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Senate Council Minutes - March 27, 2006

The Senate Council met on Monday, March 27, 2006 at 3:00 pm in 103 Main Building. Below is a record of what transpired.

The meeting was called to order at 3:04 pm.

The Chair introduced himself, as did other Senate Council members. Guests Kyle Dippery, Nelson Fields, Michael Healy, Marla Powers and Brandon Cannada introduced themselves.

1. Minutes from March 6 and Announcements

There being no changes to the minutes, they were approved as distributed.

The Chair referred to Senator Sottile's question at the March 20 University Senate meeting about the Calendar Committee (CC); the Chair explained that in subsequent conversation, Sottile stated his willingness to serve on the CC. The Chair asked for approval from Council members to formerly add Sottile to the committee's membership.

Tagavi moved to include Joe Sottile in the membership of the Calendar Committee. Baxter seconded. A vote was taken and passed unanimously in a voice vote.

The Chair asked Jones for an update on the Ombud Search Committee. Jones shared that the Nominating Committee (NC) had identified a number of faculty members for nomination and was also searching for a chair.

The Chair turned to the Joint Senate Council/Staff Senate committee on mutual interests. He requested the NC provide potential nominees for that group. In reference to Jones' question about the number of open slots, the Chair asked for four individuals' names. Guest Dippery confirmed for Tagavi that the Staff Senate half of the membership would come from volunteers put forth from the entire Staff Senate. Dippery stated that the broad charge likely indicated the long-term nature of the committee, and would thus become a standing committee of the Staff Senate.

In response to a question from Dembo about the trustee election, Jones said the Senate's Rules and Elections Committee (SREC) had formally declared the eligible's list at its meeting on Friday the 24th; an email would go out in approximately one week with information to faculty about the initial step in the process, that of petitions.

2. New DOE Form - Dave Watt and Marla Powers

New DOE Form (PDF)

Guest Powers offered a handout and provided background on the new Distribution of Effort (DOE) form. The FES Committee had taken the four existing forms (from Agriculture (PDF), Medicine (PDF), Libraries (PDF) and Lexington Campus (PDF)) and reviewed them line by line to create the new single form for use by all. The first page was a summary/title page with signatures; the other pages explicitly detailed the specifics of faculty effort. Powers said there was now a place to officially record sabbatical and other leaves on the DOE. She added that written instructions for the form were being reviewed to be ready for a go-live date of April 1.

Jones asked about the manner in which service would be defined. He said the SREC had been reviewing administrative service versus faculty effort for election purposes and said he hoped the new DOE would help clarify those service types. He asked if the instructions clearly spelled out that service was of benefit to UK. Thelin wondered about how service on the Senate Council would be classified. Tagavi said that "service" implied a voluntary action or choosing, not an appointment. Jones stated that the information on the forms would be coded in IRIS and would allow for easy datum tabulation. Powers agreed; she said that consolidating the four forms had been a difficult process but that all the different unique aspects of the forms had been incorporated. The extensive information on the forms would allow for easier comparison at the University-wide level.

Tagavi initiated a discussion of what types of service would qualify as administrative. The Chair said he thought that there might be some pulling and tugging across colleges as to what was historically appropriate for a particular college regarding what would be categorized as "service" and "administration." He said that what was commonly accepted in a college would tend to prevail.

Powers said that nothing was really changed on the form. At the recent Provost's Council meeting, she said she had heard comments that the instructions should be very specific as to where each type of information would be placed on the form and also heard comments that expressed a preference for flexibility. Offering an example of supervising research assistants, Powers said that one college could consider it instruction and another might consider it research. While having it spelled out could be nice, the flexibility was also valued by colleges and allowed them to determine categories for themselves.

Baxter said that there would always be a need to have a hard copy of the form, and that the form had gone from being one-page long to being four-pages long. He said the form should be condensed for the sake of printing. Powers said that the first page was the official page - it summarized the content and contained the signature fields. She said the detailed information should be entered into the faculty database and just the first page need be printed out; the rest of the information would be available in the database, if needed. Liaison Greissman said he thought that just the first page would be printed for administrative purposes. Baxter said he thought that departments would print out the entire document for review, etc.

Lesnaw said that the issue of distinguishing between service and administration did not arise with the form, and that it was a historical issue and not germane to the discussion. Thelin referred to the SREC's need to come up with an accurate roster development for faculty Senate matters. He said it offered an interesting brinksmanship in the issue of department chair salaries tending to artificially bolster average faculty salaries. Thelin offered a hypothetical situation in which a department chair could be at 49% administration and 51% faculty effort. If that person agreed to serve on a committee reviewing parking issues, the individual could forfeit faculty status. Tagavi asked to have some type of standard included in the instructions to unequivocally state what certain positions would be classified as. He also suggested that a third option be added under "Section I. Instruction" to include "49% Teaching" and then include courses if so desired.

Powers said the committee had begun by including course numbers throughout. The committee realized after meeting with deans that many times faculty members did not know what the course number would be when the form was filled out. She said that "Option II" allowed for a summary and also for changes during the course of the year. She said another version could be created to update the DOE. Tagavi asked to have a third option of "49% teaching." Powers said that there was a desire to capture specific course information for comparison at levels across the University.

Lesnaw asked if the committee was charged with combining the four forms into one, or if it was to reform the process by which the distribution of effort is recorded. Powers answered that the committee had been charged to combine the forms into one form. Lesnaw stated that the discussion was moving to an extremely important area but that it should be reserved for a different committee.

There being no further questions, the Chair thanked Powers for attending.

3. NG Readmission to College of Law

The Chair invited an overview from Guest Healy before discussion.

Jones moved that, pursuant to KRS 61.810, the Senate Council go into closed session for discussion pertaining to a student petition. Duke seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

The Senate Council took action on the agenda item.

4. Suspension of BFA Fine Arts, Design Concentration Program and 5. Suspension of BFA Fine Arts, Acting Concentration Program

Design Concentration Program Suspension (PDF)
Acting Concentration Program Suspension (PDF)

Guest Fields said the proposal came about from a recent review of Department of Theatre programs. He said that graduate level faculty across the country were not looking for undergraduates with excessive technical knowledge but no experience outside of a theater building. He said a lack of experience in arts/literature and humanities in BFA graduates reinforced the desire to suspend the program. The number of students wanting and getting into the BFA in design and acting concentration programs was dwindling. The suspension is intended to discern if the trend continues. Fields added that the programs were eating up faculty resources for very few students.

Duke asked what a student's next step would be if the student wanted to study acting. Fields said the undergraduate degrees were never intended to serve as training programs and were not supposed to prepare for life in the professional world. A student would likely go into further studies at the graduate level with an MFA in conjunction with a regional theater, or could pursue a professional training program independent of a university. He said that undergraduate students who leave the program to go to the professional level usually return for graduate work at a later date.

The Chair asked about students presently in the program. Fields said that some accelerated courses were provided to help students complete coursework on time and that coursework would be offered until students graduate. New students into the program, however, were not being accepted. Fields said that auditions and interviews would still be held for retention of current students. In response to a question from the Chair, Fields said the program would make a decision regarding its suspension within five years. He said that the curriculum for BA programs was being reworked and would be put into place and be operating efficiently before deleting the design and acting concentrations. Fields added that the department was looking at models to give students a good liberal arts background with acting but still offer a well rounded education. He said it was likely that a revised program would not allow USP requirements to be fulfilled by theater classes.

Grabau asked if the proposal to suspend would diminish the value of the degree and wondered what was being done to help a student make alternate plans. He also asked if all the faculty members of the department had signed the memo. Fields said that the only department member who did not sign was on sabbatical. He said that faculty members had sat down and talked with students and showed how the students could revert to a BA program. Fields said that the intent was not to imply that the BFA was not a valuable degree - the impetus for suspension was that programs across the country were changing to prefer BA students. He said students would be counseled to continue into graduate programs, since records indicated that BA students do better in terms of placement and performance in graduate programs.

Tagavi referred to the October 5, 2005 memo from Fields to Dean Shay in which Fields writes that the programs as written do not fulfill the requirements of a true BFA program. Tagavi said that the sentence would imply that the degree was not worthwhile. He asked him to amend the language. Fields said that the reality was that the BFA programs were not really true BFA programs, which had been one of the complaints - it was based too much in the liberal arts. Tagavi said that his suggestion was not mandatory, but still felt that if the sentence was accurate, then all students in the program should be forced to move to the BA. He said it did not seem academically honest, but assumed that that was not Fields' intent. Fields agreed to amend the sentence.

Tagavi noted the signatures of faculty members indicated approval of the program suspensions. He asked if it was ever voted on in a faculty meeting. Fields stated that no official vote had been taken, and it was not the tendency of the department to do so. He said a consensus had been reached, hence the signatures. Tagavi asked about a reference to another program in Fields' October 6, 2005 memo. That change in BA program was not part of the current discussion, and had not been recommended upon by the Senate's Academic Organization and Structure Committee. In response to Tagavi, Fields said the two proposals were not connected.

A vote was taken on the positive recommendation from the Senate's Academic Organization and Structure Committee regarding the suspension of the BFA Fine Arts, Design and Acting Concentration Programs. The motion passed unanimously.

Dembo offered his compliments to Fields for the honest assessment of the college and its programs and for publicly stating that there was room for improvement. He said the suspensions were addressed by Fields and the Department of Theatre in a very elegant manner.

7. Change in Composition of Graduate Council

Change in Composition of Graduate Council (PDF)

Guest Blackwell requested the Senate Council discuss the change to the Graduate Council's composition before the method of appointment.

The Chair said the proposal came from the Senate's Academic Organization and Structure Committee (SAOSC) with a positive recommendation and invited Blackwell to offer background information on the proposal. Blackwell stated the impetus for the reapportionment was the last round of administrative restructuring on campus and the realignment of which faculty members are in what category of graduate faculty. She said the last reapportionment was done in Spring 2004. She noted that the creation of the College of Public Health, the movement of the Graduate Center for Toxicology to the College of Medicine, and the reassignment of former programs and faculty tied to the now extinct College of Human Environmental Sciences to the Colleges of Education and Agriculture were incorporated into the new composition. In addition, during the process of cleaning up records in the Graduate School (GS) database and migrating the data to the Faculty Database, GS personnel encountered discrepancies due to death of faculty members and departures from UK, among other causes. She said the GS was getting a much more accurate vision of who was in the graduate faculty and that their records were now more accurate as it pertained to contact information and faculty status.

Tagavi moved to approve the proposal. Jones seconded. A vote was taken on the motion and it passed unanimously.

6. Change to Method of Appointment to Graduate Faculty

Change to Method of Appointment to Graduate Faculty (PDF)

Blackwell introduced the proposal by explaining that she had undertaken an informal survey of UK's benchmarks and found that there was wide variation in the way that graduate faculty members were appointed or granted that status. She said there was a move toward acknowledging that people who have achieved tenure have also demonstrated success by way of accomplishments in research, teaching and service. Blackwell stated that those faculty in the tenure bearing faculty title series were contributing to the training and mentoring of graduate students, which in turn was expanding the research definition. She recognized that the proposal to spread tenure bearing faculty title series outside the regular title series was pushing the current boundaries of the formation of graduate faculty, but said it was an interesting question to approach. Blackwell added that she has been asked to appoint some faculty to graduate faculty that fall into an exception category, and that it was happening with more regularity. She said a change would also decrease paperwork; currently, when (usually) an associate professor is at the three-year mark, the appointment runs out and reappointment requires another round of paperwork with signatures, memos, supporting documentation, etc. She wanted to change to an appointment of six years. Blackwell said that would allow more flexibility at the associate professor level and would eliminate a substantial amount of paperwork. She said the reappointment of an associate professor could add unnecessary delays to a student's doctoral committee work processes.

An open and friendly discussion followed. Blackwell and all Senate Council members present discussed:

Throughout the discussion, Blackwell stated her intent was primarily to open up a discussion on various graduate faculty appointment issues and reiterated her flexibility regarding specific wording and solutions to problems pointed out by Senate Council members.

The Chair summed up by stating that it was clear there was no consensus in the Senate Council on many of the issues discussed. He noted the proposal had come from the SAOSC with a positive recommendation and had to be acted upon in some way. Jones asked Blackwell if the Graduate Council (GC) needed to look over the proposal again; she said big changes should be reviewed by the GC before going forward in the Senate apparatus. She thought the issue of automatic membership should be decided by the Senate Council before the proposal returned to the GC.

Tagavi moved that the Senate Council offer a strong opinion that the automatic membership to full graduate faculty status upon the granting of tenure be limited to the regular title series, and that special title series considerations under like circumstances be done on a case-by-case basis. There was no immediate second. Lesnaw said she did not care for the codicil at the end. Tagavi reworded the motion so that the Senate Council offered a strong opinion that automatic membership to full graduate faculty status be limited to the regular title series. Lesnaw seconded. Jones offered a friendly amendment to include, "within the limitations of the Governing Regulations." Both Tagavi and Lesnaw accepted. The motion passed unanimously.

After brief discussion about where the proposal should go for further work, Jones moved to recommit the proposal to the Senate's Academic Organization and Structure Committee. Lesnaw seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Due to time constraints, the Chair stated that agenda items number eight and number nine would be deferred until the April 3 Senate Council meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Ernie Yanarella,
Senate Council Chair

Members present: Baxter, Dembo, Duke, Grabau, Jarvis, Jones, Lesnaw, Moore, Randall, Thelin, Tagavi, Yanarella.

Senate Council Liaison present: Greissman.

Guests present: Brandon Cannada, Kyle Dippery, Nelson Fields, Michael Healy, Marla Powers.

Prepared by Sheila Brothers on March 28, 2006