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University Senate Minutes - October 3, 2005

The University Senate met on Monday, October 3, 2005 at 3:00pm in 209 Main Building and took the following actions.

Absences: Alexander*, Anyaegbunam, Bailey*, Baldwin, Baxter*, Berger, Bhavsar*, Burkhart*, Butler, Calvert*, Caudill*, Cavagnero, Cibulka, Clarke*, Cohen, Deem*, DeSimone, Diedrichs, Duffy, Dwoskin*, Edgerton*, Eldred, El-Ghannam*, Ellingsworth*, Frost*, Gaetke*, Garen, Gesund*, Getchell, Greasley, Grossman*, Haist*, Harley, Hazard*, Hertog, Hoch*, Hoffman, Holmes*, Houtz*, Infanger, Johnson*, Johnson*, Lester, Lindlof*, Lock*, McCormick, Michael*, Mobley, Mohney*, Perman, Piascik*, Portillo, Pulito, Roberts, Roland, Shaw, Shay, Shearer, Smart*, Smith*, Steltenkamp*, Straus, Sudharshan*, Terrell, Turner, Turner, Vestal, Voss*, Wise, Witt, Wyatt.

*Denotes excused absence.

1. Minutes from September 12, 2005

The Chair asked if there were any corrections. Jones noted that in the last paragraph the reference to voting Senators should be changed to ?voting faculty Senators?. Ms. Scott will incorporate the change. There being no further suggestions, the minutes were approved as amended.

2. Announcements

The Chair announced that the regularly-scheduled University Senate meeting will be held in the Young Library Auditorium on October 10, 2005 at 3:00pm.

3. President Todd's annual address

The Chair welcomed President Todd and invited him to address the Senate. The President said he would discuss the past, present and future, and did so within the context of such issues as the Dream Tour, the strategic plan, the fiscal state of the University, enrollment goals as related to minority recruitment and retention, and the need to improve graduation rates. He expressed the need to improve faculty salaries and recruitment rates for minority faculty and staff. The President discussed the upward trend in federally funded research, an increase in the number of doctoral degrees awarded, and the number of post-doctoral students engaged in research.

The President said attempts were underway to quantitatively gauge the way in which the University impacts the quality of life for Kentuckians. He noted that measuring patents, extramural funding, and various services the University provides to various communities through a variety of programs were but a few mechanisms to do so.

The president finished his remarks and asked for questions from the audience. Davy Jones asked if the President thought the faculty could still obtain additional federal funding or if the total funding may have reached a plateau. The President replied that more funds were indeed available, but that in order to obtain those funds more faculty members were needed as well as more lab and research space. He suggested the University should not restrict itself but should instead look for ways to make sure the necessary resources were available to allow faculty to be competitive for additional funding.

The President provided more details about the Dream Tour, including the schedule of the trip as well as information regarding the types of venues at which he spoke. He provided some anecdotes to exhibit the many ways in which the University touches the lives of citizens of the Commonwealth and spoke of the political difficulty of losing the Community College system. The President talked about how rewarding it was to hear feedback from the communities visited regarding services the University provided that weren?t even necessarily on the radar of University officials. Examples included services provided by the Gluck Equine Center and training for law enforcement officers on the detection of methamphetamines in rural communities.

The President spoke to the need to re-engage Kentuckians in the business of the University, adding that the promotion of the Commonwealth Collaboratives was one way to do so. The President challenged the faculty to engage in an upcoming review of the University Studies Program, noting that in order to become a top 20 institution the University needed to reinvest in its undergraduate education. The President stressed the importance of considering these issues in light of increased globalization and changes in the world marketplace. He spoke to the need to turn USP into a more integrated educational and intellectual experience.

The President briefly outlined the Top 20 Business Plan, noting the need to present such a plan to legislators in Frankfort in order to clearly express what UK would need in order to obtain top 20 status. He added that the four primary indicators the University would use when making its case included the quality of the undergraduate educational program, graduate education, the quality of the faculty, and the status of research at the University. The plan will identify gaps between the University?s current status and those of the current top 20 public universities and will suggest ways to close those gaps. The President stressed the need to increase enrollment while also growing the faculty to become closer to the size of the benchmark institutions. He added that research productivity would increase if more faculty members were hired, while additional tuition dollars would assist with the building of classroom space and other academic buildings. He noted that such issues of space, salaries, staff, classrooms and a variety of other factors will have to be kept in careful balance during the period of growth. The President noted the significant sacrifices the faculty has been asked to make during the period of budget cuts and hoped that by creating a larger revenue with higher enrollments and increases in tuition more faculty members could be hired to ease the burden on existing faculty that had grown over the past few years.

President Todd discussed plans for the next legislative session, noting that some specific priorities had been identified. They included a request for increases in operating funds, permission to build a new Pharmacy Building, and the request for bonding authority in order to finish some and begin other much-needed capital projects. He noted that the current $400,000 cap on capital construction projects, which is the maximum allowed without legislative approval, significantly hampered the University?s ability to enact crucial renovations. He hoped the amount of that cap might be revisited as well.

The Chair noted that some people seem to think that there are two flagship Universities in Kentucky and asked the President how to deliver the message that UK is the only flagship, and why it is so important to make that argument convincing. The President replied that he keeps that point in mind whenever speaking with legislators and representatives from the Council on Post-Secondary Education. He added that it was part of his job to make sure they stayed focused on the University?s mission, noting that the Top 20 Business Plan was an excellent tool to exhibit the University?s seriousness and dedication to fulfilling the mandate stated in House Bill 1.

Judith Lesnaw asked the President to discuss the University?s progress in certain areas in the past few years and how those standings may compare to the benchmark institutions as well as to the University of Louisville. The President replied that one area in which the University had accomplished growth was in non-federal research dollars obtained. He noted that while the University of Louisville has done an excellent job in focusing on the medical area, and that their growth rate is probably ahead of UK?s in that area, the overall measures should be kept in mind, including UK?s emphasis on undergraduate and graduate education, ACT scores, graduation rates, and student and faculty retention, to name a few. He added that if you take those measures into account UK was well ahead of U of L in the rankings.

Mary Duke asked the President what plans he had in place to keep the momentum generated during the Dream Tour going, especially internally on campus. The President replied that internal communication would be a key ingredient to maintaining momentum. He noted that he had already met with the faculty of a few colleges and had plans to meet with more. He added that he had already met with the Staff Senate to discuss the Top 20 Business Plan and hoped to improve and increase communications in the future. The President added that he hoped to summarize and compile the positive headlines from the newspapers across the state that resulted from the Dream Tour and find some way to prominently display them to assist the University in feeling proud of its accomplishments.

The President had to leave for another engagement, but thanked the faculty Senators for all the hard work they do. He asked them again to consider possible changes to the University Studies Program.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:17. The next meeting will occur on Monday, October 10, 2005 at 3:00pm in the Auditorium of Young Library.

Respectfully submitted by Kaveh Tagavi
Secretary of the Senate

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on October 3, 2005.