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Senate Council Minutes - November 15, 2004

The Senate Council met on Monday, November 15, 2004 at 3:00 pm in Room 103 Main Building and took the following actions.

1. Six Name Changes

The Chair reminded the Senate Council members that six name changes had not been voted upon at the last Senate meeting due to a lack of a quorum. He reported that some Senators suggested the Senate Council should approve the items on behalf of the Senate while others suggested posting the items to the web site for a ten-day review period.

Duke arrived at the meeting at this point.

The Chair noted that some Senate Council members expressed concern about treating the name changes as an emergency and asked the members present to comment.

Kennedy clarified that the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board, which is the committee through which the name changes would funnel to the Board, will meet on December 2 rather than its usual meeting date. Kennedy spoke in favor of the Senate Council acting on behalf of the Senate and citing the nonfeasance of the Senate as justification. Cibull asked if anybody had discussed the emergency nature of the name changes with the departments from which they came. Bailey replied that the departments with which he had spoken were primarily concerned that a delay in processing the name change would hamper their ability to recruit. Greissman added that the Registrar's deadlines for printing the Bulletin should be considered as well.

Jones spoke in favor of moving the proposals along rather than waiting for the next Senate meeting. Kennedy suggested that perhaps the AAC could convene a meeting around the next Board meeting despite the Alice Sparks' planned absence on that date. Debski supported Tagavi's suggested that the Senate Council should approve the posting of the name changes to the web site for a ten-day circulation. Jones made a motion to accept Tagavi's suggestion. Kaalund seconded the motion, which passed without dissent.

Announcement

The Chair asked the Senate Council members to submit nominees for the USP review committee, noting that he will pass the suggestions along to the Provost. He requested the names be submitted by 5:00pm the following day and expressed his hope that half the committee's composition will be drawn from the Senate Council's nominees.

2. Approval of the Minutes from November 1, 2004

The Chair asked if there were any corrections or emendations to the minutes. There being none, the minutes stood approved as written.

3. Proposed AR changes regarding Lecturers

Proposed AR changes regarding Lecturers (PDF)

The Chair invited Senate Council members to continue the discussion from the last meeting regarding this issue and asked Greissman to describe the way in which the proposed changes were situated within the Provost's thinking about broader changes to the faculty title series.

Greissman described the recent history of the Lecturer positions at UK. He outlined the difficulty experienced by colleges like Arts and Sciences regarding the staffing of lower division courses. He reviewed the Senate actions and those of the Administration in 1996, which was the last time a major review of this AR was considered. He noted that in 1996 the proposal that was endorsed by the Senate allowed for full-time benefits, the possibility of advancement, and the possibility of multi-year contracts. He said the only part that survived was full-time benefits for Lecturers. Greissman said that at the time he and Durant suggested a percentage cap on the number of Lecturers, but that the Senate decided to trust the tenured faculty of each unit to set an appropriate cap to support the needs of the unit.

Greissman noted all of UK's benchmark institutions, except two, have systems in place for Lecturer faculty which are similar to the current proposal. He expressed his belief that it was important for this particular class of faculty to have the possibility of advancement and a more professional profile. He suggested that if the Senate Council was concerned about the erosion of the ranks of tenurable hire, it could institute caps on the percentage of Lecturers who comprise a portion of the faculty ranks.

Tagavi asked why the rationale for the proposal was not written so he could examine it at his own convenience. He suggested that if SACS was concerned about the use of part-time instructors, then the solution was to make them full-time lecturers instead. Greissman noted that a major portion of the reliance on PTI's had been reduced during the 1996 AR revision, when more full-time allowances were made for the ranks of Lecturers. Tagavi suggested changing the rule to allow PTI's to be full-time. Greissman reiterated that change had been effected in 1996 and that the current proposal attempted to recapture the lost elements of professional profile and opportunity for advancement that a previous Administration had been reluctant to include in the AR's. Tagavi asked if Greissman meant to imply that part-time instructors did not want to be full-time. Greissman replied in the negative. Tagavi asked why there was a need for senior Lecturers and suggested the part-timers should be made full-time and employed on a year-to-year basis. Greissman noted that was the current policy. He added that one impetus for the proposal was to help define how Lecturers fit into the academy while another was to provide them some dignity.

Cibull said he was still not convinced that the change was necessary. He asked if the Administration was having difficulty filling Lecturer positions. He noted that a significant change since 1996 was the budgetary situation of the University in relation to rising enrollment.

Bailey asked how the proposal's profile of Lecturers compared to or differed from the Special Title Series faculty who had 100% teaching DOE's. Greissman said the most notable difference was the tenurability of Special Title Series faculty and noted that they are allowed to teach courses over the 500-level while Lecturers can not.

Kennedy spoke in favor of the proposal, noting the poor conditions in which Lecturers currently teach. He said the proposal would improve their lot. Dembo agreed, saying the proposal would benefit the academic community as a whole. Duke agreed with the principle of the proposal in that regard, but wondered what the impact would be on the tenured faculty. Staben expressed a similar concern and suggested that if the proposal was solely aimed at providing a professional development track for lecturers, then perhaps the proposal should be approved. He said he would have more concerns if the goal of the proposal was to increase the number of Lecturers in the faculty ranks. Greissman said that concern could be addressed by imposing a cap, 10% for instance, on the portion of the faculty that could be composed of Lecturers.

Jones expressed concern that research responsibilities might become part of Lecturers' DOE's over time and asked Greissman to address that concern. Greissman expressed confidence that department chairpersons, being faculty members, would not allow that to happen

Tagavi asked if Senior Lecturers would be given fiveyear contracts or single year contracts that were renewable for five years. Greissman replied the contracts would be for five years. Tagavi asked if they would be evaluated annually or bi-annually, to which Greissman replied they would be evaluated no less frequently than bi-annually. He went on to say that while the various concerns expressed by the Senate Council members were reasonable they concentrated too much on the particulars rather than the overall philosophy.

Cibull said his concerns were two-fold. First of all, Lecturers are currently appointed annually, which allows for greater flexibility both in terms of the budget and the need for the teaching at the departmental level. He noted that some departments offer more or less sections by semester and he worried that Senior Lecturers who had five year contracts may be superfluous in some semesters. He said his second concern is that since 1996 the University has lost considerable funding and he would not be in favor of a proposal that would decrease the flexibility of the University's spending. Greissman said he could include language in the contract that would allow for termination due to budgetary exigency or poor performance in the classroom.

Debski asked for information regarding the attrition rate of Lecturers under the current system and wondered if the proposal would make a difference in Lecturer retention. Greissman replied that most of the 77 Lecturers have been working at UK for the last two or three years.

Greissman said he could attempt to come up with a written rationale that would incorporate suggestions provided by Moore and Jones. He said the Lecturer proposal was just a small part of a broader conversation the Provost would like to begin regarding the current structure of the various title series at the University. He said a possible reconsideration of the structure of the title series would at the very basic level be divided into tenurable and non-tenurable categories. Then within those two categories different language regarding the actual activities carried out within a professor's DOE could define the various title series. Greissman noted the distinction between the Regular and Special Title Series had become increasingly dysfunctional and suggested the profiles of the faculty in the Special Title Series had been changing over time. He said the Provost hoped to begin a conversation about how to better address the varying responsibilities of faculty within the context of different title series.

Cibull said that within the context of that conversation the current proposal would be appropriate. He expressed concerns that some faculty DOE's were not at all representative of the actual activities of the faculty and hoped that issue would be considered when the broader conversation begins. Debski asked how such a conversation would begin.

Odoi joined the meeting at this point.

Kennedy asked if there were still plans being made to have standing breakfast meetings with the President and the Provost. The Chair will look into scheduling a breakfast soon. Staben noted that the Provost, in his letter to the Chair, said he intended to send the proposed AR to the President and asked when that would take place. Greissman said the AR would not be sent to the President without the Senate Council being informed. Tagavi asked if the proposal would have to be sent to the Senate. Greissman replied that while the AR did not technically have to go to the Senate, there was a precedent for doing so in that the 1996 proposed revision to the same AR was vetted through the Senate before being sent to the President.

4. Blackwell-Watt proposal regarding the ACMC

proposal regarding the ACMC (DOC)

The Chair said the proposal grew out of increasing skepticism among administrators regarding the workability of the Senate action which proposed the Chair rotated among the Deans of the colleges of the Medical Center. He said that during his conversations with Blackwell and Watt he made certain to assert that Senate action had taken place and that the Senate Council expected that this action would go forward. He added he had taken care to take no position on the current proposal and asked the Senate Council members to comment.

Cibull said he had carefully considered the proposal and had contacted the Associate Deans for Academics from each of the medical center colleges with the exception of the College of Public Health. Though none of them had been consulted about the proposal prior to its submission to the Senate Council, all of them supported sending professional courses directly to the Senate Council. Cibull reported their concern about the vetting of non-professional courses and programs through the Graduate Council since that body may not be as aware of the interaction between courses and programs as the ACMC had been. He said they were all willing to accept this proposal as an alternative to the rotation of the Chairship, but with some trepidation. He added that two things would make them more comfortable with the proposed arrangement: 1.) that the ad hoc committee to be convened if the need arose should be composed of the Associate Deans for Academic Affairs or the Chairs of the colleges' curriculum committees; and 2.) that the proposal include a sunset clause of one to two years after which it would be re-evaluated. Cibull said one associate dean with whom he spoke doubted the people from his college would go across campus for the Graduate Council meetings, even if they were appointed. He said there was a big difference in dealing with the relatively small universe of medical center courses versus the large body of materials vetted through the Graduate Council. Cibull said he was in favor of retaining the ACMC and would have been in favor of retaining Watt as its Chair, but recognized the conversation had progressed beyond that point.

Dembo presented four arguments and counter-arguments. First of all, the academic mission of the University is the responsibility of the faculty and is how the faculty exercises its authority within the University. On the other hand, the centralized faculty bodies are over-tasked and could delegate some of the responsibility and authority to the colleges. econdly, Councils can provide dialogue across collegiate lines, but sometimes only act as a "rubber stamp. Thirdly, the Rules are the purview of the Senate, which has already spoken on the issue at a meeting which was not attended by the Deans. On the other hand, the Deans are also over-tasked. And finally, the Provost needs to be a good steward of University resources and can't necessarily fund support for the Councils. On the other hand, part of the Provost's job is to oversee the educational work of the University and provide resources for the sort of work the Councils do.

Tagavi said he had five points to add to the discussion.

  1. He said the faculty does not have the authority to give duties to administrators, and in that regard the Senate's action was not sound to begin with.
  2. The precedent established by the College of Law was not applicable because it was only one college while the colleges of the Medical Center were many.
  3. Since the Chair of the Graduate Council would be hearing the proposals, why not ask that Chair to also Chair the ACMC?
  4. Faculty from programs that do not have graduate degrees should not be allowed to sit on the Graduate Council.
  5. It would be respectful to ask the Graduate Council and the ACMC to consider the proposal.

Bailey said there were members of the Graduate Faculty who had dual responsibilities to both graduate and professional training who could serve on the Graduate Council.

Tagavi continued with his points. The Chair said he had had not asked either body to comment until he had the opportunity to learn the will of the Senate Council. Tagavi made a motion that the proposal be sent to the ACMC and the Graduate Council for consideration. The motion died for lack of a second.

Debski agreed with Cibull's point that it would be very difficult to get the representatives from the ACMC to sit through the many and varied items the Graduate Council considers. She didn't think the proposals were too specialized to be considered by a body other than the ACMC, however.

Kaalund said the abolition of the ACMC was a drastic solution to a smaller problem. He expressed concern that the curricular items from the Medical Center may get lost in the context of the more varied issues considered by the Graduate Council.

Cibull recommended a variation on the proposal in which the professional courses and programs would be sent directly to the Senate Council while simultaneously asking Blackwell to Chair the ACMC for the non-professional proposals. He made a motion that the professional courses and programs be treated in the same manner as College of Law proposals and that Blackwell be approached to Chair the ACMC. Jones seconded the motion.

Staben expressed concern that the Undergraduate Council was not part of the current conversation. Cibull said the main thrust of the motion was to allow professional curricular proposals to be vetted through the Senate Council rather than the ACMC.

Bailey said he didn't feel like the motion presented a reasonable solution but suggested it be considered as an interim solution while the issue was deliberated by a committee or a council. Cibull accepted the suggestion as a friendly amendment. The Chair asked when the change would be effective. Cibull suggested the Senate approval date as a possible effective date. Tagavi asked if the two issues could be voted on separately. The Senate Council members agreed to voting on separate motions. Staben asked which administrators would be included in the conversation about the proposed change to the Chairship of the ACMC. The Chair will contact Blackwell and the Provost.

After further discussion, the motion to allow professional curricular proposals to be submitted directly to the Senate Council passed without dissent. The motion to approach Blackwell to serve as Chair of the ACMC for an interim period during which the appropriate committee will examine the issue and present permanent solutions to the Senate Council passed with eight Council members in favor. Staben voted against the motion. The first motion will be forwarded to the Senate for its consideration and the Chair will contact Blackwell and the Provost regarding the second.

Other Business

Dembo asked the Chair to investigate whether the newly-appointed Associate Provost will be subject to the rule of 65, since he is already 63. The Chair will investigate.

The meeting adjourned at 5:07.

Respectfully submitted by
Ernie Yanarella, Chair

Members present: Bailey, Cibull, Debski, Dembo, Duke, Jones, Kaalund, Kennedy, Moore, Odoi, Staben, Tagavi, Yanarella.

Liaisons present: Greissman.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on November 18, 2004.