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Senate Council Minutes - October 27, 2003

The Senate Council met on October 27, 2003 at 3:00 pm in the Gallery of the W.T. Young Library and took the following actions:

Minutes from October 20, 2003

Tagavi supplied editorial suggestions, which were incorporated in the minutes as circulated. Jones noticed a typographical error. Ms. Scott will correct it. The minutes were approved as amended.

Graduation Contract Presentation

Graduation Contract Presentation (PDF)

The Chair introduced Richard Greissman, thanked him for coming, and provided brief background. Greissman said he had been charged by the Provost to initiate the Graduation Contract pilot project recommended by the Senate and provided a history of the various versions the graduation contract has undergone since May.

Greissman noted the recent change to item number three on page two which changed the wording "College or Department" to "University". In response to questions from Senate Council members, he explained the word "University" should be taken in a holistic sense to include Central Administration, Colleges and Departments and does not necessarily mean the Provost would pay for extra tuition for students who could not graduate under the graduation contract through no fault of their own.

Tagavi asked what safeguards were in place to prevent deans or department chairs from substituting classes outside of a student's discipline for those which are required courses. Greissman noted procedures for waiving and substituting requirements are followed by the deans under the current system and would continue to be in line with each department's own guidelines. Saunier recalled the existence of a Senate Rule on this subject. Dembo read the section of the Senate Rules pertaining to the right of colleges to grant exceptions to graduation requirements and noted that references to department substitutions or waivers should instead refer to colleges.

Jones asked who will make the "determination" in item number two of the graduation contract; the faculty or the administrator applying the policy approved by the faculty. Greissman replied the intent is to ensure things continue to work the way do now with no increase in judicial process.

Tagavi asked that fees be better defined in item number three. Saunier replied fees are already defined in the Bulletin. Kaalund recommended the creation of a companion document for use as a glossary of terms to prevent the graduation contract from becoming overly verbose. Greissman said such a document, outlining the actual logistics of implementing the graduation contract, is in the planning stages.

Tagavi suggested making the wording in item number two more explicit by specifying that the graduation contract may be used by students who both are and are not enrolled in selective admission majors. Dembo suggested adding the words "when applicable". Tagavi and Greissman agreed.

Greissman said one of the "fissure points" of the discussions surrounding the graduation contract was the issue of resource. He noted many department chairs and deans felt they would be held accountable for not providing the necessary courses despite the lack of necessary resources from Administration. He also noted concern felt by chairs and deans about being held responsible for problems created by other departments. Greissman hoped these sorts of issues will be discussed productively in the spirit of shared responsibility to reach an agreeable resolution for all parties involved. He said the graduation contract may prove to be a catalyst for change in this regard.

Debski asked what would prevent departments from putting up protective boundaries around their departments. Greissman noted that several colleges already have selective admissions procedures designed to limit enrollment and ensure class availability for their own students while precluding students outside of the college or program from enrolling. He added the graduation contract would not make the situation any worse.

Bailey asked who students should notify if they are in danger of being "off contract". Greissman said they should notify the department first. The department will decide if the student has been acting in good faith and whether the issue can resolved at the department level or if it should be sent to the college level. Bailey expressed concern that only the department would be notified, and suggested that a copy of the written notification be sent to the college as well. Dembo suggested the accompanying document to the graduation contract should contain some sort of flow-chart of the procedures to be followed.

Tagavi reminded Greissman the Senate Council members did not want students who were using the contract to receive any special priority in registering for their classes. Greissman assured the Senate Council members there was no such plan.

Thom asked if the deans and chairs were aware of the assistance the graduation contract could give them with regards to planning. Greissman said they were aware and were grateful since planning has recently become more of a pressing issue than it was in the past, given the University's economic situation.

Greissman said that while improving graduation rates was the obvious reward to colleges by utilizing the graduation contract, he could also foresee use of more "tangible rewards." One example might be recording a base-line graduation rate for all colleges. Improvement on those base-line numbers could yield a financial reward in the college's subsequent year's budget while a decline could cause financial retribution. Greissman added the details for a such a plan had not been discussed in detail.

Greissman concluded by saying curricular maps for participating programs are due by November 21, 2003. He and the Provost will examine the curricular maps to identify fissure points. The Provost will engage the deans in a conversation about resources. Finally a publicity campaign will begin in which students and faculty are informed of the pilot program's availability. Greissman said he will come back to the Senate Council when it is time to evaluate the first year of the pilot program and would welcome that opportunity to answer questions.

Debski asked if this was the wrong time to implement the graduation contract since resources are already so tight. Greissman said the University has a responsibility to provide a quality education to its students in a timely fashion with limited resources whether or not the graduation contract was implemented.

The Chair thanked Greissman and he departed.

Procedures for Discontinuation of Programs

Procedures for Discontinuation of Programs (PDF)

Chard reviewed the suggestions provided by the Provost (PDF). On page 1, section A.4. she asked for suggestions on how to revise the words "same academic year". Bailey suggested changing the wording to "twelve months".

On page 2, section B.2 Chard asked for suggestions to replace the wording "expeditiously as appropriate". Saunier asked if a semester would be long enough. Chard suggested using six months. Tagavi reminded the Senate Council members to include the wording "excluding summers". Debski noted supplying them with six months might mean that it would always take six months. Chard pointed out this committee will be faced with the possible termination of other faculty and would not be likely to drag its feet. Debski suggested "expeditiously as appropriate, but not to exceed six months". Tagavi added "excluding summer".

Chard thanked Jones for his extensive work on parts C and D. She asked the Senate Council members to e-mail her with feedback on Jones' changes.

Chard asked the Senate Council members for input on the issue of "other educational units" in part II of the document. Jones noted many centers are not educational units. Saunier suggested the wording "existing procedures established by that unit". The wording was accepted.

Jones reported the AR/GR Committee has been experiencing difficulty defining which centers are educational units. He suggested the Academic Organization and Structure Committee examine this question and determine an answer. Tagavi moved to charge the committee accordingly. The Chair charged the committee.

Chard said she will send a clean version of the amended procedures to Ms. Scott for circulation to the Senate Council on Tuesday morning. The Chair will send a copy with cover letter to the Provost. The Procedures will be on the next Senate agenda. Tagavi suggested the motion include the fact that these Procedures are being considered for inclusion in the Senate Rules. The Chair added that once passed the Procedures will be sent to the Rules Committee for codification.

Other Business

The Chair informed the Senate Council members of the upcoming discussion in the Academic Structure and Organization committee regarding the proposed departmentalization of the College of Pharmacy. The committee will meet to discuss the matter on Monday, November 3, 2003 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Chard will present the committee's recommendation to the Senate Council at the 3:00 pm meeting that same day. The Chair noted the item can not be presented to the Senate at the November meeting unless the ten day rule was waived.

Jones asked about the urgency of the matter, and Chard replied the proposal was submitted in May but was too late to be heard at the committee's last meeting. Chard reminded the Senate Council members of past instances in which the rule had been waived for controversial issues involving long delays. She noted this issue does not appear controversial and has been acted upon promptly by the college. Bailey pointed out the excellent job they did in completing the routing sheet and gathering input from the appropriate parties.

After further discussion the Senate Council members decided to consider the matter during the next meeting, at which they will receive the recommendation from the committee.

Announcements

The Chair announced the upcoming campus-wide all-faculty forums at which he, Jones and Christ will present various aspects of faculty governance and empowerment. One of the items of discussion will be the Retiree Benefits Task Force's recommendations. This item will also be on the November Senate agenda as a discussion item. The Chair informed the Senate Council members of the new web page on the Senate site which provides information on the issue, and added Tom Samuel, Chair of the Task Force, will be in attendance at the next Senate meeting to answer questions.

Tagavi said he had supplied questions regarding this issue to the Chair and requested either the backing of the Chair or the Senate Council in getting answers. The Chair asked how he could help, and Tagavi requested the Chair ask Samuel to answer the questions. The Chair agreed to do so.

November's University Senate Agenda

The Chair presented the Agenda to the Senate Council members. Ms. Scott apologized for the omission of Jones' Trustee Report from the agenda and will correct it when preparing the web posting.

Other Item

The Chair asked the Senate Council for input regarding the speakers at the upcoming Forum. Christ notified the Chair that Kennedy is interested in presenting his Trustee report at the forum. The Senate Council members noted that would mean four individuals would speak during a two hour forum. Edgerton worried there would not be enough time for questions. Yanarella suggested each speaker hold their remarks to ten minutes. Bailey suggested each presenter should speak only to the specific topics of the forum.

Discussion on Governing Regulations

Discussion on Governing Regulations (PDF)

Jones informed the Senate Council members of some new wording proposed by Angela Martin, Vice President for Planning, Budget and Policy Analysis, and sought their input. The first item was in section VII-II.5 in the first sentence. The proposal was to remove "by the department". Jones suggested changing the sentence to read "of the department faculty in its development". The Senate Council members agreed with this suggestion.

The second item pertained to the role of department Chairs and their responsibilities when reporting recommendation to Administration that are contrary to the opinion of the Faculty. The proposal was to remove the words "department faculty". The Senate Council members were not in favor of this proposal.

Other Business

The Chair asked Saunier and Edgerton for an update on the activities of the LCC Task Force. Both reported no decisions have been reached and none of the options seem to have more support than the others. Edgerton indicated his interest in receiving feedback from faculty and staff so that he might articulate the various opinions to the committee while there is still time to do so. Saunier hoped the issue would be decided in time to be heard at the December Board of Trustees meeting since the next SACS visit is scheduled for early spring. The Chair noted widespread staff and faculty support for keeping LCC part ofUK. Saunier said the next meeting will be Wednesday, November 5 for those who wish to attend.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:07.

Respectfully submitted by
Jeffrey Dembo, Chair

Members present: Ernie Bailey, Liz Debski, Jeff Dembo, Lee Edgerton, Davy Jones, Braphus Kaalund, Peggy Saunier, Kaveh Tagavi and Ernie Yanarella.

Guests present: Kate Chard, Richard Greissman, Tony Stoeppel, and Bill Thom.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on October 29, 2003.