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Senate Council Minutes - August 22, 2005

The Senate Council met on Monday, August 22, 2005 at 3:00 pm in 103 Main Building and took the following actions.

1. Minutes from May 2, 2005

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

2. Announcements

The Chair reported that the Interim Provost had brought to his attention a policy from the CPE regarding UK's compliance with Completer Degrees. The CPE has adopted a policy requiring all state universities to provide a program of study that will serve as a completion to any AA earned in the KCTCS system such that the student could earn a Bachelor's degree from any university in the normal number of credits required as other students. The Chair said he looked forward to further briefings by the Interim Provost regarding this topic.

The Chair alerted the Senate Council members to a pending policy that seems to require faculty members to waive payments for services they do in various ways and pass along those payments to the Department without being permitted to influence how those funds are then utilized. He reported having made an inquiry into the exact nature of the proposal and will keep the Senate Council apprised of any further developments.

The Chair queried the Senate Council members regarding their willingness to continue the positions of Provost Liaison and BCTC (formerly LCC) Liaison to the Senate Council. After brief conversation Grossman made a motion to continue to invite a liaison from the Provost's office and discontinue the standing liaison with BCTC, although if issues arise regarding BCTC/UK relations the Senate Council will welcome BCTC participation and discussion. Jones seconded the motion.

Tagavi asked if Greissman would continue on as the Provost's Liaison. Cibull noted the Provost would be permitted to name his own liaison, as before. The Interim Provost reported that both he and Greissman were interested in Greissman's continuing service in this capacity. The motion passed without dissent.

The Chair invited the Senate Council members to consider opportunities for regular and periodic communication with the Provost and the President. He noted that both had expressed a desire to meet with the Senate Council on a more frequent basis and asked the Senate Council members to find occasions to regularize such meetings.

The Chair announced that the Chellgren Center will be unveiled on Friday, and will involve a fair amount of publicity. The President, the Interim Provost and the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education will be present to discuss various initiatives that are under development regarding undergraduate education reform and assessment. One of the issues that may be discussed is the possibility of a joint Provost-Senate Council committee that would plan and investigate a review of USP within the context of the recent program review and the need to integrate assessment into the general education curriculum. The Chair noted that a draft of the USP external review committee report was expected in September, and that he wished to alert the Senate Council members to the possibility that they'd be involved in moving a potential committee or task force forward. He asked the Senate Council members to consider participating on such a committee or giving some thought to possible recommendations regarding membership.

Grossman announced that the Board of Trustees passed the proposed Code of Student Conduct over the summer, which removed the authority from the Appeals Board of determining how appeals of academic offenses are to be considered. Grossman said he was considering polling the faculty to see how they felt about the proposal that emanated from the ad hoc Academic Offenses Committee the previous Spring in light of the change in policy.

Tagavi asked if the Senate Council members could have input into the nature of the survey questions. Grossman replied that input would be considered. The Chair suggested that the topic be reconsidered at a following meeting, including the possibility of revisiting the existing proposal.

3. Interim Provost Scott Smith

The Interim Provost thanked the Senate Council for inviting him to speak and outlined a variety of issues facing his administration over the next year. He provided an overview of the nature of the Chellgren Center and the various programs housed therein and discussed the on-going search for an endowed Chellgren chair to lead the Center. He noted that while it was important to celebrate certain successes in undergraduate education it is also important to seize the opportunity of the Center's opening to further the cause of general education reform and assessment. He noted that multidimensional discussions of that process should include both the directors who will be administratively housed in the Center as well as the proposed Provost-Senate Council committee.

The second point discussed by the Interim Provost was enrollment management and its relationship to the Top 20 Business Plan being developed with the help of the Stillwater Group. The Interim Provost said that simply getting bigger will not help UK reach Top 20 status, adding that UK can't get any bigger without making a serious investment in additional faculty lines, instructional space, dorm space and the like. He noted that institutions that are ranked higher than UK are also larger, and that some measurements used to determine status are definitely tied to size. He noted that pressure from the state government to increase enrollment was likely to continue, and that the Administration and the Faculty needed to work closely together to manage the pressures of increasing enrollments. He said one of the first issues he had to address upon assuming the office was a proposal from the Admissions Advisory committee requesting a decrease in the size of the incoming class by 150 students. He said that while the proposal was denied the figures for next year would remain approximately the same as the previous year.

Jones asked who had the authority to determine the target admission numbers each year. Smith noted that the authority to make the determination was more of a practice than a written policy, in that every year the Provost writes a letter to the Admissions office to inform them of the target enrollment for the following year. The letter is written after consultation with the Office of Budget and Planning and is intended to drive recruitment.

The Interim Provost added that such decisions have been made in the past in a less-than-transparent manor and that more public communication and discussion should take place in the future. He added that the issue of diversity will be increasingly important in future discussions regarding enrollment management, particularly in light of the the Supreme Court ruling in the University of Michigan case, changing enrollment demographics and the need to increase scholarship dollars to support a broader definition of diversity.

Duke asked if any changes in the enrollment picture could be attributed to tuition increases. The Interim Provost replied that tuition increases seemed to have little impact on enrollment, and that the CPE's affordability study suggested that UK may in fact be too inexpensive.

The Interim Provost concluded by saying that another important conversation should take place regarding research management and how research investments are handled on campus.

Grabau asked if UK's changing student population would impact the CPE's willingness to allow UK to apply for new academic programs. The Interim Provost replied that the impact was already being felt and that plans were underway to apply for a provisional waiver of one year. He added that the application might not go forward for several months in order to include as many new programs as possible under the one-year provisional waiver.

The Interim Provost offered to meet with the Senate Council again at any time during the year. The Chair thanked him for his time.

4. Phyllis Nash, IRIS Update

The Chair thanked Nash for attending to update the Senate Council on the progress of the IRIS project. Nash thanked the many dedicated people involved in the project who she said were working round the clock to meet goals and deadlines. Nash provided the go-live dates for SAP and discussed changes to policies that would improve efficiencies and prove more student friendly. She also outlined the way in which the system's security would work as an open system and the mechanisms by which users' data entry would be tracked. She differentiated between central office users and general users, as well as view access and update access in the system. Nash provided a brief outline of the various components of the overall system and discussed the way in which training would begin with basic level courses and progress to more detailed sessions. She added that users would be required to pass basic competencies before being granted access to the system.

Grossman asked if the SAP web portal was certified for all platforms. Nash replied that it was not, and that the portal was being installed on PCs since they offered a more stable environment. Additionally, support for Macintosh computers was not factored in to the preliminary discussion, but since Macs will apparently be supported then the system will be made to adjust accordingly.

Nash outlined the various risk and success factors faced by the IRIS project, noting the need to control the scope of the project, finish the project on time and on budget, and to make sure the essential functions of the University would continue. She suggested that the ability to make decisions quickly increased the chances of the project's success, adding that everybody on campus should be supportive of the business officers who were undergoing tremendous anxiety about their continued ability to do their jobs. She added that once the first phase of the system goes live a command center will be established to assist users, and that a strong support network will be available.

The Chair thanked Nash for her thorough overview. Nash offered to return any time to discuss the project further.

5. Board and Senate degree candidate list

The Chair suggested postponing the Senate's committee and chair appointments until the subsequent meeting. The Senate Council turned its attention to the August 2005 degree candidate list. Jones asked if LCC was included on this particular list. Ms. Scott replied that while those degrees will be routed through the Senate one additional time, they were not included in this particular list and would arrive later. Jones asked Tagavi if the WKU Engineering students were included, and if the administrative wrinkles that had previously omitted those students from this list had been ironed out. Tagavi replied that he was uncertain of the current situation.

Jones made a motion that the Senate Council act on behalf of the Senate because it is summer and to recommend the names on the list to the Board of Trustees for approval. Tagavi seconded the motion, which passed without dissent.

6. Make the Difference suggestion

Make the Difference suggestion (DOC)

The Chair outlined the proposal and noted the various people and offices on campus with which he had conferred. He noted that while there may be certain administrative efficiencies should the proposal be implemented, he was uncertain as to whether or not the proposal was in the best interest of the students. Cibull noted that the students weren't back from summer break yet and should be consulted before deciding on the proposal. Various Senate Council members discussed the pros and cons of the proposal. Tagavi and Grossman requested that empirical evidence be provided to support the claim that a problem exists. The Chair suggested the item be discussed again at some future time.

7. Representatives to the Councils of the Senate

The Chair reported that Grabau had volunteered for Undergraduate Council, Roy Moore for Graduate Council, and that both Jones and Lesnaw had volunteered for HCCC. Tagavi suggested that one of them serve as the primary member while the other served as alternate. Jones suggested that Lesnaw serve as the primary member and he would be the alternate. Lesnaw agreed. The names of the Council representatives will be forwarded to the Chairs of each Council, as appropriate.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15. Unfinished business will be discussed during the August 29, 2005 meeting.

Respectfully submitted by Ernie Yanarella
Senate Council Chair

Members present: Cibull, Duke, Grabau, Grossman, Jones, Lesnaw, Tagavi, Thelin, Yanarella

Guests present: Nash, Smith

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on August 22, 2005.