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Senate Council Minutes - February 16, 2004

The Senate Council met on Monday, February 16, 2004 at 3:00 pm in the Gallery of the W.T. Young Library and took the following actions.

Approval of the Minutes

The minutes were approved as written.

Employee Benefits Subcommittee Formation

The Chair informed the Council members of his recent correspondences with Karen Stefaniak, Chair of the Employee Benefits Committee. He reminded the Council members of the need for faculty representation on the subcommittee which will be charged with examining the Retiree Health Benefits issue. The Council members recommended forwarding the following names: Bratt, Goldman, Loder, and Peffer. The Chair will also forward the names of the emeriti nominees, from which Stefaniak may select a subcommittee member.

Graduate Certificate in School Social Work

Graduate Certificate in School Social Work (PDF)

Grossman, Chair of the Senate Academic Programs Committee, reported that his committee found nothing contentious about the issue. He said the need for the certificate had arisen due to new state regulations and additional certifications necessary for social workers employed by schools. He noted some additions to the original proposal and recommended approval of the item to the Council members. Jones asked if the committee was satisfied that the faculty of Social Work approved of the proposal. Grossman noted that particular question had not come up. Chard noted that if the routing sheet adopted by the Senate Council had been used that information would be available. The Chair said he would notify all Council and Committee chairs that the routing sheet will be required with all future proposals. Ms. Scott will post the routing sheet to all Committee web sites.

Grossman asked if the proposal before the Council could be decided without a routing sheet. The Council members expressed agreement that the proposal was approved and will be posted to the University Senate web site for the ten-day circulation process.

Code of Ethical Behavior Committee

The Chair reported that an Ethical Conduct Committee is being formed to help enforce the newly-approved Code of Ethical Conduct. He said the initial charge of the committee will be to implement a process by which ethical breaches should be processed, but that the committee will eventually become a hearing panel. He said that Kim Wilson from the EVPFA's office had requested faculty representation on the committee. Tagavi noted the existence of the Senate Advisory Faculty Code Committee and noted there would be some overlap. Cibull suggested the faculty representatives for the new committee should be selected from the existing committee. The Council members supported this suggestion. The Chair will inform Wilson of the Council's recommendation.

Nominees to Administrative Committees

Nominees to Administrative Committees (XLS)

The Council members reviewed the nominees and noted the need for additional names. Ms. Scott noted the time constraints under which additional names could be obtained. The Council members offered a variety of nominees, which will be incorporated into the list. Debski asked if the Council members could see a list of the current committee compositions so that they might be better informed as to which nominees would be best suited for which committees. Ms. Scott will compile and circulate the information and will ask the President's Office for a time extension.

Faculty Salaries Report

Faculty Salaries Report

Yanarella, Chair of the Senate's Ad Hoc Committee on Improving Faculty Salaries, presented an executive summary of his committee's findings. He outlined the challenges faced by the committee and noted some recommendations. Yanarella said that one of the committee's findings was that the present merit system is broken and must be fixed. Bailey asked if he meant that it was universally broken or if some parts of it didn't work. Bailey noted satisfaction with the function of the merit system in his college. Yanarella replied that the committee thought the system was flawed in a general sense. Bailey asked how that could be the case, since every college handles merit evaluations and raises differently. Yanarella said the percentage method of distributing merit increases was flawed. Bailey suggested that it wasn't flawed, in that the top performers get more than the lower performers. Debski noted that the system doesn't always work that way. Kennedy agreed, noting the differences in merit increases during lean financial years for the institution and years during which financial pressures were not as evident.

Chard asked if colleges have variances in terms of salary increases when faculty go up for promotion. Chard and Saunier noted only small increases in promotion pay during the last decade. Tagavi asked how many of the Council members were given a scale to explain their merit increases. Chard and Debski said they received pay scales, but Debski noted the way the money is distributed prior to receipt by the faculty causes the pay received to be less than the amount indicated on the scale.

Yanarella expressed hope that his committee's report would generate healthy debate among the faculty and that it would challenge the University community to form new assumptions and develop new formulas for faculty salaries. He said his committee tried to address the issue of how to close the gap between higher paid and lower paid faculty, and how to raise overall faculty salaries at UK. Jones noted the difference in wording in the Strategic Plan about benchmark median and mean and what he recalled the Board having endorsed. Several of the Council members expressed concern that trying to make the mean faculty salaries at UK reach 90% of the benchmark medians was not going to improve the situation.

Yanarella addressed his committee's discussion of the use of a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). He noted that faculty who have been at the University for a number of years who have progressed smoothly along the ranks have still seen their salary erode relative to benchmark salaries. He said his committee had tried to consider such issues as market rate, but had not been able to do so due to the complexities of that issue. He concluded that his committee recommended moving toward a cost of living formula but agreed that further research was needed. Yanarella also expressed need for greater transparency in the University's budget process so faculty might better understand how their merit raises were determined, from what portion of the budget those funds were drawn and where faculty grant money went after it was received by the University.

Kaalund suggested that private fund raising at the University might help ease financial concerns. The Chair suggested looking at the distribution of money within the University to determine how it might be reallocated. Cibull suggested the University should develop some of its land, noting Stanford's success with its development of a shopping center.

Kennedy suggested that increasing the percentage of athletic contributors who also contribute to education should be one of the goals on which the President's $100,000 bonus is based. He suggested that this idea be forwarded to Steve Reed.

Chard noted that the large benchmarks earn much larger grants than UK. She suggested contacting the grant-writing population in the University to determine what sort of suggestions they might have.

Kaalund noted that reliance on the state's economic cycle to fund the University was no longer acceptable. He stressed the need to increase private fund raising. He suggested putting the issue before the Senate's Institutional Finance and Resource Allocation Committee. The Chair agreed to charge that committee with finding more money for salaries. Edgerton asked the Chair to include wording about the need to contact other institutions to see what sort of innovative methods they've discovered to bring in new funding sources. Cibull suggested sending a broadcast e-mail to the faculty to garner their suggestions as well, but asked that the report not be forwarded in its present form since the charge to the committee was not met in that possible funding sources to improve faculty salaries were not identified. Tagavi noted that the issues of new money and internal financial reallocation should both be addressed. Debski suggested including positive wording to ask for "creative ideas that may be forwarded to the Board".

The Chair said that he and Yanarella will draft the e-mail and will seek the Council members' approval before forwarding it the faculty.

LCC/KCTCS/SACS Discussion

The Chair asked the Council members to consider the events leading to the Board of Trustees vote to move LCC to KCTCS. Kennedy expressed appreciation for the e-mails about the votes and stated that he would continue to keep "the Administration on its toes".

Saunier thanked the Council members for their assistance and time spent on this issue. She reported that a very positive meeting had taken place at LCC the previous Friday at which the whole college expressed interest in moving forward, now that the decision has been made. She said the college was still concerned about the status of the buildings. Kennedy noted the likelihood that the legislature will make the final decision about the buildings.

Yanarella outlined his various concerns. He noted the lack of a clear articulation of position on the part of SACS and the Administration. He expressed the need for an "early warning system" for such issues in the future so that task forces wouldn't feel boxed in by time constraints. He noted that some of the Council members felt disheartened after the Board's vote since they had been emotionally invested and since it seemed like the Board might have voted differently.

Saunier said the LCC Senators appreciated the time they were allotted at the Senate meeting to discuss the issue. She agreed that the Task Force felt boxed in. She said the Task Force asked the questions that came up later about SACS position and they were given answers that seemingly excluded some of the options.

Debski noted that the "done deal" perception can sometimes interfere with the entire process. She suggested that the discussions of such issues in the future should focus more on the consequences of making one decision or the other. She said that there may be very good reasons for making these decisions, but the reasons and the motivations behind the reasons are what should be discussed.

Kennedy said that a fairly radical transformation of both institutions would have been needed to make the other option work. He noted that it "would have taken a leader who would push to keep LCC part of UK, whatever that would mean". He suggested that maybe the Board should have called SACS earlier in the process.

Yanarella said he was encouraged by the President's comment that perhaps more input could have been obtained from the Senate. Jones noted that the Board was more aware of the Senate's role in educational policy making than past Boards may have been. He noted the inclusive manor in which Academic Affairs Committee meetings are conducted as proof of the Board's willingness to listen. He added that the upcoming College of Public Health issue will be vetted through the appropriate committees and processes.

Edgerton expressed the need to protect LCC's programs so that its students could receive the greatest possible benefit and continue smoothly transitioning from LCC to UK as transfer students. Saunier pointed out that the President had mentioned creating a transfer program specifically for those students and suggested that it would be wise to have Senate input in that process. She suggested that LCC being allowed to keep all of its programs instead of having to match the KCTCS program offerings could be one of the "special ties" referred to by the President and the Board.

The Chair recommended convening a small group of LCC faculty to discuss the various issues regarding curricular differences and issues that might arise between LCC and KCTCS. He and Saunier will work together to form such a group.

The meeting adjourned at 5:21 pm. Unaddressed items will be decided at the next Senate Council meetings.

Submitted by Jeffrey Dembo, Chair, Senate Council

Members Present: Bailey, Chard, Cibull, Debski, Dembo, Edgerton, Grabau, Jones, Kaalund, Kennedy, Saunier, Tagavi, Yanarella.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on February 18, 2004