if they are not satisfied with the decision.

Bailey asked when the GR's might be on the Board's agenda. Nash replied that the amount of controversy generated might delay the committee's work, but she hoped they would be on the agenda for the December meeting. Nash suggested watching the Board's agenda and the agenda of the Board's Academic Affairs Committee. Kennedy reminded the Senate Council members he sits on the committee and will make sure that the Senate Council is notified appropriately.

Tagavi asked if the GR's would come back to the Senate before being sent to the President. Nash said they would not, since the Senate already provided input and has reviewed the proposed changes, adding that Jones or Dembo were welcome to bring any changes or concerns back to the Senate Council. Tagavi asked if the rationale for the substantive changes could be included in writing when the changes are submitted to the Board for review and approval. Nash said rationale would be included for at least the substantive changes.

Edgerton asked which AR's have to be approved by the Board and which are approved by the President. Nash replied the AR's requiring Board approval already indicate that. Nash noted the AR review process would not begin until the GR revision process is completed.

Discussion

Jones called attention to section I-2.A, section pertaining to Shared Governance. Jones said Watt and a group of Deans want to delete the sentence pertaining to "the faculty bodies that make educational policy, and the administrative officers that make management policy". Nash noted a proposed substitution from Scott Smith, Dean of the College of Agriculture, but added that a substitution had not been received.

Bailey expressed his desire to have some sort of definition of shared governance included in that paragraph. The Chair noted the importance of not having the lines blurred between what is management and what is educational policy. Bailey said if shared governance was defined elsewhere then the sentence could be removed here, but if not then it should remain.

Kaalund suggested adding "students" to the last line of the paragraph. The Chair suggested adding students to the first line as well. Nash noted the omission of staff from the statement. Jones said the staff does not make policy.

Tagavi said including a definition of shared governance was essential. Jones asked for assistance in forming a definition. Cibull said dropping the sentence in question would remove the definition. Debski thought the statement should remain, noting its clarity and continuity with precedent. Bailey said the statement's presence was contingent on whether or not a definition could be found elsewhere in the document.

Next discussed were sections VII-4-4.C, College Faculty Functions, section VII-5-5.C, School Faculty Functions, and section VII-7-4-6.C, Department Faculty Functions. Jones said the Senate had recommended including the enumeration of faculty responsibilities under sections pertaining to colleges and schools, not just sections regarding department faculty. Jones reported the deans had discussed removing these enumerations from all three sections, but once they realized it would involve removing wording already present, the suggestion was modified to just remove the additional, proposed wording from the sections pertaining to colleges and schools

Tagavi said he had already provided his suggestions via e-mail, but had an additional suggestion that "class schedule" should be changed to "course offering/schedule" to help provide distinction between the department and/or college decision to offer a course and the Registrar's responsibility in assigning classroom space and printing the "Schedule of Classes". Nash agreed.

Cibull asked who would take priority if a school, department and college all wanted something different. Bailey observed that the hierarchical structure was noted under each section. Discussion ensued regarding the differences between colleges with and without departments related to how decisions are made. Saunier said that additional language was not needed, because if a college doesn't have any departments then the college would naturally take on departmental functions.

In each of the three sections mentioned above, Jones reported the Provost would like to see the sentence beginning "After approval of these rules by the Provost for consistency with University regulations'" removed. According to Jones, the Provost had expressed concern over the wording because college rules might involve management issues unrelated to departmental procedures.

Kaalund suggested including a supremacy section that clearly outlines and describes in one location the hierarchical structures. Jones replied that the main concern of the Provost was ensuring his autonomy concerning management issues when they also contain educational policy issues. Cibull noted the current wording already gives the Provost the right to separate the two from each other.

Tagavi suggested a compromise by striking out the sentence in question, but including parenthetically "except for educational policies, which could be overruled by the Provost for consistency only", which would allow the Provost to maintain veto power on matters that were strictly management issues. Saunier felt that the current wording gives the Provost this power. Cibull agreed.

Kaalund asked who decides what is consistent and inconsistent and if an appeal process existed. Jones replied that short of an appeal the Provost was the final authority. After further discussion the consensus was for leaving the sentence in within the various sections nothing that the Provost already has the pwower to not approve the part of departmental rules that encroach on managerial issues.

Jones turned to section VIII-1.A.1, paragraph three. The sentence "In cases of disapproval of a search committee's recommendation on the appointment of a Provost or of a chief administrative officer of an educational unit, the appointing officer shall obtain a new recommendation from either the same or a new search committee" was, according to Jones, added by the Senate in May and now the deans want that sentence removed.

After brief discussion, the Senate Council members recommended leaving the sentence in because it did not hamper the appointing official's authority to select an acceptable candidate, and new committee could be convened if necessary.

Further discussion

The Chair pointed out that the Staff Senate may be included in the GR's where previously they had not been, and that new language had been added to include SGA as well. Nash provided a few specific examples, especially as the proposed changes would pertain to the new composition of Presidential search committees. Jones noted the new numbers would be more even in terms of the ratio of faculty to staff.

Cibull asked what the function of the staff was in addressing the mission of the University. He added that if the staff address the mission to the same extent as the faculty and the students, then they should be given the same representation. If not, he continued, then the representation should be reflective. Cibull concluded by saying he did not know the answer to that question.

Jones pointed out that an increase in the staff representation on the search committee would make the Board's representation a minority. Tagavi said that staff are not involved in policy making to the same extent as faculty. Jones noted that the Chair of the Staff Senate, Sheila Brothers, was adamant about ensuring equal representation on presidential search committees. The Chair noted this (i.e. advocacy for her constituents) was, in fact, Brothers' responsibility now that a Staff Senate exists.

Yanarella asked if the Senate Council members could resume the discussion on the sentence defining shared governance, adding that reciprocal responsibility is an essential issue. He noted that it was important to not be overly categorical when discussion educational and managerial policy, and also important to push past whatever paranoia may exist on either side to fully examine the issue.

Nash recommending changing the sentence to "To achieve this objective in an environment of shared governance, the faculty and administrative officers will reciprocally solicit and utilize the expertise of the other as each makes decisions in their respective areas of policy-making authority".

Both Jones and Yanarella said they found that wording acceptable. Edgerton agreed, noting how the new wording brought to mind an image of reciprocity. Debski suggested changing "Through these empowering processes of shared governance" to "Through these empowering processes of shared decision making". Bailey supported Debski's suggestion. Nash agreed to incorporate both suggestions, as well as the suggestions for additional wording offered earlier by Kaalund and Dembo.

Changes to BHS in CLS

Changes to BHS in CLS (PDF)

The Chair thanked Jean Brickell for her patience. Brickell offered brief background on the item and solicited questions. Cibull asked for further explanation of the increase in prerequisites. Brickell replied that the proposed degree required fewer electives and more prerequisites, and this shift represented the basic change in philosophy of the program. Edgerton asked for clarification regarding the number of credit hours required for degree. Brickell replied there will be one curriculum, but students with significant clinical experience may have some requirements waived.

The proposal passed without dissent and will be posted to the Senate web site for the usual ten-day circular.

Other Business

The Chair asked Watts for an update on SGA activity. Watts said they will meet with Richard Greissman about the Graduation Contract. Watts gave Kaalund credit for writing new Sunshine Laws for the SGA constitution and noted the recent creation of a code of ethics for SGA members. The Chair thanked Watts and reminded the Senate Council members that Greissman will attend next week's meeting.

Debski asked if it would be possible to reinstate the breakfast meetings with the Provost. Edgerton, Bailey, and Kennedy all exhibited interest. The Chair will contact the Provost to determine his availability.

Jones asked if at some point the Senate Council could determine who will "vet" the various AR's that relate to academe. The Chair suggested the Academic Planning and Priorities Committee determine which Senate Committees address the various AR's in question. Tagavi suggested the various Senate Committees be assigned the various AR's and then present their suggestions to the Senate Council.

The meeting adjourned at 4:45.

Respectfully submitted by Jeffrey Dembo
Chair, Senate Council

Members present: Ernie Bailey, Lindsay Block, Mike Cibull, Liz Debski, Jeff Dembo, Lee Edgerton, Davy Jones, Braphus Kaalund, Michael Kennedy, Peggy Saunier, Kaveh Tagavi and Ernie Yanarella.

Guest present: Phyllis Nash

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on Tuesday, October 21, 2003.