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University Senate Minutes - October 13, 2003

The University Senate met in regular session at 3:00 pm, October 13, 2003, in the Auditorium of the W. T. Young Library.

Members absent were:Charles Ambrose, Kimberly Anderson*, Vince Austin, Matt Bacon, Wendy Baldwin*, Sheila Brothers, Frank Butler, Lauretta Byars, Ben Carr, James Cibulka, Alfred Cohen, Kate Davis, Jody Deem*, Philip DeSimone, David Durant*, Roberta Dwyer*, Joseph Fink III*, Daniel Flournoy, Mat Gabel, Steven Haist*, Mark Hanson*, Bob Haven, Allison Hensley*, Kay Hoffman, James Holmes, Steve Isaacs*, Ling Hwey Jeng*, J. David Johnson*, Keith Johnson, James Kerley, Richard King*, Robert Kovarik, Phil Kraemer, Thomas Lester, Mary Marchant*, Catherine Martin*, Joan Mazur, Leola McClure, Katherine McCormick*, Doug Michael*, Terry Mobley, David Mohney, Michael Nietzel, Sue Nokes*, Peter Perry, Martha Purdue*, Connie Ray*, Kenneth Roberts, Thomas Robinson, Sandy Schomaker, Jason Shaw*, Robert Shay, Richard Siemer, Scott Smith,Ruth Staten*, D.C. Storm*, Devanathan Sudharshan, Patricia Terrell, Lee Todd, Tate Tsang, Henry Vasconez, Allan Vestal, Brian Wade*, Retia Walker, Rachel Watts*, Carolyn Williams*, Emery Wilson, Don Witt, Steven Yates*.

*Excused Absences

Chairperson Jeffrey Dembo called the meeting to order at 3:00 pm.

1. Approval of the Minutes

The Chair asked if there were any objections to approving the minutes as written.There were no objections.The minutes were approved without dissent.

2. Announcements

The Chair announced the completion of the Senate elections and introduced the senators who had been elected since the previous meeting. He noted the upcoming Senate Council election and informed the Senate of the current composition of the Senate Council. Tagavi said Senate Council election ballots would be mailed by Wednesday or Thursday and provided a brief description of the election process.Grossman asked why the Senate Council election was not being conducted electronically.Tagavi replied that the rules specified this particular election be conducted via paper ballot.Tagavi added his committee could possibly change that rule if charged to do so by the Senate or Senate Council.The Chair thanked Tagavi and added that the Senators who receive enough nominations to proceed to the next round of the election will be contacted to determine their willingness to serve.

The Chair noted the passing of Joe Davis and Russ Groves and said memorial resolutions will be forthcoming for both.

3. Faculty Trustees' Reports

The Chair introduced Michael Kennedy and Davy Jones and yielded the floor to Kennedy.Kennedy reported on a variety of issues, including the current composition of the Board, his work on various committees, conference attendance, the University's current financial situation, tuition increases, the President's compensation, the recent reorganization of HES, the NCAA conference at Vanderbilt University, athletic season ticket prices, faculty contract issues, retiree benefits, and other issues pertaining to University faculty.He also expressed his opinion on the possibility of instituting drop charges, the 18th Floor Express elevator in Patterson Office Tower, noise pollution, bicycles in non-bicycle areas on campus, last fall's Provost search issues, and Dr. Wethington's contract with LCC.

The Chair asked Jones to defer his presentation until the next Senate meeting in the interest of time.Jones replied that he had nothing to add.

4. Ophthalmology Name Change

Ophthalmology Name Change (PDF)

Chair outlined the responsibility of the Senate when voting on such proposals and forwarding them to the Board of Trustees.The Chair informed the Senate of recently-created guidelines from the Academic Structure and Organization Committee which will help guide proposals such as this through the approval process in the future.The Chair then yielded the floor to Kate Chard, Chair of said committee.

Chard presented the routing sheet that is used by the committee to ensure that sufficient input is obtained from all constituents throughout the process of changing the status of an academic unit and provided the rationale for both the routing sheet's use and the proposal at hand.Chard reported her committee's favorable vote on this proposal, but noted that the College of Medicine faculty had not voted on this issue due to absences by the two pertinent faculty members at the Academic Council of the Medical Center meeting at which this item was decided.


Lesnaw asked if the new name would cause the reorganization of other existing academic units.The Chair replied that the intent of the name change was to spur more interdisciplinary research.Grossman asked how much the name change would cost. The Chair replied that a cost analysis was not available.

Grossman moved to postpone a vote until a cost analysis could be obtained.Lewin seconded the motion.Blyton asked if Grossman intended a definite or indefinite postponement.The Chair suggested a definite postponement was more applicable.Tagavi asked what sort of expenses might be involved. Blyton said Tagavi was out of order.The Chair called for a vote.The motion failed by handcount.

After brief discussion regarding whether this name change represented a change in the degree program and mission of the department, or whether it was simply a way to attract students from other fields, the Chair called for a vote.The motion passed by voice vote.

5. Faculty Representation on Search Committees

Faculty Representation on Search Committees (PDF)

The Chair introduced the item and noted that it would be forwarded to the President for inclusion in the Administrative Regulations if passed. The Chair reminded the Senate that this item had been presented for discussion at the last Senate meeting and was now on the floor for a vote.The Chair asked for discussion or questions.There was none.The motion passed without dissent.

Other issues

The Chair said the issue of domestic partner benefits had been introduced at the last Senate Council meeting by Jones because the Board of Trustees was beginning to broach the issue informally.The Chair said the Senate Council did not achieve consensus about whether or not to discuss the issue.The Chair informed the Senate of an upcoming Staff Senate Benefits Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 14 to discuss the issue and invited any interested parties to attend.

The Chair told the Senate that the annual Board and Senate Holiday Reception will be co-hosted by the Staff Senate this year.Date, time and location will be forthcoming.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:35.

Respectfully submitted by
Jeffrey Dembo
University Senate Chair

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on October 16, 2003.