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University Senate Minutes - November 8, 2004

The University Senate met on Monday, November 8, 2004 at 3:00 pm in the Auditorium of the Young Library and took the following actions.

Absent: Aken*, Alexander*, Anderman, Bailey*, Baldwin*, Barker, Baxter*, Berryman*, Biagi, Blandford*, Braun*, Brown*, Butler, Carter, Catavolos*, Cavagnero, Cibulka, Clauter*, Cohen, Darnall, Deem, DeLuca*, Dembo*, DeSimone, Diedrichs*, Duffy*, Duke*, Durant, Ellis, Filak, Fink*, Gaetke, Garen, Gargola, Getchel, Grabau*, Greasley, Haist*, Hanson, Hoffman, Isaacs, Jasper*, Jefferies*, Jennings*, Johnson, K.*, Johnson, J.D., Kaetzel*, Kerley, Kraemer, Lester, Lindlof, Martin, McCormick*, McKinney, Michael, Mobley, Mohney, Nietzel, Noonan*, Odoi, Owen, Perman, Portillo, Pulito, Ray*, Roberts, Robinson, Rouhier-Willoughby*, Royce, Shaw, Shay, Smith*, Staben*, Sudharshan, Terrell*, Thelin*, Todd, Tsang, Turner, S.*, Turner, W., Vasconez, Vestal, Waldhart*, Walker, Williams, C., Williams, E., Wise*, Witt.

*Denotes excused absence.


The Chair announced the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Enrollment Management, which is chaired by Larry Grabau, and outlined the committee's charge. He reported the committee will present its report to the Senate Council in mid-March. The report may be presented to the Senate at the April meeting.

The Chair reported on the Retiree Health Benefits committee, saying Sean Peffer is the Senate representative while Bob Strupp is the emeritus representative. The Chair said the committee will begin meeting in January.

The annual Board and Senates' Holiday Reception will be Tuesday, December 14 from 3:00 to 5:00 in the Lexmark Public Room of the Main Building. The Chair invited all Senators to attend and noted that electronic invitations will be forthcoming.

The Chair provided a preview of the December Senate meeting, which will include reports from the Provost, the Ombud, the faculty representatives to the Board of Trustees and Bob Grossman, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Academic Offenses Policy.

1. Proposed Change to Senate Rules regarding Senate Council Elections

Proposed Change to Senate Rules regarding Senate Council Elections (DOC)

The Chair provided some background on this item and invited Tagavi, Chair of the Rules and Elections Committee, to present the proposal. Tagavi explained the need to update the rule to allow for electronic elections and to eliminate the possibility of a tie and multiple rounds of run-offs. He explained the process and provided a PowerPoint presentation (PPT) to illustrate his proposal, which will be linked electronically to these minutes. Tagavi thanked the other members of the committee and asked the Senators for questions or comments.

Edgerton said the proposed system essentially allows Senators to vote multiple times and objected to such a practice in principle. Tagavi replied that multiple votes are cast under the current system, except that in the current system they are cast over multiple rounds of voting rather than during one round with a built in run-off system. Tagavi said the proposal was intended to mirror as closely as possible the current rules regarding elections.

Bhavsar asked what would happen during the initial casting of the ballots if the two candidates who received the lowest number of votes tied. He also wondered how decisions would be made in the event of unanticipated problems. Tagavi replied that the proposed rule allows for random drawings, if need be. He added that if there was a problem then the Rules and Elections Committee would make a decision as a committee.

Grossman spoke in favor of the proposal, noting that both the current system and the proposed system grant each Senator up to three votes.

Gesund asked what would happen if during the nominating round there were six Senators tied for sixth place. Tagavi replied that there would be a random drawing to decide which Senator would be placed as the sixth entry on the voting ballot.

Gabel asked if different results would be reached if just a boarder count was done with weighted voting rather than using the proposed system. Tagavi replied that any changes to the rule may well produce different results and reiterated that this system was selected because it most closely resembled the current system while allowing for an immediate run-off.

Martin expressed concern that those faculty engaged in clinical enterprises may experience difficulty in being informed that voting should begin either electronically or with a paper ballot. Tagavi said the reason the wording allowing for a paper ballot was included was to anticipate an extreme situation in which electronic voting was not available. Martin expressed concern that she may miss a notification about voting since she rarely gets to her computer. Cibull noted that the same could be said about paper notifications and faculty who rarely check their departmental mailboxes. He reminded the Senate that only Senators vote for the Senate Council elections and added that Senators may also get information about voting by attending the Senate meetings.

Holmes asked if the ballots from the preceding Senate Council election still existed. Ms. Scott replied they were in her possession. Holmes suggested running the ballots through the proposed system to see if the outcomes were the same. Tagavi noted the old ballots did not require the votes to be rank-ordered and would therefore not be conducive to the proposed system.

Bhavsar proposed an amendment that in case of election problems, the Rules and Elections Committee should act as the final arbiter. Gesund provided the second. Tagavi noted that clause was already part of the committee's charge and asked if Bhavsar intended it be explicitly included in this case. Bhavsar requested as much and Tagavi accepted the amendment as a friendly amendment.

A vote was taken to stop debate, which passed unanimously. The motion passed without dissent, with 35 Senators voting in favor of the motion.

Albisetti questioned the presence of a quorum. The Sergeant at Arms, Ms. Cormney and Ms. Scott counted the number of voting Senators who were present using the attendance roster. There were 42 voting members of the Senate present, while 45 voting members constitute a quorum.

No quorum being present, the meeting was adjourned at 3:58.

Respectfully submitted by Ernie Bailey
Secretary of the Senate

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on November 16, 2004.