University Senate Minutes - September 8, 1997
The University Senate met in regular session at 3:00 p.m., September 8, 1997 in Room 115 of the Nursing Health Sciences Building.
Professor Jim Applegate, Chairperson on the Senate Council presided.
Members absent were: Debra Aaron, Laila Akhlaghi, M. Mukhtar Ali*, Douglas Boyd, Geza Bruckner, Joseph Burch, Mary Burke*, Johnny Cailleteau, Ben Carr, Edward Carter, Philip DeSimone, Robert Farquhar, Donald Frazier, Richard Furst, Philip Greasley, Ottfried Hahn, David Hamilton*, James Holsinger, Jamshed Kanga, Craig Koontz, Thomas Lester, Oran Little, David Mohney, Wolfgang Natter, Anthony Newberry, Rhoda-Gale Pollack*, Todd P'Pool, Thomas Robinson, Elizabeth Rompf*, David Shipley, Gregory Smith, Edward Soltis, David Stockham, Louis Swift, Kaveh Tagavi, Michael Tomblyn, George Wagner, William Wagner, Jesse Weil, Emery Wilson*, William Witt, and Elisabeth Zinser.
* Absence Explained
Chairperson Jim Applegate called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to what was going to be a busy year.
The Chair stated that as he noted in the general invitation sent to faculty and students it is a tradition to have President Wethington give the State of the Campus Address. What is not a tradition is the year we in higher education have experienced, so he is sure it will be an interesting presentation. He assumed office on May 15, 1997 as the recent special session convened. That experience at times brought to mind those old admonitions to avoid watching sausage and law being made. At other times it reminded him of what is a Middle Eastern saying that (with apologies) he quotes from Dean Doug Boyd whose research takes him to that part of the world; the camels may bray and the dogs may bark but the caravan must keep rolling along. However, at other times in the session and as the Senate meets here today he senses a commitment and energy focused on higher education that was and is truly exciting.
He has heard the President on several occasions speak to our future in these terms and knows he plans to share with them a vision of how this caravan is indeed rolling along with a renewed sense of optimism and energy at this watershed moment in the history of higher education in Kentucky. He welcomed President Wethington and stated that the Senate looked forward to his State of the Campus Address.
Dr. Wethington was given a round of applause.
The President's remarks follow:
UNIVERSITY SENATE PRESENTATION
September 8, 1997
Ladies and Gentlemen of the University Senate. Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you for a brief period as we begin the 1997-98 academic year. It's especially nice this year to have the students and faculty back in full swing, with another promising year underway at the University.
In the next few minutes, I will offer some brief thoughts on the following: (1) a brief report (a quick look) on developments within the University since I spoke this time last year; (2) some comments on the state reform effort that occupied our time and attention last year,- and (3) a report on plans and initiatives that are underway and in the works for the immediate future.
Looking Back at 1996-97
We continued to make progress toward achieving our goal of having in Lexington a University of undeniable excellence and quality. There were so many positive developments in the student body, on the faculty, in the staff, and on the campus of the University, during the past year that it is almost impossible to select developments that stand out. I offer the following as a mere representative sample:
This past year, we began an initiative that we call the inclusive learning community. At a time when other parts of the country are struggling with such initiatives, we have chosen to rededicate our efforts to have an inclusive learning community, one that can reflect upon, appreciate, and celebrate the diversity of our students, faculty, staff, and the people we serve across our state and nation. We have made great progress toward equitable treatment of all members of the University community. Our "inclusive learning community" is designed to provide us a reminder of the need to move forward on this front.
We selected this past year the first group of students for the Robinson Scholars Program. This Program is funded with monies from the E.O. Robinson Trust (monies produced principally by mining operations in the Robinson forest). Under this Trust, UK is obligated to use trust funds to improve the lives of people of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. We have selected 162 promising young eighth grade students from 29 counties in the eastern part of our state and are committed to providing financial support for their education at the University of Kentucky in Lexington or in one of the UK community colleges. We will select additional students for this program in the years ahead and believe that it is perhaps the best way to achieve our objective of improving the lives of the people of this region.
We continue to build a very strong student body in our University. We ranked in the top 10 public institutions in the country for the number of freshman national merit scholars enrolled in the fall semester, our fourth consecutive year in the top 10. The College of Medicine enrolled its best ever classes over the last couple of years and the College of Law continues to attract a very strong student body, well above those of the other law schools of the state.
We made progress again on the research front. Our faculty and staff attracted $125 million in new contracts, grants, and gifts, although federal support for research became even more competitive during the period. Over the most recent three year period, we have improved our standing from 72 to 66 among all research universities in the country and are now ranked 45th among all public universities. We are in a very good position to take advantage of any increase in state funding for this part of our mission.
We had another banner year in development, as our base of private support continues to grow. We received in excess of $41 million in donations during our most recent fund year. Among these donations was a $1 million gift from Ervin J. Nutter (a long time University supporter) to establish four professorships in the College of Engineering and a gift from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust to establish a chair in the College of Medicine in oncology research.
We had important developments this past year in facilities for the university:
We are in the final stages of construction of the new William T. Young Library. We will complete the project this fall and dedicate the building before the end of the spring semester. We will move in between semesters and open for library business at the beginning of the spring semester, 1998. We have sought and will have on our campus a world-class state of the art library, one that will be the envy of institutions across the country and one that will serve us well as we undertake to become a top 20 research University.
We began construction during the year on the first phase of the new Aging/Allied Health Facility on the Southeast side of the UK Campus (on the Rose-Limestone Street side of the Medical Center Complex). We completed and opened a new parking facility between Limestone and Upper (at the north end of the campus) and in so doing added 1000 new parking spaces to our supply. We will never have all the parking capability we would have in an ideal world. But we are clearly in better shape in this regard than we have in been in quite a long time. We are particularly pleased with the new facility's appearance, a factor of critical importance because of its location on the campus. I should add that we have made a special effort recently to add to the beauty of our campus and I believe we have made progress in that regard.
During the past year, we concluded a sale of part of the South Farm on Nicholasville Road. These funds are dedicated to fund the construction of a new plant science research and instruction building for the College of Agriculture and we hope to get that project approved during the upcoming year.
Other notable achievements of the past year are perhaps, too numerous to mention--e.g., our selection as one of 18 research universities to participate in a sponsored program to emphasize teaching training for new faculty, our new Ph.D. programs in social work (with the University of Louisville) and gerontology, our engineering college initiatives to meet the needs of Kentucky industries (especially in the western part of the state), and the great service activities of our extension programs in the College of Agriculture and the Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems.
Time does not permit me to do justice to all in describing the achievements of the past year. I conclude by simply extending thanks to you and to your faculty colleagues for our continuing recent success as a quality institution.
State Reform of Higher Education
In this spring of this year, I spoke to you about the state's pending reform initiatives for higher education in Kentucky and expressed to you some of the concerns I had about those developments. The first phase of these initiatives ended in late spring with enactment of legislation that will affect the University of Kentucky in substantial, though yet uncertain, ways. I have strived during these efforts to protect the interests of the University of Kentucky and the citizens of our state and have worked with state officials in an effort to find ways to improve the state's higher education system. I can tell you that I am more satisfied with the final product that I was with the proposed product. In any event, I want to give you a brief summary of these developments.
The legislation fixes the following goals for higher education by year 2020: (1) a seamless, integrated system of postsecondary education, (2) a system that is strategically planned and adequately funded, (3) a comprehensive research institution at UK ranked in the top 20 public universities, (4) a premier and nationally recognized metropolitan university at UL, (5) regional universities with at least one nationally recognized program of distinction and one nationally recognized applied research program, (6) a comprehensive community and technical college system assuring access to a two-year transfer program and workforce training, and (7) a coordinated system that delivers educational services of quantity and quality comparable to the national average. I am particularly pleased that the state is now firmly and publicly committed to enhancing the research mission of this University. I am also pleased that it is publicly committed to a system of higher education that is adequately funded, an objective which we have been pursuing for at least two decades. To be sure, these are promises for the future (which we have had in the past). But Kentucky's elected leaders are to be commended for public commitment to these crucial objectives.
The community college initiatives of this reform attracted the greatest attention. While substantial parts of the reform are scheduled for implementation in the future (including the initiative to make UK a top 20 research institution), the crucial parts of the community college reform effort were immediate and real. It is easier to describe what has happened in this regard than it is to foresee how the reform might actually work in practice. It will take effect no later than July 1, 1998 and consists of the following:
The community college component of higher education and the state technical training programs will merge into a single system called the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, with management responsibilities delegated from the UK Board of Trustees to a new Board of Regents for this System. The University of Kentucky will continue to own the community colleges.
This new Board will consist of eight members appointed by the Governor (four of the eight to be selected from a list of twelve nominated by the UK Board of Trustees) as well as two members of the teaching faculty, two members of the nonteaching faculty, and two members of the student body. The President of this merged system will be selected by the new Board from a list of three nominees submitted by a search committee established by the UK Board of Trustees.
Students enrolled in this System will be UK students and shall have all of the responsibilities, privileges and rights currently held by students of the UK Community College System. Degrees in UK approved degree programs will be awarded to students in this System by the Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky. Requests for new degree programs to be offered in UK's name will be submitted to the UK Board for its review and approval (after review and approval by the new Board of this System).
Among other things, the new legislation provides that UK will continue to own the property, facilities, and equipment of the community colleges, that acquisition and disposition of property and capital construction for use in the UK Community College System will be submitted to the UK Board for final approval, and that existing employees of the Community College System will be UK employees subject to the UK Governing and Administrative Regulations managed by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
It is difficult to imagine precisely how this new approach will function once it is in effect. UK continues to have community college programs, community college students, and community college personnel. The state's leaders wanted to change the management structure for these programs and we will do our best to carry out UK's new role to the very best of our capabilities. The community colleges continue to be a vital part of the state's educational efforts and they continue to be vitally important to the University of Kentucky. We have in the past enrolled more students from these colleges than any other institution in Kentucky and this will undoubtedly continue into the foreseeable future. The quality of our student body will be affected to a significant degree by the quality of the programs in these colleges. Thus, we must keep and enhance our relationships with these colleges. We must maintain our close ties to these institutions and their communities, and we will.
The legislation created a new entity called the Strategic Committee on Postsecondary Education (SCOPE). It is a committee consisting primarily of the elected leadership of the Commonwealth, including the Governor. The legislation also reorganizes and changes what used to be called the Council on Higher Education and what will be known in the future as the Council on Postsecondary Education. It will be headed by a President, who will be the chief advocate and chief spokesperson for higher education in Kentucky. The first President will be selected and employed by the Strategic Committee on Postsecondary Education. The legislation establishes what is called Strategic Investment and Incentive Funding Programs (six funds), which will play a major role in the distribution of increased funding for higher education in the state. It's too early to know precisely how these reforms will work. We know there will be change. We are not yet sure what form the change will take. We are preparing for it nonetheless. We will play by the new rules.
Plans and Initiatives
The state's reform effort has moved UK's research mission to the forefront as a state priority for higher education. We are delighted to accept that challenge and have taken some early steps to put the University in position to move ahead rapidly once adequate funding is provided. In April of this year, I appointed a Task Force on Research and Graduate Education to make recommendations on strategic priority areas for investment in graduate education and research. It is chaired by Dr. Dan Reedy, former dean of the Graduate School, and is staffed with outstanding research faculty across the University. I have charged this Task Force to do the following:
To identify those areas of endeavor in graduate education and research in which the University is capable of achieving national or international distinction.
To identify areas, based on our research strengths and program initiatives, that should be targeted for special consideration.
To recommend priorities for the investment of new funding in the areas described above in order to maximize the most effective utilization of increased state support for this part of our mission.
I have asked the Task Force to complete its work and report to me no later than the end of this semester. The Task Force has done much work already and I look forward to receipt of its report and recommendations in the near future. During the Fall of this year, the University will revise its Strategic Plan to guide the institution over the next five years and the recommendations of this Task Force are crucial to that effort.
The state has committed itself to assist UK to become a more nationally competitive research university. It is crystal clear that this assistance will not take the form of huge sums of money tossed into the "research barrel." We will need a cohesive plan that holds real promise for achieving and sustaining distinction among the nation's top research and graduate education programs. We have no chance of achieving our objective of being a top 20 research institution without making hard choices as to where we can succeed. We will do that during this year and incorporate those choices into our Strategic Plan for the whole university.
Although its exact form is yet unclear, it appears that the state's reform efforts will encourage the state's public institutions to raise private dollars to match new state support activities (e.g., matching money for chairs, professorships, scholarships, etc.). We are in great shape to take advantage of these initiatives as they unfold and needless to say will jump at the first opportunity to do so. With this in mind, we have created a Fund for Academic Excellence and have already received the first gift of $1.1 million and will determine during 1997-98 the feasibility of a major capital campaign. We can and will meet any challenge presented to us to provide matching private funds needed to obtain state resources for use in this institution.
When I appeared before the Senate last spring, I indicated concern about erosion of support across the state for the University of Kentucky, erosion caused not by loss of interest in our work by the people of Kentucky but by a partial dismantling of what we have built over almost half a century. I have not lost my concern for the consequences of doing that. I know for sure that we will not achieve and sustain greatness in this University over the long run without strong support of the people who live in the cities, towns, and rural areas of our state. Interest and support for higher education will ebb and flow among political leaders and institutions but not the deep and enduring interest and support of the people of Kentucky.
We must never underestimate the critical need for public support of this University. I believe that we must redouble our efforts to inform the people of Kentucky of the needs of this institution and of the need to have their support in our efforts to serve the educational needs of the state from end to end. I believe that we must renew our efforts to build broader support for the University across the Commonwealth.
In concluding my remarks, as I voice concerns that are on my mind, I should mention that we have been fortunate in recent decades to have a healthy separation of higher, education and political interests. In some instances across the country, there is evidence of an unmistakable shift toward reducing centralized control over decision making. There is a push for decentralized systems that are less bureaucratic and less political, that avoid multiple layers of decision making in favor of greater efficiency and academic effectiveness. In others, the flow seems to run in the opposite direction--against deregulation and in favor of the heavy hand of central control. Only time will tell where reform efforts take us in this regard in Kentucky.
In a recent AGB (i.e., the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges) policy paper, the author said that there is "surprising unhappiness among elected political leaders with the performance of public institutions . . ." He identified as unfortunate fallout from this unhappiness line-item budgeting, performance based requirements on appropriation legislation, loss of governing board independence, and inability to persuade our most capable citizens to accept membership on politicized governing boards. I don't have to tell you that such loss of independence causes institutions to lose their capability to maintain neutrality on social and moral issues, to find it harder to address deeply entrenched problems of underrepresentation of minorities in the student bodies, faculties, and administrations, and to act more like political than academic institutions.
As we head in a new direction in higher education in this state, we should remind ourselves of the differences between political and educational institutions. We should strive for sufficient breathing room between the two to assure that all important educational decisions and policies are rendered by educators and governing boards willing to advocate for high quality, properly funded, independent public higher education.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak briefly to the Senate as we open a new school year. I believe we are continuing to do well as an institution and that we have greater opportunity ahead of us than we have had in the past. All we have to do is take full advantage of it and I am confident we will do that and more.
I can state without question that the University of Kentucky continues to move forward in making progress toward meeting important goals in our mission of teaching, research and public service. And this is essential.
This institution is absolutely critical to the growth and success of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is critical to the future of the young people who will soon be tomorrow's leaders in their communities. It is critical to the economic development of the state as we help existing businesses grow and prosper and help bring new business to the state. It is critical to the well being of literally every citizen of Kentucky as we move to weave new-found knowledge into the daily fabric of people's lives -- through county extension, through applied research, through assistance to Kentucky manufacturers, just to mention a few.
As we move ever nearer to the 21st Century, this institution will become even more important to the State of Kentucky and her people than it has been in the past. Next to state government, it will continue to be the single most important entity in making a positive impact in the lives of Kentuckians.
As President of the University of Kentucky, I understand and accept the opportunities and challenges that lie before us and willingly share with you the responsibility for assuring the success of this university.
President Wethington was given a round of applause.
Chairperson Applegate stated he was the Chair of the Senate Council and the Chair of Department of Communication. His staff in both places have his numbers and can locate him if he is needed. Please feel free to call or e-mail if there are questions or concerns they would like the Senate to address.
The Chair made the following introductions: Dr. Roy Moore the Chair-elect of the Senate Council, Gifford Blyton, the parliamentarian, Cindy Todd, who makes the Senate Council really work, Susan Caldwell, the recording secretary, Patrick Herring, the acting Registrar, and the continuing Sergeant at Arms, Michelle Sohner, and a new Sergeant at Arms, Lana Dearinger.
The Chair made the following announcements:
Terry Birdwhistell is going to be a new member of the Senate Council, filling in for Virginia Davis-Nordin who is on leave this year.
As far as the legislative session was concerned, he acknowledged Loys Mather's work as the head of Coalition of Senate Faculty Leaders as well as being a faculty trustee. Loys led the charge in Frankfort. I was there, Jan Schach, Dan Reedy, and Lee Meyer of the Senate Council were there, as well as faculty from various institutions in the state that were a part of COSFL. They worked diligently to act on many of the resolutions that you as a Senate and our Senate Council passed prior to the special session. We were successful. Many of you received the summary of the legislative session that Loys and I co-authored with the synopsis reform act provided by the Legislative Search Commission.
That synopsis went to all faculty and the student senators.
In the spring the Senate passed a resolution supporting voting faculty and student representation on the Council on Postsecondary Education, a very important and powerful new body. The COSFL group succeeded at securing that representation.
As you probably also know, the faculty representative was chosen from those nominated by the faculty trustees from institutions around the state. Those nominations were made and the Governor picked our own Merl Hackbart to be the faculty voting representative on the CPE. The student representative is from the University of Louisville, an excellent person nominated by Melanie Cruz, our Student Government President.
We worked with some other issues related to the bill. Amendments to increase our participation in the new virtual university; preserve the state-wide service and research mission of UK; and preserve faculty prerogatives in the design of curriculum and degree programs
There was some unfinished business that we will attend to as we move toward the regular session in January. First, there is still a provision in the bill for what is called "statewide degree programs", that allows the CPE to dictate degree requirements in a way that usurps the faculty role in that area. We will work to modify that in the regular session.
Second, as many of you know, post-tenure review is an issue raised in the session. While we were successful in making it not a part of the Governor's Bill, there has been a subsequent post-tenure review bill filed for the regular session. We will be working with that issue in the coming semester. In November the American Association of University Professors is putting together a seminar that we will cosponsor which will bring together outside experts and some on campus people to talk about how post-tenure review is being addressed nationally and locally.
In the Spring many of you received a report from our own Senate Task Force on Promotion and Tenure, chaired by Mike Nietzel and Mary Witt. The Senate Council met in a retreat on August 20, 1997 at the Carnahan House and reviewed that report in some detail. We will meet this month with Mary and Mike to go over the report. You will be seeing parts of that report emerging as part of the Senate agenda over the year as we attempt to address issues related our promotion and tenure system.
There was also a task force on the Special Title Faculty Series and they are addressing a number of issues related to the many special title faculty series. They have promised a report by October.
In October we will be dealing with the plus/minus grading issue (and hopefully resolving it.) You have some guidelines that the Senate Council has approved and I hope you will be willing to follow to insure a fair and effective discussion that brings some resolution to this long standing issue on campus. We want to fulfill a promise we made last spring when we voted that we did want one undergraduate grading system across this University.
The President mentioned the Graduate Education Task Force. I am serving as your Senate Council Chair on both the Graduate Education Task Force and the Strategic Planning Committee. I hope to use that vehicle to facilitate Senate involvement in this process.
Certainly feel free to talk with me as you have concerns or issues for these committees.
In the next couple of weeks we will be posting on the UK Home Page the University Senate Web Page. We have a very capable student taking this on as an independent study, who is looking at how these things are designed and how to assess usefulness. We hope that this will be a vehicle that will facilitate distribution of information as well as discussion about issues that are of concern: like promotion and tenure, the status of special title faculty, and plus/minus grading. On this web site, when it is up and running you will be able to find all the Senate Committees, their charges and their chairs. All the chairs that I have heard from have agreed to put their e-mail addresses there. There will be committee reports and a "What's New" section. There will be a "higher education issues" section that hot links into some of the more interesting on-going discussions and information sites for what is happening with all various issues in higher ed because we are certainly not alone here in many of the issues that we are addressing. The page is "under construction" and will be available shortly. When it is "up" we will get you the address. Please try it out, and see what you like, and give us feedback.
I do appreciate your willingness to serve on the committees and especially to those of you who agreed to chair Senate Committees, I extend my deep appreciation.
The Chair stated that the minutes had been distributed for March 10, April 7, April 14, and April 28, 1997. There were no corrections to the minutes and they were approved as circulated.
The Chair said that he hoped he could do as good a job this year as Jan Schach did last year as Senate Chair. It was really a historic year with the Governor addressing the Senate. He stated that it was also a tradition at the first Senate meeting for the Chair-elect to give thanks and tribute to the good work of the past chair. He recognized Professor Roy Moore, chair-elect of the Senate Council to give the resolution.
Each fall at the first meeting of the University Senate we recognize the leadership and work of the outgoing Chair of the Senate Council. It is my pleasure as Chair-Elect to offer this resolution on behalf of both the Senate Council and the entire Senate to thank Professor Janice Schach, whom I believe everyone would agree has done a remarkable and outstanding job this past year.
This has been a year of controversy and major change for institutions of higher education, including the University of Kentucky. Jan Schach played a key role -- if not the key role -- in involving faculty and students in the discussion and decision-making process.
The members of the Senate Council and anyone else who knows Jan well can attest that her foremost objective in her role as Chair was to strengthen the voice of the faculty in the decision-making process at this university and to bring students into the fold so their views could be heard as well.
This has been a difficult year for us all. Yet, now that all is said and done, we have an unparalleled opportunity to, for the first time, become a top 20 university. Jan, assisted by Loys Mather and Jim Applegate, spent many hours lobbying the legislature and the governor to ensure that the university's views were heard and considered. One of the results of those efforts was student and faculty representation on the new Council on Postsecondary Education.
Prior to the special legislative session, Jan did an absolutely superb job of engaging the University Senate in the ongoing debate over the future of higher education in Kentucky. In an historic event, the governor of the Commonwealth, the Honorable Paul Patton, addressed the UK Senate. Professor Schach also arranged for President Charles Wethington to speak to the Senate about this issue. Thus, the University Senate became a major forum for discussion about higher education reform.
These events somewhat overshadowed some of the other accomplishments of Professor Schach's year as Chair. I will take only a moment to highlight a few of her many other achievements. She worked closely with Lexington Campus Chancellor Dr. Elisabeth Zinser on the Inclusive Learning Community and remains a member of that group. She worked with Dr. Lauretta Byars and Dr. Nancy Ray in developing a racial harassment policy. She traveled with Chancellor Zinser to the Pew Roundtable in St. Louis and with campus deans to the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School to talk about research and graduate education. She attended a conference on shared governance at the University of Michigan. Professor Schach played a major role in resolving the controversy in the Medical School over the Kentucky Providers Creed as well as the controversy over the structure of the Dental School One accomplishment of which she is particularly proud was her work with the SGA in establishing a task force that wrote a creed setting out the values represented by this university. That creed now appears on the back of a card provided to all students. It has been endorsed by the SGA, the Lexington Campus Group, the Medical School Group and the Senate.
Professor Schach established other Task Forces -- on Teaching Evaluations, on Promotion and Tenure and on Tenure of the Senate Chair. (The latter's proposal will be presented later in this meeting.) These Task Forces didn't simply meet. They got things done, and we have already seen some of the fruits of their efforts. We'll be seeing more in the future.
Professor Schach, you have gotten all of us -- faculty, students and administrators -- involved this year and we salute you for your outstanding leadership, vision and extraordinary accomplishments. You have been an inspiring role model.
Please accept our sincere gratitude for all that you have done.
Mr. Chair, I request that this resolution be presented to Professor Schach as a gesture of our appreciation for her leadership and dedication to this University and that a copy be spread upon the minutes of the University Senate.
Professor Schach was given a round of applause.
Chairperson Applegate said that thankfully Jan continued to serve on the Senate Council and he was happy she was there for her advice and counsel as they pursue another interesting year.
The Chair said that we are focused today on collaboration between faculty and students. He said he constantly reminds people on the outside that UK does not have a "faculty" senate but a "University Senate" which includes both students and faculty and administration and that we are the richer for it. No one is on the front line in terms of trying to manage and make sure they live up to their ideals as faculty and as students with one another as a community than the Academic Ombud. It is also a tradition that at the first Senate meeting that the Academic Ombud presents a report to the Senate. It is certainly a report from the front lines so to speak and is always extremely interesting. It is something that they as faculty and students should enjoy hearing. They are also very fortunate to have Lee Edgerton as the academic ombud, he is doing a marvelous job.
Professor Edgerton made the following remarks:
Annual Report of the Academic Ombud
Lee A. Edgerton
Thank you for the opportunity to address the senate at the beginning of my third year as Academic Ombud.
The basic statistics of activities of the office for the year follow this text. They are, in my opinion, quite similar to the patterns of past years and so I will make my commentary brief Michelle Sohner, the administrative assistant in the office logged 1,489 contacts this year, just shy of the 15 to 16 hundred contacts logged the previous four years. Of these, 269 were classified as cases, that is they required action beyond the initial consultation. This number barely exceeds the 266 cases from the 95-96 school year and continues a trend of marginal increases in cases over the past five years. Although the office received several requests for support of student opposition to plus-minus grading, I think it is worth noting that we had only a small number of cases involving plus-minus grading. Indeed, complaints in the category of grades were the smallest, both numerically and as a percentage of complaints, that we have experienced during the past four years. Thus, to the extent that concerns over plus-minus grading were an issue, the issue would seem to have been dealt with largely by direct discussion not necessitating the use of the Ombud office. I hope this predicts open discussion of our grading system this year.
Two other issues are not documented statistically but deserve mention. One point for faculty and administrators is that we have received several complaints about rules violations by adjunct faculty. In a number of these cases, the faculty were simply unaware of the rules. I'm sure these faculty will appreciate our efforts to integrate them into departmental and college mailing lists so that they receive appropriate notices and are not caught off-guard with respect to what our rules say students may rightly expect of them. In some cases they may benefit from a brief training session similar to those we provide new TAs.
The second point is directed largely to the student representatives. We had one occasion this year in which a student preceded her discussion of a negative issue in course A by sharing a very positive experience in course B. Hearing her positive comments not only cheered me, but improved the day of the instructor for course B and the instructor's chair to whom I forwarded the comments. I know that several student organizations from time to time take actions to provide faculty with positive feedback. Because faculty, like students, learn from a combination of both positive and negative feedback, I want to applaud and commend these actions.
In closing, I offer some well deserved accolades to those who have helped me. Thanks to my fellow runners for recharging my spirit. A sincere thank-you goes to Michelle Sohner, the administrative assistant in the office. Michelle lowers the level of anxiety for both students and faculty. She assists in scouring the rule books and providing insightful suggestions. I also must thank again those who were Ombuds before me. They maintain their commitment to the office, through helpful advice, and by periodically stepping in to serve again as the Ombud. All of us within the University community are indebted for their extended service to the institution. Finally, I want to thank both faculty and students for your continuing support of the Ombud office. I appreciate that the issues we discuss are often heartfelt and that by the time you approach, or are approached by, the Ombud, you may feel that you have discussed the issue ad nauseam. Thus, your civility, pleasant manners and occasional humor in discussing issues one more time requires an extra effort. Thank you for making that effort.
Number of Single Contacts
NATURE OF COMPLAINTS
COLLEGE WHERE COMPLAINT ORIGINATED
|Arts and Sciences||139|
|Business and Economics||20|
|Human Environmental Sciences||9|
|Arts and Sciences||137|
|Business and Economics||22|
|Human Environmental Sciences||6|
CLASSIFICATION OF THE STUDENT
CASES BY MONTH
FOUR YEAR COMPARISONS
|Year||Cases Handled||Single Contacts|
MOST FREQUENT COMPLAINTS
Professor Edgerton was given a round of applause.
The Chair said that there were many important jobs in the university in which they did not thank people enough and that the Ombud is certainly one of them.
ACTION ITEM I - Consideration of and action on proposed changes in University Senate Rules, Section IV - 184.108.40.206 and Section V - 220.127.116.11, Admission/Retention/Exit policies for Teacher Certification Programs, College of Education
The following proposals for revising the Admission/Retention/Exit policies for Teacher Certification Programs were considered and approved by the Senate's Admissions and Academic Standards Committee and the University Senate Council and are submitted for University Senate consideration.
Align the format and language of appropriate sections of the University Senate Rules and UK Bulletin with NCATE accreditation standards, especially in reference to continuous assessment and performance-based programming.
Add sections specifically for admission, retention, and exit which correspond to assessment points specified by NCATE standards and KY EPSB expectations.
Change basic skills testing requirements to match new standards adopted by the KY Education Professional Standards Board. (The EPSB has deleted the use of the CTBS, and added the GRE and Communications Skills/General Knowledge portions of the NTE Core Battery. Also, at the request of the people that administer the SAT, the EPSB has withdrawn the SAT for use as basic skills assessment for admission to teacher education purposes.)
Insert language specifying that students must have portfolios at the point of entrance, at the point of retention decisions, and at exit. Exit portfolios and completed on-demand tasks in particular will be required by the KY Education Professional Standards Board at the point of exit from a teacher education program. (On-demand tasks should begin phasing in Fall '97 for specified programs.)
Insert a section on the new undergraduate secondary education major specifying the manner in which these majors must be admitted to advanced standing and graduate from the program.
ADMISSION, RETENTION AND EXIT FROM TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS
(To be substituted for University Senate Rules, where applicable, and UK Undergraduate Bulletin, College of Education, Admission to Teacher Education section, 96-97 Bulletin, p. 105.)
A student must be admitted to, retained in, and successfully exit from a state-approved teacher education program in order to receive a teaching certificate. The components of an approved teacher preparation program include: 1) an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, 2) completion of approved teaching subject matter field(s), and 3) completion of a teacher preparation program, including student teaching.
The College of Education Certification Program Faculties, the Director of Student Services and Certification, and the University Registrar are charged with the responsibility to monitor a student's matriculation through the teacher preparation program, and to recommend to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board that a successful candidate be awarded a state teaching license (certificate).
Continuous Assessment In Teacher Education Programs
A student's matriculation through all teacher preparation programs is continuously monitored, assessed, and reviewed. In addition to typical evaluation processes that occur as part of their course work and field placements, students will be assessed a minimum of three times during their program by representatives of their respective program faculty.
The three assessments will occur upon entry into the Teacher Education Program, at a midpoint in the program (no later than the semester prior to student teaching), and as students exit the program following student teaching. Assessments will include, but are not limited to: (a) basic skills assessment, (b) review of grades via transcript, (c) personal and professional skills assessed during interviews with program faculty, when taking campus based courses, and during field experiences, (d) portfolio documents, and (e) continued adherence to the KY Professional Code of Ethics.
Following admission to a teacher education program, if problems have been identified at any of assessment points, program faculty will determine a plan for addressing the problems and implement the plan including feedback and direction to the student. In addition, if specific strengths are recognized during these assessments, the student will be commended.
Standards For Admission To A Teacher Education Program
Candidates for admission must have completed at least 60 semester hours, or, if pursuing initial certification as a post-bachelor's or graduate student, must have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
Candidates for admission must demonstrate academic achievement by earning minimum overall GPA of 2.50. In addition, post bachelor's and graduate level students must demonstrate a minimum 2.50 GPA in the teaching subject matter field(s).
Candidates for admission must certify their knowledge of the Kentucky Professional Code of Ethics and must sign a declaration of eligibility for certification.
Candidates for admission must demonstrate aptitude for teaching by presenting three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the candidate's potential success in teaching.
Candidates must present an Admissions Portfolio. Although the contents of the portfolio will vary by program, it will include at least the following: "best piece" sample(s) of writing in the subject matter field(s); evidence of experience with students and/or community; and a written autobiography or resume.
Candidates for admission must demonstrate an acceptable level of skills in written communication. This will be assessed through an on-demand written task at the time of the interview. In lieu of an on-demand task, program faculty may require that the candidate demonstrate having earned a minimum grade of 'B' in a college-level written composition course.
Candidates for admission must demonstrate an acceptable level of skills in oral communication. This will be assessed by the program faculty at the time of the admissions interview. In lieu of assessing oral communication skills at the time of the interview, the program faculty may require that students have earned at least a 'B' in a college level public speaking course.
Candidates for admission must demonstrate basic skills with acceptable standardized test scores. Allowable tests are the ACT, the ACTE, the GRE or the PRAXIS II Communications Skills and General Knowledge tests. Acceptable scores on these tests are as follows: 1) ACT, 20 composite, 2) ACTE, 21 composite, 3) GRE, Verbal test score of 400, Quantitative test score of 400, Analytic test score of 400, and 4) PRAXIS 11 Communications Skills and General Knowledge tests, state-specified cut-off scores. No standardized test scores older than 8 years can be used to meet this requirement.
Retention of Candidates In Teacher Education Programs
The progress of candidates who have been admitted to a teacher education program is continuously monitored. Some of the items which are monitored are: (a) whether a student has failed to earn a grade of C or better in a professional education class, (b) whether a student has failed to maintain 2.50 minimum GPA's overall and in required subject areas, (c) whether a student has demonstrated continued adherence to the EPSB Professional Code of Ethics, and (d) whether adequate progress is being made in building the Working Portfolio.
If problems are identified, program faculty will determine a plan for addressing the problems and implement the plan including feedback and direction to the student.
Prior to the student teaching semester, each candidate will be asked to provide evidence in the form of the Working Portfolio to demonstrate the acquisition of skills related to teaching in the chosen subject field, and to document progress in any identified problem areas. Each candidate's portfolio will be reviewed by the appropriate program faculty, and continued progress through the program will be contingent on the results of this midpoint review.
Admission to student teaching requires a successful midpoint assessment review and recommendation by the program faculty that the candidate be allowed to student teach.
Exit From Teacher Certification Programs
All candidates for matriculation from a teacher education program with a recommendation to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board that a teaching license be issued, must continue to meet all standards for admission and retention at the time of exit.
At exit all teacher certification candidates must present an Exit Portfolio for review by the appropriate program faculty. The exit portfolio will be organized by Kentucky New Teacher Standards and will include a mix of items selected by the candidate and required by the particular program faculty. The program faculty must certify that a review of the Exit Portfolio has demonstrated that for undergraduate students, the candidate has met all of the Kentucky New Teacher Standards as a prerequisite for granting the bachelor's degree in education and the recommendation to the KY EPSB for a granting of a state teaching certificate (license). For post-bachelor's and graduate students pursuing initial teacher licensure, the successful Exit Portfolio review is a condition for the granting of a degree at the discretion of the Certification Program Faculty.
Prior to exit from the teacher certification program, candidates must have successfully completed all On-demand Portfolio Tasks required by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.
Praxis Testing And The Kentucky Teacher Internship
Successful completion of the required PRAXIS examinations is a precondition for the granting of a Kentucky Teaching License (Certificate). All candidates must successfully complete the following examinations: 1) PRAXIS Communications Skills, 2) PRAXIS General Knowledge, 3) PRAXIS Professional Knowledge, and 4) the appropriate PRAXIS Series Subject Assessments/Specialty Area Test(s) or the appropriate subject examination administered by the KY EPSB.
Candidates must provide the College of Education, Office of Student Services and Certification, with passing test scores on all required PRAXIS examinations or EPSB-administered examinations as a prerequisite for being recommended for a Kentucky Teaching License (Certificate).
Upon being recommended by the College of Education for a Kentucky Teaching License (Certificate), a candidate will be issued a Kentucky Letter of Eligibility for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program. Upon employment in a Kentucky P-12 school, the candidate will receive a one year license to practice as a fully qualified intern teacher. After successfully completing the internship year, the candidate will be eligible for a regular Kentucky Professional Teaching License (Certificate).
Information concerning licensure in other states is available from the College of Education Office of Student Services and Certification.
Admission And Graduation For Secondary Education Students Not Seeking Admission To A Teacher Certification Program
All students pursuing a secondary education major without teacher certification must be admitted to advanced standing.
To be admitted to advanced standing a student must have completed at least 60 semester hours.
Student must demonstrate academic achievement by earning a minimum overall GPA of 2.50 at the time of applying for advanced standing. At the time of graduation, students must demonstrate not only a minimum overall GPA of 2.50, but also a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the teaching subject matter field(s).
All requests for admission to advanced standing must be reviewed by appropriate faculty advisors. Students not recommended for advanced standing by an appropriate advisor are ineligible to continue or graduate from College of Education programs.
Spring Semester, 1998
If approved, the proposed policies will be codified by the Rules Committee Chairperson Applegate introduced Professor Roy Moore for introduction of the first action item. Professor Moore reviewed the item and recommended approval on behalf of the Senate Council.
Professor Hans Gesund (Engineering) suggested that an editorial change be made on page 4, that the word matriculation means enrollment in, not exit from.
There was no further discussion and the item passed in unanimous voice vote.
ACTION ITEM 2: Consideration of and action on proposed changes in University Senate Rules, to enable the Senate Council Chair to serve a second consecutive year.
18.104.22.168 Officers The officers of the Senate Council shall consist of a chair and a chair-elect. The chair shall hold office from May 16 through May 15, preside at Council meetings, and be responsible for the operation of the Senate Council office. The chair-elect shall be elected in April from among the nine faculty members on the Council, and shall hold office from May 16 through May 15. At that time the chair-elect will assume the position of chair. The duties of the chair-elect shall be to present and explain Council recommendations to the University Senate for action and to assume the duties of the chair in the absence of that officer. The chair-elect shall also be responsible for seeing that the minutes of the Council are accurately recorded and promptly distributed. If for any reason the office of the chair-elect should become vacant, the Council shall act as soon as possible to elect a replacement. (US:10/12/81)
* A member of the Senate Council is not eligible while on sabbatical to serve as chair-elect but a person who has replaced the member on sabbatical on the Council is eligible to be elected as chair-elect. (RC: 3/31/94)
Officers of the Senate Council will remain members of the Senate Council for the duration of their terms of office even if their terms as Senators may have expired. In this eventuality, they will not be counted as part of their academic units in the election of members to the Senate or to the Senate Council, thereby expanding the normal size of both those bodies. (US:10/12/81)
An Administrative Assistant, employed by and responsible to the Senate Council, shall carry out the routine and continuing activities which are essential to the functioning of the Council. (US:10/12/81)
The Senate Council shall elect its chair in December preceding the academic year during which the Chair shall serve. All nine of the elected faculty members then serving on the Council shall be eligible for election to the position. The incumbent chair, if in his or her first year as chair, shall also be eligible for reelection. When the person chosen is not the incumbent chair, he or she shall be known as the chair-elect.
The Senate Council shall also elect a vice-chair at its December meeting from among the six faculty members whose terms do not expire at the end of that month (see also #3 below). The vice-chair's duties are to preside at any meeting of the Senate or the Senate Council at which the chair is not present, and to introduce the Senate Council motions and resolutions at Senate meetings. The vice chair shall become chair of the Senate Council for the remainder of the chair's term if for any reason the chair is no longer able to serve in that capacity.
The chair-elect or a chair reelected to a second term shall take office as chair on the following June lst and serve through May 31st of the next year. The vice chair shall have the same term.
An incumbent vice chair whose term as a member of the Senate Council expires on December 31st shall continue in office and serve as a non-voting member of the Council until the following May 31st. An incumbent vice chair whose term on the Council expires on December 31st shall be eligible to be named chair-elect at the meeting that December to choose the next chair.
Background and Rationale
The Task Force was charged in April, 1997, by then Senate Council Chair Jan Schach to consider the advisability of the Senate Council chair serving for a second consecutive year, and, if the Task Force found it advisable, to recommend the best method for accomplishing this.
The Task Force thinks there are several advantages to a chair serving for two years rather than for one. Perhaps most persuasive, we know from our experience as former chairs that it takes several months to get used to the position -- to learn what the chair's powers and authority are and to gain experience in dealing with the president, the chancellors and other administrators with whom the chair interacts regularly. By the time a person gets a "feel" for being chair, his or her term is halfway over.
Service for a second year would reduce the "training period" to experience ratio and enable the chair to interact more confidently with the faculty and administration. Moreover, service for two years would enable a chair to better pursue his or her initiatives. New proposals always take time to develop and implement and are less likely to succeed if the initiator cannot follow them up.
We see one disadvantage to a chair serving for two years: fewer faculty will be able to serve in this capacity which will diminish the breadth of faculty leadership slightly. It is also possible that a disinterested or less competent person will be chair longer than desirable, but this can be prevented by requiring the chair to be reelected to a second term.
We believe the advantages of a second year's service outweigh the disadvantage and we recommend that the chair of the University Second Council be allowed to serve a second consecutive year. To accomplish this, we recommend the following mechanisms be incorporated into Rule I - 3.1.3:
Rationale for the Proposed Mechanisms
We recommend changing the terms of the Council officers from a May 16 - May 15 period to a June 1 - May 31st period. As former council chairs, we found it difficult (as did Jan Schach) to wind up affairs by May 15th given all the other events that occur at the semester's end. The additional 15 days would give the chair more breathing space, and would not diminish the ability of the chair-elect to prepare for the following year's activities.
We recommend moving the election from April until the following December.
The chair-elect will not yet be chair in April, so it is obviously too early for the Council to decide whether a chair's performance warrants another term. Likewise, a chair may decide after six months' service that he or she doesn't want a second term. If the election is later than December, the terms of three experienced faculty council members will have expired, making them ineligible for election as chair. December is also early enough for the chair-elect to negotiate a reduced teaching load for the following year with his or her college.
Because there will be no chair-elect between June lst and the December election and none for 18 months if the Chair is reelected, we recommend creating the office of vice chair. This officer will do the things that the chair-elect in the present system now does. Because the chair-elect in the present system is part of the Council's leadership (Committee on Committees, etc.), we anticipate that the new vice chair will continue in this capacity. We therefore think that the vice chair should be eligible for election to chair even if his or her term on the Council is expiring at the end of the December in which the election occurs.
We surveyed our benchmark universities about the terms of their council chairs. There is no set pattern; responses show a variety of term lengths and eligibility for reelection. Two universities do not have equivalents to our Senate Council. An appendix with these data is available upon request of the Senate Council office.
- Bradley C. Canon (Council Chair '85/'86)
- Wilbur Frye (Council Chair '86/'87)
- Loys Mather (Council Chair '88/'89)
If approved, the proposed policies will be codified by the Rules Committee.
The Chair said that last year Jan Schach appointed a task force made up of previous senate council chairs including Brad Canon as chair, Loys Mather, and Wilbur Frye and the second agenda item was the outcome of that task force. He then recognized Professor Moore for introduction of the item. Professor Moore review the item and recommended approval on behalf of the Senate Council.
There was no discussion and the item passed in a voice vote.
ACTION ITEM 3: Proposal to revise University Senate Rules, Section V - 3.1.1a. Repeat Option
[Eliminate bracketed sentence at end of paragraph one]
22.214.171.124 Repeat Option (US: 11/14/83; US: 4/13/87; US: 11/14/88; US: 4/23/90; US: 9/20/93 US: 4/11/94)
A student shall have the option to repeat once as many as three different courses which have been completed with only the grade, credit hours and quality points for the second completion used in computing the student's academic standing and credit for graduation. The limit of three repeat options holds for a student's entire undergraduate career, no matter how many degrees or programs are attempted. A student also may use the repeat option when retaking a course on a Pass-Fail basis (provided the course meets the requirements for being taken Pass-Fail), even though the course was originally taken for a letter grade. [If a failing grade (F) is earned on the second attempt, the original grade will continue to be used in calculating the grade point average and the second attempt shall constitute exhaustion of one of the student's three repeat options under this provision.]
A student exercising the repeat option must notify in writing the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. A student may exercise the repeat option at any time prior to graduation. (US: 4/11/94)
If a student officially withdraws from the second attempt, then the grade, credit hours and quality points for the first completion shall constitute the grade in that course for official purposes. Permission to attempt again the same course shall be granted by the instructor and the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled (see Section IV - 4.3.3). (US: 4/11/94).
The repeat option may be exercised only the second time a student takes a course for a letter grade, not a subsequent time. (US: 2/14/94)
A student may exercise the repeat option by taking a special exam (as provided in 126.96.36.199); if the request for the exam is approved, the student may request that the grade in the course be recorded under the repeat option. (RC: 1/27/84) *
There is no relationship between the academic bankruptcy rule (V - 188.8.131.52) and the repeat option. To the extent that a student has used any or all of his/her repeat options in the first enrollment, he/she no longer has them available during a subsequent enrollment. If not previously used, they are available during the subsequent enrollment. (RC: 9/29/82) *
Attendance at a community college is the equivalent of attendance at the Lexington campus for purposes of exercising the repeat option. (RC: 9/28/82) *
A student who audits a course in one semester and then takes the course for credit in a subsequent semester is to be regarded as having taken the course only once - the subsequent semester. (RC: 1/20/94) *
Under the revisions of the repeat option rules adopted by the University Senate in April 1994, the event is the filing of the repeat option. Thus the new filing deadline applies to all repeat options filed after the end of the Spring 1994 semester (RC: 3/31/94) *
A student must be enrolled at UK at the time he/she files the repeat option. Thus a student who has transferred to another institution would not qualify since he/she is not enrolled at UK. (RC: 3/31/94) *
"The student must notify in writing the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled" means that a student must be enrolled at the time the repeat option is exercised. (RC: 3/31/94) *
* Indicates Rules Committee interpretations
Background and Rationale
Earlier in the summer and in an attempt to determine whether or not a student's suspension should be rescinded, a member of the Central Advising Service (CAS) staff asked for a rule interpretation governing the use of repeat options. Specifically, the question was whether the same interpretation could be applied to a student taking a repeat option for a letter grade as stipulated for a repeat option taken pass/fail. The Rules Committee informally interpreted the Rules to apply to both letter grade and pass/fail attempts and suggested new wording so that failure in a repeat option always resulted in the first grade earned counting. The Senate Council disagreed with the Rules Committee, and moved that the last sentence in paragraph one be deleted so that in all cases, the repeat option (second attempt) is always the one to count.
If approved, the proposal will be codified by the Rules Committee.
The Chair recognized Professor Moore for the third action item. Professor Moore reviewed the item and recommended approval on behalf of the Senate Council.
Jane Wells (Business and Economics) asked if a student was taking a course for a letter grade and repeated the course pass/fail and failed the course, would that improve the student's GPA overall by having the F replace the E that was first in the course and therefore the F not be counted in the overall GPA?
George Myers (student Senator Social Work) asked about the first sentence where it says that the student shall have the option to repeat once, if he had a class that was required for his major and took it the first time and received a B, but wanted to get an A and retook and class and received an E, so the E would have to stand because it was the second grade. He has to have the class to graduate, so what happens?
George Blandford (Engineering) said that in the case the student should not exercise the repeat option and both grades would be averaged, the student would still have a passing grade and graduate.
Joe Schuler (Student Government) said that when there was a proposal there should be a reason behind it. The rationale for this proposal is that they do not think the language is clear. When he reads the language it is perfectly clear to him. He would like someone to explain the reasoning behind this rule change.
Tom Blues (English) made a motion to send the proposal back to committee to resolve the problem that Professor Wells mentioned.
Brad Canon (Political Science) said if the proposal was referred back to the committee, the committee might also consider the issue of whether the first grade should always count both for a course taken pass/fail on repeat or for a course taken on a letter grade. One of the problems is they seem to have different rules and they should have a consistent rule, although the argument could be made that the first grade should count where it is better than the second grade.
Doug Michael (Law) said that as chair of the committee he wanted to make sure if the referral was specific or general.
The Chair stated that it was a general referral.
Mike Cibull (Medicine) asked that they include an answer to Joe Schuler's question, providing a reason for the change.
The motion to refer back to the Rules Committee passed in a voice vote.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.