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Senate Council Minutes - January 30, 2006

The Senate Council met on Monday, January 30, 2006 at 3:00 pm in 103 Main Building. Below is a record of what transpired.

The meeting was called to order at 3:03 pm.

1. Minutes from January 23 and Announcements

The minutes from January 23 were approved as distributed.

The Chair reminded the Senate Council members that he had sent them, via email, a list of those individuals the Senate Council had discussed at the January 23 meeting, to send to President Todd in response to his request for six names from which the President would choose three individuals to serve on the University Committee on Academic Planning and Priorities (UCAPP), and the inclusion of one name omitted. The Chair asked for guidance as to his next step. The individual omitted had not yet responded to an email requiring into his willingness to allow his name to be sent forward.

Tagavi noted that there were two individuals each from Engineering, Education and Arts and Sciences. The addition of one more Arts and Sciences faculty member could be seen as more proportionately fair. Tagavi also expressed concern that there was no specific faculty representation on the list from the health care colleges. Lesnaw asked if the President had requested exactly six individuals. The Chair stated that the President requested at least six names, so the Council was not barred from offering more. The Chair stated that he had already received two requests from Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness Connie Ray for the list of individuals willing to serve on UCAPP. He added his wish that the list of names be confirmed so he could give them to Ray no later than early morning of January 31. Lesnaw also expressed concern that the list did not contain representation of health care college faculty, and suggested requesting a name from Associate Provost for Academic Affairs David Watt.

Grossman stated that there were other colleges that had not been represented on the list discussed by Council members, and that only three would ultimately be chosen. Grossman recommended sending forth the seven individuals discussed during the previous Council meeting, omitting the additional name. The Chair asked for and received affirmation from the Senate Council to send to the President the seven names discussed at the January 23 meeting.

The Chair then asked for input into the letter accompanying the request, which would address adding the Senate Council Chair as an ex officio member of UCAPP. Council members agreed with the Chair's suggestions to wait one week to hear from the President's Office regarding the list and letter, before requesting a meeting with said office.

The Chair then turned to the suspension of the oral communications suspension. Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Phil Kraemer had received a memo requesting clarification of the University Studies Program Committee's (USP Committee) action regarding the suspension, when the suspension would expire. The Chair wanted Council members and Chair Elect Tagavi to be aware of this upcoming issue.

2. Update from Ernie Bailey Regarding Provost Search Process

Guest Ernie Bailey reported on his service with the Provost Search Committee (PSC) and referred Council members to the committee's website for dates, etc. He stated that it was one of the better committees on which he had served, and that it had been well run by Co-Chairs Jeannine Blackwell and Fred de Beer. Bailey was impressed by the fair treatment of all candidates without regard to any PSC member's own department or college. He summed up the entire process as "fair."

Bailey noted his concern that faculty representation was very poor at two initial forums designed to elicit input from faculty employees about the then-future processes of the PSC. He stated that other individuals had noticed the absence of faculty at those forums, and went on to say he hoped faculty could be better persuaded to take more of an interest in future such forums. Bailey then provided a narrative of the provost search interview process.

Duke asked if Bailey could identify areas in which future search committees could improve their processes. Bailey reiterated his favorable impression of the committee, its processes and final outcome. He added that the PSC had been charged with ensuring it followed all appropriate rules regarding the search process and that Co-Chairs Blackwell and de Beer met regularly with the President. Bailey repeated his positive impression of the committee and stated his belief that the committee could serve as a template for how future searches should be performed.

In response to Grossman, Bailey voiced his belief that involving {Korn/Ferry International} was beneficial to the search process. The company was professional, and offered some very helpful suggestions. In response to other questions, Bailey stated that the PSC's final candidates did not know about the low faculty attendance at the two initial forums, nor did the committee discuss it.

The Chair said that there had been good Senate Council representation at the meeting opportunities provided the Council, but agreed with Bailey's description of faculty turnout. The Chair asked about the three candidates whose names were submitted to the President. Bailey said the PSC neither considered a candidate's current or future employment at other institutions nor the candidate's original academic area of expertise. PSC members considered each candidate's administrative qualities as seen through curriculum vitae and discussions. The candidates cut across a wide variety of disciplines; they were all administrators and effective working with a wide range of areas.

In response to a question from the Chair about the Herald-Leader reporting the name of the female candidate [one of the three candidates chosen by the President for the final interview process] who withdrew her name, Bailey said the PSC was advised not to share any personal information regarding the candidates. He said that news of a candidate's inclusion in the interview process could damage a candidate's prospects with either a current or a future employer. Lesnaw asked why another name was not put forward to replace the name removed from the short list. Bailey stated that it had been the President's decision.

Bailey said the PSC sent the President the names of five individuals who they would have been proud to see serve as Provost, from which the President identified three individuals to go through the final interview process. Bailey ended by addressing the concerns voiced by some about having interviews during December, a busy month in academia. The PSC had been advised by Korn/Ferry International that at least one candidate was being wooed by another institution, and the committee was under pressure to keep the momentum going and wrap things up.

Dembo revisited the issue of the College of Agriculture name change currently in the hands of the Board of Trustees (BoT). He was told that due to deadlines for the January BoT meeting, there was insufficient time to put the name change on the agenda. Dembo expects the name change will be on the agenda for the February BoT meeting.

Grabau referred to Bailey's appointment to the PSC, and the controversy about the number of seats dedicated to faculty members. Grabau asked Bailey to speak to his opinion about how the number of faculty members affected the PSC. Bailey stated the committee was a good one, worked well and tried to keep a University-wide view when discussing the candidates for Provost. He stated his understanding that the President had not adhered to a previously agreed upon proportional representation standard of committee membership because the agreement was not codified in the Administrative Regulations or the Governing Regulations (GRs). Bailey again stated he believed the PSC had functioned well, throughout the process.

Grabau wondered if the controversy influenced the structure of UCAPP. The Chair replied that there was a pervasive sense in both the President's and Provost's Offices, stated several times by various persons, that UCAPP should be preponderantly made up of faculty employees.

3. Academic Calendars

The Chair reminded Council members that since it was still in its pilot stages, the Winter Intersession would be up for review at some point and if made permanent would be included in future University Calendars.

Tagavi stated he had identified a possible problem with the calendars, and had contacted Associate Registrar Jacquie Hager. The 2006 Fall semester calendar included three time frames in which a student was approved to or prohibited from changing majors. However, the 2006 Spring semester calendar only included one time frame in which students were prohibited from changing majors. Council members discussed the possible ramifications this discrepancy could have on students. Tagavi said Hager agreed the Spring and Fall calendars should be structured identically, and that the discrepancy was of concern. The Chair noted the academic calendars must be approved by the Council in time for the University Senate (Senate) to approve them at the February 13 Senate meeting.

The issue of how long the pilot stage of the Winter Intersession would last was discussed, as well as was the issue of a report on the most recent Winter Intersession, December 19, 2005 - January 10, 2006. The Chair stated he would check with the Office of the Provost as to when a report could be given to the Council.

Discussion on the academic calendars continued. Tagavi volunteered to follow up with Hager, and send information regarding the discrepancy either to the Senate Council Office or to the listserv.

Lesnaw moved to table the discussion of academic calendars until the February 6 Council meeting. Duke seconded. A vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.

4. Proposed Changes to Senate Rules Section I ("The University Senate")

Proposed Changes to Senate Rules Section I (PDF)

The Senate Rules and Elections Committee (SREC) Chair, Jones, offered background on the impetus for the changes. [Cover Memo (PDF)] Due to the massive June 2005 revision of the GRs by the BoT, there were many places in the Senate Rules (Rules) that also needed to be revised to reflect the separation of Lexington Community College (LCC) from UK, the "new" provost system, and other changes. At the same time, the SREC used the opportunity to read the Rules sentence by sentence to check for grammar, internal contradictions, etc.

Jones recognized the hard work of Michael, DeLuca, Ford, Thelin, and Tagavi in the mammoth undertaking. He stressed that the SREC had anguished over the charge not to make substantive changes, but rather to ensure the Rules were in line with the GRs. Jones added that the SREC separately noted issues that the committee felt needed to be addressed, but were not technically part of their charge. Jones noted the BoT paid particular attention to clarifying the difference between what constitutes a faculty employee and a member of a faculty body.

Jones began by explaining that the BoT revisions to the GRs had brought the President closer to the Senate in terms of the President's responsibilities with and to the Senate. As a result, the SREC pulled all scattered references to the President's Senate-related responsibilities into Section 1.2.5. In response to Grossman, Jones stated the section numbering was not completed, and would be fixed after approval of the changes.

Part of the revision process, according to Jones, was polling current committee chairs and Senate officers to review their respective committee descriptions and offer suggestions. He said he had received statements from past chair Dembo and current chair Yanarella that indicated their desire for a clearer statement of the Chair's role(s) and responsibilities. As with the section addressing the President's Senate-responsibilities, the SREC pulled the scattered references to the Chair's responsibilities into one place, Section 1.3.1.3.

The SREC removed outdated references to the Academic Council for the Lexington Community College. Jones also noted that an electronic election process to select faculty members for inclusion on presidential search committees had not been previously codified, but was included in the revision.

Duke asked about the use of the word "instrumentality" in Section 1.4.0 of the revision draft. Jones explained that the word was used in the GRs to refer to groups or individuals working on behalf of and for the University Senate. He further stated it indicated a component within the larger Senate apparatus. He offered to change the wording, if a better term was suggested. Discussion on this term and its intended meaning continued.

Moore brought Council members' attention to new wording making the Faculty Trustees ex officio voting members of the Senate, a change from their previous status as ex officio non-voting members of the Senate. Jones stated this was taken from the GR revision. Moore expressed concern that a trustee could be in an awkward position if asked to vote on an issue in the Senate, and then at a BoT meeting; additional information could come to light that would affect a vote, but it could seem as though the trustee's vote was changing according to the body in which the trustee was serving. Jones noted that the same situation exists for the Student Faculty Trustee, since that individual is also in the same list in the Governing Regulations for ex officio voting member of the Senate.

More discussion about the term "instrumentality" followed. Moore asked about a reference to Robert's Rules of Order. He said there was more than one version. It was decided Jones would check with Parliamentarian Blyton to determine which version Blyton recommended. Jones said he would report the answer at the February 6 Council meeting.

Lesnaw expressed concern over the perhaps unnecessary use of the word "instrumentality," saying that, in general, using fewer words would offer increased clarity. Jones stated he would remove the reference to that word.

In response to a request from the Chair for clarity about the additional general policy issues the SREC suggested be reviewed by the Council, Jones stated that those eight questions at the end of the SREC cover letter were more philosophical and broader in nature, and would be better suited to discussion at a later time. The changes made to Section I did not rely upon resolution of those eight questions, and could be deliberated subsequent to voting.

Grabau asked if the newly formed UCAPP would remove the need for the similar Senate Academic Planning and Priorities Committee (SAPPC), and suggested it be grouped with the other philosophical questions. He also wondered if the USP Committee would be slighted by its non-involvement with the General Education Reform and Assessment Committee's work. The Chair stated that in conversations with the USP Committee chair, Phil Kraemer, the sense was that USP Committee had evolved in such a way that it would not demand a role in the undergraduate reform movement on campus.

At the Chair's request, Jones recapped the changes to Section I: mechanical revisions were made to update the Rules to be in conformity with the June 2005 revisions to the GRs, including: the move to a provost system and the departure of LCC; resolution of internal Rules contradictions; and correction of grammatical errors. He stated the SREC was bringing the changes to the Council, and was moving the changes be approved and introduced into the Rules. Jones accepted a friendly amendment from Tagavi to include "to go forward with a positive recommendation and be effective immediately" in the motion. In response to Grossman, Jones said the wording and not the problematic numbering was being voted on. Tagavi asked about his suggestion and the SREC's agreement to utilize Roman numerals instead of Arabic numerals for section numbering. Jones said that change would be included in the renumbering after approval.

Lesnaw voiced concern that the term "instrumentality" would forevermore be included in the Senate Rules. Jones stated he had removed the references, and would restructure Section 1.4.0 so that the problematic word would be rendered unnecessary, and would do a global check to make sure all references to the word were removed. Dembo asked the Chair to consider whether it would be appropriate to request the Senate vote on the changes at one time, or if it would be better to present the changes for discussion and then a vote at a subsequent meeting. Lesnaw opined that the changes were straightforward and simply reconciled the Rules with the GRs.

The Chair stated the revisions were a significant updating, and were done with considerable care avoid changing content and meaning. He thanked Jones and the SREC for consulting with him and Dembo about Senate Council Chair duties, and said the changes were a fair reflection of what he submitted.

Discussion commenced about a non-amendable motion (as suggested by Michael at the SREC meeting) to approve or not approve the changes. There was concern that a line-by-line review in the Senate would take an inordinate amount of time.

Duke asked if the changes differed substantially from current administrative practices. Lesnaw stated that there was a tremendous difference between UCAPP and SAPPC, and it would be important to retain the SAPPC under the auspices of the Senate. The Chair agreed with Lesnaw, stating SAPPC could be a valuable wedge; if a misalignment between UCAPP and SAPPC occurred, the continued existence of the SAPPC could be a valuable tool for the Council and Senate.

In response to Duke's concern, the Chair stated that although there could be a discrepancy between current practices and the revised Rules, the revisions were focused in a narrow area. In terms of basic purpose, the SREC adhered fairly tightly to their charge.

A vote was taken on the motion to approve with a positive recommendation the changes to Section I as presented by Jones and make those changes effective immediately upon approval by the University Senate. The motion passed unanimously.

The Chair again thanked the SREC members for the hard work put into the revisions. He noted that the eight philosophical questions could be folded into subsequent Council deliberations, or discussed at a future retreat.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:46 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Ernie Yanarella
Senate Council Chair

Members present: Baxter, Dembo, Duke, Grabau, Grossman, Grabau, Jones, Lesnaw, Michael, Moore, Randall, Tagavi, Yanarella.

Liaison present: Greissman.

Prepared by Sheila Brothers on January 31, 2006.