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Senate Council Minutes - November 1, 2004

The Senate Council met on Monday, November 1, 2004 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm in room 306 Main Building and took the following actions.

Announcements

The Chair updated the Senate Council members regarding the faculty representative to the Employee Benefits Committee. He explained there had been some confusion regarding the process by which the proposed representative had been solicited and that he was currently in negotiations with the Administration. He noted that there seemed to be no record regarding Diebold's appointment to the committee and was therefore inclined to believe her appointment had expired. He suggested asking Kim Wilson to welcome Carolyn Bratt for a full three-year term. Tagavi made a motion that Bratt be appointed as the Senate Council's representative. Jones seconded the motion.

Cibull arrived at the meeting at this time.

Seven Senate Council members voted in favor of the motion. Cibull abstained. The motion passed without dissent.

1. Approval of the Minutes from October 25, 2004

Jones requested that language on page two be changed to indicate that he inquired about the nature of name changes. Ms. Scott will incorporate the correction. Otherwise, the minutes were approved.

Staben arrived at the meeting at this time.

2. Proposed changes to Senate Rules regarding Senate Council elections

Proposed changes to Senate Rules (DOC)

Tagavi introduced the item and explained the election process. He provided an example of the ballot counting (XLS) and outlined the redistribution of the ballots for those candidates who were either elected or eliminated.

Kennedy asked what was meant by "rank order." Tagavi said number one would be the first choice while number three was the third choice and promised it would be made clear on the electronic ballot. Kennedy asked if a person could nominate three people. Tagavi explained that the rule currently allows for three nominees.

Odoi asked if there is a computer program that will do this. Tagavi replied that he and Ms. Scott have been in contact with a programmer who could write this script. He suggested that during the first attempt at this new process a paper print-out of the votes be made available and hand-tabulated to ensure the reliability of the computerized process.

Debski asked if the results would be different if the results were simply tabulated by total number of votes received per candidate. Tagavi indicated the results would not be identical but noted that each possible system would yield slightly different results. He added that a simple tabulation of the votes may still yield ties while the proposed rule would determine three clear winners.

Susan Larson joined the meeting at this point.

Odoi asked if a candidate could direct his or her vote to another candidate in the case of disqualification. Tagavi replied that they could not.

Debski suggested putting a period after "the voting ballot" and removing the phrase "except that" from the proposed rule. Tagavi accepted the suggestion. Cibull asked if the proposed rule would go before the Senate. Tagavi said it would. He will also make a presentation to the Senate to explain the process.

Kaalund made a motion to forward the proposed change to Senate Rules to the Senate with a positive recommendation, effective immediately. Odoi seconded the motion. Kennedy suggested running the election by hand as well as electronically the first few times around. Ms. Scott asked if it was his intent to issue paper ballots to voters. Kennedy replied his intention was to receive paper output of the election process from the programmer. Tagavi indicated his intention of doing so. After further discussion the motion passed without dissent.

3. A&S Maternity Leave Issue

A&S Maternity Leave Issue

The Chair introduced Larson from Arts and Sciences and invited her to share her experience regarding the current maternity leave policy. Larson expressed frustration with the lack of a written policy and outlined her experience in trying to determine how the Federal Family Medical Leave Act interfaced with the college's informal policy. She said that rather than try to take a pay deduction for a lightened course load, her fellow faculty members offered to team-teach a course. Larson indicated that while she was grateful to the other members of her department, she had pedagogical concerns about such practices and suggested that in some less humane departments this sort of arrangement could cause difficult political situations for untenured junior faculty. Larson noted that having a written policy would solve many problems. She said that during interviews female faculty are hesitant to ask about maternity leave policies and Dean's are hesitant to bring it up for fear of making unwarranted assumptions about young female faculty.

Greissman said the current written policy is not as sympathetic or kind as the proposed policy. He noted, for the record, the current policy can be found in the faculty handbook. He said Arts and Sciences has used a variation on the policy in the past. Duke asked why Arts and Sciences was allowed to offer a different policy than the official policy in the faculty handbook. Greissman said past administrators allowed Arts and Sciences to offer a more humane and generous proposal than was outlined in the faculty handbook. Tagavi asked if faculty could still demand the right to have six weeks off. Greissman said they could.

Cibull asked Larson is she was aware of other policies at other Universities. Larson said Penn State recently enacted a policy of paid administrative leave for one semester and that she was aware of the policy at Ohio State. She suggested asking Harling from Arts and Sciences, since he has a list of peer institutions that have policies. Cibull noted that a semester was a long time to pay somebody who isn't working and expressed concern of how such a policy would affect faculty members who have clinical or research responsibilities.

After further discussion regarding FMLA, current UK sick and vacation leave policies, Arts and Sciences current policy and their proposed policy, the Chair asked the Senate Council members to refocus their discussion in light of the Provost's request to review and comment upon the proposed revisions to the Arts and Sciences policy. Staben said the proposed policy would be very difficult to administer. Tagavi asked if Greissman had received his e-mail critique of the proposal. Greissman replied that he had. Tagavi said a few of his many concerns pertained to the title of the proposal (which should be Family Leave rather than Maternity Leave), the exclusion of research professors, instructors and lecturers, and why the proposal refers to tenure-track appointments. He also expressed concern about family leave being granted to one-income families in which the spouse stayed home to care for the children. Tagavi suggested that if such a policy were enacted that perhaps time off to care for children should be counted against the faculty member's sabbatical at a future time.

Staben noted a need for the University to consider seriously the more general issue of leave, including issues like parental leave and elder care. He suggested the appointment of a committee to examine such issues and develop a policy with input from Human Resource and Legal Office personnel. Kennedy suggested that the membership of such a committee should be at least half faculty. Jones asked if the committee would report to the Provost or the Senate. Debski said it should report to the Provost, since it isn't the within the scope of the Senate Council to protect the University from legal ramifications. She did, however, speak in favor of allowing Arts and Sciences' pilot proposal to go forward. Cibull said that maternity leave policies should protect women who are having babies but should not allow men to take whole semesters off. Staben agreed, and added that the ability to sort out the policy was not necessarily within the expertise of the Senate Council.

The Chair offered to write a letter to the Provost in which he outlined the concerns of the Senate Council. He will circulate the letter to the Council members before sending it to the Provost and invited Council members to provide examples of their concerns. The Chair thanked Larson for attending and providing important information and Larson departed.

4. Proposal to rename the Center for Micro-Magnetic Electronic Devices (CMMED) to the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CeNSE)

Proposal to rename the CMMED (PDF)

The Chair noted that during the previous discussion more materials were needed. He said the letter from Joe Brill, Chair of Physics and Astronomy, indicating a lack of objection had been obtained. Cibull asked if there was another Nano center on campus. Ms. Scott tried to search the web site for him but did not find any results.

The Chair asked Tagavi if he would like to discuss the issues he raised on the listserv. Tagavi expressed concern that the item had not been approved by the Undergraduate Council. He said since the proposal had been thoroughly vetted by the Academic Organization and Structure Committee he would like to make a motion to waive the rule that it should be routed through the Undergraduate Council. Kaalund seconded the motion. Ms. Scott noted that this proposal did not need to go to Undergraduate Council. Odoi offered the friendly amendment that the rule be waived if such a rule exists. Tagavi offered to withdraw the motion and instead bring the discussion to the Senate floor. Kaalund agreed to the withdrawal of the motion.

Grabau made a motion to recommend the name change as proposed to the Senate with a positive recommendation. Cibull seconded the motion. After brief further discussion, the motion passed without dissent.

5. AR Regarding Lecturers

(PDF)

The Chair said the proposed change to the AR's was sent to the Senate Council by the Provost with the desire to obtain feedback and invited Greissman to discuss the proposal.

Greissman said the Provost would like to begin a more broadly-based conversation about faculty title series. He said that UK's policy language regarding lecturer faculty is particularly ungenerous. He asked the Council members to recall that similar language to the current proposal was once supported by the Senate but had not been supported by the previous Administration. Greissman said that while the Provost was interested in discussing the broader issue of faculty title series at a later date, he would like to focus on an examination of the proposed language at this time. He noted the proposal's intention was to improve the lot of lecturer's by granting more of a professional status and modestly increasing their job security.

Kennedy asked if the three years mentioned in paragraph two would be part of the seven years discussed in the AAUP's Statement of Principles. Greissman said the seven year rule does not apply except for cases in which tenurability is discussed at the time of appointment. He suggested the proposal go to Legal Counsel to make certain.

Tagavi asked if lecturers on five year contracts would be guaranteed five years of employment. Greissman said senior lecturers would receive five years of employment but noted that no appointment is guaranteed if the conditions of employment are not met. Tagavi also expressed concern about the proposed two-tiered system of lecturer employment. He said that if 5 out of 100 lecturers are appointed to senior lecturer, he worried the other 95 would feel demoted. Cibull disagreed, suggesting instead that lecturers might instead feel compelled to perform well if there was an opportunity for advancement. He did, however, ask Greissman to explain the need for the change in policy. Greissman replied there was a need to recognize that lecturers make a contribution to the University and should be rewarded materially and otherwise. He said the University should extend to lecturers some faculty prerogatives since they make a substantial contribution to accomplishing the mission of the University and are the only class of full-time faculty for whom a significant reward - the possibility of advancement and a more professional profile - is not currently available.

Due to the lateness of the hour, the Chair suggested continuing the discussion at the next Senate Council meeting. Greissman requested that it be placed toward the top of the agenda. The Chair concurred.

6. Approval of the Senate Agenda for November 8, 2004

The Chair asked if the Senate Council members had any recommendation regarding the agenda. Tagavi asked if the proposed change to the Senate Rules could be the first action item. The Chair agreed.

On a different matter, Cibull requested to never meet again in room 306. Several other Council members supported his request, noting the poor acoustic quality of the room. Ms. Scott will attempt to find a new permanent home for the Senate Council meetings.

The meeting adjourned at 5:04.

Respectfully submitted by
Ernie Yanarella, Chair

Members present: Cibull, Debski, Duke, Grabau, Jones, Kaalund, Kennedy, Odoi, Staben, Tagavi, Yanarella.

Liaisons present: Greissman, Saunier.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on November 9, 2004.