April 1, 2019
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on April 1, 2019, was called to order at 3:04 pm by Senate President Thomas Richmond. The meeting was held in the Moot Courtroom of the College of Law.
Present: Rima Ajlouni, Bob Allen, Elena Asparouhova, Olga Baker, Nitin Bakshi, Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, Amy Barrios, Shmuel Baruch, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Gunseli Berik, Donald Blumenthal, Bryan Bonner, Joel Brownstein, Kirsten Butcher, Brian Cadman, Devon Cantwell, Laurel Caryn, Mike Caserta, Ravi Chandran, Susanna Cohen, Katharine Coles, Sheila Crowell, Chuck Dorval, Randy Dryer, Ann Engar, Korkut Erturk, Diego Fernandez, Haley Feten, Candace Floyd, Leslie Francis, John Funk, Per Gesteland, Valerie Guerrero, Gema Guevara, Kim Hackford-Peer, Patricia Hanna, Christopher Hull, Howie Huynh, Kaelin Kaczka, Emily Kam, Anne Kirchhoff, Kim Korinek, Anne Lair, Rich Landward, Stephane LeBohec, Lauren Liang, Tom Lund, Brad Lundahl, Kaden Madson, Jim Martin, Sharon Mastracci, Maureen Mathison, Claire McGuire, Kaitlin McLean, Dragan Milicic, Ken Monson, Krystal Moorman, Connor Morgan, Susan Naidu, Kathleen Nicoll, Brandon Patterson, Lauren Perry, Ravi Ranjan, Kalani Raphael, Angela Rasmussen, Georgi Rausch, Brad Rockwell, Frank Sachse, Alejandra Sanchez, Jon Seger, Peyden Shelton, Helene Shugart, Jennifer Shumaker-Parry, Debra Simmons, Carol Sogard, Dustin Stokes, James Sutherland, Thomas Swensen, Alex Terrill, Emily Thomas, Sylvia Torti, Aryana Vadipour, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Neil Vickers, Jessica Wempen, James Winkler, Tom Winter, Julie Wright-Costa, Joanne Yaffe, Zhou Yu
Excused with proxy: Rajeev Balasubramonian, Sarah Bush, Adrienne Cachelin, Tommaso De Fernex, Christel Hohenegger, Rick Paine, Wanda Pillow, Pearl Sandick
Excused: Eric Hinderaker, Michael Larice
Absent: Alan Abbinanti, Darryl Butt, Nadia Cobb, Mark Durham, Kenneth Foreman, Thomas Crane Giamo, Amanda Goodner, Mia Hashibe, Ken Johnson, Hanseup Kim, Winston Kyan, Dale Larsen, Sean Lawson, Elizabeth Pohl, Jon Rainier, John Regehr, Nelson Roy, Amnon Schlegel, Sara Simonsen, Taylor Stringham, Taryn Young, Shundana Yusaf
Ex Officio: Ruth Watkins, Lisa Hutton, Margaret Clayton, Julio Facelli, Robert Flores, Robert Fujinami, Dave Hill, Harriet Hopf, Paul Mogren, Thomas Richmond, Jane Laird
Others: Presidential Student Ambassador Mitch Kenney, ASUU representative Michaela Lemen
Approval of Minutes
The minutes dated March 4, 2019 were approved upon a motion from Joanne Yaffe and a second by Pat Hanna.
The Consent Calendar (faculty and administrative appointments list) was approved upon a motion from Kate Coles and a second by Kaitlin McLean.
Report from Administration
President Ruth Watkins presented updates on the recent state legislative session. It was a successful session for the University of Utah that included a 2.5 % compensation increase and 4.35% health insurance cost increase authorization, which was a priority for this session. It will help attract and retain valuable personnel. The University’s share of performance-based funding is about $8 million, which will be used to support student success. Other initiatives and program expansions were also allocated funds. The legislature provided funding that will cushion tuition increases to the lowest since 1999, and the University administration celebrates these successes and support provided. The two bonding approval requests for the Huntsman Cancer Center Phase V and the Rice Eccles Stadium Expansion also passed. In sum, key institutional priorities were met during the session.
The President highlighted a student-led working group focusing on enhancing campus safety. It is spearheading a series of events in the coming week, including a Resilient-U healthy relationships workshop that will bring in outside expertise.
General Commencement is May 2, 2019, and the President strongly encouraged faculty to get involved. Reverend France A. Davis will deliver the commencement address, with a theme of unity that is very timely and welcome. The UofU Alumni Association has revised its membership model to be an engagement model. All graduates become a member automatically, and the dues are optional. The President also explained that she had recently visited alumni chapters in Las Vegas and Seattle, and reported that these were vibrant, active and very supportive of the University’s success. She urged Senate members to participate in the upcoming candidate searches, for administrative positions at the U, during the open conversations and provide feedback.
Senate Executive Committee Report
Julio Facelli reported on the March 18th Senate Executive Committee meeting. The EC voted to put proposed Policy 5-141: Performance Management on the Senate Intent Calendar as it was deemed of academic impact. Items approved for this Senate Debate Calendar included the previously presented SACSCF Proposed Student Feedback Instrument. Other items scheduled for the Senate Information and Recommendations Calendar were annual Senate Committee reports, the proposed Rule 5-200: Parental Leave for Hospital Staff, and teaching award announcements.
Report from ASUU
ASUU President Connor Morgan explained that some exciting proposals will be presented at this meeting and previewed the student-driven initiatives on the agenda. He also introduced the newly elected ASUU leadership for the 2019-2020 academic year: ASUU President Anna Barnes; ASUU Vice President of University Relations Latifa Yaqoobi; ASUU Senate Chair Damon Ngo.
Academic Senate President Tom Richmond thanked Presidential Student Ambassador Mitch Kenney and ASUU representative Michaela Lemen for their assistance with the meeting microphones.
Notice of Intent Calendar
Proposed Policy 5-141: Performance Management
Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer Wendy Peterson and Director of Employment Services Andrea Brown presented a proposed Policy 5-141: Staff Performance Management that incorporated suggestions from Senate Executive Committee Members, including Bob Flores and Harriet Hopf. The department is very supportive of this proposal because effective performance management leads to increased employee engagement and employee morale, which increases retention and ultimately overall University performance. It is the right thing to do at the right time and will bring the University more in line with PAC 12 peers. The Utah legislature, the University’s accreditation body–Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)–and current research in the field all recommend staff evaluations that are regular and that track progress. For all staff covered by this policy, performance discussions are required annually (and individual departments may decide the optimal timing) and will be documented in a new and easy to use online performance management system, UUPM, that is already available to departments. The online performance documentation will include an optional area that highlights three institutional values so that staff can apprised of what is important to the University. A motion from Joanne Yaffe, seconded by Pat Hanna, to immediately move the proposal to the Senate Debate Calendar was approved by two-thirds of the Senate.
Andrea and Wendy then clarified further points during debate discussion. Via the Human Resource Information System, departments can access past performance discussion documentation, and other custom reports. The data is secure via the Campus Information Services platform and Duo Authentication. Salary determination and disciplinary processes are completely separate from the performance management discussion process. The area in the Policy for associated Rules has no entries yet; any future proposed Rules will come back to the Senate for discussion. A motion from Randy Dryer, seconded by Kathleen Nicoll, to approve the proposal was passed with one abstention.
Philosophy of Science BA/BS
Matt Haber, Department of Philosophy, highlighted the department’s proposal to offer a BS/BA in Philosophy of Science. It is a culmination of a 20-year plan of the department to develop a unique strength in this area. The program is currently ranked in the top 20 for Philosophy of Science, and the top five for Philosophy of Biology. The department is now in a position to offer a major–either as a stand-alone major or double with existing STEM majors–to students. A motion from Maureen Mathison, seconded by Leslie Francis, to approve this proposal passed.
Georgi Rausch, Department of Management, presented a proposed minor in Management, which will be similar to other School of Business minors such as Marketing and Advanced Financial Analysis. This option is due to demand by students inside and outside of the Business School who would like this education but are not now Management majors. The minor requirements will be for students to have already declared a major and to hold a 2.75 GPA. A motion from Joanne Yaffe to approve the proposal was seconded by Kate Coles and then approved.
ASUU Carbon Neutrality Resolution
Conner Morgan reviewed a Resolution to Reaffirm a Commitment to Achieving Net-Zero Carbon Emissions, an ASUU-sponsored resolution developed after consultation with multiple stakeholders across campus. Contributors to the resolution included students and ASUU, members of the Academic Senate Executive Committee, the University of Utah Sustainability Office, and the Sustainability and Energy team from the facilities office. The resolution calls for three actions: a recommitment to achieving carbon neutrality by no later than 2050 (potentially sooner); a commitment to revised requirements set forth in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which now includes climate resiliency goals; the creation of a Presidential Task Force to promote collaborative strides toward carbon neutrality. He further discussed some of the collaborative projects and goals recommended for the proposed Presidential task force. A motion by Randy Dryer, seconded by Kate Coles, to approve the resolution passed.
Campus Safety Syllabus Statement
Kaitlin McLean, ASUU Senate Chair and member of the Campus Safety Taskforce, presented an initiative to include campus safety information on the all syllabi as a required item. One of the easiest, fastest, lowest cost, and most effective ways to reach students is through a course syllabus, something that all students will most likely read and have continued access to throughout the term. Out of twelve institutions in the PAC-12, eight have at least some safety information listed on course syllabi. This initiative is widely supported, and the safety information proposed for syllabi is a result of consultation with the Campus Police Department, Campus Safety Taskforce, ASUU Presidency, ASUU Senate, Dean of Students, and faculty, students, and staff at large. Kaitlin expressed that if one person benefits from this method of student communication, it is worth the effort, as safety is a high priority to not only students, but also the entire campus.
Ann Engar expressed colleagues’ concerns about the University using syllabi for its communications, as there are other avenues for this. Zhou You inquired whether this would not be better as a recommended, and not required, part of the syllabus. ASUU Academic Senators Claire McGuire and Devon Cantwell expressed that students and research both strongly support having safety information on syllabi. Brandon Patterson suggested that the proposed syllabi safety statement might additionally include clarification that the campus police phone number can be used to report suspicious activity and also request an escort. Pat Hanna motioned to approve the proposal and was seconded by Joanne Yaffe. Leslie Francis asked to amend the motion to add the suggested language so that the second line of the statement would instead read “To report suspicious activity or to request a safety escort, call campus police at 801-585-COPS (801-585-2677).” The amendment was accepted, and the revised motion passed, with 6 opposed and 2 abstentions.
SACSCF Proposed Student Feedback Instrument
Senate Advisory Committee on Student Course Feedback (SACSCF) Chair Maureen Mathison and committee members Patrick Tripeny and Adam Halstrom reviewed the proposed student feedback instrument presented at the March 4, 2019 Senate meeting, as no new changes had been introduced. The University’s current student feedback tool is approximately 15 years old, and the committee agreed a few years ago, given the national conversation on education and student feedback, to revise it. The revised instrument is the result of faculty and student focus group input and is based on best teaching practices. The goal is to enable students to give meaningful feedback to instructors and to raise completion rates. Committee member Aryana Vadipour offered that the new tool is meant to be easier and faster for students to fill out. The committee’s aim is to ask the Senate to approve the revised content, and the committee would then work on implementation plans over the next year so to roll it out by Fall 2020. Implementation plans currently include providing workshops for faculty and conducting pilot testing.
Patrick explained that specific pilot testing methodologies are still being discussed and the intention is to run pilot tests in several different ways, such as splitting large classes. Kaitlin McLean, SACSCF committee member, added that other pilot tests could include identifying how the new instrument correlates with instructors who otherwise have demonstrated teaching ability. The committee would also like to have students participate in some trial runs to find out if the new tool improves their ability to give feedback and review other courses. Students prefer that the summary feedback data, which is available to be reviewed online by interested students, be user-friendly and easy to understand. So, some of the subsequent technical needs of implementation will depend on some of these trials. Maureen also said that it is optimal to take a few semesters to make sure that the feedback instrument as proposed does a better job at helping instructors improve their courses. It will also be up to the individual departments to determine what custom questions and data metrics to add to the individual course feedback survey once developed. Bob Flores explained that by Policy the SACSCF implementation plans proposal will also be reviewed for approval by the Senate once complete. Joanne Yaffe moved to approve the content of the proposed tool and asked SACSCF to better clarify the item that asks students to indicate whether they were comfortable asking questions and discussing personal views. The motion was seconded by Kate Coles and passed with 2 abstentions.
Policy 4-003 Website Policy Proposal
Paula Millington, Patricia Hanna, Dave Hill, and Chris Pfeiffer presented the proposed website Policy 4-003 (and associated Rules), and read a summary letter from Steven Hess, who was unable to attend. The drafting group and the letter reviewed the scope and goals of the revised Policy and associated Rules, and the consultative processes the Policy and Rules underwent prior to coming to the Senate for vote. Paula further clarified that the Policy and its associated Rules were presented in separate binders for Senate review. A motion from Joanne Yaffe to approve the proposal was seconded by Kate Coles and passed with 1 opposed.
Information and Recommendations Calendar
Student Athletes and Academic Performance
Karen Paisley, University of Utah NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), introduced the University of Utah Athletics Fall 2018 Academic Report for the Senate. Her role as faculty representative is to support the integrity of student-athlete academic experience and work with the NCAA and PAC 12 compliance offices on behalf of the University. Addressing faculty involvement, she explained that this role requires monitoring an array of areas, which includes major clustering, grade changes, course rosters that have more than 20% student-athletes, and other flags that require a follow-up with instructors. The Academic Report is a success story. The student-athlete GPA was 3.3 (35th consecutive semester above a 3.0), plus other outstanding indicators of academic success. The overall student average GPA is about 3.2. The graduation success rate is 95%, which is second only to Stanford in the PAC 12. Coaches, advisors, staff, and others have all contributed to these positive results through their efforts.
Rule 5-200: Parental Leave for Hospital Staff
Dale Spartz, Hospitals & Clinics Chief Human Resources Officer, explained proposed changes to Rule 5-200B, which would become effective July 1, 2019 if approved. The proposed Rule’s main change is to add for staff employees a paid parental leave benefit that offers similar benefits implemented by the Main Campus on January 1, 2019, and this change only impacts Hospitals and Clinics staff employees. This area has a different benefit structure than other parts of campus, so this new benefit is being rolled out separately. The Hospitals and Clinics Rule will determine eligibility at a .50 FTE. This is needed because of the high reliance the Hospitals and Clinics has for part time positions, and to align with other benefits provided to .50 FTE employees.
Senate Committee Annual Reports: SACD postponed until the April 29, 2019 Academic Senate meeting.
Senate Committee Annual Reports: SACAP
Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy Chair (SACAP) Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski reviewed the three main areas of focus identified in the committee’s annual report. As part of continuing business from last year, SACAP further explored the policy that addresses final exams and agreed to draft a Rule for Policy 6-100 to offer further clarification. Still under discussion are issues with degree residency requirements for senior students in non-supported learning aboard experiences. The third item, which will be looked at in its next meeting, is an issue from Health Sciences concerning policy on theses dates and deadlines.
Senate Committee Annual Reports: SACIT
David Goldenberg, Chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on Information Technology (SACIT), presented its annual report. This committee was created a couple of years ago as part of a major revision of the information technology governance structure on campus. Its role is to provide input that ensures communication between faculty, academic users, students and the administrators who are responsible for providing the IT infrastructure. The committee thus performs as a Senate Committee while also connected to a larger University IT system. Major issues addressed included providing input to the 4-003 Web-policy revisions (see item above), upcoming New Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) IT security policies which will impact the University in the next year or so, and the Software Anywhere Project. This committee provides an active and important faculty voice in the U’s IT environment.
Senate Personnel & Elections Committee Report
Randy Dryer, Senate Personnel & Elections Committee (SPEC) Chair, briefed the Senate on the ongoing elections and committee nominations process. A record number of faculty responded to the Faculty Committee Interest Survey, which allowed a diverse pool of candidates. This response is largely due to Senators’ and committee members’ promotional activities. The SPEC met March 29 to finalize the ballots for Senate committee elections and for University committee nominations. Electronic Senate Committee elections ballots will be sent on April 8th, closing on April 19th. Any persons interested in applying for Academic Senate President-elect will need to submit a certification form by April 15. There is a form for tenure-line faculty and one also for career-line. Newly elected Senators for next academic year will be announced at the Academic Senate meeting of April 29, during which a manual vote for Academic Senate Executive Committee members and President-elect will also be conducted.
Tom Richmond introduced faculty teaching awards announcements and encouraged Senators to congratulate colleagues winning these very competitive awards. The University Teaching Committee recommended Joel Harris, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, to be the 2019 recipient of the Calvin S. and JeNeal Hatch Prize in Teaching. It also recommended the following for the 2019 Early Career Teaching Award: Bartley Pickron, Mary Steinmann, Christopher Lewis, and Irene Yoon.
The Distinguished Professor Advisory Committee recommended these candidates for appointment to University of Utah Distinguished Professors: Marjorie Chan, Department of Geology & Geophysics; Janice Morse, College of Nursing; Charles Hansen, School of Computing; Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, Department of Ophthalmology; Vincent Cheng, Department of English; Marouf Hasian, Department of Communication.
No new Business
Meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.