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Senate Council Minutes - April 19, 2004

The Senate Council met on Monday, April 19, 2004 at 3:00 pm in the Gallery of the Young Library and took the following actions.

Approval of the Minutes from April 5, 2004

The Chair asked if there were any corrections. Bailey noted the word communication should be changed to communicate. Several Council members noted they did not have enough time to review the minutes. Debski suggested they be approved by e-mail. If no corrections or changes are received by Ms. Scott by the end of the day on Wednesday the minutes will stand approved.

Announcements

The Chair updated the Council members on the previous weekend's COSFL meeting. He reported Tom Layzell from the CPE was present but was unable to provide new information about the state budget. The Chair added that UK's faculty involvement in institutional governance was held up as an example to other institutions.

Other Business

Tagavi was concerned about a Herald-Leader story that described a new track for BSN students at UK, even though no program changes had been approved by the Senate. Ms. Scott said her office received the proposal the previous Thursday. Cibull and Debski wondered how such issues could be prevented from happening in the future. Tagavi said the proposal should not be approved via 10-day circular. Ms. Scott explained that the proposal was for a new specialty track within an existent program. Tagavi reiterated that it should be on the next agenda. The Chair asked Tagavi to send a memo to that effect to Ms. Scott so she can invite representatives from Nursing.

Kennedy suggested writing a letter to ask Nursing to notify their students that the program has not been approved. Cibull suggested reading the proposal before deciding on a course of action. Bailey agreed the students should know the proposal has yet to be approved. Grabau suggested perhaps the error in communication occurred with PR rather than with the Provost or Nursing. Cibull asked if students were being admitted. Tagavi suggested finding out.

Athletics Board update from John Piecoro

The Chair introduced Piecoro and thanked him for coming. Piecoro provide information about the functions of the Athletics Board, the upcoming NCAA regulation changes, the various types of scholarship athletes at the University, the athletics budget, and which sports turn a profit for the institution. Piecoro also talked about the scholarship money Athletics provides to the University.

Tagavi asked if the Athletics Board was informed of the recently-approved Ethical Code of Conduct. Piecoro said he was uncertain. Jones and Kennedy suggested bringing that oversight to the attention of the President.

Piecoro discussed the graduation rates of student athletes for students at UK and how they compared to other institutions. He explained the current NCAA progress to degree requirements and discussed how they will change. He discussed the formation of the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) and its goal of increasing faculty governance in athletics departments. Piecoro thanked the Council members for their time and asked if there were any questions.

Cibull suggested Piecoro return to the Senate Council after the new NCAA regulations are enacted so he could provide an update on how UK athletics will be affected. Piecoro agreed to do so. The Chair noted the Senate will eventually need to consider whether or not UK should join COIA. Piecoro departed.

College of Health Science dean search nominees

Nominee List (XLS)

The Chair asked for recommendations. Cibull asked that Julie Ribes be added to the list. The list of CHS nominees will be forwarded to the Provost's office with the addition of Ribes. The Chair also noted the Provost had requested nominees for the College of Public Health dean search. Cibull recommended nominating Tagavi for the CPH dean search. Tagavi agreed.

Admissions Advisory Committee update presented by Tony Baxter

The Chair introduced Baxter and posed the question "where do these numbers come from" in reference to the announcement that the incoming freshman class in Fall 2004 will be 4,000 students. Baxter explained that for several years the way the committee has functioned has been that the Registrar receives a target number for enrollment and the committee is then consulted to determine what percentage of the students should be automatically admitted versus those who should be drawn from the "competitive pool". Baxter reported that 91% of the freshman for Fall 2004 will be admitted because they meet the criteria for automatic admission while 9% will be selected from the competitive pool. Baxter explained that the competitive pool consists of out-of-state students who don't quite meet Kentucky's standard for high school education, some athletes and some minority students who participate in summer programs prior to their freshman year, along with a few other groups.

Tagavi asked if the changing of the criteria by the committee every year was recommended to the Administration in an advisory capacity or if the committee's action was final. Baxter replied that he did not know the answer to that question. He added that in the past the data was supplied to the Registrar who said he would report it to the Provost. Tagavi asked if the report from the committee should be routed through the Senate. Jones replied it should at least be reported to the Senate Council. Baxter replied in the past the target number for admission had been supplied by "higher level administration", but would not speculate on who specifically informed the Registrar of the target.

Jones noted the information provided by Baxter conflicted with information the Provost had provided him. Jones said the Provost thought the control of high enrollment numbers was within the Senate's control. Jones also reported the Provost said the Administration examined the admissions criteria established by the Senate and made a projection based on those criteria. Jones concluded by saying the Provost said the Senate could change the criteria, but warned it would result in less tuition being received and may mean deeper cuts for the colleges and programs.

Debski suggested the real question was how far the numbers were off between the projected enrollment and what the institution could accommodate. Baxter said he had never "stood up and said these numbers are too high" during a committee meeting. Cibull asked who had the authority to do so. Baxter replied that he was beginning to understand that it was within the committee's purview to do so.

Debski asked if the Registrar's projections of how many of the admitted student would attend UK were correct. Baxter replied the Registrar's calculation were very accurate. Jones noted the need for more communication between the Senate committee and the Administration. Baxter recalled there had been an initiative several years ago to examine enrollment management issues but noted not much work had been done in the area since.

Kennedy noted that with dropping state support the notion that every student costs the institution money became less true. Tagavi said he would like to see documentation to that effect. Debski agreed that she would like to see a model of how student numbers related to resources. Kennedy suggested contacting Connie Ray to see if she could provide the necessary data.

Tagavi suggested it is possible that after a certain point the extra students who were admitted ended up being a net profit in terms of their tuition dollars. Grabau agreed that Tagavi's theory might be correct. Debski noted that the cost of additional instructors to accommodate the additional students might prove the theory incorrect. Tagavi and Debski agreed they'd like to be able to review the data involved to make an informed assessment.

The Chair asked the Council members to provide him with direction on how to proceed. Yanarella suggested examining the issue during a retreat. Ms. Scott read a portion of the committee's charge (items 1, 2, and 3) as Jones requested. Yanarella suggested an honest dialogue should be established regarding the hidden qualitative costs of change student enrollment. Debski supported the idea of examining the issue during a retreat. She also suggested discussing this with the Provost once the breakfast could be rescheduled.

Bailey suggested the underlying assumption is that a smaller incoming class should be admitted and wondered what arguments might exist against asking the committee to decrease the class size. Edgerton replied that part of the answer had to do with how CPE benchmark funding works in that a part of that equation has to do with the number of full-time equivalent students at an institution.

Saunier agreed that more data were necessary and suggested a mathematical model could be relatively easy to produce so the Council members could get a better idea of how other variables might be affected if enrollment numbers were altered. Jones suggested each college, through their deans, should be responsible for imputing the numbers. Saunier suggested also considering the differential costs to educate students per college. Kennedy reiterated his suggested to invite Connie Ray to a meeting to discuss what data might be available.

The Chair suggested forming a small subcommittee to examine the issue. The Chair, Grabau and Yanarella volunteered. Tagavi requested to be informed when the subcommittee meets in case others would like to attend. Tagavi also suggested that the faculty should not make the whole decision and suggested a system involving more checks and balances should be in place. Tagavi suggested that deciding the number of students to admit should be the job of the administration. Jones noted one of the reasons the Registrar is on the committee is to ensure the interface between the faculty and the administration. Baxter noted the Registrar was sometimes in the position of executing the Administration's policy.

Kennedy suggested the faculty should say that student enrollment will be cut in proportion to the amount of UK's budget cuts. He asserted the position should be "You cut us 10%, we'll take 10% fewer students". Kennedy suggested that doing so would send a message to the legislature.

Baxter requested guidance about a possible time line to pursue. He noted the Registrar's Office was already under pressure to begin the admission process for Fall 2005. Baxter suggested increasing the percentage of students admitted from the competitive pool to allow the faculty more control over the final number of students admitted. The Chair asked if the Council would consider waiving, on behalf of the Senate, the Senate Rule stating that at least 90% of those admitted would meet the selective admissions criteria. Tagavi spoke against the idea, noting this issue is not urgent enough to waive a rule on behalf of the Senate.

The Chair asked Baxter if he would be willing to attend the subcommittee meeting with Connie Ray. Baxter agreed. The Chair will contact Ray in advance of the meeting to explain the situation. Jones asked if the intention was to gather information in time to influence this year's admission decisions. The Chair asked Baxter if there was time to gather information for the Fall 2005 decision, if the subcommittee was able to produce something substantive. Baxter replied there was still a small window of time for the Fall 2005 decision. Tagavi suggested trying to analyze the situation for Fall 2006, noting "it may be not fair to suspend this and not let the Administration do what they've been doing for years". Debski noted nothing was being suspended and asked what harm there was in providing the committee with additional information.

The Chair thanked Baxter. Ms. Scott will arrange the meeting with Connie Ray.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:15.

Respectfully submitted by
Jeff Dembo, Chair

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

Guests present: Baxter, Piecoro.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on April 21, 2004.