April 10, 2023
- CALL TO ORDER AND Announcements
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on April 10, 2023, was called to order at 3:00 pm by Senate President Sonia Salari. The meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform. Attendance was confirmed by requiring Senate members (and invited guests and public attendees) to register in advance for the online meeting.
Present: Michael Abrahamson, Soheila Amirsoleimani, Andrew Anderson, Michael Battistone, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Adrian Bell, Melissa Bobick, David Bowling, Simon Brewer, Jonathan Brogaard, Jen Brown, Jessica Brown, Richard Brown, Luca Brunelli, Timothy Brusseau, Owen Chan, Gerald Cochran, Kevin Coe, Frank Drews, Nanette Dudley, Katie Durante, Nadja Durbach, Atif Ellahie, Melinda Fagan, Zak Fang, Stacy Firth, Julia Franklin, Gina Frey, Kyle Gayliyev, Jesse Graham, Lela Graybill, Amos Guiora, Eric Handman, Sara Hart, Tucker Hermans, Anna Hodgson, Heather Holmes, Harriet Hopf, Howard Horwitz, Rory Hume, Bryan Jones, Jay Jordan, Sam Judd, Srabani Karmakar, James Karner, Seth Keeton, Sejin Kim, Kai Kuck, Titus Larrieu, Shelley Lawrence, John Lin, Jack Longino, Alysse Loomis, Janis Louie, Benvin Lozada, Sarah Lucas, Mikaila McIntyre, Nancy McLaughlin, Meeyoung Min, Ed Muñoz, AJ Myers, Anna Neatrour, Will Nesse, Dave Norwood, Yihui Pan, Robert Parker, Karina Perez, Alek Peterlin, Codrina Rada, Alessandro Rigolon, Ofer Rog, Carol Sansone, Nathan Seegert, Xiaoming Sheng, Chris Simon, Jamesina Simpson, Wayne Springer, Sondra Stegenga , Casey Tak, Maggie Tesch, Patrick Tripeny, Jim VanDerslice, Muskan Walia, Jennifer Watt, Jaclyn Winter, Zhou Yu, Kilo Zamora, Sean Redmond
Excused with substitute: Alyssa Lee, Stacy Manwaring, Jessica Van Der Volgen, Ryan Walker
Excused: James Bekker, Adrian Palmer, Seetha Veeraghanta
Absent: Yoshimi Anzai, Steven Bartlett, Matthew Bettini, Kenneth Bromberg, Marc Calaf, Jon Chaika, Holden Cheney, Lizabeth Cowgill, Janice Darko, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Manu Goyal, William Holland, Susan Johnston, Youjeong Kang, Audrey Laney, Feng Liu, Kate Lunnen, Evan Mendez , Eugene Mishchenko, Susie Porter, Paul Shami, Anthony Tenney, Matt Tokson, Melodie Weller, Peter West
Ex Officio: Mike Braak, Shanti Deemyad, Robert Fujinami, Savannah Manwill, Paul Mogren, Allyson Mower, Christina Porucznik, Sarah Projansky, Taylor Randall, Lisa Rigtrup, Sonia Salari, Jane Laird
Senate President Sonia Salari announced that the last Senate social of the year will be on May 8, 5-7pm at the U of U Alumni House. Also, the 2023-24 Senate meeting schedule has been included in the meeting materials.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated March 13, 2023, were approved upon a motion from Shanti Deemyad and a second from Harriet Hopf.
- REQUEST FOR NEW BUSINESS
There were no requests for New Business
- CONSENT CALENDAR
Senate President Salari identified the items on the meeting’s Consent Calendar:
- Faculty Appointments
- New Minor: Biology Minor
- New Degree: Master of Science in Systems Engineering
- Digital Dentistry New Certificate:
- Foundational Digital Dentistry
- New Degree: Digital Dentistry
- Dual/Combined Degrees: Physician Assistant Studies
All items on the Consent Calendar were approved after a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second from Benvin Lozada.
Report from Administration
President Taylor Randall thanked Senate President Salari for her service in that role this year. He offered highlights of the upcoming May 4 Commencement and noted the success of the capital campaign in raising over 3 billion. He closed by congratulating teams in athletics for their recent performance, most notably women’s basketball and gymnastics. President Randall then invited other administration members to offer reports on the recent legislative session and plans for growing student services infrastructure in light of increasing enrollments.
Vice President for Government Relations Jason Perry noted the successes from the legislative session, and commended President Randall for acting as President Pro Tempore over the Utah Senate, the first university president to do so. He stated that the UofU had received over 250 million in appropriations and called attention to the computer and engineering building, as well as substantial funding tied to the relocation of Fort Douglas.
Sean Grube, Director of Housing and Residential Education, discussed the plans for increasing the capacity of student housing and dining as the university grows, and highlighted efforts to diversify housing options and food options on campus by a number of means.
Senators discussed the troubling nature of state legislation around individual medical autonomy, and Michael Good noted the impact of government regulation on healthcare and providers. While not all of the legislation directly impacts the UofU hospital, there are valid concerns within and outside of the scope of the University health system that health providers are closely monitoring.
Senator Jay Jordan asked the administration to talk about the choices and communication efforts around the recent campus closure due to snow, and specifically address the differences various faculty members might have in evaluating when and how to move to online learning on short notice. AVP Sarah Projansky acknowledged that the communication could have been much better and that, while unpredictable circumstances with the weather lead to unavoidable difficulties, there is a need to improve the transparency and process of this decision making. Other Senators also offered examples of hardships caused by the recent campus closure that also asked faculty to continue to hold their classes.
Executive Committee Report
Senate President-elect Shanti Deemyad summarized the disposition of the items presented at the Senate Executive Committee March 27 meeting, outlining the matters placed on the Consent, Intent, Information, and Debate calendars.
Report from ASUU
ASUU VP Benvin Lozada briefed Senate members on the series of end-of-year ASUU programs and events. These included Wellness Week, a Mental Health Awareness Concert, Earth Day, and Stress Buster Week. The Campus Safety Committee has assembled a list of concerns and recommendations that it will forward, and an ASUU steering committee is working to modernize the student government regulations. ASUU Senate Chair Muskan Walia updated the Senate about recent ASUU legislative initiatives and resolutions: funding for travel, the implementation of ranked choice voting in ASUU elections, funding for technology rentals from the Marriott Library, and a resolution regarding the role of student leaders with Housing and Residential Education.
- NOTICE OF INTENT CALENDAR
The Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning (SACUSP) identified a recommendation regarding the apportionment of career-line faculty Senate seats, said its Chair Randy Dryer. SACUSP’s proposal aims to address practical and equity issues that arise from a changing faculty make-up. The proposal is to revise existing university policy to give colleges greater flexibility in apportioning the Senate membership between tenure-line (TL) and career-line (CL) faculty, subject to a set of articulated guardrails. He explained that since the last Senate apportionment policy change was made ten years ago, the composition of the faculty has changed. For instance, there are seven colleges where career-line faculty constitutes the majority of the faculty makeup. Career-line faculty are also about 50% of total university faculty composition.
SACUSP member Harriet Hopf offered that the proposal asks Senators to approve the idea of reworking Senate apportionment to address practical and equity issues and added that details of exactly how to determine the final apportionment policy have not been worked out at this stage. A final apportionment formula and all guideline specifics would next go through standard policy revision process. SACUSP will hold two town halls on April 17th and 26th for Senators who want more discussion before a final vote on the recommendation at the next Senate meeting.
Senator Richard Brown questioned a suggested stipulation in the SACUSP reports that all colleges must have at least 2 CL senators. The specific provision (3.b in the Executive Summary) might be contrary to the spirit of the proposal, which is to provide a mechanism for TL and CL determination flexibility at the college level. For instance, the College of Engineering, which has a high percentage of TL faculty, would ultimately see reduced flexibility in establishing the makeup of its Senate seats if this clause becomes policy. Other Senators offered examples where a college with only 3 or 4 senators total would also be required to have 2 CL representatives regardless of their size or composition. Harriet reminded the Senate that these preliminary discussions may be premature since the proposal would still have to go through the policy review and drafting process and emphasized the complementary guard rails of having at least 50% TL apportionment, and on the other side, requiring at least 2 CL total. However, there are still a lot of details to be worked out prior to determining a final policy.
Discussion closed with the agreement that more extensive discussion can occur during the two SACUSP town halls. Senate President Salari thanked Randy and SACUSP members for their work this year and on this recommendation. Harriet Hopf offered a motion to move the following proposal to the Senate Debate Calendar at the next meeting: revise existing university policy to give colleges greater flexibility in apportioning the Senate membership between tenure-line and career-line faculty, subject to a set of articulated guardrails, which will be determined through the usual university process for revising policy. After a second from Anna Hodgson, the motion passed with 3 opposed.
- DEBATE CALENDAR
Revised Policy 6-400: Student Rights and Responsibilities
Dean of Students Jason Ramirez followed up on his previous Senate presentation at the March 13, 2023, meeting explaining the proposed revisions to Policy 6-400: Student Rights and Responsibilities. He reminded Senators of its key revisions that establish a code that is more restorative and less punitive, more transparent and accessible to students, and strengthens the Office of the Dean of Students ability to address various types of student behavior issues. The code updates have support from ASUU, Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy, Council of Academic Deans, Office of General Counsel, Housing and Residential Education, and other related university groups including affinity groups. His team will also continue to consult with ASUU and other student groups during and after policy implementation. Sonia Salari expressed appreciation to all those who worked on these Student Code revisions over the last four years. After a second from Benvin Lozada, Shanti Deemyad’s motion to approve the revised policy passed.
- INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CALENDAR
SPEC Elections Update: Senate Committee & Senate Leadership
Dale Larsen, Chair of the Senate Personnel and Elections Committee (SPEC) reminded Senators that the annual Senate Committee Ballot opens April 10 and closes April 21. Voting Senators will get a Qualtrics link to vote on nominees to fill Senate committee faculty vacancies next year. Also, Senate Executive Committee self-nominations and Senate President-elect 2023-24 Nomination Forms are due April 14. Senate President Sonia Salari and Senate President-elect Shanti Deemyad offered their positive experiences from being on the Senate Executive Committee and Senate leadership team. Sonia thanked Dale and the SPEC members for their valuable work this year.
New Ethnic Studies Emphases
Division of Ethnic Studies Chair, Edmund Fong, explained that it proposes to establish four new emphases within its major. These emphases are an Asian American Studies Emphasis, an American Indian Studies Emphasis, a Latinx Studies Emphasis, and a Migration and Diaspora Studies Emphasis. The program changes are expected to streamline the major and increase enrollment without substantive changes to the courses being offered or credits for the major These emphases will allow majors to highlight that they have developed a particular expertise within a particular group and/or within a specific theme relevant to the field of Ethnic Studies.
Graduate Assembly Task Force Report
Graduate School Dean David Kieda reviewed the final report from the Graduate Assembly Task Force. It had met during Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 to develop a plan for the formation of a Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPS) at the UofU. It first surveyed different types of Graduate Assemblies in place at peer intuitions. After considering various options, the Task Force decided upon forming a graduate student representative body within ASUU through the using the mechanism of the ASUU College Student Councils (CSC). A Graduate Student Council (GSC), equivalent to a CSC, would be formed and be responsible for writing the GAPS constitution and bylaws. ASUU Senator Sarah Lucas added that a final draft of this action will be signed by ASUU in the near future. Dave concluded, saying that the task force can be disbanded as it has completed its mission once that is signed. Senate President Salari offered appreciation to Dave, Sarah, and all the members, especially student members, who developed the recommendations.
SACEDI – Annual Report
Senate Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SACEDI) Chair David Hawkins-Jacinto provided a summary of the committee’s work for the academic year. The Diversity Action Plan and Practices (DA2P) pilot is now in its 2nd year. This year SACEDI also followed up with participating units and the SACEDI report itemized the areas of information gathered about the unit-specific programming. He also discussed how to further support participating units, such a resource website that covers many areas of concern when developing university-wide and unit-specific EDI goals. Also, SACEDI wants to ensure ongoing stability for the DA2P programs by identifying a landing spot where it can receive more administrative resources. Senate President Salari thanked David and the committee members for their hard work this year.
Faculty Makeup Annual Report
The annual Faculty Makeup Report, which is required by Policy 6-300, has the same format as last year, reported AVP for Faculty Sarah Projansky. The Spring 2023 data reported are organized by federally defined categories that the University is required to use in various public reports. She added that the report is produced in tandem with AVP Health Sciences Robert Fujinami’s office.
Information and Reports
Sonia Salari presented the following informational reports to the Senate:
- 2023 Distinguished Research Awards
- Brett Clark, Professor of Sociology
- Valerio Pascucci, Professor of Computing, School of Computing
- Alana Welm, Professor, Oncological Services
- College of Mines and Earth Sciences Charter
- Program Change: Chemistry–Remove emphasis requirement
- SACIT – Annual Report
- UofU President March 2023 Board of Trust Report
Sonia congratulated the research award recipients.
- NEW BUSINESS
Senator Jay Jordan offered a draft resolution to create a taskforce that would gather information on the emergency management process, especially in cases of inclement weather, and inquired as to the best procedural methods to advance this inquiry in the Senate. Parliamentarian Paul Mogren recommended referring it to the Executive Committee. Discussion included examples of the recent increment weather closure problems and options for handling emergency campus closures that would help faculty and students know how to prepare for closures that ask for classes to continue even if the campus is closed. Jay was invited to attend the April 17 Senate Executive Committee meeting to discuss possible next steps to take to improve the decision and communication processes.
- OPEN DISCUSSION
Meeting adjourned at 5:10 pm.