The University of Kentucky text as a link to the main page.
The University Senate text as a link to the main page.

Senate Council Minutes - February 7, 2005

The Senate Council met on Monday, February 7, 2005 at 3:00pm in room 103 Main Building and took the following actions.

1. Announcements

Grabau announced a recent effort by the College of Agriculture to engage in fund raising for the tsunami/earthquake relief effort. He encouraged participation from the whole University and outlined some of the damage caused by the earthquake to the College of Agriculture's sister school and the tremendous loss of life.

The Chair discussed his recent participation in the Budget Advisory Committee. He attended the meeting in lieu of the chair of the Institutional Finance and Resource Allocation Committee, which is a seat that has been vacant since Staben's resignation from the Senate. The Chair reported that two forums will be held later in the week to allow students, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn and comment on unfolding budget matters.

The Chair also announced that he would meet with VP Ray very soon to discuss the proposed Deans' evaluation questionnaire.

The Chair said Bailey will chair the portion of the meeting during which the proposed Honors program expansion will be discussed since the Chair has been involved with the expansion and felt it would be inappropriate to moderate the discussion himself.

2. Minutes from January 31, 2005

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

3. Proposal to create a Cardiovascular Research Center

Bailey presented the item and introduced DeBeer, who was present on behalf of Watt and Doherty to answer any questions that might arise. Bailey said his committee had reviewed the proposal and decided that there was a critical mass of faculty with expertise and interest in the area and that they had not detected conflict with existing units on campus. Bailey concluded by saying his committee unanimously recommended approval of the proposal.

Tagavi asked if the proposal had the support of the College of Medicine faculty. Saunier drew his attention to the letter from the College of Medicine faculty council indicating their support. Lesnaw asked what percentage of the grant overhead that a faculty member brings in will go to the departments versus the center. DeBeer replied that such procedures will be developed in keeping with other centers and the way they work. Jones asked if percentages would be an issue only for grants submitted by joint faculty members through the center rather than for all their grants. DeBeer said that was correct.

Jones asked if at least one FTE would result from the creation of the center. DeBeer suspected that over time much more than one FTE would result. Jones noted that as an educational unit the proposal must be routed to the Board of Trustees for approval if passed by the Senate. Cibull noted that since people in the center would train graduate students while conducting research the center would definitely qualify as an educational rather than an administrative center.

Cibull made a motion to approve the proposal. Lesnaw seconded the motion, which passed without dissent and will be sent to the Senate with a positive recommendation.

4. Proposed Honors Program expansion

Proposed Honors Program expansion (PDF)

The Chair turned the meeting over to Bailey, who indicated that the Kern committee sought endorsement of the proposed expansion. Durant added that they were seeking endorsement to run pilot courses as part of the proposed expansion during Fall 2005.

Kern added that as chair of the University-wide faculty committee that explored the possibility of expanding the Honors Program she had consulted with Durant and other faculty to think about how to involve more faculty and add options to diversify the excellent education available through the existing Honors Program. She said her faculty had solicited and vetted proposals from all parts of the University to seek ways to create exciting opportunities for faculty to engage in new avenues of undergraduate education in small-class settings. She said the committee was interested in running some pilot classes in the Fall 2005 semester and wanted to obtain endorsement of the proposed change in the structure of the Honors Program in order to do so. Kern added that the committee hoped to have an answer before merit student advising began in March.

Durant said that one of the things retained during consideration of expanding the Honors Program was the unified Honors courses that teach the traditional western civilization humanities courses. He said that while there was strength in retaining those courses one of the problems was that only about half the program faculty were full-time tenure-track faculty, and expressed concern that without expanding the program that number would never improve.

Yanarella said that he had been involved in the social science honors track proposal for a couple of years, which had evolved over a period of time due to significant faculty interest. He said that as the idea came forward to look toward a number of different tracts the social science faculty were enthusiastic, but that he had been skeptical that good and solid proposals would emanate from a relatively demoralized faculty. He added that he was pleased and surprised to see the number and quality of the proposals the committee was able to solicit, and felt it was indicative of broad-based support for expanding the Honors curriculum. Yanarella spoke in favor of endorsing the change in Honors program framework.

Kramer added that Kern was seeking an endorsement of the structural change in the program since the process of approving specific tracts and courses would be an on-going and fluid process as new interests emerged from various parts of the University.

Bailey also spoke in favor of the proposal, noting that it would allow for increased opportunities for Honors education in the sciences and hoped that such options would yield increased interdisciplinary inquiry. He suggested such approaches could be considered as alternatives from a USP perspective to the current practice of requiring separate courses to fulfill humanities and science requirements.

Cibull asked if the proposed expansion would require additional resources. Kern replied that no additional resources were being requested and Kraemer added that it wouldn't be unwise to make a case for additional resources in the future, but that for the time-being the proposal would utilize current resources. Durant said he thought additional resources were in fact being sought. Cibull asked if the proposal would go forward without additional resources. Kern replied that it would.

Grossman noted that in the proposed sequence HON 202 is omitted and replaced with 495. He asked if the proposed sequence would still fulfill the writing requirement. Durant said he thought an agreement had been reached with the USP committee. Kern said they had also met with the director of the writing program who will speak with faculty about methods of meeting the graduation writing requirement.

Grossman made a motion to endorse the proposal, which Cibull seconded. Tagavi asked if the approval of the Senate would be required in addition to the Senate Council's endorsement. Durant noted that experimental courses can be offered without Senate approval. Tagavi noted that the proposal was about the program, not about individual courses. Jones suggested that perhaps the Senate Council's endorsement of the structure would allow the eventual creation of a complete proposal, including courses. Tagavi reiterated than an alternate path to a degree or completion of a program requires Senate approval.

Dembo asked about the various types of compensation available in the proposal for those who teach Honors courses and wondered if such rewards were symbolic or true rewards for participation. He said his question arose from a recent symposium on large class teaching where faculty rewards and appreciation was a focus of a breakout session. Kern relayed that while the compensation represented rewards for participation she recognized that it wasn't a lot of money. She added that the dollar figure was in keeping with the benchmarks and represented money toward course planning and the purchase of new materials.

Grabau asked if new sections of HON 101 would be added or if the same number would be maintained. He also wondered if more first-year students would be served by the expansion. Durant said that in the short-term about the same number of students would be admitted and that fewer sections of HON 101 in the traditional track would be offered on a one-to-one basis. Kern suggested that such an arrangement should reduce the number of sections taught by part-time faculty.

Cibull asked if the issue raised by Tagavi could be resolved. He reiterated Tagavi's point that this proposal should be endorsed by the Senate. Grossman accepted the friendly amendment that if endorsed the proposal would be forwarded to the Senate for endorsement.

Bailey noted that Kern and Kraemer were looking for some affirmation that the proposal had at least tacit support for the proposed expansion so they could speak honestly with students in March about their options. Kraemer agreed that being able to present students with accurate information was extremely important. Bailey added that a positive recommendation from the Senate Council to the full Senate was something like an endorsement.

Tagavi asked if this proposal could be circulated on the web site for the usual 10-day review period. Cibull suggested that the motion be decided first and then a decision could be made regarding the circulation of the proposal on the web or the discussion of the proposal at a live Senate meeting.

The motion to endorse the proposal was passed without dissent.

5. Graduate School External Review Committee nominees

The Chair asked for nominees in addition to the one received by Staben, which was Jennings. Tagavi reminded the Chair he put forth the names of Smith and Finkle. Jones suggested Porter from Pharmacy. Bailey made a motion to forward the names of these four nominees. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion passed with five members voting in favor. Grabau abstained since he was out of the room just prior to the vote.

Grossman left the meeting at this time. Perman and Wilson arrived.

6. Pre-employment drug screening proposal

The Chair introduced Wilson and Perman and asked Wilson to provide an overview of the proposal. Wilson outlined the information contained in the hand-out and offered to field questions.

Tagavi asked what was meant by "detection time." Wilson explained that the substances leave the body after a certain period of time. Tagavi asked if the policy would allow the applicants to stop using drugs for a few days in advance of testing and then be tested drug free? Wilson replied affirmatively and added that the idea was to deter drug users from applying in the first place. She reiterated that the hiring practice would apply to new hires only. Tagavi also pointed to a loop hole where employees could first be employed in other units and then be transferred to the affected units and therby avoid drug tests altogether. Wilson acknowledged such loop-hole. Tagavi asked if there was an effective date. Wilson replied the effective date was yet to be determined.

Cibull asked if medical students would be affected. Wilson said it was already too late for this year, but noted that many of the places that took residents from UK required pre-employment drug screening. Perman added that what was being proposed did not apply to students. Perman spoke in favor of pre-employment drug screening due to need to maintain patient safety and avoid litigious situations.

Cibull asked who would pay for the screening. Wilson said the hiring departments will pay. She added that the Deans of Nursing and Health Sciences were meeting with their faculty to determine if they would participate in the hiring practice as well.

Various Senate Council members asked Wilson to consider how the policy would apply to post-retirement appointments, voluntary faculty, TAs, RAs and volunteers.

Cibull asked how false positives would be handled. Wilson provided a flow-chart showing the procedures. A copy will be attached here.

Cibull suggested that since employees transfer into the Medical Center from the rest of campus perhaps it would be wise to say the policy applied to all people who were being hired into the Medical Center for the first time. Tagavi agreed. Wilson replied that for now she hoped to target applicants and added that involving current employees would require many changes to policy.

Moore asked Wilson to check into how long confidential medical information and testing results would be kept and maintained. Wilson agreed to do so.

Kennedy wondered what was being asked of the Senate Council. Cibull asked if the approval of the Senate was required. Wilson relied that it was part of the recruitment process and didn't impact current policy. Cibull suggested she try to obtain the buy-in of the people involved and asked if Wilson had discussed the proposal with the Staff Senate. Wilson said she will attend their meeting later in the week for that discussion. Jones suggested that if the proposal was presented to the full Staff Senate perhaps it should be provided to the full University Senate as well. Perman asked if the Senate Council wished to obtain the endorsement of the full Senate for this policy. Grabau suggested that the broader the vetting and support of the proposal, the better.

Tagavi made a motion to invite Wilson and Perman to present the proposal at a future Senate meeting for Senate input. Jones seconded the motion, which passed without dissent. The proposal will come forward to the Senate at the March meeting.

At this point the building was evacuated due to a suspected gas leak. The meeting was relocated to the faculty and staff dining room of the Student Center. Due to the confusion several members of the Senate Council departed the meeting, though a quorum was still present once the group reconvened.

7. Honorary degree candidate

The Chair presented information on the honorary degree candidate, whose name will be withheld from publication until after it is presented to the Board. Jones asked that the record reflect that the name of Abby Marlott was once again not among the finalists for honorary degree.

Cibull made a motion to accept the degree candidate, which Lesnaw seconded. The motion passed without dissent.

8. Administrative and Academic Committee Nominations

Jones indicated his additions to the list and hoped his work would help ensure that those departments which had gone unrepresented on the Biological Sciences Area Committee for a number of years would finally have a chance to serve.

After lengthy discussion the Senate Council members agreed to forward nominees for the committees for which sufficient nominations had been received. That list will be attached here once finalized. More nominees will be sought for the Medical Center Clinical Sciences Area Committee, Faculty Code Committee, Librarian Area Committee and Board of Student Media.

9. Approval of the February 14, 2005 University Senate agenda

February 14, 2005 Agenda (DOC)

Greissman noted that during the building evacuation he spoke with the Provost regarding the Honors program expansion. Greissman asked if the AR regarding Lecturers could be delayed to the March meeting so the Honors Program expansion could be discussed in advance of merit student advising in March. There was consensus among the Senate Council members to allow this change.

Lesnaw made a motion to approve the agenda as amended. Kaalund seconded the motion, which passed without dissent. Various members of the Senate Council requested that strict time limits be set for speakers due to the length of the agenda.

The hour being late, the meeting adjourned at 5:36pm.

Respectfully submitted by
Ernie Yanarella, Chair

Members present: Bailey, Cibull, Dembo, Grabau, Grossman, Jones, Kaalund, Kennedy, Lesnaw, Moore, Tagavi, Yanarella.

Liaisons present: Greissman, Saunier.

Guests present: DeBeer, Durant, Kern, Kraemer, Perman, Wilson.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on February 15, 2005.