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University Senate Minutes - September 13, 1999

The University Senate met in regular session at 3:00 p.m., September 13, 1999 in the Auditorium of the W. T. Young Library.

Members absent were: Behruz Abadi*, Ali Amoli, Sammy Anderson, Joseph Anthony*, Leon Assael, Suketu Bhavsar*, Lars Bjork, Rachel Bomberger, Fitzgerald Bramwell, Eugene Bruce, Joseph Burch, Edward Carter, William Cohen*, George DeBin, Susan DeCarvalho, Henri DeHahn*, Roberta Dwyer*, Vincent Fields, Juanita Fleming*, Richard Furst, Amber Gatlin, Jonathan Golding*, Lori Gonzalez*, Philip Greasley, Howard Grotch, Steven Haist, Issam Harik, Bernard Hennig*, Patrick Herring, Kay Hoffman, Benjamin Karp, James Kerley*, Richard Kermode, Keith Kinderknecht*, Thomas Lester, C. Oran Little, William Lubawy, William Maloney, Mark Meier*, Michael Nietzel, William O'Connor, Miles Osland, James Parker, Shirley Raines, Dan Reedy, Thomas Robinson, Jan Schach, Claire Schmelzer, Robert Shay, Steven Skinner*, David Sloan, Sharon Stewart, David Stockham, Carolyn Williams, Eugene Williams, Thomas Zentall.

*Absence Explained

Chairperson Moore called the meeting to order. He asked that all the new senators stand and be recognized. He said that there would be an orientation session for all the new senators and anyone else who wanted to come on September 27, 1999 at 3:00 p.m. in the Library Auditorium. There would be a reception afterwards in the Alumni Room. Everyone is welcome, but he urged all new senators to come since they would be going over the committees and committee responsibilities. They will be hearing from the committee chairs, and they will discuss how the Senate and the Senate Council function.

The Chair made the following introductions - the two sergeants at arms, Michelle Sohner from the Ombud office and Melanie Collins. Cindy Todd, the staff assistant to the Senate Council, Gifford Blyton who has been the parliamentarian for a long time and has agreed to do it at least one more year. Don Witt, the Registrar and Secretary to the Senate, and Susan Caldwell from the Registrar's office who takes notes and does the minutes, and Lee Meyer who is the vice-chair of the Senate Council.

Chairperson Moore said that Joan E. McCauley died on Friday night. She was the Associate Vice President for Institutional Planning, Budget and Effectiveness. There will be visitation this evening at Milward Funeral Home from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There will be a memorial service tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at St. Augustine's Chapel on Rose Street.

Each year it is the tradition of the Senate to have the President of the University, who also is the Chair of the Senate, to visit and to give us a state of the University address. This year I am very pleased to have Charles T. Wethington, Jr. return for the state of University address. Dr. Wethington is the tenth President of the University, a position that he has held since September 18, 1990. He began his career in higher education almost a quarter of a century ago, twenty-four years ago, as a faculty member on the Lexington campus of the University. In 1967 he was named chief administrator of Maysville Community College and two years later moved to Lexington as an assistant vice-president. He became vice-president of the Community College System in 1981.

When the University was reorganized in 1982, he was named chancellor at that time of the UK Community College System, one of the three major sectors of the University of Kentucky. In 1987 he was given University-wide responsibilities for public and governmental relations with issues to the community college role and his title was changed to Chancellor for the Community College System and University Relations. Dr. Wethington received both his master's and doctoral degree at the University of Kentucky. He is a Kentucky native and has been chair of the Southeastern University Research Association, Council of Presidents for two years -- in 1995 and 1997 -- and he is currently chair of the NCAA Executive Committee and a member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. He also served as President of the Southeastern Conference for two years, 1993 and 1995. I am very pleased to introduce Dr. Charles T. Wethington, Jr.

Dr. Wethington was given a round of applause.

President Wethington said that Joan McCauley was a most valued member of the staff at the University of Kentucky and played an absolutely vital role in the planning and budgeting of the University. He asked that the Senate observe a moment of silence in memory of Joan McCauley.

University Senate Presentation - State of the University Moving to a New Millennium - September 13, 1999

Ladies and gentleman of the University Senate:

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you as we begin the 1999-2000 academic year. Our students and faculty have returned; some of the summer renovations around campus are coming to an end. A casual visitor might conclude that yet another academic year is underway. But this year will be different -- both inside and outside the university. During this year we will move into the next millennium, and the future of the University of Kentucky never looked brighter.

I want to share with you some thoughts on the past year; and challenges and opportunities during the coming year.

1998-99 was a good year for UK. As a major, public, research university, we made several strides forward. Today we proudly boast 37 programs ranked among the nation's best. For example, the Princeton Review again listed the Gatton College of Business and Economics among "the nation's best business schools." Our College of Pharmacy was ranked third among all U.S. pharmacy schools offering graduate degrees in the "America's best graduate schools" issues of U.S. News and World Report. UK's College of Medicine was ranked 30th nationally among the 75 medical schools that receive national institute of health funding. The University of Kentucky just moved from tier 3 to tier 2 in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of public universities, a major move up on the list of all universities measured by U.S. News and World Report.

I am proud of the way UK has met the challenges of enhancing diversity on our campus. We recently announced the fulfillment of our diversity goals as set forth in the Kentucky plan for equal opportunities in postsecondary education. UK achieved diversity goals that were set some 16 years ago, for enrollment of minority students and for recruitment of minority faculty. We didn't achieve this goal in one year, but I think this accomplishment is especially significant because these goals were achieved during the year of the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the university of Kentucky. I will say more about the 50th anniversary later.

On a similar note, the UK College of Law was recently recognized for the environment it provides for women. In her book, A Woman's Guide to Law School, Linda Hirschman, a professor at Brandeis University, ranks UK in the top 25 percent of all law schools as the friendliest to women students and faculty.

Yes, we have accomplished much. But, we can and must do much more. While UK has performed admirably in eliminating the vestiges of a difficult past, we must find more ways to improve our service to all minority groups, to serve their needs as faculty, staff and students.

This past year we had two (2) Truman Scholars: Monica Grant and Anthony Jones. This kind of recognition illustrates what our students are capable of accomplishing.

Beginning in August of 1998, Louis Swift chaired the president's undergraduate initiative steering committee, culminating) with a report in February of 1999. That report made 10 recommendations now being implemented. These recommendations will assist us in providing a premier undergraduate experience for our students. We also named a new Dean of Undergraduate Studies. I want to welcome Dr. Philipp Kraemer as the new dean while at the same time I want to thank Dr. Louis Swift for his years of service in this role.

We have made similar strides forward in research during the past year. We have completed the first phase of the capital campaign - the matching of $66.7 million in the state's research challenge trust fund. During this past year we increased the number of endowed chairs from 23 to 66, an increase of 43. We increased the number of endowed professorships from 52 to 126, an increase of 74. Now those are one-year increases. Over the period from June of 1997 to the present, we have increased the number of endowed chairs by 45 and the number of endowed professorships by 81. And our capital campaign continues to move forward.

We enjoyed another record year in grants and contracts. For the first time we did not count the $13 million in grants from the UK Community Colleges, and we still showed growth over the 1997-98 year's total. This past year we attained the level of just over $132 million in grants, gifts and contracts.

During this past year we worked with the CPE to designate new benchmarks for UK - benchmark institutions that will challenge us to reach beyond our current level of attainment and reputation. We chose 19 universities that most of us would recognize as top 20 public research universities. Now we must compare ourselves to them in a number of measures, as we work to move UK forward.

We established the Commonwealth's first School of Public Health. As you know, we have most of the academic programs needed for this new school, the School of Public Health will provide additional funding opportunities for the university, further enhancing our research and service role. We look forward to working with the university of Louisville as we strive to improve the health of Kentuckians.

During this past year the CPE and the postsecondary institutions launched the Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual University and the Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual Library. We are participating in some of the pilot academic programs being offered this fall via the KCVU. And one of two servers which provide statewide virtual library services is located here at UK. I believe when the first enrollment figures for the KCVU come out you will find that the University of Kentucky is providing a significant percent of the students enrolled in KCVU. Lexington Community College is the entity, a part of UK that is actually enrolling the majority of those students, I believe.

One of the projects we started at the beginning of summer and are just finishing is the wiring of student housing for access to the Internet and the UK Intranet. Partnering with Intermedia and Cisco, we have provided a state-of-the-art network to all student housing, which includes high-speed internet access, access to 60 television channels, and voice capability for telephone service.

Looking Ahead to 1999-2000

Now let's look ahead for a few minutes. What lies ahead for UK?

On the evening of August 19th and the morning of August 20th of this year, we held a university-wide leadership retreat. The Board of Trustees, members of my staff, the Senate Council, student government representatives, members of the national alumni board, members of the development council the UK athletics board, and UK staff representatives attended this retreat. The purpose of the session was to review and advise on the university's first marketing and communications plan. On the evening of the 19th, I spoke to the group. I talked about the mandate for UK to move toward top 20 status over the next 20 years. I talked about the next two years. I want to make the same point this afternoon that I made that evening. Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate: we cannot afford to waste the next two years. It is critical that we continue to move forward in the next two years. We have so much to accomplish, to build upon the achievements of the past, that we cannot wait until the next president arrives to continue our journey toward top 20 status.

When Dr. Gordon Davies left his former position in the state of Virginia, he wrote a paper outlining what he had learned about higher education over the previous 20 years. In that document he stated that two things are critical for the success of a higher education institution: adequate funding and lack of political interference. He stated, and I quote: "Money cannot ensure quality but quality costs money." (end quote) Adequate funding supports faculty positions and faculty salaries and other instructional costs.. Adequate funding supports research infrastructure. And adequate funding supports public service and outreach efforts.

But to be truly great also requires that institutions be free of the external influence of politics. Universities must be autonomous to be truly great.

UK can never hope to achieve top 20 status unless we deal successfully with these two issues.

Now let's turn to 1999-2000.

During this next year we will have several opportunities to move this institution forward. We will fill three vacant dean positions in the colleges of business and economics, law, and pharmacy. We need to fill these key leadership positions carefully and well.

Also, we will begin filling endowed chairs and endowed professorships supported by private funds and research challenge trust fund matching funds. Imagine what impact the filling of 45 additional endowed chairs and 81 additional endowed professorships will have on this institution. If we use these endowed chairs and professorships to bring in and to keep the very best faculty members, we can enhance the reputation of this university dramatically.

Several capital construction projects are underway and some will soon be underway. The Commonwealth Stadium expansion is virtually complete, as many of you observed at the September 4 and 11 football games. This $27 million renovation added approximately 9,500 seats in commonwealth stadium, and changed home games forever.

The James Hardymon Communications and Network Systems Building will add to our research capability in network engineering. The career planning and placement center will provide a valuable service and improved environment for our students and alumni who are seeking employment. Construction on the Mechanical Engineering Building will begin soon. When it is complete, we will have state-of-the-art facilities for the College of Engineering. The Agricultural Plant Science Facility, and the Woodford County Animal Science Research Center, Phase I, will greatly enhance the research capacity of the College of Agriculture. We are also building phase II of the Aging/Allied Health Building. The Outpatient/Diagnostic Treatment and Primary Care Center will provide space for the Center for Advanced Surgery and for the Gill Heart Institute.

All these new projects, approved and funded, total more than $145 million. And we have other projects: two new facilities are nearing completion at Coldstream Research Park, and a Coldstream infrastructure project is underway.

Closer to many of you in this room, we are involved in a major classroom renovation project on the Lexington campus. The Medical Center has completed a classroom upgrade project, and with the Lexington campus project, we will equip many of our classrooms for technology-based and technology-assisted instruction. We will then be able to bring some of the latest technology into our classrooms.

We will also be moving forward administratively in a couple of critical areas this year. We need to upgrade our administrative computing system. During 1998-99 a committee reviewed our current system, looked at available systems, and visited several universities that have or are installing major administrative systems. That committee recommended that the university purchase a state-of-the-art, client-server, enterprise system to replace the current administrative system. Over the next few years we will be purchasing and installing a new system. This new administrative system will modernize the accounting, payroll, human resource, student record, admission and registrar, financial aid, and development systems, and will allow electronic document flow and electronic signatures.

I mentioned earlier our new list of benchmark institutions. If we are to move forward and achieve top 20 status, we must raise faculty salaries to be competitive with our benchmarks so that we can compete heads-up for the best and brightest minds in scholarship and research. I will recommend to the Board of Trustees that faculty salary increases be a top priority for special initiative funding, and that this recommendation be forwarded to the CPE for consideration and recommendation to the governor and general assembly. Our faculty salaries must compare favorably with our new benchmark universities. I might add there is a separate list of new benchmark institutions for Lexington Community College and this same recommendation will include a catch-up provision for LCC as well.

For more than a year, the public relations office and a marketing committee have been developing a marketing plan for the university. The committee conducted a swot analysis (strengths, weaknesses and opportunities), hired an outside firm to conduct a survey of potential students, parents of potential students, and alumni in Kentucky and in several sites outside of Kentucky. This baseline data indicated several key audiences and messages that are needed to enhance UK's image both in the state and outside the Commonwealth. Consultants helped us design a strategic communications program to address some of these key audiences. You are beginning to see our ads in national and local media outlets. Roy, I would like for Lloyd Axelrod and his staff to make a presentation to the University Senate at the next meeting to discuss the marketing and communications plan. I think you will find, as I did the survey of potential students, their parents, and UK alumni to be most enlightening.

Plans are proceeding to celebrate through a variety of events the 50th anniversary of African Americans at UK. The convocation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on September 16th will be a highlight of this series of events. I hope that all of you will take part in all the activities surrounding this important milestone.

Also, we mark another anniversary: 40 years of architecture at UK will be celebrated on the 17th and 18th of this month. This two-day symposium will be held at the State Theater here in Lexington, and will involve a very impressive list of participants.

One of the areas that will receive additional emphasis during 1999-2000 is that part of our mission involving outreach and public service. In this area I would include our university extension and continuing education efforts and our international affairs activities. We have studied and strengthened research and graduate education, and we are implementing the recommendations concerning undergraduate education. Now we must focus on this third part of our mission.

During the fall of 1999 we will initiate the self-study process, leading to a reaffirmation committee visit in 2001. Dr. Jan Schach has agreed to serve as director of the self-study process, which will involve practically everyone in the university. We will study the institution and make recommendations to ourselves for improving what we do. This self-study offers us an excellent opportunity to focus on the future of the university at the same time we take a snapshot of the present. The visiting committee will use this self-study document as a resource for their visit in 2001. We have the opportunity to demonstrate through this reaffirmation of accreditation process the effectiveness of this university. I encourage all of you to be involved in this important activity.

I will conclude with a few words about the 2000 General Assembly. We have several critical items at stake in this session of the legislature. In 1998, the legislature established the research challenge trust fund of $110 million. UK has qualified for its maximum allocation of $66.7 million. For this university to advance in achieving the legislative mandate to join America's elite universities, I believe it is critical that Governor Patton and the general assembly renew the research challenge trust fund. Such a renewal will allow us to continue the recruitment of world-class faculty and students.

We must do all we can to ensure that legislators approve funding for a new $65 million Biomedical Sciences Research Building and the other capital construction projects which will be included in our biennial budget request.

We must do all we can to improve state funding for faculty salaries and operational funds. With our new benchmarks, we face the challenge -- the opportunity -- of moving our institution to the median of these benchmarks in faculty salary levels and in other funding comparisons.

One of the dangers of raising private funds, of course, is the perception that UK does not need additional state support. We must not allow that to happen. We must be vigilant and work diligently with the governor and the legislators to insure that funding levels are enhanced for all postsecondary education institutions in Kentucky.

In summary, 1998-99 was a very busy and productive year. And 1999-2000 promises to be even busier and holds the possibility of being an even better year for the University of Kentucky. I encourage you and every supporter of the university to join this great effort to move UK closer to the status of a top-20 public research university. UK has a great history and tradition of education, research and service. All of us should be committed to making the University of Kentucky an even better institution in the next millennium.

Thank you.

The President was given a round of applause.

The Chair opens the floor for questions. There were no questions.

Chairperson Moore recognized Professor Jim Applegate to talk about one of the initiatives that will be coming before the Senate. Dr. Applegate as Chair of the Senate Council headed a post tenure and senior faculty development committee. That committee has now issued a proposal.

Professor Applegate made the following remarks:

The proposal has been on the Web site of the Senate for the summer and is there still. Some of you have taken the opportunity to view it and send comments and we deeply appreciate that. I want to thank the committee for their work last year. Some of you know that we had a symposium in March and brought people in from around the country. From institutions like the University of Maryland. We took this proposal to Washington to a meeting of funded groups working on this and had it reviewed. We think that it reflects the good ideas and best practices of those reflected around the country at institutions working to address the needs to help to support senior faculty in their work. We tried to focus on that. I can tell you also in light of the review of what is happening around the State and my role of counsel in postsecondary education right now, as things look now, assuming that we find some version of this with your wisdom and additions that we find acceptable by Fall 2000 every public institution in the state will have a senior or tenured faculty development policy in place. That was one of goals of the grant that we secured when we had the state-wide meeting. I invite and encourage you to look at that. There are copies here today and it is also on the Web. Also on the Senate site are the sites of a number of other institutions; Georgia, Texas A & M, and others that you can look at their policies and progress on that and get some comparisons of what we have done. The committee worked very hard. It has now been given to the Senate Council and it is yours to do with as you wish. I hope that we will find a way to at least embrace the goal that we had to insure university support to maximize the contributions of tenured faculty throughout their careers. I think that goals that President Wethington just outlined demand that we do that. My readings suggest that in 2001 60% of the American professors will be over the age of 55. If we are going to accomplish the goals, the directive goals that you have set for higher education, our institutions have to support tenured faculty to continue to work and produce the high levels that they have to date. That is the real purpose of this policy. I thank the committee and those of you who responded. We look forward to your feedback. I think that the plan is to have a discussion only meeting in October to discuss this. After that and hopefully some general campus interest has been generated we encourage the senators to have meetings inside their colleges; to poll and have votes. We will help support that with the money left over from the grant. Members of the committee have volunteered to be available to answer questions. After the discussion in October and hopefully a month of campus discussion, in November if we need to we can discuss more. Our hope is that at least by December we can come to a decision about this, whatever you decided is the wise thing to do.

Again, my thanks to all of you for the feedback to date and thanks in advance for the feedback I know you will be sending us and to the committee who worked so hard to put this together.

The Chair thanked Professor Applegate and the committee for their work. This will be on the agenda for discussion only, to give the Senate the opportunity to discuss and debate. Based on the feedback after that, it will be put on the agenda for the Senate to vote on.

Chairperson Moore made the following remarks:

As you know this has been an unusual and busy year, including a busy summer with a busy year ahead of us.

Some of you have asked for a rundown of the summer and where we are at this point.

On May 4, 1999 the Board of Trustees voted to extend the contract of President Wethington. Approximately two weeks later on May 17, 1999, there was a special meeting of the Senate in which two resolutions were adopted, both recommending that the Board of Trustees reconsider the contract extension. The Senate Council was also asked to file a request with the Attorney General's office. The procedure on that is that the complaint has to be first filed with the Chair of the Board, which was done. I understand that the AAUP chapter also filed such a complaint. On June 8, 1999 there was a special meeting of the Board of Trustees at which the Board voted in a 10 to 10 split to reconsider. Since there was a split vote the contract stood. On June 29, 1999 there was a follow up meeting at which the Board passed a compromise resolution. I won't go into details on that, but it was done with considerable input from our faculty representatives on the Board of Trustees: Loys Mather and Dan Reedy and they deserve a tremendous amount of credit. I would like to express my appreciation to Loys and Dan for all that they did.

Dr. Mather and Reedy were given a round of applause.

Since that time, the only major development that you need to be watching for is that the Board will meet on Tuesday, September 21, 1999 at 1:00 p.m. It is an open meeting at which time there will be a chair elected. There is other business as well but that is something that some of you will have a strong interest in. The chair will play a major role in the search for a future president. I would refer you to Senate Rule I.5.1.1 on page I-34 that the search committee shall consist of five members of the Board appointed by the Chair, two members of the full-time teaching and/or research faculty selected by a procedure determined by the University Senate, one member of the full-time teaching faculty of the community college system, (I am not sure how that will be interpreted since the community college relationship is different than it was when the rule was adopted), and one full-time student appointed by the chair of the board.

As Jim mentioned, we are moving along on post tenure review and senior faculty development. That is another issue that is coming before this body. I am sure there will be a lot of discussion on that.

There are lots of other issues that are coming.

I would like to thank all of you for the support you have given me and the members of the Board of Trustees through this whole process, particularly your input. I have received a lot of e-mail with people letting me know how they felt, one way or another.

The next item on the agenda is the approval of the minutes of April 12, 1999 and May 17, 1999. There were no corrections and the minutes were approved as circulated.

The chair recognized Professor Zakkula Govindarajulu from Statistics for a memorial resolution.

Memorial Resolution - Professor Vasant Bhapkar

The University of Kentucky and the Department of Statistics mourns the passing of Vasant P. Bhapkar who succumbed to complications arising from a heart attack, on July 23, 1999.

Vasant joined the newly formed Department of Statistics at UK as an Associate Professor in 1969 and became a Professor in 1973. Prior to that he taught for several years at the University of Poona, India. He held visiting appointments at the University of North Carolina, CSIRO, Sydney, (Australia) and the University of Michigan. After obtaining his M.Sc. degree in Statistics in 1953 from the University of Bombay, he earned his Ph.D. degree in Mathematical Statistics in 1959 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at which he held a Fullbright Graduate Fellowship. Bhapkar delivered lectures at several conferences and universities and made significant contributions to the Department of Statistics at UK. He was respected not only by the students but also by his colleagues. He was an excellent and a dedicated teacher. For example, he taught his classes on the day he was having a heart attack. He has produced seven (7) Ph.D. students and published 57 papers. Vasant has made significant contributions to nonparametric statistics and was an expert on categorical data analysis. He was a member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the Indian Statistical Association, and the American Association of University Professors, and was a fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He also obtained several research grants. Bhapkar was the Interim Chair of the Department of Statistics at UK during July 1979-March 1981. He was a member of the University Senate and served as a member of the Area Committee for Physical Sciences.

Vasant Bhapkar is survived by his wife Suhasini, one son, two daughters, and two grandchildren.

Mr. Chairperson, I request that his resolution be spread upon the minutes and a copy be sent to Professors Bhapkar's family.

The Chair asked that the Senate stand for a moment of silence.

Chairperson Moore recognized Professor Jeffrey Dembo from the College of Dentistry to present the annual Ombud report. Moore said Jeff has been the Ombud for the past year and has been selected for a second term for the coming year.

Academic Ombud Services - Annual report for Academic Year 1998-99


This year has been rewarding, enjoyable, supremely challenging, and (in my humble opinion) successful. Academic Ombud Services is heavily reliant upon the expertise and hard work of numerous individuals, most notable the Assistant to the Ombud, Michelle Sohner. Her patient guidance made the transition for this new Ombud as easy as possible. Her "institutional memory" was invaluable when there were questions about the history behind certain policies or regulations. Her knowledge and insight helped ensure that all decisions and actions were fair and to the benefit of all members of our academic community.

Grateful thanks are given to the former Ombuds, who established and perpetuated the credibility of this office over many years, and who assured that members of the academic community were aware of and appreciated the presence of an office on campus where matters of a confidential nature could be discussed.

A special thanks is given to Lee Edgerton, former Ombud from 1995 - 98, who provided support and advice to faculty and students throughout the year when we were unable to do so owing to unavoidable absences. His wisdom and judgement were called upon more than once to gain an additional opinion regarding ways to solve particularly challenging problems, and his counsel was always valuable and useful.

Finally, warm thanks are extended to the members of the academic community who time and again demonstrated that the University of Kentucky cares deeply about its students and faculty. Many individuals, when approached by Academic Ombud Services to help resolve conflicts, demonstrated flexibility, resourcefulness, and sacrifice in the interest of helping others in our community. Aside from rare exceptions, faculty and staff demonstrated they would "bend over backwards" in an effort to help students. If asked what grade I would assign the University at this point in time, I would say "A minus". We are, in my opinion, demonstrating "exceptionally high achievement" but there is room for improvement. I have enumerated some ways to improve in the last section of the report.

II. Ombudsing across campus

While Academic Ombud Services is a central location for reporting academic conflicts, there is much effective "ombudsing" across campus. Each day there are staff, faculty, and administrators across the campus who help mediate disputes, resolve conflicts, help explain University policies and procedures, and serve as listening ears for those who wish to divulge matters of a confidential nature. There is an intricate network of people, a network that crosses traditional collegiate and administrative lines, made up of individuals that work coooperatively to solve problems. I had the fortune to meet and work with many of these individuals over this past year, and from that has evolved acquaintances for which I am grateful and friendships that I will cherish. Many contacts are made throughout the year with these individuals, who work in offices such as :

Like Academic Ombud Services, individuals in these offices are part of the "network" and strive to ensure that University resources are utilized effectively and efficiently to enhance the academic environment for all members of the academic community.

III. Activity for the Academic Year

There appears to be five typical problems reported by visitors to Academic Ombud Services. If one considers the University to be a complex "system," then the problems presented can be grouped according to their relationship to the "system":

  1. System not understood or unclear
  2. Noncompliance with system
  3. Problem outside of normal channels within system
  4. Individuals within system causing problem
  5. Problem is outside the system

Using specific examples, a student who feels that the instructor miscalculated the final grade is presenting a problem related to #2. A faculty who calls to ask for guidance regarding an attendance policy is presenting a problem related to #1. A student who reports that a TA was unhelpful and not approachable would be related to #4.

Most people who contact Academic Ombud Services need information, and the necessary information is usually given by telephone or via e-mail. When a contact describes the problem that requires inquiry or resolution, a file is started and coded according to the type of problem or the nature of the complaint. During the 1998-99 academic year, the following contacts and case types were noted:

Type Number of
Single Contacts (Telephone calls/Referrals) 1,413
Cases Handled 270


Year Cases Handled Single Contacts
1998-99 270 1,413
1997-98 275 1,402
1996-97 269 1,489
1995-96 266 1,523

The nature of the complaint is recorded and coded; the distribution of case types has remained fairly consistent from year to year. Grade disputes have typically been the single most frequent complaint every year, with complaints of discrimination being the fewest. A separate category entitled "personal problems" is used for complaints that do not fall under the more common categories.


Type Complaints
Grades 101
Progress/Promotion 70
Instruction 40
Academic Offenses 22
Attendance 10
Exams 10
University Policy 8
Discrimination 6
Personal Problems 3
Total 270


1998-99 1997-98
Grades 101 Grades 110
Progress/Promotion 70 Progress/Promotion 73
Instruction 40 Instruction 37
Academic Offenses 22 Academic Offenses 18
1996-97 1995-96
Grades 92 Grades 111
Progress/Promotion 68 Progress/Promotion 58
Instruction 44 Instruction 31
Academic Offenses 21 Academic Offenses 22

Additional data are recorded and tabulated regarding the college associated with the complaint, the year and college of the individual making the complaint, month of complaint, and (if a complaint by a student about an instructor) the rank of the instructor.


College Complaints
Agriculture 7
Allied Health 3
Architecture 0
Arts and Sciences 132
Business and Economics 27
Communications 9
Dentistry 1
Education 12
Experiential Education 2
Engineering 12
Fine Arts 13
Human Environmental Sciences 14
Independent Study 5
Law 2
Medicine 1
Nursing 6
Pharmacy 2
Social Work 8
Non-Applicable 14
Total 270


College Complaints
Agriculture 10
Allied Health 3
Architecture 1
Arts and Sciences 124
Business and Economics 27
Communications 14
Dentistry 1
Education 16
Engineering 17
Fine Arts 12
Human Environmental Sciences 12
Law 3
Medicine 0
Nursing 6
Pharmacy 3
Social Work 8
Non-Applicable 13
Total 270


Classification Complaints
First Year 36
Sophomore 41
Junior 62
Senior 86
Graduate 26
Professional Colleges 8
Non-degree 3
Non-applicable 8
Total 270


Month Complaints
July 11
August 14
September 19
October 20
November 22
December 27
January 38
February 22
March 19
April 33
May 36
June 9
Total 270


Rank Complaints Percent
Faculty 94 60%
PTI 14 9%
TA 49 31%
TOTAL 157 100%

CASES BY INSTRUCTOR TYPE - 1996-98 (previous 2 years)

Rank Complaints Percent
Faculty 376 71%
PTI 23 4%
TA 132 25%
TOTAL 531 100%

IV. Academic offenses

Academic offenses represent the fourth most common category of complaint. The number of academic offenses tabulated for this report represent those cases in which a formal accusation was made and the student sought guidance from Academic Ombud Services. There were a number of cases in which an accusation was made with a sanction and the student did not contact our office nor did the student contest the charge. Also, not all breaches of academic integrity result in a formal accusation and sanction - there may be times the breach is handled within the course with a warning or penalty on a specific component of the course. There is no way to determine the prevalence of this type of event.

There seems to be sentiment among some faculty that breaches of integrity should not be formally reported. They feel that the amount of time and effort to follow the due process for the accusation is excessive, or they seem to feel that it may be a fruitless effort because of the perception any appeal by the student will successfully result in the charge being dropped. It is my direct observation that this is far from the truth, as evidenced by the distribution below. The majority of cases in which a student was formally accused were never challenged at all. In those situations where a student chose to appeal the case, the vast majority of cases that went before the Appeals Board were denied and the sanction upheld. Those faculty who hold the sentiment that making a formal accusation is ill-advised or will not be successful should reconsider their position.

The number of reported academic offenses has increased this year, nearly double that of previous years. Potential explanations for this may be increased incidence of breaches of integrity or increased reporting of offenses. There was a trend noted this year that is remarkably different from previous years. This year there were several cases where accusations of breaches of integrity were initiated by students. This may be an indicator of student sentiment regarding cheating and plagiarism - students may feel that breaches of integrity have become so prevalent that these breaches cannot be tolerated and must be acted upon. It is also possible that barriers preventing students from speaking out in prior years have diminished. It can be difficult for students to be "whistle-blowers," especially when they are in programs in which there may be continued contact with an accused student.

1998-99 Disposition of academic offenses

pie graph of 1998-99 Disposition of academic offenses

bar graph of Disposition of academic offenses over last four years

V. Future directions

  1. Improve dissemination of and access to information across campus
  2. Not infrequently, calls to Academic Ombud Services are made because the person has insufficient information about a particular topic or policy, or the caller does not know who the correct person is that can best answer the question or address the concern. The University of Kentucky is a large, complex academic institution, and is likely to get larger and increasingly complex. It would be beneficial to continually seek ways to better inform the academic community about academic and administrative policies and procedures, and to explore ways to enhance information access across the University.

  3. "Calibration" of departmental academic activity at regular intervals
  4. The teaching mission of departments can be quite complex, with many different types of individuals (full-time, part-time, visiting, teaching assistants) directing numerous courses. Each semester courses may be changed, sections may added, or faculty asked at the last minute to teach a course because of an unexpected absence. Despite this complexity, there are certain expectations that must be met, and therefore there needs to be some degree of self-study or calibration at regular intervals. For every course, students must be provided with clear and comprehensive syllabi, yet there are faculty who distribute syllabi that are vague, ambiguous, or lack detail. One way to prevent this is for a department to ensure oversight by Directors of Undergraduate Studies or Department Chairs with a regular review of syllabi within the department. This is especially true when multiple sections of the same course is offered. It is accepted that there will be differences in teaching philosophy, course structure, and perhaps even content. However, when broad comparisons are made between sections there should be some degree of homogeneity. Departments should also consider the grade distributions of different sections of the same course and make decisions regarding what degree of disparity is acceptable or unacceptable.

  5. Improved definitions of breaches of academic integrity
  6. In determining what constitutes plagiarism or cheating, there may be considerations that are highly discipline-specific. However, there are some considerations that are so broad that they can be very specifically defined. At present, the Senate Rules and Student Rights and Responsibilities have general descriptions that can be improved upon by incorporating specific guidelines. For example, many schools remind students that it is prohibited to submit work created in one class for credit in another; even though the same student wrote the work.

  7. Consider more stringent penalties for academic offenses
  8. It is possible that the minimum penalty for an academic offense, an E in the course, may not be a sufficient deterrent to the student who is considering a breach of integrity. On a transcript, the E that is associated with an academic offense appears no different from an E earned through traditional failure of a course. Students may choose to withhold this information from other parties, for example graduate or professional school admissions committees, the very people who would want to know of such offenses. At present there is no way for them to discover this information.

  9. Consider implementing a University-wide Honor Code
  10. Studies repeatedly show that institutions with Honor Codes have a lower incidence of breaches of academic integrity. In view of the perception that cheating and plagiarism are widespread behaviors, and because of increased student reporting of academic offenses here at Kentucky, it is, in my opinion, the right time to consider drafting and implementing an Honor Code. Even if one were not put in place immediately, the discussion held would bring an increased consciousness to our academic community regarding academic integrity.

V. Final remarks

My sincere thanks to the academic community and to President Wethington for the confidence shown in me by allowing me to serve another term as Academic Ombud. I look forward to another year of working closely with all members of the academic community.

Professor Dembo was given a round of applause.

Chairperson Moore said that if anyone was not sure what committee he or she is serving on this year, those will be submitted to the Senate Council at the next meeting on Monday, September 20, 1999. The subcommittee that looks at preferences tried as much as possible to put everyone in his or her first choice, but it was not always able to do that. Sometimes people got their second or third choice and in a few cases I was not even able to honor that and contacted those individuals and asked them if they would be willing to serve on other committees. The list will be distributed after it is approved at the meeting.

The Chair recognized Professor George Herring.

Professor Herring made the following remarks:

I would like to begin by thanking the Senate as a body for its support for the resolution that we sent in May. The fact that it came through this body made a difference, and we on the committee certainly appreciate your support. We weren't really created to write resolutions. We were created by the Senate Council last year to take a long, hard look at where we think we are, where we would like to be as a University, what sort of things we need to do to get there, and to tie that into the upcoming presidential search by asking finally, in view of all these things, what sort of experience and leadership qualities would be like to have in a president and to put that out and make it public, and hopefully it would have some influence on those people who will be doing the search and ultimately select the new president. We have been at work since February, met during most of last spring and are back hard at work now and will be contacting the campus as a whole: faculty, staff, and students in various ways over the next six weeks to try to get your input on these questions that we are asking ourselves and talking about. We hope that you will respond. We will be able to do a lot better job if we have a wide range of input from you and the rest of the campus community. If any of you have questions at any time or would like to talk with the committee privately, we welcome that. Just let me or someone on the committee know. We have a very challenging task before us and a relatively short amount of time to do that. We are in to it and look forward to it and encourage and welcome your support and assistance.

The Chair introduced Lee Meyer, Vice-Chair of the Senate Council, for introduction of the first action item.

Professor Meyer said the he appreciated Professor Dembo's comments, and the notes that they get that he passes on get forwarded to all of them and are always very helpful reminders for him. He did want to warn Professor Dembo. If he was not aware of the controversy concerning plus/minus grading and he gave them a A-, they either want an A or B.

Professor Meyer said that the first proposal was to establish a Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery and had come through the Senate Committee on Organization and Structure and came to the Senate with the support of the Senate Council. This has been informally operating as a Center already and this proposal is to formalize the Center. They have funding in place and Dr. Adrian Park is the proposed director of the Center.

ACTION ITEM 1 - Proposal to establish a Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery. See Attachment I.

The proposal passed in a unanimous voice vote.

Chairperson Moore recognized Professor Meyer for introduction of the second action item.

ACTION ITEM 2 - Proposal to amend University Senate Rules, Section IV, Admission policy changes, Gatton College of Business & Economics

Proposal: [Note: Additions are shown in bold; deletions are crossed out.)

Section IV Gatton College of Business and Economics (US:9/8/80; US:4/13/87; US:11/14/88)

Admission to the University is sufficient for lower-division admission to the Gatton College of Business and Economics for students with less than a junior standing. However, lower-division admission to the College or any admission to the University does not guarantee upper-division admission to one of the degree programs in the Gatton College of Business and Economics. In general, admission depends upon the qualifications and preparation of the applicants, as well as the availability of the resources for maintaining quality instruction.

Upper-division admission into a degree program is necessary in order to be granted a baccalaureate degree from the Gatton College of Business and Economics. Students who have attained a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade-point average overall and in the English/premajor component required of all students in the Gatton College of Business and Economics and have completed 60 semester hours of college-level credit will be assured admission.

Annually, the College of Business and Economics faculty will establish the minimum standards required for upper division admission to a degree program in the College. The standards will be established at least one year prior to their implementation. Any change in standards will be implemented at the beginning of the academic year (fall semester) and will be in effect for the entire academic year. If the standards are to be changed, the Dean of the College of Business and Economics will submit the proposed change by February 1 to the University Senate Council for approval, with prior circulation to the University deans and directors. The GPA will be no lower than 2.3. (US: 4/13/87)

Students who have attained a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or higher in the English and premajor component required of all students in the College of B&E and have completed 60 semester hours of college level credit will be assured admission. (US:4/13/87)

Annually the Gatton College of Business and Economics will review the admission requirements and determine the cumulative grade-point average (Annual Admission GPA), if any, that would be acceptable below the 3.0 standard. The Annual Admission GPA (both overall and in the English/premajor component) will be no lower than 2.5 (see Appeal Process for special circumstances). This GPA will be made available in the Undergraduate Advising Office of the Gatton College of Business and Economics by October 15 of each year. This GPA will be effective the following May 1st. The GPA would be effective for any student applying for upper-division admission to the Gatton College of Business and Economics, regardless of the time of her/his enrollment in the University.

To be considered for upper-division admission to any of the undergraduate degree programs offered by the Gatton College of Business and Economics, an applicant must fulfill the following requirements: (US 4/13/87)

  1. A Enrollment in the University of Kentucky. (Students are considered for acceptance by the [c]College only after acceptance by the University of Kentucky.); (US 4/13/87)
  2. B Completion of 60 semester hours with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.3 3.0 or the current Annual Admission GPA, whichever is lower; (US:4/13/87)
  3. C Completion of the English/premajor component required of all students within the Gatton College of Business and Economics with a minimum grade-point average of 2.3 3.0 or the minimum current Annual Admission GPA, whichever is lower. (The courses meeting these the English/premajor requirements are listed under Graduation Requirements.);
  4. D Submission of an application form which includes an official transcript and a list of courses planned indicating that the English and premajor courses will be completed prior to taking upper division work to the Gatton College of Business & Economics. The application is available in the college's Undergraduate Advising Center.

Applications for admission to the College of Business and Economics, whether for upper division or lower division status, must be received by the Advising Center of the College of Business and Economics no later than May 1 for summer sessions, August 1 for the fall semester, and December 1 for the spring semester. Normally students apply for upper division admission during the second semester of their sophomore year (the semester in which they will have completed the English and premajor components). (US: 4/10/95)

Those students seeking upper division admission who have not completed 60 semester hours or all of the English and premajor courses will be permitted to advance register for upper division courses if they satisfy the minimum grade point average standards at the time of application and they are concurrently enrolled in the courses necessary to complete the English and premajor requirements. Failure to meet all requirements for admission prior to beginning upper division work will result in denial of admission.

Applications from students outside the University of Kentucky seeking admission to the Gatton College of Business and Economics, whether for upper-division or lower-division status, must be received by the University Admissions Office no later than April 15th (4-week intersession); May 15th (8-week summer session); August 1st (fall semester); and December 1st (spring semester).

Students enrolled in other UK colleges on campus should apply for admission prior to the priority registration period. (The appropriate deadlines are listed in the University calendar for approved times to change major.)

Lower-division students enrolled in the Gatton College of Business and Economics should apply for upper-division admission to the college during the semester they are completing the English/premajor coursework. The application for upper-division admission should be made before the priority registration period for the upcoming semester.

Lower-division students in the College who are missing no more than two English/premajor courses will be permitted to complete these courses simultaneously with enrollment in restricted coursework if they are otherwise eligible. Eligibility is determined by attainment of junior standing and the minimum cumulative and English/premajor grade-point standings. This privilege will be granted for one semester only.

Students not admitted to an upper-division program in the Gatton College of Business and Economics should be aware that others who have been admitted will may be given first preference for enrollment in the unrestricted upper-division courses offered by the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Enrollment in restricted Business and Economics courses number 300 or above will be limited to:

  1. A Upper-division Business and Economics students;
  2. B Lower-division Non-Business and Economics students who are missing no more than two English/premajor courses and are otherwise eligible for upper-division status (This privilege will be granted for one semester only.); registered for specific programs requiring B&E courses.
  3. Non-Business and Economics students who are registered for specific programs requiring Business and Economics courses;
  4. C Other students or categories of students with specific permission of the department offering the course (department may choose to declare certain courses as open enrollment courses). (US: 4/13/87)

In the admission considerations, when personal, academic, professional, or intellectual circumstances tend to discount low academic scores, admission may be granted if there is other persuasive evidence of both the capability and motivation to undertake successfully a B&E program.

In the event of capacity limitations, enrollment preference would be made in the above order.

In all admission categories, An applicant from a non-English speaking country is required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and must have a minimum score of 550 in order to be considered for admission. (An equivalent score from another English proficiency test similar to TOEFL may be allowed upon request.)

Appeal Process

Students with a GPA below the Annual Admission GPA may appeal for admission into the Gatton College of Business and Economics. If the Appeals Committee feels that there is persuasive evidence that personal, academic or professional circumstances have affected a student's grade and if the Appeals Committee feels that the student shows promise for successful completion of a degree in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, acceptance may be granted. Materials and information necessary for the appeals process are available in the Undergraduate Advising Office. The deadline for the submission of the appeals is generally 45 days prior to the beginning of the semester; however, appeals materials are not accepted for the 4-week intersession.

Background and Rationale:

The above admission policy changes have been approved by the Gatton College of Business and Economics Faculty, the Senate's Admissions and Academic Standards Committee and the University Senate Council.

The large increase in enrollments in the Gatton College of Business and Economics has severely jeopardized, if not diminished, the ability of the faculty to provide quality classroom instruction and teacher-student interactions. In the spirit that admission to upper division in the Gatton College depends upon the qualification and preparation of the applicants, this changed policy clarifies the intent of the existing admission policy that the minimum GPA for admission into the college can fluctuate annually between 2.5 and 3.0.

The admission policy aims to provide both the students with as much certainty as reasonably possible about admission requirements and the college a way to respond in a timely fashion to changes in enrollments. Students are assured that the required GPA (both overall and in the English/premajor component) will not exceed 3.0 or fall below 2.5 Additionally, the annual Admission GPA will be made available on October 15 of each year and will not be effective until the following May 1st. This timing gives the students the second half of the fall semester and all of the spring semester to improve their grades if necessary.

Implementation: Spring, 2000

Note: If approved, the proposal will be forwarded to the Rules Committee for codification.

Professor Meyer reviewed the background of the item and recommended approval on behalf of the Senate Council. He recognized Professor Jane Wells from the College of Business and Economics.

Professor Wells said that primarily, the purpose of the proposal was to clarify the policy. As they read it, was a little ambiguous. The main thing they wanted was to make sure when a student saw something in the Bulletin that they would be able to interpret it and understand it. When they were looking at the policy and how the GPA was setup they were concerned that the student might not be able to tell when a change in the GPA would occur. Technically, they are still leaving the base at 2.5; it is in the Bulletin as a 2.5. 2.5 would be the minimum, and 3.0 would be assured admission, just as they have it now. What that would allow is the flexibility if they see it is necessary to raise it above a 2.5. They would have that flexibility. It is really the same flexibility they have in the Bulletin now. The only thing is that they establish a guideline and a time when they would do that. They would say at this point they would let the student know that there would be change as of October 1st. As it is now, they talk about a year, and it is a little bit confusing when that year is and the student would be effective as of May 1st of the next year. The other thing that they tried to clarify is that they are a selective admission college, and they tried to clarify that this would be for any student regardless of whether or not they had been admitted to their college. They are using it as a clarification more than anything.

Tagavi Kaveh (Engineering) asked how this would actually be done. If a student were a priority three and wanted to get into a restricted course, when do they let them know they are in and if they are in and then the section is closed and a priority one wants to get in, would the priority three student then be dropped?

Jane Wells said that they would not drop the student, but during priority registration if they found they needed to restrict enrollment size, they would have it open only to perhaps priority one, the upper division Business and Economics, and during the second window open it to other priorities.

Tagavi Kaveh asked how they distinguished between priority two, three, and four during the second window?

Professor Wells said at that point, it would depend on the demand of lower division students.

Professor Kaveh said if the window was open, then the priority is senior, junior, sophomore, and freshman. That is not the priority when the second window is open. Seniors are more eligible than juniors according the Registrar, but, according to your criteria, a junior might be higher priority than a senior.

Professor Wells said that they would let the Registrar know a particular major and ask them to add that message to the registration to add that person. The lower division people are only added through contract. They actually have to be personally added through a contract.

Professor Kaveh said he did not know how they would distinguish between number two and three.

Professor Wells said that once they opened the window, the student would have a hold and then be given permission to add that class, just as they do it now. The lower division would be on a case by case basis.

Don Witt (University Registrar) stated that when the advisor came in contact with a student, who needed to be in the class, under normal conditions they would not be allowed in the class. If the advisor in B & E saw fit, they could give the student an electronic lift so they could automatically get into the class.

Professor Tagavi said if there were ten positions open and the student goes to the advisor today and is number three, how would the advisor know there is not a number two tomorrow who wants to get into the class? This is not clear.

Don Witt said that because the system is real time, when an advisor is looking on the system if there are ten spots, the advisor could look and automatically know. They can put the student in at that point so they would not say there was a space when there was not.

Enid Waldhart (Communications) said this seemed to be following the same procedure they have always used for overriding permission to get into classes. The override gives you the permission, but if there are not spaces available then they aren't available just as students come up against any other section where there is a capacity listed. It says these people are eligible to get in, but being eligible is not a guarantee that one would actually have a space in the class.

Professor Wells said that this is actually following what they have had before. It is in the Bulletin as it is, and they are just reiterating.

Professor Tagavi said that it was possible for a person with "priority two" would not get in while people with "priority three" are already in. That goes against the meaning of the word priority.

Professor Wells said they would hope at that point that the lower division students would have gone to see their advisor prior to this secondary window and would have been given the special override into the class, and they would open it to the other majors.

Don Witt said that the situation is really trying to clarify something that is in existence already. There are a number of issues with students trying to get into very tight Business and Economics courses, Jane and her staff work closely to keep a list of these students as they are coming in, so when the secondary windows are opening up, they know where the problems exist and the priority is already taken care of. I do not think this will be an issue. It will help take control over the situation.

A motion to cut off debate passed in a show of hands.

The proposal passed in a show of hands.

Chairperson Moore said if anyone forgot to sign in, they needed to do that and anyone making comments during the meeting needed to identify themselves and their college.

The Chair said that the Senate Council has traditionally met on a monthly basis during the regular academic year for breakfast with President Wethington for quite some time. The President met with the Council earlier this month and indicated at that time that he planned to continue the monthly meetings but with a broader cross-section of individuals, including faculty and students rather than meeting with the Senate Council. The President will continue to meet with the Council chair each month, as we have traditionally done. If you are among the individuals invited to attend those meetings, I would encourage you to take advantage of the invitation and to meet with the President. If anyone has any questions about that, let us know.

Professor Jim Applegate made the following remarks:

With all the activities that have been going on, I just wanted Loys and the leadership here to know that I have gotten several requests from other states in the last couple of months to ask if someone could come and tell us how this is done in Kentucky, where you have elected members of your faculty on the Board of Trustees, where you have a voting member of the Council of Postsecondary Education. How did you do that? Where you have a Senate that gets involved in meaningful issues, we are trying to get our governing structure in a position such as you have. My perspective has been changed in visiting some of these other states and knowing how far along we are in terms of having meaningful faculty voices and making meaningful decisions about institutional and state-wide policies.

I just say that because there have been places that have had that and let it atrophy. I am confident that with the people that are here now, that won't happen. COSFL, the Council of Senate Faculty Leaders, is a statewide organization that Loys is instrumental in making effective. People are looking to us to see how we have done this. I think it enhances the quality of all that we do in the state because we have meaningful faculty input. I just wanted to say that because I think that it is important to keep that motivation up. Sometimes we wonder whether we are doing anything that is meaningful, but I think on a good day we are pretty important.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

Don Witt
Secretary, University Senate