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Senate Council Minutes - March 6, 2006

The Senate Council met on Monday, March 6, 2006 at 3:00 pm in 103 Main Building. Below is a record of what transpired.

The meeting was called to order at 3:02 pm.

The Chair asserted his prerogative and reordered the agenda to accommodate the guests. The new order would be agenda item number one three, four, two, five and then six ("Agenda for March University Senate Meeting").

1. Minutes from February 27 and Announcements

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

The Chair referred to recent information discussed on the Senate Council listserv on the University Committee on Strategic Planning and Priorities (formerly known as UCAPP, now UCSPP). He indicated the individuals who had been selected from the nominee list, and stated that Tagavi's proposal to include the Senate Council Chair as an ex officio member of UCSPP was approved. He said there was widespread faculty participation both in the general UCSPP committee proper and in the domain subcommittees.

The Chair then reported on a meeting with representatives from all the councils earlier in the day, stating that more would need to be discussed with chair-elect Tagavi. The Senate Council Office met informally with the Graduate, Health Care Colleges and Undergraduate Councils to prepare for the spring avalanche of proposals and the pleas to have them expedited. He said that many of the proposals were moved through the process, but some problems and logjams occurred from time to time. The Chair shared that a fair number of ideas had percolated up that he agreed to try to address during the coming months, which would necessarily involve Tagavi. Although some of the ideas were obviously very helpful, the Chair thought other suggestions would need closer scrutiny and require work during the summer months. The meeting was also helpful in that it provided general information about what went on in other councils.

The Chair announced that Grossman was going to become the Director of Graduate Studies and associate chair in the Department of Chemistry. In light of these significant responsibilities, he was stepping down as a Senate Council member at the end of June. The Chair noted the information was received with a considerable regret but at the same time offered best wishes for Grossman and the Department of Chemistry; Grossman's defense of faculty interests and concerns were appreciated.

2. Women's Studies Program Name Change

Women's Studies Program Name Change (PDF)

The Chair shared that there had been brief discussion after the February 27 Senate Council meeting and discussion on the listserv regarding specific wording in the proposal. Jones initiated a conversation with Women's Studies Program Director Joan Callahan and the two were able to deal with potential problems and come up with alternative language. Although the issues were not specifically related to the name change to the "Gender and Women's Studies Program," they were concerned with ancillary documents that were a part of the proposal.

Guest Callahan referred to a handout, which she said was a new memorandum to the Senate Council, which incorporated changes she and Davy made. It was based on her January 22, 2005 memo to Dean Hoch.

The first change addressed a concern from the Senate's Academic Organization and Structure Committee (SAOSC) regarding faculty support for the name change. Callahan said that information regarding a poll conducted via email and subsequent collection of 37 positive responses out of 51 affiliated faculty for the name change was inserted into the memo. She said that it was clearly a settled preference and that the current name was antiquated and did not give due respect to faculty members and the areas in which they were working.

The second change was also from the SAOSC and dealt with the naming of the topical major, minor and graduate certificate in the program. She was not sure of how a discrepancy had occurred, but said that Dean Hoch equally approved the name change be applied to those three degrees.

The third change was an indication of the origins of the memo.

The fourth change was more substantive, regarding wording in the program's mission statement. Callahan said those materials had been around for years, and were added to the proposal to help situate the name change. She said Jones offered convincing arguments about how the language could be questioned by a reasonable person. Callahan said that the three changes to the "Program Commitments" section had not been approved by the steering committee, but she thought she could convince them of the need to change the text in the handout, and also on the web and in other materials. The phrase "'gender issues' and" was added and the word "strategies" was removed. She said she objected in a minor way to removing "and unjust" from the last sentence in the commitment's first paragraph. She noted that text on a banner hanging from the Main Building included the phrase "Peace, Social Justice and Reconciliation."

Jones suggested that such a comparison to the banner was faulty due to the level of description present in the handout, opposed to the brevity of the banner. Grossman thanked Callahan for considering the changes, but said that he still found the word "celebrating" problematic. He said that although "celebrating women's resources, contributions, and creativity, wherever and however they occur" could be the inclination of individual faculty members affiliated with the program, the statement should in no way suggest that celebrating was a requirement for employment. Grossman suggested "critiquing," which he said would allow for both positive and negative implications. Jones stated that "celebrate" was language approved by the Board of Trustees (BoT).

Callahan said she would agree to a change if another word could be found that would capture the spirit of "celebrate." She said the fact remained that women's resources, contributions and creativity had not historically been celebrated. Jones suggested "recognizing." Liaison Greissman proposed "affirming."

A lengthy, in-depth discussion among all the Senate Council members and Callahan followed, regarding possible uses of other words. Callahan reiterated that she was willing to change the wording if the name change was contingent upon it. There was discussion about UK's use of the phrase "celebrate diversity" and possible implications for the use of the word "celebrating." Throughout, Callahan made it clear she would make whatever changes were necessary to move the name change forward.

The Chair said he thought the discussion could continue in a philosophical manner for quite awhile. The Chair opined that the use of "celebrating" was as applicable for use in the Women's Studies Program (WSP) as in the African American Studies and Research Program. He said the WSP had sought to promote something of a paradigm change beyond the intellectualistic and mentalistic ways in which women and gender issues have been addressed in the past. Much of this paradigm change has to do with the bodily dimensions of women and gender issues. The Chair stated the business of the Senate Council was specifically to affirm or deny the request for a name change. He said that the two sections involved in the current discussion could have been left out of the proposal and there would have been no discussion on them. The Chair said he doubted the Mission Statement or Program Commitment had been changed in light of the proposed name change. He thought Jones had anchored the edits around what he [Jones] deemed to be acceptable language within UK and vetted through the BoT. The Chair said he would fight to the death for the right of others to raise basic questions but wondered if the current debate was profitable.

After additional discussion, Callahan explained that WSP offers a topical major, not a standing or regular major. There is a standing undergraduate minor. Tagavi stated that adding "gender" to the name was a significant change, and that courses should be listed to support the name change. Callahan explained that there were not many courses offered through WSP. A group of affiliated faculty is polled every semester to find out who is teaching a course that could be identified as a course to include as an undergraduate or graduate WSP course. A graduate course was defined as one in which 90% of content was on gender; an undergraduate course was defined as one in which 50% of content was on gender. After email responses are gathered, the WSP lists them. Some courses are taught under WSP rubrics, but most are electives taught under the departmental rubrics. In response to Tagavi, Callahan explained that while there were specific programs for the undergraduate minor and the graduate certificate, the topical major necessarily did not have a required curriculum; the topical major had to be constructed individually. Tagavi suggested giving sample courses offered in the past. Callahan said she did not know if any courses were specifically offered that addressed masculinity studies, but said it was an important component of other courses. Thelin stated that since the supporting documents were submitted with the proposal, the narrative also had to be approved.

Grossman stated that he was uncomfortable putting words in the mouths of WSP faculty, and noted that it would be a sacrifice on Callahan's part to agree to the edits. He suggested the supporting paperwork at issue be deleted from the proposal to move the proposal forward without impinging upon the program's faculty. Tagavi agreed. Grossman said he would formally move such if agreed to by Callahan. Callahan agreed, stating the actual proposal was limited to the first page.

Grossman moved to amend the proposal by removing Appendices II and III. Lesnaw seconded. A vote was taken, and the motion passed unanimously.

A vote was taken on the motion from committee to approve the proposal to change the name of the Women's Studies Program to the "Gender and Women's Studies Program." The motion passed unanimously.

3. UK Policy on Graduation Honors RE: LCC

UK Policy on Graduation Honors RE: LCC (PDF)

The Chair introduced two guests, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Phil Kraemer and Eileen Abel, one of the elected KCTCS senators and the KCTCS ex officio representative to the UK University Studies Program Committee.

Jones offered background information. Before 1998 when all the community colleges (cc) were still with UK, when cc students transferred to UK, not only would their credit hours transfer but the grades on their courses would also transfer. The result of this was that grades received for courses taken at a cc were factored into the UK GPA and the post-graduate GPA honors, such as cum laude, etc. At that time, there was still oversight by UK of many of the cc courses. When the cc separated from UK in 1998, a grandfather clause took effect that allowed cc students enrolled before 1998 and graduating within six years to still receive a degree with UK's name on it. If the student transferred to UK, the old rule of transferring credits and GPA still applied.

Jones then referred to the separation of Lexington Community College (LCC, now the Bluegrass Technical Community College, or BCTC) from UK in 2004. At that time, UK had also been calculating the UK GPA with the LCC student's LCC coursework. When LCC separated from UK in 2004, the grandfather clause stated that LCC students transferring before 2010 would have their LCC/BCTC grades be used in the calculation of the UK GPA. The intention was that post-2004, new students enrolling in UK from BCTC would be treated like any other student, i.e. the credit hours would transfer, but the grades would not count toward UK Graduation Honors.

Jones stated that he had been made aware that for 2004 - 2005, an interpretation had been made in the Office of the Registrar that students enrolling at BCTC even after 2004 could still have their credits and grades transfer to UK, based on a provision in a Senate Rule that continued to contain the references to LCC. At the University Senate meeting in February, that provision was removed because of the Senate's approval of the changes to the Senate Rules (Rules) Section I. The Office of the Registrar expressed concern about pertinent sections being changed mid-semester, referring to published statements in the University Bulletin. Jones said that the Senate's Rules and Elections Committee offered an official position that the Rule under which a BCTC student enrolled would be the pertinent Rule in force.

Jones stated that the issue at hand was that of BCTC's request that the current arrangement of UK allowing a transfer of credits and grades continue; BCTC would be willing to continue to monitor the UK course titles and descriptions, and work with Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to make sure BCTC course content would be similar to that of UK's course content. Jones noted that the curricular content of the BCTC courses would not be approved by the Senate. In response to Jones, Guest Abel stated a similar offering was made to cc students when the cc separated from UK. She said BCTC was only asking for the same consideration offered to the cc students in 1998.

After brief discussion, the Senate Council requested that Jones put together a document outlining the issue in order to increase clarity and understanding of the issue. Jones said he would work with University Registrar Don Witt to make sure the explanation was factually correct. In response to a request from Abel, Jones stated he would of course send that document to Peggy Saunier. Kraemer noted that at one point, the cc were not accepting UK courses for credit for students transferring from UK to a cc.

4. MS Dentistry Plan B Option

MS Dentistry Plan B Option (PDF)

The Chair introduced Karen Novak from Department of Periodontics. Novak said that until the past year, there had been three tracks in orthodontics: orofacial pain and periodontics. A pediatric dentistry and pre-doctoral masters of science tracks were added at the beginning of the year. Novak stated she had been Director of Graduate Studies in Dentistry for the past two years. At the beginning of her tenure, students would write a thesis, make their defense and then have a document that was never translated into something for a peer-reviewed journal. She said discussions began about a year ago about a transition to a Plan B.

She said the research proposal committee would look at the proposal for suitability before going forward. The final step would be submission to a peer-reviewed journal, not publication. Novak said the original intent had been to transition to just a plan B, but the Graduate Council suggested continuing to offer the Plan A option, as well. She said the stringency of research would be high, if not higher than present requirements, and that more students would be published.

Lesnaw wondered if there was a distinct plan to follow for a thesis. She said she sat on many committees where even a PhD thesis was a collection of publications. She agreed with the rationale, but expressed puzzlement over the approach; Lesnaw thought the format for the thesis could be changed. Novak replied that she and Jeff Ebersole had a discussion with Brian Jackson in the Graduate School Admissions Office regarding something expedited for current students. The Graduate School denied such a proposal, saying it was not the norm for masters thesis work for other programs in the Graduate School.

Thelin offered a general observation that in a formal masters thesis, there was more emphasis on form than substance. He thought there would be sufficient oversight by faculty, and was supportive. Novak added that faculty would work with students on resubmissions in the event of a rejection letter from a journal. Grossman asked about control over which journal would be chosen for submission, expressing concern that substandard journals could be chosen. Novak said that there was no explicit oversight of the journal built in, but she assured Grossman that the program directors would not want to submit to a substandard journal. She went on to say that since the program director or another faculty member would have their name on the program, it was unlikely a submission to a questionable journal would occur. Tagavi said that as long as it was subject to approval by an advisory committee, it was okay.

Tagavi asked about maintaining plan A; he wondered if it would not be offered after a certain time. Novak said the intent was to only offer the plan A option for a short period of time but the Graduate Council suggested both options be retained. Tagavi expressed concern about clarity in the proposal about whether a student could take 30 hours and also do a research project separate from a course. He said it needed to be stated more clearly for a student.

The Chair asked if there were changes that needed to be incorporated before a review in the Senate. There being no changes and no further discussion, a vote was taken on the motion to approve the MS Dentistry Plan B option. The motion passed unanimously.

5. Date for March University Senate Meeting

The Chair stated that the scheduled March date for the Senate meeting fell on the first day of spring break, and asked Council members if the meeting should be rescheduled. Tagavi said it would not be fair to student senators to hold a meeting on the 13th.

Tagavi moved to postpone the University Senate meeting until March 20. Jones seconded. A vote was taken on the motion, which passed unanimously.

The Chair then turned to a possible Senate Council meeting on the 13th. There were no pressing agenda items to address, so Randall moved to not hold a Senate Council meeting on Monday, March 13. Lesnaw seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

6. Agenda for March University Senate Meeting

The Chair noted the possible agenda items. Tagavi suggested adding the name change of the Women's Studies Program and the MS Dentistry Plan B Option.

Thelin moved, Lesnaw seconded and the Council unanimously passed the following list of agenda items for the March 20 Senate meeting:

Tagavi asked about the status of the Ombud Search Committee. Jones replied that the Nominating Committee had put out a call to faculty councils for individuals to make up the search committee.

Referring to a breakfast meeting with President Todd last semester, Grossman suggested another meeting to discuss UCSPP and other germane issues. The Chair asked if the Council desired him to set up such a meeting. Thelin agreed, but added that it was difficult to schedule time with President Todd during the legislative session. The Chair added that he was also trying to arrange for incoming provost Kumble Subbaswamy to attend a Senate Council meeting. The Chair said he would work diligently on both potential meetings.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 4:53 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Ernie Yanarella,
Senate Council Chair

Members present: Baxter, Grossman, Jones, Lesnaw, Randall, Tagavi, Thelin, Yanarella.

Senate Council Liaison present: Greissman.

Guests present: Eileen Abel, Joan Callahan, Karen Novak.

Prepared by Sheila Brothers on March 7, 2006